I just got married on July 21, 2012 at the Branford Mansion at Avery Point in Groton, CT. This is my first time posting but I've spent lots of time looking through the boards over the months of planning and I figured I would share thoughts on my vendors--
--I didn't think I needed a day-of wedding coordinator; what good would it do to have someone jump in on one day while I had been doing all the prep for so long? Someone mentioned Becky Moore of Perfect Circle Occasions (http://www.perfectcircleoccasions.com/
) as a potential option. Becky took time to meet with my fiance and I multiple times (which wasn't easy, as he was out of town working for a significant part of the planning process), and paid close attention to detail. Not only did she coordinate with my vendors to make sure scheduling would go smoothly, she reminded me of aspects of my big day I never would have thought about--what's going on for lunch? Who is helping with clean up? Have you gotten cash out for tipping your vendors? Beyond making myself and my (now) husband feel comfortable, she made my mom and MIL feel very at ease, which on such a hectic day was a huge help. I reviewed Becky first here because without her around to make things go well, the rest of the vendors I used wouldn't really matter. Honestly, one of the best moves I made in the planning process was asking Becky to come in and coordinate. What a life saver!
--We used A Love Story Photography (www.alovestoryphoto.com
) for photo services. We haven't gotten the proofs back, but I am chomping at the bit to see them. James, and his assistant, Mike, showed us a few of the pictures on their cameras and I was blown away. The lighting on the shots was phenomenal, and they really knew what they were doing when they posed us. Also, being that we got married by Long Island Sound, I really wanted to get down right on the water for some shots, and James was more than willing to do that for us. I am considering doing a trash the dress shoot, and I will absolutely turn to A Love Story for that as well. Honestly, ladies, photography was one of the aspects of my wedding that I cared most about, and I am beyond please with what I received from A Love Story. You won't be disappointed.
DJ--Ryan van Lew (RIPP entertainment) was awesome! He had people where they needed to be, and when. First dance? Everyone was around the dance floor. Toasts? Everyone in their seats. He is really good at working a crowd. And, once the music started, everyone was out on the dance floor having a blast. He took requests from friends and family but respected what I wanted on the no-play list. Especially considering his reasonable rates, I was very satisfied! I should also note that he brought in a portable mic and speaker for our ceremony, which was outdoors, and everyone could hear just fine!
--Matthew's Catering of Central Village (http://www.matthewscatering.com/
) was hands down the best caterer I could have imagined working with for my big day. Someone suggested them to me at a bridal expo so I decided to check them out. I tried out a few caterers, including Matthew's, and their taste, presentation, and price made them an absolute no-brainer. I paid about half of what I would have at the other catering companies in the area ($60pp as opposed to $125pp). I cannot begin to count how many complements we received on the food that day. Additionally, their catering coordinator, Richard, is extremely thorough and really helps to run the show for the big day. I am beyond pleased with Matthew's and am so happy I chose them for my wedding. Oh, and the kicker--our leftovers ended up being left at our venue over night and tossed out; to hold us over til our honeymoon, the chef himself dropped off 8 trays of food directly to our house. Such fantastic service!
--We went with Two Pour Guys bartending services (http://www.twopourguys.com).
The service was decent, although I heard that some drinks were stronger than others. I thought that John and Bob (who I assumed were the Two Pour Guys) would be bartending for us, but it turns out it was other staff from the company. They were good, though, and kept the drinks coming. When it came to settle the tab at the end of the night, my husband realized that he had forgotten his checkbook at the hotel. We asked if we could drop off a check the next morning or send one in the mail, which the staff did not take kindly to. In the end, my husband had to get a ride back to the hotel to get his checkbook, which was really obnoxious (I know, I know, he shouldn't have forgotten it in the first place). Overall, the service with these guys was OK, but I don't know that I'd recommend them over any other bar vendor.
I think that's all I've got for now--actually packing up as we speak for the honeymoon. If you want info on any other vendors, please let me know! We had a fantastic day and would be happy to help out anyone out there who would like advice.