Florida-South Florida

Reviews! Sorry they're long!

Hi ladies!  I wasn't very active on the board as the time came closer to the wedding due to a lot going on but I am here with reviews :) and words of wisdom at the end. Our wedding was on 2/4/12 and was the absolute best day of my life!!!! Everything went perfect! Everything came out perfect! And I got to marry the man of my dreams!  I will start by saying that I know A LOT of people in the wedding industry but that all my reviews are honest and real!  Dress shop: Merlili Grade: A+++ Would I recommend: absolutely! I think this shop deserves an award for dealing with me. It's a very small dress shop on the mile that not many people know of. I found them on a whim when walking by and am so glad I did. Whenever I walked into the other stores I didn't feel comfortable and felt pressured to buy something. This dress shop was different and they always made me feel like family. I would call and always knew who I was talking to and they knew who I was. The first day I went in and tried on dresses I went with my mom, aunt, and my niece. They were picking things I did not like and I was getting so confused and frustrated about everything. Lili, one of the owners, picked up on this and actually kicked my mom and aunt out of the dressing room and had a heart to heart with me alone, it was then that she told me she had the perfect dress for me. When I put it on I lost it crying, it was perfect! I walked out and everyone started crying also. I owe my dream dress to her and can say nothing negative about a shop which always made me feel like family. My bridesmaids also got their dresses here and there was never an issue there either. I also want to add that the dress I bought was $300 more at a shop a few doors down! Talk about it being fate that I found Merlili... I love love love all the girls here! Tuxes: Mr. Tux Grade: B/C I originally had gone through Men's Warehouse but changed it after reading the horror stories here. When I went with my husband to pick out what we wanted, they were very helpful and attentive. We picked everything out and then on another day, I returned with my mother, brother and my nephews for their fitting. The girl who helped us was all over the place and the tuxes they were giving me for my nephew were not working. They even wanted to charge me $90 for just a different jacket since the original one was not fitting him. I had to talk to who I believe was the manager and he corrected that. My mom had an issue with them also bc they had told my brother he needed to return a week before the wedding to try on the shoes as the day of the original fitting hey did not have his or my nephews size. When they got there and my mom told the owner the reason for why they were there, the owner tells my mom that there is no way someone told them that as they always have the shoes in stock as they carry everything in store and are not like men's warehouse. Guess what, my nephews size wasn't in store and had to be ordered! Feel stupid much? My mom was super annoyed with them and found them unorganized. My husband also had a button fall off when he arrived at the church so he was constantly annoyed with that in pictures. Overall our experience was not amazing but everyone on the day of the wedding looked great except for my husbands missing button which didn't annoy me because I was on cloud 9 Make-Up: Crystal Cadahia Grade: A+++ Would I recommend: absolutely! I love this girl! To me, she is the best at what she does and she was one of the first vendors I booked when I confirmed my date! In my group of friends we always use her for weddings and special events. She is hilarious and for us she is like family, so much so that she says she knows our faces like the back of her hand. She did my make up for my bridal shower, engagement pictures, and the wedding. For the day of the wedding she did the make up for all the girls, my mother and myself. Everyone loved it, including my mom who is a PITA about her make up. She also does hair but only curls so she did that for me for my bridal shower and engagement pictures, for both it was awesome! Hair: Alcira Grade: A+++ Recommend: absolutely! When looking for hair stylists, I found the prices to be out of control! Through a search on wedding wire, I found Alcira. Her pricing was awesome seeing as the trial was $75 and the day of hair was $75. My initial trial was for hair down and she went through several styles with me. A week before the wedding I got it into my head that I wanted an updo because I had lost weight lol... I went for a trial the Wednesday before the wedding and was nervous because I have so much hair that most times hairstylists do not know what to do with it! I told her to do what she wanted and could do to make it work and what she did was beautiful! She also did my hair, all my girls hair and my mothers. She arrived at 7:30am and worked very quickly! My niece had also requested a style then ended up hating it and Alcira changed it with no problem. She is also very sweet and calming which is awesome on the day of! Ceremony: Coral Gables Congregational Grade: A+++ Would I recommend: absolutely! If there was anything I was sure of when the ring touched my finger, it was this! There is no other place I would have gotten married at! Chely the coordinator was always responsive to me and on the day of the wedding everything was perfect. My only complaint is that you do not get to choose which reverend marries you, instead they let you know who it is about 2 months prior to your wedding. I got lucky and actually was given the reverend I wanted (Milan), needles to say, when I got the phone call I started screaming of excitement lol. He was beyond amazing and everyone in our family has raved about our ceremony.  Venue: Douglas Entrance Grade: A+++ Would I recommend: Absolutely! This location at first was a compromise between my mother and I as I wanted modern chic and the overall look of the location is not that. I did and do find the location beautiful though. I decided on it bc my mother loved it, my caterer had a close relationship with Raul there, and because the ceiling of the ballroom did not have chandeliers (I wanted absolutely none). Over time I grew to love it and on the day of the wedding I realized I could not have had our wedding at a better location. The fountain and cocktail area was absolutely gorgeous, and with our decor, it came to life to totally be what I had envisioned. It was modern chic and perfect! Raul was always awesome although a little hard to reach at first (only at first, after our initial meeting and now after the wedding i can reach him in a heart beat) and on the day of the wedding the person left there to make sure all was well and be up to date on time was fantastic. I ended up going over in time by an hour and all I had to do was sign a paper there agreeing to it. I never felt pressured to leave or as if we were being watched like little kids and i really liked that we were given the option of how long the party would be that day. The bridal suite they let you use was extremely helpful for us. LOVED IT! Rehearsal dinner: Crazy About You Grade: A+++ I was lucky enough to have a MIL that knows the owner here. The communication with Alejandra, the coordinator, was always awesome and they worked with my budget. I loved everything about my rehearsal dinner! The food was delicious!!! The staff was amazing! And the area they gave us was perfect for a party of 39! You guys must go here for dinner! We plan on going back to enjoy a dinner here solo since we were mingling so much on the day of the RD.  Getting ready hotel and night of: Biltmore Love this place! The grounds are beautiful, I loved the staff, the room was gorgeous and on the day of we had a conference room to get ready in. From check in to check out, this place was hands down amazing! Liqour vendor: Total Wine in pinecrest Grade: A I was recommended to go here by someone I know who owns a liqour store. We got an amazing price for all the alcohol we bought. When we delivered it to our caterer she actually estimated how much was spent to be double what we actually spent. Jeff walked around with us and helped us plan out the alcohol needed for our wedding. I loved that he made recommendations but didn't push his choices. We went in two weeks prior to the wedding, chose the alcohol, and they packed it up and had it ready for pick up the Thursday before the wedding. They are also letting us return what we did not open. The only reason I didn't add +s is because I wanted to kick the cashier the day we went to pay and pick up the alcohol. My credit card was denied (later found out the bank thought it was fraud) she tried it twice and when telling me it was denied I thought she was joking. She gave me an attitude here and totally made me feel stupid and my husband had to use his card which went through. While he was paying I looked up my account in fear that maybe someone had gotten access to it and taken out my money but when checking it, the amount I knew I had was there and was way over the cost of the alcohol. In conversation to my husband I go "babe, I dont understand why it says denied if I have 12,000 in there".., this girl has the nerve to step in and go loudly "are you sure it says 12,000 and not 1,200"... I looked at her and if it wasn't for the counter, I think I would have jumped on her! I felt so disrespected and intend on talking to someone about it when we go back to return the left over alcohol, that day I couldn't because we were in a hurry. It was not her place to say something like that or talk down to me and I think her tone is what made it worse. Her customer service skills obviously stink. Photographer- 1313 Photography Grade: A+++ (pending final photos) I LOVEEEEEE Ashley and Phillip! I didnt shop around for photographers bc there was no doubt I wanted them capturing our special day. Their photos are amazing! They are super down to earth! And our family and friends still rave about them and how they were the day of the wedding! We did do our engagement photos with them and a dog photo shoot and those pictures came out amazing! We obviously still haven't gotten our wedding photos back but from what they showed me on the camera quickly, they were beautiful! A week before the wedding they emailed me asking if it was ok to bring a third pbotographer who they take with them when she's available and I said heck yes! I had seen Sarah's work on their blog and her work is also beautiful! Ashley was constantly helping me and even had to put lotion on my legs because I had forgotten to do it myself before putting my dress on lol... And one of my favorite memories is dancing in the middle of a circle of my friends and looking up randomly to see Phillip taking pictures wearing a green hat we gave out during our hora loca! To me they were more like guests at our wedding taking photos than hired photographers. Sarah and Ashley were also on their knees at one point helping with my bustle because that was crazy complicated! Another vendor that to me felt like family! I'll be back with a final once we have our photos :) Videographer- MXI Studios Grade- A (pending video) Kenny was always great with communication and very prompt in getting back paperwork to me that I needed to present to the church. He arrived on time and had no problem adding two hours extra to the beginning, which I asked for last minute. Do to budgets and what I wanted to capture, we hired him until 10pm which unfortunately was the time our hora loca was to begin. Kenny actually stayed a little longer to be able to capture the beginning of that and for that I am grateful. I also never saw him during the night which is great bc that means he was great about not being in the way. I will be back with a final once we have our video :) DJ- Event Factor Grade- A+++ Would I Recommend: absolutely! I knew Mike, the owner, from before and when I found out my caterer uses his company for DJ services I was sold. From the beginning he always captured my vision and was very professional! I didn't put many must plays on his client system because I wanted him to just DJ. What I did put was for my mother, Colombian songs, and he played them. The entire night was a huge party of old school back in the day songs which was exactly what I wanted. Everyone partied the entire time and the dance floor was always packed! Friends have asked me for the list of songs played that night too. Their client system is also awesome and very easy to use. Our lighting was also beautiful and totally "made" the room! Call them! I promise you will not be disappointed! Cake- Filled and Frosted Grade- A+++ Would I recommend- absolutely! I found Brittany through Krysta, a fellow knottie. I needed a grooms cake but again was finding ridiculously expensive pricing. When meeting with Brittany and tasting her cakes, I was sold on the taste and the designs on her website. I told her my idea, she sketched up her idea, and it was perfect. My husband loved his surprise and was ecstatic with it, it was also delicious! Brittany also helped me with the actual cake. Our wedding cake was to be gifted to us but in order to save my friend's MIL the hassle, we opted for a fake cake made by brittany and my friends MIL made the sheet cake we passed out to guests. It put some added stress on me a few weeks before the wedding but Brittany was great about it. There was no knowing the cake was fake! It looked beautiful and doing this allowed me to have a bigger cake than I could afford! She is also very responsive, creative, and nice! Photobooth- Color Me Photobooth Grade- A- I won second place in a Facebook contest for this. The contest itself was hell and I don't recommend them to anyone lol, the most stressful thing EVER! I did have an issue with the company after winning second but worked it out in a compromise with the owner. It was important for me to have a REAL photobooth, not pipes with draping and a real photobooth Is what they offered. Two weeks before the wedding, I emailed them to go in an pay my final payment and was told they did not have my contract on file, say what!?!? Luckily I had a copy and they had the photobooth available, they told me they had it on hold for me in their calendar but were just missing the contract (which I hand delivered with my deposit). My caterer said the day of the wedding that they were very nice and professional. The photobooth attendant even helped me chase down my social husband when I wanted a photobooth picture with him lol. We did the scrapbook option and was surprised when we found that hardly anyone went into the booth. I wanted more but that is obviously no fault of the photobooth company. I would recommend them, just make sure you keep a copy of everything!!! Invitations- My bridal shower and wedding invites were both gifted to me by one of my bridesmaids. Little Luxuries is her company and she used to be based out of Miami but uprooted to Boston about two years ago. My invites were BEAUTIFUL for both! Everyone has raved about them and I didn't see the invites until they arrived in the mail as if I were a guest. she currently works for a wedding company on cape cod and doesn't do orders like this anymore, unfortunately. She is/was fabulous! All paper goods except for invites-  Justine with Fabulous Fetes and Events Grade- A+++ Would I recommend her: absolutely! so the paper things were stressful for me to find a vendor. I attempted to contact a vendor recommended here by girls and was disappointed in the lack of communication, which surprised me based on her reviews here. I was friends with Justine previously and knew she was a wedding planner but had no idea she had ventured into paper goods. I guess she saw one of my posts asking for recs and she contacted me! Thank god for that! I loveddddd everything she did for me and it was this that brought my vision together! I was actually so trusting in her that I would just tell her to do what she wants and show it to me before printing! I never changed any of the designs bc I loved them, there may have only been a font style here and there. She was awesome about working with my budget and responsive to everything. I also screwed up on something for our escort cards, she had put on the invoice that they were flat, I wanted tented, I never noticed she had put that and to order more paper would have put me over my budget. It was no fault of hers bc it was in print, I blame it on my bride brain. She actually worked something out by changing the original dimensions and gave me my tented escort cards. They were beautiful and my friends and family loved everything! She also did several paper goods for my bridal shower and I intend on using her forever, for everything paper related! She has an awesome eye for this stuff and my caterer and planner friends were all in love with everything, I love Justine! Wedding planner(s)- ok so this is where it gets complicated. Like I mentioned before, I know A LOT of people in the wedding industry and this left me with 6 wedding coordinators as guests at our wedding. All which helped me immensely throughout the process and who I wouldn't know what I would have done without! I never hired any of them for the actual day of for the reception bc I wanted them to be guests and not work and my caterer served as the coordinator for the reception. But at the ceremony it was all completely different! People commented on how many wedding planners I had lol! I owe them a review bc I love every single one of them and every call, text, question, and meeting for my sanity they did for me did not go unnoticed! I love them and recommend each of them to everyone! They are all responsible, detail oriented, and organized! Vanessa was our main girl for the ceremony and for the time I was getting ready. Natalia organized everything for me at the Biltmore as she also works there and the service we received was amazing! Vanessa also helped me with my entire timeline and both met with me in the beginning to belp me organize my thoughts! Lysette was with me until I walked down the aisle and calmed me like no other while Vanessa and Natalia were inside the church holding down the fort. All the girls, including Vicky and Francesca answered countless emails, calls, and texts of me asking for help and ideas and when I had melt downs and needed guidance. And Sofia although far, helped me with the same.  Vanessa and Natalia- Divine Details  Lysette- Party Girls Vicky- Mia Bella Events and Design Francesca- Events by Francesca Sofia- Little Luxuries (no longer in Miami) HIRE ANY OF THEM!!! Caterer/ANGEL!- Patty, Apple Events Grade- A++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Would I recommend: without a doubt!!!! I tell everyone that I owe my dream wedding to her! She was seriously an angel to me and I am so grateful that I found her! I was able to have the wedding I did because I had her by my side!  She was in charge of my flowers, linens, chairs, chargers, food, servers, bar staff, limo, napkins, glassware, EVERYTHING!!! She is also someone who I now consider like family and every single event in my life will be done through her! Anything I wanted, she said yes! I was also able to get my clear chivari chairs which are expensive! The room was beautiful! And she had a Seperate planner hired by her for the day of the wedding to look after me! This girl was on point and anything I or my hubs wanted, we got! My hubs even lost his wallet and she contacted the limo company and had it back to us in a heartbeat! I annoyed the crap out of Patty and never did she make me feel like she had no time for me. She calmed me down numerous times and always told me everything would work out! I love patty more than I can ever say! I'm not a girl who is into flowers so the bouquets were not a huge concern of mine, shocking I know! I told her to do whatever she wanted with it and what I got was breath taking! Have I mentioned that I love Patty and her team!?!? Words of wisdom! Don't expect anything from ANYONE! This will get you excited about what they do do for you. I was lucky enough to have a few people behind me and ready to help! Constantly show those how grateful you are! But The wedding planning process is a huge eye opener on all relationships in your life! Expect to see the true colors of others! Enjoy your day and do what you and your husband want because at the end of the day that is all that matters! And it really does fly by! I decided not to drink on my wedding day and was glad I didn't bc I took it all in and was on a happy high from the day, I had the time of my life and will forever remember our wedding day! Also, always follow your gut! Patty has bad reviews on wedding wire but I hired her bc my gut told me to do so and like I said, I'm so happy I did! I plan on writing my review of her on wedding wire as well. Good luck in the planning girls! Enjoy it! Hope this helped someone!
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Re: Reviews! Sorry they're long!

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    Thank you for your awesome, detailed reviews! Looks like everything went really really well!

    Congrats again MRS!

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    Awesome reviewsssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very helpful to me!!!! so glad your day came out perfect.... : ) COngrats girl xoxoxox
    "True love is friendship caught on fire" someecards.com - Let's decide who we're inviting to our wedding and who will never speak to us again
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    Congrats on a wonderful wedding! I'm glad everything went well.

    Thank you for the detailed reviews!!
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    Congrats, Mrs! It sounds like everything went as planned. :) 
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    i found my dress at merlili, well acutally lilly found it. loll. she is amazing and the staff is also great, i ended up ordering my bm dresses there too!!!

    im also considering crazy about you for rd. any recommendations on pricign and menu for me??

    and thank you for great cake review, i just emailed brittney!!
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    Congratulations!!!!!  So happy for you!!!!  Thank you for the detailed reviews.  Extremely helpful.
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    Great reviews!! Your pictures on fb look beautiful!! Congrats!
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    Congrats on your wedding and thank you for the reviews!!! Reading them just got me excited for our wedding next month!!
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    Martica14Martica14 member
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    edited February 2012
    Thanks for the awesome reviews!!! Looks like everything went just as planned!!!
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