I just wanted to post my vendor reviews. I really had a perfect wedding day and of course that took a lot of work from a lot of really talented people. Anyway, here they are!
Church: All Saints Church, Haverhill, MA – B+
All Saints is a beautiful church with air conditioning and a long aisle (what more could a bride ask for)! The only thing keeping me from giving it an A is the little debate I had with the priest 3 weeks before the wedding about whether I needed a wedding coordinator. I was adamant that I did and he thought he could do it. I ended up “winning” that argument and I’m glad I did. We would have been totally clueless that day if we didn’t have the coordinator’s help. Other than that, I thought that everyone was really nice and helpful. We also had a co-celebrant from DH’s church and I thought they did a good job working together to make our ceremony our own.
Reception Venue: Michael’s Function Hall, Haverhill, MA – A
Michael’s has been recently refurbished and reopened. I absolutely love the work they have done, both inside and out. There is a beautiful fountain and gazebo for pictures and the décor inside is just beautiful. I worked with the owner and the function manager, who were both very flexible and accommodating. The function manager, Nancy, was laid-back and kind of forgetful during the planning process that I was nervous that she’d forget things the day of but I was wrong. Everything was done as I had asked. The food was also delicious, not dried-out banquet food!
Dresses and Tuxes: 125 Bridal, Plaistow, NH – C
This was my least favorite vendor. First of all, they don’t communicate with each other, so I got different answers depending on who I talked to. I also had an issue with them promising me a maternity dress would come in full-length when it didn’t. Instead of telling me that in February when I ordered it, they didn’t say anything until it came in. Once it did, one person said the manufacturer sent the wrong dress, but another person said it never came in full-length. Even with the tuxes, we were quoted a price for the tuxes and an additional amount for shoes, but then we find out that there’s a damage deposit. It wasn’t a big deal, but they couldn’t tell us all the costs up front? Just things like that were kind of shady. I think everyone looked great at the wedding, but I hated my experience getting to that point.
Flowers: Bowler & Jones, Merrimac, MA – A
When I first met with Phil, he was my fourth different florist. I just couldn’t find someone who “got” what I wanted and didn’t try to talk me out of it. When I explained to him what I wanted and didn’t want, he understood immediately. He offered some great suggestions and I thought all our flowers were beautiful. He and his partner have been in the business for something like 20 years and they definitely know what they’re doing. I also thought their price was very reasonable compared to the other florists we looked at.
Invitations/Programs: Inked Papers (via Etsy)
Someone on here suggested I do an Alchemy post to get an invitation designer. I was going to do my own, but I thought maybe I could get someone more talented to do it for a better cost. It was the best decision I made! My invitations were exactly what I pictured. Michelle gave me unlimited edits, which was really nice of her! I got a lot of compliments about the invitations and then the follow-up programs and escort cards that all matched. She was came in on time and under budget. What's better than that?
Hair: Bella Vita Salon & Day Spa, North Andover, MA – A
This is my regular salon. I’ve been seeing my hair dresser for about 3 years and she’s done a whole bunch of updos for me over that time. I let the girls decide what they wanted and I thought everyone looked great. They’re big enough that everyone could get their hair done at once, which was really nice. We had a lot of fun there.
Makeup: Melissa DiCecca – A
Melissa is someone I know from church who happens to be a part-time MAC consultant. I was worried about my makeup because I’m not a makeup person, but I thought she did a great job making me look polished but not over-done. She also did my mom and three of my girls’ makeup and everyone looked so good. She came to the house and worked among the chaos! Her price was also the best of anyone I had contacted. I wish I could have her come to my house every day!
Photography: Jeff Turner/Black Thumb Studios – A
What can I say about Jeff that hasn’t been said on these boards already? He’s an amazing guy and a very talented photographer. I’m a little sad that we missed some key pictures, but in the end, we have more than we can probably choose from, so it seems okay. He had a lot of ideas to help us plan the detailed aspects of the wedding (like our bridal party entrance) and recommended some vendors when we were stumped. I couldn’t have imagined this day without him.
Limo: Atlantic Limousine, Westbrook, ME - A
I wanted a 12 person stretch limo, not an SUV. I posted to Limos.com and this company responded. A 12 person limo for 3 hours to come from ME cost $13 more than a 10 person limo coming from Haverhill. I don't get how that worked, but I'm so glad it did. Our driver was really early and very courteous. It worked out really well. usI inemousine
Cake: The Mixing Bowl, Haverhill, MA – A
Our cake was the most beautiful cake I’ve ever seen. Meeting with Caitrin was like going to a friend’s house. She is so positive and upbeat. Her artistic eye is unbeatable. The things she know about size, shape and style are just beyond what I would even think of. I’m more of a visual person, so when she was describing the design, I was a little lost. The finished product was exactly as she described and gorgeous! It was also delicious! She worked with us to make a custom flavor (similar to tiramisu) that was perfect for us. She uses high-quality ingredients as well. I really just can’t say enough about her!
Videographer: Mavid Productions, Derry, NH – B+ (pending video)
Jeff Turner recommended Russell to me about 3 weeks ago when I decided I needed a videographer. Luckily, Russell was available. We obviously haven’t seen the video yet, but his demos alone brought tears to my eyes. He was very unobtrusive, but I think he caught a lot of the party. He also stayed until the end, which was really nice. I didn’t want to miss anything!
Band: Clockwork, Londonderry, NH – A
We were recommended Clockwork by another band that was already booked for our date. Ron, the bandleader, was very responsive and flexible. We asked them to learn three songs for us and they were great. I didn’t get a chance to dance as much as I would have liked, but I got a ton of complements on their sound and song choice. The atmosphere they created was really great.
Surprise Local Celebrity Appearance: Rene Rancourt – A
DH is a huge Bruins fan. I was able to arrange for Rene to come and sing the National Anthem at the reception as a surprise. It was the coolest thing ever! I worked it out with the venue, the band, the photographer and videographer so that Rene could arrive early, be hidden in the office and get announced right after we made our entrance. At first, DH thought it was an imposter but once he got going, DH (and the crowd)’s reaction was just awesome. Rene was such a ham – it was great! He stuck around for dinner, flirted with DH’s grandmother, posed for about 100 pictures and then quietly left. It was so awesome to have him there.
So that's it. We had such a wonderful time! Thank you all for your recommendations and suggestions! I couldn't have planned this wedding without your help!