Apr 25, 2009

In The Now Weddings and Events
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
To any future brides who choose In the Now Weddings: I am so happy for you! I would almost get married again just to have Alicia and Amanda help plan and coordinate my event. My wedding had several challenges: I had two months to plan, I had zero vendors hired at that point, my venue was the home of a relative (so a completely raw space), and my fiancee and I were planning from out of state (we live in Chicago but were getting married in Orange County, CA). In addition to the logistical issues, I was definitely NOT one of those brides who dreamed of her wedding ever since I was a little girl... or even since I got engaged. I was, to put it mildly, dreading the wedding. I contacted more than half a dozen coordinators to try to find the right fit for me. After seeing ITN's blog, I felt their style and personality had an element of fun and whimsy that most (if not all) of the other coordinators I contacted lacked. I secretly hoped they would be just as cool in person and when Alicia emailed me back to introduce herself, I knew right then she was the one! She made a truly personal connection and spoke from her heart, rather than treating it as "a job". Over the following months, she helped me organize my thoughts, think through my ideas, and gave invaluable suggestions. And through our daily (well, several times a day) emails, she was my biggest cheerleader, confidant, and workhorse. Plus she made me laugh out loud every day -- something very important for a stressed bride-to-be. I know for a fact she had other clients at the same time as me but I would have never known it by the way she gave her full attention to any question or concern I had, and she never left me waiting for an answer on anything. My fiancee later told me, "The day I stopped being stressed about the wedding was the day we hired Alicia." It's funny, now I actually miss her daily emails. Although technically speaking I hired Alicia for a "month of" coordination package, she went far above and beyond, including going to the fabric district in LA to find us a custom table runner fabric and working tirelessly and happily for several months. She really took the time to get to know me and my fiancee and understand the style and tone we wanted for our wedding. Many times she and Amanda were able to make suggestions that improved on my own ideas. I think that's one of their greatest strengths, that they can think creatively and bring a fresh perspective. The wedding day itself was beautiful and flowed seamlessly as far as I could tell. I was able to fully relax and enjoy every moment. Alicia was also in charge of making an In-N-Out run at the end of the night as a surprise treat for our guests. Her assistants took care of it perfectly behind the scenes, and our friends and families loved it. If I have any regret it was that I didn't find ITN sooner. (Okay, second regret is that I didn't get a chance to take a picture with Alicia on the big day!) If you are considering getting a coordinator, don't wait to contact ITN. It was the best investment of my wedding.
Services used: Wedding Planning

( 4.0 / 5.0 )
I am somewhat of a food snob and cook a lot. In a major leap of faith, we hired 24 Carrots without tasting their food first -- and on our wedding day, we couldn't have been happier! We were planning our wedding from out of state and didn't have time to fly out for a food tasting. Instead we sent our wedding coordinator and my parents to a tasting because we felt our coordinator understood the level of quality and type of food we wanted. I've been to probably 10-15 weddings over the past three/four years and none of their food even came close to that of 24 Carrots. Let's be real, most wedding food is mediocre at best. But the hors d'oeuvres we picked from 24 Carrots were better than a lot of restaurants'. The entrees were well seasoned, well cooked, beautifully plated, and just overall felt like you were getting a special meal. Many of our guests raved about the food afterwards. We had been trying to decide between 24 Carrots and another top-tier caterer in Southern CA. I did taste the other caterer's food (it was excellent) but didn't taste 24Cs so I couldn't base my decision on food. What impressed me about 24 Cs was that the catering manager assigned to me asked me if I was working with a wedding planner. I gave her the name and the catering manager said, "Oh, great. I haven't worked with her before but I'm looking forward to meeting her." In contrast, when the other caterer asked me about my coordinator, their response was a flat "Oh." I don't know if that meant disgust, disinterest, or what. But it turned me off and since then I did not regret choosing 24 Cs. Also, we hired 24Cs less than a month from the wedding date and they were able to work on that tight schedule without any problems. Finally, unfortunately, our catering manager was let go from the company a week before our wedding. But she still felt so personally involved with us that she still contributed to a small bride gift that she and my wedding planner put together for me. And the person who picked up in her place did so without a hitch. Service-wise, everything was well done and completely professional. Cocktail hour and dinner service were executed in a timely manner, and the servers took good care of our guests. Our wedding was at the private home of a relative, and held outdoors, so 24 Carrots did have the additional challenge of setting up and working in somewhat of a raw space. But they handled it perfectly and without disruption and cleaned up everything when they were finished. I only deducted one star because there was a miscommunication about the cake. The top tier was supposed to be boxed up for us, like they usually do with wedding cakes. But at the end of the night it was nowhere to be found. This was a bummer for me because I LOVE dessert and specifically I LOVED the cake we picked from Sweet Gems (that's in another review). If I didn't live out of state, I would hire 24 Carrots again if I had another event.
Services used: Catering

theorie • art that thinks
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
It's tempting to try to skimp on photography since you're spending tons of money on everything else. But the way I see it, of all the things you spend money on for your wedding, there is almost nothing you get to take with you after the actual day is done. You don't get the food, you might take the top of your cake but most people never even eat it, it's not like you can't wear your dress again. Really all you have left after the day is the wedding photography (and videography, if you get a video). So for us, we wanted to make sure we found a photographer that could capture our day in the most memorable way possible. And that photographer was Theorie. It's easy to take a nice-looking picture when people are all dressed up and feeling good. Anyone can do it. But the difference with Amy and Maurice at Theorie is that they bring a fresh look to wedding photography. Their style is not traditional, and that made sense for us because we didn't want to have pictures of us standing in prom pose or the generic "class picture" family shot. A lot of my friends' wedding pictures look like they could have been taken inside a studio with fake wedding backdrops. We didn't want that. Granted, these days there are a number of contemporary style photographers out there. But I thought Amy and Maurice had the perfect combination of funkiness without being ridiculous (I've seen more than a few where all the pictures have the heads cut off, or everything is photographed on a diagonal, basically where they employ kooky tricks to hide the fact that they have no natural eye for photography). When you look at Theorie's photography, it just has so much life in it. They do use editing effects (and Maurice is a genius at it!), but you don't even realize you're looking at an edited photo. All Maurice does is enhance the feeling or emotion that was already present in the picture. Definitely check out their blog and website. Working with them was also a pleasure. Both of them shoot your wedding together, and that way they capture so much more. It may cost a little more compared to a single photographer, but what you get in the end is so worth it. They seemed so happy to be there with us, doing what they love to do, relaxed and having fun with us. I've stood in weddings where the photographer seemed bitter that he had to be there, like he was just there on the "job". With Theorie, you work with Amy and Maurice only, they don't send an associate photographer out. I can't think of any drawback to working with Theorie. They are a two-person team so depending on how busy they are, they may take longer to get your album delivered. I'm not sure what the standard delivery time is, but got our album within six months of the wedding. But it is so worth the wait. Please don't let that sway your decision! And I forgot to say the album itself is excellent quality. If you choose Theorie, it will be the best wedding present you gave to yourselves.
Services used: Unique Services