Monday, September 27, 2010

Wedding Vendor Reviews

Heritage Hunt, Venue, Catering/Food and Beverage: A-
Leah Stewart was a hoot and a joy to work with! When I met with her for a tasting, she did a great job assuring me that her and her staff would take care of set up and decorations. For a bride who doesn’t have a planner, that meant a lot to me! The food was good, and the place is lovely! Brandon and Susan were great at running the rehearsal, and Susan had some great tips on calming yourself before the wedding that I took to heart.
There were some small things they missed: They forgot to serve the very sauces I requested for one of my dishes, and my ceremony flowers ended up on the stage of my reception rather than the ceremony itself. These two things are such small issues within the big picture, and didn’t overshadow the overall satisfaction I have with them. Aside from that, they did awesome!

Diana Marie Gibbs, Harpist: A+++
No words can express how much I love this woman and her harp. She was able to accommodate all of my music requests, whether it was me and my husband’s two songs, or the score music from the Twilight Saga that I wanted playing during the prelude. It was because of her music that I kept tearing up during our ceremony, and I think it added a special touch. She is also quite responsive to emails. I regret not being able to greet her because I in confinement before the ceremony, and busy taking pictures after. Diana, if you’re reading this, I hope you know I loved your music. Thanks so for making our big day even more special!

Fluffy Thoughts Cakes, Wedding Cake: A+
I’ve been stalking Fluffy Thought’s website for close to 2 years before getting engaged. I was intrigued by her artistic background in sculpture as well as her abundant amount of flavors! Within a week of being proposed to, I had already booked a tasting with Lara Stuckey, which she was still holding out of her condo in Mclean at the time. The tasting was amazing with 5 different cake flavors, an array of fillings, and spreads for you to try diverse combinations of. Um… YUM! My sister, who doesn’t normally like “busy” desserts, couldn’t get enough and wanted to try more combinations! Not only did I love Lara’s personality, but I loved the design and taste of work as well! Lara and her team did a phenomenal job on my cake! She did a 9 inch cake for my private church wedding in August that tasted phenomenal (white choc cake, raspberry butter cream, cream cheese frosting, and passion fruit curd). For my larger reception, she helped me keep costs low by suggesting a decorated 5-tier-stacked cake, with where 4 tiers where foam. I ordered two more sheet cakes and served the slices buffet style. I had 3 different flavors: My Passion, Red Velvet, and White Chocolate/Hazelnut. The cake was GORGEOUS and I still dream about the passion fruit curd, and the hazelnut butter cream three weeks later! I also ordered two grooms cakes, a mustang cake and cupcakes for the rehearsal, and a 9 inch round with superman emblem for my wedding (we had slight smallville theme). Guests raved about the cakes from all of my events! I still get requests for leftovers! I look forward to my anniversary cake in a year. Please don’t delay, and hire Lara and Fluffy Thoughts for your next (wedding) event!

Hino Banzon, Photographer: A
Having studied Hino’s portfolio against others, I’d always had full confidence that I won’t be disappointed in his photos. Hino is the sweetest person ever, and working with him was a joy. When I first met him in the winter, he was so quiet and nice that it seemed timid. I only had a small concern that he might not be as assertive enough to battle my large family and long list of formals. However, on the day itself, he totally proved me wrong and rocked it! And because he was so sweet and non-abrasive in personality, my family and friends really took to him, which was just SO great. I really, sincerely enjoyed working with him. He even called me the morning of the wedding just to congratulate me, and I appreciate his professionalism and not losing sight of the fact that it was a very big day for me as the bride, as some vendors in the wedding industry have sadly begun to do. Brian, his second shooter, was also really sweet and easy to work with! The photos were gorgeous, and very quick in delivery of the high definition images, as well as my awesome three 8x12 prints. I am totally happy with Hino and Bryan’s work, and would definitely recommend going with Hino B Photography.
Dolce Studios, Videographer: A
I’ll update this when I get the video back, but knowing their portfolio, I know that I won’t be disappointed. Natasha was my shooter, and she was great. She had an easy going personality and was just as sweet as my photographers. In fact, they worked together only a couple weeks before my wedding, so they knew each other. That helped out a lot because they were able to assist each other in getting the shots they wanted. Hanyall was also a joy to speak with over the phone, and she was helpful in giving me tips, not only about video, but about wedding vendors in general.

Special Occasions, Chairs and Napkins: A
Lovely gold chaivari chairs and chocolate napkins. Thanks for a classy looking reception!

Ace Party Rental, Ceremony Staging : A
Staging was great and set the way we wanted. Thanks!

Steve Hessing, DJ : B+
Overall a great DJ with a low price tag (bonus!). He kept the crowd dancing, and I enjoyed much of his music. He played most of my requests, but because I had a list that was 70 songs long, I understand that there just weren’t enough hours in the night to play them all! However, he didn’t have our song for the first dance, and kept asking me about the program, even though I had provided him with the timeline prior to the wedding. He seemed to feel out the crowd when he played the music, and I appreciate that very much. Would’ve loved to have him be more organized and prepared, but all in all guest still tons of fun on the dance floor and so did we!

Lance Orndorff, Officiant: D
Mr. Lance was a joy to meet on a snowy day at Starbucks. My fiancé and I thought he seemed great and we really like him. We had high hopes and zero worries when we hired him. However, things changed as we got closer to the wedding date.
Mr. Lance needs to consider the tone he takes with his clients. He seems more preoccupied by the number of weddings he performs than the fact that it’s someone’s special day. Any questions I had for him prior to the wedding and rehearsal was met with attitude, justified by the vast number of weddings he has performed and a condescending tone which he justified by his "experience".
When my father ran late for the wedding itself, Lance was more concerned about his schedule than helping make an already stressful situation less stressful. He was the major cause of any stress rather than a source of relief. He burst into the bridal waiting room literally yelling at me, my mother, and my bridal party about my father. This is not a professional or kind way to treat a client at such a special moment in her life. He seems to book weddings much too close together, not allowing for the wiggle room that other officiant would know you need to have. We were met with a lot of un-needed stress, negativity, and unprofessional behavior on his part, that my wedding party tried to locate another officiant mere minutes before the ceremony.
I will give him one big thing: The ceremony went better than expected. Though it was cut short due to my father’s late arrival, Lance actually did a good job condensing the ceremony. He entertained the crowd, keeping it light and funny. The ceremony was a success, regardless of his irritated manner behind the scenes. If you weren’t aware of his negative attitude or stress-inducing outburst towards me and my bridal party regarding my father’s tardiness (mere moments before the ceremony), you would probably think he was awesome.

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