Mar 22, 2007
Ceremony: Our ceremony took place outside and its absolutely beautiful. The cascading stairs that serve as the aisle down to the lower terrace where the ceremony takes places is priceless. The pacific ocean is the backdrop that our guests faced and it was breathtaking. Unfortunately it was slightly overcast the day of the wedding but we were happy and the photographer was ecstatic as it makes for much better pictures. The terrace is connected to the bar in the hotel which is the only slight drawback but we didn't even notice. For weddings a white lattice partition is put up between the bar patio and the area of the terrace where the ceremony is taking place. It was perfect and I couldn't have asked for anything else. After the ceremony our cocktail hour took place on the same terrace. The chairs were folded up in less that 30 seconds and the place was transformed completel with hors d'oeuvres tables, cocktail tables, heat lamps if its cold and a full bar. The staircase used for the aisle also was the location of our formal family pics which worked out really well. Our guests were able to enjoy the cocktail hour, less to our Mariacchis and watch the silly things our families were doing during picture time. If I had to do it all over again I would pick the exact same location and wouldn't change a thing. Reception: Working in the hotel industry myself I am very picky and have high expectations for good service. The plaza went above and beyond in every aspect. Nicole Rodriquez is the wedding coordinator and she is simply the most amazing person I have ever dealt with. From the moment I met her at the Plaza I knew I wanted to get married there. She was always so calming and covered every detail from A to Z. The staff was incredible and the food was out of this world. Many guests said it was 5 Star food that was just delicious! We had a room block that was easy to work with. We had a couple of hiccups in the beginning with room reservations but once I had one point of contact in reservations it was a piece of cake. Speaking of cake - the Plaza made our cake and it was not only delicious but beautiful. During the reception we had one server that was strictly dedicated to me and my groom. The banquet captain checked in with my Day of Coordinator throughout the night to make sure things were running smoothly. It was awesome. When we arrived back in our room at the end of the night we had an entire dinner waiting for us including both entrees, cake, champagne, the whole nine yards just in case we didn't have chance to taste everything earlier in the evening. It was spectacular. Every member of the banquet staff knew exactly what was going on and where everyone needed to be. We had a slide show that my brother had created and the AV person from the Plaza checked everything out the day before to ensure that the slideshow was smooth and there were no problems. The communication was amazing. If you can't tell I was absolutely speechless over this place. It was everything I could have ever dreamed of and then some. From the moment we checked into the hotel 2 days before the wedding we were treated like royalty that lasted until the moment we left for our honeymoon.
Services used: Wedding Venue, Rehearsal Dinner
Denise was awesome from the moment we met her. My DH and I are not religious and had no idea who we would have perform our ceremony. We used the list of recommended vendors from the Plaza and interviewed 3 potential officiants. Denise was the 2nd person we met and as soon as she left, my DH said thats it she is performing our ceremony. He loved her and so did I. She is very down to earth and so willing to help. We had no idea what we wanted incorporated into our ceremony but she was able to point out several things we might want to include. During our interview with her, she made a point of getting to really know about each of us, our backgrounds and how we met. She was so enthusiastic from the word GO. She sent me lots of different versions of ceremony readings she had done and asked us to pick what we liked. After picking what we liked, she put it all together so that it flowed. She loved it. She it was incredible the wording that we had come up with. During the ceremony she was very professional and clear which was a big thing for my mom. We wanted to ensure that people in the back would be able to hear what was going on. Denise had awesome communication. If you emailed her she would respond within a few hours and always made sure that she answered any questions. She wanted to make sure that every aspect of the wedding went smoothly not just the ceremony. Her charges were VERY reasonable and I thought she was worth every penny. She is located in Carmel. I'm not sure if she travels but if you need someone, I would HIGHLY recommend her. Tell her Erica & Ryan sent you.
Services used: Officiant
There are not words to describe our flowers. Minie from WISH truly has a gift. There are many brides considering her or already using her and let me just say prepare to be impressed. From the moment I met Minie in Oct 2005, she was so enthusiastic. She was to create my vision and believe me she really outdid herself. Minie's husband passed away at age 41 just one month before my wedding but you would never know it. Her spirit was never down for a minute. My cake table was a really big thing for me as I had an exact image of what I wanted it to look like. I had given my DOC numerous pics to ensure that the table looked the right way. It was PERFECT. There were pink rose petals everywhere and it was gorgeous. The bouquets were beautiful and the alter flowers and centerpieces were so pretty. I had overlooked part of my contract with her and due to my own fault we were one bouquet short. I didn't discover this UNTIL 3 minutes before the bridal party went to take pictures before the ceremony. You can imagine the panic on my face when I realized that one bridesmaid didn't have a bouquet. My amazing DOC VERY calmly informed Minie and the rest was history. I had an additional bouquet that was identical to the others in just 15 minutes. Minie quickly pulled one together from the extra flowers she had brought with her. Oh my god this woman was wonderful. If I ever had a question or wanted a picture, Minie was on top of it. She responded to emails very quickly and was always so happy. A word of caution: Minie gets really busy so if you are considering her, which I highly recommend, call early and book your date.
Services used: Flowers
I haven't received my proofs yet but Sharon the owner was awesome. Both my DH and I are very sarcastic and we wanted someone that clicked with us and was equally sarcastic. Sharon was THE one. My dad loved her and from the moment he met her he didn't want to meet anyone else. He didn't care how much she cost, he wanted Sharon to be the photographer. She was awesome. She was so creative and always was thinking out of the box. The bridal party took pics before the ceremony and we had all the traffic stopped on Cannery Row as Sharon clicked away. She wanted to capture the different shots not the boring same ol same ol shots. I can't wait to see what she came up with. We did our engagement pics with Sharon in March as it gave us a chance to get to know Sharon without the nerves of the wedding setting. You can seriously talk to her about anything and everything. She is very busy and sometimes takes a while to respond to your emails but she will get back to you. If you don't hear from her, give her a call. She was absolutely hilarious and I'm so glad we had her for our day.
Services used: Photography
We used Kelly Productions for our DJ, Harpist and Bagpiper. They were all fantastic. It was weird to work with a production company instead of dealing with the musicians directly but it worked out great. I figured weddings are their main business and they know what they are doing. At first I thought it was weird that I went through the main office for communication but everything lined up perfectly and they were always willing to give me the musicians phone numbers when I was uneasy. Peter Burkehard was our DJ and everyone raved about him. The dance floor was packed all night. He made sure he pronounced everyone's name correctly and he was on top of it. He called a couple of days before the wedding to check in and go over the order of everything. He clearly was very organized and wanted to ensure things ran smoothly. The harpist and Bagpiper were great. We only had them for the ceremony. I had virtually no contact with them directly but they knew where to be and what to do so I certainly can't complain about that. All three musicians were very well presented. The bagpiper was in a full kilt, the harpist was in a flowing dress and the DJ in a tux. They were all excellent. I worked with Stacy Myer in the Kelly Production office and she was great to work with.
Services used: Ceremony Music
After reading reviews of different Tuxedo Rental places I was convinced there was not a good company out there. Fortunately we got lucky with Men's Wearhouse. We worked with the store at Westgate in San Jose. Our wedding was in Monterey and it was easy for DH to pick up his tux at the Monterey Men's Wearhouse as we were already down there. We didn't run into any problems at all. I had signed up at a bridal faire earlier in the year and paid $10 deposit and as a result I was able to get all of our guys tuxedos for $59.99 instead of $99.99 plus DH's tux was free. Can't beat that. Finally something for free.
Services used: Dress & Attire
Elegant Lace was the first and only bridal shop that I went to. They had a big selection of dresses and were easy to work with. I went on a weekday evening and virtually had the whole place to myself. I tried on about 15 dresses and found the one. I worked with Synthia and she was great. She is the manager there. I bought my dress, veil, tiara, and crinoline from them. One MAJOR thing that I was frustrated with was that they didn't have all the sizes of crinolines available to try on. As a result, they sold me a crinoline that wasn't the right length. I'm 5'10 and they sold me a tea length crinoline which didn't make much sense. When I called about it, they didn't really have a clue but by that point I just wanted things right (my seamstressed sewed one into the dress for me). I also bought my bridesmaid dresses and my moms dress there. We were able to get additional discounts on them as I had bought my stuff there. Overall it was a good experience just probably not great. They had really bad lighting which is really dull and not the most flattering.
Services used: Dress & Attire
Kim Larson Bridal Makeup and Hairstyling
Being that I don't live in Monterey I had no idea where to go for my hair and makeup. I used the recommended list that the Plaza provided plus from reviews I had read. Kim was awesome. She new exactly what I wanted and was quite the perfectionist which I really appreciated. I have super thin hair and thought I was for sure going to need extensions if I wanted anything fancy but Kim was able to work her magic. I did a trial run about 2 months before and got numerous compliments. She came to the hotel the day of the wedding along with her assistant and transformed me. Check out the pics of my mom and you will see that her assistant Tiffany worked wonders too. I thought my mom looked absolutely stunning! Our wedding wasn't until 5pm. Kim started on me at 10am as we needed to be ready for pictures at 1pm. By 2am after the wedding, my hair still looked perfect. I couldn't believe it. I liked my makeup but don't think I was in love with it. I have pretty pale skin and I feel like I look a little washed out in some pictures but maybe its just the light. Overall I was VERY happy and would definitely highly recommend Kim. She had excellent communication and always responded to emails very quickly. If you use her please tell her that Erica Chasco sent you.
Services used: Beauty & Health
I used White Aisle for our place cards, table names and menu cards. The product was great and I thought the prices were reasonable. When we received the table name cards I was a little frustrated as three of the cards were missing. After a couple of frantic emails they quickly sent the additional cards but it was down to the wire as I received them only the day before we left for Monterey. It all worked out though but they still forgot to send the table name card for our sweetheart table. Not to worry though as the Plaza pulled through and made us an identical name card for our table. Overall White Aisle had a good selection of product and it was very easy to order and purchase.
Services used: Favors & Gifts, Invitations