My review! Oct. 30th '11 at Coral House- Wicks Florist, LIgoodtimes, Danford's, etc. Lots of pics!
Hello ladies! Ugh, I’ve been so lazy about getting this review up! But I am happy to share my experience with all of my vendors with you.
The day of I was SO nervous I was literally shaking. I’m unfortunately a little shy when it comes to being the center of attention. I realized the wedding sounded good on paper, but in person it was sooo overwhelming!
A LOT went wrong the weekend of my wedding…..we had the problematic weather, leaks in our hotel suite and not so great service from our DJ & limo company.....but I can’t feel too bad because overall it was a beautiful night! I’m so happy everything more or less came together and that I’m D-O-N-E planning! I haven’t felt this relaxed in so long! :\
I hope my review helps some future brides! I lost my engagement party pictures and I didn't have a bridal shower since I live so far away from friends/family, so I’ll start off with my hair & makeup…..
HAIR- “PIN ME UP HAIR”- A++ ..My stylist Erica was beyond amazing. I was a little worried because she was so busy anytime I tried contacting her…..okay,….let’s be real…I was VERY worried she would not have the time to fit me in and something would go wrong in that department because I am a complete failure at doing hair! I’m pretty good at makeup, but I have zero skill at all at doing my own hair and no backup plan if she wasn’t available. This girl traveled across LI to my parents’ home for a hair trial….completely last minute! She was so warm and personable, she immediately put me at ease and I knew exactly what I wanted based on her diverse portfolio. The day of she did a phenomenal job. I loved it!
MAKEUP- AGNES BARNAT- A++ ……Agnes answered an ad I put out for something else wedding-related….I wasn’t looking for a makeup artist at all, but I was really impressed by the work on her website. I like dark, dramatic eyes and she seemed to be on the same page! She knew exactly what to do as soon as she saw my skin type, facial features, etc. This girl knows what she’s doing! She couldn’t make it to my makeup trial because of the freak snow storm but we really didn’t need one. She got it spot on the day of. She specializes in air-brushing and I gotta say, my makeup didn’t come off until I washed my face later that night. I got about a zillion compliments!
INVITATIONS- A……I loved my invites. They were by Checkerboard and ordered through Alligator Soup in Henderson, NV. I doubt anyone will ever get to use them…but they were great too lol! My only regret is that I spent SO much on them. I probably should have cut back here!!
CELEBRITY TAILORS,(LAS VEGAS, NV)- A …..I loved them! My dress was extremely delicate and they worked so hard & carefully. Kudos!
TUXES- MEN’S WEARHOUSE- C-…..There was a lot of confusion in what we wanted. They made a note on the account that the groom & his brothers were wearing 2 separate, specific styles that we picked out and then we told them the 3 fathers would be able to choose whatever they wanted for themselves. Each time we went back, we had to reiterate this…. And when the time came, each father called us up telling us that they weren’t allowing them to choose the style they wanted. It was a little annoying. The NIGHT BEFORE, we realized that they gave my father the same exact tux as DH! My dad ended up wearing a shirt and tie of his own. Seemed like a waste of money to me! In the end, it wasn't a huge deal but I still wouldn’t recommend them.
MY DRESS, - NORDSTROM- A+….. I loved it!!! I also purchased my jewelry & hair accessories here.
My VEIL- DAVID’S BRIDAL- A+ ….It was a simple birdcage veil with crystals scattered on it. I only paid $24.
My shoes were crazy lol, by Iron Fist...I don't really have a shot of me wearing them. My photog took this picture while I was getting ready:
I took them off after the ceremony.
ENGAGEMENT/WEDDING RINGS- JARED- A++….I dealt with 2 different locations… the one in Lake Grove and one by me in Nevada. We love Gerard from Lake Grove!!!!!!!!!!! He's a good friend to us and guest at our wedding!
PHOTOGRAPHER- LAURA SAN FILLIPO- FLEUR DE LIS PHOTOGRAPHY- A- … Laura was a pleasure to have! I got to the venue late (more on that later….) and was definitely behind schedule and a few planned photo ops just weren’t possible anymore. She kept very busy while I was waiting for hair/makeup and that put me at ease. She took some family members outside to take pictures, she wasn’t afraid to take apart the bridal suite if it meant getting a shot of the sunlight in the window hitting my dress in just the right way…I was really impressed with her. She was very easy-going and understanding of my horrible, out of control, day-of nerves. My only real complaint- I have no close up pictures of my centerpieces or pictures from my cocktail hour. Guests didn’t even take pictures! I don’t even know what the room looked like!
OFFICIANT- REVEREND D!!- A++ …..RevD is amazing. Plain and simple, she’s awesome. She’s definitely offbeat. I felt like she understood the vibe we were going for….I didn’t want a stuffy, old clergy person for a wedding that’s only a day before Halloween. It just wouldn’t make sense, not for us. She was really interested in making the ceremony 100% represent us. As I said, I was so nervous and I really thought I was going to faint by the time I got up in front of all those people lol….. but she really did make me feel comfortable. She did call me “Tori” once, which DH’s stupid brother had to make a big point of in his speech……*smh*….. She was really sweet and everyone thought she was great. I wanted a ceremony everyone could enjoy and I got exactly that.
TABLE LINENS- THE FINISHING TOUCH in Hicksville, NY- A++….. Like most venues, everything is white at the Coral House. Any bit of color comes from small, bland-colored, heavy cotton tablecloth overlays. There was just no way I could make that work. They recommended the Finishing Touch, so only days before my last trip to NY was over I stopped in and they helped me right away. Maryanne was *wonderful*. She combined every possible purple tablecloth and overlay until I found the right combination I absolutely loved. They brought in a team of a couple people and worked quickly. I’m very happy I got to work with them. I would honestly encourage everyone to use linens to make your wedding more your own.
DANFORD’S HOTEL IN PORT JEFFERSON- F!!!!!!!!!!!!- This is just sad lol. We checked into our room sometime in the afternoon on Saturday and everything more or less looked fine. We went back to the room to settle in for the night at about 9:30pm and it was like Niagara Falls! There was water pouring from the ceiling all along one of the walls….on the tv, on all of the electric hooked up on that wall, on the heater. I took pictures of all of it, just in case my MIL had a hard time getting a refund (she didn’t). It was sooo bad. So we see this and we start panicking because the water is going directly into all the electrical. I called the front desk…they wanted to give us a new room without a view of the water (literally) and they would adjust the price based on the view only. At this point, its getting late, its pouring rain and its freezing outside, so I didn’t want to run from room to room with all of our things. They said they would send someone over with new room keys and that person would check that new room before sending us to it. In that span of maybe 10 minutes of being on the phone with them, I notice the patch job in the middle of the ceiling is actually peeling before my eyes and water is quickly dripping from there too!!!!!! We decided to check the other rooms and we found black mold in the corner of the ceiling in the bedroom. DH has extremely bad asthma so we decide not to risk it and we left Danford's. No other hotels are in the immediate area that we wanted to be in so we spent our wedding night at my parents’ house LOL!
(More pics of this hot mess in my albums)
RED CARPET LIMO- (ROCKY POINT, NY)- F!!!!!!!!!!!….What a mess this company is! When we first booked, we spoke with Joey and he was a delight…..though I must say I feel deceived now. He showed us a stretch SUV limo that DH & I wanted just for us for the drop off to venue & the pick up. When the limo arrived at my parents’ house I was a little bit taken aback because of the shape of the white stretch SUV….it had some obvious dents and nicks. Inside the ceiling had some holes in the fabric, the driver told us not to touch the radio (I assume because it was broken?), and the heat was not working. Whatever…didn’t want to nitpick because I was so excited! Minutes after we left, he got word that the party bus DH’s mother booked did not arrive yet. They needed one for about 12 or so people. So OUR driver pulls over, saying he doesn’t want to get going only to have to turn back to pick DH’s family up. We said NO, this limo was booked for us only. One has nothing to do with the other….not to mention, it would never fit a total of 14 people anyway. He would not listen and would not get going until the matter was settled….making me late for hair & makeup, which then delayed our ceremony (good thing it was so short). I heard later on that he asked DH for a tip too! That’s not even the worst of it….. The guy who picked us up was in a simple stretch town car, which we did NOT book. We had the stretch SUV. When I asked him about this he said….“This IS a SUV!”….Um….okay? The limo inside was dirty. It had makeup left over on the seat from the previous passengers. There were dirty cups, which skeeved me out! The heat was broken and the temp had dropped at that point. The divider was also broken! We even asked the driver to get it to work and he couldn’t. The owner later said that the driver did not know how to work it. He then changed his story and said that the divider is always disabled so that couples cannot have sex! WWWTTTFFFF.
When we finally got back to my parents’ house and we unloaded all of our things, this driver (it was a different one) said to DH “I guess I’m not getting a tip. You know I work for a living!”….OMG! I was horrified! I sent an email to the owner complaining about our experience, he couldn't give a flying fig. He wanted to fight with us and threaten that he would take us to court if we ever left any reviews online because that’s “defamation of character and slander”. He told us he has the rebuttal photos ready! LOL I bet… My MIL’s party bus ended up breaking down. They had broken heat on the way home too. They lied to her that it was in the contract that she could not get a refund for mechanical issues… of course it wasn’t. She did get herself a refund. I ended up leaving some reviews online and immediately after posting one, Mike, the owner, called my phone 10 times in 5 minutes. He then called my MIL multiple times and when they spoke he threatened to re-charge her credit card because he thought that refunding her was "hush money". Lordy lord!
WICK’S FLORIST- A…..The flowers turned out beautiful. My bouquet was amazing. It was so big and full! I lost some flowers throughout the night, but I didn’t notice. It was still in great condition 2 days later… I was so sad to leave it behind! :(
It was made up of orange roses & ranunculus and orange & purple calla lilies. They also gave us pumpkins & preserved fall leaves to scatter around the aisle.
The Zap Shots photog got this pic of the tables- you can see the centerpieces okay, they were hydrangeas & purple calla-lilies
BLACK FORREST BAKERY- B+….. My cake had a simple black design on each layer and as requested, they put dripping “blood” on it! …..The thing is, they used real stage blood from a Halloween store so if you got a taste of it, it was NASTY! I just assumed they would use food coloring, you know,… edible things!!!!!! We didn’t have the time or energy to get too specific with the bakery. We just wanted a red velvet cake. I think the frosting was a whipped cream instead of a buttercream/cream cheese that usually goes with red velvet….but I honestly don’t remember. They overall did a good job! Compared to Viennese, the cake was quickly forgotten about!!
DJ- LI GOOD TIMES….- F...The DJ we booked, Steve, decided he would not be our DJ. He would only be the MC that night. I was in contact with him for 10 months and not once did he ever mention that change.
We picked out songs for all the parents’ intros and he used techno music instead. When we came out, he kept our intro song going for an addition 2 minutes so we sort of just stood on the dance floor awkwardly! He played the wrong version of our wedding song…. He got the artist wrong, which devastated DH. My face is all “WTH” in some pictures during our first dance lol !… He basically completely disregarded our playlist. For the first 20 minutes he played nothing but techno and dance remixes. He had light shows going that I specifically did not ask for. When he was asked to cut those lights by my father, he ignored that request. My wedding felt like some dirty NJ club for the first hour or so! Our playlist was very specific, but nothing too out there. We just wanted the music to represent US and to also relate to the date we chose. We also filled out a packet that LI Good Times gives to each client that gave them a good idea of our tastes. I spent so much time planning out the dang music and to have them wing it pissed me off!!!!!! Steve told my uncle he forgot the playlist at home and his excuse for playing the completely out of place club music was because “people don’t like to eat their salads, so I wanted to get them up and dancing”. He played a 50s/60s mashup that completely killed the mood for all the younger folks. I was honestly bored. At one point, our maitre’d Tina brought over a PRINTED COPY OF OUR PLAYLIST and told us to mark off every song we wanted played….. He still couldn't get it right.
To make a long story short, Steve & his DJ were spoken to 7 different times and nothing changed until the last ½ hour of the night. By that time, the speaker kept giving off loud feedback noises and they were doing odd things like starting one song and 15-20 seconds into it, shutting it off ...long pause...and then starting another song. It was laughable. They were so disorganized, it was embarrassing. They waited until the tail end of the night to play the parent dance songs, by that time most people went home. They played the wrong version of DH’s dance song with his mother. And they didn’t play a thank you song that we wanted played for our parents….and DH specifically reminded him to. Our last dance song was “All is Love”… they played “One Love” instead LOL. I’ve calmed down now, but that night I was so furious, I could cry. I did contact Steve the next day…. He blamed everything on the DJ! He also blamed Coral House for having other events going on…..but by the time my ceremony started, the place was completely empty. He had told me he had plenty of experience working with CH, so it was really just bs. In the end, I have fabulous pictures of people having a good time, but *I* know how much work I put into that and what I wanted and didn’t want….so it kind of stinks.
With my package, came “zap shots”. The way Steve first explained it to me, it was to my understanding that their photog would stick to taking pictures only on the dance floor and some surrounding guest shots. The zap shots photog was all over the room! But I am happy it turned out that way. I was told to expect up to 250+ pictures that would go up on the tv screen and cycle through. The SAME 25 pictures cycled through over and over and over! Ugh! The good thing is, the pictures are of amazing quality! And some of the shots are ones my photog missed completely! I was REALLY surprised. Steve also got them out to me asap! LOL I'd give that service an overall A!!!!
And last, but not least.....
CORAL HOUSE, OUR VENUE! B+…When DH & I first found the Coral House, we loved it. We still do! It didn’t feel so “typical wedding venue” to us and we knew we could change whatever we didn’t like (linens!) and really make the rooms our own. Linda was our coordinator that worked with us. Her personality is pretty difficult and each set of parents also felt she probably chose the wrong profession for herself!
Skip ahead…. Everything did turn out beautiful. Linda took her happy pill the day of! The rooms looked great, people raved about the food! Despite my seating charts and table breakdowns that she hounded me for- they did switch the table numbers around on us and unfortunately that mixed up the 3 sides and disrupted the flow quite a bit. People ended up moving their seats entirely.
Our maitre’d was Tina….. I found her personality to be a tad abrasive…coming from ME, that’s serious LOL. As she put it, her “style” is to rush the courses and get people out on the dance floor. All the meals were a blur! I had 2 plates in front of me through all the courses! I felt she should have been more on top of the DJ too. He put off the special dances until the end of the night when most of the guests were already gone. He didn’t play our thank you song to the parents and we thought maybe Tina could help us and put him on more of a schedule so he could get it done before the night ended. When we went to her with our concerns, I also told her that we really wanted him to stick to the playlist…She said to me “We’re not worrying about 1 hour, 1 minute or 1 second ago. That’s in the past. You want to focus on the present now??” and she dismissed me and didn’t come back for the rest of the night! I was surprised by her attitude because in some CH reviews, people have raved about her!
Tina also moved all of the handbags she found in the bridal suite and hid them under the cake table. I get why she did it, but she didn't tell anyone! So that created a lot of confusion and my photographer actually stopped all pictures for awhile because she was in a panic and looking for her cellphone for 20 minutes! Tina had all of them in her jacket.
In the end, CH really did put the rooms together nicely. Me going crazy from the details isn’t their fault. I would probably do that regardless!
They decorated the “lobby” area *beautifully* and had candles scattered all over! It was really romantic feeling….and actually, exactly what I wanted them to do but I felt like too much of a pain to ask for another thing. They also gave us 2 separate bridal suites to use, which was really, really nice of them.
The food set up in the bridal suite was um,.... OUTRAGEOUS! It was sooo much and sooo over the top, I couldn’t believe it. Our attendant Liz was constantly checking in with us, she was really fantastic. I liked her more than Tina lol. I didn’t get to eat nearly as much as I wanted to!
The Viennese was insane. People were actually gasping! I definitely would encourage brides to check out the CH!
(my pictures here are a mix of zap shots, pictures taken by my photog and pictures from guests!)
After the wedding we were drained and still had a half a day's worth of travel to get home! Its good to be home and relax!
I'm working on the fun stuff now, like putting albums together! lol
Message edited 11/21/2011 10:43:01 PM.