Poor Customer Service

Did you see Sunday’s article in the Chicago Tribune about the couple who wrote in to “What’s Your Problem?” Linda and Roman Salazar held their wedding at Metropolis Ballroom of Arlington Heights. Their 5 tier cake fell to the ground when the cake was being moved. While upsetting, the couple didn’t get mad until they saw that the banquet hall decided to serve the cake against the couple wishes.

I totally agree with the bride. The cake falling to the ground was an accident. Serving the cake against the bride’s wishes was wrong. She is the customer. What do you think? More importantly, do you know of anyone getting married here?

Since newspaper links expire, I saved the article as a Google document for you to read below.

Real Wedding: Liz + Calvin

Would it be cheeky of me to say that Liz has great taste? Probably so, but that is only because we had so many of the same vendors! Liz and Calvin were married at the Hotel Allegro, used the same fantastic band, linen company, as well as had their rehearsal dinner at the same place. We even wore the same color nail polish (Mimosas for Mr. & Mrs. by OPI). And, we opted to incorporate our husband’s culture into the ceremony. But you know what? Their wedding was completely different and I loved theirs just as much as mine.

Liz’s wedding day, unfortunately, started off on the wrong foot. Liz had hung her dress on a billiard cue rack. While it probably would have made for an amazing gown shot, the dress ended up with blue chalk all over the back. A quick call to the gown experts, The Dress Doctor, and the stains were gone. If that wasn’t enough, Liz had purchased an antique brooch to pin to her bow. As soon as we went to pin it on, the brooch broke in half. When her bridesmaid tried to sow it together, the brooch crumbled. Luckily, we have the same (great) taste and I had a brooch very similar at home. My husband came with the brooch and some much needed Starbucks. Like me, Liz never broke a sweat. She stayed totally calm after two minor freak accidents. And after that, it was smooth sailing.

Band – High Society Orchestra

Cake – Rolf’s

Florist – A Perfect Event

Linens – Covered Affairs

Photographer – Jeff Owen at Modern Images

Reception – Hotel Allegro

Rehearsal Dinner – Giordano’s

Transportation – Windy City Limo

Videographer – Modern Images

I have to include a few posts of Liz & Calvin’s paper suite. It is gorgeous! I really do believe that invitations set the tone for a wedding. That said, how do you not love these invitations? They’re a classic ecru with a modern bronze colored print and bow to seal it all up. I loved them.

Liz used Marilyn, one of the other Honey Bee Weddings coordinators, as her calligrapher.
Photo Stamps add a fun personal touch. Liz & Calvin used one of their engagement photos.
Their menu was printed on paper with a heat embossed stamp and then matted on bronze paper.

The dress with the borrowed brooch.
Inside of the dress was a patch with the couple’s name and wedding date.
Liz’s dress had pockets. I LOVE POCKETS.
The bride wore the cutest Kate Spade sequined ballet flats.

Liz also carried a hankerchief as her something blue as well as a family ring.
Liz was the perfect balance between a Modern yet Classic Bride.
For some bling, Liz wore the most gorgeous hair accessory.
Liz’s Mom, who may be the nicest Mother of the Bride ever, with some of Liz’s bridesmaids. Pashimas will always be in style for winter bridal parties!
The couple decided to have their first meeting on the grand staircase.
The Bridal Party took some great photos around the city, including the classic Chicago skyline shot.
Calvin and Liz on Michigan Ave.
The bride twirls away on the el.

The rest of the couple’s day is coming tomorrow!

My Invitations

…were truly a labor love.

That is what went into my invitations. Incase you don’t want to read this long entry, please walk away with some simple advice: order your invitations in advance.

Martha Stewart’s Timeline

  • Order Invitations
  • Receive invitations
  • Purchase postage for invitation and response card.
  • Take an envelope to the post office for it to be weighed.
  • Hand address invitations or take to a calligrapher.
  • Mark each response card incase your guests forgets to write their names.
  • Assemble invites.
  • Mail.
  • Collect RSVPs.
  • Call guests that have not responded.

My Overly Complicated Timeline

  • Order my invitations. We were about two weeks behind schedule but for some reason, I wanted to be sure. Huge sigh of relief.
  • Ordered photo postage stamps for the response cards from Zazzle. Problem #1.
  • Ordered vintage postage stamps. Spent hours trying to create an aesthetically pleasing montage.
  • Took invitations to get weighed. Problem #2: Found out that I needed $.97 cents worth of postage. Cried. Spent another few hours trying to create another aesthetically pleasing montage.
  • Received invitations. Did a happy dance!
  • Promptly drop off invitations to our calligrapher for her to address the inner and outer envelopes.
  • Receive back our outer envelopes from our wonderful calligrapher. Since we purchased vintage stamps for the outer envelope, the postage stamp process took a few hours. I didn’t plan for the amount of time that it would take to get the stamps on nice and neat.
  • The next step was to stamp the response card envelopes. Problem #3: My photo postage stamps, which had already given me enough trouble, were way too large. They blocked the addressee’s name. I was seriously bummed. That is when my dear fiancé stepped into the rescue. He searched photo stamp sites until he found Your Stamps. The stamps wouldn’t be in for another week. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to delay the mailing. Then, we found a really big problem…
  • Problem #4: Some of the response cards had a printing issue! There was a tiny flaw in the response card where the letterpress didn’t print deeply. That is when I REALLY lost it. Luckily, Rebecca from the White Aisle has planned to use our invitation as samples to mail out to potential clients. She mailed us the new response cards immediately.
  • Marked the response cards with an invisible pen. If we get an invitation back without the couples name, we can find out who it is with a black light.
  • Problem #5: Bought some gorgeous artisan paper to line my envelopes. This was my major mistake. I thought that hand lining the envelope would be a nice personal touch. Also, we would save a little money as calligraphers charge more for lined envelopes. After spending about six hours making the liners, I realize that they look terrible. Cry.
  • Do a desperate search to find someone to line my envelopes. Cannot find anyone!
  • Problem #6: Buy some new paper to line the envelopes. Enlist the help of my fiance. Spend three evenings in a row attempting to line. Try to use double sided tape. It doesn’t hold the stick. Then, I try to use rubber cement. It creates grease spots. My envelopes are ruined.
  • Cry again. Drop off a new batch of envelopes to our ever patient calligrapher. Start drinking heavily.
  • Lightly glue the lining to the envelope.
  • Assemble and Seal.
  • Drive around to three post offices before finding someone that agrees to hand cancel. Agree is sort of an overstatement… the worker agreed that they would put them aside and request that they be hand cancelled.
  • Receive calls from guests telling us how beautiful our invitations were!
  • Debate if this worth it.
  • Realize that you only have one set of the wedding invitations in your life. As a paper junkie, I really wanted them to be spectacular. However, if I had to do it all over again, I would have eliminated all of the DIY and ordered a good two months in advance.

Tomorrow, I’ll post pictures of my invitations!

Boo to Rolf’s

We are so disappointed.

We had our cake tasting at Rolf’s. Our cake is, in a sense, complimentary, as it is included in our hotel package. Here’s what happened:

Despite having an appointment, arriving at the proper time and being quickly attended to, we spent most of the time at Rolf’s by ourselves and away from any employee and unable to ask questions.

We were quickly seated and shown a book of cake designs. None of the designs really struck our fancy, so we started to inquire about custom cake designs. Most of our questions were greeted with a response of “no”. After much prying, Rolf’s reluctantly acknowledged they might be able to create a custom cake; it seemed they really had no desire to help us get the cake we really wanted.

After our lackluster “design session”, our consultant, Joanne, left to get cake and filling samples for us. She dropped off the samples and quickly explained the four cake flavors in front of us. She mentioned that we had the choice of several more flavors, but that these are not available for tasting. We both found this very upsetting. If they only wanted to prepare four types of cake, shouldn’t we at least be able to choose the flavors? It’s impossible to choose the flavor of cake you want if you are unable to try it. It’s also hard to ask questions when no one is there to ask.

Then, Joanne left the room for several minutes to get us our beverages. While she was gone, we started tasting. We were trying to find our preferred combination of cake and filling flavor. When Joanne returned, she was upset we had started on fillings without deciding on cake. We were quite surprised to be chastised for mixing and matching. How were we supposed to decide what we wanted if we couldn’t mix them? Regardless of Joanne’s opinion of how a cake tasting should be run– which is different from any cake tasting that we have ever been to– we are the customers. We should be able to mix the frosting and fillings with the cake.

After explaining that they prefer to separate the two, Joanne explained the filling and frosting options and quickly left. Again, she was unavailable for questions. After several minutes, Joanne returned to record our selections and to wrap up the tasting.

All in all, we spent about 20 cold minutes at Rolf’s. After spending one and half hours with the baker when doing the tasting for our groom’s cake, we found this extremely disappointing. The reluctance to help us customize the cake, the lack of cake flavors at the tasting, the lack of availability for questioning and the generally rude demeanor of our consultant really left us with no confidence in Rolf’s. In addition, the cake and frosting were mediocre. We are really disappointed with the experience.

In fact, we’re torn with what to do next. Rolf’s is the Allegro’s preferred vendor, but we have little to no confidence in them and are having trouble booking anything with them. However, to go another route would see the wedding cake part of our package with the Allegro go unused.

What would you do?

a) Suck it up and use Rolf’s. It’s free.

b) Find a new fabulous bakery and bring in our own cake.

City Livin’ aka Woe is Me

We would love to get more things done in advance for the wedding but we have a huge problem— we don’t have any room! Since our condo went on the market, we have been diligent about keeping our home nice and tidy. Besides, with 750 square feet, there really isn’t a whole lot of spare room.

The problem? Wedding planning isn’t nice and tidy. Every time I start a project, I have to find a place to store it. The problem was exacerbated when we started to receive shower and wedding presents.

Luckily, my best friend and her mother have been wonderful about letting me keep stuff at their homes. However, I still have a lot of projects to do so that means that every time something is completed, I would need to drive about two hours to drop it off.

I feel incredibly ungrateful every time that I complain about my wedding. I’m extremely lucky that I get to plan my dream wedding. Yet this is really hard.

Does anyone else have these problems with wedding planning?