Reviews for 4/4/14 Wedding (edited to add a few vendors I forgot LOL)
Here are my reviews for my wedding. Hope these help all future brides out there!!! I have also attached photos of the special day.
Venue: The Brownstone A++++
We booked the Brownstone for both the reception and ceremony. In the beginning I was a bit hesitant because of their famousness (is that even a word LOL) but I knew quite a few people who were married there or had parties there before the cameras and everyone told me that I couldn't go wrong. I was very impressed after our initial meeting and booked a week later after our second meeting. We dealt with Albert and he was great and patient with me. The pricing per person was determined on the menu. We had an estimated price and once we finalized the menu, the price either went up or down, for us it went up because we added things. I loved that I was able to do this. They call it a utopian menu because they don't want their patrons to feel like they can't change the menu if they need/want to. Many other venues we visited, we didn't have this capability. The food was amazing. I can't even say enough about the food. Everyone is still talking about it 3 weeks later. Our bridal attendants were the sweetest ever and made sure I had everything I needed before the ceremony. Our maitre d was amazing. There aren't enough words to describe how awesome he was. In the bridal suite before the ceremony, I had realized I left something that was vital to our reception at the hotel. FIL was checking to see if someone could run back for it and the maitre d was on the phone with the hotel and I was explaining exactly where it was. I thought the hotel was going to get it from the room for whoever FIL could get to go back. But nope, the maitre d saw how upset I was and explained it to the hotel and when the shuttle returned from dropping off our guests at the venue, the shuttle brought what was left back. I will forever be grateful for that.
Photography: Abella Studios A++
Once again, I cannot say enough great things about Abella Studios. I know most people shy away from studios when it comes to photography, but I loved their work from even before we set a date. They were the only photographer we met with, even though I had pricing from others. They were a bit on the pricey side and their basic package was over $2000 after taxes. Our photographer was Tom and he was great. He worked with us because it ended up raining that day and we weren't able to take our photos or first look outside like we had planned. He knew exactly what we wanted and what he needed to do. He took all of the photos before the reception so he didn't have to disturb us during the party, which I appreciated but my husband and father were a little upset that they missed cocktail hour. We just received our photos and they were amazing. Over 1300 to view so it took quite awhile. I couldn't be happier with the photos. I knew that Tom and the owner Ryan were the only two I had wanted. Ryan was also a great help. I was able to talk to him the day before about possible back up plans because of the potential rain (which did end up happening on the day of the wedding). He was very helpful and knowledgeable about the area. We ended up agreeing that staying at the hotel for the for the first look, which worked out perfectly.
DJ: Venue Audio A+
Very easy to work with and everything is done through emails, which makes the paper trail easy to keep track of. They are part-time DJs so they don't have to charge the crazy prices that most DJs do because this isn't their only source of income. They emailed me the worksheets that I needed to fill out and everything was set. They also didn't have a problem with someone else introducing my husband and I to go along with our theme. They were professional at all times. They stood by what I told them and even though a few guests were upset, they didn't back down. I had requested no line dancing and they stuck to that even when the ONE guest requested a line dancing song. And it was a song that I know for sure no one would have danced to so I'm happy it wasn't played.
Flowers: Amore Decor Rentals B-
We decided to go with Amore because I didn't want floral centerpieces and they rented out their non-floral centerpieces, which actually saved me money. The centerpieces were amazing and exactly what I had wanted. The bouquets were amazing and again, exactly what I had wanted. The boutonnieres and corsages upon arrival looked great. But then the groomsmen, fathers, and mothers, went to put them on and they all fell apart. Our limo drivers helped a bunch to fix. There was a florist in the plaza right next to the hotel that helped and SIL had double sided tape and miraculously everything stayed together for the photos and ceremony. Once the reception started and all the dancing, they didn't last much longer. I emailed the owner of the company the following day and she was so upset because essentially the flowers were dead. Whoever made them didn't put the water source in, so they were made the day before and they were dying from that moment. They emailed me a check for the cost of the boutonnieres and corsages which I received a few days later. The owner was very apologetic and very upset that this happened. I had to keep the mindset of, stuff happens LOL., and they also didn't give me enough pins LOL. Since I was happy with everything else, and I was refunded, I figured a B- was ok to give.
Limo: Town Limousine A++
We booked our limos three weeks before the wedding. We were shocked that they still had limos available, let alone what we had wanted. The drivers were fantastic. They waited in the hotel lobby for us longer than expected because we weren't able to leave and take the photos outside. And then the whole flower debacle happened, which they were amazing for trying to help. Even though we didn't get the full use of the limos like we had wanted, I'm still happy we went with them.
Hair: Imana Hair Studio: A+
I booked my hair trial in September because I didn't want to be left without a stylist I liked. I booked with Skyler and during the hair trial, we talked and she knew exactly what I had wanted without even showing her a photo. The day of, her and Amy were great. There were only four of us getting our hair done so it didn't take that long. Skylar is now my hair stylist because I trust her. I made an appointment with her a week before the wedding to cut all the ends and freshen up my hair and to also add highlights. Again, she knew the color I had wanted just by describing the look I was going for. I trust her and even though Nutley is a little bit of a drive for me, I will do it in order to have someone I trust color and style my hair.
Invitations and Day of Stationary: Mimosa Digital A+
We went to Mimosa Digital in Hoboken looking for invites. We weren't happy with anything we had found and we just didn't have the time to make the invites ourselves. We were so impressed with their selection and if you chose one of their personal designs, they are totally customizable, which I loved. Our invites were not your traditional cookie cutter wedding invite. They were bright in color and vibrant and trifold, which was perfect for us, because our wedding was a bit untraditional. We also had them to the envelope printing because my handwriting is horrible and so is husbands. We even added envelope liners afterwards because we realized the invites could be seen through the envelopes. For our day of items, we ordered a seating chart board, wine labels for our favors, and our table numbers. I put the order in on Monday and had everything by Wednesday, two days before the wedding. We worked with Carley and she was great. Patience when dealing with me is a must and she had that because I had originally changed my mind on the invite style and she sat with us again going through everything until we were finally settled. They also do photo prints, which we needed for our tables, and they were ready the next day after putting the order in through their website.
Jewelry: Helzberg Diamonds Willowbrook Mall A++
I know most people prefer not to deal with chain stores, but husband purchased my engagement ring from them after months of looking. Simple solitaire. We purchased our wedding bands from them as well. I only deal with one person, Mary Chris Nieves, who is also the store manager of that location. We have been going to her for the past 2 years, since we became engaged. She was the only that sold husband the engagement ring. She is amazing and again, patient because I never know what I want. I purchased his wedding gift from them, a Movado watch. I was able to put it on layaway because I didn't want him finding it in our small apartment. I picked it up right before the wedding, the day before. After the wedding, husband surprised me with a visit to the store and he had me pick out a new setting for my diamond. He wanted to get me a new setting that matched the wrap I had purchased as my wedding band. For some reason the prongs on the solitaire weren't really working with the band. Its hard to explain. I picked it out, but I didn't want to go without my wedding set so soon after the wedding, so I dropped it off on Thursday of last week and it should be back today or tomorrow.
Dress: Alfred Angelo A+
I drove all the way to Cherry Hill to go to the Alfred Angelo Signature Store. I'm a curvier girl and most stores didn't have dresses in a size that I would be able to try on. I worked with Lindsay and she knew exactly what dress I needed, even though in the beginning I didn't agree with her. My dad loved the dress, but I felt like something was missing. We added the sash, and I was sold. My dad picked out the veil, the lace on it wasn't too overwhelming, it was just the right amount.
Alterations: Cinderella Bridals A
I took the dress to a local bridal salon near my parents in Matawan for the alterations. They were great at altering a dress that I didn't purchase from them. I had three fittings because I am currently training and working out for a mud run, so the seamstress understood that there was a good chance I would be losing weight. At my last fitting, the dress fit perfectly. I even stopped working out for the lat two weeks before the wedding. Unfortunately, when I went to put my dress on the day of the wedding, it was a tad big. Not enough to cause a problem, but enough where it bothered me and it was slightly noticeable. It was probably just the stress that caused me to lose the extra weight.
Bridesmaids Dresses: David's Bridal A+
The girls purchased their dresses from David's Bridal because the color green was exactly what I was looking for. They brought the dresses to their own seamstresses for alterations.
Tuxes: The Tux Shop A+
The guys rented their tuxes from the Tux Shop in Bayonne. Great customer service. One of the guys needed to bring their tux back for alterations (he didn't have time to try it on before leaving) and they were great able to fix it the issues the next day.
Etsy CardBox: jamiekimdesigns A+
With everything going on, I had forgotten about a card box. I contacted this seller two weeks before the wedding and she created a custom listing for me with the expedited shipping. I received it on Monday, the week of the wedding. It was exactly what I was looking for.
Etsy Bouquet Picture Frames: PopKo A+
I wanted picture frames for my bouquet and this seller worked with me. She shipped them out the next day after I ordered them and I received them within three days. They were perfect.
Special Wedding Item: WildCat Belts B
Husband does professional wrestling on the side, so this was a part of our day. We had a championship belt made for the wedding (this was the item I had forgotten at the hotel LOL). I knew the quality of the belt because the company he wrestles for uses them for their belts. Well, this was supposed to be our guest book, but when we received the belt, the quality of the backing of the leather wasn't up to par with what I have seen, so we weren't able to have guests write on it. It was fine, because I decided I didn't want guests to write on it because I liked the quality of the metal work too much. Either way, the belt is gorgeous, just disappointed that the leather work isn't the same that he provides his wrestling clients.
Officiant and Makeup A+
These two services were provided by friends whom we have know for a very long time. If you would like these recommendations please feel free to contact me as I would prefer not to put their personal info on this post.
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