Vendor Review 10/11/2009 (long)
posted at 10/14/2009 5:09 PM EDT
The time has come for me to post my vendor review and I couldn't be more excited to share. I used these forums to find many of my vendors and for advice and such and I found it to be the most helpful place out there for advice.
My DH and I wanted a short, unique ceremony and then a big party after with good food and good people. We also didn't want to break the bank.
That's exactly how it worked out!
I have been thinking about what to write here since we started getting out vendors (crazy I know) but I want what I write to be acurate as I used these reviews to help create our day! With that said I am going to be critical because I think that is most helpful...so here goes.
Venue: Three Chimneys Inn - Durham, NH (see the venue section for a detailed review - I just couldn't rate them as a whole here)
INVITATIONS/SAVE-THE-DATES: Sweetpenelope.com - san fran A+
I could not be happier with the way our invites came out for the price we paid. Basically, Elyse has a package where she puts together a pdf file for you and then you print the invites at home. She was a huge help in picking out the right paper for the colors we were using and even helped me when I called with printer trouble! She was really so great to work with, I wish I could meet her! She was patient and got things done quickly. DH cut all the paper and helped me stuff envelopes. It worked out really well. Not to mention I think including the cost of paper and envelopes our invites, STDs and thank yous cost ~$200. yea!
PHOTOGRAPHER: Scott Metzger - Lexington, MA A
Scott was great to work with, he was easy going and made me feel comfortable during the photo shoot. He was funny and good with all ages. Scott has a photojournalistic approach, so after the "formals" I didn't even see him. He was there, just in the crowd and doing his thing.
He did arrive earlier than he had stated and stayed longer, which was really great! We choose him initially because we got along with him really well, appreciated his love of photography (which was very obvious) and because he offered a discount for Sunday weddings! Of course we have not seen the photos yet, but I'm hoping for the best - I'll keep you posted.
FLOWERS: F...as in Flowers Lynn Curcio - Exeter, NH A++
Lynn went above what my expectations were and the flowers were just about the most beautiful things I have ever seen! They had so much texture and rich colors. When I first met with Lynn, I had a feeling that we had similar taste. I left feeling like she knew exactly what I wanted and I didn't give her much direction except for color and showing her which flowers I liked (which seemed to be the same over and over). The only thing I told her was "no roses" and there was not one to be found.
She was also patient with me in the last few weeks when I constantly changed my mind. We did not have her do centerpieces, so I thought she might put me on the back burner as a client since I wasn't spending as much, but I never once felt like that.
On the day of, she even added flowers here and there to the mantle where we had placed famiy photos, on the cake table and on the candy bar. I had never mentioned any of this to her and she just did her thing and it all looked beautiful . I think the photographer was already there when she walked in with the box of bouquets, so hopefully he caught my reaction on camera.
DJ: Nate Oinonen - Boston, MA A++
Nate was by far one of my favorite vendors (right up there with the flowers). We found him through BeatTrain, but he is no longer with that company.
We had hired another DJ and much to my DH dismay, I decided to get rid of him (bye bye deposit) and get Nate. SOOOOO glad that I did. I come from a big music family who likes a wide variety music and nothing that is "typical." Nate fit the bill. He is the complete opposite of a cheesy wedding DJ - no games, no YMCA, none of that. Instead I felt more like I was at a longue and I danced the ENTIRE night - I had trouble leaving just to go use the ladies room. friend kept coming up all night asking if I had selected each song on the playlist when in fact it was quite the opposite. I picked only the irst dance song and father/daughter. Somehow though, Nate played all my favorites and it was just perfect! He even stayed about 15 minutes past the "end time" - I think he was having fun too!
The only thing he mixed up was that he asked my dad to make the toast before we sat down and I think that put him on the spot, but as it was, he didn't make it through the toast because he broke down crying - so sweet.
CAKE: Maryanne Kane - Elliot, ME B+
Maryanne was a bit scattered, but at the tasting the cake was amazing and the price was right. The cake was not a high priority for us. I gave her this rating because I think she did an average job. The cake tasted fine - no one got sick, but it wasn't memorable either. Also, the cake looked just OK. I wanted it to have a lot of orange and red and I tried to make that clear, but that's not the way it turned out. She was also difficult to get a hold of (especially on the wedding day when I had not heard from her since August and wanted to make sure she was coming!) All in all the cake was fine. I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you want a WOW cake, use someone else.
Jazz Duo: David Newsam and John Hunter Durham, NH A
I found David by contacting the UNH Jazz department. He and John did a great job playing at the ceremony and cocktail hour. I had never met David (and still haven't really.) We talked on the phone and via e-mail. He was able to come down in price to fit my budget. The music was beautiful and I could hear them practicing from my window while I was getting ready - perfect.
He was really a nice guy and very easy to work with! I heard that he was good at the cocktail hour although I wasn't there to hear.
JP: Blue Sky Wedding Services John Scuto - Nottingham, NH A+
John has been highly recommended on here before. He and his wife to a great job helping to create the ceremony. They are two of the most organized people I have ever met! I had no doubts that things would run smoothly. They were even great when we had our rehearsal in the rain and in the dark!
John gives you a packet to create your own unique ceremony and Cathy sets the whole thing up and is there to keep everyone organized on the Big Day.
TUX: MW Tux - Burlington, MA C
This was probably the worst experience that I've ever had shopping for a guy. The woman who worked here knew nothing about the product. DH is a BIG guy - 6'4' and she wanted him to wear a vest that was too short. Thank goodness I was there to steer him clear of that. Seriously, she told him just to pull his pants up higher. Seriously. Also, she could not tell me the different color vests that they had or show me a catalogue. I had to look all over the store to find a book that had photos. When the best man picked up his Tux, the pants were too short. The other guys who were out of state got their tuxes just fine.
*Hajjar’s Big & Tall - Saugus, MA A
We had to go here for DH's vest and tie because they carry big and tall. Really wish we started here. The guy who helped us was very knowledgeble and the prices were better. I didn't realize how bad MW was until we went here.
DRESS and ALTERATIONS: Cristina's Bridal - Andover, MA A
This place was a little snooty, but they had the dress of my dreams (and I spent a long time looking for it). They seemed to do a pretty standard job. I really liked the seamstress - she was down to earth and tried to keep my price down. Overall a good experience. The dress itself was made by Tara Keely. I LOVED it and got so many compiments all night. The fabric was a bit differernt, soft and sweet. Very me!
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Macys - A
I stumbled upon these dresses in the store. They were the right color (gray) the right lenght (long) and the right price (on sale for $100) I bought them all at once and the girls loved them! A friend at the wedding (a fashion designer) asked if I had them made. Nope!
BRIDESMAIDS SHOES: American Eagle - A
We searched for these for a long time and AE had the right ones. Red, suede flats. Perfect color, no problems. and..they really can wear them again! (actually, most of them kept saying they couldn't wait to wear them)
JEWLERY: Etsy - luxedeluxe A
This woman had exactly what I was looking for and made the earrings a little different to match. She shipped from Scotland and things arrived right on time in cute packaging. (I love etsy!)
WEATHER: Mother Nature A+
She really pulled it together. it was a bit chilly, but perfectly sunny! I had been worried a week before when we were sandwiched between two rainy days, but it worked out perfect!
I don't think I am forgetting anything - this is long anyway! MoH, DH and I made a lot of things for the wedding (centerpieces, candy bar, table numbers, placecards, programs, invites) and that worked out great! saved a lot of money too and gave everything our own special touch!