pickaroe

WEDDING DATE:

Nov 03, 2012

pickaroe
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Emkay Diamonds
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
This was the only store (online or brick & mortar) that carried a band that matched my estate engagement ring. I kept going in to look at it and one day Kavita offered to let me put in on layaway so that no one bought it. I found similar rings online but they weren't exact matches and they were priced hundreds of dollars more than what I paid for it at Emkay Diamonds. My favorite aspects of this store is that they offer estate jewelry at great prices and Kavita has great customer service. She will even stay late if she knows you are coming in for a visit after her normal working hours. She cleaned my ring every time I stopped by to make a payment. I am definitely making Emkay Diamonds my personal jeweler.
Services used: Unique Services

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Eagle Ridge Golf Club
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Having our wedding at Eagle Ridge was the best choice we made through the whole wedding planning process. I had my doubts from time to time, mostly on how far out it was from the Bay Area and the weird layout of the room but I was more than impressed on my wedding day. Gilroy has the best weather in October (as well as Santa Cruz). It sunny and over 80 degrees on my wedding day in mid-October while it was sprinkling, a bit chilly, and overcast in Fremont. We were looking for a venue that had beautiful views and an affordable price tag. Good food and an open bar with in our budget were also top priority. We were also concerned with finding a place with exceptional October weather (Gilroy, Monterey, San Francisco) that offered a back up site we could live with in case of a freak rain storm. We found all that and more at Eagle Ridge. Staff: We originally booked the venue because my mother and I fell in love with Katie spell and Wedgewood's unbelievable pricing. Katie was wicked funny and so straightforward. After she moved on to greener pastures we were concerned about the new girl, Roxanne, but she is reliable, motivated, and did an awesome job! Tiffany, the banquet manager, is also amazing. She goes over and beyond to make sure that your wedding runs smoothly and everyone is happy. I gave them 5 stars because my wedding was fabulous... but I would have taken off half a star (if possible) because of some communication issues such as slow response time or not responding at all unless you call and email a bunch of times over a few days... as well as not being kept up to date on changes such as new options offered by the venue (such as linens and lighting). Packages & Vendors: Wedgewood's packages included services by associate vendors such as the floral, wedding cake, and dj services. The vendors they chose to work with are all wonderful - CJ the DJ, Sweet Pea Wedding Services, I Do Wedding Cakes. Although the package pricing is extremely competitive it's not one of those skimpy "value" packages that make you wish you paid full price. The packages are also adjustable. For instance, we took off the chocolate covered strawberries and invitations and added an extra option to the seated plate (duo plate upgraded to trio plate). Which is not a choice of a meal but all three entrees on one plate... and it's fabulous. We had an open bar for 5 hours and didn't have to pay a huge bar bill at the end because it was included in our package as well. My flowers and cake were awesome - check the reviews. CJ the DJ works for Wedgewood so there wasn't a separate place to give him a review so I'll do it here. One word: AWESOME! CJ kept my party and me dancing all night long. He played the songs I requested, there were no mistakes, he was a great MC, he didn't interject his own nonsense whenever he felt like it (a lot of DJ's do this)... and he didn't blink an eye at any of our random requests. Reception Area: The big windows lining the clubhouse wall facing the golf course and hills and wrought iron chandeliers were a huge selling point for me. I loved the views too. The fireplace, huge wooden bar, and giant doors to the reception room are great. Then there is the weird L-shaped room that throws you off. The room layout...it does work wonderfully even though it's not appealing at first glace. All your guests can see you. You can separate groups in different areas/rooms (which actually came in handy for separating people that might not want to be in the same room but want to be at the same event). Food: We had the Petit Filet Mignon, Salmon Bearnaise, and the Apple Almond Chicken. All were very tasty, perfectly cooked, and visually appealing. I would recommend any of them but the chicken was outstanding. It definitely stole the tastebud spotlight. My major recommendations: I do recommend going for lighting (which CJ the DJ now offers) and upgrading the linens (they only offer short, ivory linens in the packages)... both those factors transform the room into something more beautiful that imagined. Also, spring for at least a cocktail hour. Cash bars are so annoying for guests.
Services used: Wedding Venue

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Elle Music & Events
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
It took me a long time to finally commit and book our lighting. We didn't think of it as a priority for our small wedding budget but now that the wedding has come and gone I'm so glad that we went ahead and got the lighting. The uplights changed our venue from blah to fabulous! The paisley design on my dance floor wasn't as great as I had imagined but it made the dance floor look like somewhere you should be DANCING and tied in a few of my wedding details. Elle had the best prices on lighting that I could find, hands down. And Lisette was so helpful at all hours of the night. I'm a night owl, I like to take care of creative endeavors after midnight. I swear she should have gone crazy from all my emails over months. I told her that we were dropping lighting from our budget twice and she still answered my emails when I revisited the idea and revised our budget to include lighting. Lisette patiently helped me to rework a package that I could afford and then let me change my mind about colors and designs a dozen times.
Services used: DJ

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Terra Tabbytosavit Photography
 
( 1.0 / 5.0 )
Terra took some amazing engagement pictures for us in January 2009. They were breathtaking. Her professionalism and attitude was spot on. We even stayed at her cabin for the weekend. It was a blast. I was thrilled for her to be my photographer. Then our relationship and her professionalism did a complete 180. The six weeks leading up to the wedding was crazy, it is for any bride. Every lose end and final bill was being tied up and paid. I randomly emailed Terra on 9/4 to ask her a question about pricing for a friend. No response. I didn't think about it until 10/6 when I needed a timeline for our venue and other vendors. I attempted to contact Terra on 10/6 with no response. I called and emailed her every other day, then every day... no response. I had to turn in my timeline without her input... which was scary considering I didn't know how much of our time Terra needed to get our requested pictures in. I finally heard from her late afternoon 10/14... after leaving her a voicemail and email stating that I didn't know if she was still living, breathing, working and was going to have to book someone else that evening. I had an appointment set up to book another photographer that night. I was mortified that I had to come up with another $3 - $4k at the last minute and wasn't sure I'd ever see Terra or my money... Keep in mind my wedding was 10/16. So about 48 hours before my wedding she called to cover my timeline and let me know that she still existed. The first thing she said to me "You're freaking out on me?!?" Yes, I am. Her lack of professionalism was apparent there, no sincere apology. I've since found out that I'm not the only bride that happened to... luckily I padded my timeline enough. Terra has a lot of excuses. Some are valid, but after you hear so many you think "my boss would have fired me if I told him or clients that excuse for not getting my work done". On my wedding day, Terra and her assistant showed up. They looked professional and everyone was willing to be nice to them to get through the day. I was still a bit off put by recent events but I wanted my wedding to be happy and to get some quality work out of Terra since that is what I paid for. Instead of complaining to my mom or my bridal party, Terra approached me a few minutes before the ceremony to complain about my videographer and quoting to me that her contract states that she is to be the main shooter and the videographer is messing up her shots. I told her to handle it but was upset that a dramatic situation was brought to me shortly before walking down the aisle. Terra and her assistant disappeared a few times. I'm missing the recessional of the ceremony. After my husband and I walked back down there are one or two pictures of my bridal party walking back... missing several members of the party. A group photo of all our guests was taken that I never asked for... even though she kept saying we don't have time for other shots. At one point she told me to hurry up while my bridesmaid was bustling my dress so I had to remind her that she hadn't taken any pictures of the groom by himself and to do that while we were finishing. RUDE. I have pictures of her and the assistant in my photobooth. Okay. I do have a handful of creative shots from the day that I'm happy with but my ceremony pictures are taken at weird angles from the sides with lots of guests heads in them. My guests have given me more touching, well framed pictures than the ones I have from Terra. She missed the long dip at the end of our first dance even though we had two shooters. I know they can't get everything but I heard multiple accounts that the second shooter was more friendly than professional and not even taking pictures. I was hoping that my frustration with Terra's lack of professionalism would be offset by gorgeous pictures... but it was not. I did receive my pictures as told. Only 10 weeks after the wedding vs. the 4 - 5 month wait other clients of hers were dealing with. The last straw was being quoted a fee for extra spreads for the album on 12/3 then on 1/1 being quoted a price 4 times the price quoted a month earlier. I sent a response email the same day... today is about 17 days later with no response. She did send me an email saying she would get back to me in a few days but did not address my concerns. I opted not to upgrade my album due to not wanting to give her any more money when I already feel like I've been duped.
Services used: Photography

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Giao Nguyen Makeup Artistry & Hair Design
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Giao did my hair and makeup trial and I was impressed! And her pricing is fair, which is hard to find in the Bay Area. Giao herself is incredibly nice and has great hair and make-up suggestions. I usually don't like to get my makeup done because I end up looking overdone, but that wasn't the case with Giao. My makeup looked soft and romantic, and stayed on all day! I'm looking forward to working with her for my wedding in October!
Services used: Beauty & Health

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Expressive Photographics
 
( 4.0 / 5.0 )
We used Expressive Photographics for our engagement photos. Mark is very professional and easy to work with. If you have a special spot or ideas that you would like him to incorporate he can get the shot you're looking for! We won't be using him for our wedding photography but our engagement pictures came out great!
Services used: Unique Services

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Sweet Pea Wedding Services & Floral
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
I completely, totally adore Sonya and Steve. We used Sonya for our floral through our venues package (and then added some extras) and used Steve for our officiant. Floral: The flowers were exactly what I had envisioned. I was really bad at communicating my vision to Sonya but with the help of some pictures I brought along she figured out exactly what I was looking for. I know nothing about flowers or decorating so Sonya was my lifeline there. She constantly mentioned that she was keeping costs down even though I was pushing to spend more, spend more! She made a few flower change suggestions to keep down materials cost and recommended using some of the ceremony flowers to decorate our sweetheart table. In the end I was thrilled with my small bill and my awesome flowers. Sonya is extremely creative and it shows from the first meeting to the end product. Please note - our centerpieces and gazebo decorations were included in the cost of the venue package... we added on our bouquets, bouts, aisle hooks, extra arrangements, etc Officiant: Our original lower cost officiant reinforced the old saying, "You get what you pay for". We had to find a less flakey, more coherent officiant a few weeks before the wedding... so we booked Steve. He was great! I only spoke to him over the phone and email while setting up our ceremony details but he had all the details down. During our ceremony I put a little joke in there to get the guests laughing a bit and he delivered it perfectly! Overall, Steve was kind, well spoken, and professional. He even came to say bye after the ceremony was over. I felt bad because we forgot to invite him and his wife to the reception (etiquette and I like them). My only complaint is response time. Emails and calls sometimes get slow responses but it's worth it 100% and you can depend on them to call/email you back and then deliver in the end. I would (and will) recommend Sweet Pea Wedding Services to anyone looking for a great florist and/or officiant.
Services used: Flowers

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Danielle Fletcher Photography
 
( 3.0 / 5.0 )
Danielle has a creative eye and has a lot of fresh ideas. Her studio has lots of great props and set ups... although I haven't seen it since she's moved it from the garage. She makes you feel relaxed and confident even while standing around half naked... that's a talent in itself! I loved the quality of the pictures that I received. Danielle is definitelya star photographer as far as style. I took two stars off because my biggest frustration was getting my pictures. I took my pictures the week before Thanksgiving and received the the last week of February. That's 14 weeks to edit and print about 20 pictures! Communication through this time was pretty much non-existent. I missed giving them to my husband for his birthday, Christmas, and Valentines Day. I set up a marathon with Danielle so I saved quite a bit of money on my boudoir session... if I would have paid more and received the same poor customer service I would have given her one, maybe two stars.
Services used: Unique Services