So...I'm a slacker but I finally wrote my vendor reviews. Some of them are kind of long, sorry. My photographer also posted some teasers on her blog if you want to check them out!
It's www. parkersevents.blogspot.com (sorry for the lack of a clicky link...I suck at that).
Memorial Park (ceremony) - B+
The only reason I don’t give Memorial Park and A is because of the City of Jacksonville parks department. I had a very difficult time getting my permit. It took way longer than it was supposed to (luckily I applied a long time in advance) and when I tried to contact someone about it I was shuffled around to several different people. Once I got the permit, everything was great. The park is beautiful and in a great location. It’s very clean and safe. Since it’s a public park there are usually people around but everyone was polite and respectful of the wedding.
Friday Musicale (reception) - B+
Friday Musicale is a beautiful venue and you will be hard-pressed to find another venue in this price range in Jacksonville. In addition, besides the tables and chairs, you bring in everything yourself so this was great for a budget wedding. It’s a little older but it’s clean and kept up very well and has ample parking. My only complaint is the staff. Barbara, the woman who handles events, is very sweet but she is extremely forgetful and often confuses information so you have to stay on top of her. The maintenance man that they had there the night of the wedding was somewhat rude to my family when they were cleaning up and the woman who came to help him was even worse. On a positive note, the new director (it’s under new management) called my mother to apologize. In my opinion, the price was worth the small issues with the employees, and these issues may change as the building is under new management and seems to be making some major changes in other areas.
Fringe Salon (hair and makeup) – A+
I cannot say enough nice things about Fringe Salon. Sasha and Larry (the owners) are wonderful. Sasha did my hair and Larry did my makeup (along with all the other bridesmaids and my mother) the day of, but they also had their entire staff on hand to do all of the other bridesmaids. They essentially closed the shop to accommodate my wedding party and had mimosas ready to go! They are extremely professional and very open to input which was great. I didn’t feel like I couldn’t be honest if I didn’t like the way my hair or makeup looked. Their prices were also very reasonable. I would absolutely recommend them to another bride.
Kakes by Katie (wedding cake) – A+
Katie of Kakes by Katie was a pleasure to work with. Since I don’t live in Jacksonville and wasn’t able to do a formal tasting before booking her she was able to get me some samples through Parker’s Events while I was in town. Later on she was able to schedule a last minute tasting since I happened to be in town again. The cake was exactly as I imagined and tasted amazing. She also was able to accommodate a last minute flavor change after the date specified on the contract for changes without any additional charges. Her prices were also very reasonable.
David’s Bridal @ The Avenues(wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses) – B+
I ordered my dress, veil, and bridesmaid dresses through David’s Bridal. I had no problems with my dress or the bridesmaid dresses, but when I got my veil home and took it out of the bag, several of the pearls fell off. I brought it back asking for a refund and they refused. They brought it back to the alterations department and glued the pieces back on that had fallen off for no charge but I was still unhappy. I was very disappointed by the quality of the veil and while I understand there are no returns I would have preferred a credit than to keep the veil.
Lynne Vincent to Wear (alterations) – A+
Lynne Vincent was amazing. My dress fit like a glove and she was able to fit me in whenever I happened to be in town. The bustle on my dress was beautiful and held perfectly through the entire wedding. I was very pleased with the cost for the amount of work that she did and will definitely use her for future alterations.
Parker’s Events (florals and centerpieces) – A+
My flowers and centerpieces were amazing! My bouquet was absolutely beautiful. Tammy took all of my input and made my dream bouquet. The other bouquets were also exactly what I wanted. The centerpieces at the reception were more than I could have imagined. Tammy did an amazing job of integrating the cranes that we had folded into the centerpieces without overwhelming the flowers. They were perfect and her prices were great!
Parker’s Events (photography) – A+
While I’ve only seen a few teasers, I am extremely happy with Parker’s Events. Tammy did our engagement photos and my boudoir photos and they came out beautifully. The day of Frank and Tammy were extremely professional and worked extremely hard to work around the extreme wind. Their camera bag with their extra batteries and memory cards was accidentally taken by a guest and Tammy had to run to the store to buy more and yet they never missed a beat. I didn’t even know there was a problem. They made sure to get all of my must-have photos and family photo requests and I have every confidence that the pictures will be beautiful. The package that they provide for the price is excellent.
Sonny’s Bar-B-Q – A+
Gloria the catering manager was extremely helpful. She was able to help us put together a package that worked perfectly for us. In addition, she reduced the cost per person for some of the items that we did not need that were offered with the base package. She also made special arrangements for us to use their hot boxes the day of the wedding so that we could keep the food hot for longer at no extra cost. The day of the wedding the food was delivered on time and was delicious. The only complaint I have is that the sandwich rolls were missing (although we did have cornbread and dinner rolls) and they forgot to pick up the hot boxes after the wedding (meaning we had to take them home with us) and then it took a while for us to get in contact with someone to pick them up. It turned out that there was some confusion since Gloria was unexpectedly out of the office (through no fault of her own) and the catering department was having difficulty without her. To make up for the inconvenience Sonny’s sent us multiple gift certificates for dinner. Even with the problems our experience was a complete pleasure.
Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront – B+
The hotel is very nice. Antonia Hale handled our group reservation and was very helpful.
Bella Limos – A+
Sam, the owner of Bella Limos, was extremely professional. He called my mother and I to touch base, make sure we didn’t have any questions or concerns, and to re-confirm dates and times. The driver was on time, extremely professional, and the limo was clean and beautiful. They were also able to accommodate multiple pickups and drop offs without a problem. His pricing was also much better than other companies that I had looked at.
Koja Sushi @ The Jacksonville Landing (rehearsal dinner) – A
The owner of Koja Sushi, John, was great to work with. We were originally set up to sit outside on the patio but with the cold weather he was able to accommodate us inside with very few problems. In addition, there had been some miscommunication about the date of the rehearsal dinner (my fault) and he was able to get things together last minute. The spread of food was amazing and all of our guests were happy. He also gave us a gift certificate as a wedding gift which was very thoughtful. The only reason I don’t give them an A+ is because of the main server that was taking care of us. She was extremely confused most of the time and had a lot of difficult dealing with the drink tabs afterward (we covered limited alcohol) even though they were explained beforehand. The server assisting her was great but it still caused some frustration at the end of the night.
Vistaprint (save the dates) – A
With all the discounts and free products, you can’t beat using Vistaprint. The only reason they don’t get an A+ is that the color in person was a little different than it appeared on the computer. I was still happy with it but it was not quite what I wanted.
GT Party Rental (china and chairs) – A
We picked up the china to save some money but everything was as it was supposed to be. The chairs were delivered and picked up on time and were very nice. The only reason I give them an A is that they called us (and my planner) after we had already returned the china claiming that it had not been returned causing some confusion and stress.
Connie Duglin Linens (tablecloths and chair covers) – A
The linens and chair covers were exactly as they were supposed to be and the saleswoman was very helpful. We had no problems.