Rhode Island

Vendor Reviews- 10/8/11

We had an absolutely wonderful day & I don't think I'd change a single thing!  The biggest piece of advice I can give to all the brides-to-be out there is to ignore everyone who pokes a little fun at you for getting wedding-related tasks done too early!  My friends couldn't believe how much I did early on, while I couldn't believe how much I still had left to do the week of the wedding!  I spent a lot of time planning this wedding, but in the end, it totally paid off!

Now, the reviews:

Blackstone Catering/ Karen Riley- A+
Literally, there were so many times in the planning process that I'm not sure I could have pulled things off without Karen.  We had wines served with each course, and one of the wines that we wanted couldn't be shipped to RI (due to crazy liquor laws).  Karen had it shipped to her parents' house in NY & had them bring it when they came to visit.  She's amazing & the food was amazing.

Casino at Roger Williams Park- A
It's a beautiful building on beautiful grounds.  In the planning process, you don't work all that much with the Casino staff.  But, when I needed them, they were quite helpful & gave honest opinions on other vendors, etc.

Flowers by Semia- A+
The flowers were amazing.  Yes, their prices are higher than some, but I never worried about the flowers.  I explained my overall vision, they got it, and delivered.  Also, I had a bridesmaid who was unable to be in the wedding due to illness; I asked to have the flowers that were supposed to be in her bouquet put into an arrangement & delivered to her.  They were happy to oblige.

Melissa Robotti- A+
Here are our teasers: http://www.melissarobotti.com/blog/index.php/2011/10/24/roger-williams-park-casino-wedding/comment-page-1/#comment-40786
I think Melissa is just wonderful.  Her photos were one of the reasons we chose to have our reception at the Casino.  She's even better in person: accomdating every request I made & just a calming influence during an otherwise stressful time.

GQ & the Lady- A+
Someone, they manage to please everyone both young & old.  They took 2 breaks during our 5 hour reception & they timed the breaks absolutely perfectly.  The hardest part was that nobody could take a break from dancing because they played one great song after the next.

Viking Trolley- A-
The trolleys & drivers were absolutely fantastic.  I did have a few hiccups in the planning process.  After already paying my deposit, I was quoted the incorrect (higher) balance twice.  Once the glitches were worked out, everything was fine.  I would use them again, but just make sure you double check things.  We had 2 trolleys- one for guests & one for the wedding party.  The guests absolutely loved the convenience of the trolleys.

Kristin Greene (Make up)- A+
She did an amazing job.  I went for one trial & wasn't in love with the look.  I think I had chosen a picture of someone else that just didn't work for me.  I expressed my concerns to Kristin, we had a second trial & it was just perfect.  She did a great job for me & all my bridesmaids on the day of.  She's super sweet, too.

Sam C (Hair)- A+
She's fantastic & reasonable, too.  She's getting married & having a baby within the next year.  So, she's not taking on as many weddings.  If you want her, book her early.  It's worth it.  I was struck by how beautiful all of my bridesmaids were following their time with Sam & Kristin (they are always beautiful, just enhanced beauty :))

Hilton Garden Inn (airport)- A+
We had some guests book outside of our room block for a variety of reasons (booking with points, etc).  Lindsey went through our list of guests & compared to the list of guests booked at the hotel for the weekend to let us know exacatly which of our guests were staying at the hotel.  We brought in 35 welcome boxes on the Wednesday before the wedding.  I'm sure that it was annoying for the front desk to have to worry about where to keep them & figure out the logistics of distributing them.  But, they were great--- even helped us carry them in!

Iron Works Tavern (rehearsal dinner)- A
We weren't sure how this was going to work out, because leading up to October, we were told the upstairs would be ready by Spring, then by Summer, then by Fall.  Turns out they officially opened the upstairs of the restaurant a week or two before our rehearsal.  Everything from that point on was perfect.  The room is beautiful & the food was fantastic.

Sweet Indulgence (Wedding Favors & Cupcakes for rehearsal)- A+
Can't say enough about their cupcakes-- absolutely delicious.  Also, they let use use their beautful stands for free since they were making our wedding favors as well.  For wedding favors, we had cute "bride and groom" fortune cookies.

I hope I didn't forget anyone--- If I did, I'll write another post when I remember.  Please feel free to ask if you have any questions about anyone's services!
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Re: Vendor Reviews- 10/8/11

  • edited December 2011
    wow. sounds like you had a great day with top notch vendors! we are going to check out sweet indulgence too and we also know the owners of viking trolley so we are using them as well, but do you know if they have just regular cars to offer, like something for me and FI to ride in, instead of a big trolley? I am getting a lot of things done quickly too...(we have been engaged 2 months) and it feels like the wedding is so far away - but i know it will come up sooner than i think!
  • RoyalOrientRoyalOrient
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    edited December 2011
    Congrats again! Glad to hear you had such a beautiful day! I used Sam C too. She is truly the best bargain for a wedding day hair stylist. I am also looking forward to seeing your pro pixs! Love Melissa's work!
  • edited December 2011
    Cozmo - I have SO many of the same vendors booked! I am doing the Casino, blackstone and I am going between GQ and the Lady and another band..

    I am having a really hard time with the band decision! I saw GQ and loved them - but for our budget we can only get the 5 piece band (no sax) but found another band, called the Free Downloads, who is a 7 piece band (with sax) and will do our cocktail hour as well! for just 500 more then GQ..

    Any experience with the Free Downloads? Did you have the sax? Did it make a HUGE difference with him if you did? so torn on what to do!
  • edited December 2011
    URI- to my knowledge, Viking only has trolleys, vans, and coaches.  I know it's not for everybody, but my husband & I really enjoyed the ride from the church to the reception in the trolley with our bridal party & families.  The two of us were on the back bench, the champagne was flowing & it was a lot of fun!  All kinds of people were beeping & giving us thumbs up during the ride! :)
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  • edited December 2011
    Rachel- We end up going with the sax.  We REALLY debated it.  I was kind of surprised that my husband said he was really glad that we went with the sax, because I didn't notice all that much of a difference.  Granted, I was sort of preoccupied that night, but I really didn't notice a huge difference that night in comparison to when I had seen them play without the sax.  GQ did offer to have someone play the piano during the happy hour for no additional cost.  We ended up having an a capella group from my college sing for the cocktail hour, though.

    As far as the Free Downloads, I'm personally not familiar, but if you like them they seem reliable (i.e. aren't going to break up before your wedding!), then I say go for it.  I was concerned that GQ & the Lady were less expensive than other bands out there.  But, I liked them a lot more than pricier bands.  Go with your gut.  I do know you can't go wrong with GQ, though. :)

    When is your wedding?
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for your thoughts cozmo - my wedding is December 1, 2012 so I have some time! Any other quirky things you came across working with the Casino or Blackstone? My contact at Blackstone is Karen..

    Do you know how much extra GQ was with the sax compares to without?

    Maybe I can ask to see if she would do the cocktail hour too - included in the price she quoted us..
  • i2012doi2012do
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    edited December 2011
    I know this is asked alot, but can someone give me Sam C's email .Does she have a cell? I emailed her twice but didn't get a response. Not sure when she is due and obvisously she has a lot on her plate.
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  • edited December 2011
    Sam C's cell is (203) 214-6780

    She's better with the phone than with email.  She's a teacher, owns her own dance studio, does bridal hair, & is planning for her own wedding & preparing for the arrival of her baby in February.  There's a chance she may not be booking any weddings right now, but can't hurt to give her a buzz to see!!
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  • edited December 2011
    Rachel- sent you a PM!
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