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VENDOR REVIEWS!!!!!!!!! (entirely too long, my apologies)

Hi ladies!!

 

Below are reviews from my April 24 2010 wedding. They're really long and I got tired but you get the idea. Overall, ALL of my vendors are awesome.

 

A couple of quick tips:

 

1. Plan early. Just plan early!! I was done planning so my last week was (mostly) a breeze.

 

2. Relax on your wedding day. My entire wedding day was calm, amazing, fun and lovely. I spent the whole day with all of my favorite women and loved every second.

 

3. Drink water that whole day. You will get dehydrated.

 

4. Touch up your make-up/hair if you can half way through your wedidng. I never did this and I hate a bunch of the pictures I've seen because I'm a sweaty, gross mess. I danced my ass off and I'm glad I did but I wish I would have touched up so I didn't look so messy. Eh, it was worth it!!

 

5. LOVE YOUR HUSBAND!! My wedding was the BEST night of my life - I have never had so much fun, danced so much, kissed, loved, hugged. Just enjoy every second. Trust me...it's the fastest night of your life. Step back, enjoy it, then get in there and LOVE YOUR HUBBY!! :)



MY HUSBAND Grade: A+++++++++++++++++++++++

 

I can’t say enough how much I love this man. These past 2 weeks have been the best of my life and, while I’m so sad they are over, I’m so entirely thrilled to call Josh my husband. He was so wonderful through my stressful times while the day approached. He is beautiful, lovely and perfect. I adore him, simple!!!

 

 

Rehearsal Dinner & Ceremony/Reception Site - The Embassy Suites, Fort Lauderdale (Grand Ballroom) - Grade: A+

 

Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend this hotel for ANY function. I’ll split it up into a few categories.

 

Hotel/Room Block/Restaurants – This hotel is fabulous. It’s gorgeous, clean, the rooms are recently updated and everyone had a suite. The prices to stay are a BIT high (even with a room block) but worth it. You get a HUGE breakfast every morning included in your stay as well as free drinks from 5:30-7:30 every night. I will say I had a few issues with the hotel block the months leading up to the wedding (I had to continue to call and add rooms, people were told they were sold out when they weren’t, etc) – overall this was frustrating but easy to fix. Also, the pool bar/restaurant was REALLY slow and my friends & family were annoyed. Again, not a huge deal but they should really work on fixing this. Our room was AMAZING – we had the honeymoon suite, which was huge. The hotel staff was SO kind to us and worked to ensure we were happy.

 

Rehearsal Dinner – We invited our entire out of town guest list (about 100 people) to our rehearsal dinner. I wanted it casual and easy…this is exactly what I got! We had pizza, salad, breadsticks, etc. The room we used (the Aqua room) was HUGE and included an outside area. We were able to play our own music and it was a good night. Also – it was SO affordable!!!

 

Ceremony/Wedding – PERFECT. I just can’t say anymore. The ceremony room was small but decorated beautifully and worked well for us. The reception was HUGE, the room was lovely, the food was SO good, the cocktail hour (held in the atrium) was awesome, the drinks were flowing, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things from our guests – some saying it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to. I have to thank the Embassy Suites for that. Kimyatta Evans, my coordinator, was hands down the BEST – just organized, incredibly sweet and kind through my 18 months of planning, and a true friend. She answered all my emails in a timely fashion and always helped me. That weekend, prior to the wedding, I was an anxious and nervous mess – she kept me calm and made it so I was relaxed and happy. Post-wedding, Kim brought everything to our honeymoon suite and made it very easy for us. I can go on and on, but let me say this…. If you are looking for a venue, check out Embassy Suites in Fort Lauderdale. It’s affordable, awesome, and they’ll make you feel like a queen J
 

PhotographerStephanie Sokol Photography - Grade: A (pending pictures)

 

Stephanie is awesome. She is low key, relaxed and has an INCREDIBLE eye. I hired a second photographer (her sister) to help and I have no doubt they rocked our day. I can’t wait to see the pictures!! My ONLY complaint is that she was about 10 minutes late. We were on a really tight schedule so this was a bit frustrating but totally not the end of the world. I know she got the shots I needed. I’ll update if needed but I give her a solid A. Her personality is awesome.

 



Boudoir Pictures - 
Sarah Shulte - Grade: A +

 

She is located in Philadelphia (where I live) but is FREAKING FABULOUS!!!!!!!!! Josh freaked out when he saw my pictures and all my girlfriends were obsessed. I think every woman should do this if they have the chance. It’s so liberating and makes you feel incredible about your body (which, for me, is a huge thing to say.. I have the worst body image ever). I gave this to Josh the day of our wedding (my girlfriends delivered it for me) and he flipped. It was an awesome price too…it included hair, makeup, bed and breakfast location, 2 hours of shooting, a CD of all my pictures AND a book of 30 images).

Rehearsal Dinner Photographer -  Crystal Fielding -Grade A+


SHE IS AWESOME!!!!! I can’t say this enough. Within a few days of the rehearsal dinner, we had our pictures on facebook. I can’t wait to see the CD of the rest. She came early and immediately took pictures. She wasn’t in my face but was always there when I needed her!! I am not photogenic and she managed to get some awesome shots. There are a few I’m already ordering to frame for our house ASAP!! Love love love her.

DJ & Uplighting - Vision DJs - Grade A+

 

AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I can scream thinking about how much I love Jorge A, our DJ. He TOTALLY rocked our wedding. I have NEVER danced that much in my life. Within an hour the bustle on my dress broke and my earrings flew out of my ear. We were dancing our bootys off!!! We gave him a list of all the music we wanted (via the online planner which is the best) and he played it in the best order ever. Seriously, when I tell you that ALL of our 170 guests were dancing, I am not kidding. He had everyone moving and grooving. We’re Jewish and he did a great job – our Horah was one for the books. I can’t praise this company enough. They also provided our uplighting and our pinspotting which made the room GORGEOUS – it was glowing and perfect.

Videographer - My Treasure Films - Grade: A + (pending full video)

 

One of the best vendors I’ve ever come across. Javier is an awesome person. Wonderful with communication, wonderful in person. He arrived early, and that was the last I really “saw” of him. He was never in my face, but seemed to get some amazing footage. Within a week we had our recap and I am obsessed. I love how much you can FEEL the love Josh & I have for each other. Javier also upgraded us to the “gold package” for FREE because we booked him so early (he was my first vendor booked in Jan 2009 for an April 24 2010 wedding). I will update if needed but I know our video will be amazing judging by our recap!

Day Of Coordinator - Letty Gobel (lmgevents) - Grade A +

 

Letty, Letty, Letty. I can’t say her name without smiling. I truly feel like I have a new friend in my life after meeting her. She’s lovely, calm and WORKED our day. If there were any problems, I don’t know because she handled it all. She put together our placecard table, made sure our tables were gorgeous, made the day flow and worked well with Kim (embassy suites coordinator). She also helped me to surprise Josh with an awesome milk & cookie bar (pictures do no justice) – she blew my mind with the awesome set-up. If you hire Letty, your day will be flawless.

Ceremony/Cocktail Hour Music - Master Musicians (Piano & Saxaphone) - Grade: A

 

They were great!! Profesional, on time, and sounded awesome. I hired a sax & piano played for the ceremony & just the sax for the cocktail hour. I think they may have messed up a couple of parts in one of the songs but nothing that our guests noticed. They have great prices and sounded awesome. They even played flute for when I walked in (the sax guy played) so that was beautiful. I was very happy with them.

Rabbi -Jonathon Kaplan (Temple Beth Chai) Grade: A+

 

This man is a ceremony genius. (hahaha). From our very first phone conversation, I knew this rabbi was meant for us. He helped us to customize an awesome ceremony that had our guests in tears. It was the perfect amount of time (about 25 minutes), he explained everything to help our non-Jewish guests understand, and he was funny without being over the top. I was extremely happy with the ceremony and I already have friends telling me they plan to use him.

Linens- Over The Top Linens Grade: A

 

Great prices and awesome and sweet to work with. Kim from Embassy Suites coordinated everything with them so I can’t report much but the room was beautiful so I say that’s a big fat A!

Bridesmaid Dresses -Davids Bridal in Feasterville, PA & Fort Lauderdale, FL Grade: B

 

I had 10 bridesmaids and my mother also bought her dress from them. Overall, the dresses were BEAUTIFUL and the girls looked amazing. Customer service is not the best but they are quick, easy, and the prices can’t be beat. I wanted chocolate brown dresses, I wanted the girls to be comfortable, and I think we succeeded!


Wedding Dress - Coronets Bridal in Feasterville, PA Grade: A

 

I loved my dress. They were awesome to work with, my dress was $700, and they were no pressure. Alterations was expensive and not AMAZING, but overall I am very happy and would recommend this salon again.

Wedding Shoes- www.zappos.com Grade: A

 

I loved my shoes! Very pretty. They hurt a bit so I wore flip-flops but they looked beautiful and zappos is awesome – plus free shipping both ways!!

Bridal Shower Location - Cafe Lombardi's in Horsham, PA Grade: A

 

I know you are all in South Florida so I’ll just say if you’re ever in PA, eat here – they’re awesome and put on a fabulous bridal shower. J

Hotel Block - Bahia Mar in Fort Lauderdale, FL Grade: C

 

I had major issues with this hotel. I will say, at the end of the day, the guests that stayed there were happy with the hotel and the prices couldn’t be beat (I used www.hotelplanner.com and got a rate of $99 a night) – however, their customer service is awful. I tried contacting the hotel for months about finding out how many guests booked and no one called me back. I dropped off our out of town bags to have them hand them out and they were rude and annoyed. I wouldn’t recommend this hotel for a room block.

Hair (all the ladies!) - A'Laison Salon Grade: A

 

Allison and 2 of her assistants came to the hotel. They were early, worked quickly, had awesome prices and were SO sweet. All of the ladies looked beautiful. My hair fell out by the end BUT I was a dancing maniac so I can’t blame anyone but myself.

Make-Up (all the ladies!)- Valarie Stanley Grade: A

Valerie came with an assistant and was AWESOME – I loved her from our first meeting. She uses airbrush make-up and fake lashes and all the ladies and everyone looked STUNNING!!! Again, my make-up didn’t last all night but I was a DANCING MANIAC BRIDE – she made me look beautiful and did exactly what I asked. I’d HIGHLY recommend her!!



Wedding Cake - Edible Creations Grade: A+

 

Lily is the best. Just saying, she’s awesome. Our cake was SO YUMMY, looked beautiful, and I’m so beyond glad we were able to use Edible Creations (included in our package).

 

Flowers - Forget-Me-Not Flowershop Grade: A

 

Kathy is awesome – she totally exceeded my expectations. I loved the flowers. I wanted a simple look – I love calla lilies and never imagined I’d be able to have a reception full of them and be able to afford it. She worked with our budget and totally worked our room – it was so lovely. I wish I could have taken all of the flowers with me!!!

Calligraphy (Invitations/Placecards/table numbers) - Calligraphy by Michele Grade: A +

 

I’M OBSESSED!!! Everything she did for us was gorgeous and her work speaks for itself. Just use her.. seriously, you’ll be happy. Oh, and her prices are sickly cheap. She could charge triple and still have customers pounding down her door.

Photobooth/Sign-In Book
 - Fotos-R-Fun Grade: A+

 

HUGE HIT!!!!!!!!!!!!! My guests went CRAZY for this!!!! We have over 500 photo strips – Greg is awesome. We hired them for 3 hours and also added the photo guest book. By the end of the night, we had a CD of ALL the pictures plus our guestbook beautifully wrapped. I am so glad we hired them, and at $200 an hour it’s well worth it!!

invitations
- Elizabeth Khan Grade: A+

 

Awesome!!!!!!! Our invitations were exactly what I wanted. Classic, simple, lovely. Liz was awesome to work with, she created, printed, everything!! She is located in NYC but does everything via email and ships it all to you – love her and highly recommend!!

Honeymoon
- Couples Negril – Jamaica Grade: A +

 

WORDS CAN’T DESCRIBE!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was the perfect honeymoon. The room, the food, the drinks, the beach, the pool, ALL OF IT!! Just go. Seriously. If you want to see paradise, go. I’m obsessed and can’t wait to go back!!!!!

 

 

Ceremony Programs- Designed, Assembled & Printed by Ebay Seller Justbeachy2000 (Crystal at Arbor Weddings - page for more information) Grade: B+

 

LOVED our programs!!!! They took a while to come in and the order was odd (I wish the thank you note was at the end instead of the beginning) BUT maybe I didn’t specify that?? Either way, awesome price and they were beautiful.

Ketubbah - www.ketubahtree.com Grade: A+

Our ketubbah is GORGEOUS – beyond words incredible. Highly recommend this company!!!

 

(below are from my bio but I figured I’d copy and paste them)

Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands- http://www.bensorkin.com/ 
Josh got my BEAUTIFUL engagement ring from this store located on Jeweler's Row in Philadelphia. One of my closest girlfriends works there and helped Josh along the way... we couldn't be happier with the ring! We will also be getting our wedding bands there! Believe me, I've already looked ;) **Update - on May 23, 2009..we bought our wedding bands from Ben Sorkin as well. My friend, Jaime, helped us (again) to pick out the PERFECT rings... they are unbelievably gorgeous & we can't wait to wear them!! A++++++!!!

Cards to ask Bridesmaids - www.Vistaprint.com
I asked my 10 bridesmaids to be in our wedding using cards I ordered and frames from a local dollar store. Vistaprint was AMAZING - great quality, quick, easy to use and FREE (just shipping!!) A

T-Shirts for Flower Girls and RingBearer -PersonalCreations.com
 I ordered three t-shirts for my nieces and nephew.. they're adorable!! They say flower girl & ring bearer along with their names. Good quality - and good prices in comparison to other sites. A

Wedding Website - www.mywedding.com/">www.mywedding.com
 Simple, easy, and I have received rave reviews!! I can't wait to add more!! A +

Totebags for Bridesmaids - www.etsy.com - seller THREELULUS
 I ordered 10 totebags with the bridesmaids names - the bags are brown & the names are blush pink - they came out perfect! Great quality!! The girls will adore them. A

Handkerchiefs- www.etsy.com - seller MOLLYANDMOM
 I ordered these for my mother & my FMIL - They both came out beautiful! The seller was wonderful to communicate with and gave me several options. I am very happy with the quality & price. A

Single Initial Cake Topper - www.etsy.com - seller EVENTistas
 This was the BEST price I found - she has been very easy to communicate with! This topper is painted and then crystals in the color scheme of your choice are added. I picked clear with hints of pink & brown. I can't wait to see it! **UPDATE** On May 28 2009, I received my gorgeous cake topper in the mail - unfortunately it was broken :( I immediately took a picture and emailed the seller who quickly wrote me back. She apologized and said she will mail me a new one! I feel much better... she did a great job on the first one & I can't wait to get the new one in the mail! *Update, she sent me the new one - it's perfect! It took a LONG time which was frustrating, but it came out great -B

Save The Dates/Photo-Sharing Cards- www.etsy.com - seller MadeByMarisa Marisa created me my IDEAL save the dates (see picture under paper) - she listened to my ideas and helped me create the perfect save the date. She sent the file to me electronically and I printed postcards through vistaprint. HIGHLY RECOMMEND HER! **Update - she also created my Photo-Sharing Cards..simple & perfect. I ordered through vistaprint for $10.97. SO great. A+

Garter- www.etsy.com - seller avysm
 I decided to order a Miami Dolphins garter to surprise Josh - he'll love it! And I'm a huge EAGLES fan so you know I love him too! ;) I'll update my review once it comes in the mail! **Update - it took 3 days to get my garter and it's so pretty!! Made really well and perfect for what I wanted!! Can't beat the price either! ($16.00)  A+


Aisle Runner - www.etsy.com - seller certainlychic
 VERY easy & fast communications - great price - I need a 50 foot aisle runner. She is incorporating pieces of our monogram and colors - I can't wait to see it!! I am having it mailed to Florida. *I haven't seen it yet but my FILs said it's nice, wrapped, and pretty* A

Menu - www.etsy.com - seller clkmtl
Excellent artist!! I asked her to create a menu for my wedding - she delivered!! They're gorgeous. Exactly what I was hoping for - simple and elegant!! I had them printed by Digital Room (I won a contest - only had to pay shipping) - they turned out perfect!! A

"All Because Two People Fell In Love" Sign-www.nevuestudio.com
 After searching high & low (I.E. Target, etc), I googled and came across this website. The price was good and I liked that I could choose colors for the background and writing. Shipping was long, but they stated it would take 2-3 weeks. The sign itself is pretty, but not great. I am annoyed because I feel like I could have made it myself. The writing is pretty, but it's clear that they didn't take their time making the sign. The paint is not to the edges. I also thought it would have a stand, but instead it just came with screws for the wall (this may be my fault, I may have read it wrong). I would look elsewhere if you want to purchase a sign. C

Getting ready Outfit - www.CustomGlamGirl.com
 I ordered 5 items (blue undies that say "Josh's Girl", white terry cloth pants that say "Newlywed", a zip-up hoodie that says "Future Mrs. England" and an outfit for my best friend (shorts and tank) - everything is great quality - word to the wise, the clothes fit true to size! (I got larges when I'm usually a medium and they're all way too big). A

 
Matches- www.theknot.com
 The price was to good to pass up...however shipping was slow. The quality was good!  B

Veil - www.veilshop.com
I ordered my veil and will receive it mid April 2009 - the website was simple and easy to use. I paid $5.00 to have swatches of material & colors sent to me. If you order from them, they give you an automatic $5.00 coupon, so the swatches are essentially free. I will update my grade when I receive the veil! **Update - the veil came in - shipped extremely quick and the price was UNBELIEVABLY reasonable!! The veil is beautiful - the color is gorgeous, it's soft, wrinkle-free and exactly what I wanted. I can't wait to see it with my dress!!  A

Monograms- www.pinkdesignevents.com 
 Nicole was a pleasure to work with - I wanted to incorporate our theme saying (haha) and she was gracious enough to create 6 monograms for us - $20 - can't be that. I love them all and will use each (or at least most of them) - great vendor. I also plan on getting my seating chart & menu from her. A

Wallets for Groomsmen- www.lillianvernon.com
Lissette, a wonderful knottie, pointed me in the right direction & I found our 10 groomsmen (plus my daddy & FI's daddy) gorgeous wallets. They will be personalized with their initials. We are going to put lottery tickets in them - I think they are perfect gifts!! I can't wait to see them in person!! A

Thank you Notes for Bridal Shower www.thestationarystudio.com
A fellow knottie passed this site on to me - THANKS VICKI! They were running a special - buy 1, get 1 - on many products. I ended up getting 100 thank you notes for the price of 50. They are beautiful ecru folding notes. The front says "Courtney & Joshua" in brown writing. I love them! I will order more from this site. It was fast, easy & great quality.
A

OOT Bags- www.cheaptotes.com
 A fellow knottie passed this site on to me - THANKS ANDRA! They were running a special - and I was able to get 50 natural colored totes (the bigger size) for about $1.14 a tote (after shipping and taxes!) - I am hoping I ordered enough. I am planning on putting (DIY) tags and ribbon in chocolate brown and pink to bring in our wedding colors. I love that our guests will be able to re-use this bag rather then throw it away. I am going to put a welcome letter, water, and Tylenol in there. I don't want to put too much because we're also having a hospitality suite which is have lots of food and water for the weekend! I will update once they are shipped. **Update** They are awesome quality !! A

Iron-On Rhinestones for Shirts
- www.jubileerhinestones.com
 I decided I wanted to try making my bridesmaids, mom and (future) mother-in-law shirts that said bridesmaid to wear the day we got ready. I found this site through a fellow knottie...they have great prices! I plan on buying shirts from walmart ($2-$3 a piece) so it will cost about $6 a shirt.. not too shabby and MUCH cheaper then what I found elsewhere to purchase them already made!
A

Kippahs- www.yarmulkes.com
 I I have been searching the internet for the best prices - I stumbled upon this website. I ended up ordering 9 dozen light pink satin kippahs inscribed with "Wedding of Courtney & Joshua April 24 2010". I can't wait to see them in person -- I'll update my review once I see them! (They ended up costing $13.50 a dozen plus $10 shipping - this was about $2.00 cheaper a dozen). P.S. I hope I ordered enough!! **Update** They are GORGEOUS! Great quality, I love them!!
A

Flowergirl Dresses & Ringbearer Tuxes- www.mygirldress.com
I am SO in love with the dresses and tuxes. It took a while to receive them (about 6 weeks) and they forgot to include one of the dresses in my order. This was quite frustrating (and the reason for the lower grade) - however...the dresses are gorgeous. They are great quality and so beautiful. The tuxes are also amazing - I can't wait to see all the kiddies in their wedding attire!! I'd recommend this site if you have enough time to deal with slow shipping. Just an FYI, the prices can't be beat.
B+

Candles/Votives - www.candles4less.com
 Great prices - I ordered 216 unscented ivory candles along with 216 amber votives. Shipping was expensive but I expect it's because they package them as not to break! I'm excited to see them.

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Re: VENDOR REVIEWS!!!!!!!!! (entirely too long, my apologies)

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