My reviews are full of really good and really bad experiences. Sorry some of them are lengthy. Our day was beautiful, I was able let things go that were not perfect, but I would change change a few vendors to reduce some unnecessary stress.
Reception and Ceremony Venue: The Wentworth Inn, Jackson, NH-A+
This place is top notch. I have a BS in Hospitality Management so I am hard to please. Kathleen, the wedding coodinator and Ian, the dining room manager, and Irina were wonderful. I met them one time before the wedding and was able to plan the entire thing via email from 4.5 hours away. The owner, Fritz, was present for the entire event. Our guests raved about the service and the food. It truly was the best wedding food I have ever eaten. The ceremony spot we chose was near the Jackson Falls and was absolutley beautiful. All of the chairs and aisle runner was set up for us. It was truely a pleasure to deal with everyone at the inn. Now that I am not emailing Kathleen in weekly/daily, I am starting to miss her. She also won us over by being the only venue to to greet us with coffee and cookies on our initial meeting. Kathleen has a degree in hospitality management and knows what she is doing. They made planning so easy and stress free. We just had to show up!
Photographer-Details by Difranco-D-
Please do yourself a favor and don't use this guy. Again, we were planning from 4.5 hours away from Jackson, but about 2 hours from the seacoast area and we make trips to NH regularly as I am from the Seacoast Area. Our inital contact with Tony was very positive. He was on top of everything. He was giving us a "deal" be because the couple had booked for our date broke up. He acted like he wanted our business, which some photographers did not. We got a discount for paying in advance. Once we did this, the wonderful customer service fell off a cliff. I spent months trying to get a hold of him to actually meet him before the wedding. I emailed and called with no return calls. I sent him messages on Facebook and got nothing. I kept my weekends open all summer to try to meet with him, but he never called back. I was stressed out he took my money and ran. Finally in August, his assistant decided to check the email and gave me his personal cell phone number. When I called it he was all sketchy asking where I got his number and was like "you have a wedding coming up?" This was one month before the wedding. In the end, I never got to meet with him before the wedding. I did however tell him some spots we wanted to take photos at and nailed down a timeline for him to follow and some people to take pictures of.
On the day of he and his assistant, not a second photographer (Not Erin, she appears to have been fired) showed up late. He was supposed to go to the Guy's condo first, them come to mine. He completely skipped the guys, and came to my condo, which resulted in us having to call down to tell them that the photographer was not coming. He then took photos of us girls in our condo. He chose a background where there were tipped over lawn chairs behind us. Come on, were in the Mountains, on a golf course, there was great scenery everywhere! I don't feel I need to tell my photographer where the best back drops are, that's what I was paying him for.
He finished taking all our posed shots after the ceremony 30 minutes early and promised to take us back out later for some night shots. He would not pose us on the falls (I had seen other photos of this) as he claimed it was not safe. We are all in our early to mid 30's we are not idiots, I did not hire him as the safety police. He took limited shots of me and my bridesmaids and seriously lacked creativity in posing people and creating great shots. I had told him in advance that we wanted shots at the covered bridge. I let it slide during this time because he said he would take us out again after dark. He never took us out after dark. He also flirted with his assitant all night.
He promised 2 weeks or so for our photos. I had to email him 3 times and send him a message on facebook to get him to tell me where he was with them. He promised to keep me updated on the photos uploading progress and send me a flash drive of the photos as well. He didn't do either thing.
Without our friends even knowing anything about the communication troubles, they said they didn't really like him. He didn't seem like the same person I had booked with in March.
The photos are ok, we did not get the shots at the bridge, we didn't get any photos proving anyone that didn't dance was even at the wedding. He didn't take pictures of the details such as our rings etc.
In a nutshell, do not use this guy. The price is not worth the stress.
Dress: David's Bridal - D
I also had a rough time with David's Bridal. I bought a dress I didn't really love the first time out. I prefer to shop alone, so I thought if I got a dress, then the shopping with mom and the bridesmaids would end. I was able to return that dress, a plus for them, and get another that was the shape I wanted. With out taking out a tape measure the girl ordered me a size 12 slip, a size 10 dress and a bra that was a cup size too small.
I have never worn anything larger than a 2. I was falling out of the bra, the slip was bulky for my aline style dress and the dress was falling off. I had my first fitting and they alteration charges were $280 for a $400 dress. I reluctantly paid for it. After the fitting asked to order a smaller slip.
I went to the second fitting and spoke to a manager about the sizing policy. A size 10 was obviously too big. They took the dress an compared it to a six and determined I should have not been ordered a 10 and gave me $130 credit,a plus for them. I finally got to try the dress on. Within 3 minutes my bra was showing. They tried to convince me that it was perfect after an hour our arguing with them that the whole dress needed to be taken in, not just down to the waist. The dress was still far too big for me and made me look like I had a wide flat butt. I have a flatt butt, but its not wide. They finally agreed to pull it in all the way down to the knee area. It fit better after this, but still not perfectly. I was given the option to get another dress in a smaller size and pay for alterations again or keep the dress I had. I feel I settled on the fit.
Moral of the story, make them measure you before they order our size.
Flowers: Lee's Fieldstone Farm-B
This was a family friend that started her own floral business. All the flowers were beautiful. I give her a B because they were not really arrainged in the way the inspiration photo I emailed her showed. Again, this was all done via email from a distance. She did follow me on pintrest, which she may have gotten confused by my additional pins.
Tent Decor-Dutch Bloemenwinkle-A
Tent decor was something I thought I could DIY. Once I saw how much it cost to buy draping and twinkle lights and chinese lanterns and then realizing I needed to recruit people to actually do it made me change my mind. This DIY project was going to cost $2-3k. Carrie at Dutch Bloemenwinkle took care of our tent in the height of our busy season for $450. It relieved a lot of stress and she gave us a discount since she had left some decor up from the previous weekend's wedding. They were easy to deal with decorated the tent exactly as I had asked.
DJ: Mr Jonathan is My Dj- A+
Jonathan came highly reccommended by a friends who works with him on a radio show on WEEI. I sent a few emails back and forth with him. We met with him for about 15 minutes a few weeks before the wedding and everything was great! We told him a few artists we like and I provided the VIP entrance list and a timeline and he took it from there.
Jonathan ended up being double booked because a work committment in Nashua was rescheduled for our wedding day. Jonathan made arrangements for the guy that taught him how to DJ to go to Jackson to set up his equipment for him and provided him with the playlist just in case Jonathan did not make it on time due to traffic or whatever. He made it in plenty of time and did a phenomenal job. He kept everyone one on the dance floor with fast songs to keep the younger crowd happy and slow songs to keep the older crowd happy.
Again I would reccommend him all day long.
I hope these help you and save you some time and stress!