Westminster, CA 92683
Lifetime does excellent work and offers quality products; however, their prices are on the higher end. I ordered table linens, a wall-to-wall backdrop, a photo backdrop and head table draping through them. The prices for these were reasonable, though I did find the same floor-length linens for $10 less per table elsewhere. However, as Lifetime is Furiwa's sister company, I felt it would be easier for them to work together and set up the tables correctly.
Lifetime executed the draping beautifully. The backdrops were perfect, just as discussed. However, Lifetime usually sticks to their basic designs, so all of their weddings look similar.
I met with Lifetime for floral design work as well, but I ended up going with another florist because she was more willing to work with me on custom designing my bouquets and centerpieces. Lifetime offered cookie cutter bouquets for higher prices - I could only have roses and orchids in my bouquets and my bridesmaids could only have roses. If I wanted anything else, the cost was much too exorbitant. Also, for the tall centerpiece that I wanted with similar flowers, Lifetime quoted me at least 2x as much.
I was also quoted much higher for gobo lighting and pinlighting than my vendor, and slightly higher for uplighting.
Lifetime is a very solid group and they do great work. I would trust them to execute beautifully; however, I do feel their prices are a bit high for their "cookie-cutter" look. They sometimes offer an overall deal if you book their larger packages.
My good friend ordered her Pronovias dress through them, and everything went smoothly. She also did the works with them (lighting, draping, chair covers, upgraded white dancefloor, etc), and she was very happy with them. So for the brides that want an all-in-one place, Lifetime is a good stop; however, if you are looking for good prices, it won't be the best place. They do quality work, though, and are very experienced with weddings, so sometimes, it's more of a hassle to look for the best deals.
Lifetime also had a gorgeous, Spanish-style banquet hall called The Villa which is a great, reasonably priced venue for weddings and/or events. If my guestlist was under 300, I might have chosen the venue. The biggest selling point of this venue? It comes set up with chiavari chairs! A+ for that!
We ordered our dads' and groomsmens' tuxedos through Mens Wearhouse about 8 months prior to the wedding. They still messed up on our order! Apparently, they have West Coast vs. East coast hubs, and certain styles are only available in their respective regions. However, we selected a Giorgio Armani style that somehow magically got changed in their computer systems to Tommy Hilfiger. There was a reason why we chose the GA over the Tommy though, so when the men all received the tuxes, we noticed they were different from the style we had selected. The manager at the HB store then explained the regional attire styles and apologized and said the only thing he could do is give us a 30% discount. It was 3 days before the wedding, so we accepted his offer. I would have preferred the correct style only because it complemented the groom's tuxedo best, but with all things considered, the discount made the mistake a bit more bearable. I'm not sure we were not notified of the change or told the style was unavailable - they had months and months to let us know so that we could figure out alternatives. But the manager was very fair and explained to us apologetically. Had they not offered a discount to alleviate their mistake, they would have definitely received 0 stars and a grade F.
The tuxedos arrived on time, and fit all depends on the people measuring you. Some of our tuxedos fit fine, and others were either too loose/big and one jacket had arms that were much too shirt. Pee Wee Herman style! But they were quick to reorder and in the end the fit were decent since you can't expect perfect fits at rental places. There aren't too many options as far as rentals for mens attire, and Mens Wearhouse was the most convenient because the men in our bridal party did not live locally. We also received one free tux rental for the 4+ rentals and used a coupon for $25 off each tux.
North Hills, CA 91343
We ordered uplights, gobo, pinspot lighting for the head and cake tables, H20 effects for our reception banquet room. The pink and amber lighting was very pretty; however, I did feel the lighting was a bit dark. Had I seen the banquet room prior to guests arriving, I would have asked that they bring up the lights a bit. It probably has less to do with Rainbow Sound than it does with our reception hall chandeliers. I probably would have asked for more lighting for the band as well. Out of the lighting companies, Rainbow Sound is very competitive in pricing. Great deal on the gobo and special lighting effects!
I also ordered a 12X12 screen through Rainbow Sound and Lighting, and comparatively, they gave me the best deal. Jonathan kept in contact, had great communication, and set up on time. He also arrived to pack up promptly. I would definitely use them again!
It is unfortunate that I had such a poor experience with the Young Brothers Band (local Vietnamese OC band), because I had high hopes for them. The band members are very nice and cordial, especially my main contact John.
On the plus side:
1. the band arrived on time to set up
2. the band provided extra sound for our ceremony and DJ for a fair cost
3. played all of our requested Grand Entrance songs
4. music and singing were relatively good, more so to the younger crowds
5. John kept up regular communication with me via e-mails and responded to e-mails courteously and in a timely manner
On the negative side:
1. What ruined our experience most is that the band played the incorrect first dance song. Not only that, they played our least favorite artist and a song we absolutely hate. The song we chose had a lot of meaning for us, and had the band expressed any difficulty obtaining the song, we would have easily provided the music. My husband had fun on our wedding day, but he is most upset about the band not providing the songs we had requested. What we would have preferred them to do is pause and check with us on alternate songs or choose one of the songs we had provided on our playlist. There was nothing on our list that resembled Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me," so I truly do not understand how they could just play the first available song on their playlist.
2. We were disappointed that the band did not invite up our guests who I had wished to come up on stage. I had met with John to discuss this prior to our wedding, and it seemed that he understood. My mom had practiced her song over and over and even spoke to the band herself, and yet, the band would not have called her up had I not asked the emcee to have her sing before the cake cutting (signaling the end of the night). I would have rather the band sing a bit less and a few of our main guests have a chance to sing the songs they practiced. They could have definitely asked any one of us whether we still wanted to invite people up to sing. Though I did not want the wedding to turn into "karaoke," I did want to include some of families and friends who traveled far to be with us.
3. My mom was upset that one of the singers was wearing jeans and a tshirt. I didn't see this, but she felt it was disrespectful so she was not happy to see this. I do believe that a band is more professional when they don appropriate attire, something more suitable for a stage than casual wear.
4. The emcee interrupted my sister/MOH's speech which unfortunately disrupted her flow. She was pretty annoyed by this. The emcees did not seem to know our program very well and did not provide much direction. My mom was most unhappy with the band and felt they did not pump up the crowd enough. I think they tried, but many of guests did feel the female emcee was not effective.
5. They did not follow my centerpiece game instructions, and I did not like their game at all. I should have discussed this in more detail, more so with the emcee had one of them been available to meet.
When I met with the band, I was very impressed with their instrumental music. However, their emcee pulled them down. I believe that is why the band chose to bring a different emcee to our wedding, which I do appreciate, however, we feel the emcees were not very familiar with our program. My mom and sister were supposed to be called up early in the night, and they never made an effort to fit them in.
They also have higher rates than many of the local bands, which is why I expected more out of them.
What would have improved our experience with the band:
1. the right music (messing up on the first dance is huge!) - let us know if you don't have our song (apparently, they had an itunes technical difficulty, but this would have been prevented had they checked all songs prior to the reception)
2. better knowledge of the program
3. emcees with more direction (goes hand in hand with #2) - or better communication with us if they were not sure
4. mix of upbeat songs and slow ballads (because we asked for a 75% English, 25% Vietnamese song program, they concentrated on slow ballads)
5. allowing the special guests to sing when already informed about this during our meetings
6. professional attire (not a huge deal breaker with me, but with parents)
I deeply wish that we had smooth sailing with our band, but hope that this feedback helps prevent future issues with this band or a band who is very similar (especially when you have parents like ours who insist on having Asian entertainment for their guests). I gave them 2 stars/C- because although we had those issues, I do feel they are more Americanized than many of the Asian/Vietnamese bands available and their music and singing are good (the younger crowds did compliment them). I am sure they have had many successful weddings; however, I do feel there a lot of room for improvement for our wedding in particular and this review is specific only to our wedding.
I e-mailed the band with some feedback but have yet to receive a response.
Garden Grove, CA 92843
Our wedding was catered by Furiwa at the Sheraton Park Hotel in Anaheim, CA.
Our main contact was Stacie Tran, who was always very professional and knowledgable. She was always on the ball, and you can tell that she has been working in the wedding industry for years. She responded quickly to e-mails and questions. She also answered everything very freely - vendor recommendations, suggestions, etc.
We selected the following menu:
Seven Star Cold Platter
Shark's Fin Crabmeat Soup
Candied Walnut Shrimp & Shrimp Balls
Seafood Braised Duck
House Special Lobster
Hot & Sour Fish Fillet
Lotus Leaf Fried Rice
Our guests raved about the food. Catering for 38+ tables is not an easy task. But we received great feedback from both young and older guests. Some of the standouts: Seafood Braised Duck and Hot and Sour Fish Fillet. My sister's favorite is the walnut shrimp. The lobster is also very tasty. Some people even loved the appetizer platter. We've been to lots of weddings catered by Furiwa and feel they are a hit or miss. Sometimes, the food is fresh and tasty. Other times, the food is sub-par. However, we felt very lucky that our food on the wedding day was excellent. Big plus for them!
For the most part, the planning/catering process was smooth. We only had one hiccup with Stacie, which had to do with our menu selection tasting. We had a tasting early on in the process when we were choosing between two caterers and several local hotels. Both restaurants offered us tastings while we were still deciding (4 items each), and we ended up going with Furiwa because of our hotel choice (some hotels work exclusively with Furiwa).
When it came time to decide on our menu, I asked Stacie whether I could bring my parents. After getting the family together and arriving at the restaurant, Stacie then told us that we had already had our tasting. I was confused at how a tasting BEFORE we booked could be considered a tasting for our MENU SELECTION. In the end, however, Stacie did give us a complimentary tasting (3 items). But it definitely put a blemish in our experience with them. However, it wasn't a deal breaker. I think it was mostly a misunderstanding.
Furiwa offers a day-of coordinator to help during the wedding day. I didn't feel our day-of-coordinator knew our program very well. The rehearsal was disorganized, and the kids were confused because our coordinator lined them up incorrectly. We also didn't feel the coordinator kept us updated on the timing/flow on the day of the wedding. For our ceremony, the coordinator also did not ask the hotel to turn down the "elevator" music, so after watching our video, I finally understood the annoying music that our guests had mentioned to me. Apparently, she thought it was part of our music and when she figured it out it was coming from the hotel, it was too late. We were also confused where she left our food for the night. We thought the food/cake was back at our suite, but it was left in the changing room, so we were super hungry after our wedding. The hotel or coordinator also lost our cake platter. Stacie was quick to fix both problems, however. She gave us a gift certificate to return for lunch or dinner and she reimbursed us for the cost of the platter. Very professional.
The only big minus I give them had to do with one of their staff at the end of the night. Since some of our family didn't get cake, I wanted to take some cake home for them. The staff person was very rushed, unfriendly and unwilling to help. He said they were "too busy," so he showed me where the cake was and didn't even give me plates. I had to search the kitchen myself in my ao dai (Vietnamese wedding dress). Stacie apologized for this, and she did mention that they weren't happy with our hotel in general as well.
Furiwa pricing is on the higher end when it comes to Chinese seafood banquet food pricing. They also do not serve as many entrees and slightly smaller portions. 7 entrees plus oranges. For the pricing, I think they should either serve one additional dish or serve better dessert (oranges?!). But they are among the most experienced as far as Asian cuisine catering, so we probably would have still chosen them for this reason alone. We were lucky that the food was among the best we've had with Furiwa. There was a discrepancy with chocolate fountain pricing, however. I asked the hotel directly and they mentioned it is usually about $700-1000 but that I would need to contact Furiwa; however, Furiwa quoted $10/person. Huge difference!
For the most part, I was happy with Furiwa's service, especially Stacie's part in the process. Totally wish she was our day-of coordinator! Other than the small hiccups and day-of-coordinator issues, I recommend Furiwa should you desire Asian cuisine for your wedding or party.
I ordered Stardream cover paper via paper and more! and had no problems whatsoever. The paper arrived in a timely manner and the quality was as expected. Their prices are very competitive even with shipping included -- the best that we could find for Stardream paper. I will definitely be back with other paper needs!
24328 Vermont Ave # 216
Harbor City, CA 90710
We booked Executive 1 Limo via Hollywood Bridal, but I later discovered that had I booked directly with them, the rate would have been slightly less per hour. It wasn't much of a difference, so not a huge deal. The limousine arrived on time and took us to our sites as requested. The bar was stocked with cold beverages and alcohol. The chauffeur was cordial and helpful. We booked a white 14 passenger Ford limousine, and it was the best price I could find in this area. They have various vehicles available, and a special rate for those who just need a point-to-point rental. Overall, I would use them again if needed.
We ordered our family boutonnierres from Hollywood Bridal (the main boutonnierres were ordered from Flower Allie). They definitely have the best prices, but the styles are very basic. We ordered simple orchid boutonnierres for family members.
We also ordered all of our tea ceremony decor through them: red table and wall cloths, columns/flowers, candles, signs, etc. We also ordered our flower girl head wreaths through them. They turned out much cuter than I thought they would be. We also ordered flower petals through them.
For basic floral needs, Hollywood Bridal is a good resource. However, all my other floral decor (centerpieces, altar arrangements, etc) were all ordered through another vendor. I feel that Hollywood Bridal has a slightly dated style, great for those who just like the basics. But for those who want truly customized and beautiful arrangements, I would shop around.
Finally, we went through Hollywood Bridal for our limousine, but you save a bit going through the limousine company directly.
Overall, I would use Hollywood Bridal again for all the above. For main floral decor, I would recommend my other florist, Flower Allie!
We had two sets of wedding invitations, one English set and one Vietnamese set. We ordered our English set from Papyrus. Loved them! Prices are very high but were equal to other shops that carried the same brands. During the time we were shopping around for invitations, we were informed of their 20% off custom order; thus, we ended up at Papyrus. The invitation ordering process was easy, though I did have quite a bit of a wait when I came back to see the proof. The invitations were beautiful, but this had more to do with William Arthur and Vera Wang papers than it did with Papyrus. But overall, we had an easy time with Papyrus and would recommend them. I do have to agree a bit with some of the previous reviewers on the Papyrus South Coast Plaza staff. Lauren was nice and friendly, but Maria did seem a bit condescending and all-knowing when it came to wording and details. But it honestly didn't hamper my experience with them - I was truly happy with my invitations, but as Vera Wang only goes through William Arthur Printing, you can get the same quality elsewhere. Just find the best deal because their prices are very high (~$10-15 a set).