Tina and her crew were exceptional! I booked my trial run, the day-of hair and make up, hair and makeup for one other bridesmaid and mani and pedi's for my other 2 bridesmaids. Leaving I felt like a princess! Tina and her girls are very sociable and we all had a blast! Even though there were other wedding parties ahead and behind us we never felt rushed or "herded" or in a hurry. Thank you so much to all the girls at Fandango!
I really wish that I could give Kristen a better rating but I don't feel that the cake she provided deserves more than this. I'm not even sure where to start..I don't want to make my whole experience with Kristen bad because it wasn't so I will try and start from the beginning and not make this too long. I found The Cake Maker on Kijiji. I was impressed with the pictures that I saw and so I went ahead and sent an email. I also emailed several other candidates and after some consideration I went with Kristen. One, because she was reasonably priced and didn't have any "extra" charges like set up and mileage fees. Also because she did a free(at the time) tasting and would come to you. She also had some nice pictures of work that she had done and I was impressed and last of all she assured me that I would get exactly what I would like for a cake (I was very specific about what I wanted and I even had a picture of the exact cake I wanted...right down to the colour). I also asked her to make mini cakes for my favours and asked for replicas of our wedding cake only with a few minor changes. I was a little nervous about the hydrangeas that were to be in between each tier of our 4 tier cake..I didn't know if I wanted real ones or not but Kristen assured me that she could make the hydrangeas out of icing (or paste or whatever) and they would look real.
The cake we picked was a premium flavour - strawberry. I have to say that yes, the cake was very good and the guests loved it. I did hear some people say though that the favours were a little dry as they were vanilla with buttercream icing. I had a few communication problems with Kristen that made me a little nervous about things but at the time it was too late to do anything else. For example Kristen told me that the cake boxes would be 3" squares so I ordered "bellybands" to go around them from the same company we got our invitations from. When they came in I gave them to her at our meeting and it wasn't until a week or two later she told me that we may have an issue with the bands as the boxes were 3x3x4" AND I had asked her for white boxes but she took it upon herself to order clear ones after agreeing with me on the white ones - and the price no less! So, I was a little upset with the bellybands not right now too. I told her that she already told me that the boxes were 3" square when I asked her so I could order the bellybands, next thing you know the boxes that came in were 3" square!
It also seemed as the date got closer the more I had to harp at Kristen and send her numerous emails before she would respond to me. I found that very frustrating! (I think I should explain here that I live 4 hours away from Lindsay and I had to rely heavily on emails to communicate with my vendors).
Ok, so the tasting...I would like to go back to that for a minute because that was one of the more positive experiences. Kristen provided four different mini cakes, each one strawberry but with different fillings. That I liked and she left them with us as we were crunched for time and told us to just let her know. They were all good and it was hard to decide our favourite and she did they mini cakes up fancy and I was impressed by how they looked so I thought I didn't have much to worry about with the "big" cake.
So - the wedding day. When I walked up to my cake and saw it for the first time I was horrified. The edible petals from the hydrangeas were falling all over the table...the cake had been sweating and was now starting to lean and it was so different from what I gave Kristen the picture of. I was terribly dissappointed. We had to cut it hours early in fear that it would fall over. Now when we discussed our cake it was decided that the top and bottom tier for sure would be real and maybe one more - but it turned out to be all real! Now that might sound like a perk but when we had 3 1/2 tiers of cake left with NO CAKE BOXES believe me it wasn't. Some of my favours I noticed had the bellybands on the wrong way and there were a few at the back that were significantly smaller than the rest and even though they ended up being "no charge" I would rather them not have been there at all.
Kristen emailed me the next day and said that she was doing her paperwork that day and would send out the adjusted invoice and cheque then (as I had overpaid her for the favours). I took a few days to think about how to constructively comment on the cake and the favours and then I emailed her. I waited a week, then 2 for a response. I never received my adjusted invoice or cheque. I emailed her again and waited another week and then I called and left her a voicemail. Finally she emailed me that the cheque and invoice were in the mail. I finally received it just more than 4 weeks after the wedding. She also put a picture in there and her explaination as to what she thinks happened. She said she would never have left the cake in that state (however when I spoke with one of the ladies that were in the kitchen she said Kristen was quite upset about the cake when she delivered it as it was sweating and falling apart then). Kristen said that she thinks the cake took a hit and that is why it was falling over (one of the cake plate were cracked and that is what she is basing her assumption on)I, myself don't believe that as the cake was right by the head table in a clear spot all on its own. I believe that the shear weight of the top layers cracked the plate as it was the bottom layer plate that was cracked.
The cake itself had pillars between each layer with hydrangeas around. The cake I asked her to make only had hydrangeas in the middle - no pillars. And the hydrangeas had melted down in some spots so that there were big gapping holes. And the worse part is, is that Kristen sent me a picture of how she left it and the gap was there then!
If anyone is truly serious about using The Cake Maker for their wedding cake and would like to see the pictures of the cake I asked for versus the cake I got just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I think that was my biggest disappointment...that the cake didn't look how I wanted it to. On the whole I think Kristen lacks experience and understanding of her clients wishes.
I booked our limo online and spoke with Paula several times on the phone. She is an amazing character and was always a pleasure to talk to! She was very accommodating and even though we changed our dates and location quite a few times she was alway patient and understanding and never made it seem like a big deal at all. Lorne was our driver and he was great! We truly did luck out with an awesome limo service and I would highly recommend them to ANYONE! Thanks Paula, Terry and Lorne for putting the cherry on top of our day!!
The hall itself is getting a little "grungy" looking. The floors don't look like they've been properly stripped and waxed in years and the flies were atrocious! We had to put up fly catchers and were swatting them like crazy when we went in to decorate. Having said that, the Ladies Aux did our meal and they did a fabulous job and I have to say that for what we got for our meal they could be charging alot more and it still be well worth the money! They were wonderful from beginning to end and they completely exceeded my expectations. The only little thing I would have changed is that they served the ceasar salad in disposable dishes. I didn't really like that but other than that...awesome!
Beth was great! She was there from the salon through to the end of the night. We haven't got our pictures back yet but she did send me 3 to preview and they turned out so much better than I ever thought they would! She took so many pictures but she was never "in your face" there if you know what I mean. I found Beth on kijiji and I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a photographer. She is very reasonably priced and worked with me and within my budget to find something that worked for me.
Again, I would highly recommend Beth to anyone, she was fun to work with and she takes amazing pictures!
The Ladies Auxillary did our dinner and they did a wonderful job. The food was great! I can't say enough about the job these ladies did. They bent over backwards to accommodate us however they could and made our day just that much more special. Thanks ladies!
Meredith not only decorated our hall but she also did all the flowers for the day. She was great to work with and was very patient with me, even though I changed my mind like a million times. There was a little discrepency about pricing which Meredith resolved quickly and professional and I highly appreciated it.
There really only one thing that I wasn't happy with and that was the tablecloths. I had specifically asked if the tablecloths reached the floor because I didn't want to see the table legs. Meredith assured me that they did in fact reach the floor, however when I went in after it was set up none of them reached the floor. I was disappointed but at that late stage in the game there was nothing I could do about it. There were also a number of smaller things that I was bothered that I won't really get into because I think that they were just more me being picky about things than anything else.
I received a TON of compliments that night on the decor of the hall - even from the vendors! Meredith did a great job and despite my one "craw" I would highly recommend her.
The tuxes looked great and I was pretty happy with them. I didn't like that you can't try on the suits anymore. A picture is one thing but what it looks like on someone is totally different and it would have been nice to see what different jackets would have looked like instead of deciding out of a book.
Just FYI, this shop is in Stittsville (which is West Ottawa). I bought my dress here second hand and I thought it was beautiful. I made some changes to the dress to make it "mine" and Becky did a great job in helping me with my "vision" for the dress. The only negative experience I had was that the alterations took months. They wanted my dress back in the shop for April (my wedding was in August). My dress actually sat there for almost 2 months before anything was ever done to it. I had to bug to get it done and I don't think I should have had to do that. And the alterations were way more expensive than what I thought they should be but that was my bad for not asking first. I just wanted what I wanted and that was it. I ended up spending on this dress what I would have spent for a new dress in the end but live and learn! Other than that I would recommend them. I am actually going to take my dress back to them and have it put on consignment now.
The hotel was way better than I expected. I have stayed here before and didn't really care for it but thought I would give it another try. It was great! The rooms were nice and clean and the restaurant downstairs was good. Especially the Sunday morning buffet! Yummm!! We had an adjoining room, one for us and one for the kids. On the day of the wedding, it was one for the girls and one for the boys to get ready in. It worked out perfect!
We actually started off doing our pictures here when one of the neighbours approached us and said we could use his front and back yard. The park was nice (and quiet, which is why we chose here)
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