Recommended by 97%
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Melanie · Married on 07/28/2018
We hired Top Shelf Weddings to plan and organize our wedding. We worked extensively with Rachel, who is now our hero! We recommend her without reservation. Because of her expertise and ability to understand us, we were able to have a complex wedding that perfectly fit our vision.
We live 2000 miles from Madison, so planning a Madison wedding required meticulous planning and attention to detail. Since those are not our strong suits, Rachel was a lifesaver and our wedding wouldn’t have happened without her! She got to know us, helped us brainstorm, suggested wonderful vendors, and in several cases negotiated on our behalf.
Rachel knows her business—she has contacts with lots of vendors in the area and knows the venues. For example, during our first phone conversation she quickly identified a venue that fit all of our needs and immediately reached out to determine their availability. The venue was perfect for us, and we didn’t dare to hope such a venue existed until Rachel suggested it!
Surely, lots of wedding planners are organized and detail oriented, but Rachel is the consummate professional. In particular, we noticed that she never tried to impose a vision on us. She worked to understand our vision, and acted as an advocate for our vision. She knew which decisions we'd want to make and which decisions we'd rather not think about. When planning overwhelmed us, Rachel confidently stepped in to make some decisions. For example, where should we put the bar? How many tables, and which type? She knew us well enough to predict when we would welcome her input.
We also worked with Sarah as our day-of coordinator and she did an excellent job executing our plans. She did all the behind the scenes work so that everything went smoothly and was in the right place at the right time. Sarah has a positive and calming presence, and she orchestrated the day so that we didn’t have to.
Thank you Rachel and Sarah for your hard work! We are so, so grateful!
Claire Peterson · Married on 07/28/2018
Rachel was phenomenal as our wedding planner. She proactively met with us throughout the entire process, organized all our vendors so that everyone was on the same page, and made sure our wedding day was flawless. I'm convinced that even if something major went wrong, I would have NO IDEA because Rachel would have just handed it! Every single person who interacted with Rachel (officiant, entire wedding party, photographer, etc) commented on how wonderful and organized she was. We chose a package where Rachel helped us specifically with photography, catering, and event design + day-of coordination - it was the perfect fit and we felt well supported throughout the entire process. Highly recommend!
Katherine · Married on 06/09/2018
Rachel and Top Shelf Weddings were phenomenal. After interviewing several wedding coordinators, Rachel's professionalism, thoughtfulness, and energy were hard to beat. She definitely delivered on the day of the wedding, which went without a hitch or worry. Rachel also did a fabulous job of coordinating all the vendors and making the reception venue flawless. We could never thank Rachel enough for making the perfect day a reality.
Katey · Married on 08/19/2017
Best vendor of our entire wedding. Seriously, can Rachel coordinate my life? I am a serious Type A, control freak who won't even let my mother/new husband take care of things but I trusted Rachel. She made sure all I wanted for the wedding happened (and I had a lot). I had phone calls with probably 20 wedding coordinators. Rachel stood out then and still does. If I could give her 10 stars I would.
Lauri · Married on 08/12/2017
My daughter's wedding was a dream come true and our day of planner was a huge part in making it happen. Rachel knew exactly what to do at every step of the way and dealt with every challenging situation with an exceptional amount of professionalism and control. She stayed at the wedding until everything wasn't taken care of and collected all the materials/gifts we needed to save and delivered them safely to our house so we could enjoy saying goodbye to our guests. She also helped all the other vendors to know what to do and where to get their supplies. We were so pleased with Rachel's services.
Dan · Married on 05/27/2017
We decided to go with the London package through TSWE because my wife and I are fairly organized people and that worked out perfectly for us. She was there whenever we needed her - either by phone, e-mail, or in person.
My wife wanted a lot of help with ideas about how things would flow together and Rachel always gave that to her. She never made her feel bad about the choices and always gave honest recommendations.
I am very spreadsheet and detail oriented and she was able to meet me where I needed her in terms of realistic and prompt budget guidelines and planning timelines. She really could not have been a better fit for the two of us.
On the day of the wedding, she was invaluable. We constantly look back on the day and think about how amazing it was. We literally did not have to worry about one thing. The venue was set up beyond our expectations and everything was perfect. She kept track of the timeline for the entire evening and augmented the flow of the evening, making sure that speeches were on time, that Molly and I were where we needed to be and that we got everything we needed. She was never in the way but was the powerhouse behind the scenes.
Our family and wedding party knew that they could go to her with any questions and she was ready and willing to help them in any way.
At the end of the night, Molly and I were able to enjoy the dancing worry-free as she had cleaned up the entire dinner area, collected all of the gifts, and delivered them to our house (including the top tier of our cake - which she put in the fridge!)
We would have not had had it any other way - she is worth every penny and we highly highly recommend her to anyone.
Wendy · Married on 05/13/2017
We loved Rachel and Top Shelf Weddings so much, we used her for both of our daughters' weddings. Rachel is remarkably talented at what she does. She takes the daunting task of overseeing a wedding and approaches it with the calm demeanor, patience, and perseverance of a general going into battle. From the initial meeting through the final affair, she manages whatever is thrown her way. She is personable, funny, professional, well organized, and really good at what she does. She assumes a low profile, and yet is always right there when you need her. I cannot recommend her highly enough. Two daughter's and two weddings in less than three years...we could not have done it without her.
Emily · Married on 12/02/2016
Rachel is a true Master of Ceremonies. I knew 5 minutes after meeting her at our initial consultation that she was the one to plan my wedding & pull it off flawlessly. And she did exactly that! She is a great listener, taking the time to learn what is important to you as the bride, and then executing that vision with nothing short of excellence. She is sweet, professional, prompt and about a million other things. What else can I say - book her!
Karen · Married on 08/06/2016
Where do I even start? Let me begin by saying that Rachel Tatge from Top Shelf Wedding & Events is an amazing wedding planner. Not only did my husband and I live in a different state, but I was also in the middle of completing a veterinary residency, which with the combination of the two would have been a very stressful process, however, Rachel was a life saver and made the wedding planning process much easier.
Rachel is extremely professional and friendly. After interviewing several potential wedding planners, my husband and I knew immediately that we wanted her as our wedding planner. We went with the "Paris" package, which essentially is the full wedding planning service due to the fact that we lived out of state and we both had very busy schedules. Rachel went above and beyond what we expected. Rachel was very accommodating with everything we requested of her from planning my bridal shower and rehearsal dinner to the wedding and the morning after brunch. We requested a lot of her, she always followed through. She always responded in a timely manner in regards to any questions or comments I had and would even respond immediately when it was needed. What made us especially love Rachel as our wedding planner was that she was never pushy and gave us recommendations when requested. Rachel is also extremely organized, which makes the entire process that much easier. Additionally, Rachel had great suggestions for potential vendors and provided us with options. Talking to many of the vendors that we communicated with, Rachel has a great repertoire with all of them.
My husband and I never imagined the time commitment required in planning a wedding. Without Rachel, I would have been extremely stressed. She is seriously a life saver, and we couldn't have done it without her. Our wedding day went smoothly and was absolutely perfect. Not only was she an amazing wedding planner, but she also became a friend. We would recommend her to anyone!
User5642251 · 2+ years ago
Rachel of Top Shelf Weddings is fantastic. She is so professional and asks the right questions in order to have your wedding all planned out. My husband and I were stress free on our wedding day knowing we had her by our side. Highly consider having Rachel as your wedding coordinator and planner!
Elizabeth · Married on 07/18/2015
Let me first start off by saying that I live in NYC and was planning a wedding on my fiance's parents' farm in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin from afar. So I didn't really have that many people to ask about referrals. I got one wedding planner referral from a food vendor and they weren't available for our date but highly recommended Rachel, which to me, was quite a recommendation (a competitor giving the thumbs up to someone else in the field).
My initial contact with Rachel was via email but then we set up a time to chat in late December 2014. I could tell instantly that she was the right kind of Type A personality I wanted to help with the 'day of' coordination of our big farm wedding. She shared references with me immediately and everyone had glowing reviews of her services. The types of questions she asked during our phone conversation showed that she was detail-oriented and on-the-ball.
Rachel shared sample itineraries to give us a feel for the services she'd provide and how she'd go about helping with the last minute coordination over the next couple of months. She gave us great suggestions for vendors and tips on what works best for these types of venues.
We finally met her face to face when we traveled to Madison in late May. The family felt comfortable with her immediately and their minds were put at ease knowing she'd be there to make everything go smoothly. She asked all the right questions and took charge when things went astray. She doesn't shy away from speaking up when she needs clarification or feels her expertise would benefit the discussion.
Rachel came to the farm for the rehearsal dinner to check out the set up and walk through the ceremony with us. And the big day was wonderful. She and her assistant were on top of everything and really went with the flow of our nontraditional, laid back vibe. I am so grateful that the other planner wasn't available because it was great to work with Rachel from beginning to end.
Andrea · Married on 06/06/2015
WMy wife and I interviewed numerous wedding coordinator/planners, and by far Rachel stood out as the most enthusiastic, experienced and encouraging. We were a bit nervous as we were planning a 200+ wedding. Rachel made it as straight forward and easy as she could. We went with the middle package, which essentially meant she would provide some vendor recommendations (which again, I was skeptical about, but really - it is definitely worth it- to be given a choice of vendors that a) are within your budget, b) are available for that date and c) trustworthy), and help us organize the day. We met a few times, and each time while we felt like there were a lot of questions we hadn't even realized needed considering - they were all decisions that needed to be made and Rachel created an excellent itinerary for the day. We know that she did a lot of work behind the scenes working with our vendors and on the big day, she was calm, proficient and clearly working hard in the background with her assistant. Rachel really took it upon herself to make sure our vendors did their best- she made them HER responsibility, which was awesome. Most importantly, we didn't have to worry about anything.
Rachel was very responsive to our emails and contact - typically within a few hours, which was refreshing. She always has a smile on her face and was very encouraging, during what seemed like a marathon of organizing and planning in the run up to our big day.
While we will never need a wedding planner again, if for any reason we decide to host a massive party, we'll definitely be calling Rachel once more. We cannot recommend her services enough. Of all the costs incurred by our wedding she represented the best value of all, by far. Don't skimp on the one service that is designed to make your life easier - IT IS WORTH IT!!!!!!
Sarah · Married on 12/31/2014
Best choice! Imagine an elegant New Year’s Eve soiree, dripping in gold sequins with delicate white floral accents, complete with a room full of overjoyed guests donned in black-tie attire, enthusiastically dancing past midnight into the new year. Top Shelf Wedding & Events was the sole reason our vision came to life. With genuine fondness, we wholeheartedly recommend TSW&E as the best wedding planner in Wisconsin.
QUALITY – Rachel is organized, responsive, and detail-oriented. Before the wedding and on-site, Rachel managed everything with meticulous precision and grace.
INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE – With vast expertise in the local wedding market, Rachel will offer you an array of vendors at varying price levels to help guide your decision with your budget in mind. She is unbiased and diplomatic. What is not sourced locally can be sourced online. Whatever your vision, Rachel knows someone or some way to make it happen.
TRUST – Rachel is your advocate. She will work with vendors to support you and provide honest feedback when appropriate. Even when Rachel would offer a different perspective than what I had originally considered, she did so with tact and would offer an alternative solution to help execute against your original vision.
INTEGRITY – Rachel is a confident, capable woman that is respectful of her clients and industry partners. She is professional and proactive when it comes to troubleshooting challenges. Ultimately, she is the epitome of integrity and you will be proud to have her on your team.
We selected Top Shelf Wedding & Events for experience, professionalism, energy, and willingness to understand our perspective. We attained all of those qualities and more. Rachel is incredibly genuine, passionate, dedicated, responsive, responsible, proactive, organized, fun, and a good listener. I cannot express enough how working with Rachel was the SINGLE BEST investment we made our entire wedding. The success of our wedding is wholly attributed her!
Robert · Married on 09/20/2014
Rachel from Top Shelf was our "day of" coordinator for our wedding on 9/20/2014. We first met with Rachel over a year prior to the wedding day and hit it off with her right away (I imagine everyone she interacts with feels similarly). From the start Rachel was a huge help with the planning and all of the "what if's" and "how do you's" that come up when planning a wedding. We were somewhat needy clients given our wedding was officiated by a family member (first time officiant) and held a short way outside of Madison. Rachel was incredibly flexible and went the extra mile to help us address all of these additional challenges.
The month before the wedding requiring increasing levels of planning, Rachel was right there and always willing to lend a hand, give helpful advice or point us in the right direction. Leading up to wedding day, the itinerary that Rachel prepared was terrific -- kept us organized and once completed put our minds at ease that everything was taken care of. Day of the wedding, Rachel and her assistant took care of pretty much everything (set-up, coordination of the ceremony, even writing checks for me to sign for final payments to vendors) and took the stress and burden off us and our family. Overall, cannot say enough good things. We feel it was the best money spent on the wedding and assure that one cannot go wrong hiring Top Shelf as wedding or other event coordinator.
User4129085 · 2+ years ago
So worth it! I never would have considered hiring a wedding coordinator, but I had a friend that told me it was the best thing she did regarding wedding planning. Rachel is incredibly detail oriented and provided us with an amazing day of wedding timeline that put our minds at ease. I really did not feel comfortable asking friends and family to help set up with reception hall and having Rachel and her assistant on board was the perfect solution. I would also recommend paying a little extra and having Rachel stay until the end to help with the takedown. My number one piece of advice to friends getting married is to hire a wedding coordinator!!!
Sarah · Married on 04/26/2014
We contacted Rachel about 6 weeks before my wedding after realizing we wouldn't be able to do it all the day of. She helped me get organized for the big day and without her, several small but important details would have slipped through the cracks. Usually when planning a large event like a wedding, you expect some things to go wrong, but with Rachel at the helm, our wedding day was as perfect as perfect can be.
Stephanie · Married on 08/17/2013
Rachel is amazing! I honestly couldn't have done it without her. And I was a skeptic; I didn't think I needed a wedding planner. Boy, was I wrong! She organized, itemized and got her hands dirty. There were so many things I would have forgotten or just not realized without her. Her itinerary was spot on. The timing was all perfect. She and her assistant jumped in to get things done. She treated us like friends but was very professional and direct. I would probably still be married today without Rachel, but I wouldn't have the amazing memories (and great pictures) without her!
Anastasia · Married on 06/16/2012
I contacted Rachel 2 weeks before my wedding. I had everything planned out but I just needed someone that I could trust with putting those together. Rachel delivered it well. She was nice and patient and understanding. I had an ease of mind realizing that she was taking care of them.
brandy · Married on 06/02/2012
Rachel was always responsive to my questions; she brought up questions I'd not thought of, and handled the day-of so calmly. Having her there meant so much to me to know there was one person who hadn't lost her mind that I could count on (and find). Thank you, Rachel!Sent on 12/19/2012
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Amber · Married on 11/14/2009
We left all the details up to Angela at Top Shelf. She had the talent and expereince to make our wedding day dreams come alive. We would highly recommend Top Shelf to any future bride!
Cassandra · Married on 09/26/2009
Hiring Angela was probably the best wedding related decision that we made. Having her and Rachel there on the day of the wedding allowed us to actually relax and enjoy ourselves and that was worth every penny. She was very quick to reply to questions, kept track of every detail and change throughout planning and made sure that everything was executed perfectly. They confirmed all the details with the vendors in the weeks before the wedding and did a lot of the actual setup themselves. They even took all of our gifts home for us. And on top of that Angela is also one of the nicest people I've ever met! We cannot possibly recommend Top Shelf highly enough!
Cindy · Married on 07/11/2009
Angela and Top Shelf Weddings helped pull together my daughters wedding on 7/11/09. She delivered all the services promised and more. She literally rolled up her sleeves and went to work Friday evening setting up the venue and all day Saturday, from morning well into the reception and dancing. She has a wealth of information to share and is very quick with her answers on e-mail. She knows her business and you would not be disappointed! She takes the time to know and respect the tastes of the bride and groom, making their special day more meaningful. I can't say enough about her service.
Thanks for the millionth time Angela if you are reading this in cyberspace!
Meghan · Married on 05/05/2018
Rachel was phenomenal! I ordered the "day of" package essentially, but Rachel met with me and my mother at least 3 times and was always available by phone or email pretty much instantly. As a bride, it was so amazing to know that Rachel knew plan A, B, and C, so she could deal with any and all hiccups the day of. She also instructed my vendors not to contact me unless they had to, the week before, and to contact her with issues which really allowed me to relax and focus on what was really important! Rachel always knew what to say, what to do, and how to keep things fun but professional. Rachel was worth every single penny, I don't know how people throw a wedding without her!
Nathan · Married on 09/19/2009
Angela was fantastic. She helped us plan our wedding from beggining to end in 4.5 months. Angela was always available to answer questions, provide excellant advise and meet with us personally on a pretty regular basis. Angela has an excellant knowledge of the wedding industry and saved us a ton of time putting us in touch of vendors that were exactly what we were looking for and in the price range that we were looking for. Angela has excellant taste and can plan anything from a small simple wedding to a large elegant wedding. Angela was excellant under pressure and kept us calm and on task throughout the planning process. The one thing that really impressed me about Angela is that she was extremely organized and payed attention to all the details. Even though she was planning other weddings during the time she was helping us she was always on top of our wedding and never confused our details with any of her other weddings. Angela takes great pride in her work and does not just look at it as a job. Angela understands that this is a once in a life time day and she did everything she could to ensure that this day was special and went off with out a hitch. We couldn't have asked for anything more from Angela. She helped us make our wedding perfect and we can't thank her enough.
Brittany · Married on 06/25/2016
Initially, I chatted with Rachel over the phone and made a verbal agreement for contract, The following day I was told that someone else booked and she would not be able to coordinate my wedding, however, her associate would be able to do it. We had a couple meetings to organize and plan the day, down to the minute, but never met her associate Maggie until our final meeting, a couple weeks prior to the event. I noticed typos in almost every document, and updates I made never got put into the final itinerary which ended up causing us an additional $100 from a vendor after our wedding because he never got the itinerary. The day of the wedding came, the girls arrived on time and got to work setting up the venue. If this was the only job I had hired Top Shelf for it would have been great. They did a great job of putting my diagram into action and making the tent look the way I had envisioned. However, when it came to the execution of coordinating it fell apart. I made a small change to the ceremony to help with the kid problem which never got relayed to the the family's son, my mom was helping direct people and places, my bridesmaids had to deal with things missed in set up, and sorting through my stuff after that day, saw things literally shoved and thrown in boxes, plus a myriad of other things. I am limited in characters for this review or I would go on. I brought my concerns to her after the day and she provided me nothing more than an apology, justifications for poor service, and asked if I had any more questions. I definitely don't have any more questions and I would NEVER recommend this vendor to someone needing coordinating services on their wedding. This was something we sacrificed to invest in and I feel cheated with the money I spent on this.Sent on 07/15/2016
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