Apr 17, 2010

After Dark Entertainment
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Afterdark came highly recommended to me by other brides on theknot.com. What was really awesome was that they also do lighting effects(uplighting and gobo projection). There was no room for guessing or misunderstanding with the online forms they provide online. My fiancee and I were able to pick out our playlist very easily, along with a do not play list, and "play if possible list." This helped tremendously, especially since I had a long-distance engagement.

The last 3 weeks leading up to my wedding, John(our DJ) and I were in constant contact due to a power issue with our venue. It turned out we needed a generator for our lighting(which they provided at a very affordable price).

There were times that I felt like I gave John to much information and to much detail with what I wanted him to do. For example, at my wedding I really wanted the Wedding party to be introduced with their significant others rather than be paired up with other bridal part members. John did that and did an amazing job. We also wanted to do an anniversary song(a song for all the married couples that were our guests, John did it too). I was able to design my own gobo projection, submit it to him in PDF format, and then they actually projected it on our dance floor. It was awesome :)

Even with pressure from guests to play requests(which he eventually did, but not before getting the okay from both of us), John stuck like glue to our predetermined play list. He and his wife, Haydee, were a pleasure to work with: approachable, attentive and genuinely concerned with making sure our wedding was not just a success but memorable for many years go come.

They are your best bet for a worry-free wedding. I would hire them again in a heartbeat.
Services used: DJ

The Odyssey Restaurant
( 4.6 / 5.0 )
This review is for my April 17, 2010 wedding reception. Overall, their level of service was impeccable. Here are the things they did right:

1. They worked with us to get the room we wanted. Once we assured them we would have the minimum amount to secure the room, they were fine with us having a slightly lower occupancy.

2. Value: we got a 3 entree buffet, with dessert and our cake, a 3 hour bar, champagne toast and a dessert bar for under $70 per person(not including gratuity--that's pretty darn competitive for Los Angeles).

3. They were willing to set up the special linens that I had ordered for the event. They were also willing to work with me and let me fold their napkins and have them placed on my chargers so that the staff would only have to place the chargers with the napkins already folded on them(so they didn't have to work twice).

4. When it turned out that the candy for my candy buffet would melt if stored in my coordinator's car, I was able to call them and they let my MOH and Fiancee(at the time) set up the candy buffet early the morning of the wedding.

5. They augmented our decor with additional buffet linens and lighting which made the room look even more spectacular with the uplighting I ordered along with the gobo projection on the dance floor.

6. Hospitality. They greeted our wedding party with champagne and hors d'oeuvres upon arrival. We had two waiters filling our plates when my husband and I went up to the buffet and they could trip over themselves fast enough to make us feel comfortable.

7. The food was excellent. Period.

Here are the things that they really need to work on:

1. They didn't cut our wedding cake to be served to our guests!!!! This really ticked me off. I went with the bakery that they told me to go with, and I paid $11 per slice over what was included in the package for this spectacular-looking cake that few or none of my guests even tried because no one bothered to cut it! And this was a service that was supposedly included in the package! Not only that it they ended up wasting over 40 hours of hard work I could have put in elsewhere other than my DIYed menus when I added in a diagram of my cake so my guests could know which flavor each tier was so they could tell the server which flavor they wanted. All of this work was wasted because they didn't cut my cake and serve it!

I actually have to have this cake served to my guests at my church one week later(no thanks to them).

2. Communication. They should have told me when I booked(almost a year beforehand, May 2, 2009) that the Garden Room's wiring was not up to code to handle the uplighting I had ordered. It was a "little detail" they left out of their documentation until they finally dropped it on me like a ton of bricks one month before the wedding when I met with them to finalize everything(and yes, my coordinator was there when they told me, so I wasn't the only one who heard it). It actually took two weeks me nagging and waiting after that for them to give me and my DJ a straight answer as to whether I would need a generator or not along with where to put said generator.

This left me scrambling the last week to let my lighting person know to get a generator which cost me an additional $120 to rent. This leaves us to issue #3

3. Building maintenance. Now I may be a clueless bride that doesn't know anything, but my darling husband and I bought a house two months prior to our wedding and last I looked in to the way real estate works, it is the responsibility of the owner of a building to maintain the wiring up to code. It's really a shameful they have neglected to do that on such a beautiful location! Seriously, this is a matter of pride and common sense.

Would I book another event with them? Yes, absolutely. But I would seriously watch my banquet manager like a hawk and insist that they cut the freaking cake like there were supposed to have done on the basis of our contract(yeah watching them was my my coordinator's job which I will go into detail later)! And I would insist on them telling me upfront on whether or not the wiring can handle extra stuff like lighting.
The second issue is extremely important to know so you don't end up scrambling at the last minute trying to throw more money into an already expensive event.
Services used: Wedding Venue

( 5.0 / 5.0 )
I purchased my veil from glamgal.com recently(Summer 2009). Overall I rate my experience as being extremely positive. I ordered a custom cathedral veil with extremely specific instructions and it came out beautiful. I placed the order in early July and it came in September(it was a big job). It came a little bit later than anticipated but that was okay since I had ordered my veil well ahead of my April 2010 wedding. My advice to any bride having a custom made item for their wedding, particularly an important one is to order well in advance of your wedding. Do not wait until the last minute to get pieces that are assembled by hand in a rush. For the record I did check out the company's Better Business Bureau record which can be seen here http://www.santabarbara.bbb.org/Business-Report/Glam-Gal-Designs-Bridal-15000572 I figured it was good enough to take a chance. I am glad I did. Pictures of my veil will be available to non friends on my bio after my wedding.
Services used: Unique Services

Glamour Closet
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
This review is for the new store in Los Angeles located at 324 South La Brea. I am a bride that has been with my fiancee for a very long time, that said I had a long time to research and figure out exactly what I wanted from a wedding gown. It quickly became apparent that I would not find exactly what I was looking for very easily. I wanted a strapless silk satin ball gown with a cathedral train, dropped waist and elaborate embroidery. I had tried dresses at several high end bridal salons, including those that carried Amalia Cararra, Kenneth Pool and Priscilla of Boston. Originally I was prepared to settle for a less costly Jasmine Couture design that was made of the same fabric and pay for the extra alteration work involved with extending the train and removing the pick ups. That put the special ordering cost to roughly $2300. With that in mind I decided to try Glamour Closet realizing that no matter what dress I get I would have alternations done, but that if I could find a dress that I liked more for the right price even with the alterations it would be money well-spent. Parking in back wasn't all that great so I decided to park at the Ralphs right across 3rds Street and walk across. When I walked into the Salon, it reminded me a lot of R-mine Bridal in Studio City. I went on Thursday around 2pm. The sales lady was assisting another costumer at the time so I took that time to scope out the racks in search of dresses I wanted to try on. Most of the ball gowns I eyed were Reem Acra and Kenneth Pool. Their condition was typical of most floor samples. Eye clean with a couple of spots here and there, nothing that couldn't be corrected by a good dry cleaner. Most of their dresses where a size 10. I am a street size 2, but for the right price I was willing to pay extra to get alterations done. After waiting patiently, I found my patience rewarded. After the other client left, Jenna was very kind open and attentive to my needs. I told her my experience with other salons, how I seem to always end up with designers, but would prefer that I not pay the $6,000 price tag that was given to me for another dress I tried on elsewhere and that I was trying Glamour Closet as a last resort before ordering a dress at another salon. I picked out 6 dresses(5 of which I tried on). They were all big for me, but I knew that going in. Nearly all of them were Reem Acra dresses. But one caught my eye in particular because it had a lilac applique on it that made it stand out from the other gowns. Even though it had a chapel train instead of cathedral train, after the way it looked on me with the clips I was sold on the price tag. The dress was $1,100 and came up to be roughly $1,200 total. They do not offer alterations in house so I have to look up their recommended list of tailors/seemstresses. From my perspective I got a good deal: even if the alterations end up costing me the total cost of the dress it's still going to be $100 cheaper than the Jasmine dress quoted to me, and it's a Reem Arca(one of the top wedding designers in the world), made in the US and not in China(that mattered to me too). And even then, the original retail price of the dress as $4,400. There is no doubt in my mind I made a sound decision. Jenna was sweet enough to carry my dress almost a block to my car after sealing it safely in a large garment bag and telling me how to open and close it properly so none of the dress material would get caught in it. She did so because she saw I was carrying a large wedding portfolio. She went above and beyond what I would have expected of a bridal salon salesperson. She never pressured me to purchase the more expensive gown and from what I could tell, she gave me her honest opinion for every dress I tried on. She was on par and on target with every other bridal consultant I worked with, perhaps more so because she listened to everything I had so say and never tried to rush me nor told me that a dress was too overwhelming for me just because it was a ball gown and I have a petite frame(like other salons tried to do). Glamour Closet is worth the drive and worth the monthly scope out for the cost conscious and discriminating bride looking for couture on a budget. The salon had the look and feel of any other bridal salon I had been to, only the dresses were sold off the rack rather than special ordered. It's also a good place to go if you are a bride on fast approaching deadline. I would recommend Glamour Closet to any of my friends. They were totally worth the trip.
Services used: Dress & Attire

( 5.0 / 5.0 )
I had a very good experience at this bridal salon. They carry high end designers. And at the time I was frustrated with other salons that had a limited range. They were very helpful when I came in. I made my appointment on short notice upon recommendation from Maria of Lily Bridal in Encino that morning on a Wednesday. I was looking for a satin ball gown. Nicoleta, the salesperson who helped me was really understanding and very accommodating. She was courteous, respectful and, above all, honest. She showed me a dress that totally was what I envisioned my gown to be. The only problem was I allowed myself to look at a dress that was totally above my budget(I knew that going in). I was at the point where I thought what I wanted from a gown didn't exist so I was pleasantly surprised by R-Mine Bridal. I did not purchase my gown from this store, although if I would have lingered on about 5 minutes longer I would have. They are a good choice if you are looking for high end couture, need a lot of individual attention and you are ready to stare at a steep price tag knowing you will get exactly what you pay for. One word of caution. Their dressing rooms have marble tile with a built in raised pedestal. When you are stepping off the pedestal in a large ball gown it is hard tell when you are stepping off from one tile to another level. I nearly stepped off and fell(thankfully Nicoleta caught me)after trying on a dress so please be careful.
Services used: Dress & Attire