New York-Hudson Valley

Vendor reviews - July 30, 2011

My husband and I are so happy with how the day turned out. There is not a thing we would change. Everything was truly perfect, including the weather, which I worried about the day the 10 day forecast became available! haha

Venue: Patriot Hills, Stony Point, NY – A+
From day one the staff at Patriot Hills was a pleasure to work with. They accommodated us in every way possible, including customizing a package that would allow us to stay within our budget. I worked most directly with Gina and she was always available to answer my questions and give me any input that I needed. The day of the wedding I was blown away by the venue, the décor, the food, and by Mary, our Maitre’d. Mary was incredible! Every time I turned around she was right there with a glass of champagne for me and a Guinness for my husband. She made sure we ate and even sent food home with us. We are so glad we got married at PH. They exceeded our expectations!  

Photographer: Nicole Wagner, Custom by Nicole, Matamoras, PA – A+

One word: AMAZING!!!! I can’t rave enough about her work. She is incredibly talented and has an amazing eye for photography. She did our engagement and wedding pictures and we were completely blown away both times. She is laid back and easy to work with. She was very easy to communicate with via phone and email and was always available to answer the many questions that I had. Additionally, her prices were very reasonable. She was one of the least expensive photographers we found, which is amazing for the work she does. For the quality of her work, I am surprised she doesn’t charge more. The turn around time for photos is very fast. We had our engagement photos a week after the shoot and we had our wedding pictures (all 1,100 of them!) after returning from our two week honeymoon. Additionally, she did not charge us a travel fee for our engagement or wedding pictures.   

Officiant: Jeanne Stark, owner of Hudson Valley Ceremonies, Rhinebeck, NY – A+

Jeanne was an absolute pleasure to work with! She was our wedding officiant, conducted our rehearsal and we ordered invitations from her. From day one she was helpful and prompt to give feedback and answer questions. We emailed reguarly, and she was even willing and available to meet whenever we needed to. She helped us customize our nondenominational ceremony to fit our vision. Not only were prices at HVC were the most affordable that we were able to find, but when you sign a contract you are able to receive discounts on invitations, favors and the honeymoon (though we chose to plan our honeymoon ourselves). When we met with Jeanne to order our invitations we took over 3 hours going through all the books until we finally made a decision... throughout that whole process she was incredibly patient with us. On the day of the wedding when I forgot our marriage license at the hotel, guess who drove back to get it?? Yes, Jeanne. She is simply amazing. We love her and so did our guests. So many people commented on how beautiful and personal our ceremony was! 
Hair & makeup: Nicole Francavilla, Beauty by Nicole, Chester NY –  A+ Nicole’s work is incredible! I had two hair trials (I paid for a second one to see how my style would hold up in the heat and humidity since I have very curly and frizz prone hair) and one makeup trial. From the first time I met her, I knew I loved her work. Because I had such a large bridal party, it was decided she would bring along another stylist. Nicole did mine and my sister/MOH’s makeup and hair for 4 of us. The other stylist, Janine, did the hair for 6 girls. Everyone looked amazing and I have never felt more beautiful. My hair and makeup lasted for more than 12 hours (pictures, wedding, and partying after). I will say that her work is pricey, but I have yet to find a stylist whose work isn’t. She is worth every penny!  
DJ & uplighting: Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style, Poughkeepsie, NY – A+DJ Bri did the music for our ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. He also brought the necessary equipment to play the slideshow that my husband made and customized an uplighting color for us. He was the probably our most easy going vendor. He was very easy to talk to and always available via phone and email. He took the time to get to know us and that was apparent in his song choices during cocktail hour and the reception. Plus, he was willing to meet with us three times to discuss music and uplighting. He adhered to our “must play” and “do not play” song lists and the songs he chose on his own fit our tastes perfectly. Everyone raved about the music!Bri’s prices were very affordable. We did a lot of research and spoke to a couple of different DJ companies, but he was the only DJ we chose to meet with. We liked knowing that the person we met with was the one who was going to be at a wedding… that’s not always the case with DJ companies.Upon meeting him, we knew he was perfect for us. He did everything he said he would, there were no surprises and never a bump in the road. The only thing I would change is having a longer Hora. We hate organized dances and chose not to have any at our wedding, except for the Hora and Tarantella (for our families). DJ Bri did a mix of the two for us, but the Hora portion was only like a minute long. My family complained about that, but honestly, it’s nothing worth dwelling over, and it sure wouldn’t affect Bri’s rating! 
Florist: Lee Vazquez, Lee Vazquez Floral Design, Piermont, NY – ALee’s work and creativity deserve an A+, but I gave her an A because I found her to be short and snippy with me via email. I haven’t heard anyone else say that about her, so maybe it’s because I ask more questions and am more indecisive than most brides, but IMO, a wedding vendor should be used to that. She wasn’t always short and snippy. When we first met her and for the first couple of months she was great. I was blown away by her work! When the personal flowers arrived at the hotel (she delivered them herself, which I really liked!) I cried, they were so beautiful! My bouquet was amazing, as were the MOH, bridesmaids, mother and grandmother corsages and men’s boutonnieres! From the beginning, I knew what I liked and disliked, but I never really had vision. Somehow, Lee made the vision, that I didn’t even know I had, come to life! I was later blown away again when we arrived at the ceremony and reception site. She made garland for the chuppah that my husband built, which was beautiful yet simple and tasteful. The centerpieces were the most beautiful ones I have ever seen (and I knew they would be because she made us a sample free of charge). She also made our cake topper and added floral accents to our escort card table. Everything was just so classy and beautiful! Additionally, my handyman husband was adamant about building our chuppah, and Lee was the only florist that would even consider decorating a chuppah other than her own. Every other florist we met with immediately shot down the idea, as it is a liability, and while Lee was hesitant at first, after meeting with my husband and seeing his sketch, she agreed. The only stipulation was that he had to assemble it the morning of the wedding, but we completely understood why. If anything went wrong, she didn’t want to be held liable, as she shouldn’t be.  
The Town Shop, Poughkeepsie, NY --  A (dress), A+ (alterations), B- (service)I will do this one another day. I wrote the entire document in Word and saved this for last. As I typed my last sentence my computer froze and I lost this review. It was looooooooooooooooong and I don’t have the energy for it right now.   
Transportation: Starlight Limousine, Blauvelt, NY – B+They were not our nicest vendors. While they always answered our questions and got back to us, in person, on the phone and via email they were always abrupt and seemed busy or preoccupied. Despite all of that, we signed a contract because of their convenient location and price. They were the most affordable company we found, for the service we selected. The day of the wedding both vehicles arrived early and the drivers were very nice to us and our guests.

Hotel: Comfort Inn & Suites, Nanuet, NY – A+Convenient location and very easy to work with. The rooms were nice and clean and we loved our (free!) bridal suite. It was large enough for 10 of us to hang out while having our hair and makeup done. They kept their bar open late for us so we could continue partying after the wedding. This was great until one of our guests started a fight the bartender and we all had to leave. I can’t hold that against the hotel… Oh, and as a last minute decision we did some pre wedding photos in the lobby and they turned out AMAZING! It was probably the best decision we made that day!

Re: Vendor reviews - July 30, 2011

  • edited December 2011
    Ooh, I am using Lee for my flowers too (next month, eee!), so I am stoked to learn that yours came out came out so well!!  I don't live in the area, and I can't just swing by and get a sample bouquet (I booked her solely based on her reputation), so it's a relief to know that despite the fact that I don't know exactly what I'll end up with, it will most likely be beautiful. :-)   I'm glad your day in general was awesome, too.  Congratulations!! :-)

    BabyName Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks so much. If you would like to see pictures of the flowers, let me know, I'd be happy to email you. Congrats on your upcoming marriage. The next month is going to FLY!
  • kristinanddankristinanddan
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Congratulations! Mary was a really great maitre 'd, and I'm glad you had a wonderful time.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks Kristin! Smile
    Mary was absolutely amazing!!! Everything was just so great!
  • edited December 2011
    I would love to see some pics of your flowers, Shari! Check your PMs for my email address. :-)

    BabyName Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for the info on your officiant!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Shelly030Shelly030
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thanks so much for the review!  Happy to hear everything with PH went perfectly!  We are also using DJ Bri so it was nice to see another good review.  Congratulations!
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks everyone! I'm glad my reviews were helpful  :)
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