May 09, 2009

( 2.0 / 5.0 )
I've never been to the Library Galleria, but I saw the pictures and descriptions online, and thought it looked nice. The website does not mention a minimum capacity, so I emailed them for more information on pricing and availability for a 60-70 guest wedding/reception. This is the two-sentence response: "I'm sorry, but the Galleria is too large for your size group. We do up to 500." That was the rudest vendor response I've received yet. Why have a free-text field for group size?
Services used: Wedding Venue, Rehearsal Dinner

Kim Larson Bridal Makeup and Hairstyling
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
SYNOPSIS: Kim is an amazing hair and makeup artist. Shes is also really personable, yet professional. Her prices are a bit high if your wedding budget is tight, but you definitely get what you pay for. I highly recommend her services. BACKGROUND: Since I live in the Bay Area, and the wedding was at the Monterey Plaza Hotel, I figured I would just go off the preferred vendors list, provided by the hotel. I did a little bit of online research. At the time, there weren't many reviews, so I was slightly concerned. I contacted Kim via email, and she responded within a couple of hours. (Throughout all our email-only correspondences, she was always very responsive.) She gave me her price list, a copy of a blank contract, and some pictures of wedding makeup/hair shes done in the past. I was slightly hesitant with booking her because of the prices, but we had budgeted high in this category, so we were still within our budget. I decided to schedule a makeup and hair trial with her, since the worst case scenario would be -$220. (But the best case scenario would be one vendor less to look for!) TRIAL: I scheduled my hair and makeup trial the morning before our engagement pictures in Carmel. I met Kim at her studio at 8:30 in the morning, and she immediately got to work, knowing that our pictures were right after (at around 11:30 AM). She suggested ending with a different hair style than the one I decide on for the wedding, so we tried out several wedding styles, and then she re-styled it one last time for the pictures. Her first makeup attempt on me was perfect it was natural and yet sufficient for photography. It was very windy that day, so Kim provided me with a touch-up kit for the engagement photo session. Kim was really friendly and concerned about what I wanted. She was also really concerned about finishing on time so I could make it to the photo session. Cost breakdown: $100 for hair trial, $100 for makeup trial, and $110 for deposit (because I already knew I wanted her to do my wedding!). WEDDING DAY: The day before the wedding, Kim was so on-top of things that she called me for my hotel room number before I was even checked in! My wedding started at 10 AM, so preparations began at 5 AM. Kim showed up maybe 10 minutes late, but we had scheduled contingency time, so it was not a problem. She worked very quickly and compromised well with the lack of table space. Kim also brought another stylist with her, since my mom and my maid of honor also needed their hair/makeup done. The other stylist did a great job. My dress had to be put on over my head, so Kim had agreed beforehand to stay and do damage control. After the dress went on, and hair and makeup was still good, Kim had to instruct my aunt on how to put on my veil (my mothers idea, based on some Chinese tradition). Kim was so cute because she was really concerned and anxious the whole time, but it all turned out fine! In the end, I had a lot of compliments on my hair and makeup, all thanks to Kim. Cost breakdown: $110 for bridal hair (pre-paid as deposit), $110 for bridal makeup, $75/person for mother/MoH hair (total: $150), $75/person for mother/MoH makeup (total: $150), and $50/person for stylists traveling to your location (total: $100).
Services used: Beauty & Health