Venue – Museum of Science – B
It’s a beautiful location (outside on the pavilion and in the tent) and everything worked out nearly perfectly. The planning was a little bit difficult because, at least until the very end of the planning, the museum was pretty rigid in its rules. It felt like they might have an easier time with corporate events than with weddings, but again, everything really worked out great in the end, so I can’t really complain (especially since I really tried to keep myself removed from as much of the details of planning -- thanks, Mom!! -- as possible).
Caterer – Wolfgang Puck – A-
The only thing I would have wanted to be different was a little more flexibility in scheduling a tasting (i.e. some possibility outside of business hours so my DH and my dad, who don’t work near Boston, could have attended). And I might have liked to taste the hors d’oeuvres, but no big deal. Ultimately, the food was fantastic, and I got a ton of raves (and cleaned plates!). Keith was great to work with.
Dress – VOWS – A
Before I had a date, before I had a venue, I popped in there (walked in on a Saturday). Walked out of there with a great dress within an hour and a half. Our consultant (maybe Elisa??) was fantastic. She immediately got a sense of what I was hoping for, and she did a great job selecting dresses for me. I really felt like I got such individual attention. I had some mixed feelings about the dress as the months went on, but I ended up feeling amazing in it on the day of.
Alterations – Anahit – C-
This one was really disappointing, if only because I had heard nothing but stellar reviews before going there, so I was really excited. Sorry, I have a lot to say here…. First fitting was fine, but then Anahit called to tell me (on somewhat short notice) that she had made a scheduling mistake and had to reschedule our second appointment. However, she was very unaccommodating, especially given that it had been her mistake. She first tried to schedule me for a week before my wedding, and then asked me if I couldn’t take time off of work to go in. We ended up agreeing on a Saturday, which meant that I had to leave my cousin's bat mitzvah very early just to get to the appointment.
Then, at the appointment, Anahit completely snapped at my mother, when my mother simply asked a question about the fit in one spot. She later apologized, and made it clear that she takes great pride and care in her work, and puts a ton of effort into each dress. Still, I couldn't believe that she had snapped like that.
And if the work on the dress had been perfect, I might not have a problem with that kind of attitude. However, it wasn't, and one side of my dress was noticeably longer than the other. When I mentioned it, Anahit tried to convince me that I was wrong. She told me that her work was perfect, and that the floor was uneven, and that must be what I was seeing. However, all the underlayers were even, so I was sure that it was the dress that was crooked, and it turned out, after a couple of tries convincing her, that I was right. She did fix it, and it ultimately looked great.
I was also told at the last minute I needed to show up with cash to pay for the dress pressing (which I guess I had assumed would be included in her expensive prices). I did, and the dress was handed to me with a number of creases. Again, ultimately, my dress looked great, and my veil was beautiful. But the process was really disappointing.
Hair – Sharon at Tete a Tete in Newton Centre – A
Originally had a tough time scheduling a trial, but it worked out so well. Sharon insisted I try something different than I had planned, and she was right. I loved it. And it stayed all night, even after a whole lot of dancing.
Makeup – Debbie Noel at the Bobbi Brown counter at Bloomingdale’s – A
I don’t normally wear makeup, and she did my face so perfectly, so that it looked beautiful and still looked so natural and so like me. She immediately got a sense of my style, and did the makeup perfectly.
Photographer – Mark Karlsberg/Studio Eleven – A (pending pictures and album!)
Mark is so great to work with. He is funny and personable and really put us at ease. During the reception, he was so friendly and unobtrusive (as was his assistant, Jeff) that he felt like a guest. Obviously, the final review is pending, but if the pictures are as good as our engagement shoot, I know I’ll be thrilled.
Band – Johnson Brothers (aka Swinging Johnsons) – A-
I had seen them play at bars, and I knew they played the wedding of a high school friend of mine. I was told they did a great job reading the crowd and playing the right music for that wedding. That’s exactly what they did, the right music at the right times. And, to appease my Jewish family, they learned and performed a rousing hora to start the party off right! And they learned our special ance songs and did a great job with those. The only thing I’d change is the communication leading up to the wedding – I would have liked a little more. But I was pleasantly surprised about how great the band ended up being.
Flowers – Winstons – A
Tori was wonderful to work with, and had great ideas for all the arrangements. My bouquet was my favorite, and the centerpieces and other arrangements were great too. A good testament was that nearly all the flowers were taken home at the end of the night, and I know they’re being displayed and enjoyed in my friends’ and family’s homes! Oh, and the flowers for my hair were perfect.
Cake – The Icing on the Cake – A
Paula is great. The tasting was great, the ordering/designing process was a breeze, and the cake was beautiful and delicious. Everyone raved about it, and I just wish I had eaten more!
Hotel Block – Royal Sonesta – A
Danielle Simmons coordinated our room block, and she was so helpful (and so patient with me, as I alternated between procrastinating and obsessing). Don’t know about too many other guests' rooms, but mine was great, and Danielle had celebratory champagne and chocolates sent up!
Rings – Barmakian, Framingham – A
We were looking for very simple matching bands, so this was an easy and quick task. Barmakian made it very easy, and was much less expensive than we were imagining. Plus they were happy to give us the sale price, even though we had been misinformed as to the date of the sale, and came in a week early. And the rings were ready well before they were due.