Part I: Engagement Session
I'm so glad we picked Jerome to be our photographer. We had our engagement session yesterday and we clicked so well! Jerome explained what he wanted to do for the shoot, helped us relax and enjoy ourselves and still managed to take our opinions into consideration. I told him I really wanted a stone wall scene, and after we had taken some pictures on a stone wall he made sure to ask me if that was what I had been looking for.
Part II: Wedding Day:
Anyone looking for a photographer is welcome to hire another studio; anyone looking for the person that will make your wedding day perfect AND take the most stunning photos ever should hire Jerome! He absolutely was the finishing touch that made my day perfect. He told me I wasn't allowed to tell, but he was so helpful- he helped my mom and BMs to lace up my dress, had earplugs for my autistic brother, took pictures with my cousin's camera so I'd have some before I got my professionals back, made sure my DH had his jacket during our dances, and more. The pictures of his (on his camera) that I did see are outrageously beautiful and I cannot wait to get them back. From my family's camera pictures, I can tell that he was there all night taking pictures of us at all the right moments. I recommend him a thousand times over!
My only small complaint is communication. Jen is obviously very busy, and I think a couple of times she missed my emails. I would have to forward my email to her again, at which point she would apologize profusely.
Melissa is fantastic! She is so kind and creative. We worked out a style, color and flowers at our first meeting. Then two months before my wedding, my ideas had changed. We met again, and I basically changed everything except my main color- she had not a single problem with this and was eager to work with me! We had decided on mums for the centerpieces because they would be cheaper and more likely in bloom for my wedding, even though I had originally wanted dahlias. Apparently, when she got the mums they were in pink (the one color I hate!) so she decided to order me some dahlias overnight from California. They were beautiful purples and purple/white colors, unbelievable! I was so excited to have them (she put some in my bouquet too). She also mentioned in passing that she had to reorder some of my other flowers because they too had come in wrong, but she told me this the day of the wedding and I forget which ones or how many times. =) She didn't charge me extra for any of this, which was so nice of her! Melissa also brought my flowers early so I could have the bouquets for the first look, which meant she had to show my mom & grandmother how to set up our centerpieces since she wouldn't be there to do it herself. She left us extra flowers for the centerpieces just incase we needed them, which was so kind of her! Over all, Melissa is a fantastic person and a very talented florist- I definitely recommend her!
The Aquarium provides absolutely one of a kind backgrounds and decorations between the belugas and fish tanks, and irreplaceable experiences with the penguins and other extras they offer. I'm very glad we decided to get married there, and the day of the wedding we had a great time. With that said… communication before the wedding was awful. I would send an email with three to four questions, and get a response that answered only one of them. At one point I actually gave up and told my FI he had to be in charge of communicating with the Aquarium, because I was so upset. We were told from the start that our rehearsal had to be at 4pm, then a week before the wedding they said we could have it at 5pm. My DH is from out of state, and his family only comprised of one table. I set up our floor plan that they would be closest to us at the reception, but the Aquarium staff got it backwards and they were in the very back of the room. Although no one told me about it, I overhear my uncle ask for a chair because they hadn't set up enough chairs at his table. We asked for water pitchers on the table (it was written on our final headcount paper), but those never showed up. The staff also kept removing people's drinks from the tables, half full, while they were off dancing. I was actually standing at my table at one point, with a glass 1/4th full still in front of me, and the staff member just took it and a few empty glasses and walked away while I stumbled over words to stop her. My mom told me after the wedding that the bartender had to actually go find some sour mix when she asked for a scotch sour. The catering staff and the Aquarium staff also don't seem to get along. When we showed up on the wedding day, some of my guests were already in the parking lot. We tried to enter the Aquarium so we could hide and a staff person at the front door said we couldn't come in! I'm standing there, in my dress, trying to hide from guests and he's making me wait for someone from the Catering staff to come over. It was extremely frustrating. I did have intricate centerpieces that had to be set up, and as far as I know they were all done correctly (though I never took the time to look, and I believe my mother helped that). They did put extra candles and decorations on our head table (I had only planned on a vase with my bouquet) and found extra vases for my BM bouquets. The other thing that really bothered me was that there were peppers in the seafood fettuccine. Now, this might be my problem alone, but in all the paperwork I got there was never any word of any vegetables, peppers or otherwise, in the dish. I'm extremely sensitive to pepper, so I ended up not eating that night (though I doubt my nerves would have allowed me to eat anyways!). I'm sure this lands mostly on my fault, but it still rubs me the wrong way. The day of, though, they were very helpful and willing to listen to my requests. Also, I got the penguin visit as a surprise gift to my groom, and they never mentioned it in front of him.
Click on each tool to see a sample.