Questions? Comments? Send me an email at

Friday, May 25, 2012


Okay.  I know I said I'd be coming back full force and that definitely didn't happen.  I apologize.  You know how it is.  Life just gets in the way. 

Anywho, a ton of people have asked about lighting.  Did I only use the paper lanterns for lighting?  No.  I also used string lights around the perimeter of the tent.  I used these from  Then I bought C9 bulbs for them separately (but also from  They don't have the connectors on the ends but my dad set them up so that they would be able to connect to each other (it's nice to have a handy papa!).  

I used the 12 inch spacing, but honestly, I think I could've gotten away with the lights spaced further apart (like 18 or 24 inches apart).  It was just a wee bit brighter than I wanted.  The point is, I don't think you should only use the paper lanterns for light (unless you are going to use much brighter lights in them than I did).  

This is how the tent looked with just the lights in the paper lanterns.  It looked a little brighter than this -- the pictures don't really do it justice.  However, it definitely wouldn't be bright enough for the reception.  Just a reminder, I used one to two led tea-lights in each paper lantern. 

And this is what it looked like with the lights around the perimeter (you can see them along the edge of the tent above everyone's heads).  Again, I wish I would have used less lights, but I was originally worried that it would be way too dark in the tent.  Lighting is definitely one of the tricky parts of the whole thing!  Let me know if you have any more questions about lighting!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tips for Rockin' an iPod Reception: Part 2

As promised, a new blog entry!  Let's get into the iPod reception stuff (I blogged part 1 about about forever ago).  Next up, the dinner hour. 

Again, no real issues with the iPod.  It continued to play through while we ate, toasted, took pictures, etc.  It was nice to not have to worry about it and to have it play songs that meant something to us/that we liked.  I chose Carolina On My Mind because Philip and I met and fell in love there.  I chose the George Strait version of Fly Me To The Moon because our first date was a George Strait concert.  

I tried to choose songs that were relatively mellow because it was supposed to just be us eating.  I left off with Barefoot Blue Jean Night and Please Forgive Me because they're a little more upbeat... so, they were supposed to kind of lead into the dancing part of the reception.  

It didn't quite work out as it was supposed to.  But, that's for the next post!

Sorry for the break!

Hello to any of you still out there!  I apologize for my absence.  Philip and I recently made a long-distance move from Colorado to Indiana and the packing, the moving, the settling, and the job hunt have not left me much time for blogging.  And, I was also rather burned out on wedding stuff.  I am hoping to jump back in and finish up everything I meant to before the break.  And, I apologize.  I haven't checked my wedding email in a very, very long time.  So, for those of you who asked questions or just dropped me a line, I promise to get back to you very soon! 

And, I will get back into those promised posts starting... NOW!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Our little secret...

Philip and I had our wedding on September 24, 2011.  However, we had a tiny little secret.  We actually got legally married on September 24, 2010.  
Yes, I know.  You're shocked.  We only told our close relatives.  We didn't want to take away from the wedding ceremony.

You see, in Colorado, to get married, you go to the administration building (not even the courthouse!) and tell them your name, social security number, address, etc., and then you sign at the bottom of the page.  And presto!  You're married!

I'm serious.  It took about 5 minutes for us to get legally married.  (sadly, divorce in Colorado is also super easy)

Anywho, we didn't want to make a big deal out of it because we were still not really considering ourselves as truly married.  I still went by my maiden name and Philip didn't wear a wedding band.  We weren't going to be really married until 365 days later at our actual ceremony.  :)

However, we did go out and have a nice dinner to celebrate (it didn't seem right to treat it as a completely normal day!).  

Here we are after returning home from getting (legally) hitched and having a very tasty Italian dinner (Venice Ristorante in Denver -- super delicious!).

Why did we do it?  The usual -- money.  I wouldn't have to pay for my insurance through my company (Philip's was cheaper).  And, it meant we got back a bunch of money on our taxes instead of owing (and we needed that money for wedding and honeymoon plans!).  

Do I regret it?  Nope.  Not even a little.  Looking back, I can say that our legal marriage went off without a hitch -- something I cannot say about our actual wedding ceremony!  Ha!  The money we gained from it helped us have a great honeymoon (and less stressing!).  And, it was nice to have a kind of intimate day to legally bind ourselves. 

Should you get legally married before your actual wedding?  That's entirely up to you.  I had a good experience with it.  However, I know some people have had bad experiences.  And some people will judge you for it.  I think it's an entirely personal decision to be decided by you and your partner alone! 

Now Philip and I have THREE anniversaries: Dating, Legal Marriage, and Wedding!  My sister even teased me the day of the wedding saying that she wasn't sure if she should get me a wedding card or an anniversary card!  Smartass!  :P

Vendor Review:

We used for the bridesmaid dresses and the MOB dress.  They are definitely the cheapest place out there for non-knockoff dresses!  It was easy to order the dresses, too.  They were a little late in getting the dresses to us.  Honestly, I think they had the dresses already in the shop and forgot about them.  So, I would say, if it's getting close to the date you were promised, give them a call to find out when exactly you'll be receiving them.

Other than that, everything went peachy.  They communicated well.  They had a deal going on where I got free shipping (not sure what the deals are for now -- definitely check it out though!) and that made a big difference in price!  

I would still recommend that you go to a store to try dresses on before ordering a dress that you *think* will work for you.  You might be surprised when that dress actually comes in the mail!  We were fortunate, and the BM dresses and the MOB dresses were beautiful on their intended persons. 

Just look how pretty they are.  :)  So, yes, I do recommend using  They get 4.5 stars out of 5 from me. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tips for Rockin' an iPod Reception: Part I

As I said before, Philip and I chose to use iTunes and a Bose SoundDock 10 (for iPod) for music at our reception.  I couldn't be happier with the results.  We got to pick all of the music ahead of time.  And, while it took some time to make the playlists, at least we knew that we would like all of the songs!  

I read some horror stories online about brides who regretted their decision to forgo a DJ, so I was a little worried about it.  However, we didn't have any technical difficulties.  And, the music seemed to be well received.  As a reminder, here are the playlists we used (it was created with lots of love [and time and energy!] by me):

Cocktail Hour:
The only problem I had with this playlist is that there's some not so nice language in Fett's Vette.  I chose the song because Philip is such a big Star Wars fan, but I didn't consider that there would be children (and others who might not appreciate a well placed F-bomb!) present.  I am not sure if anyone noticed or not, but it might be something for other brides to consider when putting together their playlists!  

Everything else about this playlist went swimmingly.  In fact, I still listen to this playlist all the time.  I love all of these songs!  ;)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vendor Review:

I mentioned before that I bought our paper lanterns from  They were the cheapest place that I could find.  They have excellent prices!  

When the lanterns arrived, they looked great.  They were packed well and all of them seemed to be in good condition. 

When it finally came time to set them up in the tent, I was not disappointed.  The paper lanterns went together well and stayed put.  I was pleased with the colors as well.  

And, despite the crazy humidity (and rain), the paper lanterns held up well.  We actually broke them down and reused them at the Indiana reception (they were a little stretched out from the humidity, but they still worked well).  

Oh, and I received the order within a few days of ordering.  So, I was pleased with everything about this company!  I'm fairly certain that the coupon code I used is expired, but you can usually find one on their Facebook page.  And, right now they have a deal going on:  $10 off $100 order.  

They turned out beautiful.  They were the perfect decoration for the tent.  :)  So, I give 5 out of 5 stars.  I would definitely recommend them to anyone in the market for paper lanterns!  Oh, and they also sell fans, parasols, placecard holders, and health balls/massage tools.  Give them a try!  :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Our Indiana Reception

Since the wedding was in Pennsylvania, most of my family couldn't make it.  So, we also did a reception in Indiana.  I don't think I posted this on my blog, but this is the invitation that was sent out for that:

Well, not exactly.  I obviously blacked out some information so that you can't go stalk my parents!  :)

The reception went really well.  It was calm, which was exactly what we wanted.  My dad roasted a hog and we had salads and sides and such.  And my mom ordered some sheet cakes from a local bakery.  Everything was delicious.  And we got to see a lot of my family and friends from Indiana (and Philip got to meet most of them for the first time!).  There weren't really set times, so people just came and went throughout the day.  It was nice that way because we could spend a little time with people before they'd leave and then new people would come in and we'd spend time with them before they left.  And so on. 

I don't have a whole lot of photos from that day.  I think we mostly forgot about photography and just had fun.  But, here are some photos that we did manage to snag.

Mom set up some of the pics that she had taken of the ceremony and reception and displayed them here.  There are also some leftover vanilla favors up there.  And our photo frame card box.  :)
This cake was far less expensive than the wedding cake, but somehow they were able to decorate it better -- smooth, not half-assed, doesn't look like it was done in 5 minutes before the delivery... I'm not even a big fan of frosting flowers, but the cake is pretty.  :)
This one makes me laugh because it could have been awkward.  Philip and I are sitting at a table with my high school sweetheart's parents and grandparents.  ;)
It was an absolutely beautiful fall day.  :)
Yeah, great photo right?!  I mostly just wanted to show what I was wearing that day!
My dad and his brother playing horseshoes.  :)
Technically, this was after the reception had ended, but Philip is just too cute for me not to post this.  ;)

Those paper lanterns and string lights (along with the rest of the decor) got used again at the Indiana reception.  We wanted it to look as close to the Pennsylvania reception as possible.  Mom and Dad even bought a tent (they'll get plenty of use out of it for future parties!). 

And, there you have it.  There wasn't any drama.  It wasn't formal (or even semi-formal).  It wasn't over the top.  But, it was wonderful.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Things I Wouldn't Change...

If I had to do this whole thing over again, there are some things that I would definitely keep the same.  Most importantly, my spectacular groom (of course!).  But, about the less important things:  

1.  I would definitely use a friend as the celebrant/officiant.  Jon was absolutely perfect.  Yeah, there were a few misses in the ceremony, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  It meant so much more to us to have a good friend of ours "marry" us. 

2.  I would definitely have both parents walk me down the aisle.  It meant so much to me to have both of my parents beside me as I walked down the aisle.  It was beautiful and I loved it.  

3.  I would definitely do an iPod reception.  I know a lot of people would disagree with me, but our music went flawlessly.  We got to choose all of the music for our reception and it flowed exactly as I had hoped it would.  I'm glad we spent the money on a Bose Sounddock instead of on a DJ!

4.  I would definitely do a tent reception.  Our tent was absolutely beautiful.  With it all decorated, it was just perfect.  Of course, it definitely helped that the weather was pretty good.  

5.  I would definitely still write our own ceremony.  With using a friend for our officiant, we were able to do a ceremony exactly as we wanted.  It was lovingly written exactly for us.  And, I still think it was absolutely perfect.  

6.  I would keep the same attire for everyone.  I was really happy with how everyone looked.  I especially loved my dress, but I also loved the BM dresses, the groom (and groomsmen's) attire.

7.  I would definitely go with Baby's Breath.  I was a little worried about how the Baby's Breath would look in the end, but I was really pleased.  It was beautiful, unique, and really did go with the whole feel of our wedding.

8.  I would still have our dog Jack be a part of our wedding.  I know a lot of people think I'm crazy and I know that some people have had problems with animals being involved, but I absolutely loved having him there that day.  He was a peach and didn't cause any problems.  In fact, one of my favorite memories of the ceremony is when a baby started getting fussy and Jack gave a little "huff" (like a bark under his breath) as if to tell the baby to be quiet.  It was so stinkin' cute!

9.  I would still do vanilla favors.  They were a little bit of work (and a lot of time spent waiting), but they were so beautiful.  And I loved them!  They were absolutely worth it.

There are other things that I would and wouldn't have changed, but I think these are the big ones... and the ones that people asked about the most.  

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Things I Would Have Done Differently...

With all that went wrong, I honestly wish we hadn't done a wedding.  If I did have to do it over again, I would have changed a TON.  There are lots of things that didn't go as I had hoped.  Here is a list of things that I wish I would have done differently:

1.  I would have had the wedding in Indiana.  We had the wedding in Pennsylvania so that Philip's family could come which meant that a lot of my family couldn't come.  And, then a ton of Philip's family couldn't make it anyway.  And Philip's dad and stepmom left the reception early (despite them being the whole reason we had the wedding in PA).  I wish I would have done what I wanted to do originally and just had the wedding in Indiana.  Then I could've at least had most of my family there. 

Some people think that that would be selfish because then a lot of Philip's family couldn't make it.  Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words:

That, my friends, is every single family member that I had at our wedding.  That's my dad's sister and her husband, my parents, my sister, and her boyfriend.  So, only 4 of those people are actually my blood relatives.  I know if we would have had the wedding in Indiana, at least 4 of Philip's relatives would have been able to come.  What's unfair?  Especially when you consider that I am a lot closer to my family than Philip is to his! 

2.  I wouldn't have chosen the wedding party so soon.  I let tradition guide me in choosing the ladies next to me right after we got engaged.  If I would have waited a while, I would've seen that I didn't have to choose women to stand beside me.  My sister still would have been my maid of honor, but I probably would have chosen my "big brother" Brandon and another of my guy buds to be my bride's men.  

3.  I would've made sure to express my distaste for all things pink/girly to the photographer.  I certainly made it no secret that I hated the Pepto Bysmol reception photos.  I thought that it would've been clear from the burlap and books, the creamy colors, the whole look that I went for (!) that I wasn't a pink bride.  However, I guess that it wasn't, so I wish that I would've made sure that the photographer knew not to use pink flash lighting.  And made sure that he ate dinner with us so that he wouldn't miss getting photos of the speeches!  

4. If I had to do the wedding in Pennsylvania again, I wouldn't have done it at someone's house.  It made it just too easy for people to hide in the house instead of celebrating with us in the tent.  It also left us dependent on someone else (when to break down the tent, etc.), and I hate that.  Don't get me wrong.  I am thankful that Philip's aunt and uncle opened their home to us.  I would just do it differently if I had to do over again.   

5. I would stand up for myself.  I let too many people walk over me on my wedding day.  I wish I wouldn't have been so nice.  I wish I would have said, if you can't arrive on time, you don't get photos; if people want to leave, they are welcome to do so -- the cake will be cut when it's scheduled to be cut; etc.  

6. I would remember to unbustle my train for the ceremony!  I bustled my dress for the pre-ceremony photos and the first look so that it wouldn't be in the way.  Well, when the ceremony rolled around, I completely forgot to put it down!  It's not really a big deal, but I do wish I had some photos with it down!  It really is beautiful!  

7. I would have arrived earlier than Thursday night.  We had SO much to do in basically a day and a half.  I wish we would have had more time to get everything done!  I was really stressing in the days before the wedding!  And a lot of what I had prepared didn't get used/put out (bathroom baskets, toasting flutes, etc.).   

8. I would have pushed harder to get things done on time.  Our photos were rushed because we were running behind.  Especially the first look.  Even if we were running late, I wish we would've taken our time with those.  In the end, it didn't matter that we were on time since family was late for photos anyway.   

9. I wish we wouldn't have spent so much time, money, and energy.  Yeah, it really was beautiful, but in the end, it really was just one day.  Oh well!

When I *Should* Have Had a Bridezilla Moment...

For the most part, our wedding day was incredibly happy.  I will forever cherish the memories of me walking down the aisle with my parents at my side to see my wonderful husband.  The photos of us with our wedding party will always make me smile.  And I will definitely never forget my dad wearing his tie around his head for most of our reception.  

However, there were several things that went wrong on our wedding day that weren't things that I could just forget.  I had thought about just leaving it alone and not blogging about this stuff, but this is my wedding blog and it wouldn't be honest to just leave out my true feelings.  

Our wedding ceremony was scheduled to start at 4:00pm.  All family members were supposed to arrive by 2:00pm for photos.  So, imagine my surprise when 2:30 arrived and part of Philip's family still hadn't arrived.  And then 3:00.  And then 3:30.  Still not there.

Philip continued to try to get a hold of his mom.  Finally he texted her and told her that if she didn't arrive immediately, she just wouldn't have any family portraits. Philip was embarrassed and apologizing to me that his own mother couldn't show up on time to take photos.  I was getting pissed.  

Philip's mom was actually in the last group of people to arrive at our ceremony.  Almost two hours late.  By the time she arrived we only had a few minutes to go until the ceremony started.  I was fuming so I went to finalize some things with Jon (our celebrant) while Philip explained to his mom and step-dad when they'd be walking down the aisle.

Here I am talking to Jon right before the ceremony started. 
After the ceremony, I was on cloud nine.  So we got pictures with Philip's mom and stepdad at the reception site.  When we got back to the tent, Philip's grandfather started in on us about cutting the cake.  He said that people wanted to leave so we needed to cut the cake. 

I spent months planning out our wedding day.  There was a schedule to it.  We had an ipod reception, so the music was timed based on the schedule I'd created.  So, I wanted to just tell him to tell people to leave then.  I mean, WTF?  If you want to leave an hour into the reception, why is that my problem?  But, I took a few deep breaths, found the right song on the ipod, and we cut the cake -- smiles and all.

After dinner, when we were trying to dance, Philip's family started breaking down the tables.  Mind you, the reception is still going on.  Our friends and family started leaving because they thought they were being rushed out.  We live on the other side of the country from all of the people at our wedding.  We see them very little.  So the fact that our reception was cut short  really upset me.  

After most of our guests left, Philip and I just gave up, went inside to change, and came out to help take down the decorations.   

Did we have a good time?  Yes.  The amazing thing is that through most of this, I was fine.  I was so happy about life that I just let it all slide.  It was only as we were cleaning up that I started to get angry.  And then the next day I was really irritated.  It's now been over 4 months, and I am still irritated by it. 

We spent so much time, energy, and money on that one day.  It was supposed to be one of the best days of our life.  Well, it fell flat.  Don't get me wrong.  I was totally happy that day.  I just can't look back on our wedding day without thinking about all the crap that went wrong.  I'm just glad that it's over and now I get to enjoy the rest of my life with my wonderful husband.

I guess my advice for all brides is just to try to let everything slide on your wedding day.  Just enjoy it while you can.  You've got plenty of time afterwards to think about all those irritating things that went wrong!  ;)  Kidding!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue...

I know some brides don't bother with this old tradition, but I think it's cute!  So, I actually put some thought into these.  

Something New:

This one is easy.  Most everything I wore on our wedding day was new.  So, take your pick: my dress, my veil, my shoes, my jewelry, etc.!

Pictured: Lots of new!
Something Blue:

My shoes!  I searched long and hard for these.  In the end, I kind of gave up and settled for these.  I'm happy I did though.  They were comfortable (I wore them all day AND all night!) and the wedges prevented me from getting stuck in the grass (or breaking an ankle).  

They served their purpose... plus I have worn them several times after the wedding.  :)
Something Old and Borrowed:

These two ended up combined for me.  My aunt brought me rings that belonged to my grandmother and grandfather.  My grandmother's ring fit on my right ring finger so I wore it.  My grandfather's ring didn't fit so it was placed on the stems of my bouquet (after it was wrapped in ribbon).  It served this purpose, plus it let me have some part of my grandparents there with me since they both passed away years ago. 

Grandma's Ring
Grandpa's Ring
Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the rings specifically.  I wish I would have.  Oh well.  What's done is done!  And, I can still see them in some of the pictures anyway.  

So, there you have it.  My something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.  I'm not sure that I believe in the "luck" it's supposed to bring, but I still enjoyed being a part of the tradition.  :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vendor Review: Double H Photography

We used Double H Photography of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Howie Hartman was our photographer.  It was one of the first decisions we made about the wedding (after honeymoon destination and colors).  He is friends with Philip's aunt and uncle (where we had the reception).  They recommended him and I immediately stalked his website.  Then I told my mom about him and she stalked his website, too.  ;)  

We both liked what we saw, so I contacted him.  He was very friendly.  We signed a contract shortly after and sent in our deposit.  We spoke a few times throughout the planning process but there wasn't a whole lot to plan for since the photography was already a done deal.  

Howie was absolutely wonderful to work with on the day of.  He kept us laughing and was just a lot of fun.  There was drama but Howie stuck it out and made suggestions.  I loved his photo shoot location ideas (Bube's Brewery and in front of an old warehouse).  

At the end of the night, I asked Howie how long he would need to get me the disc of finished photos.  He told me four weeks.  At the one month mark, I emailed him to see if the photos were finished.  He told me that they would be ready in a week.  Two weeks later, he emailed me to let me know that the photos would be ready in a few more days.  A week later, I emailed him to find out if the disc had been mailed yet.  He emailed me a day or so later to tell me that he'd be putting them in the mail the next day.  That was a Sunday.  They arrived on that Friday.  Eight weeks after the wedding.  

I know that eight weeks isn't really bad for pro pics, but it was double the time that I was told it would take.  And I was getting the run around while waiting.  It was just irritating.  I know that Howie was super busy, but he should also know not to take on more than he can handle (and still be able to get customers what he's promised when he's promised them).  

Since the photos took double the time they were supposed to, my standards doubled.  That's just how I roll.  The editing wasn't spectacular and that's what I had expected after double the time.  Zits and other imperfections can clearly be seen in all of our closeup shots.  

Also, Howie took his dinner into the house to eat.  I didn't really care at the time.  However, when we got our pro-pics back and there weren't any pictures of the dinner set-up or our MOH and BM toasts, I was disappointed.  

I probably would have forgiven all of that had it not been for the pink.  I spent over a year planning the wedding.  I had a clear vision of how it should have been.  The tent set-up looked exactly as I had hoped.  I spent months working out how to get the perfect romantic glow in the tent.  I thought I had achieved that.  

The pro-pics definitely didn't show that.  I was going for more rustic-chic.  I loved the creams/whites and the burlap and the candles and the paper lanterns.  I didn't appreciate having pink spewed all over them.  I wish so much that Howie would have let me know what he was doing so that I could have put the kibosh on that.  

I just hate pink and now all of our reception photos are covered in it.  I don't remember specifically telling Howie that I do not like pink.  However, I think it's something he should have mentioned before going ahead with it.  I just didn't think it would come up.  I mean, I did all the decorating so I didn't think to mention to my vendors the colors that I don't like.  

Especially since I didn't think anyone would think this:

Photo courtesy of Howie Hartman of Double H Photography.

...would scream "PINK!"  Oh, well.  Note to all brides: Make sure your photographer knows all the things that you do not want, even if you don't think they're relevant!

Anyway, this review is hard for me.  I really did like working with Howie.  He's a great guy and he's a lot of fun.  However, he did mess up our reception photos.  And he took twice the quoted time to get the photos back to me (and kept stringing me along about it).  

I give Howie 3 out of 5 stars.  His great personality is really what saved him there.  Honestly, I do recommend Howie.  Just make sure you are very clear on everything that you want from him.  And whatever time frame he gives you, double it.  ;) 

I hope that Howie will either hire some full time assistants or stop taking on more than he can handle.  It's obvious that he's taken on more than he should since he can't complete orders in the time that he's quoted (and the fact that the photos he's producing are becoming less creative -- our detail and ring shots were bland).  But, Howie has a ton of potential.  I say give him a shot. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Vendor Review: Enck's Custom Catering

We used Enck's Custom Catering in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for our reception.  They were hired to simply cater the meal.  

I am SO glad that we chose them.  The food was fantastic and they went FAR above and beyond what they were hired to do.  

There were two people working the event.  They weren't responsible for cleaning up (beyond their chafing dishes and whatnot), but they cleared tables.  They even went around and refreshed drinks.  And, they stayed and cut/served the cake.  

They were so friendly and just wonderful.  Before they left for the evening, they were sure to find and congratulate Philip and I.  They truly did go above and beyond what I expected of them.

Unfortunately, I have very few photos of dinner.  This one was taken by my mom.  We were seriously enjoying it!
But, it wasn't just the servers who were fantastic.  The food truly was fabulous.  I was a bit concerned about the buffet.  I mean, come on.  Who hasn't been to a buffet that was awful?  With the cardboard meats and flavorless vegetables?  

I didn't have to worry a bit.  The meats (stuffed chicken breasts and roast beef) were moist and delicious.  The vegetables were seasoned perfectly.  The salad bar was filled with salads that actually tasted good and the dinner rolls were awesome!  The punch is all that I drank all night!  And, to top that all off the appetizers were great.

Basically, I cannot recommend Enck's enough.  They were perfect.  I give them 6 out of 5 stars... they were that good!  I definitely encourage everyone to use Enck's.  You won't regret it!

Vendor Review: Hess Tent Rental

** Sorry, folks.  This one was supposed to have been published last week, but for some reason it didn't show up!  I just caught it tonight.  **

We used Hess Tent Rental in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for all of our rental needs: the tent, the tables, and the chairs.  

I could not have been more pleased with them.  The tent was beautiful.  I wasn't there, but apparently the set-up was really quick.  The tables and chairs were in perfect condition.  And, Mike Hess was really great to work with.  

Also, after a LOT of research, I found that Hess is also one of the most reasonable rental places in the area.  They have the cheapest tents (for the most part) in the Lancaster area and they also do other rental items besides tents (tables, chairs, lighting, portapotties, decor, etc.).  Their tables and chairs weren't the cheapest place I found, but it was worth a little extra to get a reasonable tent and have the tables and chairs coming from the same place.  

I definitely do not regret it.  The tent was gorgeous.  The chairs were perfection.  The tables were covered, of course, but they were in great condition.  Everything looked exactly as I hoped it would.  

I never had any problems with Hess Tent Rental.  They were a dream to work with.  So, I highly recommend them.  

I give Hess Tent Rental 5 out of 5 stars.  I can't think of any complaints.  You can use them without any worry.  :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Vendor Review: The Flour Child

We used The Flour Child in Columbia, Pennsylvania for our groom's cake and our wedding cake.  

Groom's Cake: 
I wanted a 3D R2D2 cake for Philip because he loves Star Wars.  I thought that the cake looked pretty good.  It really did look like R2D2.  It wasn't as smooth as I had hoped, but it definitely did the trick. 

However, I thought the cake itself was not good.  The cake tasted like it was over a week old.  It was dried out and didn't have a good flavor.  I also requested that she use as little frosting as possible because Philip doesn't like frosting very much.  Well, it had a TON of frosting.  

I was disappointed, but I knew that this cake was more complicated than our wedding cake and probably took a lot of time.  So, I just hoped for the best for our wedding cake.

Wedding Cake: 
First off, let me give you an idea of the kind of cake that I had requested.  I told Alixe that I wanted a square, three tier cake.  I wanted it to be smooth and sleek.  I wanted navy ribbon around the bottoms of each layer.  And next to that, I wanted big, creamy pearls (I used pearls in lots of places in the wedding).  I even sent her some sample photos of what I was looking for (all courtesy of The Knot).  

The ribbon (but in navy) and the smooth texture.
Again, smooth and this time with creamy pearls. 
This time square with ribbon.

She told me she understood and I believed her.  I had confidence that she'd deliver the cake that I wanted.  After all, I think it's actually a pretty simply cake.  

However, I was seriously disappointed to walk into our reception during the cocktail hour and find this:

That cake is not smooth and sleek.  The layers were lumpy and not even (you can even see that from a distance in the pictures!).  Yes, that cake is square, but the edges were not sharp -- they were wavy.  And the pearls were not pearls at all.  They were almost nonexistent which probably would have been better than the sloppy mess that they pretended were "pearls."  

Here, you can see what I'm talking about.  There are tiny little dots along the edge of the ribbon (NOT pearls).  And they were so sloppily done that most of them had tails.  You can also see that the ribbon was put on so poorly that it's squishing the cake out over the top of it.  You can also see what I mean about it not being smooth/sleek.  

This is an actual screenshot from The Flour Child's Flickr Gallery of our cake.  Even in the photo that they chose to display shows all the imperfections and crappy pearls. 
Thankfully Howie was able to get a few good shots of the cake that make it seem like it might have been pretty... But it wasn't.  It was not what I asked for and I am honestly surprised that they thought it was acceptable.  

What they gave me was not a professional grade cake.  I am an amateur and I could have made this cake.  I honestly feel confident that I could have definitely made the pearls much better than that!

The wedding cake did taste better than the groom's cake, but I still didn't think it was a good cake.  And a lot of our guests agreed with me on that.  

So, in light of all of that, I do NOT recommend The Flour Child.  Alixe was pretty good to work with in the months before the wedding (her communication was lacking towards the end but she said it was because she had a TON of weddings going on at the time -- I think that she seriously overextended herself and it showed in her work!), but her actual work left a LOT to be desired.  

I give The Flour Child 2.5 stars out of 5.  They do not get a passing grade from me.  I guess I shouldn't have looked at so many cakes online and watched so many cake decorating shows before the wedding!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...