It’s always so nice to receive a review from a client. A very recent bride, Laura, who is also a bee on Wedding Bee, wrote a great review about Marilyn. Read about it here.
Feeling the Love
Vendor Reviews, Part III
The day of the wedding, the draping behind the band and the wall in the cocktail hour space were beautiful. It was absolutely stunning! Additionally, she included additional lighting to wash the walls at no additional cost. It was gorgeous!!
Instead of pinspotting the centerpieces, Deborah opted to pin spot the head table. She said that she made the decision based on her work as an artist. I wish she would have followed up with me after the wedding. When I saw my photos and realized that the centerpieces were not pinspotted, I assumed that I had paid for serviced not rendered. After an email and a phone call, Deborah explained that she made the decision to change the lighting design slightly. I feel that a change like this warrants a conversation with the customers.
Lingerie – Trousseau
Photobooth – Photobooth Express
Additionally, we’re only mildly pleased with our formal shots. We agreed to a 15-20 minute shoot with families. The photos are decent but the angle is not perfect. The location was a last minute change. If the photos weren’t coming out, I wish that she would have moved us to a new location. I love Sally. I love the engagement photos that she took. I love the photos that she did take… I just wish that the other photos were taken, per our request.
Transportation – La Salle Limo
My husband purchased his tuxedo from Jos A Bank during a Thanksgiving sale in Indy. He exchanged the pants for a flat panel cut up in Chicago without a problem. He did not use their tailoring services. He was very pleased.
My husband was adamant that he wanted a real bow tie for him and his groomsmen. Brooks Brothers was having a January sale so we bought 9. One small problem– my husband forgot to practice on how to tie a bow tie. Instead of asking the DOC for help, the guys were googling about 10 minutes before they were supposed to be ready. This is after a day of sitting around watching the Cubs play and drinking beer. I’ve gone completely off topic here. I would recommend Brooks Brothers. I would not recommend getting real bow-ties unless your fiance is positive he knows what he is doing.
My high fashion husband loves Thomas Pink. He always looks so handsome in their shirts. For our dating anniversary gift, I bought him a tuxedo shirt. They are ridiculously expensive. If he didn’t love them, I would have just gone to Brooks Brothers or Jos A Bank.
Weddings 826 will schedule an hour long appointment for you with your dress so that you can try on veils to match your dress. I found this to be very helpful because I didn’t realize that I wanted a veil until I purchased my dress. While it is possible to get a veil slightly cheaper online, I feel that the customer service was well worth it. Besides, I was able to wear my dress again! I would highly recommend.
Vendors Reviews Part II
Wedding– The night of the wedding, everything was perfect. More than that, the week of the wedding, we had absolutely no problems. Let’s start with the good. The hotel was amazing when it came to food. For the entrée duet, we changed the salmon to a crab cake. We also added a pasta course and supplied our own recipes. We also came up with some more unique hors d’oeuvres and they were totally willing to do it. I really appreciated it. The service was outstanding.
Things that I didn’t like– I wish that Kerry could have gotten back to us more quickly during the planning process. I don’t know if she is under-staffed/over-worked but 10 days for a reply is far too long. I loathe the draping in the Music Room and the Walnut Room. If I had the money, I would have brought new drapes in for my event. They are absolutely hideous. I would recommend the venue. Overall, we really enjoyed the Allegro.
My in-law’s were the first to check in on Thursday night. When I went to visit them on Friday, I realized that their room was on a floor with construction. I was livid. I specifically had a line added to my contract stating that I did not want any rooms to be booked on floors with construction. To top it off, my mother-in-law said that it was loud. Sarah was on vacation. Kerry was away that day in training. After speaking with the front desk, my in-laws were finally moved.
When my Maid of Honor and I went to check into our room at noon, I was unable even though Sarah had assured me that I would be able to check in early. We tried to check in again around 5PM. The room was still not ready. Luckily, I had rented out the Stardust Suite so we were able to get ready in that room while guests were drinking and socializing. Not ideal, but it worked. When we did go to check into the room at 10:30PM, the front desk associate told us that he had bad news for us. The only room that was available was the room that my in-laws had vacated. Great. I am having my wedding at the hotel and I get the crappy suite. I even asked if we could get a regular room but there was none available.
I was even unhappier when I found that there was a second hotel block under the name of Jacobs that had received our suites. While the chances of two hotel blocks with the same name are slim, I was still very frustrated with the entire situation. We were having our wedding there. Therefore, we deserved first priority.
Additionally, I was frustrated that my husband and I were unable to check into our bridal suite until 5PM because the room was not ready. Surely, one would assume that the bride and groom would prefer to check in to the bridal suite long before the reception commences. It is extremely disappointing customer service. The silver lining of the situation is that my guests did not have to experience any of these problems.
A few days later, I emailed her to see if she saw the problem. Apparently, the cards were destroyed in the mail. Maybe I am overly sensitive, but she never accepted the blame or apologized. While I see her point of view (she didn’t get proof of the mistake), I wish that she would have been a little more regretful about the entire situation.
My Rock Star Vendors
When I contacted Accolade for a string quartet, they gave me pricing for a trio or a quartet. I didn’t realize that my contract was for a trio until the week of the wedding. My bad. Luckily, they were able to find a fourth performer. They went above and beyond because they took the time to learn some songs for us. I wanted to enter to Coldplay’s Clocks and we wanted to exit to Enya. They learned the songs and they sounded PERFECT. I would highly recommend.
Ring – Fredrick M. Gottlieb & Co.
67 E. Madison St. Suite 1921
Before I write my vendor reviews, I would like to talk about reviews again.
- It is really important to give reviews as well as vendor feedback. As a vendor, I love hearing from Brides.
- That said, if you read a review, keep in mind that you are not that Bride and you may not have the same opinions as her. I have seen some brides rave about things that I thought were hideous. I have also seen some Brides complain about things where I could find nothing wrong.
- Finally, remember that the vendor could be having an off day. No one wants a vendor to have an off day on their wedding day. However, it happens. I would still write an honest view of the vendor.
For the most part, I was pleased with my vendors. I am happy to publish their names and information on my blog so that they could get repeat business. I am also going to post the reviews on Yelp!
Want to know one of the things that I love? Feedback. Really, I do. I love to hear thoughts and opinions on bridal vendors. It’s one of the reasons that I love Yelp! so much.
Here is my problem— I have a ton of brides that are willing to pimp out their vendors before their wedding. It’s fine. You’re in that dreamy engaged stage. But what I really want to know is how you feel after the wedding.
I cannot stress enough the importance of giving honest feedback after your wedding. Recently, I talked with a bride that used one of my vendor vendors. Instead of giving feedback about the problems on the day of the wedding, she said, it was over so why bother? I didn’t want to criticize her but yes, actually it is important!
So once the wedding is over, please remember to give vendor feedback to the company as well as a website like yelp, the Knot, or even your blog!
Boo To Zazzle
A few months ago, I wrote a post about my satisfaction with Zazzle. Well, things have unfortunately changed. When we received our stamps, there was a letter stating that Zazzle has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
We used 5 different pictures for our stamps. Two pictures that were less than stellar. The first picture is of us from the moment we got engaged. Taken with my camera, it was a little fuzzy on the stamp. Since I was exchanging those two sheets, I decided to swap out athe second picture because it had too much greenery and didn’t look as good.
I emailed Zazzle to inquire into the details of the exchange policy. The customer service representative emailed me back saying, “Thanks for your e-mail. We are more than willing to exchange the product you received for a replacement.”
A few weeks later, I had a credit on my account. I emailed Zazzle again. I was told that they do not do replacements on photo stamps. I emailed them back with the original email that stated they would replace the stamps. When I finally heard back after two inquiries, I was told that they would do nothing.
Unfortunately, I have to pull my review of this online vendor. I think it is horrible customer service to offer one thing and then do something entirely different.
Engagement Pics: Timeline & Reviews
Who knew that taking engagement pictures would be so romantic? [:$] At first, it was a little odd for us to be kissing and embracing in front of someone…but soon, we felt like pros. Ending the evening with a romantic dinner was the perfect plan!
As our budget has ballooned, we considered cutting this from the budget. We’re so glad that we didn’t. My fiance and I agreed that we feel so much more comfortable taking direction and that we know our photographer, Sally, so much better. We love Sally!
After checking the weather daily, I was comfortable with the 10% chance of showers. Yeah, it ended up raining. I was a little frustrated but glad that I made my FI buy a giant umbrella earlier in the week. [um] Sally offered to reschedule. We decided to stick with the original appointment because, due to our crazy schedules, it would be another three weeks before we could meet. I’m glad that we did because I was cold! 50 degrees gives me goosebumps. I can only imagine the weather in mid-November. Besides, I had already spent close to $100 to make me pretty!
Engagement Pictures Timeline
9AM: Breakfast and shower
10AM: Fret about the rain
11AM: Airbrush tan and blow-out
11:50: Cover myself up hoping that the rain doesn’t streak me
Noon: Make-up application
12:45PM: Head home
1:PM: Consider rescheduling because of the rain
1:05PM: Suck it up and get dressed
1:30PM: Get a manicure
2PM: Meet photographer and take photos on the el
2:15PM: Rain stops. Hurrah!
2:30PM: Take photos at the office building where we met
3PM: Take photos at Starbucks
3:30PM: Take photos at the Art Institute gardens
5PM: Drinks at Francesco’s Forno and dinner at Cafe Absinthe to celebrate
Blo Salon- I would highly recommend Blo. When I came in for my appointments, I told them that I was getting photographed for my engagement pictures. They were very willing to accomadate me. For $20, you can get a fabulous blow out. I loved it. The stylist recommended a “polished” look so that it would photograph well. After my hair was washed, I got airbrushed. Normally, I just go get a tanning cocktail. It is twice as expensive ($45) but it looks better and I don’t have to worry about cancer.
Endo Exo- Dana is fabulous. My make-up looked fantastic. In fact, I didn’t want to take it off at the end of the night knowing that I would not be able to replicate her work. (I love make-up but I can only do a basic work face.) The store carries high end quality products that they use on your face! For $30, I would definitely go back. Endo also does bridal make-up but in the store only. If you were hoping to save some dough on your wedding, I would recommend Endo.
Asia Nails- There was a scheduling mix-up so I ended up here at the last minute. It was a basic nail job. It hasn’t been 24 hours yet but no chipping. I wish that she would have shaped my nails a little bit better but I don’t feel that I can complain since it was $12.
Sally said that our pictures will be ready on Friday. Since we’ll be out of town, I won’t get them until Sunday. (Yes, I am so making my FI stop straight from the airport.)