Wow I almost forgot that I get to write a review now!!! I hope this isn't too long. I will post photos if I can figure out how!
Our wedding was on 5/23/09. I can’t believe it's really over! We had a wonderful day and an awesome honeymoon. The wedding really did fly by in a blur but I made sure we ate our dinner and had time for dancing before the night was over. I can't wait to see the photos!!
I know it's kind of boring when someone gives out all A's but everything went really well!
Venue - Brookmeadow Country Club, Canton, MA ~ A
The venue is gorgeous and you have it all to yourself. (Well, except for the golfers.) We had the ceremony outdoors and then the reception indoors with a veranda. The coordinator (Ginger) is a pleasure to work with. The only negative thing I can think of is that the lights weren't dimmed enough for the dancing portion of the evening. I thought it kind of ruined the mood, but didn't care enough to say anything. They probably didn't want us to get too wild on the dance floor! People really enjoyed the veranda, but it turned out to be kind of a bad thing because a lot of people were out there during the father/daughter dance, etc. www.brookmeadowgolf.com
Catering - Lafayette House Restaurant ~ A/A-
We chose Lafayette from the list of 5 possible caterers. The food was great. They served 5 hors d'oeuvres - crab cakes were especially delicious - and had two stations for veggies, fruit, and cheese. The dinners were filet mignon and chicken piccata. The chicken was only OK - I think it was boiled - but the filet was great and you would not believe the size of it! Had to be at least 10 ounces. (It’s a good thing 112 out of 157 ordered the filet!)
The reason I lean towards A- is for fairly minor issues. The man in charge knows what he's doing and from the beginning we felt that we were in good hands. There were just a few times where he bothered me. I paid for the majority of the wedding myself and I expected to make my own decisions and be treated like an adult. When we "chose" the linens, he basically opened the book way across the table from me - didn't even show it to me - and said we should go with ivory and ivory. The only reason I didn't insist that he hand over the darn book was that was what I had in mind anyway. I like to keep it simple, but it was still obnoxious! One little example, but overall it was a good experience.
Cake - Konditor Meister ~ A
The cake was included in the catering package. We went with their signature strawberry grand marnier cake and also marble with mocha filling. Delicious! Of course we didn’t eat any that night so now I'm looking for an excuse to buy a strawberry grand marnier cake.
Make sure you ask about ALL of the possible choices when you go for your tasting. Once we had chosen, I overheard other guests talking about hazelnut and this and that and I thought to myself, No one said anything about those options! We got the flowers/cake topper from our florist.
Flowers - Tangled Web ~ A
Great job! Jen and I mostly communicated by email and it went well. She was open to all my ideas and also helped me cut the costs. The bouquets were absolutely phenomenal! I wish they didn’t have to die :o( The colors in the centerpieces were a bit more muted than I expected, but I hadn't been specific about the color of each and every type of flower so it was fine. They were still gorgeous! http://www.the-tangled-web.net/
Photographer - Tara Gurry ~ Waiting for final product, but A so far
Tara did a great job handling our large wedding party - 9 rambunctious groomsmen plus 2 ring bearers plus my 5 girls. I'm so excited to see the photos and choose the shots for our album! We didn't quite get all of the photos that were on the must have list she asked for, but I've heard that from other brides too. (That they had to remember themselves to gather all their cousins for a shot, etc.) As far as I can remember, there is only one must have shot that we didn't get so I'm hoping those folks are in a lot of candids. Tara has increased her prices since we booked, but she's still pretty reasonable. http://www.taragurry.com/
DJ - Curtis Knight Entertainment - Mark Cherone ~ A+
Curtis and Anna were absolutely wonderful to work with. When I asked for a CD of ceremony music to choose from, they sent 10 CDs - I'm not joking! They are just so accommodating and friendly. The price is right as well!
CKE has many DJs to choose from and we went with Mark Cherone. He was really great to work with. We left a few things up in the air until the last minute (mother/son song) and he totally rolled with it. I had some must have songs but also told him I knew he needed to be able to read the crowd and play what would get them going. He did an awesome job! Oh and he put up with my nephew's song requests all night - thanks Mark!! http://www.curtisknight.com/
Invitations - Shanon Medley on www.etsy.com - A+
I posted a message on Etsy and Shanon had just what I was looking for! She was great to work with. We emailed back and forth many times to adjust fonts and sizes and colors and wording and she was always accommodating. Not to mention that the invitations were really unique and beautiful! They are not currently on the etsy shop below, but they had a green background and then white card stock with a big green hydrangea and green writing with our names in pink. So pretty! I spent about $550 for 120 invitations w/addresses and return address, rsvps w/address, table numbers, and place cards.
Dress - Filene's Basement ~ A++
I bought two dresses for $250 each. One was Mori Lee and the other was Jasmine Haute Couture. I was going to sell one on eBay, but ended up wearing both!! I'll post pictures if I can figure out how to blur my face.
Seamstress - Chris O'Hare in Quincy, MA ~ B-
Chris is really nice, so I hate to post anything negative, but I have to be honest. I was not all that impressed. I'm actually quite shocked at how many rave reviews I have read on here.
My main dress had to be taken apart at the waist to shorten it and you could really tell it had been put back together and you could see all the thread where she sewed the lace/beads back on. The bottom was kind of funky and I had to make sure one of my girls pulled it down flat for the photos so it didn’t bubble up in one spot. I went to Chris's place a total of 4 times. The 4th time, the dress still wasn't quite done and I had to take it off so she could make adjustments. The second dress was for dancing, so she cut off the short train. When I had it pressed, the bottom layer ended up being longer than the sheer top layer - but only on one side for a foot or more.
I did get a great price by going to Chris's - $250 total for both dresses. The downside to that is that she doesn't press them and I ended up paying $200 to get them pressed. I went to Bridals by Valerie in Reading, MA for that and they did a great job.
Honeymoon - Club Med Turkoise in Turks & Caicos - A+
Absolutely fabulous honeymoon!!! We knew from Tripadvisor.com that the rooms were not going to be luxurious, but we got a great all-inclusive deal and we knew the beach would be beautiful and hoped the food would be good. It was exactly what we wanted! The beach was incredible - long with blue water and soft white sand. The food was buffet style and you could always find something good. A restaurant is open three nights as week and that was good too - not great to anyone who has done fine dining, but definitely good. The all-inclusive fee includes tons of activities, so we did snorkeling twice, a sailing trip so Iguana Island, and saw lots of entertainment and dancing every night. They also have a trapeze, but we both wimped out.
I hope all of this fits in one post :o)