Being a DIY wedding and bride, I know I really appreciated all the reviews about using the Vista Suite at Mandalay Bay for my reception.
Here is my review of my experience and my vendors.
I had about 80 people in the suite. At first it was very hot, because of all the food warmers, but it cooled down quite fast.
Mandalay Bay Vista Suite A
It was a beautiful suite, we moved furniture around for a dance floor and sitting area and the view couldn’t be beat. The bar is very large and can fit two bartenders. There is also a sink and lots of storage for bar items. They even have an extra small refrigerator if you need it. I didn’t have the stocked fridge emptied, but I didn’t have a problem with that either. Security didn’t bother us at all. My guests didn’t have a hard time getting up to the room. We had microphones and music and dancing, with not one complaint. With the Vista suite you are at the end of the hallway, so it was easy for people to go out into the stairwell if they needed some air (or to smoke). I elected to not rent tables and chairs (see rsvps review below) and I am so glad I didn’t. There would be absolutely no room if you are planning on having more than 50. Plus my reception was a cocktail party type reception, so only the older folk really sat....and me when I was exhausted....
CLEANUP: If you leave the room a disaster, MB will charge you a $250 cleaning fee. I wasn’t going to pay that. So I filled up about 20 trash bags of trash and called housekeeping. They sent up some men, and they took it all!!! I moved all the furniture back.....and I did leave $40 for the maid, who smiled and told me she would take care of the rest!!!
Masterpiece Cuisine A+
Food was amazing! The Stuffed mushroom, which I didn’t get, were said to be the best thing ever. I ordered for 70 and had sooooooooooooooooooooooo much food left over. I felt so bad it all went to waste. We had the meatballs, bbq pulled pork sandwiches, shanghai lettuce wraps (so good), beef Angus burgers (no one ate those) and fruit and a veggie display. This place provided all the table wear too, which was great. They set everything up, and almost everything fit on the main table in the suite. They improvised and moved tables around to make it all fit. I was leery because MB states you cannot use outside vendors, but they had no problem at all! We did run out of silverware but I had some extra so we were ok. Something to think about as people come back for 2nds and 3rds....
Retro Bakery A+
Red Velvet cake was amazing. My guests couldn’t stop eating it. I got a 6/8/10 inch 3 layered and there was sooooooooo much left over. The fondant frosting wasn’t too thick, and it was just delicious.
Luxor Wedding Chapel A+
They were great. We didn’t have a rehearsal at all, but things went smoothly. They provided music and did allow us to say our own vows. Though our package came with a bouquet and boutonnière, my 5 bridesmaids and I brought our own bouquets and the boys their own Boutonnières. They said that no outside flowers could be used, but they didn’t hassle us at all. I did have a couple people who were late, and they were not allowed into the ceremony, so make sure the guests are made aware that they cannot be late. We had the Sapphire Package. As soon as the ceremony was completed we received a copy of our video right then and there.
Cashman pro Photography A
I am giving them an A but I really didn’t deal with them much. I had my own photographer, and the chapel was very strict about him taking photos. After the ceremony, we took some shots; I was emailed a link to take a look at the photos, and am getting 18 prints as part of my package. I didn’t purchase any photos. They do offer session for the bride and groom in their studio for more photos but we elected to skip that. Our photographer was very sweet and nice.
KK’s Photography- Keith Kaplan A++++++++++
Keith was amazing. During all the mayhem, he was able to get gorgeous shots. He took our bridal party to some awesome locations where we were able to catch some beautiful shots. I am not a photo person, and I loved all of my photos. He was able to hide things I was self conscious about also. He gave us instructions on how to pose, it was great. The groom and the groomsmen got some awesome shots too. He kept making me a plate so I would have some food in my belly. Overall, he wants to make you happy and he definitely made my day. He is way more inexpensive then others in the area. By the time I got back from my honeymoon, my cd’s with all my photos were already in. In 4 different colors.......colored, B&W, Old Fashioned, Sepia......
Absolute Beverage (Bartender) A
Super affordable, easy to deal with and did a wonderful job. I provided all the alcohol myself. Our bartender was working his butt off and I felt bad for him, because it was non stop!!! He was very pleasant and everyone was pleased. The prices were unbeatable. $30 an hour. I should have had two. He even brought his own ice chest so he wouldn’t run out of ice...
These were awesome. I rented 6 at 19.99 each. Easy to set up and it added a lot to the room. I could have gotten a few more, for more lighting, but it was still fine. Everyone commented on how fabulous the room was. They ship you the lights a couple days before the event, and then you just put them back in the box, slap the prepaid label (they provide) on the box. I even had MB ship it out for me.
Culinary Pros (2 servers) A
I hired two servers ($30 an hour) for 4 hours. These ladies were amazing. They made sure the food table was always stocked, they cleaned up after people, and they walked around the suite all night and picked up trash. They went above and beyond. When the trash started piling up, they even called Mandalay Bay housekeeping and had them come and pick up all the trash throughout the night. They helped with the cutting of the cake and also assisted the bartender at times.
RSVP Party Rentals: B
I was going to rent tables and some chairs, but the price for delivery was more than the chairs and tables so I elected not to. Overall the pricing was good, except the delivery charge of $180.
Harmony Medina (Hair & Makeup) C-
I am pretty laid back and I don’t usually fuss about things, but hair and makeup was a horrible experience for me and my girls. I put a deposit down through Harmony Medina’s website for a total of 6 hair and makeup’s about 6 months before the date. About 5 days prior to the wedding, I received a message from Harmony asking how final payment would be made as she wanted to get that payment in order for her makeup artist who would be coming. I explained to her that I thought I was getting her as my makeup artist. Apparently not. She assured me that Nikki Segal would be fabulous and would most likely be bringing an assistant for hair. She didn’t come with an assistant and we were behind. Two of the bridesmaid’s hair fell apart within the hour and had to be redone. Unfortunately for one of my bridesmaid, there was no time for fixing. My hair was a disaster and I was so bummed. 6 out of 6 of us were not happy. I will say that our makeup did look great in all of our photos but Nikki didn’t want to do things the way the girls wanted it. She kept pushing purple shadow because our colors were purple. Ultimately, I love my photos and pictures and wedding, but this caused lots of stress on us all. Most of the girls applied more makeup to make it the way they wanted.
A few extra things....
1) ICE: We got all the ice from the ice machine at MB. I was so terrified of the ice situation. IT was my main stress but I stressed about nothing. We iced the night before. Woke up in the morning, dumped the water and iced again. By the time the reception took place that evening at 6pm, the beers and drinks were still cold. The bartender just added more ice. Be sure to bring at least one ice chest to transport the ice from machine to room.
2) TRASHBAGS: Don’t forget them. I actually didn’t bring any and MB gave us some.
3) ALCOHOL: NO one drank hardly any of the wine. I bought 6 red bottles and 6 white and came home with all but 1 bottle. I would stick to the vodka, tequila and beer. We also had a whiskey bar. We placed all beer in the master bedroom tub, and the bartender would just replenish when he needed.
4) VENDORS: I called all my vendors the evening before. It took 20 minutes. I called them all to verify time, and gave them the suite number. I had no issues with delivery with any of my vendors. I designated one family member who rushed to the suite after the ceremony and let them all in the suite. My reception started at 6pm, delivery for all vendors and staff was 5:30pm.
I hope this helps! I am happy to answer any questions anyone may have!
Things I would do differently...
1-take a photo with key people. Looking back at my photos I realized I didn't get photos with very important people.
2-have plenty of water. I only bought two cases, could have used 4
3-I ran out of cups. I had about 200. People throw away their cups and get a new one each time, so need LOTS of cups.