MJ and Jon's Wedding

Vendors & Venues Reviews

Night Owl Photo Booth
, California
Photo Booths

I have never been the biggest fan of photo booths, thinking that the trend would have died down by now. Yet everyone still loves them, so I relented. In looking into a few options in SF, I came across Night Owl Photo Booth and was quite intrigued by their open-air style photo booth. Their incredibly reasonable rates sealed the deal, so I reserved them for my May 2014 wedding. My venue (the Verdi Club) wasn’t going to have a lot of space for one, especially after my very specific seating/table arrangement. Then I remembered that I wasn’t using a DJ or band (we created a 5-hour playlist on our iPad), so I decided to put them on the stage…front and center! Both the Verdi Club and Night Owl Photo Booth didn’t bat an eyelash to putting the photo booth on stage. It worked out brilliantly, especially with their open-air style photo booth, and encouraged a lot more people to use it. The props were fantastic and the prints were beautiful. Both Oran, who helped with the reservation process, and the night-of technician were an absolute pleasure to work with. Oran is on top of it and made sure that everything was all set for the night of the event. I highly recommend Night Owl Photo Booth the next time you are planning an event!!

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All Seasons Event Rentals

I had originally looked into and was almost ready to book with another company when they began to nickel and dime me on fees. I started a new search since I needed about 100-150 white wooden chairs for my ceremony at Shakespeare Garden this past May 2014. I came across All Seasons Event Rentals and gave them a call. Karla Angulo was incredibly helpful, polite, and on top of everything! All Seasons Event Rentals had the chairs that I wanted at a better price and told me up front all the fees, which were only for set-up/break-down and delivery. The fees were even a better price than the other company! I was even able to decrease the number of chairs that I rented two weeks before the event at no additional cost. On the day-of, everything went smoothly and seamlessly! I highly recommend All Seasons Event Rentals the next time you are planning an event!!

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United Coach Tours

When looking into booking transportation (shuttle bus & limousine), I relied heavily on Yelp reviews. Having to deal with trucking companies in my work, I feel like this is where a 5-star review really counts in terms of being on time, professional, and courteous service. After reading many dismal Yelp reviews and contacting a handful of options, I found United Coach Tours and their 5-star Yelp rating. Larry was SO supremely helpful in booking shuttle buses for my wedding this past May 2014! He was absolutely gracious and polite when dealing with my many changes to the reservation and my hemming and hawing as I was not using any coordinators so was quite torn when making the final decision on number of buses, number of trips, and timing. On the day-of, Larry gave me contact information for both shuttle bus drivers and everything went smoothly and seamlessly (with all the changes, I was a bit worried, but I didn’t have to be at all)! The shuttle bus drivers were so great and conscientious that they even waited extra time to make sure that everyone was on the bus. They wouldn’t leave until they got the go-ahead from me (if I was there) or someone else “official” (i.e. my photographer or Maid of Honor). I highly recommend United Coach Tours the next time you need to book transportation!!

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Epic Limousine

When looking into booking transportation (shuttle bus & limousine), I relied heavily on Yelp reviews. Having to deal with trucking companies in my work, I feel like this is where a 5-star review really counts in terms of being on time, professional, and courteous service. That is how I found Epic Limousine for my wedding this past May 2014. Vinnia and Irwandie (driver) were amazing! Very professional, courteous, timely, and all around really great people. The limousine was perfect, clean, and well stocked :) Vinnia is on top of it and made sure everything was all set. I highly recommend Epic Limousine the next time you need to book transportation!!

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Tesoro Flowers

Flowers were never going to be the focus of my wedding this past May 2014. I love flowers, but I wanted to focus my budget elsewhere. I did want to find a florist to do 2 bouquets (bride and maid of honor) as well as 2 larger flower arrangements (reception welcome and dessert tables). After talking to a couple of florists in San Francisco (where my wedding was taking place), I was not too impressed with their customer service. So I went with a personal recommendation from a co-worker and discovered Tesoro Flowers in Sonoma. I live in Sonoma County so even though they didn’t deliver, I would still be able to pick up the flowers before heading to SF. Cecilia handled my reservation with aplomb while Paul and Melissa graciously answered all my questions! They were so helpful in the whole process, especially considering how small my order was. I had a specific color scheme in mind (blues and sage greens) while having a specific set of flowers that I would like and others that I did not want. When I picked up the flowers, they were STUNNING!! They even used olive branches, which I had secretly wanted to suggest but was afraid that I was going to be too specific. There were even these purple flowers that didn’t open until the day of the wedding, which added a beautiful surprise element. Everyone at the wedding remarked on how gorgeous the flowers were. I highly recommend Tesoro Flowers the next time you need flowers for an event!!

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Nouvelle Vogue
Wedding Fashion

Since I am living on the other side of the U.S. from my mom, I wanted to shop for a wedding dress with her in New Hampshire as opposed to the Bay Area. However, once I found my dream gown (the intricately laced Aspen by Jenny Packham), I needed to find a really good seamstress to get it fitted to me. I made a call to one Jenny Packham stockist who said that they couldn’t help me and recommended a seamstress in SF instead. Upon reading the Yelp reviews on this seamstress, I decided to continue searching. Nouvelle Vogue is another Jenny Packham stockist in San Mateo and I gave them a call, all the while keeping my fingers crossed. Chantal answered the phone and was completely and utterly professional, polite, and helpful! Without even much being said on my part, she immediately agreed to lend the services of her seamstress, Pari, who she said is unparalleled when it comes to fitting bridal gowns, especially ones as complicated as the Aspen. I was very much relieved! I did give myself enough time, starting the fitting process in mid-August 2013 for a May 2014 wedding. On all of my visits, Chantal, Saida, and Pari were amazing and genuine. They made me feel like a celebrity with their attention and friendliness. Pari’s work is superb! Chantal and Saida have created a stunning bridal salon with amazing and hard-to-find bridal designers. I was sad that I hadn’t shopped at Nouvelle Vogue originally so that I would be able to try on all their gorgeous bridal gowns. Their collection of accessories are equally amazing. I wanted a particular kind of retro/vintage headpiece (no veil) and I found exactly what I was looking for in their collection of Maria Elena headpieces. Yes, the pricing is more on the high end, but you get extremely high quality pieces, gowns, and tailoring. If you want to spend the money on a more expensive bridal gown, you definitely do not want to scrimp on the seamstress and acessories! I highly recommend Nouvelle Vogue to every bride!!

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Carrot & Stick Press

I love letterpress, but I knew that it would be expensive. Therefore, being on a tight budget, I researched extensively how to make my own invitations as well as contacted a few stationary stores. After some poor customer service from the stores and after being overwhelmed on-line, I decided to contact Susie at Carrot and Stick Press. I was quite familiar with Susie’s letterpress work before I needed wedding invitations for my May 2014 wedding, so I knew the end result would be amazing stationary. The question was always going to be cost (an understandable cost when you actually watch the time and detail that goes into the process). I was ecstatic when Susie said that she could totally work within my budget! She was an absolute pleasure to work with and, of course, her invitations, RSVP postcards, and thank you notes were stunning! She helped in converting our wedding “logo” (a pencil drawing done by my future-husband) to be suitable for letterpress and was able to use the font that I wanted. I highly recommend Carrot and Stick Press the next time that you need customized stationary or even to check out her on-line store for ready made stationary!!

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Sugar Cafe
Rehearsal Lunch/Dinner

Sugar Café was recommended to me by my Maid of Honor who had budget-conscious friends utilize the restaurant for their weddings. After deciding that a rehearsal sit-down dinner may be too formal and taking into account that a majority of our wedding guests were coming out of town, I decided to contact Sugar Café to see if they could do a rehearsal cocktail & hors d’oeuvres party. Jamie (Owner/GM) was a breeze to work with. He was incredibly professional, organized, and overall amazing. He was very enthusiastic and was more than willing to accommodate our budget. When we went to meet him in person and have some lunch, he was even nice enough to take care of lunch for us. He was also very flexible when I decided to increase the number of guests as well as the number of drink tickets and hors d’oeuvres. Sugar Café had just been renovated, so I hadn’t see the new version until the night of our rehearsal party this past May 2014. It was an even more gorgeous space! All of the food was incredibly delicious and all of the staff (especially Jaime, the chef, and our cocktail waitress) were absolutely delightful! I highly recommend Sugar Café the next time you are looking for a private party venue in SF!!

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Shakespeare Garden
San Francisco County, CA
Ceremony Sites

I had my wedding ceremony at Shakespeare Garden in Golden Gate Park this past May 2014. Amanda is in chage of wedding rentals at Golden Gate Parks & Recreation. She is absolutely amazing to work with! She is extremely professional, polite, efficient. She explained all the possible options in Golden Gate Park as well as all the possible fees and protocols associated. I highly recommend Shakespeare Garden as an affordable, beautiful, wind-protected ceremony space!

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Verdi Club
San Francisco County, CA
Reception Sites

I had my wedding reception at the Verdi Club this past May 2014. I was on a budget (well, who isn’t!), but food was going to be a priority for me. After all the hoopla around a ceremony and entrance into the reception site, who wants to sit down to a crappy meal?!? Well, Verdi Club has that in spades with Chef Sean! He is amazing! He was very flexible and helpful when working with us on our family-style menu, even going as far as to grant my special request for macaroons. The passed hors d’oeuvres, dinner, and dessert were all AMAZING!!! Everyone was saying that it was the best food that they had at a wedding and I wholeheartedly agree.

In addition, Denny Palmer (previous Manager) and Jason Mulvaney (current Manager) were a breeze to work with. Denny even was our bartender and sound tech for our wedding. I also used every single one of their rectangle tables to create a big square layout with only a few round tables on one side. It was the first time that they had done this sort of seating/table arrangement, but they were willing to give it a shot. The rest of the staff were all great to work with too. Everyone was very polite, cheery, and efficient. I didn’t use any wedding coordinators or day-of coordinators, so I was a little nervous. It’s a testament to the staff that everything went so smoothly (well, that, and with help from my brother and future-husband who brought everything to the Verdi Club and made sure everything on my checklist was done ☺).

The venue itself is a real treat with a lot of character, from the separate bar area to the ladies lounge upstairs. The whole venue is extremely reasonably priced, which gave me a little room to spend on lighting, making the place all that more beautiful. I highly recommend Verdi Club the next time you are looking to book a space for an event!! And, I would definitely use their in-house chef, Sean Gawel!

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Hotel Kabuki - a Joie de Vivre Hotel
San Francisco County, CA

From previous experiences, we decided to use Hotel Kabuki as our main wedding hotel. Margaret helped me with the room reservations and was SO incredibly helpful, patient, and professional. She even suggested that I would be able to use their walk-in refrigerator for my wedding bouquets. (As a side note, I had also reserved a block of rooms at one of their sister hotels, Hotel Tomo. Unfortunately, no one booked there, but Jennifer was, again, SO incredibly helpful, patient, and professional.) Once we arrived, the entire staff at Hotel Kabuki from manager to front desk to bellman/doorman were amazing. It was Bay to Breakers weekend so the hotel was extremely full and busy, but everyone was willing and able to take the time to try to accommodate all of our requests. In addition, there isn’t a lot of valet parking, but there was always a space reserved for us even with our many in-and-outs to SFO! I highly recommend Hotel Kabuki the next time you need a hotel in San Francisco for any reason!

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Hotel Majestic
San Francisco County, CA
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Hotel Tomo
San Francisco, CA

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