jlb

WEDDING DATE:

Apr 10, 2008

jlb
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The cakemaker
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
We met with Bala (the owner and chef of "Cake Maker"). He is very friendly and has a small bakery where he bakes all of his cakes. We liked the fact that we'd be working on a very personal level with someone who owns the bakery and does all of the baking and icing himself. In addition, he came highly recommended by our reception venue, the Marine Memorial Club in SF. Bala prepared 5 different cakes/fillings of our request for the tasting and they were all delicious. His albums of his cakes are beautiful. We were very impressed with the design of his cakes. I actually fell in love with several of them. For rolled frosting with patterns, it cost $6 slice which was very reasonable compared to everywhere else we looked. In the long run, we decided to go with a more affordable cake for our budget, but I wanted to put in a review for the Cake Maker, because his cakes and the price were terrific!!!
Services used: Wedding Cake

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John Griffin Photography
 
( 1.0 / 5.0 )
Words cannot begin to describe how incredibly disappointed we are with the photos taken by John Griffin. We thought we were going with a higher-end photographer based on his price. He never took a picture of the bride, the groom with his mother, or the majority of our guests (just to mention a few forgotten ones). Please read the list below to understand the quality of the photographs we received. We also had a video made of the wedding the video shows numerous instances where John is not even looking through the camera lens while taking pictures he is holding the camera at his chest or waist and just snapping pictures this may be the reason why so many out of focus, not centered, and have people cut off. We partially blame ourselves for hiring John because when we first met him, we asked why some of his pictures had large areas of blue sky, and many had the sky completely washed out at the same venue his answer was I dont know it just happens. He said hes had no formal education in photography, has picked it up as he has gone along, and doesnt use an assistant. The only good thing is when we asked for 100% of our money back, he refunded our money immediately without any dispute. When we asked him what happened he could not provide an explanation and simply said, Im sorry you didnt like the pictures. I did the best I could. Here are just a few problems with the photos he gave us: 1) CEREMONY - We wanted formal portraits of bride, groom, family and special friends (we gave him a specific list as requested). He never took a picture of just the bridehe did take one of the groom solo (although it was awful). - The traditional picture of the bride/groom with both families has the grooms parents still wearing their sunglasses from the outdoor ceremony. John didnt notice and when it was pointed out he didnt take another picture. - The picture with the 2nd bridesmaid has her hair going straight across her face. - Over half of the ceremony pictures have the bride, groom, officiate or maid of honor with their eyes closed - The beautiful green background of the mountains is completely washed out into a gray and the cloudless blue sky is white in the middle of the picture and only blue in the corners. The few amateur pictures our friends took have green background and blue sky. - He has people walking or standing in the background of formal pictures - The picture of my grandmother has the woman behind her picking her teeth - One picture is of a man pulling up his pants next to a water spigot in dead grass - John never adjusted my hair, my dress, my veil or directed how people pose - The location of the portraits doesnt show the beauty of the background I had to specifically ask him to please take a picture of us with the beautiful mountains in the background my dress is all crumpled up off to the side which he never fixed or noticed. - The only picture John took of the officiate walking down the aisle has a guests blurry head covering the bottom half of the officiate - We do not have one picture of the entire wedding party at the alter he cut off the far right groomsmen on the one shot that was from the back of the area - In several of the ceremony pictures, he cut off portions of the groom or bride - The picture of the vows has of the grooms body cut off - All of the pictures of the recessional are out of focus - Many of the ceremony pictures are out of focus - Many formal portraits have sun ray glares coming across the pictures - The pictures of the ring bearer are blurry and he didnt take any pictures of the ring bearer up at the alter handing the pillow to the best man - Most ceremony pictures have peoples feet cut off. 2) RECEPTION - 92 % of them are out of focus or blurry. - Every single picture of the dancing is at an angle (which we explicitly said we didnt want), completely out of focus, and washed out the beauty of the ballroom. - Every picture of the first dance is out of focus and with the background of where the servers enter the room instead of the guests or ballroom dcor. - The cake picture had the cake cut off the bottom - The picture of the guest book signing table is so blurry you wouldnt even know what it is - He never went around the room taking pictures of our guests at their tables - He never took pictures of our guests dancing (we had a packed dancefloor until the lights came on) - Every picture he took of the bridal party dancing (during 2nd dance) is completely out of focus, mouths open, during a moment of looking down
Services used: Unique Services

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Gerhard Michler Fine European Desserts
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
We LOVED our cake from Gerhard Michler Bakery. We worked with Mary in the planning. She is SUPER friendly, helpful and extremely patient as we thumbed through books and ideas. They can do pretty much anything you'd like. Her office where you meet in the main bakery part where you see them making everything. The bakery is huge (based on my very limited bakery experience). There are many people working in the bakery and the thing that I noticed the most was that everybody was smiling and talking and friendly and seemed like they really enjoy what they do. During the tasting, she had samples of icings, cakes and fillings and gave us 4 small cakes to take home and enjoy. The day I brought our flowers for the cake, I met with the lady who was going to ice and decorate it. She was extremely friendly and wanted to make sure I was getting exactly what I wanted. The cake itself was beautiful and exactly what we asked for. We had 3 tiers, each with different cake, fillings and fresh berries. It was DELICIOUS!!! We also had a creampuff tree for the Groom's Cake which stood 2 feet tall and looked amazing with chocolate covered strawberries and powdered sugar here and there... Overall, I would give Gerhard Michler my highest recommendation. The prices are very reasonable (for the Bay Area), the cake is delicious and the service is terrific!
Services used: Wedding Cake

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LeGrande Affaire
 
( 1.0 / 5.0 )
They showed up on time and the limo was what we had ordered. The limo driver wouldn't let us put some of our flowers in the back of the limo even though it was a 18 person limo and only 13 people riding. He said "he carries people not flowers". The BIG problem was when he took the bridal party from the ceremony to the reception. He went a way that took us right in front of ATT Park as a Giant's game was getting out. We were gridlocked in traffic for over an hour. The rest of the guests went the way I recommended and it took them 25 min (it took us 1 hour, 15 min). When I asked the driver why we didn't take 6th St exit, he replied "he already passed it". Later (30 min later) he told me that he couldn't go any other way except the way he was going. That was B.S. He had even told some of my guests (with regular cars) "his directions"... thank god they didn't listen to him. We ended up missing our entire cocktail hour because of our driver's directions. I asked some other limo agencies and they said, "There is NEVER just one way you can get from one side of SF to the other". Turns out the way we wen't was actually harder and with steeper turns than many other ways that didn't require us to get stuck in the Giant's Game. Overall - this company CLEARLY does not look at traffic reports or has a good sense of directions. If everything is normal, this company would be just fine... but if there's a traffic issue, don't plan on this company being flexible or getting you to where you need to be on time!
Services used: Transportation