May 17, 2008
Scarlet Petal rocked my world. The flowers, which were identical and just as beautiful as the trial, were amazing. I am in true awe of their work. On the day of my wedding, I didn't like my bouquet. She quickly whipped up a new one for me. I was very impressed with her work and style. To top it off, Esther is a delight to work with. Many of my guests complimented the decor. I had one male guest ask me, "Are those big balls of carnations real?" I was impressed that a male would notice the flowers! I would highly recommend.
Services used: Flowers
Amy Beck Cake Design LLC
Six weeks before the wedding, we had our terrible tasting at Rolf's. My husband and I decided to suck it up and pay for a cake even though a cake was complimentary with Rolf's. We tasted at Alliance Bakery, Cake Girls, and Amy Beck. Amy blew us away. Cake Girls was just as tasty as Amy's, but Amy was willing to really work with us on a totally unique design. She took our two ideas and ran with them. Even my husband was super impressed when we received back the drawings. She came in at the last moment and saved the day. The only minor item is that she was going to thrown in a cake stand for us but forgot it. However, I didn't even notice until the following week when I got the pictures back and realized that there wasn't a cake stand. I would highly recommend.
Services used: Wedding Cake
What can I say that hasn't been said before? Sonia is a rock star when she "beats" your face. Between the two trials I had with her, we came up with the perfect look for me. She is fabulous. I love her. Sonia specializes in airbrush make-up. Between my mother-in-law and bridesmaids, I would thankfully able to meet her minimum. Sonia applied my make-up at noon and it was still looking fabulous at 2AM. I didn't lose one faux eyelash! I am anxiously awaiting the opening of her new store. I would highly recommend.
Services used: Beauty & Health
Weddings 826 will schedule an hour long appointment for you with your dress so that you can try on veils to match your dress. I found this to be very helpful because I didn't realize that I wanted a veil until I purchased my dress. While it is possible to get a veil slightly cheaper online, I feel that the customer service was well worth it. Besides, I was able to wear my dress again! I would highly recommend.
Services used: Dress & Attire
Since none of my guests saw the problems, I am inclined to give them a higher grade. Wedding-- The night of the wedding, everything was perfect. More than that, the week of the wedding, we had absolutely no problems. Let's start with the good. The hotel was amazing when it came to food. For the entre duet, we changed the salmon to a crab cake. We also added a pasta course and supplied our own recipes. We also came up with some more unique hors doeuvres and they were totally willing to do it. I really appreciated it. The service was outstanding. Things that I didn't like-- I wish that Kerry could have gotten back to us more quickly during the planning process. I don't know if she is under-staffed/over-worked but 10 days for a reply is far too long. I loathe the draping in the Music Room and the Walnut Room. If I had the money, I would have brought new drapes in for my event. They are absolutely hideous. I would recommend the venue. Overall, we really enjoyed the Allegro. Hotel Block -- 1 star Through out the entire block process, Sarah was quick to respond and wonderful. I was very happy with the entire process. Then, there was the day before the wedding. My in-law's were the first to check in on Thursday night. When I went to visit them on Friday, I realized that their room was on a floor with construction. I was livid. I specifically had a line added to my contract stating that I did not want any rooms to be booked on floors with construction. To top it off, my mother-in-law said that it was loud. Sarah was on vacation. Kerry was away that day in training. After speaking with the front desk, my in-laws were finally moved. When my Maid of Honor and I went to check into our room at noon, I was unable even though Sarah had assured me that I would be able to check in early. We tried to check in again around 5PM. The room was still not ready. Luckily, I had rented out the Stardust Suite so we were able to get ready in that room while guests were drinking and socializing. Not ideal, but it worked. When we did go to check into the room at 10:30PM, the front desk associate told us that he had bad news for us. The only room that was available was the room that my in-laws had vacated. Great. I am having my wedding at the hotel and I get the crappy suite. I even asked if we could get a regular room but there was none available. I was even unhappier when I found that there was a second hotel block under the name of Jacobs that had received our suites. While the chances of two hotel blocks with the same name are slim, I was still very frustrated with the entire situation. We were having our wedding there. Therefore, we deserved first priority. Additionally, I was frustrated that my husband and I were unable to check into our bridal suite until 5PM because the room was not ready. Surely, one would assume that the bride and groom would prefer to check in to the bridal suite long before the reception commences. It is extremely disappointing customer service. The silver lining of the situation is that my guests did not have to experience any of these problems.
Services used: Wedding Venue
We met with Naomi back in January. She talked with my fiance and came up with a groom's cake that he would love. (My idea of a stack of suitcases to reflect our joint passion of travel was nixed by the both of them. Well, it is a GROOM'S CAKE!) Anyhoo, his love of the Indianapolis Colts was mentioned. She came up with the idea of this gigantic horse shoe in blue fondant. It is the most hideous shade of blue. It was very Denton. The red velvet cake was so freaking good that we ate the remaining 3 pieces within hours of getting home the day after the wedding. Cake makes a lovely dinner, no? I would highly recommend.
Services used: Wedding Cake
The band did an outstanding job. Since we decided to have our wedding "New York Style" (AKA dancing in between each course), the band had to be ready to get the crowd moving. They did and then some! If you look in my pictures, almost everyone was dancing. If I could have them do one thing over, I would have them call the Anniversary Dance by the name rather than "The Elimination Dance". Regardless, they were outstanding. I had several wedding guests tell me that this is the best band that they have ever seen play at a wedding. I would highly recommend.
Services used: Band
Art of the Imagination
When we initially contacted lighting & draping vendors, we said that we wanted three things: pin spotting, gobo, and a wall of fabric to separate the cocktail hour space. After speaking with a few vendors, we opted to work with Deborah. She met with us twice during the planning process. After the initial consultation, she convinced me to pin spot only half my centerpieces and to spend money on uplighting for the band. The day of the wedding, the draping behind the band and the wall in the cocktail hour space were beautiful. It was absolutely stunning! Additionally, she included additional lighting to wash the walls at no additional cost. It was gorgeous!! Instead of pinspotting the centerpieces, Deborah opted to pin spot the head table. She said that she made the decision based on her work as an artist. I wish she would have followed up with me after the wedding. When I saw my photos and realized that the centerpieces were not pinspotted, I assumed that I had paid for serviced not rendered. After an email and a phone call, Deborah explained that she made the decision to change the lighting design slightly. I feel that a change like this warrants a conversation with the customers. Finally, we were disappointed with our gobo. Since our design was intricate, we paid for a steel cut design that cost double the normal price. I was ok with it because I wanted the design to appear very crisp. Instead, the gobo was extremely large and some of the letters were blocked by the chandeliers. After two visits to the space, I would have hoped that this problem would not have happened.
Services used: Lighting & Decor
Trousseau offers a service for you to try on various bustiers with your dress. Lovely. We hauled my 20lb dress to their cute boutique on Southport and they found me the perfect bustier for my wedding day. The service was outstanding. The price was reasonable. I would highly recommend.
Services used: Unique Services
Kevin Weinstein Photography
This is probably the hardest review for me to write. I love Sally. She is so cool yet very personable. I love the spontaneous wedding photos. She did a great job at capturing candid moments. Her skills are in photojournalism. However, I was not completely satisfied with our photos. We had listed a number of categories that were not covered (example: photos of the guys getting ready, photos of the ceremony space without guests, groom watching the bride walk down the aisle, etc.). Perhaps our requests were too much. If so, I would have appreciated that she recommended a second photographer. Additionally, we're only mildly pleased with our formal shots. We agreed to a 15-20 minute shoot with families. The photos are decent but the angle is not perfect. The location was a last minute change. If the photos weren't coming out, I wish that she would have moved us to a new location. I love Sally. I love the engagement photos that she took. I love the photos that she did take... I just wish that the other photos were taken, per our request.
Services used: Photography
Giordano's did a great job. The food was good, the service was great. If you are from Chicago, you know what you are going to get at Giordano's. Here are the three things that frustrated me: 1. I received a call on Friday saying to confirm my party. Since my Mother-in-law (MIL) was dropping off items for the party, I told her to take care of the confirmation. I received a second phone call at 3PM saying that I needed to confirm my party for tonight or it would be cancelled. WTF? I call back, and they said that they needed confirmation from me even though my MIL had already been there to drop off a load of junk for the party. Odd. 2. The bathroom needed to be serviced midway through our event. I found someone to take care of it immediately. 3. We put a credit card down on file. As the party started to end, there was about 15 of us lingering around. Exhausted, I left with my Maid of Honor about a half hour later. Then, the head waitress comes up to my husband and says that they need the final payment. They offer to "chase that lady [me] down the street" much to the amusement of the remaining guests. My husband offers up his card without any further problem.
Services used: Unique Services
Covered Affairs is not into email. That is frustrating for a girl like me, who has her Treo attached on her at all times. However, I wanted to pay as little as possible for linens and chairs and they are the absolute cheapest. The week of the wedding, when I confirmed my final numbers, Magda told me that they are fine. The chivari chairs were beautiful. The linens were perfect...except for the linen for the candy buffet. It had lines in it as though it has been folded in squares. I can't begrudge them for one mix-up but I can't give them an A either. I would still recommend.
Services used: Unique Services
Halls Rental Service
Since I loathe the flatware at the Allegro, I opted to rent some from Hall's. They were easy to work with via email. I did get a random computer generated email saying from them saying to call immediately. I called and they didn't need to talk to me. Regardless, I would recommend.
Services used: Rentals & Photobooths
Our invitations arrived about 5.5 weeks after ordering. A few days later-- as I was assembling them to mail out-- I noticed that some of the response cards had a printing flaw. It wasn't very noticeable but it was nonetheless a flaw. After emailing Rebecca, she responded within minutes. She asked that we send her some pictures of the problem. My camera is crap so the flaw wasn't clear. Since she was using mine invitations as samples, she already had plenty of extra to mail to me. The next day I sent her my flawed response cards and she mailed me the new ones. I received mine in the mail. A few days later, I emailed her to see if she saw the problem. Apparently, the cards were destroyed in the mail. Maybe I am overly sensitive, but she never accepted the blame or apologized. While I see her point of view (she didn't get proof of the mistake), I wish that she would have been a little more regretful about the entire situation.
Services used: Favors & Gifts, Invitations
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
For the Bridesmaid Luncheon, we had afternoon tea in the conservatory. After dessert, three staff members came over, each carrying a little blue box, and handed one to each of my maids. My bridesmaids were utterly surprised and really really excited. The girls were completely shocked when they realized that each gift was personalized. How did the staff know which gift to give to each girl? I came in earlier in the day and described each girl. The Four Seasons went above and beyond in their service for us.
Services used: Wedding Venue