Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from greenclown. Show greenclown's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    My new husband :) and I are sitting on the couch completely drained, so I thought I'd get these out of the way before we leave town tomorrow.

    Ceremony/Reception Venue - The Colonnade Hotel, Boston:
    In a word, unbelievable. I could go on for days about how amazing they were. Every single employee in that hotel went out of their way to make us, our friends, and our families feel like our wedding was their top priority. From the housekeeping staff recognizing me as the bride (I still can't figure out how they knew) to the chef coming to us to make sure we were satisfied with the food, everyone was amazing. The guest rooms are spectacular, the food was unbelievable, and we are both completely amazed by how perfect everything was. If we had to do the planning all over again, we would have our wedding at the Colonnade again without a moment's hesitation. I knew they would do well based on our experience during the planning process and other reviews I'd read, but I never expected it to be as wonderful as it was. They blew us away.

    Flowers - Wedding Flowers by Annette:
    Anyone who has ever read this board with any regularity on this board knows Annette has a great reputation here, and she deserves every bit of it. Our flowers were amazing. I had pictures I had used for inspiration, and she put them to shame! I had people who didn't attend the wedding coming up to me in the hotel this morning to tell me how beautiful our flowers were. Again, if we were planning our wedding again, I wouldn't hesitate to use Annette.

    Band - Shine:
    They were great. Our crowd doesn't really dance, but they danced more than we expected them to last night. The band really did a great job. They played what we wanted, didn't play what we didn't want (even when a guest begged), and we'd definitely use them again.

    Photographer - Michael J. Charles:
    We obviously don't have our pictures yet, but if they're anything like our engagement pictures, we know they're going to be spectacular. We loved Michael from the moment we met him almost a year ago, and we can't wait to see the pictures. Our wedding party kept saying they know now why we couldn't wait to see him yesterday because they immediately loved him. He showed us a few pictures on his camera during the night, and they took my breath away. I'll post an update when we get the pictures, but I know they'll be great. Without even seeing our pictures, I can say we'd use him again for sure. He was our favorite vendor.

    Hair - Especially for You, Kymm Devlen:
    Kymm was a recommendation from this board. She was on time, my hair was perfect, and the bridesmaids looked great. I'd use her again.

    Dance Lessons - OUT to Dance, Liz Nania:
    This was another reputation from this board. My husband and I did not dance before Liz. Now we do. Mission accomplished. We went from dreading dancing at the reception to actually looking forward to it. Liz is great, and we'd use her again in a heartbeat.

    Paper stuff - mygatsby.com: I wanted to design our own invitations but I didn't want to deal with the actual printing of them, and mygatsby let me do do that. The quality was great, they were faster than I expected, and I'd use them again.

    Veil - Veils by Roxanne:
    I wasn't too thrilled with the quality of my veil. People told me it was beautiful, but I probably could have found better quality for a lower price.

    Rehearsal dinner - Ristorante Fiore, Boston: This is one of our favorite restaurants in the North End, and they didn't disappoint. The food was great, the service was great, and we have enough delicious leftovers in our fridge to feed us for at least a week. Definitely would do it again.

    Transportation - Old Town Trolley Tours: We only needed them to get guests from the hotel to the RD. They did the job and were a piece of cake to deal with.

    Cake - The Icing on the Cake, Newton:
    I almost forgot this one until I called Old Town a piece of cake! Our cake was exactly what we asked for, Paula was great to deal with, and we had multiple guests comment that it was the best wedding cake they'd ever tasted. I happen to agree.

    Tuxes - Men's Warehouse:
    Another piece of cake vendor. They didn't screw anything up, and that's all we could ask for.

    Calligraphy - A Fine Letter:
    They were cheaper than anything I could find in Boston, they were fast, and the calligraphy was absolutely beautiful. I can't recommend them enough.

    My gown and bridesmaids' dresses - Precious Memories, Malden:
    I saved this one for last because I knew it would be the hardest (and longest) one to write. When we first went in there, I was pretty sure I was going to get the dress I got, but I was still making sure it was the right choice (I had found it at another bridal shop). The service we got at Precious Memories, particularly from Joyce, the owner, was so great during that visit that I ended up ordering my dress from them and planned to get the bridesmaids' dresses from them.

    We ordered my dress and the bridesmaids picked their dress. Things went downhill from there. At that point, I started having serious communication issues with PM. There was definitely an understandable reason for me to not hear back from Joyce, but the shop didn't handle it well (and I obviously didn't know this until after the fact). All it would have taken was them letting me know that I wouldn't be hearing back from her for a few weeks or offering to help me instead (without even needing to explain why), but that didn't happen. I would just leave messages that went unanswered, which obviously got more and more frustrating as time went on. I decided to get the bridesmaids' dresses somewhere else, but when I let Joyce know that, things improved and I decided to give PM another chance. I wish I'd listened to my gut.

    Dealing with the staff at this place was usually a nightmare (incompetent comes to mind). Joyce was great, but I can't say that about everyone there. One person there never seemed to understand what someone needed when calling to make an appointment or ask a question, and it usually ended up with having to say never mind and calling back later. One of my bridesmaids ended up with a dress that was several sizes too big, which caused unnecessary alteration expenses. If I'd reviewed the sizes before they were ordered, I would have caught it because I know how they all compare, but hindsight is 20/20. I was counting on the shop to handle that, and I shouldn't have.

    The final nail in the coffin of me not recommending this place came yesterday morning around 8:00 am, when I noticed that the tie for my corset (you know, the piece that keeps the entire dress on my body, kinda important) wasn't with the dress. My bridesmaid who picked it up kept blaming herself for not checking on it before she left, but why should she have to? They're supposed to make sure things are done right. I noticed it early enough in the day that it wasn't anything more than annoying (this bridesmaid stopped there on her way into town to pick it up), but it was enough. I really do wish Joyce the best, so hopefully they'll work on things like this.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from greenclown. Show greenclown's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    I also wanted to include my three favorite moments because those are generally my favorite part of vendor reviews:

    1) This feels kind of superficial, but when our wedding coordinator took us into the ballroom to check it out before anyone came in. It was so wonderful to see everything we'd been planning and doing for a year come together in real life. It felt like a dream.

    2) Glancing over my now-husband's shoulder during the ceremony and seeing two of the groomsmen crying. I was already crying, and that just made me cry harder. DH's brother was our officiant, so it was already pretty emotional, and seeing his best friends crying pushed me over the edge (which made them even more emotional; it was a vicious cycle).

    3) My mom seeing me for the first time. We don't have the best relationship, but her face when she saw me for the first time yesterday made me realize that despite our difficulties, she does love me with every ounce of her being. It was a very special moment and I'll treasure it for the rest of my life, not matter what.

    I also want to make a comment about the two best decisions we made about this wedding (I just can't stop typing today):

    1) I mentioned that DH's brother was our officiant. Best decision of the wedding. He did an amazing job, and it was so much more special than having a stranger perform our ceremony. If you don't have any religious preferences for your wedding, I highly recommend having someone close to you get the one-day designation from the state. We heard many comments during the night that it was the most personal wedding ceremony they'd ever seen.

    2) We decided to do our bridal party pictures before the ceremony. I resisted seeing DH before the ceremony for a long time because I wanted that magic moment as I came down the aisle. Well, it turns out that having that moment in front of the fountain at the Christian Science Center was just as magical, and then we got to have another magic moment before I came down the aisle. It was such a relief to have that out of the way. If we'd had to do that after the ceremony, I think we all would have been complaining.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bishky. Show Bishky's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    Oh, exciting, Greenclown! It sounds like you had an incredible experience. Congratulations to you and your new husband!

    Also, thanks for the detailed reviews. I like your style: you detailed what did and did not please you and said whether you'd use each vendor again. Letter grades are certainly useful to a point, too, but they're so subjective that I think the way you approached it is even more helpful.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from starbuckslas. Show starbuckslas's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    congrats greenclown.. One of the last fall of 08 brides. I've been thinking of your wedding now that mine has passed. It seems we both had awesome vendors until it came to the dress. I was the exact same way with my dress shop. The best of luck to you in married life. It truly is fun...
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ami0001. Show ami0001's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    Congratulations! I'm curious about Restaurant Fiore. Our ceremony is at the Old North Church and we want to have our rehearsal in the North End, but haven't been able to find anything good and reasonably priced. What type of package did they work out for you? Buffet? Sit down? How far in advance did you book?

    Thanks!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    So happy for you! Congratulations!!!! Have a great honeymoon!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from greenclown. Show greenclown's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    [Quote]Congratulations! I'm curious about Restaurant Fiore. Our ceremony is at the Old North Church and we want to have our rehearsal in the North End, but haven't been able to find anything good and reasonably priced. What type of package did they work out for you? Buffet? Sit down? How far in advance did you book?

    Thanks![/Quote]

    Thanks, everyone! Ami, we had a family style dinner. The options are buffet, family style, and sit down. I think we booked about a year in advance. I'm not sure how early it really needs to be. They seemed kind of surprised that I was calling so early. I'm sure if you send them an email they'll email you the packages right away. I would send what I have but it's a year old.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    Congrats, greenclown. Sounds like a fabulous day. Enjoy your honeymoon!

    I'm so glad you had such a great experience w/ both Kymm Devlin and Liz Nania b/c I know that I recommended them previously on this board. I'm glad you had as good an experience w/ them as I did.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Brighton1. Show Brighton1's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    Sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing! The Colonnade was on my short list of Boston venues, but we ended up with something out in the country.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from circles82. Show circles82's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    Greenclown - Congratulations! I am so glad your day went well :)

    Ami - I was married at Old North on 9/19. Our rehearsal dinner was at The Living Room, but I don't highly recommend them. However, my reception was at La Famiglia Giorgio and I had it served Family Style. Definitely affordable and I am still getting emails from guests that they start salivating over it again when they see pictures from the wedding. It is just down Salem from the church.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from ami0001. Show ami0001's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    Circles - thanks for the info! We were really interested in that place and your review prompted us to call them and set up an appointment for next weekend to try out their food and discuss their packages. Thanks!

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    Congrats, greeny!! :) Glad you shared that wonderful moment with your mom, especially.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from katie1980. Show katie1980's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    Congrats!!!
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    Congratulations Greenclown - sounds like you had an absolutely unforgettable day. I have to commend you on your review. Not to give any letter grades to the vendors. You just told us what you liked and what you disliked. Letters really do not mean the same thing to everyone. Kudo you you.
    And now have a fabulous honeymoon - Pingo
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from greenclown. Show greenclown's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    Just wanted to post an update about our pictures. We had really high expectations for them, based on what we'd seen from Michael, and we weren't disappointed. He did an incredible job.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from octbride09. Show octbride09's posts

    Vendor reviews - 11/8/08

    Posts like this make me realize that all the strss of planning makes it all worth it. Thanks for sharing.
     
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