Our 7/15/06 Review: CLM, Artisan, Niteflight, National Floral, Angel Eyes, Bridal Reflections, Phyllis & More!
Pre-Church Mini-Rehearsal Dinner w/ Parents & FIL’s only:
GOCCIA D'ORO - LINDENHURST—Yummy Eats!
Wow, the food was excellent, the service was wonderful and the price was good. We went with both sets of parents before our church rehearsal a week before our wedding. They were very attentive and give you warm bread and bruscetta(sp?) on the table. The menu had many choices at reasonable prices. We couldn’t believe when we looked at the watch and it was already 7:30—the time for the rehearsal, we had to pass up the delicious desserts, but will definitely be going back. Two thumbs up!
REHEARSAL DINNER: WANTAGH INN: A+ Great job
This was a place that FH has been going to for dinner since he was small. We had a nice private room upstairs (my shower was also held here) and the food is always great. The tables were round & service was great. We had 3 choices for the entrée and salad and bread on the tables. Price was reasonable (I believe in-laws paid about 30. a person—I think).
My shower was also here & they did a great job (good eats, great service, good environment)
It was everything I could ask for….sunny, warm (but not too hot) & in the afternoon while taking pictures we had a 10-minute sprinkle. Then once we got to CLM the weather was cooler with NO humidity.
Hair: HAIR DESIGNS BY CHRISTINE 631-877-9412 A+
I’m so thankful to cherryj24 after months of trying to find a hair person either to come to me (far out on LI & only to do my hair) I gave up and started calling salons but was rudely told their “regular clients” have the early am appointments, it was 3 months b4 the wedding & I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. Annie referred me to Christine & she rocks.
I had my trial w/ Christine with an idea in mind, she actually did 2 different styles and I LOVED the end result.
Day of: Christine arrived at my parents’ house about 10 minutes early & set up & she was so great. She spent a little over an hour on my hair and it turned out EXACTLY how I wanted it & it stayed all day. She kept me calm and helped my dad with his suspenders and boutonniere. HIGHLY recommend her! She did my mom’s hair as well (no trial) & no pictures (& it was just what my mom was hoping for).
MAKE-UP: DENISE OF ANGEL EYES. 516-241-9805 A+
Denise has been wonderful from the first time I called her. She was so sweet and truly knew her stuff. She is professional and open to any suggestions. She was also gracious enough to do my mom’s make-up also at the last minute.
Denise was terrific. She was on time and set-up & got right down to work. She did my airbrush make-up and fake lashes—the little separate ones (no problems even w/ my sensitive eyes). It stayed all day & all I had to add was lipstick (when I remembered). She’s the sweetest person ever & told the greatest stories, she had us all laughing.
Only semi-negative is I felt the lipstick color was a bit light so I had used mine to compliment it.
FLOWERS: NATIONAL FLORAL 800-752-6844
Anna has been nothing but great from the minute we first walked in. She was professional and showed us the different flowers we were considering. The cp she made up was just what we were looking for, with a few minor changes.
To be completely honest our flowers was the one area I was a little bit concerned, there were some mixed reviews in recent months and we were a tad concerned. HOWEVER, the day of our flowers arrived (early) & we were blown away. We had changed up my bo-k (adding stephinapolis(?) & making it a bit bigger & it was JUST how I pictured it. The boutonnieres stayed fresh all day (we had even ordered an extra one for FH in the heat—but it lasted all day). The girls’ bo-k’s were great & our cp’s were just as we ordered. They were in square vases & were not blocking people’s views at the table and they had scattered rose petals on all the tables.
Our one glitch of the day was the limo guy forgot to put the church altar piece in the car from the groom’s house, so we didn’t have it until CLM, but it was fresh and w/ our colors and it looked great.
If you are using National Floral, rest assured you have nothing to worry about, Anna knows her stuff & you will get just what you ask for. If you have concerns, just be VERY specific in your contract.
PHOTOGRAPHER: ARTISAN www.artisanphotogroup.com A+++
We had such a good vibe from Chuck (& Lynn) from the very first time we sat with him. We did do a lot of research before meeting with him, but we booked with him after our first meeting (w/o seeing any other photographers). Chuck was just so personable and his work spoke for itself.
OMG we were blown away with our proofs…we had over 1150 proofs to choose from and one was better than the last. We cannot begin to say enough exceptional things about Chuck (& Noah). They arrived early (at both our parent’s houses), were professional and got right down to work setting up shots. The eye they both have is truly a gift. They also caught so many pictures truly showing our feelings for one another, very touching.
We had so many artistic shots and we had a few little ones in our wedding party that were unpredictable at best, but Chuck worked maybe not getting the shot he planned but getting other even more imaginative shots. Chuck’s work speaks for itself.
We decided to add a 2nd photographer & it was the best thing we did. Noah & Chuck worked as a team throughout the 13-hour day. Noah was getting those more photojournalistic shots and there were many times we’d turn around and Noah was sprawled out on the floor or above us.
Not only are we having a ridiculously hard time narrowing down the spectacular shots for our album, but Chuck’s personality was so comforting. He learned the bp’s names and would address people by their names instead of saying “you on the end.” He was very unobtrusive and I remember many times at the reception asking Ray if Chuck was still there b/c they were so non-“in your face.” We had nothing to worry about b/c we got countless pictures from our reception.
I cannot say enough great things about Artisan.
They always did the most creative shots, this is our rb looking at our programs
I love this one of our fg bored in church
He was able to get this cute shot of my doggie watching me
Leaving my house
I love this one of the guys going into the church
The rose petal toss
I love this one of the guys
Reflection off the limo window
My fgs making a wish
Kiddos running to us
I call this the GQ shot of Ray
I love this shot
Me & my daddy
VIDEOGRAPHER: ARTISAN A+
We only saw our unedited video, but there were so many things Richie caught that we didn’t realize/remember even happened. He truly caught the real feeling of the day & we didn’t even realize he was there.
More when we get our edited version.
BAND: NITEFLIGHT 631-586-7082 A++
They rocked the house. It’s nearly a month later and people are still telling us our band was awesome. They truly knew how to work the crowd and saw what worked. We didn’t even realize when they took breaks because there were so few and music was always playing. They had such a wide range of songs that they played. We asked for a few country songs and they sounded great. The dance floor was crowded the entire night.
They were wonderful to work with from the time we saw them and booked them. Karl was great and answered any questions we had and went through the entire night the week before the wedding so he was sure we knew what we were looking for. Dennis was fabulous.
Only semi-negative is my dad asked if they could lower the volume a notch b/c it was hard for people to talk at the tables and they kept the volume up—but it’s a wedding & people were dancing & enjoying themselves.
Cin getting down w/ the LIW girls & Dennis from Niteflight
Ray & the guys singing to Sweet Caroline
LIMOS: CRUISE CONTROL A+
Although we initially ordered the Escalade and Chrysler 300 stretch for 4 hours, we found out our church time was going to be pushed up to 1pm & had to add 2 hours to the limos. We found out the Escalade was no longer available, so we switched to the Hummer (something Ray wanted from the start actually). The price was steep to go up the two hours, but you get what you pay for…
The Chrysler arrived at my parents’ house 30 minutes early and told us to take our time. I forgot our driver’s name but he was very friendly. The limo was spotless and looked freshly washed. We got to the church with time to spare and I was a little upset b/c he didn’t play the “Here Comes the Bride” horn L although I asked him. There was soda and champagne in the car, but no water (I was afraid to drink the soda b/c I didn’t want it to spill). The driver actually bought water for me during the mass so we had it when we got back in the car (very nice).
We pulled up and Chuck was asking me to roll down the window but it was locked & our limo driver was outside. He then came in and unlocked the window and it was fine. He was also a life-saver b/c I had issues w/ my sleeves “popping off” due to the Velcro and he and my dad re-secured the sleeve minutes b4 I walked down the aisle using safety pins. He was very helpful.
The Hummer was just as clean and fit all the guys, Ray & his parents and all the girls & kids! The drivers knew where they were going, were both very friendly and helpful in getting people out of the cars.
The Hummer at Ray's parents' house
Us leaving the church
TUXEDOS: S&S HICKSVILLE A+
Ray had used them for his prom and for all his cousins’ weddings and they did not disappoint. They were helpful and spent time with us deciding on exact colors to match the girls’ dresses and DH’s shirt so it wouldn’t make my diamond white dress look less than perfect. They have a huge selection and FH ended up choosing a Joseph Abboud tuxedo, a designer not many shops carry for rentals.
All the tuxes fit the guys perfectly and showed up REALLY nice in the pictures. The shop has late hours on Thursday and is centrally located in Hicksville so it was easy to get to. They also allowed for any OOT guys to send in their measurements.
BRIDAL GOWN: PHYLLIS AT GOWNFIND.COM--BRIDAL ELEGANCE (fm me for details)
BRIDESMAID DRESSES: PHYLLIS
I'll write more about this later!!!.........
BM DRESSES: BRIDAL REFLECTIONS A-
We ended up ordering through Bridal Reflections 7 days before my wedding. The dresses came in rushed the following Tuesday (4 days before my wedding) and they fit my girls in for fitting the next day. The girls picked up their dresses on Friday. They were wonderful in that they fit my girls in and were willing to do the rush order, however, the alterations were okay at best.
Again I understand it was all very rushed and the time could not be spent the same as if they ordered it on a regular basis, but 3 of the 4 girls felt uncomfortable. The tops of the dress in the front layed weird, sticking out from their chests. YET I was just thrilled we had the BM dress I had originally wanted and they look wonderful in the pictures.
Here you can see the dress is out from their chest
BRIDAL SHOES: A+ www.shoebuy.com.
They were wonderful and had a huge selection. I received them quickly and the first time I had to reorder a different width and they provide you with return packaging/label and I received the new shoes days later.
BRIDAL & BM JEWELRY: A+ www.jewelryonmymind.com
I had found this wonderful site for jewelry and then when my computer crashed, I lost it, I searched & searched and thankfully kittythestray somehow found this site. I promptly ordered my wedding necklace/earrings, my MOH’s set and bracelets for my girls. The jewelry was neatly packaged, sent promptly and of high quality. Patty was so friendly and personable.
My MOH's necklace & earrings
www.creme-de-luxe.com : A+
I ordered my bm’s earrings and my bridal bracelet in a light sapphire blue. The jewelry was beautiful and arrived quickly. LOVED my bracelet
HCC GARTERS: A+ http://www.hand-craftedcreations.com/
Joanne is a fellow-past LI girl herself and said she loves to help her LI girls out. Anytime I sent an email she responded immediately. I wanted to create a special garter for Ray and I decided on a blue camouflage garter with a little 18-wheeler truck hanging.
She has a huge selection and will do custom orders. Check her out!
UNDERGARMENTS: GEORGETTES A-
I went with my FMIL and we got there at a bad time & had to wait about an hour and a half, but let me say these ladies know their stuff. They measured me and informed me I had been wearing the wrong bra size. They fitted me and I ended up with a strapless bra that actually supported me for my wedding dress (I decided to go w/o the long line b/c my dress has a corset back and I didn’t want to be uncomfortable and more hot than I had to).
WELL after seeing myself in the dress for the fitting, I decided to go w/ a long line bra that supported me properly so I decided to return the expensive bra to Georgettes and they took it back (no receipt) for store credit, no questions asked. I'm also not sure on the resizing issue....
TABLE CAMERAS: ecameras.com B-
I was a bit hesitant after placing the order because a number of people told me I should have ordered Kodak or Fuji & not the wedding cameras I did buy at $3.75 each.
Looking more closely at the cameras afterwards it appears they reuse the plastic on the cameras and just add new film inside (I guess how they keep the cost so low).
After getting back most of the pictures I think I would have went w/ Fuji or Kodak or may have not done this at all. MOST of the pictures were taken from far away and are dark. Also although the cameras had 27 pictures the most developable pics we got was 20, most were 15. VERY few tables followed the directions in the scavenger hunt so I have most pictures of us doing “reception stuff”, first dance, cutting the cake, etc.
We do, however, have a bunch of the guests having fun and this was a good part.
TIARA: BARRONS AT TRI-COUNTY A+
I had bought a tiara off e-bay but once receiving it I realized it looked the 30. that it was. I had never been to Tri County before and was amazed at the selection of tiaras and veils and hair jewelry that Barron’s had. The girl spent time with me trying on different tiaras and I finally ended up choosing one that would bring out the flower design in my dress. The price was a little under $100 and she informed me they could add Velcro (to add the veil) or hair combs to the sides to make it easier to attach to my hair. There was also a 2-week exchange/return policy.
One of my flower girls also got small headpieces from here, very cute.
HAIR PINS: DEBBIE'S SWEET ART A http://www.debbiebone.co.uk/Tiara1.html
I ordered heart hairpins through them, although the shipping was a bit steep being that they are based in London. The pins were pretty and what I was looking for, but I’m sure I could have found them locally. Overall the service was great, they answered emails quickly and I received order promptly. The site also has tiaras, bracelets and headbands.
MY VEIL: Fellow LIW bride: Nov04Libride (TOO SWEET)
I bought my veil from Beth (she basically gave it away) and it was beautiful. It was just what I was looking for. Gotta love those LIW girls J
SLIP: E-BAY SELLER: angelsbridal A+
I got a simple A-line crinoline slip which went perfect with my dress. Received the order promptly, was reasonable ($25)
RING BEARER PILLOW: Wrapwithus.com A+
They have such great stuff there. I got the pillow for $10, was just what we were looking for. I also got my bride rhinestones to make my bride shirt.
CARD BOX: DH A++++
FH & I decided to do the cardbox by ourselves & it wasn’t easy, but the finish product came out really nice. We got the lazy Susan from doityourselfwarehouse.com and the frames from Michaels and FH put it together. FH did a wonderful job of putting it all together.
This was when it was almost done (no pics from wedding day)
PROGRAMS: (made myself with help from DH’s cousin) A+ to Jim (Ray’s cousin)
We used cardstock paper and DH’s cousin helped to line it all up and print them out for us.
INVITATIONS: INVITATIONS & CALLIGRAPHY BY DAWN A+
We had looked online at a number of invites and finally decided on something fairly simple and the blue matched our color almost perfectly. I had placed the order on a Thursday afternoon through Dawn (she has a number of invite books to look through and spent some time going over the various type fonts and colors and carefully reviewed our wording). We got an email on Tuesday saying they had come in (5 days later!). The invites turned out perfectly, the ink matched the blue on the invite; and everything was just as we had hoped. Best of all was how quick they came in and we did not have to pay extra for the quick shipping.
CALLIGRAPHY: DAWN: A+
Dawn in addition to ordering the invites also does calligraphy on the envelopes. For $1.25 per both envelopes (outer & inner)we decided this was the best way to go (originally I was going to print them on our home printer, but kept hearing horror stories of jams and torn envelopes and figured it was money well spent (we actually paid $1.50 per because we used colored ink). Again I had given her my list on Sunday night and she had the list completely done by Wednesday afternoon. VERY quick and they turned out awesome. Dawn is located in Lindenhurst and has been doing this for over 15 years.
RINGS: IANELLI JEWELERS DIAMOND DISTRICT A++
We’ve been going to them for years and they are friendly, knowledgeable jewelers. They spent over 3 hours with us looking at various diamonds for the engagement ring and then had a major selection for the settings. Our appraiser only confirmed our high regards for our jeweler when she said he set the ring perfectly and securely and really knows his stuff.
We selected our wedding bands about 8 months before the wedding and they came through with a custom band for FH who truly wanted some type of claddagh ring, although not necessarily the standard one.
Ray's everyday ring
Ray's dressy ring
DANCE LESSONS: CRYSTAL DANCE STUDIO - West Islip, (631) 422-4456: A
Thanks to leighdvm & her recommendation we tried Crystal. They were great & very reasonable ($100 for 5 private lessons & 5 group). The instructor was great and we both have 2 left feet. She made it all easy for us. We didn't do the 5 group lessons though. I’d definitely recommend them.
I bought the paper from Michaels and then printed the menus myself.
WEDDING CAKE: BLACK FOREST, LINDENHURST A+
We’ve had cakes from them before for showers/christenings and they have always been delicious.
The cake was JUST what we asked for, although looking at the pictures now I think I wouldn’t have done the monogram topper and would have put the WE DO letters on another table. We met with Tommy Lorch personally though (fresh from the kitchen, flour and all) and he was friendly and helpful and we were in/out in 20 minutes. We decided on a vanilla cake, cannoli filling and buttercream icing and Ray’s suggestion/request of “a lot of roses”. Cake was DELICIOUS!
Church: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Lindenhurst, NY A+
We had a roller coaster ride with the church situation, which didn’t rectify itself until 3 months before our wedding, very stressful. As some of you know I was married before for a short time, in my younger days, and I had decided to get an annulment. It seems no matter what we did the diocese/tribunal wanted more from us. We finally got the letter granting the annulment mid-April. Then we had to kick everything into high gear (we obviously had our hall/vendors booked---we did have a back-up plan at an Episcopal church if it didn’t go through in time) but we then had to jump on ordering invites and set up pre-cana.
I have to say that OLPH and Monsignor Hamilton was very helpful throughout our engagement. He kept assuring us that the annulment will work out and he’d work with us, even if we heard a few months before (which was the case). Unfortunately we could not get the 3pm time slot we had hoped for so 3 months before we had to rearrange our limos, make-up person and photographer to make everything earlier.
Wedding day Monsignor Hamilton met me outside the church (I thought to tell me to hurry up) but he asked me how I felt and said it’s our big day. My strap had come off at this point and he said to relax, it happens, it’ll be fixed in no time and said I should come inside where it was cooler. The mass was wonderful although at one point his homily went on & on. Pretty church & with AC!
Which leads us to: Chateau La Mer
CHATEAU LA MER A+++++++++
CLM was virtually unknown when I signed onto LIW in 2003, CLM brides were few & far between. I had attended a wedding there in 1997 & said if I get married I’m definitely going to check them out. Well, they made a number of changes since then and thanks to the wonderful reviews of MrsWask we decided to book them after Nick sold us the first time we checked them out & the food tasting spoke for itself.
I do want to say that although now they are one of the top spots of LIW girls, they have not gotten too big for themselves. They pride themselves on top-notch service & food and I don’t think this will ever change.
They made our day! From the moment the limo pulled up and Nick was outside to greet us and congratulate us it was fabulous. Nick had some food for the parents and bp in the chapel downstairs (b/c we arrived early to take pictures) and he hurried to get drinks to us. My bridal attendant was Kristen who may have been new(?) but she worked hard to always be beside me and was getting us drinks throughout the night and in the pictures you can see her beside our table all night.
CLM looked amazing. We had the atrium room and it looked beautiful. We took pictures on the deck beforehand and with the palm trees I swear our pictures look like we were in the Caribbean.
Arriving by boat was a highlight for us (& our guests). Ray and I were whisked away about 10 minutes into our cocktail hour (w/ our photographer & Kristen) and took a slow cruise around the bay. It was so nice because Ray and I were able to spend quality, quiet time together and it was a beautiful night. Our photographer got such wonderful shots. We had champagne and then headed in and our guests greeted us w/ ribbon wands (although it wasn’t how I pictured it). Guests were surprised by how we arrived and still talk about it.
The CH had more food than you can imagine. One of our guests is the chef at the Palm and came over from Italy 30 years ago and he’s not very free w/ his compliments on food and he was raving about it. He said he’s never been to a wedding with food like that. We got the raw bar and unlimited shrimp and it was a huge hit (although Ray & I didn’t have a chance to taste anything L) The stations were also spread out so there was never a line for food which was great.
The guests were greeted with mixed drinks and we had a signature drink (we called it the Polski Brunkhorst, but it was the blue drinks from the WOTY).
The service was above & beyond, if you got up your napkin was refolded. Ray & I had full glasses all night. We had a platter w/ all 4 choices (chateau briand, Chilean sea bass, chicken cordon bleu and the salmon)….YUM! I was glad Ray made us sit down and eat dinner. A few of our guests took them up on their offer of seconds. The bartenders were friendly and helpful and accommodating. Our parents have had countless guests call & say it was the best wedding they've been to. People couldn't get over the food, the service & the view.
Nick was our maitre'd & you can tell how much he enjoys his job. You would think that week after week of doing this he would be cynical or just go through the motions, but it seems that every wedding is his first. He gives 110% of himself to each and every wedding. We never got over Nick knowing us by face & wedding date EVERY time we stepped into CLM (WOTY & all). Nick made sure his staff was doing exactly what they should be doing & kept them on time all night. We love Nick!!!!!!
The food was excellent only to be surpassed by the service and the view. Anyone getting married here you can rest easy, you are in VERY good hands. If you are thinking of getting married here, do it!
MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE: CARNIVAL LIBERTY A+
We decided to book through Carnival b/c they were convenient leaving on the Tuesday after our wedding (all the others had left on our wedding day & we didn’t want to wait 2 weeks). The ship was 2 years old and very pretty, laid out like their other big ships (Conquest & Victory). We’ve sailed Carnival b4 & always had great service, however, perhaps it was a newer crew but the friendliness and service wasn’t what it usually is. We loved our cruise director John Heald though and we were even featured on his morning show (including a wedding picture of us & later sent us champagne) & then we got onto the Marriage Show (where Ray proposed to me all over again). The ports were fabulous: Rome, Venice, Naples, Florence, Barcelona, Croatia—a surprisingly great port, Cannes/Monte Carlo and Sicily. We saw so much and met a few great couples (beforehand on cruisecritic.com) that we plan on staying in touch with, including another honeymoon couple from Australia.
6 DAYS IN IRELAND: CIE SELF-DRIVE TOUR A
This was the way to see Ireland. We rented a car and drove from Dublin down the Southern Coast making stops in Kinsale and Waterford and Blarney and then heading up to Galway and working our way back down through Dingle and the Cliffs of Moher. We got to stop where we wanted and never got tired of the massive sky (it also didn’t get dark until 10 or 11pm) and the green, green countryside. We stayed at different B&B’s every night booking in some cases that day, although it was the week of the Galway races and it was rough getting accommodations in that area. We did find rooms every night though and met some sweet, friendly people. We did get tired of the full Irish breakfast though by day 2 (too much meat!)
Due to my stressing over the wedding (& bm issues & also the cruise portion of our hm), I sort of neglected this 2nd part of our hm leaving it to dh, so I wasn't as diligent. We sort of rushed to get to the places we wanted to see, so by Thursday morning we went everywhere we wanted to resulting in a boring Thurs/Fri. & Sat. a.m. hanging around the Shannon area. By the end of the week I was ready to come home….
The Amalfi Coast outside of Positano
Me in Dubrovnik, Croatia, walking the walls
Sporting my hoodie
Ray holding up Pisa
Our lunchen spot in Venice
Inside the Sistine Chapel
This is a picture of the TV of the marriage show Ray & I were on, on the cruise
Our first formal night on the cruise
Smoking Mt. Etna in Sicily
Us lunching in Dubrovnik, Croatia w/ our friends from NC (met them on ship)
The hanging monkey in our cabin
David in Full Glory
Posing in Southern France
Cindy & Ray at the Tower of Pisa
At the ruins of Pompeii
In St. Peter's Square at the Vatican
On a gondola in Venice
Outside of Cannes France
Hanging by the pool
On our balcony at sunset one night
One of the many canals in Venice
Amalfi Coast Views
Our lunch in Venice
Our gondolier William
Stairs in Dubrovnik
Barcelona Gaudi Church
Views from Dubrovnik
Starting our hm on the Liberty
Our Ireland portion of the HM
At Blarney Castle
Relaxing in Kinsale
Message edited 8/26/2006 11:33:48 AM.