EM151

WEDDING DATE:

Aug 20, 2011

EM151
130x130_sq_1374186608892-ams
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Traveling from out of the area, my wife and I were extremely nervous about choosing vendors. Music is a huge priority for us and the DJ can make or break the event. Sean was the consummate professional from the day we walked into his office. He worked with our style, priorities and spent time getting to know us so that he could help create the perfect event. We loved the high-tech website where we could listen to examples online and pick our favorites on the fly. Sean and AMS have connections to other add-ons such as lighting, furniture and music for the ceremony. He was able to pull some strings and get a baby grand piano for the reception. The day of the ceremony, Sean took the reigns of the schedule and was in constant communication with my wife and I, and flexed to cover some of the inevitable snafus. I couldn't recommend Sean and his team more. "Thanks for making our reception unforgettable, Sean!"
- Joel & Erin
Services used: DJ

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AMS Entertainment - Santa Barbara
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Traveling from out of the area, my wife and I were extremely nervous about choosing vendors. Music is a huge priority for us and the DJ can make or break the event. Sean was the consummate professional from the day we walked into his office. He worked with our style, priorities and spent time getting to know us so that he could help create the perfect event. We loved the high-tech website where we could listen to examples online and pick our favorites on the fly. Sean and AMS have connections to other add-ons such as lighting, furniture and music for the ceremony. He was able to pull some strings and get a baby grand piano for the reception. The day of the ceremony, Sean took the reigns of the schedule and was in constant communication with my wife and I, and flexed to cover some of the inevitable snafus. I couldn't recommend Sean and his team more. "Thanks for making our reception unforgettable, Sean!"
- Joel & Erin
Services used: DJ

130x130_sq_1272663784352-lou0076
 
( 3.0 / 5.0 )
The reality was that the music was amazing and the guests were wooed by gorgeous strings overlooking the ocean. We are so thankful that everything was great for the ceremony.

But the other half of the story is:
Wedding planning is so stressful and vendors should make things easier, not cause more stress. Candlelight strings, unfortunately, was one of those vendors who stressed us out at the last minute.
We can't speak to the entire quartet because all of our interaction were with Betty Byers. She's a long-time professional, but a little tough to communicate with sometimes.
- She asked us a few times prior to the ceremony if she and the crew could have a cocktail. No problem... I get it (but we didn't have cocktails at the ceremony).
- We asked her for a specific song. Instead of saying that she didn't have the music for it, she took it upon herself to write a beautiful arrangement for it and then wanted us to pay her extra for it. I don't like to renegotiate contracts after the fact and it would have been nice to know that ahead of time - she backed off and didn't charge us for it. I appreciate that.
- We had a mixup regarding final payment. As brides and grooms can attest to, making vendor final payments can be tough to organize. In the course of events, we forgot to make final payment to Candlelight. Mistakes happen and we had no intention of stiffing them for their great service. I guess Betty did not figure it out either until right before the event. After the ceremony she actually followed the wedding party and interrupted us during our family pictures to ask us where her check was.
First of all, we were really upset that she interrupted our family photos.
Secondly, it's probably pretty obvious that it's hard to carry a checkbook on your person during the wedding ceremony - we had no way to pay her right on the spot.
She didn't like having wait for 2 days for us to get back to get home.
In that time she called the mother of the groom as well as we got 3 voicemails from her looking for the money. The mother of the groom actually offered to pay her to get her off our backs.
Knowing that these things happen, we were shocked that she was hounding us during the rest of the day, instead of calling the week before.

In summary, the actual music was great and we have no regrets. However, if there were 3 other quartets who were also exceptional, we would have picked a different group.
Services used: Ceremony Music

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Jenny McNiece Flowers
 
( 2.2 / 5.0 )
Great result, Frustrating communication:

The end result was gorgeous and that's what matters most. Although she missed a few details requested by my wife, the bouquets and ceremony flowers were fantastic. Unfortunately, the process pre-wedding was somewhat painful. We had a tough time communicating and were frustrated that she took a long time to return emails. We could not seem to get a final bill and she was hunting us down for final payment the day before (after we tried multiple times to pay her prior). Bottom line: we loved the result, but the experience left a little bad taste in our mouth. Wedding planning is so stressful and we're grateful for the other vendors who helped us have a smooth experience.
Services used: Flowers
Jenny McNiece Flowers
In my defense, I have a signed contract from all my brides that says the final balance is due two weeks before the wedding and no changes can be made to the flowers at this time. Erin not only did not pay me until the day before her wedding but she made changes to her order when it was too late for me to cancel the flowers. When I told her that she did not care at all and refused to pay for the flowers I had already ordered. I was very polite to Erin and even offered to pick the final payment up from her because she said she had no time to drop it off at my office. Her flowers were beautiful and I was only trying to make the situation as comfortable as possible for her.

130x130_sq_1336597668367-220x2201310403757809majestic2
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Beautiful Cake, Great to work with

Linda was great to work with. She was extremely professional and it was obvious that she could do just about anything that we threw at her. After pouring over photos, designs and ideas, she did a great job creating our vision. The cake was very very good too. We came back from the honeymoon and ate it with every meal for a week. So good! Flawless experience. Thanks!
- Joel & Erin
Services used: Wedding Cake

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The Old Custom House
 
( 4.2 / 5.0 )
We had our rehearsal dinner at the Custom House. They did a great job working with. The downside to the venue itself was it's difficulty to find and get in the door. But once you find it and get in the door, it was gorgeous. It has a wine cellar feel and a warm bar/lounge area.
The staff was great to work with and they did a great job accommodating our needs. We'd definitely recommend them for other events.
Services used: Wedding Venue

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Ventana Grill
 
( 4.6 / 5.0 )
My wife and I loved having our wedding reception at the Ventana. The view is absolutely amazing and our guests were awed by the sunset view. The room downstairs is private from the rest of the restaurant and has a 270 degree view. Unbelievable!

When we first booked The Ventana, Jennifer and Mary were our points of contact. We had more interaction with Jennifer and she was really good. Special thanks to Mary for setting up a great food tasting.
We had a little snag when we called back a few weeks later only to find out that Mary and Jennifer had moved on and were replaced by "Ashley." It was a little rocky getting back on track but Ashley did outstanding job picking up where the others left off.

The only other snafu was that our setup time the day before the ceremony was cancelled because the wedding prior to ours booked more time. Although it was a pain and to her credit, Ashley met our setup crew at 7am the morning of the ceremony to get final details sorted out.

The actual event was flawless and so enjoyable.
The food was even better than expected... so good.

We would definitely recommend The Ventana!
- Joel & Erin
Services used: Wedding Venue