Hi everyone. I have been meaning to write a review on my vendors for a couple of weeks now, especially since I found a few of them by reading these boards over the past year! Hopefully someone out there will find these as helpful as I did. All in all - it was a perfect day and I got to marry the best guy in the world! Even the rain held off when we needed it to!
Reception Venue: The MIT Faculty Club. Grade: B. The MIT Club was a good location for us. We were trying to stay within a budget and still wanted to have a "city" wedding. The Club itself was good and the package had a lot included. The food was delicious and we got lots of compliments on the venue. We did end up spending a bit more on the upgrades than we originally thought and the staff there was just okay.
Hotel Room Block: The Boston Cambridge Marriott. Grade: B+/A-. We chose this hotel because of its proximity to the reception site. If I were writing this 3 months before the wedding I probably would have given them a B- as there were a few things that were getting off track. But they came through at the end and really took care of everything - and offered early check-in and upgraded my mom to a river-view room. Even the welcome bag delivery went perfectly.
Guest Shuttle: MBT Worldwide. Grade: A-. This was a pretty easy vendor to work with and it was pretty straightforward. They drove a coach bus to pick up our guests at the hotel and take them to the church in Newton and back. No complaints. Everyone got to the church on time.
Wedding Party Transportation: Old Town Trolley. Grade: A. My husband took care of this vendor, and they were pretty easy to work with. They also negotiated the rate to win our business - which was a plus. They were on time and our driver was fantastic! He even helped escort me to the trolley with an umbrella when it was starting to drizzle.
Photographer: Amanda Ambrose. Grade: A+. Amanda was recommended to us by friends who used her for their wedding. We clicked with her immediately. She has a great personality which made her so much fun to work with. We just got our proof book and she took some great shots. And it is true what they say about overcast skies - they make for the BEST pictures!
DJ: Paul Natale of Murray Hill Talent. Grade: A. Paul was recommended to us as being a "non-cheesy" dj, which appealed to us immediately. After meeting him, we knew he was the right guy for the job. We picked our songs, told him the genres we liked and the rest was easy. The dancefloor was packed all night and people have already asked me for his contact info.
Lighting: RC Uplighting. Grade: A. We decided to get some up-lights to add a more dramatic feel to the room at the MIT Club. Ryan and his wife were extremely easy to work with and very accomodating. They were great and did a great job. The room looked beautiful.
Cake: Icing on the Cake in Newton. Grade: A. Paula was so easy to work with. Granted, the cake came with our package at the MIT Club, but I'm so glad that it did. Took the guesswork out of it for us! The cake was beautiful and delicious.
Flowers: Plantae Designs. Grade: A. Paula is a true professional who knows her flowers! I can't keep the names of all the different flowers straight - but I knew the look and feel that I was going for. Paula delivered and everything was just as I hoped it would be. She also came in at the right price. We met with other florists who were twice as expensive and did not have the attention to detail that Paula did.
Wedding Dress: David's Bridal. Grade: B. No real complaints here. I didn't need a lot of extra service - I was just looking to find a nice dress at a reasonable price. I got my alterations done elsewhere.
Wedding Accessories: Shoes to Dye For in Natick. Grade: B+. Good selection, good prices. I got my shoes and veil here and my veil was cheaper than it would have been at David's. I got more compliments on the veil than I can remember.
Bridesmaid Dresses: Aria. Grade: B+. I would definitely recommend Aria for anyone with a larger wedding party. I had 6 bridesmaids and did not want to try and find one style that would look good on everyone. I picked the fabric and the color and the girls picked their own styles. Everyone looked great and felt comfortable in the style they chose. Their only shop is on Newbury Street and you have to have the dresses shipped from California - which isn't always the most convenient option for everyone.
Tuxedos: Men's Wearhouse. Grade: B. An easy and convenient option for all the guys. As far as I know, everyone's tux came in just fine and there weren't any problems. And they all looked great!
Makeup: Makeup by Brea. Grade: A. Brea was one of the vendors I found by reading this message board. I'm so glad I did. Brea is incredibly personable and professional. She worked efficiently and was on time the day of the wedding and I found her prices to be very reasonable. Everyone looked stunning too!
Invitations: Cordially Yours. Grade: B+. I loved our invitations and they were just what we were looking for. Cordially Yours had a great selection. The only reason I didn't give them an A was because I ended up having to correct things on our proof that I think they should have caught (spelling errors, etc.).
Other Paper Stuff (placecards, menu cards, and programs): Do-it-yourself with products from the Paper Source and Staples. Grade: A-. Everything looked great and was unique. Lots of time and effort - but I think it was worth it.
Honeymoon: Simplyhoneymoons.com. Grade: A+. One of the best decisions we made when planning our honeymoon was to use Coleen at Simply Honeymoons. Coleen is extremely professional and was a joy to work with. I don't usually use travel agents - but this was so worth it. Coleen booked a wonderful honeymoon to Hawaii and we ended up saving money by using her. And we also got lots of little upgrades along the way thanks to Coleen.
I think that is it! Sorry it is so long - but I didn't want to forget anything... although I probably did. Good luck to all of you that are planning your upcoming weddings!