Jul 05, 2008
We decided on Shanghai Red's for our July wedding reception, and as it turns out, is was one of the best decisions we've made. We booked the Banquet Room and part of the patio for us and our 75 or so guests...and probably every single guest gushed, oooh'd and aaah'd to us about how wonderful and fun it was. My mother cried maybe three times just when she came to tour the place before the wedding. The place itself, from the waterfall/goldfish walkways to the view of the marina during the sunset was part of it, but in addition to that, the service was great, the food was superb, the professionalism of everyone there was impeccable. We're really grateful to these guys for doing such an incredible job on such an important day for us. I could gush and rant for a while, but instead I'll just tell two stories as examples to make my point. First story: In all the craziness of the night, my now-wife/the bride realized she wasn't up for eating her chicken - it was great (I definitely ate mine) but she was just too worked up and needed something lighter. So I headed outside to grab her some fruit from the appetizer table. Our host was there and asked how she could help. I told her, she let me know that the appetizer table had already been taken down to make room for the rest of the party, but told me not to worry, she would take care of it. I went back & sat down. Probably three minutes later, she (Hengameh) was handing the my wife a plate with a beautiful, hand-made arrangement of fruit for her. Second story: I noticed late in the night that a few "crashers" had snuck in to dance with us. To be honest, I didn't really mind too much - they looked like they were having fun, like everybody else - but mentioned it to Mitch, the bartender. Probably one-tenth of a second after I mentioned it to Mitch, he was already on the other side of the bar, in the room, and had somehow made the two girls just vanish completely out of sight. He practically made them vaporize into thin air, invisibly, with practically no one noticing. Before my eyes, Mitch just kicked into "superhero" mode or something. It was awesome - not just that we got rid of a few crashers, but it just really drove home to me that we were well-taken-care of and watched-out-for. I had no doubts that the folks at Shanghai were truly taking care of us, and were really looking out for us. Anyway, from the planning and the ambience to the food, drinks, setup, breakdown, logistics, planning, and everything else, Shanghai just blew us and our families/friends away. Hengameh, Mitch, the setup managers, the wait staff, and everyone involved were seriously exceptional, went above-and-beyond the call of duty, and helped make one of the most important days of our lives a truly stellar experience.
Services used: Wedding Venue
We decided on Custom Hotel to host our Friday night rehearsal dinner for about 55 of our out-of-town guests - families and friends who flew in for our wedding on Saturday. The event turned out spectacular. We had appetizers, drinks & dinner at the Bistrotek, complete with hors d'oeuvres, wine & beer, the main course, and dessert...then went back to the Hopscotch to relax & have drinks. The experience was awesome, and we would do it again at Custom with zero hesitation. We got rave reviews from our families and friends. Everyone loved the ambiance - my stepsister says she's hoping to find a place just like that for her wedding in North Carolina (or wherever she gets married). Everyone loved the food (one of our toughest customers - my now-wife's cousin - a pretty tough customer - said it was "the best chicken he'd ever had," and a lot of other people said similar things. The waiters/waitresses/bartenders were of the highest caliber and were just plain awesome. Tammi and Lorena, who set up the deal with us & helped set the whole thing up, took excellent care of us - they were incredibly professional, were there at the actual event, and knowing they were watching over everything just helped drive home the knowledge that we were in really good hands. Even the guys who helped us get our music working beforehand were super-cool and helpful. The budget really worked out well for us. Even the kids - age 2-6 - loved hanging out in the room we booked (watching "The Incredibles"). As my 6-year-old niece put it, "This is toootally awesome!!" The only blip the whole evening was a mixup with the valets - we wanted to cover our guests' valet charges, but somehow that didn't wind up happening - apparently some miscommunication somewhere - but in the grand scheme of things, that was really minor. Overall, our friends & family had an incredible time, we were blown away by how well everything worked out & what a stellar experience it was. Custom (and especially Tammi) really came through for us, and it was a night we'll have warm, glowing memories of for a really long time.
Services used: Unique Services
Tom Chandler is the best. We booked Tom as our DJ for our wedding reception in Marina Del Rey, and not only was he flawless, he was even more than we expected. Not only is a really a supercool, friendly, professional, easy-to-work-with guy, but he is incredibly responsive (he answered phone calls and emails essentially immediately), helpful (he went far out of his way to try to get every one of the songs we requested, even when we had told him it wasn't a big deal), and just flat-out great at his job (he was on location & set up super-early, hit all the songs we wanted and more, nailed every single one of his cues, had the schedule down cold, spoke just the right amount and in the right way (not a bit of cheese - thoroughly professional and fun), played awesome music, and just totally took care of us). Seriously, I hear horror stories about dj's missing cues, dropping songs, showing up late, equipment not working, etc - and that's big stuff that can really have an impact on someone's wedding day - so that makes me appreciate Tom all that much more. If there was an Academy Award for DJing, I would totally nominate Tom, and if I were ever going to put on another big event, he would be the first guy I'd call. Tom rocks. He's a superb dj of the highest caliber and I'm really grateful that he does what he does.
Services used: DJ
Toby Morris Photography
My fiance and I decided to trust Toby with one of the biggest jobs on one of the biggest days of our lives...and he came through in a truly exceptional, superb way that was of the highest-caliber. We would work with Toby again in a split second with zero hesitation. In all the ways he could have come through for us, he did: he showed up early, and at the right place; he was super-responsive by both email and phone; he was prepared; he was an amazingly good sport; he was completely intent on getting the job done, yet completely easygoing at the same time; he handled several potentially unwieldy and even chaotic situations like a true champ...I could go on. At the end of it all, we wound up with exquisite engagement and wedding and engagement pictures that have gotten rave reviews from our families and friends (and from us). Overall, he was a consummate professional. And on top of all of that, he's a super-nice, really good guy, too - we wanted to bring him home with us for dinner, or go buy him a few beers or something after it was all over, and I'd be shocked if everybody else who worked with him didn't feel the same way. I'll stop blubbering now, but...thanks Toby! You rock!
Services used: Photography
Jonilyn was the sole photographer for our wedding reception, and she did an awesome job. She was there early, fully prepared and ready to go; she spent a lot of time setting up some great portraits of us, and also got some awesome shots of our friends & families. She was great to work with - professional, fun, & friendly - and delivered some truly exceptional pictures. Seriously, the shots were amazing and some of them could have been magazine covers (all due to the photographer's skill, and my wife/bride being photogenic - not to me). She's an incredibly talented photographer, and we were lucky to find her. If you're looking for a truly stellar photographer, we highly recommend Jonilyn. Highly, highly recommended.
Services used: Photography