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Long & Over-Due Wedding Reviews; Hopefully!!

ETA: In my haste in posting these last night, I failed to mention that while not all of our vendors got a perfect score (A+ is the highest I gave except for one) our wedding night was flawless and the most absolute, perfect evening.  We couldn't have planned or wished for any detail to turn out any more perfect, unless of course could have added more hours in the day, as we didn't want the night to end!  Everyone says, you'll regret spending the money on a wedding, you have wished you had gone somewhere, yada, yada, yada, and that is SO not the case!  I could relive that night, over and over! 

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La Buena Vida {Ceremony & Reception Venue} – A / We received a new contact at the venue a few months in, which scared me at first, but it ended up working out fantastic!  Roxie went above and beyond to help us execute our vision at La Buena Vida.  Originally, linens, chairs, etc all had to be coordinated through the venue, but since Roxie didn’t have access or the right price for various pieces we wanted, she allowed us to go outside of her vendors and bring in and coordinate this all on our own.  She also worked with us on timing and allowed us access to the venue as we needed to get our very detailed décor done.  The facility in my opinion is pretty bare bones, but provided the perfect backdrop and helped us create the look and feel we wanted to accomplish.  It’s worth noting it’s an operating winery/business, which makes it a tad bit inconvenient for a wedding.


Jim Lee Events {Caterer} – B+ / We had to use a preferred cater through La Buena Vida, and I was told Jim Lee was the best quality and best presentation of their catering list.  Jim Lee and Sean Carey were extremely responsive and accommodating to all of our requests, changes, etc regarding our price point, menu options, etc.  I will say, you have to sign contracts prior to doing a tasting with Jim Lee, and when we went in for our tasting well after we signed the contract, I was extremely disappointed in the food, but, I understand how hard it can be to prepare food for two people.  That said, the food the day of (what I had) was fantastic!  We have received many compliments on how good everything was.  


Melody with Melodies & Memories {DJ & Ceremony Music} – A+ / This will come as no surprise, but Melody was the superstar of the night!  Matt and my mom were worried about the quality of Melody given the fact she was so reasonably priced.  Not only did she deliver, she over-delivered.  Our officant had never done a ceremony before, and Melody made sure to look at our outline of our ceremony that we built, gave us suggestions and showed up at our rehearsal and walked us through how everything should run.  She kept us all on track throughout the evening and was extremely interactive with our crowd.  We definitely feel like we left our crowd wanting me.  Simply put, Melody ROCKS!

ADDED -->Margaret Hardin with City Florist in Grapevine {Florist} - A+++++ / So I'm a little biased here, but I have known Margaret since I was 10, and she's like a 2nd mother to me.  My mom used to work with her at the florist, and they've had ideas, dreams and plans of my wedding since then.  It also helps that Margaret and I think and operate in the exact same manner, and have close to identical taste.  I gathered all of my ideas and my vision for what I wanted the day, flowers and tablescapes to feel like, and her and my mom built the fairytale.  You'll see down further my review of our DOC, and all I can say is thank-goodness Margaret was there as she is hands-down the only reason our wedding was executed to the level of perfection it was. 


Jenny Martell Photography {Photographer} – C / The quality of the Martell’s work is for the most part, fantastic!  But, for the price we paid, I expected a bit more from a service perspective.  More often than not their response time with communications was slow/untimely.  And while they were all over you prior to the sale, they sang a completely different tune after contracts were signed.  I also feel they have a pretty targeted “look” and “type” of bride/couple they typically go for, and Matt and I just didn’t fit into that category.  You get spoiled by looking at so many photographers who put all of their weddings up on their blogs, and that’s definitely not a practice the Martell’s undertake.  That said, we’re going to have an absolutely stunning album to treasure for the rest of our life! 
Our Wedding {Pre-ceremony}  -- />  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2738508752101.145024.1538860613&type=1&l=1b51317283
Our Wedding {Details & Ceremony}  -- />  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2768404699481.145403.1538860613&type=1&l=980aa1e239
Our Wedding {Reception}  -- />  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2768202974438.145401.1538860613&type=1&l=bad5ec4a7d

Jonathon Link Studios {Videographer} – A / Hiring a videographer was a decision we made literally a month before our wedding…and this is some of the best money we spent.  We received multiple comments from our guests and bridal party about how much they loved Kristin and Jonathon.  Their communication was very timely, and we had a sneak peek of our video within a month of our wedding.  I would absolutely say their quality is fantastic. 
http://jonathonlinkstudios.com/more-about-us/matt-kylie-sneak-peek-2011-11-05/

Significant Events of Texas / Emily Mead {Day-of-Coordinator} – D / I really struggled with this particular review, and did so in my post event review to her as well.  Part of me feels this isn’t entirely Emily’s fault.  

My mom felt we needed a day of coordinator for our wedding due to:
• the complexity of the event
• the short time frames we were going to have at the venue to set-up
• a flip of the space was involved
• we weren’t getting ready at the venue
• we had a officiant who had never done a wedding ceremony before
• and to eliminate some of the hands on that Margaret (her best friend and our florist) would have to do the day of

I was so thrilled when I saw multiple comments on The Knot about how great Significant Events of Texas was in playing that role, and they came highly recommended.  Meredith was unavailable for our date, and she passed us onto Emily.  This is where as I look back, my suggestion as a business owner would be to have had an initial consult or discussion around our event, our vision and what was involved to determine if you had the right associates available to the job. 

Once we hired Emily, she was on the ball contacting our vendors we already had, introducing herself, etc.  For having just hired her as a DOC, she was extremely helpful with suggestions on any outstanding vendors I was looking for and making sure I was moving along the time-lines. 

While I really like Emily personally, I was disappointed in the overall services we received, and more specifically, the actual day of.  I know we had an extremely over-produced wedding, but I feel like this was too big of an event for her to have done on her own.  And when I say too big of an event, I don’t necessarily mean size, but the level of complexity that existed in the execution.   Emily needs to come across as more confident and more in control, and make tough decisions as needed.  An example would be that once the chairs were set up for the ceremony (as I had laid out on paper), my dad and I would not have fit down the aisle.  Instead of making the executive decision that that particular layout wasn’t going to work and fixing it, Margaret had to deal with it, wasting precious time and putting everyone behind with set-up. 

A few other examples:
• Pillows - I had specifically bought pillows to be placed at the fire pits, and had four different colors.  There was to be one of each the four colors at each firepit, and instead, each fire pit had all of the same color.
• Wine barrel tables – I had rented three of these to be used as highboys around the dance floor.  During the reception I noticed that one was pushed back in the corner by the bar, and the other two were across the venue being used for props by the photobooth.   While I may not have given specific instruction on where to place them, my hope would have been that as a coordinator, you could look at the space visually and determine where they should have been placed and just done it.
• Bustle – my bustle came undone or broke at some point in the evening and Emily sent me back to the bridal room with her two assistants to fix it.  Once in the room, they both looked at each other and said they had no idea how to fix a bustle.  Maybe my expectations are high and I’ve been watching to much TV, but if you’re a wedding coordinator, you should know and/or have an answer for anything wedding related, including how to fix a bustle.  
• Flip – took to long to figure out the basic layout of where tables where supposed to be.

I think to sum it all up, I know how I work personally, and what I expect from someone I’m paying money to for a service and what I saw and heard multiple comments on was a lack of initiative and execution, but I think this all boils down to experience.   Again, Emily should have not been put in that situation.  That said, I also will be the first to put a lot of fault on myself for not doing the appropriate amount of research on the events Emily had done in the past to make a determination on if she was a suitable for our wedding.
 
Christie Lee {Make-Up Artist} - A / Christie does amazing work and is great at listening to exactly what you want.  The first hair trial we did, my hair wasn’t what I was looking for (my fault as I sent her the wrong pictures) and the next time we were together, it couldn’t have been anymore perfect.  I looked beautiful not only in my pictures, but in person too.  Since we had so many people to do the day of the wedding, we had to start pretty early, but even with a 7:00pm ceremony, our make-up was all still flawless!  And the false eyelashes she used, such an added bonus!!  A great young talent!!


Ruth Robbins {Cake} – A / Ruth is a great value for the quality of the cake.  While I didn’t have a slice the night of the wedding, the piece I got stuffed in my mouth, I LOVED!  I received many comments from guests on how great it was as well.  YUM!  She took the pictures I showed her of what I wanted it to look like, and re-created. 


Beyond {Lighting} – A+ / Lighting is another area that I would spend money again in a heartbeat as it completely transformed the look of the space.  Robert was very timely in communication with my mom and I, and constantly made changes as needed based on what look and feel we were trying to accomplish.  LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the look Beyond created.


Becky Fowler {Alterations} A+ / Like everyone says in their reviews, one of the sweetest ladies you could ever meet.  She did my dress, a few of my bridesmaids and my mom’s.  The only thing is that my bustle broke, or possibly didn’t know how to do it right the night of my wedding. 


Demetrios Bridal Salon {Bridal Dress} – A+ / We only went to one salon because a designer whose dresses we liked was going to be there.  We ended up having a fantastic experience, and would absolutely recommend them to other brides.

Stardust Celebrations {Bridesmaids Dresses} – A / Was very pleased with the selection of dresses the had, and the service. 


Premiere Photobooth {Photobooth} – A / I knew from before we started planning our wedding that I wanted a photobooth, and everyone loved it!  Premier was another vendor who was extremely attentive in the planning/communication process.  My only compliant would be that I was told they had what they needed to display their props, and they actually ended up using two of the wine barrels we rented for use as high-boys as prop tables.  That said, I don’t know that was their fault, as I think the wine barrels were just sitting there.


La Belle Vie {Invites} – B / Paper products are one of my favorite things and I couldn’t wait for this part of the wedding planning experience!  I really couldn’t afford the stationer I wanted to use, so I found Jenn on esty.  I was more than thrilled with the final product, it was just a struggle to get to that point.  Jenn stays so busy and has so many clients, that she’s literally getting the product out as late as possible to meet your deadline, if that. 


Connie Duglin {Linens} A+ / I had my heart set on a specific color and type of linen that I didn’t think I was going to be able to afford through the venue, but Shawn with Connie Duglin came highly recommended and was awesome to work with, got me samples of various fabrics and colors for me to choose from, and was much cheaper than what our venue could find for the same linen.  I LOVED our linens!


Ducky Bob’s {Chairs} A / I am 110% thrilled that I made the decision to use the fruitwood chairs we had for both the ceremony and reception.  While Ducky Bob’s is on the higher price end, they were the only ones that had the actual chair/color I wanted.  They allowed me to rent, or hold, the max amount of chairs I might have needed, and confirm final numbers days before the event and release what I didn’t want. 


Shag Carpet {Wine Barrel Rentals} A / Shag Carpet had a fantastic list of options available for rentals and had exactly what I was looking for and more.  I originally just wanted the wine barrels, but they had wine barrel “table tops” as well that we were able to use in place of tall boys

Bill with Pinstripes Cleaners {Gown Cleaning & Preservation} A+ / I'm adding this one since I just got my dress back, and I still haven't posted my reviews.  Minutes before we were getting in the car to leave, red wine got spilt all down the front of my silk gown.  I left it for my mom to get to Bill, who came highly reccomended by Becky.  Bill actually was able to get all of the stains out, and the dress is beautiful.  The best part is, he comes and picks up and drops of your dress to you, so no traveling invovled!!  After hearing about how many man hours he put into my dress, I am sure glad I didn't leave it in just anyone's hands!

Re: Long & Over-Due Wedding Reviews; Hopefully!!

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    Great reviews! I'm always so glad to hear when Melody is the super hero!
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    And the post worked! Thank you for the suggestion on switching to plain text, that's what made it work. Thinking of you Brianna, and hope all is well this week!
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    Kylie,
    Glad you had such a beautiful day and it looks like you have some wonderful memories.
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    Thanks for these :) You're pictures are just gorgeous. I don't think I have actually taken the time to look until now.
    ~DFWs Resident Snark~
    I'm not so good with the advice... Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?
    image
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    fallbride1109fallbride1109 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited January 2012
    Yay, I have been waiting for these!  :)  Props to Christie--you looked so lovely!  And did I miss who did those beautiful flowers??

    I felt the same way about my Etsy invitation vendor--I loved the final product but it was a little stressful getting there!  And good for you for giving honest yet fair reviews.

    ETA:  Oh and I LOVED your "first touch"--what a beautiful way to have a picture of that moment without actually seeing each other.  Although I am still a fan of a first look, I think that's a great alternative.
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    I had the exact same experience with Jim Lee--the tasting was awful to the point I was really worried the food was suck at the wedding. But, on the day of it all tasted so good and the presentation was beautiful.

    So glad everything turned out--wish your coordinator had worked out better. I didn't have one, but my photographer stepped in to take over.

    Your wedding looked beautiful!
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