It’s all over and we’re back to reality… I cannot believe it went by so fast! Almost a year of planning the wedding and the honeymoon, and it’s all over…
Rehearsal Dinner Grade: A
Romano’s Macaroni Grill / Burlington, MA
We did an outdoor run-through in 40 degree blustery New England weather then all 17 of us headed over to Romano’s Macaroni Grill in Burlington. We had a function menu, which made life easy on the kitchen and the servers. The service was great, the food was excellent, and for the number of people we had, the cost was very reasonable.
Dress / Alterations Grade: B+
David’s Bridal / Natick, MA
I loved my dress and my sash, and the lower grade wasn’t the fault of David’s… It’s my own fault for not paying attention to some of the details. My dress was v-neck and I didn’t ensure that the bodice would come up high enough to cover my bra. We used fashion tape and safety pins but the dress was so heavy, it kept drooping back down. Because of the constant pulling on the bodice, a few of the pin tucks came loose, but I don’t think anyone but I noticed. The only alterations I needed was a three point bustle, and there were no problems there.
Tuxes Grade: A
Men's Wearhouse / Solomon Pond Mall, Marlborough, MA
No problems here. Tuxes were in on time. Everything fit perfectly. The guys all looked great. Yay.
Venue Grade: B+
The Griffin Museum of Photography / Winchester, MA
I love the museum and I enjoyed working with their coordinator to set everything up. There were a few things I wasn’t thrilled with the day of the wedding, however.
(1) There was someone else from the museum working the night of the wedding, not the coordinator I’d been dealing with. He didn’t introduce himself to any of us nor did he have anything to identify himself as a museum employee. I had to ask one of the catering staff who he was, because I assumed he was with them.
(2) There was also some trash on the grounds of the museum as we were setting up to do our pre-ceremony photos. We shouldn’t have had to stop and clean up in order to have a clear space for our ceremony and photos.
(3) Lastly, it was absurdly hot in the gallery where we had dinner and dancing. They host receptions there all the time – they are a museum gallery! – so there should have been better climate control in the room.
I still love the look of the venue and our guests didn’t seem to have the same complaints (other than the temperature of the gallery!). It was still a beautiful event.
Florist Grade: A+
Danielson Flowers / Shrewsbury, MA
I loved loved loved our flowers. Seriously loved. All we said was “fall flowers and colors” with two stipulations – no roses and use lots of calla lilies. Everything was perfect. We ended up having to add centerpieces to our order, so we carved seven pumpkins ourselves and delivered them to the florist to be used as vases. They came out AMAZING!!! They were so easy to deal with and far exceeded my expectations.
Entertainment Grade: B+
Besttunes / Jenny
Besttunes is a father/daughter team and we had the daughter Jenny. She was very easy to work with before the event, but I was a little disappointed the night of the event. We’d given her a very clear list of songs, both our special event songs nad our “must play” songs. I even burned cds with all our special requests but she told me the night of the wedding she’d been too busy to go through and check them. As a result, she didn’t find out until that night that the track listings weren’t label and she didn’t edit our processional or recessional the way I’d asked her too. So our songs weren’t played at the correct times or in the correct format. I know I’m the only one who noticed, but being the crazy control freak I am, I noticed every single issue. Everyone else seemed to love her (I still love her!) and the dance floor was always occupied, so all’s well that ends well.
Caterer Grade: C
Green Olive Catering
Here’s where I had the bulk of my issues. We chose Green Olive because they were a recommended caterer of the museum. Given that it’s a unique venue, we wanted someone familiar with the challenges present at such a venue. Our initial dealings were great and our coordinator, Karyn, was excellent. We felt really good about our choice.
Things started going downhill at the beginning of September. I emailed Karyn on a Thursday to ask a question about obtaining a vegan meal and said I was looking forward to our meeting the following Tuesday (Sept 14th). She said the vegan meal wasn’t a problem but that she needed to reschedule our meeting. That wasn’t an option for us since we were meeting with ALL of our vendors that day and had made arrangements for the time off of work. Karyn also told me at that time that she was leaving (she said temporarily; a coworker later said it was permanently) the company and someone else would be taking over. Not what I wanted to hear five weeks before, but it happens. She finally made arrangements for someone to take her place at the meeting.
At this meeting, we were very clear with Jason (who was a stand in; our actual coordinator would be Suzanne) about our set up, we took lots of notes, gave him all of our additional information. A few days later we got an email from Suzanne asking all of the same questions and trying to change timelines and arrangements that had been in place since February – including trying to charge us for this additional time because she felt our timeline wasn’t feasible. I stated quite clearly that Karyn’s departure didn’t negate all of the arrangements we had already made –and based ALL of our planning on – and that I would happily forward ALL of my email correspondence to her for verification.
I was asked for documentation multiple times – documentation I’d completed and sent back on multiple occasions already. The excuse for the repeated requests was “We’re so busy – it’s hard to keep track of everything.” Not something you should be telling a client just days before their wedding.
Their “bill” was submitted as an excel spreadsheet and it was repeatedly incorrect. I had to ask multiple times for a final invoice (once my final head count was in) so my father could call in with his credit card information to pay the bill the day prior. When he did call, they tried to charge him more than was owed on our ‘final’ bill. He refused to pay this new figure and would only pay what was on the invoice we had in hand. Additionally, the caterer claimed that gratuity was not added in to the bill, but they “suggested” a gratuity and then listed their “total owed” as including this suggested gratuity. Additionally their suggested gratuity was based on the TOTAL cost of the event – including the salaries, liquor license fee, trash hauling fee, etc – rather than on the cost of the food. According to the many friends I have that work in the catering industry, tip should be roughly based on the cost of the food but is most importantly based on the service received the night of the event. Their suggestion was nearly double what my catering friends felt was appropriate for the night. I felt it was very shady and I’m glad I understand excel well enough to see where they were pulling their amounts from.
Our bar (beer, wine, and soda) was on consignment and the caterer provided everything else, including a bartender. I was very clear that I did not want a tip jar out on the bar. It was an open bar – no costs to our guests. If a guest wanted to tip the bartender of their own accord, that was fine, but I did not want them soliciting tips. Sure enough – tip jar on the bar. My father dealt with it promptly during the cocktail hour and I didn’t see it out again. They claimed they didn’t know but I stated it verbally twice and in writing once.
I honestly do not remember much about the food. I didn’t really get to eat during the cocktail hour because we were doing more photos. I scarfed down a few bites of salad and maybe half of my entrée during dinner. Everything else was a blur.
The service was the saving grace – all of the staff was very nice, very friendly, and very attentive.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend Green Olive to anyone after this event.
Bar Grade: A
We had our bar on consignment. Kappy's was great. We ended up only paying $400 for everything. I highly recommend them. Just deal with them independently - not through Green Olive.
Favors / Cake Grade: A+++
Be Sweet Bakery / Attleboro, MA
Be Sweet is run by my best friend / maid of honor Kristen and her friend Lynn. Kristen made all of our favors – chocolate lollipops in fall shapes (maple leaves, pumpkins, etc.). K & L made a cupcake tower with six assorted flavors of cupcakes / frosting. Our guests were fighting over flavors! LOL! They were all SOOOOO good! She also made us the cutest grooms cake ever – my husband is a scuba diver, so it was our faces from the nose up, him with a scuba mask and me with a veil and snorkel, reading “Together we take the plunge”. Everything was incredible and there’s no way I can thank her enough.
Photographer Grade: A+++++++++++++
Pizzuti Studios / Lowell, MA
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Rich & Ashley. Absolutely amazing work and fabulously wonderful people. Our first set of proofs was waiting for us when we got back from our honeymoon, and I cried all over again. I cannot wait to see the rest of the pictures!!! They set up a slide show during the reception and there were more people huddled around the laptop than there were on the dance floor. So incredible. When I get photos I can share, I absolutely will. If you’re on Facebook, you can view their work there as well. Unbelievable.