Wedding Forums > The Brides' Review > My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect Hall--UPDATED WITH VIDEO REVIEW!!
My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect Hall--UPDATED WITH VIDEO REVIEW!!
laudipop Posted: Jan 28, 2005 09:47 PM+
Posted: Jan 28, 2005 09:47 PM
My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect Hall--UPDATED WITH VIDEO REVIEW!!Sorry it's taken me so long to write a review! Life has been hectic since our wedding. We had a great day. My only complaint is that it went too fast!
The Grand Prospect Hall: I have to divide this review into 2 categories--Before the wedding, and Day of. On the day of the wedding, everything went smoothly. The food was great, as far as I know the service was good, the hall looked gorgeous, and I wasn't worried. (They also did my cake for me, and it was the best thing I've ever tasted. I wish I had a piece of it right now!) I give almost all of the credit for this to our maitre'd, Tom. He was amazing and totally set my mind at ease. He also wore a mask all night long for my masquerade theme, which I really appreciated!
The BMs and owner kept telling me I would have to do all the table setup myself (see below), but Tom and his staff took care of it and did a great job.
HOWEVER, right up until that morning, the hall pretty much sucked. To give you some background, we were planning our wedding from California, where we live. The hall is in Brooklyn. Okay, so on three different occasions we made appointments to go to the hall in order to go over wedding plans. Twice the person we were supposed to meet with just didn't show up at all, and the third time they were an hour and a half late. Keep in mind that we flew 3,000 miles to keep these appointments! And each time this happened, they acted as if it was our fault. Even though we had MADE AN APPOINTMENT. They never called us back when we called, they refused to finalize any plans at all until the week of the wedding, and they kept promising us things and then taking it back (in other words, one BM would say she'd throw in this or that, and then the owner would refuse to do it. Or another BM would quote us a price on something, and then the owner would charge us more). And when I gave them a detailed list of the favors, table cameras, and table signs to go on the tables, they said it was too complicated for their staff and that I'd have to do it myself. Hello? Doesn't everyone have those things at their weddings?
So I'm still annoyed at them, obviously. But this hall is the most beautiful place you can imagine, so it was worth it. The grand ballroom is a true ballroom. It's 100 years old, with huge chandeliers and two stories of balconies around the whole room. The entire place is gilded and there are incredible moldings throughout. It walks the line between tacky and breathtaking, but as long as you handle your event the right way, it's spectacular. As soon as we saw it, DH said that he wanted to have a formal Venetian masked ball. That theme fit perfectly with the ornate style of the place, and all our guests kept telling us that they felt like they were in a fairy tale. So I recommend this hall...as long as you're willing to do a lot of the work yourself, because they're really bad at helping you plan.
Which brings me to my Day-of Coordinator, Judith Garner The hall was making me crazy because they wouldn't let me finalize anything. And they kept yessing me every time I had a question, but the next time I would talk to them, they'd have no record of the previous conversation in which they'd yessed me to death! My wedding had a theme, so there were a lot of details to keep track of. I had done all the planning for it myself, but I didn't trust the hall to do what I wanted as far as set-up, dealing with my vendors, etc. So I hired Judith to handle the hall on the wedding day. She was awesome. If anything went wrong, I still don't know about it! I got to concentrate on what really mattered--getting married. I'm certain that if I didn't have Judith, I would've been running around hysterically trying to troubleshoot right up until I walked down the aisle. She confirmed with all the vendors the week before the wedding, she coordinated the vendors and the hall set-up, and she completely set my mind at ease. I'm not the type of person to hire a wedding planner, but with an unreliable hall and me so far away, it just seemed like the right choice. Judith's rates are really reasonable and she's terrific. I'd recommend her to anybody.
The centerpieces I made:
My placecard table:
The cake (provided by the hall):
The cocktail room set up:
laudipop Posted: Jan 28, 2005 10:08 PM+
Posted: Jan 28, 2005 10:08 PM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallOur band was Opera 3000. My review of them is pretty much the same as my review of the hall. On the day of the wedding, they were great. They sounded terrific, they can play any style of music in the world, and I got tons of compliments on them. But before the wedding, they almost gave me an ulcer. They didn't keep in touch. They kept saying we should just fax them what we wanted, and to this day I know they've never even looked at any of the faxes we sent. They played lots of music that was on the Don't Play list we sent, and they didn't play things from our Must Play list, including my late father's favorite song that I really wanted. They promised me several times that they would go check out the hall to make sure that their giant speakers would fit on the stage. Well, they never went to the hall until the day of the wedding, and they set the speakers up on the floor instead of the stage. We had to ask three times for them to turn down the volume because with the speakers on the floor everybody got blasted with them. So basically they're a really good band as long as you're comfortable just letting them do what they want. But they didn't pay any attention to what WE wanted. (It's the kind of 'problem' that the bride & groom notice, but not the guests.)
Our florist was Kristin Marusic. She's a friend of a friend who does floral arranging on the side (on her own rather than with a floral shop). She was great! She came up with the decorative theme for our ceremony room at the hall and found us gorgeous fabric to use as the runner and different fabric to make a little 'arch' over the dais. She also rented candelabras for us, which were beautiful. My mom and I made the reception centerpieces ourselves with ostrich feathers, so I didn't need the florist to do that. She took care of the bouquets and bouts, though. And she also set up our feather centerpieces (the vases had lights in them, so they needed to be lit up on the wedding day) on the tables. More importantly, she was calm and supportive and a total voice of reason through the whole process. She even 'handled' my MIL for me! If anyone wants a great florist, FM me for her info.
Our photographer was Natasha Staszak. She was amazing! She's really sweet and low-key, and she was totally unobtrusive on our wedding day. She's easy to deal with, and her stuff is beautiful. She came all the way into Brooklyn to see the hall before the wedding on a hideous rainy day and she didn't even complain! She took hundreds of candid shots, and each one is gorgeous. And she was great about wrangling my huge family for the posed shots. She's a little pricey, but absolutely worth it. You can see some of her proofs in my album on LIW. I'm not sure how to post a link but I'll try!
laudipop Posted: Jan 28, 2005 10:21 PM+
Posted: Jan 28, 2005 10:21 PM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallOur videographer was Michael Zhu of Forever Video. We weren't planning to have a video until about three weeks before the wedding. My mom decided she really wanted one, and I'm glad we did it. So we found Michael on NSGraham's budget site. His rates were good, and he was able to jump in at the last minute. The video is great--we didn't want too much editing so it's mostly just a record of the whole event. It's LOOOONG! But he really got everything that happened on film, which is exactly what we wanted. He also put a highlight clip of us on his webpage. Here's a link:
Laura and Peter's wedding
We hired a local artist to paint watercolors at our wedding. She came for four hours and made sketches, then turned them into paintings for us. We have watercolors of the ceremony and various views of the reception. They're very impressionistic and a really nice, different memento of the wedding. Her name is Charlotte Hamilton. She was wonderful and accomodating, and the paintings are lovely. FM me if you want her info.
My dress: Lazaro. I got it in California, so I won't bother reviewing the shop! (Same thing with the tuxes and MOH dress.) The dress was stunning and I wish I could find some excuse to wear it again. Lazaro is kind of expensive, but I felt so beautiful on my wedding day that I've made my peace with the price! The quality of the embroidery on the skirt was really high. The color of the dress is 'sherbet' and in person it's a pale blush/peach color. It was really different and I got tons of compliments. So if you're looking for something a little different, try Lazaro!
Close-up of the embroidery:
A view of the train:
LadyPrincess Posted: Jan 28, 2005 10:23 PM+
LadyPrincess MEMBER SINCE: 2/04 TOTAL POSTS : 8881 WEDDING DATE: Mar 05, 2005
Posted: Jan 28, 2005 10:23 PM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallYour review & wedding looks AWESOME
Glad to read the review of Judith, I am using her also. Thanks again
laudipop Posted: Jan 28, 2005 10:33 PM+
Posted: Jan 28, 2005 10:33 PM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallMy flower girl's dress came from Christian D'Gray (myflowergirls.net). This site is great. They have a much larger selection than anyplace else I looked. Also, I needed a blue flowergirl dress and most places only had white or ivory. But this designer will make the dresses in lots of different colors. They make the dress to order based on the child's measurements. The dress was beautiful. The only negative is that it showed up really late so we had a lot of worrying to do beforehand!
I got my wedding jewelry from a site called turqbridal.com. I also got my MOH gift from there. They have a great selection. I bought a necklace for my ceremony and chandelier earrings for the reception. They were really helpful and got the jewelry to me FAST (because I procrastinated and didn't order it until right before the wedding!)
The necklace (my dress was pinky-peach, so my jewelry was, too):
Ooh, here's a better pic (just found it!)
The earrings (remember I had a masked ball!):
A more normal pic with the earrings:
laudipop Posted: Jan 28, 2005 10:51 PM+
Posted: Jan 28, 2005 10:51 PM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallMy invitations came from whiteaisle.com. We were having a masked ball theme, so we wanted the invitations to be in keeping with the theme. This site had silk scroll invitations that were perfect for us. They were kind of expensive, but really unique and memorable. Rebecca at White Aisle was super helpful.
My makeup and hair were done by Roberto Izquierdo. He works at the Elizabeth Arden salon in Saks, but he came to the hotel on the wedding day. He's a little expensive, but he did a great job. And he did my mom's hair and makeup too--everyone said she looked 10 years younger! FM me if you want his info.
Here's the makeup:
Our guestbook was from guestbookstore.com. It was an interactive guestbook that has questions for the guests (how long have you known the couple, etc.) and places for them to draw pictures, a section for them to give advice, etc. It was a challenge to figure out how to get people to take the time to actually do it! The guestbook pages come separately, and then you put the book together yourself afterwards. We put a few pages on each table and we had instructions in our wedding program. Then we set up 'memory tables' on each side of the hall with sticky-film cameras, pens, and stamps with ink pads (stamps that say 'Congrats' or have champagne glasses on them, etc.) I'd say about 40 people/couples filled them out, and they're really funny. People drew all kinds of pictures and wrote in amusing advice. It was just something a little different.
laudipop Posted: Jan 28, 2005 11:11 PM+
Posted: Jan 28, 2005 11:11 PM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallOur masks and centerpieces were what really made the theme work. I got lots of stuff from ebay --you'd be surprised what you can find there. We got real Venetian masks from Italy, and a lot of the ostrich feathers I used to make prototypes of my centerpieces came from there. I also got my ringbearer pillow and flowergirl basket from ebay.
The feather centerpieces were a lot of work, but in the end were much cheaper than tall floral arrangements and much more interesting and in keeping with our theme. (The hall is so big that you really need tall centerpieces.) I'd seen ostrich feather centerpieces at a website called
and also at wedcraft.com
My centerpieces were peach, but I've seen other weddings where they were white, which is probably more common and looks great, too. So if anyone wants to make their own feather ones, I can save you a lot of work and tell you how! In general: I bought 30' tall vases from Ikea. They were frosted white glass. To make them peach, I dyed little girls' tights pale peach and stretched the tights over the vases. Then I took a 6' spool of tulle and wound it around the vases to give it a textured look. It worked really well! To make the vases glow in the dim lighting of the hall, we bought battery-powered lights from instalyte.com. We used yellow and orange to make a peach color light, but they also have white lights. DH rigged up a little styrofoam light holder with tiny mirrors to reflect the light. We attached this to some thread. On the morning of the wedding, the lights were turned on and lowered into the vases using the thread. They kept glowing for 2 days afterwards!
Ostrich feathers are suprisingly expensive. We ordered ours in bulk from Motherplucker, a feather wholesaler in LA. They have a website, but you have to call to order feathers (the site only sells boas and wings--I got a feather boa from there, too!). They had the best prices. I had the feathers dyed pale peach. My mom and I attached them to floral spikes and arranged them in styrofoam cones. On the wedding day, the florist put the lights in the vases, then stuck the feather cones into the vases. It sounds confusing, but it's really simple. Everyone LOVED the centerpieces.
SomethingBlu Posted: Jan 29, 2005 12:39 AM+
SomethingBlu MEMBER SINCE: 10/04 TOTAL POSTS : 10523 WEDDING DATE: May 27, 2005
Posted: Jan 29, 2005 12:39 AM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallWhat an absolutely gorgeous and interesting wedding...so different, I love it!
May you be blessed with a long, happy and healthy marriage!
gNi1125 Posted: Jan 29, 2005 01:31 AM+
gNi1125 MEMBER SINCE: 1/05 TOTAL POSTS : 6238 WEDDING DATE: Jun 04, 2006
Posted: Jan 29, 2005 01:31 AM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallWOW your wedding looks like it was very unique and beautiful! Congrats!!
NPbride Posted: Jan 29, 2005 07:51 AM+
NPbride MEMBER SINCE: 4/04 TOTAL POSTS : 1374 WEDDING DATE: Jan 01, 2016
Posted: Jan 29, 2005 07:51 AM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallWow! Everything looks stunning and unique!
Jen2999 Posted: Jan 29, 2005 08:20 AM+
Jen2999 MEMBER SINCE: 11/04 TOTAL POSTS : 9846 WEDDING DATE: Jul 07, 2006
Posted: Jan 29, 2005 08:20 AM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect Hallwow.. thanks for the reveiw!!! Looks like you had an amazing time
sophie78 Posted: Jan 29, 2005 09:12 AM+
sophie78 MEMBER SINCE: 4/03 TOTAL POSTS : 3426 WEDDING DATE: Sep 18, 2004
Posted: Jan 29, 2005 09:12 AM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallYour pictures are fabulous. You really have great taste. I would have loved to attend your wedding. I am very impressed.
Soon2BMrsA Posted: Jan 29, 2005 09:40 AM+
Soon2BMrsA MEMBER SINCE: 11/04 TOTAL POSTS : 2855 WEDDING DATE: Jun 18, 2005
Posted: Jan 29, 2005 09:40 AM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallWow your wedding was so unique! your hall looked beautiful and I LOVED your dress!!
Im hiring Judith Garner also so Im glad you highly recommend her!! Thanks for the review
August2004 Posted: Jan 29, 2005 09:51 AM+
August2004 MEMBER SINCE: 10/03 TOTAL POSTS : 1250 WEDDING DATE: Aug 06, 2004
Posted: Jan 29, 2005 09:51 AM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallOMG, I don't know if you knew of her, but there used to be this girl on here(marcellabella). She had her wedding at Grand Prospect Hall and did the feather centerpieces as well. She had a masquerade theme as well.
I loved her pics and love yours too.
Very pretty !!!
1017Bride Posted: Jan 29, 2005 10:05 AM+
1017Bride MEMBER SINCE: 8/03 TOTAL POSTS : 7572 WEDDING DATE: Oct 17, 2004
Posted: Jan 29, 2005 10:05 AM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallSorry about the stuff you had to go through with the vendors.
Everything looked beautiful!!!
shamrock12472 Posted: Jan 29, 2005 10:28 AM+
shamrock12472 MEMBER SINCE: 5/04 TOTAL POSTS : 1277 WEDDING DATE: Sep 17, 2004
Posted: Jan 29, 2005 10:28 AM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallThe hall looks amazing! I am so glad that everything worked out in the end. You had a beautiful wedding!
jennandrob Posted: Jan 29, 2005 10:38 AM+
jennandrob MEMBER SINCE: 11/03 TOTAL POSTS : 2867 WEDDING DATE: Dec 02, 2005
Posted: Jan 29, 2005 10:38 AM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect HallSo glad your wedding turned out beautifully after having difficulties with your vendors.
Everything looked stunning, especially you!
orchid24 Posted: Jan 29, 2005 12:51 PM+
orchid24 MEMBER SINCE: 8/04 TOTAL POSTS : 1646 WEDDING DATE: Sep 04, 2005
Posted: Jan 29, 2005 12:51 PM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect Hallbeautiful pictures! congrats on a unique and creative wedding...
i'm so excited to have natasha as my photog.!
rrdm782004 Posted: Jan 29, 2005 01:48 PM+
rrdm782004 MEMBER SINCE: 4/04 TOTAL POSTS : 608 WEDDING DATE: Aug 28, 2004
Posted: Jan 29, 2005 01:48 PM
Re: My Halloween masquerade ball--Grand Prospect Hallvery nice
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