- 5 years ago
I wanted to share reviews of some vendors from our wedding and will probably post more in the future.
Pigeon Hill Farm – We initially wanted to get married somewhere in the Buriington area because I love the sunsets over Lake Champlain. We scouted a few venues in the area but couldn’t come up with anything that fit the vibe we were going for (laidback, barn) or didn’t cost an arm and a leg ($5000 at West Monitor Barn just for the rental fee?!). So we expanded our search out a bit more and came across Pigeon Hill Farm. Their prices fit within our budget and the place is beautiful so we booked them. They don’t do tastings, which made me a little nervous, but I decided to just roll with it. You pay for the meals and drinks and there is no other rental fee unless you want to do your ceremony there. Michael, one of the owners, is very detailed oriented and essentially serves as the day of coordinator. He has a wealth of knowledge about how to keep people interested in the party, when to do certain things, etc. We also dropped off all of our decorations, signs, etc. the day before the wedding and they set everything up which was so nice. They also took everything down the day after so all we had to do was pick it up. We had rain the day of our wedding and they were absolutely prepared with umbrellas for everyone. Most of your guests will have to stand for the ceremony which is okay as long as you keep it relatively short. They also let us do a signature alcohol rather than a signature drink for $2 more per person. Which meant that our guests could add whatever mixers they desired to that alcohol. We also subbed an appetizer for the fruit salad that traditionally comes with dinner and that ended up being the late night snack. You must bring in your own dessert, but they cut it at no charge. And the meals were really good. I wish they had a restaurant! One of our guests who travels all over the world said that is was the best beef he had ever tasted. The chicken and vegetarian meals were also fantastic.
Raven Ridge Farm – One of my bridesmaids did our flowers and we sourced them from Raven Ridge. Olga offers pick your own flowers for $35 a five gallon bucket. Our flowers for the centerpieces, boutonierres and bridesmaids’ bouquets cost us $105! She had everything from zinnias to dahlias and was absolutely great to work with. http://www.flowersbyolgavt.com/
Black Lantern Inn – A number of our guests stayed down the road from Pigeon Hill at the Black Lantern Inn. They raved about the food there, in particular the Sunday brunch that is included with the cost of the room. They gave our guests 10% off a one night stay and 15% off a two night stay and it was during the low season (winter is high) so the prices were very reasonable. The only room I wouldn’t recommend is the three-bedroom suite. It is next to the kitchen so it’s loud and smells like a kitchen and is very dark to boot. If you have fewer than 35 people, it may also be a good place for a rehearsal dinner.
Homeaway.com – For those guests staying more than one night, we generally recommended renting a house. There are many in the area because of Jay Peak and they are very reasonable in the summer. One house we rented was $250 a night for 5 bedrooms. I’d recommend staying in houses near Montgomery because you’ll be that much closer to Pigeon Hill.
Montgomery Catering Company – We contacted Montgomery Catering Company initially for our rehearsal dinner. I asked them to keep to our budget, include ice cream as the dessert and let me know if they couldn’t get back to me in a week. When they did get back to me almost three weeks later, they just wanted to know which venue I wanted for the rehearsal dinner even though they hadn’t given us a menu or an estimate. When they got back to us over four weeks after initial contact, they kept sending the wrong menu and then when we finally got the menu it was 150% over our budget and didn’t include ice cream as dessert. We decided to go elsewhere for our rehearsal dinner.
Alice’s Table at Jay Peak resort – We did our rehearsal dinner here because, frankly, we couldn’t find any other options. They were very communicative and helpful in figuring out how to keep our bar tab limited. The space is not great because you have to sit in the main dining hall with other parties and it’s hard for everyone to hear speeches, etc. The food was okay, we did the Friday night BBQ so can’t speak to the regular menu. Some of the meat was quite good but the dessert was terrible.
Taiga Spa at Jay Peak resort – I had a makeup and hair trial here. The hair trial was terrible. It was a mess and looked like horrible bedhead rather than an updo. The makeup trial was okay. The girl doing my makeup said when I suggested it to her “Putting gloss on over lipstick is such a good idea, I never thought of that.” Which didn’t leave me with a whole lot of confidence in her skills. I thought she didn’t do any better than I could have at the least. They charged me over $80 for the trial, which seemed like a complete rip off. Communication was not great either, they forgot a number of times how many people were getting hair and makeup done and when we needed to be finished.
Modern Touch Salon -This salon in Enosburg Falls is where the bridal party had their hair and makeup done. They charge $35 for updos and didn’t charge me at all for my trial. They are very flexible and accomodating. We had the entire salon to ourselves that Saturday. One of my bridesmaids wanted finger waves and they told her they couldn’t do that (not sure if it was because of her hair or just the difficulty), but for the most part everyone got the style that they wanted. They also brought in a makeup artist, Nannette Locke, who did our makeup for $25 each. I brought in my own foundation because I preferred it and you’ll need a waterproof mascara, but I thought she did a great job of keeping it natural. We made some changes after the trial which she also did not charge for and she was very receptive.
Montgomery Adventures – They provided a three hour shuttle service at the end of the night for $100. Hardly anyone used it because they had to leave their cars there if they did, but I just couldn’t make it work any other way. Unless everyone stays at Jay Peak, which is by far the most expensive option in the area, there is no central location to run a shuttle from. No fault of Montgomery Adventures, they were very prompt and eager to help. We also did a canoe trip with them the day after the wedding on the Lamoille because the Mississiquoi was too low and they were great for that. They charged $25 a person including transport down to the put in and pick up at the end. I’d recommend putting everything in writing because there was confusion about the dates initially.