- mrs. b
- 10 years ago
i was (and still am) and avid weddingbee reader! i wanted to pass on these vendor reviews in hopes of helping just one other bride. please feel free to let me know if you have any questions or want to see pictures from my wedding.
Hiring Jennie is money very well spent! I’m an A-type personality and must have control at all times. I knew that I would not enjoy my wedding day if I was worried about all the details. Jennie was available from beginning to end. She reviewed estimates, sent suggestions, listened to me freak out about stupid things, fielded all phone calls the week of the wedding. She was such a comfort on the wedding day with her huge smile. My family and friends absolutely adored her. I was able to fully enjoy my wedding because I wasn’t worried about what time the next toast was or if the favors would get placed. Jennie is professional, creative, organized and loves what she does. I highly recommend hiring her!
After receiving 15 catering estimates, yes, 15… I had lost all hope. I finally stumbled across Miraglia and was instantly happy. Karen understood our menu concept and was even pretty excited about it. I come from a family of chefs and knew that the food had to be top notch. Our tasting was AMAZING. My dad was taking pictures of the food so he could show his friends! We had some non-traditional ideas for the wedding but Miraglia was onboard every step of the way. We received so many compliments on the food and a few of our friends asked for the caterers contact information. Miraglia has amazing customer service and excellent food.
Karen Chang Burling
Huckleberry Karen Designs
I came across Karen through the WeddingBee. She was teaching a DIY Floral Workshop in San Francisco so I signed up and dragged my stepmom with me. I knew in the beginning of planning that I wanted to try to do my own flowers to save money. Karen taught us the basics; how to process the flowers, how many we would need to order, how to make a bouquet, corsage and boutonnière. We left so much more confidant that we would be able to handle the flowers for the wedding! Doing my own flowers was my favorite part of the wedding. I was able to execute my exact vision and was extremely happy with the outcome. If Karen has more workshops please attend and if you don’t want to do your own flowers, hire her!
Chapel of Our Lady
The Chapel of Our Lady is located near the Officers Club. Initially we want to get married in the Main Post Chapel but because of our Friday date, they weren’t really willing to work with our timing. I believe that it worked out from the best because the Chapel of Our Lady is filled with light and is just a cozy, beautiful Chapel. We didn’t decorate much because it has gorgeous beams and stained glass. I’m not sure what else to say other than it was a great place for our ceremony and everyone at the Presidio is very easy to work with.
Golden Gate Club
Once I had seen the Golden Gate Club, I knew that I couldn’t have my reception any where else. If you are looking for an ideal “San Francisco” venue… this is it. While it can be very pricy on the weekend we opted to get married on a Friday costing us $2,500. The floor to ceiling windows with a view of the bay is the perfect backdrop. We had our cocktails on the Ventana Balcony and then let our guests into the Ventana Room for dinner. A great venue can take your wedding to the next level. Our guests LOVED the Golden Gate Club.
People often forget about lighting but lighting makes a HUGE impact. Because we did our own flowers, we spent what we would have on flowers to do lighting. Irja Tannlund was extremely easy to work with, understood the look of our wedding and executed it beautifully. We lit the back wall of the Golden Gate Club with a forest scene and people couldn’t stop talking about it. We kept it simple with amber uplighting, pinlighting on the cupcakes and the backsplash on the wall.
Bring That Beat Back
You will not meet a nicer guy. Rich was fantastic. We wanted only oldies songs played at the wedding. Some of our guests were trying to bribe him into playing “hipper” songs but he kindly declined. We appreciated that he listened to us and played all the songs that we had requested. My wedding coordinator and my parents only had good things to say about him.
I came to Sylvia through Yelp.com. I was really nervous to trust my wedding dress with just anyone but Sylvia is simply AMAZING.
I purchased my dress from a bride in Ohio, when it arrived it had 5 holes… full on holes in the skirt of the dress!!! I was in panic mode, they were fully visible, the dress is silk taffeta and I didn’t know how it would be fixed?! The dress is Melissa Sweet Mila… and is not the easiest dress to work with!
Sylvia was honest, opinionated and passionate. The first fitting was an hour and a half… we spent a ton of time coming up with a plan. I left confidant that she would make the dress work. Two weeks later I came in for my second fitting. The skirt was completely fixed without a trace of the previous damage! She had to cut seems where the holes were and to hide the seems she made box pleats. She had also taken the bodice in from a size 8 to a size 4 and it fits like a glove! She spent another hour with me getting the hem just right.
The dress is everything I had imagined. She worked miracles.
Please go see Sylvia, you will not be disappointed with her work. Make sure to stand your ground with her if you have an opinion!
After an intial make-up/hair trail with another vendor, I was really scared that I was not going to be able to find someone that could execute my vision and stay in my budget. I had stopped at a make-up counter in Bloomingdales and Esther was working the counter. She quickly demonstrated her make-up skills and I was totally in love.
I don’t wear much make-up and was worried about looking “caked” on my wedding day. Esther was absolutely phenomenal… I just can’t say enough about her! She came to my hotel room in San Francisco and got to work. I felt stunning… as soon as she gave me the mirror I started to cry! (She quickly stopped me!) She also did my sister and sister-in-law’s make-up and they too looked amazing. She is super sweet, very talented and was a true blessing.
If you are looking for a make-up artist please, please try Esther.
Again, after my initial make-up/hair trial with another vendor, I was heartbroken at the thought of not being able to find someone to do my hair. I reached out to my hair stylist of 5 years and came to Bobby.
Bobby is another vendor that I can’t say enough about! I had ideas and inspiration pictures but I really didn’t know what I wanted my hair to look like. I wanted something vintage, classic but sorta modern, if that makes any sense! He spent an hour and a half doing my trial, meticulously setting every curl. When he gave me the mirror I was blown away and so excited that I had found my hair guy.
On the day of the wedding he came to my hotel room to do my hair and my sister’s hair. He spent an hour and a half with me and an hour with my sister. He is cool as cucumber which is so nice to have on such a stressful day. He is a perfectionist and gets everything just right. He even stayed longer to make sure my birdcage veil was put in correctly.
Bobby isn’t budget but he IS worth every penny. Call him!
Wedding photography is very tricky and very emotional. If I was given the chance to go back and do something differently for my wedding, I would have spent more time looking for the right photographer. I also would have put more money from the budget into photography.
I kept hearing, “It’s all you have left when the wedding is over.” I didn’t really listen but now that is all that is ringing in my mind.
Katherine works with her cousin Erin, so we were lucky to have two shooters. We definitely got some GREAT shots. We are framing over a dozen pictures for our house. The CD we received has 700 pictures and they took over 3,000. They we not invasive and were calm and collected. But there are many shots that are missing… and you just never get the day of your wedding back.
If I knew a year ago what I know now here is what I would do:
– Ask to see a wedding they recently shot from start to finish. Flip through all 3,000 images, not just the top 10 from a specific wedding. The photographer can catch some “magazine worthy” moments but what about the documentation of the day? Do they shoot close up or stay at a distance? Do they take pictures of the details, flowers, food?
– Really think about the kind of photo’s you want. Spend sometime looking at photography blogs and saving inspiration pictures.
– Talk about lighting with your photographer. Are you getting married outside at dusk or in the middle of the afternoon? Or are you getting married indoors, what the lighting will look like there? Have them meet with you at your ceremony/reception site at the time of day you will be married and look at the lighting.
– Have a detailed shot list and then put a friend of family member in charge of the shot list and making sure the photographer has taken EVERY picture you want. We had a shot list, I just sent it to the photographer a few days ahead and trust she would get the shots but there is a lot going on that day… so make it someone’s job to make sure you have your pictures.
We had stayed at the Hudson in New York City and the Clift previously. We knew as soon as we got engaged that the Clift is where we wanted to stay for our wedding weekend.
Sadly, we were horribly disappointed in the customer service and will not be returning to the Clift. I wrote a letter to the Manger of Guest Services with our complaints and we have yet to even receive an acknowledgment. For a high end hotel their customer service is miserable.
I have to say, however, that the rooms make a gorgeous back drop for getting ready pictures.
I’ll be posting a complete review on Yelp.com if you want details.
Vanity Beauty Lounge
I came across Vanity Beauty Lounge through my Daily Candy emails. I needed a spot that could accommodate all of my girls on my wedding day. We made an appointment for 7 girls at 11am on the day of my wedding.
The décor and set-up is beautiful. You feel like you are sitting in your living room rather than a nail salon. They had champagne waiting for us when arrived and hot lavender neck pillows. We all sat and laughed and enjoyed the peace of the moment. I also booked myself a 20 minute back and shoulder massage that was fantastic. We were all out of there by 1pm.
My manicure lasted a week and my pedicure lasted 4 weeks with NO chips. I’m not a girly girl and usually my mani/pedi’s are ruined within an hour. I was so impressed with Vanity Beauty Lounge that I recently went back with my sister for a girl’s day. Again they were top notch!
I purchased my dress from another bride and I wanted to have it cleaned myself. Sylvia, my seamstress, recommended Vogue Cleaners. I waited until the last minute and they were able to get the dress cleaned in time but I can’t honestly say either way if it was worth the money. It costed me nearly $400 to get the dress cleaned, I feel like that was a lot of money and the results weren’t above average.
We used HoneyLuna for our Honeymoon registry. We chose to book our honeymoon elsewhere and just use their registry. It was so incredibly easy and our guests really loved giving something they felt was more personal. You receive a lump sum before your honeymoon and then another check from those people that purchase a gift last minute. HoneyLuna was easy, easy, easy and I highly recommend them for a Honeymoon registry.
Etsy Sellers I LOVE:
LostandFawned- Lindsey made me 7 custom bouquet lockets. I got one for myself and one for each of my girls. We customized them with charms that represented each girl. Then I’m sending them back to her, now that the wedding is over, and she will be making them into necklaces.
JMGJewelDesign- I was looking for an all pearl brooch to wear on my dress and it also needed to be rather large. She custom made my brooch and it turned out simply beautiful. I will cherish it always.
LulabelleCreations- I wanted these ridiculously expensive flowergirl dresses so I went to Etsy Alchemy to see if someone could make me something similar. Jayme made my two dresses and they turned out EXACTLY like the super expensive ones I wanted. She made them to the girl’s exact measurements and I’m just totally in love with them (still)!
ToyBreaker- We had silk screened ties made for our groomsmen. We let them go to Bethany’s site and pick which design they wanted. We then had them printed on black, skinny ties. We loved being able to give them something that they would wear again. Bethany was easy to work with and the ties came out great.