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Wedding Forums > The Brides' Review > 5/26/14 Wedding Review: Westbury Manor, Lighthouse Photography, Ali Long Island Makeup & Hair, Hidde...
5/26/14 Wedding Review: Westbury Manor, Lighthouse Photography, Ali Long Island Makeup & Hair, Hidde...
HeatherV Posted: Jun 25, 2014 07:10 PM+
HeatherV MEMBER SINCE: 4/13 TOTAL POSTS : 13 WEDDING DATE: May 26, 2014
Posted: Jun 25, 2014 07:10 PM bride-minus.png

5/26/14 Wedding Review: Westbury Manor, Lighthouse Photography, Ali Long Island Makeup & Hair, Hidden Essence, Fusion DL, etc!

Even though I never posted much, I definitely lurked a lot and got some good ideas and recommendations from here. So, I figured it was only right if I repaid the favor by reviewing my wedding for those who still may be planning and searching for vendors.

I must say, my husband (it feels so wonderful to finally say that!) and I really quite enjoyed the wedding planning process. At times it was a bit difficult because we currently live out of state (I go to grad school in Maryland), but we had our wedding on Long Island. As such, we wound up doing a lot of the planning long distance. That’s where LIWeddings really came in handy because I did a lot of research about vendors online first before narrowing them down to a couple that we would meet in person during our trips back up to LI.

Anyway, onto the reviews!

VENUE: Westbury Manor A+

Westbury Manor was just really fantastic. We couldn’t have asked for a better venue. My husband is from Serbia, so we knew we definitely wanted to incorporate some aspects of his culture into our wedding. We couldn’t believe it when we first walked into Westbury Manor and the Banquet Manager that we met with was also Serbian! Like, seriously, what are the chances? She was very excited about the ideas that we had (e.g. including a Serbian dish on the menu, serving a special Serbian alcohol, etc). She assured us that everything would be possible and that she’d help the kitchen to pull everything off. Well, that pretty much sealed the deal. We knew we found the place for us.

However, a couple months later, we found out that our BM had left and was no longer working at Westbury Manor. We started to become a little concerned about whether they would be able to accommodate our requests without her guidance. Turns out, though, that those fears were completely unfounded. Our new BM was also fantastic and was open to all of our ideas and requests. As far as adding a Serbian entree to the menu went, Westbury Manor had requested that we bring in a recipe for the dish we’d like them to make. We did, but on the day of the wedding it was evident that they did also did their own research on the dish. They went beyond what we imagined, and it really turned out great.

Hmm.. what else? We also had our ceremony on site out in the gardens, which Westbury Manor had decorated beautifully. There were even baby peacocks running around. Thankfully the weather that day was perfect, so we also were able to have our cocktail hour outside. Right after the ceremony, our maitre’d set up a private table with samples from the cocktail hour stations for my husband and I to try and enjoy before joining all of our guests. Everything we sampled was delicious, and it just was so great to have that moment where we could be alone and celebrate with each other.

In general, our maitre’d and bridal attendant were fantastic. I had no idea what I was doing half the time, but they led me around and made sure I was always where I was supposed to be on time, lol. Someone was always there to give me what I needed even when I didn’t know I needed it! I will say that there was another wedding going on at the time, but my bridal attendant was constantly in contact with other staff to make sure that we did not cross paths. I’m not the type to be bothered even if we did, but they were definitely on top of it!

Our reception was in the Garden Room, which was also lovely. And, of course, the food was delicious! Really, all of the guests were raving about it. I cannot say enough about the staff, the grounds, the service, and the food there.. everything was great! I literally couldn’t believe it because nothing went wrong the whole day. Or at least nothing ever made it to my awareness, so that is much appreciated, haha.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Lighthouse Photography A+

Ah, Lighthouse. We were lucky enough to book with Florio, who is just amazing. He also did our engagement shoot, so we knew we were in good hands for the wedding. I usually hate having my picture taken, but he helped to make the whole process fun. We did a first look and most of the bridal party, family, and romantic pictures before the ceremony, and although my husband and his groomsmen were late getting to the venue, Florio and his team were able to adapt and focus on getting other shots in the meantime. In the end everything worked out fine!

We got all our pictures back in less than a month. All 2,125 of them! They are so many amazing shots, and everything that I wanted was captured. Seriously, I can’t stop looking through them. I think I need help, lol. It’s just so great to be able to relive the day through pictures. You can see a bunch of our pictures here, by the way: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10103000643802569.1073741835.807302&type=1&l=34f4d1c3f4

VIDEOGRAPHY: David (friend) A+

A good friend of mine offered to do our videography as part of his gift to us. Although he has a degree and works in video editing, he had never shot a wedding before. However, there was no way we were going to be able to fit videography into our budget, anyway, so we figured… why not give this a shot? In the end, we were really happy with what he was able to put together for us. By the time we got back from our honeymoon, we had received a wedding trailer, a 35-min video of the highlights (ceremony, first dances, speeches, etc), and a collection of all the raw footage. Woohoo! The trailer video can be found here: https://vimeo.com/98779847

My friend is now interested in building his portfolio in this area, so if anyone is looking for cheap videography options… message me and I’ll send you his contact info!

FLOWERS: Hidden Essence A

Based on what I read here on LIWeddings, Hidden Essence was the first florist I contacted. I didn’t have time to meet with her in person before booking, so we did our consultation over the phone. I’ve always been more of a tomboy and don’t know a damn thing about flowers, so I really had no idea what I wanted. I was able to send Michelle some pictures of my dress and bridesmaid dresses and such, and from that she was able to give me some ideas and more of a vision. I felt her price quote was quite reasonable, as well, so wound up booking with her. We were able to do everything online or through mail, so that was very helpful and convenient.

I will say that I found that Michelle wasn’t always the quickest to respond to emails. This wasn’t a huge deal to me, though, because she would always get back to me eventually. It would just take a couple days. In the end, our flowers were delivered on time and were exactly what we wanted. From the bouquets to centerpieces to corsages, everything was beautiful!

MUSIC: Fusion DL A+

We had a two-man DJ/MC team that provided the music for our ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. They did a really great job. We had sent Manny a short list of “must play” songs, but for the most part we left things up to them. They really came through on everything and picked the right songs to play at the right times. Given that we had an afternoon wedding (11am-5pm), I was originally worried that our guests may not dance and let loose as much. Um.. nope! Fusion DL kept the party going, and everyone was dancing and having a good time. We really had such a blast, and Fusion DL were a big part of that. I would definitely recommend them!

PHOTO BOOTH: Snap & Post Photo Booth A+

I wound up discovering Snap & Post through a LivingSocial deal. Although the company seemed pretty new, I decided to shoot them an email to get more information. Steve patiently answered all of my questions and personalized a package for me. In the end, we got the photo booth for the entirety of the reception with unlimited prints, use of props (which were great), a USB of all images, two attendants, and a guestbook. And it was all for a price that was actually reasonable and that I could squeeze into the budget - woohoo!

On the day of the wedding, the photo booth was a hit. It was so fun. We had provided frames to our guests as favors (which we also used as escort cards), and everyone loved it and thought it was such a great idea. Everyone told us that it was something they would actually keep. Steve and his wife who run the business and were the attendants were also really awesome and patient with our crazy friends and family. We got a ton of prints, and they are of really good quality. The guestbook they helped make for us is really awesome, as well. We crack up whenever we look through it! Overall, I was greatly impressed with their product and service and would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a photo booth!

HAIR & MAKE-UP: Ali, Long Island Makeup and Hair A+

Ali and her assistant did all of the hair and make-up for myself and my bridal party. She uses HD airbrush make-up that works magic and can do wonderful things with hair, too. I’ll be honest.. I was originally worried about hair and make-up. I’ve never been very girly, don’t typically wear makeup in general, so this was a bit of a different world to me. However, Ali helped to make me feel comfortable and to make the whole process enjoyable. Thanks to her and her work, I really felt beautiful on my wedding day, which was priceless to me.

Ali was also really patient and accommodating throughout everything. When scheduling trials, she was always able to accommodate my schedule during my trips to LI. I also kept changing my mind about what I wanted to do with my hair, and in the end I decided I wanted to wear it down. I bought some clip-in hair extensions to help since my hair is really fine, and Ali was able to apply them and blend them in with my hair seamlessly. Since my ceremony was in the afternoon, we had to start getting ready really early, and Ali and her assistant were at the hotel ready to go bright and early at 4:45 am. They kept on time with everything, and we were ready to go right on time.

CAKE: Francesco’s Bakery A

Our cake was included in our package from Westbury Manor, but we dealt directly with Francesco’s for everything cake related. We did our cake tasting there and although it was a bit hectic in the bakery, we felt Gian Carlo was easy to work with. He showed us a bunch of pictures of cakes they’ve done on an iPad, and then from those we wound up combining ideas from two different pictures. We had to pay a little extra for fondant. Gian Carlo also let us know that it would be better for us to bring them our own ribbon and brooches for the cake. So, I had my mom drop those off at Francesco’s a couple weeks later. We thought all was fine, and then a couple days before the wedding I got a call from them saying that they never received the ribbon and brooches from me. I called them back and let them know that yes, everything was dropped off weeks before. They looked again and found everything. It was a bit of a scare for a split second, but worked out in the end!

As for the cake.. it looked beautiful. I really loved it . It was exactly what I had been envisioning. Tasted great, too! We wound up doing two different flavors.. one was chocolate cake with custard and fresh strawberries, and the other was yellow cake with cannoli cream. Both were delicious and moist, and overall was actually one of the best wedding cakes I’ve ever tasted!

DRESS: Angels Bridal B

I kind of have some mixed experiences with Angels Bridal. They are a small bridal shop located in East Islip. I had my first dress shopping experience there, and it was great. The shop is very small, and they only schedule one person to be there at a time, so you get wonderful individual attention. The attendant that was helping me was great and friendly and helped show me some options that were within my price range. I wound up finding a dress there that I really loved and went back there to purchase it after a not-so-great dressing shopping experience at David’s Bridal.

A couple of weeks later, my maid of honor and one of my bridesmaids were in town, so we headed back over to Angels Bridal to look for bridesmaid dresses. We had an appointment, and the girls were trying on several different dresses. At that point, we felt we got a little bit of an attitude from one of the shop owners that was there. Granted, by the time the girls chose a dress and payments were processed, it was about 10 minutes after the store’s scheduled closing time. But still, they made three more sales from us, I would have thought they’d be a little more friendly about it. Oh well. Additionally, two of the girls live out of state, so they decided to have their alterations done elsewhere. They felt that the shop owner again gave them a little bit of an attitude about this. However, I will say that another one of my bridesmaids that also lived out of state was not able to come up to LI until the week of the wedding. Angel Bridals did her fitting three days before the wedding and had the alterations done by the next day, which was greatly appreciated.

As far as my dress goes.. it pretty much fit the perfectly from the get-go, and the only things that needed to be done were a hem and a bustle. The price I paid for these were quite a bit larger than I expected. That being said, I have nothing to really compare that price to, so perhaps it was a normal amount, I don’t know. They also require that alterations be paid for in cash, which seemed a bit strange to me. But whatever, not a huge deal. In the end, I really loved my dress, and it fit great!

TUXES: Men’s Warehouse B

Since all of the groomsmen live in different states, we figured just using Men’s Warehouse for the tuxes would be easiest. All was going fine at first.. we had a good experience when we went to pick out the tux style we wanted and to get measured. The attendant working with us was helpful. However, the problems started occurring two days before the wedding when everyone went to actually pick up their tuxes. My dad was the first to go, and they had messed up and ordered him pants with a band that was 10” too big. Uhh, whoops! Thankfully they wound up having another pair that actually fit him stored in the back, so crisis averted there. A similar problem occurred when my husband picked up his. He called me saying, “Uhh, the pants are way too big, I’m like swimming in them. The attendant says there’s nothing they can do because if they ordered in new ones they wouldn’t get here in time. He says they look okay, but they’re definitely too big. I look silly. What do I do?” I was like.. dude, you gotta yell at them and make them figure something out, that’s ridiculous! In the end, the attendant went to look if they had any other sizes in the back and found some that fit. PHEW. The three groomsmen had no problems with theirs, though.

OFFICIANT: Pastor April Gismondi A+

Pastor April did a really great job at our wedding. We met with her a couple months before the wedding, and she asked us some questions about how we met, what we like about each other, etc. From that information, she was able to personalize a wedding ceremony for us. And on the day of the wedding, everyone was able to hear her nice and clearly. A couple of our guests told us afterwards that they really loved the personal touch of the ceremony, so it did not go unnoticed! Pastor April also was incredibly patient and accommodating throughout the whole planning process.. and even after the wedding, she still was providing me resources on the name change process! I would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for an officiant.

RANDOM STUFF: Etsy A+

I used Etsy to buy a couple of random things like getting ready robes, wire hangers, brooches for the cake, templates for our table numbers & escort cards, and channa plaque. Everything worked out perfectly and I had no problems whatsoever. If anyone wants to know the exact vendors I used, just let me know and I’ll look them up.


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melhunny46 Posted: Jun 26, 2014 12:59 PM+
melhunny46 MEMBER SINCE: 9/12 TOTAL POSTS : 710 WEDDING DATE: Oct 19, 2014
Posted: Jun 26, 2014 12:59 PM bride-minus.png

5/26/14 Wedding Review: Westbury Manor, Lighthouse Photography, Ali Long Island Makeup & Hair, Hidden Essence, Fusion DL, etc!

I am using 2 of your vendors, Hidden Essence and Fusion DL!! I am glad they were both good.
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kedjmay2015 Posted: Jul 03, 2014 06:30 AM+
kedjmay2015 MEMBER SINCE: 5/14 TOTAL POSTS : 525 WEDDING DATE: May 24, 2015
Posted: Jul 03, 2014 06:30 AM bride-minus.png

5/26/14 Wedding Review: Westbury Manor, Lighthouse Photography, Ali Long Island Makeup & Hair, Hidden Essence, Fusion DL, etc!

Your video was great! You looked so pretty! Congratulations!
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rcotter90 Posted: Jul 03, 2014 09:11 AM+
rcotter90 MEMBER SINCE: 10/13 TOTAL POSTS : 2464 WEDDING DATE: Aug 26, 2016
Posted: Jul 03, 2014 09:11 AM bride-minus.png

5/26/14 Wedding Review: Westbury Manor, Lighthouse Photography, Ali Long Island Makeup & Hair, Hidden Essence, Fusion DL, etc!

So glad you had such a great experience with lighthouse! Florio is our photographer too and were taking engagement pictures on Tuesday! This makes me feel a lot more relaxed. Great review :) congrats!
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Chels Posted: Jul 07, 2014 02:09 PM+
Chels MEMBER SINCE: 10/13 TOTAL POSTS : 643 WEDDING DATE: Aug 31, 2014
Posted: Jul 07, 2014 02:09 PM bride-minus.png

5/26/14 Wedding Review: Westbury Manor, Lighthouse Photography, Ali Long Island Makeup & Hair, Hidden Essence, Fusion DL, etc!

Im so excited for mine now reading that Westbury Manor did such a wonderful job! Congrats!!!!
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CH2182 Posted: Jul 12, 2014 04:25 PM+
CH2182 MEMBER SINCE: 9/12 TOTAL POSTS : 60 WEDDING DATE: Aug 10, 2014
Posted: Jul 12, 2014 04:25 PM bride-minus.png

Re: 5/26/14 Wedding Review: Westbury Manor, Lighthouse Photography, Ali Long Island Makeup & Hair, Hidden Essence, Fusion DL, etc!

Hi, where did you buy your hair extensions? I'm looking for a place on LI or queens that does. Thanks
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HeatherV Posted: Jul 14, 2014 05:45 PM+
HeatherV MEMBER SINCE: 4/13 TOTAL POSTS : 13 WEDDING DATE: May 26, 2014
Posted: Jul 14, 2014 05:45 PM bride-minus.png

Re: 5/26/14 Wedding Review: Westbury Manor, Lighthouse Photography, Ali Long Island Makeup & Hair, Hidden Essence, Fusion DL, etc!


Posted by CH2182

Hi, where did you buy your hair extensions? I'm looking for a place on LI or queens that does. Thanks



I actually ordered them online from Irresistible Me, so I'm probably not much help if you want to see them in person first. But they were of great quality, I'm really happy with them! I was a bit worried about color matching, but thankfully wound up picking out the right color for me on the first try. Irresistible Me also has an option where you can combine two colors and get highlighted extensions, which can definitely help with blending if you're concerned about color.
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jessyka182 Posted: Jul 16, 2014 11:15 AM+
jessyka182 MEMBER SINCE: 11/13 TOTAL POSTS : 11 WEDDING DATE: Dec 19, 2014
Posted: Jul 16, 2014 11:15 AM bride-minus.png

5/26/14 Wedding Review: Westbury Manor, Lighthouse Photography, Ali Long Island Makeup & Hair, Hidden Essence, Fusion DL, etc!

I am looking for somebody to shoot my wedding video. Can you send me his info? ?
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HeatherV Posted: Jul 16, 2014 11:25 AM+
HeatherV MEMBER SINCE: 4/13 TOTAL POSTS : 13 WEDDING DATE: May 26, 2014
Posted: Jul 16, 2014 11:25 AM bride-minus.png

Re: 5/26/14 Wedding Review: Westbury Manor, Lighthouse Photography, Ali Long Island Makeup & Hair, Hidden Essence, Fusion DL, etc!


Posted by jessyka182

I am looking for somebody to shoot my wedding video. Can you send me his info? ?



Sure thing - PMed you the info! :)
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ndc923 Posted: Jul 25, 2014 12:46 PM+
ndc923 MEMBER SINCE: 12/13 TOTAL POSTS : 672 WEDDING DATE: Sep 25, 2015
Posted: Jul 25, 2014 12:46 PM bride-minus.png

Re: 5/26/14 Wedding Review: Westbury Manor, Lighthouse Photography, Ali Long Island Makeup & Hair, Hidden Essence, Fusion DL, etc!

Great review, very helpful, thanks!
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Floridabride77 Posted: Oct 02, 2014 02:22 PM+
Floridabride77 MEMBER SINCE: 10/14 TOTAL POSTS : 16 WEDDING DATE: Dec 20, 2015
Posted: Oct 02, 2014 02:22 PM bride-minus.png

Re: 5/26/14 Wedding Review: Westbury Manor, Lighthouse Photography, Ali Long Island Makeup & Hair, Hidden Essence, Fusion DL, etc!

Hi there... I love ur reviews!!! I am also in a budget and would like to know contact info of ur videographer. Thanks!
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