Vendor reviews - 11.18.11 Prepare for a wall of text!

First off: My planning bio is www.mks11.weebly.com/">www.mks11.weebly.com

Our wedding was awesome.  It was exactly what we wanted and I wouldn't change anything about the ceremony or reception.  I was a little stressed in the morning because I was trying to keep everyone on task... but that's just my personality also.

1.  Get a DOC.
2.  Relax.  If you are having a good time, others will follow suit.  That is the best advice that I got from anyone about the wedding.
3.  Do your pictures before the ceremony.  I'm not trying to be bossy, but if you don't mind being a little unconventional it's a great time saver.  It's also less stressful and I feel like we got better pictures because we had more time to do them.
4.  Have faith in your vendors.  This is their job.  If you took the time researching them and figuring out the perfect vendors for you, then let them do their thing!  Don't micro-manage.
5.  Try to spend time with your family.  The one regret I have from the wedding is that I didn't take time during the day to just sit with my grandparents who DROVE from Louisiana to come to the wedding... I feel bad for that =(


Wedding Planner - Every Event Elegant, Heather Hanselmann

Grade: A
Review: I would recommend every bride hire a wedding planner.  Even if it is just for day of coordinating!  There is so much to think of and handle, you need a second brain.

Heather did everything that she was paid to do and then some.  She took it upon herself to figure out how to decorate our ceremony space.  She created a custom aisle runner for us and even stayed late into the night the night before the wedding and night of the wedding to set up the venues and to tear them down after everyone else had gone home.  She had an issue with one of her assistants being sick but quickly found a solution to the problem and if I hadn't known her personally, would have been none the wiser. 

Several of our vendors, I would not have ever found if it were not for Heather.  She did a marvelous job of researching vendors within our vision and budget for the wedding and then presenting those options to us.  We then were able to schedule consultations and tasting and meetings with the ones that struck our fancy.  She was great at facilitating all that we required.  I feel that we had some awesome vendors and most of those would not have even been on our radar if not for Heather.

There were many times when I just needed someone to help me fluff tulle balls and Heather was very willing to help out.  She even took some of the materials home with her and finished more there.  Many of the DIY projects that I had on my list would not have been completed without her.

Nutshell: Totally worth every cent that we paid her! Do it! ;)

Ceremony Venue - Doubletree - Worthington

Grade: B-
Review: We had a slight issue with understanding here.  When we first talked to them about what we would need for our wedding, they had said they would be totally able to accomodate us.  We wanted to have shuttles to get guests from the ceremony to the reception and back.  It isn't far, literally across the street from each other.  And the event lady at the hotel said that would not be a problem.

We were under the impression that this would not be an issue even after we sent the invitations out.  We said in the invitations that a shuttle would be available for guests.  A few weeks before the wedding (that's right, weeks...) we were informed that the hotel does not have enough shuttles to accomodate our guest list.

In short, we ended up scrapping the shuttles all together and it turned out to not inconvenience many people... but it was very stressful and could have been bad if we'd had more people planning on staying at the hotel.

Reception Venue - The Jessing Center

Grade: B
Review:  This is a great venue! The grounds are beautiful and make for fantastic pictures!  The reason I gave the venue a bad grade is that Mass Appeal is the only caterer they allow there.

I can't wait to see our pictures from the wedding because this venue was amazing =)

Caterer - Mass Appeal

Grade: C-
Review: Ok.  I have mixed feelings about this vendor.  Our wedding day went very well.  The reception was exactly what we wanted and we didn't have any problems that day.  We did, however, have problems before the wedding day.

My father and stepmother (who paid for an incredibly high percentage of the wedding) live out of state.  We wanted to have a tasting with them so that they could taste the food we were planning on having at the reception.  I discussed this with the catering manager and we planned a date for it.  After setting the date for the private tasting, my parents scheduled plane tickets and re-worked work schedules so that they would be in town for said tasting.  We also planned a few other appointments with vendors around the same time so that we could make good use of our time.

Leading up to the tasting, I discussed with the catering manager what the menu for the tasting would be.  When we initially talked about the tasting, she gave us no limits on what we could try.  There was no specific number given to us.  We were told to let them know what we wanted to taste and they would make it happen.  I sent her the list of items we wanted to try at the tasting and was quickly told that the list I gave her was far too much for a private tasting.  We ended up paring the menu down to about half of what we originally wanted to try. 

I am not an unreasonable person.  If I had been given a guideline on the amount of food they would like us to try at the tasting, I would have worked within that guideline.  Instead, a menu was presented and shot down (with a bit of snootiness and attitude, I might add).

Well, this is all kind of a moot point, as the tasting never happened.  We (me, my then fiancee, and my parents who had flown in for this specific meeting) went to the catering hall and were prompt, early even!  And were greeted by an empty building.  The catering manager never put our tasting on the company's calendar and hadn't bothered to inform the staff that there was a tasting scheduled for that day.  They tried really hard to make up for it... the owner of the company came to the venue and gave us a tour and tried to soothe my father's rising temper.  We were all very close to going to our next pick venue and writing a check.  They did give us a few things for free: They offered us a couple gratis appetizers at the reception and allowed us to use the upgraded dance floor free of charge.  But nothing really took away the bad taste I had in my mouth for them...

I am sure this is not what happened, but this is how I felt: With all the issues we had while discussing the menu for the tasting and all the back and forth conversations which included attitude, I really felt like the catering manager just didn't want the tasting to happen.  It was one of those things that when we showed up and no one was there I said to myself "Of COURSE there's no one here. That's just effing perfect!"

So yeah... the wedding day was beautiful and they made for us what we wanted...but it was not without huge hurtles along the way and lots of pushing.

Cake - Enticing Icings, Cindy Patrick

Grade: A
Review: Cindy created our cake for our engagement party in January as well as the groom's cake (a giant chipotle burrito), the wedding cake and delicious cookies for a snack for our guests!  The cake was always absolutely delicious and moist and perfect!  She never freezes her cakes and you can totally tell =)

Flowers - Petals and Leaves, Dee Conrad

Grade: A+
Review: My bouquet was beautiful.  Absolutely perfect.  It was exactly what I asked for and was sturdy enough to withstand all the abuse it received that day!  The bridesmaid's bouquets and the bouts for groomsmen and family were awesome and I couldn't find a flaw in anything that we got from Dee.  She's awesome and I would recommend her to anyone.

DJ -  Ryan Smith

Grade: A+
Review: Ryan is the best DJ EVAR!!  We told him the music we like and wanted to hear on the day of and he made magic from there.  We didn't give him more than 10(ish) specific songs for the reception and he went from there and created a mix for us that kept people on the dance floor the whole night.  I had several guests come up to me and comment on how great the music was and that they loved that song that was just played!  He was always great at getting back to us with any questions and definitely knows his craft.  I hope that we can use his services again in the future.  He was great to work with =)

Photography - David Beckham Photography

Review:  I'm not going to give Dave a grade yet, but I will say this:  He did a great job on our engagement pictures and was very good at keeping to our timeline for pictures on the day of.  I know we got some great shots and I can't wait to see them!!

Photobooth - Infinity Photobooth

Grade: A+
Review: Every single one of our guests commented on how great of an idea this was!  I would suggest a photobooth to anyone!! The folks at infinity gave us a fantastic price and did everything that they said they would.  These pictures were amazing.  They were available online to us and our guests the day after the wedding and they also put together a scrapbook that we used in lieu of a guest book.  Guests were able to leave little messages or sign their names under their photo strips in this scrapbook.  It is put together beautifully also.  We will definitely have this on display in our home.  It is awesome!  Probably my favorite purchase for the wedding!

Hair - Shannon Goode
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Grade: A+
Review: Shannon does amazing work!  My hair is really thick and was really long for the wedding.  I wanted it down and with big romantic curls.  That's a very tall order with my hair because my hair does NOT like to hold a curl!  Somehow, Shannon was able to make my hair look fantastic AND it stayed all night long!!  The curls fell slightly but not nearly as much as expected! I would totally recommend her to anyone that asked.

Make-up - Kelli Ramey

Grade: B
Review: My make-up was beautiful.  She did a good job and she did a few other people in the party and family. 

She had to leave early because she wasn't feeling well and didn't do one of the bridesmaids that had already paid her.  She refunded her but didn't do her make-up.  No opinion there! Just facts!

My Dress and Bridesmaids dresses - David's Bridal

Grade: D+
Review: They get the lowest grade and there are MANY reasons for that...  My dress was perfect.  I got it on sale.  However, they refused to do the alterations that I wanted.  This seemed absurd to me, considering we had purchased the dress and were going to pay for these alterations.... but alas, they refused.  The alterations that I wanted were to put a corset back into the dress that I purchased which came with a zippered back and to have pockets cut into the dress.  They agreed to do the corset back (at an extremely high price... I might add.) but would not do the pockets because it "changes the silhouette of the dress".... So I took it to another tailor.

Then we can talk about the bridesmaids.... We chose the seperates for the ladies.  The top was the ruched satin halter and the bottom was the long satin A-line skirt.  There were six ladies in my bridal party and only 2 of them received the correct bottom and top combination.  It was never really confirmed what the issue was or why they were not shipping the correct dresses... but the entire process needs reworked.

Next we can address the trip I took with my in-laws for their dresses!  It was me with my sister-in-laws and mother-in-law (Mother of the Groom, Bridesmaid and Junior Bridesmaid) and we were there to find MIL a dress and the other two to order theirs.  The sales associate that "helped" us was somewhat less than helpful.  We wanted a dress for MIL that was black, gray or silver... which I didn't think would be very difficult.  But apparently that was quite a tall order!  She brought us dresses that were the wrong color, dresses that couldn't be ordered in time for our wedding and dresses that were far better suited for a woman much older than my MIL... she ended up with a dress that was navy blue and fit her amazingly!! She looked like a queen on our wedding day.. but it was really no thanks to anyone at David's...

Tuxes - Men's Warehouse

Grade: A+
Review: This is probably the easiest review of all of them.  All of the tuxes fit and looked amazing.  We had so many people in our wedding party that Mike actually got his rental free AND a free suit to boot!  All of the tuxes came with all the pieces they were supposed to and the guys all looked very sharp.  There were only 2 minor issues: One of the groomsmen felt their shoes did not fit correctly and we lost a button off of a coat.  I don't feel that those things merit a lower grade since they were probably avoidable on our side.
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Re: Vendor reviews - 11.18.11 Prepare for a wall of text!

  • edited December 2011
    Congrats on your big day and thanks for sharing the reviews!!
  • edited December 2011
    Awesome! Glad you had a seemingly good day!
    Sucks about the caterer!

    Great advice. I am a little turned off that Kelli didn't just suck it up for one more BM. Lame!
    This solidified my decision not to hire her.
  • jnkreagerjnkreager member
    edited December 2011

    I am so happy that your wedding day went smoothly!!  I feel the exact way that you do about your caterer though...even if everything is A++++ on my wedding day, their attitude and communication along the way has been so bad that I will never want to recommend them...
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  • BAYB153BAYB153 member
    edited December 2011

    I have a quick question. We are using Infinity photobooth as well for our June wedding. What types of props did they supply? Were there enough in quantity and variety, or did you and your hubby bring more?

  • edited December 2011
    Here's the link to our online album from Infinity:

    They did have a lot of props, we brought our own though... mostly because I'm a control freak =x ha!
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  • edited December 2011
    Katy, congrats on your wedding, it sounded like a fantastic day!  Not to stir up drama at all, but I'm just curious.  Was the girl that Kelli didn't do the makeup on contracted or was she an add on the day of the wedding?  I'm just asking because from what I've gotten to know of Kelli, she doesn't seem like the type to just leave someone high and dry if they were under contract, so I'm wondering if the bridesmaid decided that morning to get her makeup done.  Kelli must've been sicker than a dog to have not done her makeup because I know she LOVES what she does.  Anyway, like I said I was just curious since that's not like her.

    @GApeach, if you come back to this thread and read this, I urge you not to dismiss Kelli based on this.  Not only will she make you look flawless and at your best, but she also has a fun type of personality that will put you at ease on your wedding day.

    Sorry, just had to come to her defense because I know she's a good person Tongue out 
  • edited December 2011

    No, she wasn't contracted.  It was a big deal because she told her that she would do her make-up and even took her money (she gave it back) and said nothing more until literally 5 minutes before she left.  If said bridesmaid had known that she was going to be doing her own make-up, she would have started prepping for that but she was waiting for her turn with Kelli.

    As I said in my review: She did a great job on the people that she did complete.  It was just very frustrating that she just up and left...

    I also like Kelli as a person, I just don't want to feel bad when another bride six months down the road says the same thing happened to them and I said nothing.

    I don't feel that my review was unfair in the least towards her.  I simply gave the facts and graded her according to what I felt she deserved for the service she provided.

    I was very pleased with my make-up on our wedding day.  However, she did cause unnecessary stress for us.  If she wasn't feeling like she could do anyone more than who we contracted for, then she should not have said that she would and taken her money.  I feel that if you say you are going to do something, you should.  I know that she wasn't feeling well, I understand that.  I am glad that she pulled it together enough to do my make-up.  I am thankful for that.  That is why she got a B.

    I'm not going to change my review... as this is exactly why we do reviews: so that other brides get the honest opinions of brides that have been there/done that.  If we gave everyone A+++++'s there would really be no point, yes?

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  • ininmdmaininmdma member
    edited December 2011
    Who did you end up getting to do the alterations on your wedding dress? I plan on having pockets put in mine if at all possible (not that I have it yet...), and would be interested in a review of your experience.
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  • edited December 2011
    Oh no, I wasn't trying to argue with you at all. Reviews are always helpful to other brides, but like I said, I was just curious since I know Kelli works really hard at what she does and it was just odd to read a review of her that was less than stellar since everyone is always satisfied with her. Oh well, glad you had an awesome day!
  • edited December 2011
    ininmdma! I used Linda Hammond and she's awesome! I'll get her contact info for you when I get home =)  I'm at work tonight. Sorry =(

    She put pockets in my dress and they were amazing... people commented on that so much lol.  I had my vows in my pocket and pulled them out and everyone was like "OMG! THAT'S THE COOLEST THING EVAR!" lol
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  • edited December 2011
    first, congrats on your wedding!! Glad you felt most everything was wonderful. I'm commenting because I am bothered by your review of Kelli Ramey. I have worked with Kelli several times personally and professionally. She did the makeup for my engagement pictures and my entire wedding party - and even came to the ceremony hours after we all had our makeup done to do touch-ups - something we had not put in the contract. Furthermore, I work as a producer for a large commercial company and I hire Kelli regularly as the makeup artist and have never had a bad experience or complaint about her. I have always found her to be incredibly reliable and her work is impeccable. Personally, I certainly would never hire someone sub-par for my wedding events and professionally, I would never hire someone that could possibly effect my job - Kelli is not that person. She is top of the line and I would recommend her to anyone. Your review is unfortunate because it seems you were more disappointed that she could not fulfill your last minute request that was beyond your agreement, rather than her ability to do what you contracted her for - makeup application. The makeup application that you credited as "beautiful".
  • edited December 2011
    Katy: I had no intention of making waves. Your opinion is what it is; I was simply stating my opinion as you were. I am infact a bride. Not that I need to justify it to you, but because you felt compelled to support your "theory" here's my "proof": I was married on Sept. 24 at Franklin Park Conservatory and my wedding is being featured on Capital Style's website right now and will be in their bride issue coming out soon. Feel free to check it out: http://www.capital-style.com/content/slideshows/2011/12/kate-matt

    I don't have a picture or a full profile because I created my wedding profile with a different online vendor. I was on the knot looking at a friend's profile when I came across your review and wanted to speak up on behalf of someone's work I believe in. No conspiracy here, sorry.
  • edited December 2011
    Well that makes me feel a little bit better lol
    Sorry I'm a little bit on edge... I'm getting a lot of flak for this stupid review... all I'm saying is what happened :sigh:
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  • pharmgirl1024pharmgirl1024 member
    edited December 2011
    I'm sorry, this is getting ridiculous, and I just can't take it anymore.

    @katy0293: You should not feel bad about putting up an honest review. This is what we future brides DEPEND on to make our educated decisions on who to use for ourselves and our weddings.

    To all of those coming to Kelli's defense: based on the things that you all are saying, it would definitely seem as though you were sent by the vendor to try to do damage control. I'm fairly certain that I speak on behalf of all of the brides here when I say that, when we look at vendors, we look at more than one review to get a better picture of the vendors. A "B" is NOT a bad review. Even, when reading the written review that Katy wrote, it is not bad just HONEST. Also, you absolutely cannot please 100% of your customers 100% of the time. That is just part of being in a customer service industry. The vendor should take this review and focus on both the good and the bad and work on ways to keep the same thing from happeneing again, thus preventing future review like this one. Simple. As. That.
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  • Thanks so much for sharing! Everyone's review Shannon Goode is that she's amazing. I'm trying to pick someone to do my hair so this was so helpful!
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