Hi! I rarely post, but have consistently read the boards for advice and reviews. I thought posting my own experiences could potentially help another bride out there. So, here are my vendor reviews from my wedding held on 9/6/13. It's pretty detailed.
We held both our ceremony (The Loft) and reception (Galleria
Ballroom) at The Madison Event Center (both located in their South building).
The Madison turns out tons of weddings every weekend so they know what they’re
doing. We held ours on a Friday to receive a 25% discount. The nice thing is
that their packages are all-inclusive and they handle getting in touch with
your other vendors week-off to coordinate drop off and setting up. We also used
a lot of their preferred vendors, which saved us money on music, flowers, etc.
Lisa handled our ceremony day-off and Gina was the event captain
for the reception. They were both amazing! They made sure everything ran
smoothly and were so helpful with everything from playing our iPod for the
ceremony to packing up the gifts at the end of the evening.
The one negative I have to say is in regards to the “promotions”
they run. We booked nearly two years in advance. At the time we were looking at
venues, they were running a “1 hour free for reception or ½ price open bar.” By
the time we signed the contract, the promotion had ended about a week before. I
took a chance and asked if we could still get it since it had just ended. I was
told no, but there would be other promotions in the future that we could take
advantage of. Ok, that worked. However, in the next 2 years not 1 single
promotion came up that I was allowed to take advantage of. Every time I asked,
I was told the promotions were for new bookings only. I wondered why I was told I could take
advantage of promotions if I was never eligible for any that came up in nearly
2 years. I kept getting annoyed receiving mailers from the Madison in my
mailbox that I couldn’t take advantage of. So make sure to sign while they are
running a promotion or you’ll never receive any other deal.
The food is good enough – pretty typical for the wedding
banquet hall type. I do recommend going to their monthly tastings a couple times
– those events are worth your time. Overall, I do recommend The Madison,
especially if you want a venue that will take care of the details for you. You
really just have to show up, which I wanted.
Maize Music – A
Maize Music is a preferred vendor for The Madison. Simple
and easy to deal with. Met with Nemar once and booked him. You plan everything via
online planning tools, which I liked. The
dance floor was rocking all night and Nemar did a great job of MCing too.
Played a great range of music and everyone had a blast. He also went above the
call of duty with some transportation issues at the end of the night, which
really speaks to his character. Definitely recommend, especially if you want a
Barrie’s Florist – A-
We met with Barrie during a snowstorm initially and the
meeting went well. We got her recommendation through The Madison as well. Very
easy to deal with. Apparently something didn’t work when they were setting up
our centerpieces. I was emailed the very next day with an explanation of how
they had to change things around. Frankly, I didn’t even notice they were
different than what was originally planned. But it was nice that they followed
up with me about it.
I’m just upset with myself because when we were talking with
her, we all concluded that the tables fit 8 and we’d have about 19. However,
the tables fit 10 in our room and when our numbers came in we only needed 14
centerpieces so we overpaid by 5 centerpieces. You have to pay in full 5 weeks
ahead, before the final head count is in so my only recommendation is to be
really sure how many tables you think you’ll need so you don’t overpay. However,
she did use the extra flowers for our cake table and spread them around. So it
wasn’t a waste and the cake table looked beautiful. But if you’re on a strict
flower budget, make sure you have the right table amount.
Marxey Makeup – A
Michelle is really fun to work with. She came to my
apartment and did my hair and makeup, as well as the wedding party. I know I’ve
seen some mixed reviews with getting ahold of her and planning your trial. She always got back to me promptly. We did
have to rearrange my trial a couple times, but it ended up working out the day
of my bachelorette party so I looked amazing for my night out on the town. She
played music the whole time while we got ready and didn’t seem to mind our
craziness! Her work is good too and held up the whole night. Definitely
Hatfield Productions – A+
We used Hatfield productions for our videographer and photo
booth. The Hatfield team had a long day – started with us at 10 AM and were
shutting down and taking the photo booth apart at 11:30 PM. They went everywhere with us: my apartment,
the boys’ hotel room, Devou Park, The Madison. And then our highlights video
was turned around by Monday morning. And it’s AMAZING. I can’t wait to see the
whole thing and all the photo booth pics. HIGHLY recommend. They definitely go
above the call of duty and are just awesome to work with. Two thumbs up!
Tres Bell Cakes – A
We were the last appointment at Tracy’s house in Norwood.
Right after we booked her, she moved into a storefront in Reading. I can see
why she needed a storefront. It’s just so good. She has great prices and a wide
arrange of flavors. We had three different flavors and every one of them was
amazing. My personal trainer, who is a health nut, had 3 pieces that night. Plus her other baked cooked goods are
excellent too. If we’re ever near Reading, we stop in the store and grab a
cookie or cupcake or croissant. Plus she has a great personality.
Courtyard Marriott Covington – B+
There were some online booking issues here and there and
people getting credited to our block. A couple people had to switch rooms
during their stay because of the hotel being booked up and that was kind of
annoying. However, our coordinator (who was in Chicago) was helpful and willing
to work with us the best she could. I heard no complaints about the hotel
itself. We got upgraded to a King Suite and it was HUGE. We actually hosted our
friends there late-night after the wedding and it was a blast/plenty of room.
We got a free shuttle to The Madison because we booked 15 rooms through our
block. So that made it easy and convenient for our guests. Overall, no real
issues and would stay there again.
Pastor Brian Eastman, Officiant – A
We found Pastor Eastman through marriagechaplain.com. Very
kind and easy to work with. He definitely knows how to play to his audience and
everyone loved his ceremony. He got people to laugh and interact. He knows what
he is doing! If you don’t have a regular pastor or priest, I would recommend
him to perform your ceremony.
Photography/attire – My cousin gifted our photography and we
obtained our attire in a different area. So we didn’t have any local vendors to
review for that.
Overall, the day went smoothly and everyone had a terrific
time. We’re married and that’s the important part.