First of all, I want to thank all of you ladies and VG for all of your advice. I literally could not have planned this wedding without this board! Thanks to all of your fantastic advice, my friends and family have dubbed mine "the wedding of the millennium". We just got back home yesterday and we're already getting requests from friends and family to renew our vows so they can have an excuse to do it all over again! I lost my voice from all of the singing and cheering, and 5 days later my cheeks still hurt from all of the smiling. There were a few snafus along the way, but I wouldn't change anything about my wedding! Anyway, I know how important everyone's reviews have been to me so here are mine:
Encore Bridal (Ft. Collins, CO): F-
If there was a letter that was less than an F, I would give it. This shop nearly ruined my wedding, and had the nerve to lie about it! In hindsight I should've known better. If you see a vendor with more than one terrible review do not overlook it!!! People review things for a reason. My mess started when I found a picture of an older Allure Bridals gown on preownedweddingdresses.com. I was interested in buying it, but really wanted to try it on first and was concerned it was discontinued. I decided to call around to Allure retailers in my area and came across Encore Bridal. The owner, Jessica, was so helpful at first. I gave her the style number and she confirmed that the dress was discontinued, but told me that she called Allure and that if I ordered the dress by June 30th that they would still make it for me. She suggested that I come into the shop and try on some similar styles so I could see if was what I wanted to do. I tried on some different styles, but did and ended up purchasing the discontinued dress and was told that it would ship on November 1st.
5 months passed and I didn't hear a word from them (not that I expected to). I started to really worry about buying a dress that I'd never tried on and got very anxious to see my dress. In early November, I called to see what the status of my dress was. Jessica seemed very surprised when I called. She looked up my order, hesitated and told me it hadn't arrived yet, but that she would call Allure and find out when it would be here. Two days later I got a call back. Jessica told me that she hadn't realized that my dress was discontinued when we placed the order and that Allure had never made it. My jaw dropped to the floor. We had specifically ordered the dress when we did BECAUSE she told me it was discontinued. I even had to pay an additional fee for it being a discontinued design. When I reminded her of this she made all kinds of excuses, but never owned up to what I found out really happened until my mother got on the phone. My order was never sent in. I am a very forgiving person and I understand that we all make mistakes, but BE HONEST ABOUT IT! She promised that Allure would get me the dress by the beginning of February if I ordered right then, but I didn't want to risk having another issue so close to my wedding and definitely didn't want to deal with such a dishonest company for another second. I got my deposit back and ended my relationship with them.
Blushing Bride (Windsor, CO): A++++++
After my dress disaster, I knew I needed to find a dress ASAP. We were only 6 months away from my wedding so I knew my timeline was tight. There was another Allure dress that I'd been in love with for months before I ever saw the other design. I'd just gotten so swept up in the other design that I didn't even try on what had been my dream dress for months. I called Blushing Bride and from the minute Carly answered the phone I knew that this was where I wanted to do business. We came in a few days later and was shocked that such a small shop could have such an amazing stock of dresses. Carly had already pulled the design I'd called about and had it waiting for me in the dressing room. It must've been meant to be, because the sample was in my size and in the color I wanted! When we zipped it up, it fit me like a glove. I knew it was my dress, but Carly wanted to make sure I was sure before we bought it. We were the only ones in the shop that afternoon and Carly gave us full reign of the store. She laughed along with my mother, sister and I and played dress up with us for almost two hours! I was bridal barbie, lol. After we put my dress back on, she helped me pick out the perfect accessories. I couldn't have dreamed up a more beautiful bridal look.
When it came time to buy, she'd heard all about my disaster at the other store. She couldn't believe what had happened to me and told me she wasn't going to let anything else ruin my wedding. She called the owner and told her my story and got her to agree to sell me the sample even though it had only been in the store for one week and only been tried on by one other bride. She even got me a 10% discount even though this sample was still in mint condition! I got to take home my dress that day and couldn't have been happier with it. My veil, headband and dress were absolutely stunning and I have Carly to thank for it. We also ordered all 5 of my bridesmaids' dresses from Blushing Bride and all appeared right on time. They also sold them to me for $50 less than most of the other Allure retailers in the area. You cannot beat Blushing Bride's prices and service. Go there if you live anywhere near Colorado!
Yours Truly Alterations (Greeley, CO)-D+
This really stinks because they came so highly recommended to me. I should note that my sister brought in her bridesmaid's dress, I gave her my wedding dress and my bachelorette party dress to alter. My sister's dress needed to be taken in a bit, but nothing major. It was a simple chiffon design without any beading or detail work. She ended up paying $145 to have it taken in a little over an inch, but it did look lovely on her. I'm still not sure how the pricing worked because my bachelorette party dress was covered in sequins and feathers and had to be taken in 6 inches (yay for having a pear shape!) and she only charged me $100. My dress looked great and I had no complaints with it at all! My problem was with my wedding dress.
I took my dress in 2 1/2 months before the wedding and all it needed was a bustle. My dress had a chapel length train, but nothing crazy. On the date I was to pick it up she called and told me that she hadn't even started my bustle yet. I still had 4 weeks til my wedding so I was ok with that. We made an appointment for 2 weeks later. I should take some responsibility here because I didn't take a good enough look at my dress before I left the shop. I gave her my $300 and went on my merry way. It wasn't until two days before my wedding when I dropped my dress off at Fit For a Bride (I'll review in a minute) I was told that my bustle hadn't even been sewn in! She'd just pinned it (which of course will not hold up). I plan on calling them this afternoon to get my money back immediately!
I had absolutely no issues with Men's Warehouse. We went with a standard tux and the Bellagio gold vest pattern for our groomsmen and the Bella Luna ivory for my husband and son. They all looked great and our groomsmen had no problems ordering all around the country or picking them up in Vegas.
If you are booking your wedding at a Total Rewards property, be sure to book a block of rooms and use your coordinator! Amber was mine and she was fantastic. We had a room block at Paris, but we were told that if we found a better deal online that we could call her and she could match the price once. I booked my block in August of 2012 and was quoted a fantastic rate considering it was a holiday weekend, but being the thrifty I kept my eye out for a sale. I did end up finding better deals for some of the days we were going to be in town and Amber matched it. When we decided to come into town a day earlier than our block was set
up for, Amber was able to fix our reservation mess and link all of our
reservations together so that we didn't have to move rooms or go through check in again.
Booking is also fairly idiot proof because we were able to just add a link to our website. About 70% of my 40 guests ended up staying at Paris and it made it so
much easier having everyone not only in one hotel, but on the same
floor. They also do not add an extra charge for rooms with 2 queen beds. Additionally, I knew my resort fees would be waived because I booked before March 1st, but my husband didn't book his room until the middle of March.I was afraid that he'd have to pay, but Amber had his fees waived as well! I'm honestly not sure if that was Amber magic or if it was because our block was reserved before resort fees were added, but I'd be sure to ask your Total Experiences coordinator if they can take care of it for you.
Paris Las Vegas Hotel (not chapel)-B
We checked into Paris around 8:30pm on Thursday 5/23 and I was shocked that there was absolutely no line on a holiday weekend. Check in was incredibly smooth and took me maybe 5 minutes total. The entire bridal party was on one floor, with the exception of one of my bridesmaids who was upgraded to a suite upon check in because they didn't have a king bed available. We were given the option to upgrade at check in, but no freebies for the bride and groom, lol. We decided not stay in the red rooms, which are upgraded, because we knew we wouldn't be spending much time in the rooms anyway. We were much more concerned about location and Paris really is in the perfect spot on The Strip. I'd heard that the regular luxury rooms still had old tube TVs, and was surprised when I walked in and found a giant flat screen on the wall.
My room was pretty and clean with a good amount of space, but nothing super special to report. My husband had a totally different experience. He got to his room and found drinks and papers from the previous guest scattered around his room. Needless to say, he was not happy. Management took $30 off of his room for the night to make up for it, and I wish I could tell you that was the extent of our problems. The next day, my husband took my 7 year old stepson with him to the pool and tried to buy a bottle of water for him. He waited for nearly 20 minutes for someone to help him, but no one came. Being that it was Memorial Day Weekend, the pool was very busy and he didn't want to let our little boy out of his sight. He walked up to the bar and tried signal the two workers talking in the back, but was immediately told to send our son 20 feet away because he was underage. I understand that there are rules, but who is going to leave their 7 year old in a strange place with lots of people around? That same day we also found out that the lock on my door wasn't working. All it took was a tap on the door and my hotel room door flew open! This was the room my wedding dress was in! Can you imagine what could've happened if someone had accidentally bumped my door? He went to the front desk to talk about it and they comped our rooms for one night. We appreciated the remedy, but it was still a pretty shady thing to happen! Though the hotel is beautiful and the location is great, for the money we paid I expected not to have the issues we did.