Am I the only one who finds is hard to believe that after a year of planning, and a whirlwind weekend, plus HM that it's over and we're married?
A quick recap:
The day was simply lovely! It started out all sunny and warm, but by the time the limo got to the Antrim, the forecast held, and it was chilly, cloudy and drizzly...soooo...our outside ceremony turned into an intimate, warm, candlelit indoor affair that I will remember forever :-)
A big thank you to the knotties who went before me who advised that even if little things don't go as planned, not to freak, because I'd be the only one to really notice. Turns out I needed that advice...lol...there were a few minor things that didn't come off exactly as I invisioned them, but at the end of the day, I didn't sweat them, my guests never knew (or noticed), and we danced, laughed, enjoyed our friends and family and had the night of our lives. A few vendor reviews:
Bridal Shop: Francesca's Bridal: C
Knotties who have been with me on my journey know about the mistakes Francesca's made ordering my gown (a size too small, without buttons that I paid to have put on), general unwillingness to refund any money after they messed up (she would only offer her seamstress putting on the buttons as the only option), and their persistant calls for payment of dress with said errors before I could even check it out ( to this day, I can't be sure that they didn't know that the order was wrong at that time, and realized that if I saw the gown first I wouldn't pay the balance until it was corrected).
It was huge stroke of luck for Francesca's that I actually lost 10 pounds during my engagement, instead of the other way around . The staff was generally pleasant, and while I won't say I would never recommend them, I would say to be careful that they take down and order exactly what you tell them, and I would definitely not pay the balance until you inspect your gown.
Alterations: Sheryl Kelm: A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Sheryl Kelm ROCKS!!!!. From her demeanor, to her expertise, to her extremely affordable prices, she is simply amazing. She also custom made my veil for $85....a similar one in Francesca's was over $300! Enough said!!!
Shoes: Ruth Shaw, Village of Cross Keys: A
Loved my shoe shopping experience! My Jimmy Choo's will enjoy a life well beyond my wedding day! Highly recommend this shop for some unique items and great service.
Makeup: Brandon Russel, MAC Towson Store: A+
This dude was amazing! I initially went to MAC to purchase foundation (I had planned to do my own makeup), but after her made up my face that day, there was no question that I wanted him to do my wedding. He made me look and feel like a movie star!!!
Groom's Attire: Mens Wearhouse, Pikesville: A
The guys looked great, and we had no issues or complaints! I have no problem recommending them.
DJ: Absolute Entertainment (DJ Joe Munson): A++
This guy rocked my reception! I loved my entire experience with AE. Jason Wallace was great from the first meeting, and when he saw that he was booked for our event, he recommended Joe, a mix master extraordinaire....ladies, let me tell you...my guests were singing his praises all night! He promised "face melting mixes" (his words, not mine) and man, did he ever deliver...I would recommend him in a heartbeat!!!!
Cake: Michael Markwitz, Artistic Desserts: A++
The best thing that I can say that would sum up our experience with Michael? Besides the fact that his cakes were super delicious, moist, beautiful and that he was so down to earth and easy and fun to work with? It would be the fact that Rand and I became friends with Michael, and we're planning to stay in touch and continue our friendship. His cakes were phenomenal...we recommend him very highly!
Photographers: Perskie Photography: Initial rating, A....
As most of you know, this early, all I can really review is the photographers and their demeanor at this point. We haven't seen the proofs, but Ken and Julia were great. Ken was a little "formal" for my taste, but very professional. Julia was very upbeat and fun, and great to have at our ceremony. Will have more on this one once I see the proofs!
Flowers: Wholeblossoms.com : A++
I have so many wonderful things to say about this vendor, that I plan to do a separate post on how amazing they were, and how beautiful our flowers were! Our flowers (3 different types of roses and natural white hydrangeas) were shipped to us directly from the grower in Ecuador, and not only were they beautiful ( my bouquet...get this...is still ALIVE and beautiful!!!) The flowers arrived on the Tuesday and Wednesday before my wedding, and here it is the Wednesday after my wedding, and they are still sweet smelling and going strong.
And did I mention the great price? A total of close to 500 stems ( 3 varieties of roses and the hydrangeas), and I paid $686 for all of them, with free shipping! My sister in law made the arrangements, and the head server at Antrim told us that she had seen some beautiful flowers, but these were amongst the prettiest and biggest that she has seen in a long time there. Highly, Highly, Highly recommend this vendor! Particularly if you are thinking of going the DIY route!!
American Limosines: A
Terrific! They were on time, extremely reasonable ($288, including tip, for 3 hours), and our driver, Rueben, was great! Would definitely recommend them!
Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel: A-
The venue was amazing, the service outstanding, and the Chef was my favorite part of the whole experience!
The minus was only because Michael (the event manager and I) just didn't seem to meet eye to eye on things. He alienated my entire bridal party and the groomsmen's wives at the rehearsal with his aloof demeanor ( I thought it was just me), and while I could tell that he meant well, and was a nice person, he just wasn't my cup of tea. He also was not timely with his responses to questions that were important to me, and did not follow through on something that he said that he would do. This is not to say that he wouldn't work well with someone else, so I'll refrain from writing more here, but I would be more than happy to elaborate if anyone would like a few details ( my email is: [email protected]
Sorry so long...I think I covered everyone!