ORIGINAL wedding venue - the foundry
/> The Foundry gets a hearty Z- I only wish there were more letters in the alphabet so I could give them an even worse grade! I have to say, couples, trust your gut. When we flew down to nola to pick a venue, everyone was so nice and willing to help in order to get our business (especially Steve at rosies and Cindy at the chickory), but the spaces weren't laid out to accommodate all we had planned. The foundry seem perfect, and although the people there were less enthusiastic, they seemed to have their stuff together. Once we had a contract in place, it all went south. As if planning a wedding by yourself for the most part from 1500 miles away (san francisco) wasn't stressful enough, we had these jerks to deal with. Everything that was no problem when we met was a big problem after the fact. Their attitude was very negative and they nickel and dimed us at every turn. They did do a number of menus for us, and they would say we were never satisfied. I would say that the cost varied so wildly from one menu to the next while still never achieving what we we're asking for. Regardless, not sure asking for several menu revisions justifies trying to jack our price up by four thousand dollars 3 weeks before the wedding, or the OWNER telling my now husband "F you and F your family, stay in California, we don't want you here." Actually not sure what we could have done to cause these people to breach our contract only 3 weeks before the big day,we certainly wouldn't have wanted it that way. Just a warning to you all, they are really horrible people who caused me a lot if undue stress and tears from when I first contracted with them in march until we agreed to part ways in sept. And believe me, I am being kind here, the whole experience with them was a disaster from start to finish and they we're defensive and dishonest from the moment they got a contract in hand. I can say 2 positive things about the foundry - when I sent my lawyer over to pick up my deposit check, they gave it to her without argument (because they had breached the agreement in a variety of ways, they had no choice but to refund our money), and if they hadn't been so horrific, I never would have known how lucky I was to end up having my wedding at....
/> Loews New Orleans - final wedding venue - AAAAA+++++++++++
/> I could not have been more lucky to come across the Loews and the wonderful, spectacular staff there. They took care of me like a bride, I never would have imagined that level of service would be so important to me, but after my experience with the people at the foundry, it was a breath of fresh air. Courtney Dubbin has got her stuff together, she took care of everything and more and was ready with a solution to every concern. Once she came into the picture, everything went as smoothly and perfectly as you can possibly imagine, she is like a fairy godmother. Carlos and The staff at the loews are simply unparalleled, they offer a level of service with a smile that makes you feel as if you are a millionaire! All I can say is, impeccable. The day was perfect, the venue was beautiful, the staff was friendly and accommodating, and the food was freaking fantastic!
/> It is worth every penny and I can't say enough how much pressure it relieved to be working with such consummate professionals. I'll end this review with a quote from my mom. She said " you should call the foundry and thank them" and she is right - had they not been such colossal jerks, I never would have come upon the loews and that was the best thing that could have happened.
/> Planner - Andrea Patton, Another Perfect Affair - B++
/> I hired Andrea as a " day of plus" planner, meaning predominantly for day of but with her commitment to help out in the weeks leading up to the day. To be fair, I had almost everything pretty much in place by the time she came into the picture, so there wasn't a whole heck of a lot for her to do, but she made some excellent vendor recommendations, particularly with my photographer and officiants, and she helped keep me calm and present, which is no small feat! She was very willing to go above & beyond the typical "day of" duties. Ultimately I did most of the work but she was super helpful and the price was better than most others I talked to about the same responsibilities.
/> Co-officiants- Cantor Samuel Krush and Rev. Anita Dinwiddie - both A++
/> I was looking for a Jewish officiant and a Baptist one, and I was really surprised at how hard it was to find. I found Cantor Krush through an interfaith website, and Rev. Dinwiddie through my planner. They were both excellent! They took the time to get to know us and made sure the ceremony was representative of both faiths and they both put a lot of love and care into the ceremony. EVERYBODY was talking about how wonderful and meaningful the ceremony was, and my husband and I and our families felt the same. I would highly recommend them both, whether as a team (they worked together beautifully) or individually.
/> Hotels - Windsor Court and the Wyndham Riverfront - both A+
/> We had the vast majority of our guests stay at the Wyndham and it was the perfect choice! Tiffany in group reservations took excellent care of us and all our guests, and went way above and beyond. Terms of service. The price was right, the location was great and gave our guests a lot of options for food & fun, and the staff was super friendly. Everyone was talking about how comfortable the beds are! A smaller group stayed at the Windsor Court, and what can you say negative about the Windsor? Sure, it could use a bit of a face lift, but it has that old New Orleans charm and the level of service and attention to detail there are simply bar none, you are immediately swept away to old New Orleans and a simpler time. Jackie Doise and her staff saw to it that every request was fulfilled and to the highest standard. They absolutely went above and beyond to ensure I had everything I needed and that is quite a godsend when you are in the final throes of your wedding week! I highly recommend both hotels.
/> Florist - Christina O'Malley - B
/> We had planned to do our flowers ourselves, but after the debacle with the Foundry, I felt like I should hire a professional. So, I hired Christina just a couple of weeks out and she was able to work with me. She did a very nice job with my limited budget and threw in some stuff. I did specifically ask if the flowers I wanted (i cant remember what they were now!) would make good bouquets and bouts and she said they would but they were awful, totally falling apart. The table pieces were nice, not too ample though, again, I guess I had a relatively limited budget so it didn't bother me too much considering how last minute it all was. All things considered, She did a very beautiful job with our event, in particular the Chuppah was just lovely, and Christina was on time and very pleasant to work with.
/> Ceremony and cocktail hour - Kirk Joseph and the Backyard Groove - A++++++++++++++++++
/> you could not do better than having New Orleans legend Kirk Joseph (of Dirty Dozen fame) play your wedding! He knows it all from funk to blues to jazz to Klezmer and more. The crowd was sucked right in and the band took them on a terrific journey through New Orleans music. Having them play us down the aisle made the day so special and we can't imagine having had the day without him! We love Kirk!
/> Reception band - George Porter, Jr. And the Runnin' Pardners -
/> Another A+++++++++++++++++++++
/> we were so lucky to be able to have a New Orleans treasure like George Porter, Jr. (original and Funky Meters) Play our wedding. He put together an unbelievable set of really personal music for us, with blues and New Orleans standards and everything in between. The guests absolutely loved it, everyone was on their feet! George was terrific to work with and his band has some of the very best musicians you can find on the planet. George put a lot of effort into the set, and it showed, and it paid off. We feel so honored that he played our special day, it is a memory that will be with us and carry us though anything that comes our way; really super special.
/> REAL Mardi GRAS Indians - A+++++
/> So fun and entertaining to have two Mardi GRAS Indians Dancing and chanting during our cocktail hour. We wanted to show our guests the real New Orleans, and this sure fit the bill! There are a lot of imitators out there, but if you can get some real Indians, you will also be giving back to that community and helping to ensure that unique culture thrives for generations to come. A sure fire hit, our guests are still talking about it.
/> Painter - Frenchy - A++++++++++++++
/> it turned out to be such a great and unique idea to have Frenchy paint our wedding. The guests were fascinated by him. He paints in motion - capturing all the little moments as they happen and working them into the art. He's best known for painting Saints games and music events, but he did a wonderful job with our painting and we love it, it's so much fun to look at it and remember our wonderful day! He also has beautiful spirit that brings a great energy to everything he touches. My husband & I split the painting as our wedding gift to each other, and we are really happy that we decided to do that- worth every penny!
/> Photographer - Elise Sanchez (with her husband Truitt) - A+
/> I knew I was going to like Elise from our first phone call. She's really fun and artistic and has a great eye - our photos came out beautifully, in fact we are still trying to narrow down our favorites for our wedding album! They were very flexible and accommodating, and you hardly noticed them, but they seemed to capture every moment. Wonderful people, wonderful photography.
Hair & Makeup - Brantley Hair Studio - B
I was really unhappy with my test run of makeup (hair was good), so I went and got my face redone at a department store & bought that makeup, & had them do one of those demo pages to show it should be done. Brantley was really gracious about it, and did the makeup as the department store person did it, and in the end it came out really nice.
/> I also have to mention we got the cutest purple & gold musical note yarmulkes online from a place called Mazel Tops - adorable!