Ssze

WEDDING DATE:

Sep 09, 2006

Ssze
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Samovar Tea Lounge
 
( 3.0 / 5.0 )
The restaurant doesn't take reservations which would be awkward for a large group but mine wasn't so it worked out ok. Service was slow - I had to get the waiter many times - but they were nice. I wanted a unique restaurant and this place is certainly different. The spa is nearby and I was hoping that it wasn't too ghetto. It was very clean and affordable. My bridesmaids aren't much of the mani/pedi type so it was fine.
Services used: Unique Services

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The Mandarin Restaurant
 
( 4.0 / 5.0 )
Since we're not having a Chinese banquet for the wedding, we're having a mini-banquet for the rehearsal dinner. We chose The Mandarin because they've given me great service so far, the area/views (Ghiradelli Square) will be spectacular, and the parking is validated. Ton Kiang was in second place because the prices was very reasonable ($20 per person) but we decided to spend a little more money for The Mandarin. Other contenders were R&G Lounge and Mayflower. We also considered one of our favorite restaurants RNM but renting it would be too expensive. I'm not sure how the food will be - probably just typical Chinese food but that's fine with us. Banquet menus starting at $30 per person. ( 4.6.06) The service and food at the Mandarin were excellent. They were accommodating when the size of our group changed a bit last minute and provided excellent food for my vegetarian family and DH's gluten-intolerant friend. All of our guests enjoyed the food and we ate the leftovers while we were getting ready the next day!! The parking validation is still expensive ($16, instead of $24). For 30-ish people, it cost ~$2,000. Luckily, DH's parents paid for it. ( 09.06)
Services used: Unique Services

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Target
 
( 4.0 / 5.0 )
I wasn't sure if I needed a purse so I didn't want to spend a ton of money on one. Target actually has some decent looking purses for inexpensive prices. I bought a couple different types and my mom ended up using the one I didn't use. I ended up not needing a purse but it was good to have it close by. Otherwise, have your mom or bm hold your lipstick and other stuff. ( 09.06)
Services used: Unique Services

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Impact Lighting and Production
 
( 4.0 / 5.0 )
Maiko got their contact through her work. It did make difference in the mood of the space. They were more expensive than I budgeted (~1,200) but it created a great atmosphere. (09.06)
Services used: Rentals & Photobooths, Lighting & Decor

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Presidio Chapel
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
The chapel is very cute and cozy - just enough space to seat 150 people. Not too expensive to rent either - around $1200. The chapel folks are genuinely friendly. We were thinking about having the ceremony at Inspiration Point but had doubts of an outdoor wedding - we just popped by the chapel because it in front of our reception venue. Now fi's parents feel a little better that it's in some sort of house of worship :) ( 10.05) The chapel is a great venue for an intimate and unique ceremony. My dad said it was old but we thought it had character. There's no speaker system so you have to talk loud but it's not very big so the sound travels. We also rang the cool bell after the ceremony - my little brother wanted to do it too! Note: The Chapel is difficult to find - being in the winding Presidio and all - and a couple of our guests actually attended another wedding that was located in the Chapel of our Lady! Give your VIP's actual Presidio maps, circling the locations so if they get lost, they'll know how to re-route to get there. The Presidio has these maps online. The chapel host was extremely patient with us when we ran over our time during the rehearsal and ceremony. ( 09.06)
Services used: Wedding Venue, Ceremony Music

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Men's Wearhouse
 
( 4.0 / 5.0 )
We only went to Men's Wearhouse. FI had to rent a tux from After Hours earlier this year for a friend's wedding and thought the prices were similar (After Hours cheapest package is ~ $100) and the service was poor (overworked high school kids). My only and biggest beef with the whole tuxedo rental industry is you can't try on tuxedos! FI is stocky and would look wierd in certain shapes. ( 7.06) Most of the tuxedos came in 3 days before the wedding which helped because there needed to be changes made to some of them. According to my DH, 5 out of the 9 tuxedos in our group needed some alterations. The shoes were extremely uncomfortable for DH. But, I think this is typical for renting tuxedos. We got a $20 off online coupon that everyone was able to use and we selected a cheaper tux for the ring bearer because I couldn't justify my friends paying $100+ for their son's tux. ( 09.06)
Services used: Dress & Attire

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Leung's White Crane Lion Dance
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
$400 for 2 lions + drummer for 20-30 mins. ( 4.3.06) The guests enjoyed this very much - many thought it was the highlight of the evening. They were really surprised by the performance. The drummers were pretty loud but it was fun. My only regret is that we didn't have any hong bao to give to the lions - my mom told me later that we needed to do that. It was a little embarassing for me because we were standing up there with the lions throwing their heads around at us for several minutes and I was, like, "okay, I think I'm done now"!!! I'm really happy that we hired them. Contact with Daniel was quick and smooth although I couldn't get a hold of him right before the wedding. The performers were professional and I love our scroll! ( 09.06)
Services used: Unique Services

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Classic Party Rentals San Francisco
 
( 4.0 / 5.0 )
What happened to my citrine water glasses?! I sat down at the table and the missing citrine water glasses were the first thing I noticed. I'll have to find out what happened. It would've been a nice touch to the table setting. All the other rentals were there and looked great. I like the $3 mahogany folding chair - who needs the chivari's?! Total cost included with caterer. ( 09.06)
Services used: Rentals & Photobooths

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Gerhard Michler Fine European Desserts
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Yes, we got the croquembouche! We're so excited because it's so different. We had a tasting with Mary Michler and she was great. Even though she knew that we wanted the croquembouche, she still gave us the cake tasting which was yummy. She even gave us the leftovers to go but unfortunately it melted in the car :(. We also went to Patiserre Delanghe on Fillmore/Bush. They are more bakery-centric so didn't offer as much customer service as we liked. Around $3.50 per person. ( 5.06) They gave a sample croquembouche to try out. We wanted to try it out right there but we didn't have a camera so the photo is from FI's cell phone. Sorry for the blurriness but it looked great! I took a better picture of the remains when we got it home. It tasted great too! ( 07.06) The croquembouche was a hit! Delicious and unique. Some guests thought it was a tower of garlic (??). Unfortunately, I only had the bite from the cake cutting and I should've asked for the leftovers. Eat your cake!
Services used: Wedding Cake

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Blush Nail Spa
 
( 3.0 / 5.0 )
The restaurant doesn't take reservations which would be awkward for a large group but mine wasn't so it worked out ok. Service was slow - I had to get the waiter many times - but they were nice. I wanted a unique restaurant and this place is certainly different. The spa is nearby and I was hoping that it wasn't too ghetto. It was very clean and affordable. My bridesmaids aren't much of the mani/pedi type so it was fine.
Services used: Unique Services

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Event Couture
 
( 4.0 / 5.0 )
We hired Maiko in Dec 2005 to be a full-service coordinator. However, we had already picked the venues for the ceremony and reception and we were in the process of picking a photographer. She wasn't too involved until a month or two before the wedding which made me nervous. But, in the end, it all worked out. The items she really was helpful on were: 1. The calligrapher - she hooked us up with a calligrapher who did our invitation addressing with a day's notice and a day turnaround. I was so grateful that I didn't have to do them myself as I originally planned. 2. Caterer, Rentals (linens, tableware, chairs, tables, misc furniture, decor and lighting), Nannies - these items didn't get finalized until the week of the wedding but the guest list was still fluctuating so it wasn't anyone's fault. She used her connections in her corporate job to get some deals for us. I was certainly happy not figuring out the rentals. 3. Rehearsal and Day-of Coordinating - I didn't do a thing (or, at least tried not to). Maiko took care of it all. She worked with our officiant's budding directing career and my brother's unique mc-ing. The pianist called me to get a ride to the chapel and all I had to do was tell her to call Maiko. I was sooo happy to not have to hunt people down, etc. Everyone said that I was an amazingly calm bride. I also tried to be as prepared as I could be which Maiko was grateful for herself. I highly recommend hiring someone. I know people ask friends or relatives to fill this position but they don't get to enjoy your day. I did this for my brother's wedding last year and was a little stressed. My mom kept asking me why I hired someone and what were they doing if I was still doing stuff and I don't regret it. $3,000 for full-service coordination and design. ( 09.06)
Services used: Unique Services

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A Perfect Look
 
( 3.0 / 5.0 )
I'm paying for myself, 4 BM's and FMIL so I didn't want anyone too expensive. My first choice got booked (she's the least expensive I've found and did my sil's wedding) and I found Patricia from A Perfect Look from wc. I'm a little wary - her website looks a bit dated but she's recommended on By Recommendation Only and she's had good reviews. We shall see! Quote < $900. ( 3.30.06) Patricia has an interesting personality - a bit Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. She can be the sweetest person but then have a hint of frustration in her tone and defensive comments. She was extremely dedicated at her job - she came to the Funston House at 8:30 am and didn't stop working until 1:30/2 pm. She did hair and makeup for me, 3 bridesmaids and my mom. I thought everyone's hair look great - they all had different styles and they stayed well, considering the gusty winds. Guests complimented my hair - one of my friends didn't think it was mine (huh?). Everyone's makeup was fine - I thought they were very natural which turn out great because they all did not wear makeup normally. Patricia used fake eyelashes on me which I found acceptable because it would read well in pictures but one of the eyelashes did not stay on well. I did not like that, even more so because I told Patricia right away that it didn't feel like it was on securely but she said it was ok. I found Patricia's work acceptable but if you're picky about your makeup, you may have to look elsewhere. She definitely needs direction so bring examples of what you want. She's a great bargain - bride (day-of and trial) $400, bridesmaids $87, moms $65. ( 09.06)
Services used: Unique Services

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James Standfield Catering
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
(1) They were on our reception's approved list. (2) Their prices were the lowest our planner found. (3) I've read good reviews of them on other sites. (4) They make New Mexican food! FI is from New Mexico and we thought it would be great to have New Mexican food since most of our guests have never had it. Amazingly, the JSC contact is from New Mexico too and knew exactly what FI wanted (the planner and I were completely in the dark). The tasting was good but more importantly, they were very accommodating to FI. We were going to also try Union Street Catering who had Mexican-style stations at a reasonably low cost but they only do tastings at noon during the week (???) so it was going to be a pain to schedule. Also, we didn't think we could get New Mexican food from anywhere else. Not only did I learn more about New Mexican food, I also learned that my taste buds suck! Buffet dinner start at $23 per person. ( 5.06) We were concerned about the food because we weren't sure how the authenticity would translate in feeding over 100 people. It turned out great. DH's New Mexican relatives told us that the food was very authentic. Also, our non-New Mexican guests liked the uniqueness of the food. James Standfield was very accomodating with last minute changes. The service at the reception was great (or I didn't hear any complaints). The only thing that was frustrating to me was that there were always mistakes on their revised proposals. About $12,000 for 133 guests including full bar, kid's meals (cheap at $5 each), all rentals. ( 09.06)
Services used: Unique Services

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AnnTaylor.com
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
My MOH Catherine is the best! She found these at crazy low price because Ann Taylor had them on sale. All the BM's liked them so decision made. BM Lisa even bought the shoes which I'll wear instead. They're looking for gold shoes now. I let them decide on what they will wear because I didn't really care if they wore the same dress as long as they liked it and it could be worn again. Secretly, I just didn't want to decide. I think they would've preferred that I handed down a decree of dress and shoes but I'm glad they figured it out for themselves. heheheh! ( 1.06) Get dresses from a non-bridal store. In the end, all dresses look bridesmaidsy anyway. I'm also glad I left it up to my MOH and BM's to figure out what they wanted to wear. hehheheh! (09.06 )
Services used: Dress & Attire

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DJ Matteo
 
( 2.0 / 5.0 )
Wedding planner attended an event where DJ Matteo was doing his thing and she thought his style would match ours. We wanted someone who had ranchero music for the cocktail hour (it reminds FI of his New Mexican background) and had more of a "club" sense than a "wedding dj" sense. He's got a strong personality but we find it amusing, not grating. He'll also provide some chill music for our lounge room. I hope it goes well because we didn't meet with anyone else and he's on the costly side. $1200 for 6 hours. ( 7.06) I wasn't too pleased with the music he played. He did try to play to the crowd which was good but I wanted more interesting music. He pretty much played what we expected a wedding dj to play but, as my DH said, it wasn't the worst he's heard at a wedding. But, it certainly wasn't up to the "best dj ever" DJ Matteo had been touting. Also, 2 days before the wedding, he asked for $50 more for his assistant because he was moving a smaller sound system from the cocktail area to the chill lounge. This relocation was discussed at the very beginning so I didn't appreciate him hitting us with an additional fee last minute. We didn't give him a tip but I don't know if he was expecting one. ( 09.06)
Services used: DJ