Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wedding Tip #12 - Portland Maine, Raves & Favs

I was in Portland Thursday & Friday and I wanted to take this chance to talk about some of my favorite wedding vendors in Portland. There are all places I used in my own wedding, and they're so great I wanted to give them the RAVES they deserve.

Spoil Me
43 Exchange Street, Portland, ME
When I got my dress from Spoil Me, they were still selling all types of women's clothing and hadn't switched over to bridal - but they had the best dresses! I got a simple white sheath dress to wear at our after party and my mom got her mother-of-the-bride dress here.
(Yeah, my mom didn't want the traditional MOB outfit!) I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had changed over to a bridal salon. Not only is it an adorable store with great dresses but the people are great too! When I went with my friend Abby, Emily helped us, and she was very attentive as well as just fun to have around! I stopped back in to say hello to her and we had a nice chat about how much with both love this business. How lucky are we to be able to hang out with happy brides? It's always nice to meet someone who loves weddings as much as I do! Also, if you're thinking boutique = expensive then then you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that the dresses we saw were in the $2400-$3700 range. While this is certainly more expensive than the big box bridal stores, you also get much better quality and service with a boutique. And by Boston-standards, theses prices are quite reasonable! The two Portland brides I've been chatting with (Lindsey & Abby) both rave about Spoil me too! I've also blogged about spoil me in a previous "choosing a dress" post.

D Cole
10 Exchange St, Portland, ME
I LOVE D. Cole, they are the best. Anthony and I both got our rings here. Why are they the best? You can trust that you are getting great quality jewelry - they refuse to sell anything that's going to break or fall apart. I am by no means a diamond expert. However, I've learned that the setting is as important as the stone. Stones that are hand set are much less likely to become loose over time than stones that are machine set, and when you go into D. Cole you can see the jewelers working from just next to their showroom. They were also happy to work with Anthony on designing my non-traditional pink sapphire ring! (which is SO ME)
They spend time with you, and because they don't work on commission you won't feel the pressure you feel at other jewelry stores. This is a local family-owned business. Dean and Denise Cole started the business and now their son Ryan and this fiancee Lindsey also work there. They're all super friendly - go say hello! (Tell them Katie Ring sent you!) If you're not in the market for wedding jewelry you should still stop in if you're in Portland. They have a great selection of sterling silver jewelry that you can treat yourself to! Hmmm, speaking of, maybe I need a new Pandora bead...

Papier Gourmet
26 Free St, Portland, ME
I got my invitations here after searching through stores and online for my pink and orange color combination. This is now a popular color choice, but in '07, when I did it - it was much less common and hard to find. They have the best selection of paper, including one that was pink on one side and orange on the other, just what I was looking for!
You can walk-in and look at samples but if you make an appointment they'll go over all the options with you! They have options to just order the paper or have them print the wording as well. It's also helpful to have an expert to help you with wording, and they emailed me the layout to approve before printing. I opted to assemble my own to save a little, but for the time-deprived bride you can pick them up pre-assembled making things totally easy for you!

*Please note that I am not paid for any of these endorsements. I just appreciate great businesses and I want to connect brides to the best products and services.

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