Vendor Reviews 12/12/2009 - The Great Flood
I got married on the Great Flood of December 12. If no one told me it rained cats and dogs and half the city was under water, I would not have known it was more than a drizzle! Everything went smoothly. Here are my reviews:
Emily with Get Polished/Get Married: A+ First and foremost let me say that Emily was my saving grace! If you are on the fence about whether you should hire a planner, she is worth EVERY LAST PENNY! She remained calm, cool and collected throughout the day and my family and friends were floored with her grace under pressure. I am very type A and thought I had every little detail planned but when Mother Nature had other plans I was glad to have Emily by my side. She is awesome. Get Polished Makeup was AMAZING - everyone's hair and makeup looked gorgeous and the girls were very professional and punctual. I cannot say enough good things about Get Polished!
Ceremony: Immaculate Conception, A, The church is stunning and the staff is really wonderful. Trish, the Music Director, was the only speed bump in the planning process, but if you have questions page me with your email address and I will go into further detail.
Getting Ready: The Roosevelt Hotel A+, the suites were fantastic, most of the wedding party and family stayed here, and it was a good thing because when Baronne Street became a river all we had to do was wade across the street to the church. If we had planned on driving from any other part of the city or downtown we would not have made it on time. The staff is wonderful and very accommodating. We took pictures in the lobby with all the Christmas decorations and no one had a problem with it. We were also allowed to use one of their grand ballrooms for our First Sight and Formals before the ceremony.
Photographer: Meg Baisden Photography, Pensacola A+, I am originally from Pensacola so since we were marrying in New Orleans I wanted my bridals and engagements in my hometown. Every last shot is to die for, Meg is a true talent and my new best friend! She and her husband Charles are wonderful and they even brought in a third shooter for the wedding day. I can't wait to get the photos back because I love Meg's work. If you want to see my engagements and bridals, go to megphoto.com, click on proofs, click on Valerie + Davey, and the password is "barbon".
Videography: Chad Dyle A+ Love him! He has the best personality and great work at a great price! I can't wait to see the end result. He was very professional throughout and unobtrusive, which was important to us.
Flowers: Christina O'Malley A+, She is wonderful to work with! I am not a flower person but I knew I wanted Virginia Roses and some kind of blue flower. She knew just how to incorporate the right blooms for the look I was going for. I also wanted to bring in some peacock feathers to the bouquets and bouts, and she was very good at incorporating those features into all the arrangements.
Cake: Royal Cakery A+, The cake was positively gorgeous and delicious to boot! I went in with an idea of very simple round layers with buttercream (I hate fondant) and Shirelle did a marvelous job making the cake beautiful and more elegant than I ever imagined! Groom's cake was from Maurice's and the groom's mother dealt with them. All I can say is the cake looked lovely and tasted great, a Doberge cake, the groom's favorite and Maurice's specialty.
The Dress: Southern Bridal in Mandeville A+ Mrs. Bonnie was a treat to work with and the seamstress altered my dress perfectly. I was distracted during the first fitting talking with the groom's mom and grandmother and by the time we left I was worried that I didn't express the alterations I needed, but when I went in for the second fitting everything fit like a glove and i was so pleased! Very Highly Recommended!
BM dresses: Bustles and Bows, A+ I went with the Belsioe design and picked out a fabric and color and let all 10 bridesmaids pick out whatever design they wanted. All the staff at Bustles and Bows were very nice and helpful throughout this process and the dresses came in early! They looked great and I had no complaints from the girls. Prices were very competitive as well.
Tuxedos: Perlis, A+ All the men rented tails from Perlis, Brandon was great and very helpful. THe best part about Perlis is that all of their stock is on site so if anyone needs a new size at the last minute they can grab it out of their back room and not have to wait for it to be delivered, etc. The men looked handsome and the prices were great.
Reception: Elms Mansion A+ The food was AMAZE, the mansion looked Great! Because of all the rain they opened up the upstairs for guests and even moved some of the food stations up there so guest really had all of the mansion to mingle and eat. They had food for me and DH when we arrived and we had a private 15 minutes to eat in the bedroom upstairs with no interruptions. They also gave us a "to go" bag that was delivered to our room at the Roosevelt and we munched on the next day. Awesome staff, great communication, and you can't beat the price.
Reception Band: Sunpie Barnes and the Louisiana Sunspots, A+ We wanted a non-"wedding" band to perform some traditional Zydeco Louisiana blues and we got what we asked for! Sunpie is wonderful to work with and he cost half as much as any other live band you would otherwise hire for the reception. We paid less than $2K for three hours, but they stayed an extra hour and brought the house down! Very Highly recommended for a true New Orleans wedding experience! Find him on myspace to check out his performances, he is often at Dos Jefes on Friday sand also plays at Rock n Bowl. Check him out!
Mardi Gras Indians: Guardians of the Flame, A+ The highlight of the reception, hands down! Mrs. Cherice Nelson was wonderful to work with and I highly recommend working with her. This was a huge hit at the wedding especially for the out of town guests who had never seen anything like it! This is a great New Orleans tradition and I was happy to support their heritage.
Second Line Band: Storyville Stompers A+ They were great to deal with and a major highlight. Woody is great to communicate with and I didn't have any concerns.
Invitations: Mygatsby.com A+ prices were great and I was able to design them myself. Lightening fast shipping and just what I wanted.
Programs: I made these myself, I used a Catholic Mass template from theknot.com boards printed them with Kinkos and did the ribbons and wax myself.
Veil: I made my own birdcage and feather fascinator, as well as feather fascinators for each of the bridesmaids and mini-veils for the flower girls. It all came out great.
Harry Hardin helped me find a great trumpeter, Nick Vols, who was wonderful and price was reasonable. Taylor Miller was the cantor, and friend of the groom's family, and his vocals were beautiful.
Transportation: Streetcar, RTA: B, We had planned on second-lining from the church to Gravier and St. Charles where the wedding party and family members would ride with the Storyville Stompers to the reception site. Because of the rain, RTA stopped running all streetcars, which was fine and understandable. The reason I give them a B is because the contact at RTA ALma is very difficult to get in touch with and I am currently trying to get our money back. Otherwise I will probably update this rating, and overall it is kind of a pain in the rear to arrange this.
HOTARD - A+ They really saved the day on this one. Because our streetcar was cancelled, we had about 75 people, including me and the groom, that needed transportation uptown to the Elms and no back up plan. Luckily the state football championships were being played at the Superdome the same night, so there were about 20 charter buses outside waiting on the games to finish. DH's aunt, who works with conventions all the time, ran over to the dome, grabbed one of the Hotard buses, and got them to take 75 of us from the church to reception and saved the day. Loved Hotard for this and will use them in the future. Highly recommended!
I am sure there is so much more that I am missing, but I will supplement this post as I remember. I hope these are helpful. This board was crucial in helping me plan my own wedding and I want to pay it forward! Good luck to all the 2010 brides and best wishes. Remember, whatever happens on your wedding day, good or bad, is good luck! It gives you a great story to tell your future generations and makes your day unique to you. Don't sweat the small stuff! You will not be any less married!
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