Vendor reviews for a budget wedding in Central New Jersey:
Venue: Park Avenue Bistro in Freehold: A- : Without a doubt, the Park Ave Bistro is a laid back and affordable venue option. They took care of us from start to finish – even when we changed the menu up only a couple of weeks before the wedding! Matt is awesome and Chef Mike is really creative. It was nice to work with a venue that isn’t a wedding factory and still took care of our wedding professionally. This is a great place for a small or medium wedding (less than 120).
Photobooth: Photos R Fun: B+: http://photosrfun.vpweb.com/default.html After a different photobooth company cancelled on me two weeks before the wedding, I was ready to give up on having a photobooth. But then I found this affordable photobooth and decided to go for it! I’m so glad I did! Steve was friendly and the company is so easy to work with. I made my own props and got to keep all of the duplicates of the photo strips. Great memories!
DJ: Bob Kern: A: Bob came up with a great set list and made sure that my guests danced all night long. He was upbeat and kept everyone (young and old!) on the dance floor. Several weeks before the wedding, Bob and I discussed a timeline for the evening and he executed it to perfection! If you want an awesome DJ in central Jersey who doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, then call Bob (www.bobkern.com/">www.bobkern.com)! Also, he is an amazing singer and it was like having two parts dj and one part live band!
Cake: Francesca’s Cakery in Freehold (www.cakenj.com/">www.cakenj.com): A+: I brought Francesca a few pictures of cakes that I like and she made it happen. My guests said it was the best wedding cake they’d ever had in their lives! Francesca’s cakes are moist and delicious. She doesn’t have a store front because she does mostly retail, selling her cakes to local restaurants. But trust Francesca because she’s the best! It was really hard to find a baker to make a cake for New Year’s Day but she came through for us and exceeded our expectations!
Flowers: Fiori Bella Design (www.fioribelladesign.com) : A : It was hard to find a reasonably priced florist who wasn’t trying to force their designs on me AND who could deliver to our New Year’s Day wedding. I LOVED sitting down with Linda because she really listened to what I wanted my wedding space to look and feel like – and she added to my vision. She suggested flowers that were in season to keep the cost down and she delivered an impeccable array of personal flowers. Check them out on facebook – this was the perfect florist for me – a combination of experienced, talented and fair priced.
DOC: Deborah Chen (www.planitwithdebs.com/">www.planitwithdebs.com): A+++: I explained to my husband that we needed a Day of Coordinator and he said no no no because we planned the entire wedding ourselves. When I started making a list of everything that a friend/family member would have to do on the day of, he agreed that it was too much for one person and we found Deborah’s contact info from another Knottie. After the wedding, my husband said the wedding wouldn’t have been as wonderful with Deborah. It’s so true! She made everything happen, from rearranging the ceremony room when the chairs were set up wrong, to making sure that the menus got on every plate, and the guestbook table was set up. She coordinated with the DJ, the venue, the florist, everyone. My wedding turned out perfectly, not because of all my planning, but because Deborah implemented the game plan.
Hair: Euphoria in East Brunswick (www.euphoria-salon.com/">www.euphoria-salon.com): A- : I’m glad I got a trial run a month before the wedding because my hair was near-perfect on the day of. The salon opened especially for us on the morning of the wedding (New Year’s Day! Those kind stylists!) and they did a great job. My mom’s hair fell out pretty early in the day but my sister’s hair (an updo) stayed perfectly. My hair was exactly how I wanted it and the curled bun didn’t move at all, but the front strands pulled loose by the end of the night – this might be my fault because I didn’t want too much hairspray.
Photographer: Jim Beckner ([email protected]) A+ : Jim was flexible and captured amazing pictures of the day. He was both artistic and still got all of the traditional pictures I could I have hoped for. He captured very special moments that I will always be able to treasure - like a quick kiss with my mom and our first look, and many many more.