Holliday was totally on top of it for me, and I could not thank her enough. She had a lot to keep up with since I had so many items and DIY projects, but everything came together, and I knew I wouldn’t have to worry with her in charge. She did a great job, at an amazing price, and I appreciated her staying the extra hour, and staying to tear down all the items I brought in. She was awesome and kept me laughing, and through the whole process, was patient with me when my schedule became packed, and I was late for meetings, etc. She’s really a top-notch pro, and I can’t wait to work with her again!
I really didn’t deal much with this part, but from what I could see, it was one of the easiest processes to get the wedding party fitted and tuxes picked up. Every member of our wedding party who needed a tux lives in a different city in the U.S., so each went to a different Men’s Warehouse, then all the tuxes were picked up in St. Pete. There were no issues with fittings, picking them up, etc. It was a very easy process and the guys looked fantastic!
I heard about this vendor from another Knottie. Cynthia was so great to work with. I believe she used to work for the Ala Carte Pavilion and now has this business. She offered a great price for the chairs, and delivered plenty of extras just in case. Also, she was extremely flexible as she did not receive our check in time (address miscommunication) and said I could just give her a check the day of the wedding on delivery. It was very trusting of her. After booking the Don, I wanted these chairs, so it was never a question that we would be renting them. They were in great condition and a nice touch. Also, she offers $25 for every paid in full referral. We used black chairs with ivory cushions.
Please refer to Melissa Valdez if you decide to book!
I tried all these other linen companies that were local, but they didn’t have what I wanted. Also, Connie Duglin I don’t think ever got back to me, and after Sarah left, BBJ was slow responding, as well. So – I took it to the streets (or online) – and found this company Fabulous Events. Betsy is the best! I told her what I wanted, my colors, and she put together the look for the tables which included a 12 pink linens, 2 black sashes and 1 b&w damask sash to make a table runner for each, and 120 black napkins for under $250.00. The catch? They ship the linens to you, you have to set them up, and then you have to ship them back the Monday following the event. Regardless, it was worth it and the linens were stunning…and I ordered them last minute, like January 31st.
Zee at A Linen Valley was extremely helpful. The week of the wedding, I decided to add a splash of color in the lighting, and he provided 6 blush pink uplights with set-up, pick-up for around $250.00. The lighting, while not totally necessary, made the room just glow with a blush pink, and it looked spectacular. I highly recommend using them for at least lighting, and though I didn’t check out anything else, their other items are probably worth it based on their service with the lighting. It really put a nice finishing touch on the room and was Shawn’s favorite part!
The cake was delicious and turned out exactly as I pictured! We had 2 flavors – Pink Champagne with Swan filling (which people thought was TDF), and Lemon with Cream Cheese & Raspberry filling. The week of the wedding, I received a phone call from the designer that their phones & internet were down, and was I panicking trying to call them. I was not, because I hadn’t called them, so I was totally fine, but I know some brides would have been worried. So – just FYI if you are using them anytime soon. She suggested the flowers on the top of the cake, which gave it an extra added bonus. It tasted delicious and I was so happy with the overall quality for the price.
I have to laugh when writing this review because I had a couple of Bridezilla moments with the music at the reception. However, I was quickly reminded as to why I do not make the big bucks as a DJ, and Rob does. He was just as awesome as everyone here described. When FI & I first met him, we knew he would provide outstanding service and could be trusted, and he did not disappoint! Shout out to Dawn, as well, for really being on top of things – she’s awesome. Just like other brides have said, Rob immediately took the bridal party drink orders literally 2 seconds after the recessional, and brought all of them to us as we took pictures. He got a plate of our appetizers to munch on, as well. I couldn’t believe how fast he was. He also requested that Shawn & I get our salad and meal together so we wouldn’t have to wait to eat and have more time to eat and greet our guests. He played great music, took requests, and had everyone dancing. Also, the lighting package – oh my goodness – is AWESOME! It was like Club Wed by the end of the night. Rob had no problem staying for the additional hour, and like I said, kept the party rolling. There were a couple of songs that made me cringe – lol – but I didn’t put them on the DNP list, and honestly, nobody else in the room cared but stupid me! He was absolutely incredible, an outstanding professional, and he really knows what to play to keep people happy and dancing – it’s quite an amazing talent!!! Hire Rob if you haven’t yet – he’s SO worth it!!!
I really clicked with Debbie when I first met her, and after the Don, I booked her over a year in advance for my wedding. She has a great bluntness to her that I found very effective. I also thought she offered a great price for what I wanted, and I just had an overall comfortable feeling with her. I found myself having some anxious moments when I wanted to contact her and meet with her, but I had to remind myself that my wedding was 6-7 months away and she has many many other pressing events to attend to other than mine, so I just want to let people know to keep this in mind with any vendor. The flowers turned out to be absolutely beautiful. My bouquet was included and had crystals on it, and she made it exactly the way I wanted – light and not too full – it was perfect. The centerpieces were gorgeous, and the alter arrangements were beautiful, as well. We used various kinds of roses and hydrangeas – which she sprayed. She gave me all the rose petals, which my “event coordinators” put to good use. I was extremely happy with the flowers and service, and Debbie really provides a top-notch product. I was thrilled to work with her.
I received so many compliments on the invitations, and my extremely critical best friend said it was the coolest she’d ever seen. First, I found the design on Etsy and fell in love with it. I asked Asa to send me a sample, and I liked it but wasn’t thrilled with the paper. I had found a paper I liked at Michael’s, and Asa said she would use that and could either order the paper for me or I could order and have it shipped to her. I ordered the paper from the distributor for Michael’s (Paper Source) which was a much better price than buying at Michael’s. Anyway, Asa made great suggestions for the look of the invitations, was always quick in responding, provided proofs, and was just an absolute pleasure to work with. I highly recommend using her!!!
I literally went to every place in Tampa, St. Pete, Bradenton before finding a dress. It really wasn’t any of the shop’s or salesperson’s faults, it was that I couldn’t find a dress I loved with all the elements I wanted. I ended up going to Joann – who is a super sweet lady from New York – and she helped me find this dress. It was a Maggie Sottero, and my mom and I just fell in love with the classic, simple, design. I ended up getting my dress, 2 veils, a tiara, and earrings for under $1500 (holler!). I’ve heard nightmares about this place, especially with the alterations, but the alterations lady was great. She’s not overly outgoing, but I know she has trouble with English. I really liked her and I thought she did a good job. The only thing was that I was unsatisfied with was the price I paid to have my bustle snap not even halfway through the night. I thought the alterations were pricey to begin with, only to have my bustle not work for the whole night. Overall, however, I was satisfied with my experience.
We used a shuttle bus to transport the wedding party from the Don to the Doubletree. It was very cost-effective, and the people were a pleasure to work with.
Darla and her assistant, Julie, were my favorites in this process. First, Darla is literally the sweetest person I have ever met. I did my trial at her home, and she was so patient trying different looks and taking photos – it was great. She and Julie did an amazing job making the schedule, working on all the girls, and they really made everyone look absolutely gorgeous, as you can see from the photos. Also, we were very late after the ceremony, and Darla was so accommodating doing my hair by the pool so we could take pictures on the beach, and just working quickly to make everything perfect. I could not have been happier with her and Julie. Plus, they are just fun to be around! I think we all got a kick out of each other. She really is a legend and a talented lady. I was ecstatic to have the two of them be a part of creating my special day!
As far as scenery, the Don is as good as it gets for me. The hotel is gorgeous, the courtyard made for a phenomenal wedding, and all we added were 2 flower arrangements, and the King Charles Ballroom has a stunning sunset view. All of these elements made the Don a must-have for me, regardless of anything else. I have a few picky items that I may not have the full background on, and ultimately did not negatively impact the wedding, but something to be aware of nonetheless. I heard from vendors that there were 5 events going on at the hotel that night including my wedding. The Don, being an older hotel, has one service elevator. As a result, many of my vendors were very late setting up, including the cake, which I was told was placed down at 5:30pm, and my wedding started at 4:45pm. We received a one-night complimentary suite on the day of the wedding, and the suite was beautiful. My only hang-up about it was that it was on the 2nd floor facing the street. My fiancé and I had hoped to receive an ocean view being that it was our special night, but I guess with so many people staying at the hotel, they adjusted…even though our wedding was booked in November ’07. I can honestly say that the Don’s service was bar none, the best. The set-up, service, food, ambiance was unbelievable! Our coordinator was awesome and extremely professional – she was amazing and I can’t thank her enough for taking my calls, answering emails, helping me with questions – she was outstanding. She also set up a tasting for us, which previous knotties had mentioned they did not offer tastings, and we met the chef. Also, there was no problem extending the reception an hour, as we requested at the beginning of the night – which was fantastic and a relief. The food was absolutely delicious and all of my guests loved the Lobster Bisque! I received multiple compliments from my guests that the catering staff was fantastic – they knew names, memorized drink orders, and were just overall attentive. When an extra table had to be set up, our banquet captain was on it right away. The bell staff was unreal – especially Buddy & Scott - they packed and loaded up everything for us the following day – and we had a ton of items from the reception. The front desk ladies were extremely friendly and helpful. The spa – oh the spa – the staff was amazing, there, too. The bartenders in the lobby late night were not only accommodating, but quick, and they made it a point to memorize names and drinks. The ladies in the gift shops were incredibly sweet and helpful, as well. I can honestly say that most of our guests said it was the best wedding they have ever attended, and I have to believe it is all because of the Don CeSar, it’s location, décor, service, and commitment to excellence. I couldn’t have asked for a better venue! We even got a certificate in the mail that we had a wedding at the Don with our names and everything!
The staff is amazing at this cozy hotel. The rooms have everything you could possibly need to have the comforts of home on your vacation.
The minute I saw this property, I thought it would be a perfect, casual, cost-effective spot on the beach for my guests, and I was right. It is a no-frills spot with a fantastic pool and beach bar. Everyone is warm and friendly and just having a great time at the beach. You can't find a better value right on the beach!
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