Despite the misty weather, our wedding was a beautiful day.
Sugarbakers (included as part of the wedding package at our venue) delivered the cake of my dreams. We had a 3-tiered cake; two tiers were chocolate with white chocolate mousse, the other (plus a sheet cake in the back) was lemon cake with lemon mousse, all covered in a French buttercream. The lemon cake was so good it makes my mouth water to think about it! The cake was delicious – and beautiful to boot! They charged an additional fee for simple piping which was annoying and unexpected, but overall, their product was worth it. Grade: A
Kathryn Master (via Gigmasters) played flute, her musical partner, Jan, played harp. Kathy was delightful to interact with, quick to respond to e-mails and I appreciated her suggestions when I was struggling with song selections. Kathy & Jan learned to play “Here Comes the Sun” for my processional and “Beautiful Day” for our recessional. They both played beautifully! Kathy works with other musicians as well, if you’re looking for lovely musicians at an affordable price, she’s your gal, check her out on gigmasters.com. Grade: A+
A friend of a friend, Steve was a fantastic DJ who worked well with our limited budget. He has a great knack for getting the crowd excited and all night long, he mixed American and Persian dance tunes! Throughout the process, he was really responsive to our play list, numerous requests and ideas. It’s no joke: the dance floor was packed all. night. long. Steve was particularly fond of my decision to have the first dance songs of our guests play during the dinner hour – each couple came forward and took a spin on the dance floor while “their song” played and it was just beautiful. Our guests really enjoyed it, too and it’s become one of the most commented-on parts of the reception! Steve liked the idea so much, he’s been passing it on to other brides-to-be as an idea to consider. Grade: A+ for both him and his side-kick wife Amy!
It pains me to say this but disappointed would be an understatement. Rev. Gaffney was ill-prepared for the ceremony bringing with him outdated notes and calling the wrong person to perform a reading we had changed months prior, he double booked himself for both the rehearsal AND the wedding and had confirmed in writing not once but twice that he’d be at the rehearsal (he was quick to remind me a fee was involved, too, which wasn’t an issue, we simply needed his presence because the ceremony was blended and somewhat complicated) but the day before rehearsal, he declared he would not be in attendance. On our wedding day, he admonished the groom for the ceremony starting late (huh. 4pm start time. I was approaching the groom at 4:10, late?) he complained that there were too many children to organize and then he rushed through the first portion of the ceremony. Before the pronouncement and benediction, we turned the ceremony over to H’s brother-in-law for a Persian blessing, as Rev. Gaffney was aware we would be doing. He publicly interrupted H’s brother-in-law to say that he’d “like to finish up” his “portion and go”, so he did. We never had the benediction or the formal pronouncement and the rest of our ceremony had to be improvised. It was humiliating and embarrassing. At the end of the day, we are still married and that’s the only reason I am not failing him as a vendor. Grade: D- at best. Do not recommend.
WeddingScapes (aka Blushing Bride), Lynn Sowers. Recently, Lynn has taken on the job of Floral Director at Celebrations by the Bay. She is a lovely woman and a great floral designer. My flowers were beautiful. Her communication style, however, left a lot to be desired and it is my sincere hope that future brides she works with will have a better experience now that she has a support staff to handle calls, e-mails and other administrative duties – she can focus on what she does best which is designing and arranging floral bouquets arrangements. Flowers Grade: A; Lynn's Grade: C-
Our videographer, Rich Arslan, of thinkBIG video, came to us via H’s niece, who works with him on occasion. Rich was great! He is very personable, loves his job, and is extremely organized. He came to our wedding with an assistant and they were everywhere all day long! They never interrupted yet they captured everything. Early in our planning, we’d decided not to have a videographer, but when he came to us on a recommendation, and was able to work with our budget, we agreed to a contract – and we’re so, so glad we did. We haven’t seen any footage yet, but based on our interactions alone, Grade: A!
Virginia, the owner, was really helpful and was able to accommodate 16 people on the morning of the wedding by staggering their appointments. Plus she's located directly across the street from Blue Moon Cafe, hellooooo happy coincidence! Virginia brought in snacks and drinks for everyone and offered a discount to everyone - plus my hair and my mom's hair was free. Outstanding service, seriously! She and her girls did an outstanding job on our hair and mine especially was beautiful for the entire night. Grade: A
While we had our ceremony on the Bond Street Pier, we had our reception at the Admiral Fell Inn and they coordinated everything for the wedding ceremony on the pier, too. The food was fantastic both on the night of the rehearsal and again for the wedding reception. The hotel staff is courteous but we did have some problems with the reservations desk. We found enough discrepancies on the initial roster to cause some concern but they were happy to oblige our request for follow-up rosters in the weeks leading up to the wedding and everything worked out in the end (except my room wasn’t cleaned the day of our wedding! When we arrived after the reception, it was as I’d left it in the early afternoon: towels strewn about and a messy bed. Boo.) Venue: B Food: A+
Venue Coordinator: Melanie Parenteau of Harbor Magic Hotels was awesome. Melanie stepped up after our original coordinator quit and she helped coordinate everything for our wedding, including both American and Persian traditions and various dietary restrictions. She was quick to respond to e-mails and phone calls and calmly talked me out of a panic attack when it seemed the skies would not clear completely for our outdoor wedding and consequently, the ceremony musicians weren’t going to be able to sit on the wet pier (we found a place for them with shelter!). I appreciate her level-headedness and sweet disposition and I was able to really relax on the wedding day because I knew she’d take care of everything. Grade: A
The Bond Street Pier was a beautiful location to have our wedding ♥ It was misty that day, so the musicians had to be moved to the alcove just behind the Pier, but their music (Flute & harp) could be heard easily at the far end of the pier. I was thrilled with the way things turned out and the pier can accommodate rows and rows and rows of chairs! Long walk down the aisle from our hiding spot though!
Click on each tool to see a sample.