Our wedding was PERFECT. I've heard so many brides tell me "Oh if I had it to do all over again I'd save the money and elope." You won't hear that from me. Sure, there were some snags, but overall it was exactly what I've always hoped it would be: the best day of my life. I hope my reviews are helpful!
Our DJ was Steve Liggett with Complete Music, and I thought he handled our wedding reception VERY well. The reasons I'm giving this vendor a "non-A" grade are relatively picky. There were some songs that were noticeably skipping during dinner...enough to where the busy bride & groom noticed. He also announced that he'd take requests, which I was sure I'd said not to do in my paperwork, but the only song I was relatively annoyed at was the Chicken Dance, which my own darn father requested, so....but by then, everyone had been drinking and had a good time, so it's all good. He handled our "Shoe Game" FLAWLESSLY and people are still talking about how much fun they thought that was. The lights were fun, and he played a great mixture of slow songs and fast songs and group dance songs. I'm not giving the actual company a B+ b/c overall I thought they were extremely pushy until they got my money and then MIA until I bitched about them on the Knot 2 weeks before my wedding about not getting back to me. I don't recommend using a DJ factory like this, if you can help it.
I found out that my DJ made some a-hole comments when my brothers requested that he play "Sweet Caroline" for us since we're Red Sox fans. Apparently, Steve wasn't too keen on that, but not because we said no requests. I've been told that his response was something like, "Oh sure b/c I've got all night," or "I'm only paid to XX time," or something else completely inappropriate. I was also told that when my 8-year old niece asked him for something he said "I'll see if I can find it" and didn't even really acknowledge her.
We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and we had the BEST time. They gave us our honeymoon "Just Married" buttons at check-in, and they were so fun to wear on the trip (along with our bride & groom Mickey & Minnie ears). We got "Congratulations" shouted to us from all sides wherever we went! We were given front row seats on rides, free chocolate chip cookies, and had characters point us out, hug, and wave to us during parades!! It was SO fun. The hotel was AMAZING. We had a room with a Savannah View, and we could sit on our own deck and watch Giraffes and other wildlife as close as 100 yards away or less. We went to the spa on our first day and each had an hour long massage as a treat to ourselves, but upon checking out noticed that they gave them to us for free because we were on our honeymoon! Pretty amazing huh?? I HIGHLY recommend Disney World as a honeymoon option and the Animal Kingdom Lodge as a resort, especially to anyone who may still be a bit of a kid at heart. :)
Grade: Best Decision Other Than The Groom. I can't even give Lynn and her awesome crew (Vivie and Nancy) an actual letter grade, because they transcend awesome. From day one, first contact, I loved Lynn. She came to my bridal shower so she could get to know me (since I planned from Boston) and did engagement pics for us the week before the wedding so she could get to know Michael, and us as a couple. My bridals were AMAZING and I've never felt prettier! Lynn, Vivian, and Nancy were such a perfect fit with us and our personalities. My family is STILL talking about how awesome they were at the wedding and reception. Also, I've had the pleasure of becoming close to Lynn as a friend during this process, which only enhanced the experience.
Grade: A-. The ONLY reason this place doesn't get an A+ is because the church wedding coordinator was a bit, um....much. She barked orders at everyone and fought me on some of the things I wanted done for our wedding. I felt like I had to sweet-talk her for some of the most basic things, such as how the ring bearer handed off the rings. However, she did redeem herself by allowing our photographers/videographer to bend the tight church rules a bit during the ceremony. The church is BEAUTIFUL and our minister, Brandon, gave one of the best wedding ceremonies I've ever heard (though I may be a bit biased...haha). He's truly a nice, caring man, that I could tell really wanted Michael and I to have a perfect day and and a blessed marriage...and I was so happy that he and his wife showed up at our reception for a while!
Grade: A+. Oakmont was not going to be getting an A from me during the planning, because honestly it was a bit like pulling teeth sometimes to get them to respond back to my emails. Yes, I was a bit ahead of the game and overly-anxious at times, but still...once you have a client's money you need to respond to him/her in a timely manner, even if the wedding is six months away. However, with that being said, I am DONE complaining about Oakmont. In the last couple of weeks and up until we left the reception that night, everything was done perfectly. I had to go the morning of the wedding to check a couple of things, and the room was already set up. It looked so beautiful, and the staff RAVED over our color scheme/theme, our favors, etc. Of course as a stressed out bride, that was great validation for me! The wedding reception was great. I never noticed even the tiniest glitch(es), if any even existed. The room was beautiful, the food was delicious (so I heard), and the staff was great. Two of the waitstaff even did the Cha-Cha Slide with us and our guests!! Highly recommend this vendor.
They were HORRIBLE. Shelley, their catering manager, was the most flaky person I've ever encountered in my life. She never returned emails, she never returned calls, and simple requests (such as taking one night off our OWN reservation for our wedding weekend) took 5 or 6 emails and then me GOING DOWN THERE to fix it. Then she suddenly leaves on medical leave (I don't personally think that "stupid" is a medical reason, but that's just me), and I have to deal with someone else, who gave me the tight-lipped smile when I went down there and asked that directions be given to my guests upon check-in (which I had emailed in advance and which were NEVER received by our guests). THEN we stayed there on our wedding night, and there was room service trash outside the door of our suite. I would NEVER RECOMMEND THIS HOTEL. Just run as far as you can in the other direction.
The Hampton was AMAZING, and had the best customer service I've experienced in a long time. Everything I asked for, I got. When my MOH and her boyfriend had to come in 2 days early to to Hurricane Gustav, they put them in a suite for free b/c they couldn't get them in their own room 2 days early, and still gave them our group rate. That's just one example of how great they were. Every time they had a staffing change, I got an email from the new person. They were an absolute dream and I HIGHLY recommend them.
Click on each tool to see a sample.