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My reviews... finally... extremely long...

So, I finally got my reviews finished. Please have a cup of coffee handy in case you start nodding off. I know they are long but I wanted to make sure they were detailed. I know how important they were during my planning process. If you have any questions, or want pictures you are more than welcomed to email me!
zobo410 at yahoo

 Gleneagles CC, Delray Beach- A+We looked at A LOT of venues. I wanted everything to be inside, and needed three separate rooms. We had the cocktail hour first, so we couldn’t have the ceremony be in the same room as the reception. We didn’t have that hour of cocktails to turn the room around. Also, most places (since it is S. Florida) want the ceremony, or cocktail hour to take place outside. Knowing the weather in May… I didn’t want to take that chance. Also, I sweat, I didn’t want to be outside for a long period of time. Gleneagles only offers non-members to book parties from May-October. The place was perfect. It wasn’t too stuffy looking. It had the old Florida feel without being overly obnoxious. Cocktail hour is in their lounge which has 126 chairs. Most cocktail hours I have been to there are only a few chairs and most people have to stand. The ceremony room was nice and spacious. There are windows that look out to a waterfall. Reception room holds 400 people. They block off a portion of the room if you aren’t using the whole thing so it doesn’t look too big and not “filled”. There are floor to ceiling windows on one side that shows the golf course. Just lovely. The colors were mute and went really well with the color scheme. The chairs were so nice we didn’t even cover those for the reception! The staff were all cordial and right on top of everything. Guests actually commented how their napkins were always folded when they came back to the table. Food tasted great and came out hot. People’s water and wine were constantly filled. They also were able to order drinks tableside and did not have to wait long for them to come out. We had our own personal waiter. I felt like royalty!  

Melanie O’Brien was our coordinator. She was BEYOND amazing. There was no reason to hire a DOC. From the moment we met her I knew we were in good hands. She allowed us to have a tasting before we signed the contract. Emails and phone calls were always answered immediately. They do not have a vendor list you have to go off of which is nice. When we brought all the stuff for the wedding on Wednesday she sat down with us to go over all the items. She also called our vendors and made sure everyone was on the same timeline. She blocked off the ladies card room downstairs that is connected to the locker room. We were able to use that room while getting dressed and taking pictures. We signed the ketubah down there as well. She had our hor dourves down there for us so we wouldn’t miss out. She was constantly checking up on us and keeping the schedule. We left the clothes we changed out of down there and other items. By the end of the night they were all packed and in our car along with our presents. She setup our bathroom baskets, guestbook and had a cd of our pictures playing on their electronic billboard. They did our place cards, menus, table numbers, and drink signs. They came out amazing! We had sangria and she came up with a boarding pass to go along with it since we are headed to Spain for our honeymoon. The menus were passports. She had our pictures inside. For the table numbers, they came up with sliced limes and then the numbers in navy. The place cards were simple white with a pretty navy border and the names in navy. She helped us come up with our passed cocktails. We had mini martini glasses filled with key-lime martinis and a graham cracker rim. Then there were blue cosmo shooters. It was a fun touch having those passed around. Again, I know I wouldn’t have been as calm as I was if we didn’t have Melanie. 

Les Fleur D’Almir-(Ota)- A+ We went to visit two florists. Les Fleur was the first stop. There was no point in going somewhere else, but we wanted to compare. What a waste of time! I brought my folder with ideas, and the flowers I want. Ota said I was the easiest bride to work with because I already knew what I wanted and didn’t want. I had a vision and he brought it to life. He went above and beyond with us. They are on the more expensive side, but worth every penny.  Like how he told me one of the flowers we chose for the bridesmaid’s bouquet came in from Holland! I had no clue. Not only was he our florist, but he contacted Atlas for us and got them to keep the discount they were no longer offering for chivari and linens. We ended up not using chivari chairs (I’ll post about that under Atlas). He came with us TWICE to Gleneagles to go over all the details and take measurements. He went with us to Atlas after to look at linens and help us decide what would look best. I wanted to have ranunculus for my bouquet… I got it. Every flower and detail I asked for… I got. When my sister and I went to look at the room setup before I got dressed, she burst into tears. She couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. He surprised us by putting lime green lights in our chuppah. What an impact that made! He was there on Friday night to setup the chuppah. Saturday he came back to setup the rooms. When the wedding was over… he was there taking everything apart. I couldn’t believe how hard he worked! Communication with Ota, a dream. Emails, phone calls, always answered immediately. His contract was also perfect. I always feared not getting exactly what we asked for after hearing some stories from other girls. The contract had every last detail in it possible. Every single type of flower, dimension, price. Unreal. The flowers were fresh and fragrant. He put up piping with drapery to block people from seeing into the reception room from the lounge and ceremony rooms. He was just a dream to work with. I highly recommend him and his staff.  

Atlas A+We mainly spoke with Tiffany at Atlas. They were very professional and great to work with. They gave us a deal that they were no longer having with chivari chairs and linens after our florist spoke to them. We ended up not using the chivari chairs and they let us keep the price of the linens and just applied our deposit to that. They had tons of samples to view. We were allowed to take a sample with us to Gleneagles to see how it looks in the room. All the linens were brought two days before the wedding. Melanie said they were neat and needed no ironing.  

Cordele Photography A+ Photography and video were the two most important vendors for me. I took total control of those. I originally found Alicia (& Seth) on a photography website that was holding a contest. Granted, I didn’t win but fell in love with her style (as well as her). I think us both being NKOTB fans helped. She lives in Boston but works out of Miami as well. They have a condo down here so there are no travel charges AT ALL! The first time I met her I brought my mom. It felt like a first date because when we got into the car I turned to my mom and said that’s it, no more looking. We found the one! Her husband shoots with her and they make a great pair. She came down another time to meet with my Dad and step-mom. They were a little impressed meeting in a cabana at the Fountainbleu hotel. My dad said how classy and professional she was when she made sure to pay for our valet. Nice touch! The day of, they were both like ninjas. We knocked out those formal shots in no time. She knew I didn’t want to be outside long and kept asking if I was ok, wanted to take a break and go inside. We took photos in front of a waterfall and there was a nice breeze so I was ok. Her husband made sure to get everyone quickly so there wasn’t a long wait. During the reception, I never noticed them. The only reason I noticed them during the ceremony was because I saw her literally get on the floor to take pictures of Scott breaking the glass. Not even a week later and our slideshow was ready for viewing, as well as our ENTIRE gallery of pictures. Her website is really convenient to buy pictures. On the side they have the option to buy what you are looking at. Alicia and Seth were amazing to work with and I am so happy to have had them at our wedding. Our album came in on Monday and it is absolutely beautiful and perfect.

   Blueshore Productions A+ This review is just for communication, and day of. I will give a full review once we get our trailer and dvd. When I booked Jeremy I think one girl had mentioned him before. He wasn’t as big as he is now on our board. I couldn’t believe his prices and almost felt like we were ripping him off. He had just gotten into the business, but there was something about his style that I loved. The cinematography of his videos was breathtaking. My parents were a little iffy about him when they saw his contracts (they were a little amateur), and his deposit requirements. Once they saw a video… they were also hooked. I know he has learned a lot about the business since we booked him almost two years ago. I had no doubts in my mind after our meeting at Starbucks that I wanted him to film our day. He was also the only videographer we actually met with. The day of he was quiet and not very noticeable. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.  

Susie’s Scrumptious AThe only reason they didn’t get an A+ is because her husband is a little rude and it took a while to get an actual bill from them when we changed the amount of people it had to feed. We were recommended Susie’s by a co-worker of Scott’s. They go there all the time for cakes and used them for their daughter’s wedding. They offer complimentary tastings every Saturday. Their “tasting” consists of Susie’s husband giving you a list of the cakes they offer and giving FULL slices of each one. They have all cakes baked and ready for you to try. They were telling other couples which ones were allowed if they were with certain venues. Since they don’t work with Gleneagles, we were allowed to choose anything we wanted. Like I said, her husband was a little rude but the cakes made up for it. We looked at the choices and chose 13 different cakes to try. They give you boxes to take all of the slices home with you. We ended up with a 4 tier square buttercream cake. The flavors were amazing. Dulche de leche, chocolate kahlua, almond and the top tier for us… chocolate chili. After your tasting you sit down with Susie and go over the cake options. They arrived on time to bring the cake to Gleneagles. They provided us with a box for our top tier as well. They tell you if you end up having to cut the top tier they will provide you a free one on your one year anniversary. We took ours home and cut into it with the family on Sunday. We can’t wait to get another one a year later, even if we have to pay. The cake was moist and delicious. We are still getting compliments on it. Yum!   

Alfred Angelo, Boynton Beach A+ for service, B for alterationsThe ladies were all helpful in finding my dress and my bridesmaid’s dresses. I tried on only 4 dresses before I was able to find the one! It was nice to be able to try them on in my size. I was basically scoffed at when I called other places asking if they have larger sizes to try. My dress and veil came in perfect. All the girl’s dresses, MOB, MOG dresses came in perfect condition and the right size. I was able to order just sashes for the flower girls so they would match the color of the bridesmaid dress. The only problem I came across was with alterations. Beverly, the lady who they outsource to do the dresses didn’t have mine ready. I was supposed to go back on the 5th to have it fixed. My appointment was for 11:30 that morning. At 11:15 I received a call from her saying there was an emergency and if I could push my fitting to 6pm. I told her I work until 11pm so that is not possible. I asked if I needed to call my MIL because she also had a fitting. She said no, she was fine. So, what emergency was there if she was staying at the store? I asked if my dress was there and ready and she said no. So basically she lied to me, and didn’t have my dress finished. I was able to come back on Friday for my second fitting and there were some things to fix. Monday was the last day we could come back before it being too close so she was pressured. Monday I came back with my SIL and my dress was perfect. Whew! My MIL’s dress was fine after the first fitting. We had to do a little alteration on my SIL during her second visit and Beverly did it right there in the store. My bustle stayed up all night and I got a ton of compliments on my dress.  

Will Bridges Band AThey literally ROCKED! My parents originally heard Will play his sax and singing in the bar of Chops in Boca Raton. We were able to see him with his band at an event at the Marriott and then again at Il Baccio in Delray Beach. My step-mom, who I say his groupie, signed up for his mailing list. We saw him singing and playing again with another singer at City Fish Market. Even when it is just him and another singer, it sounds amazing. We found out that he normally does big events at our venue. Melanie praised him and said we were in good hands. During the cocktail hour he played the sax and had a keyboardist. For the ceremony we had just the keyboardist. We had an 8 piece band for the reception. We met with him a few times and he was very nice. There were a few songs they didn’t know and learned to play for us. Our first dance was Adam Sandler- grow old with you and it was great hearing it live and not from a cd. They even played Weird Al- Eat it for our cake cutting. The reason for the A and not A+, was because he asked me 4 different times for our wedding details list that was already previously sentOur guests were on the floor the whole night and really enjoyed themselves.  

Rabbi Larry Schuval A+I have “known” Rabbi Larry for about 8 years now. He does the services for the high holy days at my Dad’s country club at Boca Pointe. He has a great sense of humor and really understood me and Scott. Just to give you an idea of how our ceremony went, I teared up only one time when I was putting on Scott’s ring because the rest of the time we were laughing. That was how Scott and I envisioned our ceremony… being us. We met with him a couple of times to go over what we wanted for the ceremony. Which traditions we wanted to do and not do. He had us fill out a form that asked basic questions about our relationship and history. He brought up a few of those during the ceremony and really made it special. Ketubah signing was scheduled for 6:30 and he showed up at 5:45. We were very happy with him marrying us. 

Nicole Santosus (make-up) A+Nicole works at the MAC counter at Macy’s in the Boynton Beach Mall. The first time I met her I was inquiring about new powder and was amazed with how well she was able to pick one out and it matched perfectly. I had a few trials with her for another wedding, and my birthday. I was never disappointed. I was still iffy about what colors to use for the wedding day. The day I had a trial with her she came wearing the make-up she wanted to do on me so I could see what it would look like. I loved it! That was the look we went for on the day of my wedding. Her prices were amazing and she was great with communication. She came to the hotel on time and prepared. All of the girls loved what she did. She brought lashes for them and didn’t charge me. I thought it was a nice touch. My make-up stayed on all night and didn’t look heavy at all. Very, very happy. 

Stefanie Merullo, Salon Oasis (hair) A+Stefanie happens to be one of my dearest friends from college. She works at Salon Oasis and has to be booked through them. There was no question about her doing the girls (and my) hair for the wedding. We did a few trials to see how my hair would hold. My hair is curly and fine which makes it difficult to hold the look we were going for. Weird as it sounds, once my hair is blown out, it doesn’t want to hold a curl or wave. She was able to do the waves and still my hair felt nice and soft. I had plenty of wave all night. Stefanie started on one girl and pulled a theme through them all. All of them had a braid in their hair. It looked romantic and soft and pretty. I loved that their hair was all tied together in some way. They all had different dresses and their hair showed off their unique personalities as well. She is amazing.  

Residence Inn, Delray Beach   A+–hotel to get ready/room blockThe two suite room we got for the night before, getting ready and use as our wedding night was great. It was huge, plenty of room, two bathrooms! The boys had a one suite room which was also “enough” for them to get ready in. They are newly renovated and are just beautiful. The front desk was very nice and cordial. I was working Shaunda in the beginning for our room block. She no longer works there but passed on the info of the new sales person so I can keep in touch if I had questions. We ended up with only one other room there from OOT. They really enjoyed it and the free breakfast was fantastic.  I won’t review my hotel where we had 15 rooms of OOT guests stay. I think it will sound biased.... but I give it an A+. 

Pavilion Grill- Boca Raton D- Rehearsal dinner location We originally found this place through one of Scott’s clients. She does some leasing of the offices in the building. It’s a pretty neat location. It’s on Yamato and Dixie in a huge glass office building. The bar is in the lobby and they have a huge stage and tables and dancing going on in there. They have a separate room with seating for about 60. We were in that room (which also has a bar if you want). The room was very cozy. We spoke to Liz through the process. It was really difficult to deal with her. She never remembered what we spoke about or agreed upon. She was basically... ditzy (sorry to sound harsh). Good thing most conversations were via email so I had her response. We were able to have dinner there before we agreed on the contract and were given 50% off. She originally told us we can choose anything but the high end steaks off the menu to offer our guests. Then she didn’t remember so I forwarded her email. We got that straightened out. The food was great. For $30pp, we had a choice of salad, skirt steak, a pasta with chicken, and chicken marsala. Dessert was a choice of sugar free, or regular cheesecake (from CC factory), or their homemade apple tart. Soda, tea, and coffee were also included. She also informed us that having kid’s meals would be no problem since our two flower girls would be there. We made menus on vistaprint and she said she would gladly have those at the place settings. I gave her our final count a week before, 48 adults, 2 kids (chicken fingers for them please). Two days before she tells me they now have a special of prime rib and they will tell guests at the beginning that they can order it since we already printed the menus out. The night of our rehearsal... all was different. Liz wasn’t even there like she told us she was going to be. The service was horrible and some people didn’t get a salad or dinner right away. They didn’t tell people about the prime rib, so only those that I mentioned it to got it. The pasta dish that I was really looking forward to was DISGUSTING. There is no other word to describe it. I couldn’t believe they even served it. The prime rib was over done and when people asked for a more rare piece they didn’t have it. The skirt steak I heard was good, as was the chicken marsala. They said they didn’t know there would be kids so the chicken fingers took about a half hour longer to come out then everyone else’s food. So by this time it’s about 8pm. Imagine a 3 and 6 year old eating dinner at 8? Yeah... cranky. I felt horrible for them. Then, when it came time to dessert, they didn’t have the sugar-free cheesecake. I specifically said we wanted it because we have family/friends with diabetes that were told they would get to have a nice dessert. It was just so very disappointing. You can’t help but feel bad because we chose the place and I felt like it was a reflection on us. Sucks! I’m ready for Liz to write to me because she wanted to do some sort of advertising with my hotel... good luck. 

Aunt Kimmy’s Creations- www.auntkimmyscreations.com/">http://www.auntkimmyscreations.com/A+- brownie favorsKimmy is my cousin and is amazing. She used to own a bakery where she did wedding cakes. After back problems she stopped doing wedding cakes and focuses on pastries. Her shop is out of Roswell, Georgia. She said she would make brownies for us to put in boxes as our wedding favor. They were sent to us a few days before the wedding so we could put them together. She had them wrapped in plastic so the boxes wouldn’t get greasy. None of the brownies were melted or smushed when they got to us. We did have a few complaints from people saying somebody took theirs by the end of the night =). I think they were found selling on ebay for $20 each.   

Namemaker.com- A+ favor boxesThese were the cutest little boxes. Our brownies fit in them PERFECTLY! We used the white with lime polka dots and it really was a nice touch to our tables. Sign up on their website and they usually have sales going on.

Garters by Krisi- A+I bought the Miami Heat garters (toss and keep). Very fast shipping. They were great and in good condition when I received them.

 Designer Label Gal- A+ favor labelsI found Sherri on Etsy. She was really easy to work with. Communication was great and shipping was fast. I started my label search on new years eve when I was working. She emailed me back quickly and we had the order ready to send out. They were great with the boxes. 

Ketubah.com- A+ Our ketubah is literally a work of art. We were very pleased with this website. The ordering was very easy. They sent us an email that we were able to give to our rabbi to have him fill out all of the necessary Hebrew and English woring. They also sent us a proof to make sure it was correct. Shipping was quick as well. 

Talento Designs- A+ invitationsI was beyond pleased with Miriam. She works out of her house in Boca Raton. It is so convenient having someone in the area making your invitations. We were able to feel the paper, see what colors worked together and get samples. Also, there were a few mistakes on our part and we were able to pick up new envelopes and more invites the same day or next day. We didn’t have to order a certain amount or go by 10’s. She is truly amazing.  

The Pretty Pearl- A+ hangersI ordered all the girls (including me) cherry wood hangers from Meghan. Shipping was extremely fast, which worked out great since I only ordered them a month before the wedding. They were a last minute gift for my bridesmaids. They held the dresses up perfectly and we were able to get some nice pictures instead of having wire hangers in the picture. 

 Vistaprint A+++++ EVERYTHING!Vistaprint was my savior. I can not believe how many things I was able to get with them. We did our, STD-accomadation cards, RD invite, RD menus, photo sharing cards, totes for bridesmaids and flowergirls, vintage postcards for guestbook, address labels for thank you cards. They are always offering free items and major discounts. Fantastic!          
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