Monday, June 14, 2010

Congrats to the happy couple! Some preliminary vendor reviews...

My sister and her wonderful fiancee, Tony got married this past Saturday. Other than some really typical St. Louis random weather it was lovely. And we got to have some Drewes, which always is a bonus.

Follow the jump for the reviews! 

Celeslie's Salon in Arnold, MO. -- D
There were some foibles with the hair and makeup but we got through the day and she was beaming all day.  Celeslie's is very beautiful location, but there were some serious issues with the staff's ...attentiveness. My sister's mother in law looked amazing, her hair was absolutely flawless, as was her makeup, despite the initial makeup appointment not going as planned. The artist decided--without explaining pre-appointment--that she wasn't a candidate for airbrush.  She was extremely disappointed, although in the end she looked great, but it was an issue for me, in that you need to say something to the scheduler before anything changes, and explain concerns, not just spring it on the person that morning that she has "aging skin" and you won't do it.  Work around that, she has AMAZING skin that is in no way visibly aged, so there's no real reason for that.  But what's done is done.  I know they did a workaround for my mom, and that went well, so I don't know what the holdup was, and the mother in law is younger than my mom.  I was not impressed with my mom's hair, and frankly I don't know how happy she was with it either but it held up. She's not blessed with full curls like the mother of the groom so that was not going to allow the same kind of hair to occur. They didn't do such a great job for my wedding either, and that's a novel for a different day....

My hair was great, though it needed a thorough shellac'ing of hair-net to stay put.  My makeup was NOT good. She had her work cut out for her, as I had woken up two days beforehand with a massive very red rash all over my forehead. That required some layers of work. But my real issue was the eyes, etc. She started off doing well, but her work on my brows required a redo, as did most of my eye makeup. I went into the bathroom there after I paid and with my bag of tricks did some serious reworking. As she worked I had told her where to adjust and she just ignored it, it seemed. She barely curled my lashes, despite my repeatedly asking to do that myself, and she barely put any mascara on. You go on and on about how you need more than normal and then you just give up? Not ok!  So I had to seriously rework the eyes to make them worth what I paid for. Frankly, I should've just done it myself from the get go.

As for the bride's was not what she wanted, not what they tried out at the trial, and pretty much as if she was ignored. And while it looked fine, it was a point of contention because when it was made clear that the client was not happy, the stylist just walked off, it was very bizarre. Further, they forgot to put her veil in, and acted like it was a burden when they realized it as we were leaving. So they had to call someone up, who tried to jam it in. It was slightly off-center, which for both myself and my sister is a niggling thing all day. We are very OCD and very picky.  So the day already was not going well.  Her makeup was lovely. However, she paid for false lashes and before she even got out the door one had fallen off. Despite the gigantic big black line of glue, which was repeatedly mentioned by the bride that she wanted clear glue. Fell on deaf ears. The bride should not have to redo her own makeup in the car prior to the wedding either.

So...we are not 100% happy with this, and it reflects in their rating. Really I'd almost go lower, but the mother of the groom really picks up the curve in that score because she looked great.

Best Transportation -- A+
John was our driver, and he was the greatest. He thought ahead of us, and kept that A/C going like crazy. He had to deal with some crazy weather and workarounds to get photos in. There were no less than 20 other bridal parties in Forest Park that day, so it was quite a lot of reworking, plus the random raining and the big storm.  But he did a great job navigating and tending to my sister and her new husband.

Orlando Gardens Hoffmeister--A+
This is mostly Jim Helton's grade ;) because he is THE MAN. He is on it, he is organized, and there were no worries at any point because we knew he was on it and was going to make it happen.  The room looked nice, and the bars were going strong. Food was good, everyone was well fed and happy.

Robins Bridal -- A+
This is my grade, I assume my sister would give a similar grade. After the nonsense we all dealt with when Bill Levkoff decided not to make our dress order, and to not tell anyone either, and Robin's called us after THEY had to call to find out what the story was.  They scrambled to get us in there to choose a new dress from a different line which worked out well, our dresses  came in ahead of plan considering they got a month to make them.  But they were pretty and all went swimmingly well with that, despite me gaining more weight than anticipated. lol

Melissa Vaeth, Photographer-- Initial review, C+/ After photos update A-
She was very friendly, however my husband and I were not totally impressed. She did not seem very well organized day-of, she didn't seem to remember what she had shot in terms of family photos, and missed a few. She also did not have a good plan as to what we would be doing the day of, despite having emailed a pretty decent itinerary.  I know the weather did not aid in that planning, but it just seemed like we were scrambling around a little more than would have been nice.  I have seen the photos on her site and blog and quite a few were very nice, I hope her's are just as nice.

Updated 7/5/10...
I just saw the proofs for the salon, wedding and park go up. I am 50-50 on it. I like a lot of them but there are a ridiculous amount of shots in the wedding with flash, and that really bothers me. I get that it needed to be used, but I have no idea why it was so blatantly obvious in the photos. It can definitely be done vastly better than was done.  For the most part they're nice photos, not my style, but there are some really cute ones.  The most amazing ones are of us out in the part with the next batch of storm rolling in behind us, it's pretty cool how that was captured.  There are some cute artsy ones, but for the most part she's pretty "traditional" and posed, versus photojournalistic and candid, which is my personal preference.  I guess I should probably grade her based on that? I don't know. But what I have seen is nice, although I hoped for more.

St. Louis Photo Booth--A+
This was a great idea, I don't know if it was his dad's or my sister's but it was way fun. Everyone loved it, the photos were great and the guys running it were awesome. Very organized, very fun and very friendly :)  I wish I'd have done this at mine.

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