Maine

Finally... vendor reviews (long)!

Almost a month later, but here it is, finally . . . my vendor reviews! 
Hope some of you find this helpful!


Ceremony Site:  Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (Boothbay): A+
http://www.mainegardens.org/
Beautiful location, great communication with site coordinator, super helpful staff
Valerie coordinated everything well, made sure guests knew where they were going, set up our wedding signs, refreshment table and the little decor that we had.  They had golf carts to shuttle us around for pictures afterward, the rain held off so everything was outdoors and perfect!  My H stuck himself on a rose thorn and got blood on my dress (ahhhhh!) as we were finishing up pictures.  All the ladies in the back office were so helpful in finding tonic water and a tide stick to remove it immediately.  I cannot say enough about this place.  I absolutely LOVED the gardens.  The ceremony was, by far, the best part of my wedding day because of its shear natural beauty and simplicity. 

Reception Site: private home rental (Westport Island): B
http://www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/usa/maine
We opted to go with a private home rental because Boothbay/Westport Island was a destination wedding for everyone.  Our friends and family (ourselves included) were coming from all over the east coast and we wanted a house where people could stay in the days following the wedding.  This house was really very pretty.  It was the perfect set up for what we were looking for in a spot to hold our laid-back reception.  It had a nice deck and gorgeous patio overlooking the water.  Originally we wanted to have everything outside, but rain forced us to move inside.  Although it never rained, the clouds and fog loomed and we thought it was better safe than sorry, so all tables were pulled indoors.  Luckily space-wise, it worked.  The issues arose with the owner after we vacated the property.  She took exception to just about everything we did (moving furniture, having our dog there is the days after, etc.) even though she knew all these things in advance and we did our best to clean and put everything back where they belonged.  We took pictures before moving things so we could put it back in the right place, but she still complained!   She complained to us about the people who rented the week before and she complained about us too.  We had to do major cleaning of her house the day we came in, but when that was brought to her attention, she thought I was being "petty." Basically she is the type of person who should not be renting her house because she doesn't seem to be happy with anything.  Sad for her, annoying for us.  All in all, the reception was really nice it was the aftermath that put a damper on things. 

Flowers:  Little River Organic Flower Farm (Buxton): A
http://www.littleriverflowerfarm.com/
Buying local and organic is really important to me.  I really wanted to have an farmer grow my flowers rather than have them shipped in by a florist.  Nancy was great to work with, has lots of great ideas and really takes pride in her work.  The only issue we ran into was that the pink lisianthus I had wanted for centerpieces and in my bouquet did not bloom in time.  Nancy had plenty of white and cream colored lisis, but I really wanted pink, so 6 days before the wedding the flowers centerpieces changed to phlox and she added calla lillies and roses to my bouquet instead.  It all worked out fine and everything was beautiful, just have to roll with the punches when you buy local and in-season. 

Cake:  Cakes Extraordinaire (Portland): A+
http://cakesextraordinaire.com/
YUM!  Steve did such an awesome job!  We got so many compliments on our cake.  It was delicious and gorgeous!  We opted for two types of cake.  We had the largest layer as white almond with a raspberry filling.  The top two tiers were blueberry without a filling.  The blueberry is so moist b/c of the fresh berries that Steve told us to skip the filling.  I was a little hesitant, but in the end, he was SO right (of course!).  The entire cake was moist and tasty beyond words!  Highly recommended.

Caterer: Simply Elegant Catering (Brunswick) A

http://www.simplyelegantcatering.net/
YUM.  Again, we got so many compliments on the food, it was great.  Marie and her staff put together a great menu.  We had seafood newberg, tuscan chicken and a vegetarian strudel.  She also did sides and appetizers for the cocktail hour.  Although she is a bit on the space-y side, she gets things done.  Her prices are very reasonable and the extra cost for servers is minimal.  Although I only ate the vegetarian food, we had TONS of people compliment the other food.  We had a smallish wedding (60 people), but ordered food enough food for a large wedding.  We had a lot of leftovers, which was great since we had family in town for days following the wedding.  The one complaint, and it is minor, was that there was a mix up in times and she arrived a 1/2 hr. late.  Apps and dinner were still served on time, so it did not impact anything.

Photographer:  Clare Norton Photography (Westbrook) A+
http://snapshotsbyclare.com/
Clare is all around just a sweetheart of a woman.  She takes interest in getting to know you as a person from the moment she meets you.  I honestly don't think you will find a nicer photographer out there.  She made us both feel so comfortable in front of the camera.  She was wonderful with H's 4 year old son, who loved to make funny faces when he should have been smiling.  She was patient and knew all the tricks to get my step-son to cooperate (phew!).  When we were not doing formal shots, I hardly even knew she was there.  I'm super excited to get the photos back.  Based on what I've seen of our day so far, I have NO doubt, the rest of the pictures will be gorgeous!

Hair/Make-Up:  Amy Valente (Windham): A+
[email protected]
Amy is AWESOME!  She is one of the very few people around who do air-brush make up.  She is super reasonably priced and travels!  Woohoo!  Her travel charges are minimal ($10 more per up-do).  I showed Amy a picture and she did exactly what I wanted with my hair.  My make-up was very natural looking and the airbrush lasted ALL day.  My make-up looked as good at 11PM as it did at 11AM when she applied it.  Air-brush is AMAZING.  I highly recommend it and Amy to anyone.

Dress Alterations:  PCP Bridal (Yarmouth): A
(207) 846-0058
I was very happy with Marcia.  She was professional and very kind.  I'd read some mixed reviews about her being a bit rude, but had absolutely zero issues with her.   She actually complimented my dress and the fit of it on me each time I saw her.  I had quite a few things done: taken in at the top, hem, extra elastic support put in to help with the boning and a bustle.  Alterations came to $170.  Marcia had it all done right in one fitting, for the most part.  She did forget to put the elastic band in to help support the boning, so I left and came back after a few hours of shopping and the dress was complete.  I'd definitely recommend her for alterations. 

Chair &Table Rentals: Taylor Rental (Brunswick) C- 
http://www.taylorrental.com/storefinder.asp
Maybe I should preface this as being partly my fault, but I never rented tables and chairs before so I thought these people would be more helpful.  The wedding was in August, so I called in February and spoke to a woman regarding renting tables and chairs.  I told her I did not have an exact number but how soon did I need to place an order for August.  She told me to call back in July when I knew how many I would need.  Fast forward to April, I called again and told her I did not have an exact number but it was within 10 chairs.  She priced the chairs at 1.65 each, 7.75 for each table and pick up an delivery would be $75each way.  The chair price was great, but I was less than impressed with the delivery charged it was only 20 miles away.  In any case again she told me call back in July and place the order then "we never run out of chairs. "

July comes and I call this woman again.  Surprise...she does not have any more white chairs available at the 1.65 price (they had a very large order for that weekend). But she did have the $2.75 chairs available. Great, I reminded her what she told me how they never run out of chairs but she wasn't phased by it.  She said that is what she had available.  I proceeded to call other places quite a distance away, but the delivery charges were upwards of $300 if they could deliver.  Some of the places were booked for delivery.  Reluctantly, I called the Brunswick store back and ordered the chairs and tables. She gave me the price and it sounded a little off. So I asked for the breakdown.  The delivery charged went up from $75 to $100 each way.  I reminded her she quoted me $75each way.  She proceeded to tell me they must of had a price increase since we spoke in April.  I asked if she would honor the $75 delivery each way, since I was paying $1.10 more per chair.  She couldn't.   Needless, to say I was less than happy, however I really did not have a good option.

The white chairs were very nice, actually I am glad we got the more expensive ones they looked great.  The tables on the other hand looked awful.   Some of them were cracked, dirty and disgusting.  Luckily, after they were covered, no one knew but us. On the positive side, they did pick them up on time. Unfortunately, the truck leaked diseal in the driveway.  They did come back later to ensure it was all cleaned up, but this was only after we called and complained about it.   All in all, I would not recommend them, but they are one of the few in the midcoast area that rent tables and chairs and they were the only ones to pick up that weekend.


After all was said and done, my wedding day was wonderful.  Even with slight flaws along the way it was perfect in my eyes and I really wouldn't change anything about it! 
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Re: Finally... vendor reviews (long)!

  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for posting the reviews!!  :)
    Married 9.4.11
  • edited December 2011

    I was thinking about renting a large house for the reception & family members accomidations as you did. The only reason I was nervous about doing so was dealing with the owners. Every time I mentioned it to various owners, they would get defensive. They all said we could do it, but they would immediately get "cold" about it. The part I didn't understand was at they point we were only thinking about doing a reception with immediate family only (about 25 people) and all the houses I was looking into were advertised for at least 18 people. I really didn't see what harm haveing an extra 7 "guests" in for the evening was going to cause. After all the "extra" weren't going to be sleeping there.

    I think there are alot of people who like the idea of renting out their home, but most aren't mentally prepared for the fact that it means people will actually be using their home. In the end I decided against this option, but I still wish it would have worked out! It would have been so fun!

    Sorry to hear about your bad experience!

  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_maine_finally-vendor-reviews?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:98Discussion:991eadb9-e7c6-47e6-9590-b3a18019777cPost:7e7c91cb-e2c3-437e-8541-9cf059efa043">Re: Finally... vendor reviews (long)!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I was thinking about renting a large house for the reception & family members accomidations as you did. The only reason I was nervous about doing so was dealing with the owners. Every time I mentioned it to various owners, they would get defensive. They all said we could do it, but they would immediately get "cold" about it. The part I didn't understand was at they point we were only thinking about doing a reception with immediate family only (about 25 people) and all the houses I was looking into were advertised for at least 18 people. I really didn't see what harm haveing an extra 7 "guests" in for the evening was going to cause. After all the "extra" weren't going to be sleeping there. <font color="#0000ff"><strong>I think there are alot of people who like the idea of renting out their home, but most aren't mentally prepared for the fact that it means people will actually be using their home.</strong></font> In the end I decided against this option, but I still wish it would have worked out! It would have been so fun! Sorry to hear about your bad experience!
    Posted by htracey[/QUOTE]

    EXACTLY!  I couldn't agree more. 
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for the reviews! I was wondering about airbrushed makeup. I have freckles acrossed my nose and cheeks and my fiance is always disapointed when he can't see them after I have applied too much foundation because he says it looks fake. I was just wondering if their is some way to get a nice even complexion with airbrushed makeup without masking all your natural freckles?...
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_maine_finally-vendor-reviews?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:98Discussion:991eadb9-e7c6-47e6-9590-b3a18019777cPost:63b975b6-a974-4eba-852b-419143fedf0e">Re: Finally... vendor reviews (long)!</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks for the reviews! I was wondering about airbrushed makeup. I have freckles acrossed my nose and cheeks and my fiance is always disapointed when he can't see them after I have applied too much foundation because he says it looks fake. <strong>I was just wondering if their is some way to get a nice even complexion with airbrushed makeup without masking all your natural freckles?</strong>...
    Posted by EML333[/QUOTE]

    Definitely call Amy!  She did my hair/make up trial for $35!  Try it out and see how it looks.  I doubt it will mask the freckles too much, if at all.  It is SO light . . . amazing!!!!
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