Aug 13, 2008

Patricia Gibbons, Floral Designs
( 4.0 / 5.0 )
I would highly recommend Patricia Gibbons to anyone seeking a talented, reliable and non-nonsense florist. I interviewed a handful of florists before deciding on Pat. While some of the other florists were very nice and enthusiastic, and comparable in price, it was often difficult for me to get into contact with them. Pat, in contrast, was a consummate professional from day one. As youll see if you look at her past work, she has a very artistic sensibilityher arrangements have a signature stylebut shes also a real business woman, which means that shes very efficient and straight-forward, both in person and on the phone, and very reliable. I decided that what I really wanted was someone that I could trust to make good aesthetic choices on my behalf, and to take all the responsibility off myand my momshands on the day of the wedding. Pat did a wonderful job at both: she created exquisite pieces that perfectly complemented the swatches of fabric and other materials I gave her as a sample palette, and she showed up early, set everything up beautifully, and was finished well before everything started. I didnt have to lift a finger, which was exactly what I wanted. I think your meetings with her, of which there will probably be twoan initial consultation + a follow-up-will be most productive if you bring, to that first meeting, a budget, a list of the pieces you need (# of bouquets, bouts, aisle arrangements, etc.) as well as pictures of the types of flowers and arrangements that resemble what youre looking for. If theres a specific flower/color you really want, or a flower/color that you just hate, let her know. The more specific and concrete you can be about what you want, the easier it will be for her to please you. At the end of the day, though, Id suggest remembering that you hire a florist because they know more about flowers and flower arranging than you do!:-) As I look over our photographs, Im increasingly impressed with the combinations of colors and textures that she chose. I dont think I would have chosen them myself, but they really were more unique, sophisticated and lovely than anything I could have envisioned.
Services used: Flowers

Ceremonies and Celebrations
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Irene married my husband and I this past June and we couldn't have been happier with her. I had first seen Irene officiate at my friend's wedding, and was so taken by her presence, which was so warm. She really brought all the of the guests and the couple into a shared space. Irene crafted a similarly beautiful ceremony for our wedding. So many of our guests have told us how wonderful they thought it was, and how they had never experienced a ceremony so personal, and with such a perfect balance of levity, warmth and sincerity. Everyone felt that it was truly a reflection of us and our love for each other, and we felt so as well. The wedding was truly one of the best days of our lives and our ceremony with Irene really set the tone for the whole day. We will never forget what it was like standing there together in a beautiful setting, listening to the narrative that Irene put together based upon the questionnaires that we filled out for her, and the two meetings that we had with her to prepare. It really made us smile, even laugh, at certain points, and tear up at others. We would absolutely recommend Irene without any reservations.
Services used: Officiant

Janae Shields Photography
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
My husband and I interviewed several photographers in the Bay Area before discovering Janae mostly by luck. When we saw her website, we had a very strong feeling that she was the photographer for us, firstly, because her photos were beautiful and her website very clean and user-friendly; secondly, because she was one of the few photographers we'd encountered who actually posted her rates on her site. Janae's talent is on par with other top-notch photographers in the area, but she's more affordable and you get more for what you pay for. Getting the negatives was really important to us, and Janae releases them to you once you've completed your album order (whereas other photographers ask you to pay extra for them, or to wait at least a year before receiving them). The best reason to choose Janae, though, is that in addition to being a talented artist, she is so amazingly easy to work with. She is absolutely professional--every time that we have met with her, and especially on our wedding day, she was totally organized and punctual. She told us exactly what she needed from us in order to do her job, and was always available to answer questions by email (with a very quick response time) or by phone. She is also one of the warmest photographers that we interviewed. She always spends ample time with us in our meetings to answer questions and make suggestions, and the hour we spent with her doing our couple portraits was so fun and relaxing. My husband and I both look so comfortable and happy in those photos and that owes alot to Janae's presence. Perhaps the comments we received from friends and family after sending out the link to our slideshow can provide better testimony to Janae's work: "Your pics are absolutely stunning! It made me cry all over again! " "The two of you and your families look so perfect, you look like professional wedding models! What a perfect and beautiful day that was and the photos are just amazing!" "Those pix totally made my day and totally brought tears to my eyes! they are so beautiful!!!!" "The pictures from you wedding were absolutely GEORGEOUS!!!" "You need to share with Martha Stewart Weddings! I have not seen such a precious setting and just everything is so PERFECT! Your photographer is superb!" "How beautiful! Your photographer captured the day so well and put the pics together in such a fantastic way!" "What a wonderful photographer! Your pictures are the best wedding photos I've ever seen. You both look like movie stars." We love Janae, and would recommend her without reservation to anyone who wants a warm and professional person with them on their wedding day, (and wants to look like a movie star in their photos. :-))
Services used: Photography