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Vendor Reviews - Davis Island Garden Club

I am VERY late on these but wanted to make sure I got them up since the reviews were always so helpful during my wedding planning. It is also quite long, sorry about that. I got married on 3/25/11 but closed on our new home the morning of....then went on our honeymoon and it has been non-stop ever since, but here it is:

Venue - Davis Island Garden Club
It was AMAZING.....the view, the weather and we had the best of both worlds. It's on the water with beautiful landscape and the skyline of Tampa Bay. It also gives you the freedom to pick all your own vendors. You're not tied to the hotel's catering or their bar options. I had the freedom to pick and choose on everything. The price is very reasonable. The gazebo is breath-taking, cocktail hour on the patio and a reception hall for you to create whatever atmosphere you would like. I recommend using their patio draping and chandeliers. It makes the patio look very classy and upscale. I miss it already!

Catering - Amici's
Amici's also did an amazing job. Everyone who worked for Amici's were so pleasant and so polite. The sales ladies responded to all my questions very fast and the food was amazing. We received so many compliments on the food and people are still talking about the dinner. We did a buffet style and it was a hit.

Photographer - Engagement Photo's
Scites Photography - A+++++++++++++
We are two different photographers. Scites Photography did our engagement photos. Chris was booked for our wedding date but we really like his work so we used him for our engagement photos that went on our save the date cards. They turned out amazing. Our friends give us the award for most creative since we made it into a post card and said it was really awesome and original. You can find our pictures on his website:


Mandy & Me Studios
We really lucked out with both photographers b/c they did an job. Mandy & Anas did a great job. I love my pictures and already have them up on my walls. Here's Mandy's blog from all her weddings and we're in there somewhere:


Videographer - Life's Highlights
April and Scott are the sweetest, nicest couple. And they do such an excellent job without even noticing they're there. I just watch our highlight video over & over again b/c they did such a good job. I highly recommend them.


Day of Coordinator - Flawless Occassions

I couldn't have done any of this without Beth. I gave her everything on the day of and she set it all up perfectly. She kept us on schedule and took control of organizing all the vendors. I went back and forth on if I should have a coordinator and I definitely recommend it. There is so much to do and the day flies by....Beth helps you to just enjoy the day withour stressing about everything. I definitely recommend her.

Linens - Kate Ryan Linens
Kristin was awesome and helped me create all the beauty I wanted. She even showed up after the linens were dropped off to help Beth set everything up and make sure it was all perfect. She even brought extra linens to make a few extra touches. She is awesome and really takes the time to care of your wedding rather then just dropping the linens off and picking them up.

DJ - Grand Hammond
We were a bit disappointed here. The entire evening was going well until the dance floor. We gave him all the music for everything up until the dance portion of the night. But we had instructed for no cheesy music and music as if you were in a south beach club or any new, upbeat club. He started the night out with Backstreet Boys. I was not too happy. I'm not hating on them but I listened to them back in high school not on the dance floor for my wedding. He didn't play any of the songs we asked him to throw in unless I went over to him and specifically said to put this song on. Very disappointing. Even for the ceremony music, he started to play the music but the planner had to run inside and grab my bouquet but he stopped and restarted a 4 minute song about 30 seconds in which he didn't have to b/c it took only a few seconds to go grab my bouquet. Whatever, not a big deal at the end of the day but some things that just didn't make since happened.

Decor - Botanica Florals
Zoe & Ian put some beautiful centerpieces together (they did half and I did half), they did the Gazebo decor, ceiling draping, lighting, boutineers and my bouquet. It all looked beautiful. Lighting really goes a long way. It completely transforms the room. The ceiling draping along with the lighting turn a plain, neutral room into an amazing atmosphere.

Flowers - Fiftyflowers.com and globalrose.com
For a bride on a budget, I had to pick an choose what I could afford with the florist. But ordering wholesale flowers did me wonders. I ordered tons of rose petals to line the aisle and used roses to place on shephards hooks. You wouldn't have even known I did it on my own. Really happy with how everything turned out. I did half of my centerpieces that I loved. The flowers showed up on time and absolutely beautiful. You just want to make sure you order them 2-3 days beforehand to give them some time to open up.

Cigar Roller
We stumbled across a cigar roller while walking in Tarpon Springs and he agreed to come roll cigars at the wedding. It was a HUGE hit with all the men. They loved it. I need to find his information and put it up on here.

Pre-Ceremony Music
We used a violinst and cellist. Another couple we found who do this for a living and provided beautiful music as our guests arrived. I'm jealous b/c I didn't get to listen to it since of course I was awaiting my arrival! :)

First Dance - Ana Rubenstein (Personal Dance Instructor)
We had an amazing first dance routine. If you want to do something different and personalized to the two of you, give her a call. Awesome job....she's also a Zumba Instructor at Lifestyles!

Alcohol - Total Wine
We saved so much money bringing in our own bar. We had a couple signature drinks and then a standard bar with all the top liquors and we still have plenty leftover. You can return any unopened bottles but we're saving it for our house-warming party!!

Honeymoon - Turks & Caicos
This place was breath-taking. The water is the most beautiful I have ver seen and you are forced to just relaz and enjoy yourselves. I definitely recommend it!!

Well....I think I touched on everything. Hope this information helps with all of you planning a wedding. Enjoy every moment b/c it flies by. I loved every moment of our wedding!! :)

Re: Vendor Reviews - Davis Island Garden Club

  • JulieS1786JulieS1786
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Your DJ was from Grant Hemond?  Which DJ was it??
  • jc04100657jc04100657
    edited December 2011
    I was going to ask the same thing, which DJ did you use? 

    September 2011 Siggy Challenge- Favorite Ceremony Photo
  • Angie.LapkovAngie.Lapkov
    edited December 2011
    Sounds like a perfect wedding,. Which one are you on the blog, i wanna see the cigral roller lol
  • edited December 2011
    Well, I didn't want to completely throw the DJ under the bus b/c he was very nice and I feel bad for having to write a disappointing review. We were just very disappointed when it came to the dance portion of our night.

    If you type in Kristen & Alen in the search engine of Mandy's blog, we should come up. There's a great photo of the cigar roller.
  • edited December 2011
    ksalvog -- you have a private message.:)
    Wedding Countdown Ticker LilySlim Weight loss tickers
  • edited December 2011
    It would be nice to know the actual DJ considering I already have them booked. I know a few of the ladies do as well.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • mitchsbridemitchsbride
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'm really shocked to read this.  Grant Hemond has outstanding reviews!
  • rheilemanrheileman
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for the review!  I'm getting married at Davis Islands Garden Club on 11-19-11.  FI and I dropped by on our way home from the dog beach yesterday just to walk around and I got goosebumps envisioning our day!  I simply can't wait! Congrats!
  • edited December 2011
    I used Amici's too and they were amazing!

    Did you seriously close on your house the morning of your wedding?  I would have lost it...!!!
  • edited December 2011
    Yes...we did. We were supposed to close on March 1st but as always, the bank were a pian to deal with. At least it will be a day we never forget, lol. The title company forgot to have us sign a document, so at the wedding while we were taking pictures, we were signing the final documents. Made for a hectic but memorable day.

    Amici's was awesome, can't say enough good things about them.

    Davis Island GArden Club is an amazing venue. The outside is beautiful and speaks for itself. The inside reception hall area is a blank canvas for you to transform it into whatever your heart desires!

    As far as the DJ goes, I know how reviews weigh very  heavily. The guy was very nice to us and don't want to bash him and to cause him to lose any business, just trying to give an honest review with my experience. If you are VERY specific in what you want your DJ to play. Then any DJ will do the job nicely. We gave him everything up until the dance portion and he did great. I think I needed to be more specific in what we expected on the dance floor. The DJ had gotten wonderful reviews, so I don't want to give a negative review to him based on our taste in music since everyone has different ideas of what that is. We just expected something different.
  • rheilemanrheileman
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Question:  We just received our final payment packet from DIGC and reading through everything was overwhelming to say the least!  They seem so strict (especially when it comes to decorating) and it seems very easy to loose your deposit.  Did you have trouble making sure the venue was in perfect condition when you left? Was there someone you appointed to walk through the venue at the end to make sure all their requirements were met?  Any tips on ensuring we get our deposit back?  I'm so nervous...
  • edited December 2011
    It does seem a bit overwhelming at first and that they may be a bit knit-picky.....but I had a "day-of coordinator" who had worked at Davis Island for many events and knew the routine. She knew what we could and couldn't do.  I didn't have to worry about anything. The caterers and coordinator cleaned everything up at the end of the night.

    They did deduct $25 from the deposit b/c some smokers wondered over by the water and left cigarette butts over there, so they had to clean it up. other then that everything was good.
  • I know this was a super-old post, but do you know/remember who your coordinator was? Did you use a planning service at all? My bff is looking at DIGC and I'm super-nervous about having to clean everything up afterwards...yikes. Thanks for any info you can give!! 
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