Nevada-Las Vegas

Reviews 11/7 VERY LONG!!

Joey Allen, Photography, A+++

I have not yet received my photos from Joey; however, he did show me plenty on his camera the day of the wedding and what I saw was wonderful.  His price was very reasonable.  Excellent email communication prior to wedding and he even sent me a follow-up email after the honeymoon seeing if we had enjoyed ourselves in Vegas.  We had 8 hours of photography from Joey for before and after the ceremony.  Unfortunately, he was not able to take pictures during our ceremony because MB didn’t allow it—I wish they had the outside vendor fee so that we could have used him for the ceremony. 

Joey showed up 45 minutes prior to the scheduled time and started working immediately.  He did an excellent job of getting pictures while we were getting ready without getting in the way.  He was very friendly and professional.  He continued to take pictures up until about 30 seconds before the ceremony when they insisted he stop and we set up a place to meet after the ceremony.  We were finished with the ceremony and the Cashman photos earlier than we thought so we called Joey and he met us immediately and started working again. 

We had the Double Decker Bus Company take us and our guests down the strip for photos.  Joey was so easy to work with.  Jeff and I truly had a lot of fun with him.  I don’t think our wedding day would have been the same without him.  You can tell that he takes pictures because he TRULY LOVES TO DO IT.  He isn’t doing it to “pay the bills” he was having fun right along with us.  We went to several places on the strip and took TONS of pictures.  Joey had a ton of great ideas for locations and different poses but, at the same time, he was always 100 percent open to our ideas for poses/location---no matter how goofy they may have been!

After the double decker bus, we returned to MB and took more pictures around their property while our guests headed to the Vista Suite.  There was even a few points when Joey was laying on the ground to get the right angle that he was looking for, almost being trampled by other hotel guests, all without hesitation to get the “perfect shot”.  When we got to the suite Joey took pictures of EVERYTHING.  He was there and working but at the same time sometimes you forgot he was even there.  A perfect combination of him being where he needed to be without ever getting in the way of anything.  He was suppose to be done an hour after the reception started and he got a plate of food….next thing I look over and he is snapping pictures instead of eating!!!  The poor guy had been working all day and was probably starving but he was taking pictures so he didn’t miss anything! 

After he finally ate some food, we took some last photos with Sneezy (from the 7 dwarfs---he is like our “traveling gnome”) and Joey had fun taking goofy shots of us with Sneezy and didn’t even miss a beat when we requested this.  He finally packed up his stuff and headed out almost 2 hours past when he was supposed to!!  All in all I have NOTHING bad to say….I could go on for many more pages about how pleased we are with Joey but I won’t.  Just know that if you want a photographer that loves taking pictures, is a lot of fun, takes great pictures, goes above and beyond of what you would expect, and all for a very reasonable price then you can’t go wrong with Joey Allen.

Glamsquad, James A+++

We hired James for my hair/airbrush makeup and my MOH’s hair/airbrush makeup.  He arrived right on time.  My MOH and I had only a slight idea of what we wanted with our hair/makeup.  He through a few ideas/options out there and went right to work.  He was so easy to talk to and put everyone at ease.  Both of our hair/makeup was PERFECT.  He even gave me false eyelashes free of charge and my mom has a few scars on her back and he touched them up with makeup for free, too.  He got everything done in an amazingly short time.  I honestly have NEVER felt even close to as beautiful as I did that day.  My hair and makeup were perfectly suited to what I wanted with only giving James a few basic instructions as to what direction I wanted.  Once again, nothing bad to say!!!  James was prompt, friendly, knew exactly what he was doing, and went above and beyond my expectations.

Mandalay Bay, Valley of the Falls Ceremony, A

The location was beautiful, never heard any traffic (which has been a concern I have heard people ask many times due to the location), every detail was as we had asked for.  The price was a little steep but in the end it was worth it.  My wedding coordinator was Aleena.  She always answered emails promptly with answers to my questions.  I never actually met her but she did a great job via email.  I had two coordinators there the day of the wedding and honestly I don’t even know who they were but the wedding flowed smoothly so they obviously did whatever it was they were supposed to.  The day was quite windy and they asked me prior to the ceremony if they could leave the runner off of the isle or if I’d like them to attempt to tack it down.  I told them to leave it off and just put the roses down.  I was glad they consulted me on the decision instead of just making the call themselves.  My flowers and bridesmaid flowers were beautiful and held up for several days after the wedding.  My only negative would be the fact that we couldn’t pay extra to have an outside photography vendor and the choice of music that was offered by the violinist.  I feel that the selection was very limited and some of the “traditional” wedding songs were not even included in it.  For the price we paid, I wish that the selection was slightly larger.  We couldn’t find a song we liked for our exit so we ended up using a CD which did work perfectly.  All in all very happy with all the staff and services provided.

Cashman, Ceremony Photography, B+

We received ceremony plus an extra hour of photography with our VOTF package.  After the ceremony, we only had about 20 minutes of pictures and then the photographer said, “my time is up.”  I didn’t say anything because I was actually happy to get back to taking pictures with Joey Allen—it is just the principle of the situation.  The next day we met to pick out our photos.  They were nice.  There is nothing wrong with the pictures but nothing spectacular either.  We got what was included in our package and a couple others to fill the album that was included in the package.  For all the pictures, they wanted in the area of $1500.  Totally not worth that!  There was somewhere between 50 and 75 pictures and at that price I think it is a total rip off and it isn’t right that Cashman has such a monopoly going on at most of the hotel chapels. 

Gimme Some Sugar, Cake, A+

We did the “do it yourself” tasting kit a few months back and picked out our flavors.  I sent them an inspiration picture of the cake we wanted and their price was WAY better than the other couple of bakeries that I requested a quote from.  The cake was EXACTLY what we wanted.  They took the inspiration cake and made the few changes we requested and turned it into a beautiful cake.  They said the cake would feed up to 34 people.  At the end of the night, we had the entire top tier saved plus about half of the rest of the cake leftover (we had 25 guests).  I must say that I think their cream cheese filling is the best I have ever tasted in my life.  The only slight negative is that at times, in the beginning, communication was slow.  After we signed our contract, they were very prompt with responses but prior to that there was some time in between—still no reason not to use them and I am still completely happy I just wanted to throw that in for those of you that are contacting them and may be waiting for a response.

Masterpiece Cuisine, Reception Catering and Bar Service, A+

In the beginning we weren’t planning on paying for an open bar, but Scott gave us a “package discount” if we booked both and it just didn’t make sense not to take it because the price barely rose once the discount was taken off.  All phone calls and emails were answered very promptly and with complete answers, no runaround in the answers.  After the initial proposal, we requested a couple of changes and that was handled promptly and without any problem. 

We had a reception of “heavy appetizers” and the price was UNBEATABLE.  The food was absolutely wonderful.  (We especially liked the cedar plank shrimp and the bruschetta).  Our guests were all very happy with the food, too.   We had 25 guests and had given a “final count” of 24 (last minute RSVP) but at the end of the night we had a TON of food left over.  A shame that such great food had to go to waste!

Our bartender was very friendly with the guests and did an excellent job.  He even left us a bottle of vodka that was barely used (plus all the juices and pop).  I have no negative comment whatsoever for this vendor!

Double Decker Bus Company, Strip Transportation for Photos, C

Before deciding on transportation for our 25 guests, I did a lot of research and found this company and thought the open top bus would be the coolest way to do some sightseeing/picture taking.  At that time, I found nothing but positive reviews—have seen a few negative ones lately.  We booked them for 3 hours (the minimum) and were happy with the price.  Communication and booking was very easy.

I received a call the day before to verify the pickup time and location with a very friendly employee.  Can’t remember his name but he was very nice.  We talked through where the pickup at MB would be three or four times to make sure we were on the same page….come wedding day, after the ceremony we headed down to the location where I was told the bus would be at 2:15.  At 2:30, there was still no bus.  My husband attempted to call and there was no answer.  At 2:35, he called again and received an answer.  Turns out the bus was unable to fit where they had told us and they were waiting in a different location.  Why did they not call us?  They had 2 or 3 contact numbers for us and they did not call and let us know of the change….the only reason we knew was because we called them!  Ok, so we got over that—things happen—and made our way to where the bus was parked.  We did not find the driver or the other person on the bus (to make sure we were sitting while in motion) very friendly—several of our guests made similar comments.  The driver was actually quite rude to our photographer and at one point Joey Allen had to tell the bus driver that “he was the photographer, not him”—I can’t remember what exactly started the situation but it was the bus driver who was being out of line. 

Ok, so off we go to the Vegas sign.  All is well there and we head to the Bellagio/PH/Paris portion of the strip.  We have the bus drop my husband, photographer, and I off and talk to the bus driver and agree they will take our guests for some sightseeing and meet back at the same location at the specified time.  We are told that would work because they “can’t turn the bus off or it won’t be able to start again”—odd, but ok.  So, husband, photographer, and I are off having a wonderful time taking pictures and after awhile we receive a call from my MIL wondering when we were coming back because they were all “dying of exhaust fumes”.  We were confused by this and when we asked what was going on found out that they were still parked in the parking garage where they had dropped us off.  They had never left!!  Our guests were all sitting on the bus in the parking garage—with the bus running—getting sick from the fumes.  We were shocked!!!  We told my MIL that they were supposed to be driving around doing sightseeing NOT sitting in the garage inhaling fumes!!  She or my FIL spoke to the bus driver and got them moving.  I am not exactly sure how long my guests were subjected to this but it was not just 5 or 10 minutes….we are talking probably close to an hour!!!  We are very unhappy about this.  One of my guests is even pregnant!

So, finally they drove our guests around (like they were supposed to be the entire time) and the guests did enjoy that.  The bus was back to the original spot right on time to take us back to MB for the reception.  At drop off, the driver and other guy were once again less than friendly.  All in all, my husband and I had a wonderful time but our guests DID NOT.  I would not hire them again mainly because of them subjecting our guests to gas fumes for such a long time period when that was very clearly not the plan.

Mandalay Bay, Group Dining, B+

The night before the wedding we had a laid back get together with pizza and pop.  We used MB’s group dining to provide a “pizza station”.  Setting the entire thing up was very easy and quick.  They worked with us to get exactly what we wanted and it was very easy.  The pizza was very good.  The employees who brought the food were very friendly and helpful.  I would use them again if the situation arose.

The negatives—1) The cost!  The pizza was good and yes it was delivered to our room and so on but the price was VERY HIGH.  2) They were almost ½ hour late delivering the food and we were all starving and a few guests had show plans later in the evening so this was an inconvenience to them.  3) I was told that all the equipment/food/dishes would be picked up at a specified time.  That time came and went….I waited because at that point I was just hanging out in the suite enjoying some quiet time anyway.  Well, an hour later they still hadn’t come and I had stuff to do.  I called and asked if they could come and get all the stuff because it was getting late (about 9pm by this point) they said no problem that they would be right up….2 hours later they finally showed up!  I don’t think that is “right up”.  I was thinking within 20 minutes??  So this wasted about 3 or so hours for me.  I couldn’t put the stuff in the hallway—it wasn’t just a small room service cart and the stuff had to be removed from the room because the next day was the wedding day and it was going to be an early day.  Overall, still happy with their service—just not an A+ rating.

Vista Suite, Reception, A+

Gorgeous room with spectacular views!  The price wasn’t bad because I used a 30 percent off coupon code.  I think the space was perfect for our 25 guests to mingle.  All in all I LOVED this room.  Two bathrooms was very nice….one in the bedroom just for “us” and the other one for use while we had guests.  Upon check-in, there were several light bulbs burnt out.  I called and they were replaced almost immediately with no fuss whatsoever.  My only negative is the fact that our fridge was broken.  We chilled our pop for the pizza get together for many hours only to find it still warm (and the fridge was on the coldest setting).  I wasn’t going to make a big deal about it but my MOH’s husband said I should and he actually called the front desk and they comped our room $75 for the fridge not working.  I thought that was fair.  Others have said they should have given us more off but I feel that it was a fair comp considering I wasn’t even going to say anything!

Mandalay Bay, Accommodations, A

We had their “basic” room for 8 days/7 nights.  A very nice room with a nice view of the pool.  Housekeeping was great.  The room was very clean upon check-in and the daily service was very good as well.  The only reason I don’t give MB an A+ is because the last couple of days we were there was the Latin Grammy’s.  The hotel did not properly prepare for this (security wise) and there was a HORRIBLE mob of people trying to get in/out of room elevators.  By the last day, they did seem to have the situation under control but it was poor planning on their part in the beginning.  The first day of the “mobs” I was getting out of our elevator and was actually SHOVED by a celebrity’s security guard because they were trying to get in the elevator to get away from the fans.  Now, I know this shoving was not MB’s fault.  This was on the security guard that did it and was way out of line; however, I really feel if MB had upped their security earlier than they did this would not have happened.  So, make sure you aren’t staying there when there is a big special event going on!!  But really, the hotel was gorgeous and clean and besides that we were treated very well.



In the end, I wouldn’t change anything (except for the transportation).  We had a wonderful wedding day and are very happy with how everything turned out.  I feel like I did a lot of complaining in the reviews and that isn’t my intent—I just wanted to be honest and straightforward so everyone gets the full picture in case they are planning on using any of these vendors.

Re: Reviews 11/7 VERY LONG!!

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