Crowne Plaza Hotel (ceremony site and guest block)~ F
My biggest issue with this vendor was the lack of communication. We had booked with them very early in the engagement, and had a contract written up. I had noticed some things missing, and had notified the catering manager. She was to fix it, and get back to me. We also had some issues with guests booking the block...the staff told a couple of guests that our block was full (which it was not, and we were told if that would happen, they would just add rooms).
We tried contacting her for a few weeks, and then decided to just show up for a surprise visit. They tell us they will get her, then send a man out (obviously, not her). He basically tells us that she was fired or just quit suddenly, and they are in the process of finding a replacement. He sat with us, combed through the contract, made updates, fixed the rooms for the block, and we paid the remainder of our bill. I asked if we could use the room the night before for the rehearsal, and he was to get back to me. I didn't hear back for quite some time, and finally got him on his personal cell. He said that since nobody was holding the room, we could have it. If anyone was to try to book it, he would let us know, and we would pay a small fee. Peachy.
About 2 weeks out from the wedding, I receive an e-mail from a new catering manager. We wanted to meet with her, so we showed up and went through the contract...AGAIN. Now, I realize that this sucked for everyone involved, not just us.
A week later, I get an e-mail that we owe for the mic. We thought it was included. No big deal...we decided on the cheaper one, and she threw it in for free. Great! A couple days later, we find out that they don't have someone to run the music for us, as they had previously promised SEVERAL times. Ah! To hire someone, it was around 300 an hour. Eff that. We ask a friend. Okay. That issue is over.
TWO DAYS before the wedding, I get another e-mail. They don't have that free breakfast is included for guests or us. I am babysitting a newborn, and decided to have Jim call, as I would have been screaming. He's told, "too bad." My MOH was at the hotel at the time, and talked with management. She showed them that I had it in the invitations MONTHS prior, and I wouldn't have promised my guests breakfast if it wasn't true. They let it go. Yeah, you'd better! Now I'm fuming!
So, we were running our own music, and they told us that it had to be on a cd, not an iPod, but we decided to do both, just in case. THANK GOD. The system they had was VERY old, wouldn't read the cd, and there wasn't anybody there that knew how to run the damn thing. Luckily, we ran to Radio Shack, bought an adapter and cord, and what do ya know...the iPod worked. Booyah!
Wedding day seemed to go fine. Everything was placed correctly. I didn't notice any major issues. They gave us our HM suite early so the girls could use it, rather than the hospitality room. That was very nice of them. Wedding night...our only issue was that our tv didn't work, but we were too tired to care.
Two weeks later, I get a charge on my card from them for $220. WTF I called, they don't know. I called accounting the next day. They stated that we were charged for the room for the rehearsal. I'm PISSED beyond belief, so Jim called them. They refunded it accordingly, and we just owed a small percentage for the music tap, which we were aware of. I also heard from a couple of guests that a room wasn't clean, and nobody's tv's were working that night. All in all, it worked out, but it was a HEADACHE. It was a cheap place to have the ceremony, which is what we wanted, but they didn't really do much for us that we couldn't have done ourselves, which we pretty much did, aside from having a roof over our heads.
DC Centre Ballroom (reception site)~ A
We worked closely with Sharon Dooley, and she is wonderful. They made sure that we had everything we wanted, and everything was in place. Our room was set up how we wanted it, and the food was great! My two complaints: They were to have staff open the doors for us for our grand entrance. Apparently, they forgot. Also, we were supposed to have punch. We didn't realize that we didn't have punch until the next day. No big deal, but it would have been nice for those that wanted it, and for the children.
DC Centre Ballroom (dancing lessons)~ A
We worked with Zach. We had a free lesson for us, and two others for group, but since we didn't do group, he let us have 3 free lessons. He had a fairly flexible schedule. He also video-taped a move for us to practice at home, and found our song for us (which we couldn't find on an mp3) and sent it to us. Very good guy to work with!
Ivy Snow Photography~ A
Ivy and Dawn and great to work with. They were with us from the time we got to the hotel until after the bouquet and garter toss. They were constantly snapping photos, which is exactly what I wanted. It is WONDERFUL having 2 cameras at once! We were not able to take some pics that we'd had in mind, but we did get some others that we had not thought of, so it worked out. We did feel very rushed, and, of course, ran out of time often, but doesn't that always happen? I do wish we had some different shots at the ceremony, but it was an odd room to be shooting a ceremony in (IMO). We had contracted for MUCH less than what we received, so we were pretty happy with that. I have not had time to work on the pictures for the bridal book that they will be making for me, but I will get back to you on that. These two are extremely professional, and will make any bride feel like a princess. Very happy to work with these guys!
Hamilton Video Productions~ A-
Chris is very easy to work with and get in touch with. I hardly noticed him throughout the day/night. I do wish that the ceremony shooting could have been from a different angle or two, and the sound is kind of fuzzy (with the exception of the vows). Of course, the highlights are my favorite. The DVDs do not work in all DVD players, so that kind of irritates me, particularly when this was one of my biggest wants for my wedding. He was quick to respond, and sent me new ones right away. They are all fine, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE our highlights video. I have some kiddos that I care for that BEG to watch it all the time, so it's not just me!
Linda Tills (cake)~ A
Linda was very easy to work with. From the start, she asked us for our 3 top choices, and drove all the way from Ft. Calhoun to Omaha and brought 3 samples for us. The samples were free, and the size of a personal pan pizza, but thicker. The fillings were delicious, the cake was moist, and the buttercream frosting was to die for. My only concern was that she doesn't do contracts, and doesn't require a deposit, which worried me a little in the beginning. She met with us a couple of months out, and showed us some of her work. She offered to buy ribbon and flower petals for us as well. She gave us great advice on setting up and such. Our cake was 4 tiers, with alternating flavors and fillings. We also had a plain sheetcake without filling. For all of that, the ribbon, the petals, and set-up, it came to just $176, and it was worth it. As of right now, she charged about .75 a slice, and recommends that you order for 75% of your guest list, as not all will eat cake. We still had leftovers, our top tier, and the sheetcake. It was awesome! We will be contacting her again for our anniversary!
Gloss Salon and Spa~ B- overall
I've broken down the different services that I used within the salon. Overall, they are very friendly and professional people, and very easy to work with. They were very flexible when I had to make MANY changes to the appointments. They never complained (and I'm sure I was a huge PITA).
Both gals I worked with were wonderful. Very friendly and outgoing. Also very professional. I normally use Colleen, but during the week of the wedding, she was on maternity leave.
My MOH and I went the day before the wedding. I had mentioned to the staff that I wanted Shellac and for it to look like a French Manicure. They said it could be done, and looks great. When we arrived, the gal said that I should have forewarned the staff, as it would take longer (which I had several times). The Shellac looked horrible. She redid one of my hands (the left, as it would be photographed a lot the next day), but I let the other hand go. My MOH had both hands redone, and one I think was done 3 times. They still looked kinda messy, and hers was just plain, solid color Shellac. My hairdresser redid one hand the next day, but everything was chipping 3 days after the wedding, which shouldn't have happened. I will never have another manicure again, and I will never get Shellac again. I did have a pedi there as well, and I just asked that they replicate what I'd already had, which was just solid pink, with rhinestones on the big toes. She had great difficulty doing this, and told me that she's not good with nail art. She smudged a couple of toes, but redid them. One of the rhinestones came off 5 days after the wedding, which I've NEVER had happen, and I ALWAYS have nail art. I won't be using them for pedi's again.
I had used Colleen for the e-pics make-up, and she did a fabulous job. I used her again for my wedding (she came just for me!). The make-up looked great, and didn't feel too heavy. She used Mirabella, and asked me to cover the mascara with water-proof, which I provided. I bought some of the make-up, just in case I needed it for touch-ups...which I forgot I had, and ended up shiny. :S I did use the lip gloss throughout the day/night. I love Colleen. Very easy to work with, and she really knows what she is doing.
I had Stephanie for my hair. I'm not sure who else did everyone else's. My trial went well, and the wedding day hair also went well. My only complaint is that, despite what I was told, and I was really worried that this would happen, my hair did NOT hold up. It was pretty much just waves at the end of the night. My FG's hair also fell a bit, but I think hers lasted longer than mine. Everyone else's hair looked great thoughout the night. Stephanie is very friendly and easy to work with, and she gives good advice.
Nebraska Party Bus~ A
Very easy to work with. The driver was very friendly and professional. The bus was clean and nice and cool on our warm and humid wedding day. The only major bummer was that we were told during booking that a new law in NE prohibits alcohol on all buses....so it was kinda boring on the bus, and the WP seemed pretty disappointed.
Men's Wearhouse~ B
From what I know, ordering and fittings went fine. The only issue we had was that one of the tuxes was very wrinkled, and the GM had to iron it. Otherwise, everyone looked amazing, and everything fit well (as far as I know).
Black Tie & White Satin~ A-
After looking at other salons in Omaha and Wahoo, we went to BTWS. They had my dress cheaper, and no shipping charges. SWEET! Other salons I'd looked at had said that alterations would be charged as they go, so there was no way to know how much they'd be. BTWS is a straight $139 (with cups being $10 extra). SCORE! I was only supposed to have 2 fittings, but when I went for my (first) final fitting, the dress has lengthened when they let it out at the hip, so it needed to be taken up, and it was still a tad big in the bust, so they took that in. We made payments, and had to have to paid off prior to picking up (duh), but they were very easy to work with. My only complaint is the bustle...they drew up a map for us, but nobody was able to come with me, so it was very hard to bustle at the reception. During the bustling fiasco, we noticed that one hook was supposed to be an eye, so we had to safety pin it. Also, one of the points kept coming undone throughout the evening. Not a huge deal, just a small PITA.
Brodkey's (our rings and Jim's watch)~ A
My e-ring was purchased at the Oakview location. Easy people to work with there. Our bands were purchased at the Westroads location. They know us very well, as I often show up for my cleaning and inspections. We had both of our bands engraved, and mine were sized and soldered. The Oakview location recommended that we have 3 weeks for them prior to the wedding, as Mother's Day was around that time. Westroads recommended 2 weeks. We had 1 ring back within 4 or 5 days, and mine back a couple of days later. The rings fit, engraving was fine. My e-ring was found to have a loose stone during one of the inspections, and it was fixed and returned within a week or two, if I remember correctly. I bought DH's (first time I've used that! ) watch there, as well. Everyone there is incredibly friendly, patient, and easy to work with.
Things Remembered (majority of BP gifts, and our flutes)~ A-
We purchased many of our WP gifts here, as well as our amazing flutes. A couple of items were bought online, one of which was broken. They immediately sent a replacement, with a prepaid envelope to send back the broken one. Our flutes turned out amazing, and they're using ours as examples, as ours were engraved with our saying, split up (just like our rings), as if we are saying it to each other. They did engrave them incorrectly the first time, which I noticed when they were showing them to me prior to packing them up for us. They engraved new ones, and had them ready the next day. No big deal. They are a little bit expensive, but we signed up for some e-mail program, which gave us coupons, and keeps points for us, so we continue to save a little. We used the Westroads location. VERY easy people to work with.