Hello all! My wedding was on July 10, and everything went great. We had rain in the morning but it let up enough by the wedding that we were still out on the beach, and got some cute pictures with an umbrella later:) We just got back from our Paris honeymoon- fantastic! Lots of forever memories!
Well, here are my reviews. I hope they are helpful to those of you in the planning process. If you want more clarification, don't hesitate to ask!
Portland Lobster Co (rehearsal dinner): B -my mother in law talked with one coordinator through the whole process and she was great. However, she couldn't be there for the actually dinner, and the fill-in manager was, frankly, a jerk. My father in law and fiance both spoke to him about his attitude, which is out of the ordinary for both of them. We were supposed to be able to fit 20 people and they only gave us space for 14, giving what was clearly another one of our tables to someone else. We were a half an hour late, but we called 2 hours earlier to tell them that when we realized what was going to happen. The wait staff was very polite and trying to help us out, and eventually we did get another table, but it was stressful for a while. The food was great, but it might be good to send one of your more assertive friends ahead of the group to get things set up before everyone else arrives.
Scarborough (beach licence): B- they were not really willing to get creative and work with me, and they limited the number of chairs I could have. I spend $100 on that licence and got zilch, but the wedding was beautiful, so it's all good:)
One Stop Party Shoppe (chair rental): A- no problems here! I upgraded to nicer chairs just before the wedding and they were totally accommodating. They also didn't freak when the chairs came back sandy, and I got my whole deposit back.
Portland Discovery (trolley): A++++++++++++- they were awesome! I had the trolley act as a limo for my whole wedding party and also a shuttle for people from the parking lot to the beach. Everyone said this was their favorite part. Right from the start they were easy to work with and had a 'can do' attitude, and our driver, Scott, was fun and energetic. We brought on champagne, scotch, and some food and it really made for a special time with my wedding party before the reception.
Audra Bayette (photographer): A++++++- she was great. I just got my photos back- over 700 of them- and they are fantastic. She was all over the place at our reception and wedding, but never in the way. She also had a great attitude and was good about not stressing me out. She was also a bargain, and although I think her prices have changed a bit, she is still someone I would definitely check out. Bonus? She is planning her own wedding right now, so she knows what it's like:)
Cherry Pie (salon): A- We did nails on Friday and hair on Saturday, which worked out well. My only complaint was that they ran out of time for nails and my mother in law and grandmother in law ended up just getting their toenails painted so they wouldn't be late for the rehearsal dinner. Other than that, it was great. The atmosphere is really nice and relaxing and they have coffee, wine, water, snacks- you name it! all for the wedding party. I would certainly go there again, just leave plenty of time if you are on a budget (ps, we finished early for hair, so maybe it's just nails that takes longer).
Andrew Woolford of Dynamic Entertainment (DJ): B+- When we first met with him, he was very professional and organized, plus the cheapest person we had met with! However, he called the day before the wedding to go over details again and had a bunch of things wrong. Also, there were a lot of songs on our 'must play' list that he never got to. All in all, for the money he was worth it (he brought lights and was a good mc for the night), but I might have given him more specific instructions and playlists.
Mariner's Church Banquet Center (reception): A- -All in all, I'm very pleased with Mariner's and would have it there again if I could do it all over again. The prices were reasonable, everyone loved the food, and they were accommodating to most of my requests. There was a change in manager halfway though all of this and that caused some problems (I lost contact with her for 2 months- eek!). My best advice is to be really organized and give detailed notes with plenty of notice and you will be fine. The location was great because people stayed in the Old Port, and we had an after party right down town.
Eastland Park Hotel (hotel and Sunday Brunch): B- As for accommodations, they had a 2 night minimum and needed at least 10 rooms filled, which we couldn't do, so we didn't have a block of rooms. At check in (which is 4pm) two of my groomsmen couldn't get into their room because of a 'laundry problem'. They weren't able to get in until after the rehearsal dinner, and when we asked about some sort of compensation, they got very snippy with myself and my finace. The girl at the desk later apologized, but the 'compensation' they came up with was a discount off of breakfast- pretty weak. I had a similar experience with the breakfast people- when I called to make the reservation, they were extremely hesitant to give me the table for 15 and acted like no one requests this ever. As it turns out, they were not busy and our table was fine, and the food was great.
Novare Res (after party): A+ -I called them months before the wedding, then one month before, then a week before, and got a different story from everyone I talked to. However, once we talked with the owner, everything went GREAT! He put together a huge platter of antipasto and hummus, and bought Davis and I our first drinks. He also got the attention of the whole bar and announced that we had just gotten married. Everyone loved it, and it really made the end of the night extra special.
Good luck to all of you still planning! It was worth every minute of planning to get married and throw an awesome party for all of my loved ones. I will post some pictures as soon as I get a chance!!!