Scarlet Petal was our best vendor. The flowers were AMAZING ... seriously AMAZING. My bouquet cost $400 and it was well worth it - HUGE, gorgeous fragrant flowers. Just perfection. All of the flowers were simply beautiful.
We had a chuppah which absolutely took my breath away. It looked significantly more beautiful than the sample photo I had given her. Just stunning.
My only complaints were that they were to provide the flowers for our cake, and I gave them a photo of what our cake would look like, and they did not put any flowers on the top tier. So ... we had no cake topper which looked ridiculous (to us). And that we wanted to use more white hydrangea than green hydrangea in our reception centerpieces which we went over with Jenny. But, the day of, the centerpieces looked exactly like our mock-up ... lots of green hydrangea. Not a big deal, but noteworthy.
Clete is reasonably priced for wonderful photography. He is wonderful to work with the day of ... very friendly, very calm and tries to get unique shots, rather than cliche ones. Extremely beautiful photos - we have been absolutely thrilled with them.
If you go with Clete, be prepared to wait and have little communication. Next week will be 3 months out from our wedding, and he has still not uploaded all of the photos on his online viewing gallery (we have most, but are waiting for the second half of our reception). We were initially told to expect a 5-7 week processing time for our photos. We then were told that he was running 2 weeks behind and would have them August 14. We were then told it would be ANOTHER 2 weeks and finally received the incomplete gallery on August 28. I was told that he would finish putting the rest of our reception photos up last week ... they are still not up. If I email Clete, it is generally a week before I hear back from him.
Chicago, IL 60611
We had our wedding rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and reception at The Drake.
It is gorgeous. STUNNING. And a Chicago landmark. Anything you want, you can have. Our rehearsal dinner was in the Venetian Room which looked out over the park and was GORGEOUS. John, the Catering Manager, was wonderful to work with - very easy going, very accommodating and definitely helpful in a crisis. The food at the rehearsal dinner wasn't very good, but the food at our reception was WONDERFUL.
The Catering department is wonderful. The housekeeping department is terrible. We had all sorts of nightmares with my in-laws' rooms. We had a complete headache trying to move my stuff out of my suite from the weekend and up to our honeymoon suite (this debacle ended up interfering with our reception). Housekeeping lost a package of ours (they called us to come down and get it and then couldn't find it).
Chicago, IL 60641
We went with Ali because we were so impressed during our initial interview with her. We chose her "Day Of" coordination package which actually meant that we would start working with her about 6 weeks out from our wedding. She was very friendly and seemed extremely organized during the interview. She said that our final wedding day schedule would be emailed to all wedding party members so that everyone would know exactly where they were supposed to be the day of, which was the final selling point.
I'm sad to say that we were extremely disappointed by Ali for the most part. She misplaced vendor contracts that I sent her more than once (and then would email me as if I had never sent them in the first place), she seemed almost ditzy and flustered about our wedding details - every time I spoke with her she seemed forgetful and rushed. I felt that our wedding was not as much of a priority for her as it would have been if we had purchased the full wedding coordination package. We were STILL working on our final wedding day schedule the WEEKEND of the wedding! Needless to say, it was never emailed out or printed up and given to the wedding party. My husband's brother who was a groomsman missed the guys' limo out to the ceremony site the morning of our wedding which yes, is of course his problem, but I really feel that if the schedules had been given to all the members of our wedding party like she stated they would be, that incident might have been prevented. Ali said that she would take over as our vendor contact - this led me to believe that she had spoken and confirmed times with our limo vendor. Nope. The morning of the wedding, a limo that was to pick up all of my aunts and cousins was late, because she hadn't confirmed the final pick up time with them. Also, I had arranged for a special limo upgrade so that our limo to the reception would have a "just married" sign on the back and champagne ready. This upgrade was listed on the contract that I emailed her (twice, because she lost it the first time). But the day of our wedding, we were put in the wrong limo - no "just married" sign and no champagne.
The other thing that bothered me about working with Ali was that she was difficult to get a hold of. She was constantly on vacation or out of town. We don't live in Chicago, so on our special trips up to do wedding planning, she was never available.
Positive points about Ali were that she was very nice and had great relationships with all of our vendors including The Drake. I guess that is why I was ultimately SO disappointed ... she has a wonderful reputation, is one of the top wedding coordinators in Chicago, and yet was so seemingly off her game with our wedding. Just unfortunate. If you go with her, I suggest not doing the weekend coordination package ... only go for the full service, and maybe things will work out better.
We went with Rolf's because they are the contracted bakery with The Drake Hotel (where we had our reception). The cake was DELICIOUS but we were very, very disappointed with the look of the cake itself. It didn't look ANYTHING like the photo that I had given them ... the tiers weren't spaced correctly, the icing finish wasn't correct. So if you go with them MAKE SURE that they know exactly what you want.