Monday, January 25, 2010

How They Stacked Up

Okay, so as much as I'd like to get to the fun stuff (how the day went, pics, etc) I am still awaiting many, many pictures. I feel rating our vendors is a good place to start because I remember being a new Disney-Bride-To-Be and feeling completely lost and worrying way too much about who I should use for what...

I know I am going to miss someone, but I'll do my best and add on later if I miss anyone/anything.

Disney Coordinator: Kristi Davis = A

While I would like to give her an A+, because I really liked her and thought she was incredibly helpful, I think she was just doing what she did best and is great with everyone. I think I would've been completely fine in the hands of someone else here (this seems to be a theme amongst the Disney Wedding Staff), but still am very happy with who I got! Very friendly, easy to work with, great ideas, and knows her stuff. Anyone who gets her as their coordinator will really enjoy her. Frank and I actually felt a little sad when we were "passed off" to our planner!

Disney Planner: Michelle Wenzler = A

Again, probably deserves an A+, but I'm going to stick to the A for a few reasons. Frank and I had very little problems with Michelle. She was wonderful, great sense of humor (much needed for my new husband and his somewhat crazy ideas!), professional, great communicator, and did a remarkable job the day of the wedding. We had a bit of a difficult time getting a hold of her, however, the two weeks prior to our wedding (the holidays). Michelle, and everyone else in charge of our wedding, was "out of the office." It was quite frustrating in this time of panic to not be able to get into contact with the person who was supposed to be telling us what to do! In the end, Michelle was amazing, and things went better than I could have dreamed. We had so much fun and didn't have to think about a thing. Everything flowed seamlessly and that is much credited to Michelle and her "helpers." Anyone in Michelle's hands should thank their lucky stars! Absolutely wonderful! If (WHEN!) we do a Disney Vow Renewal, we will request Michelle. We understand this doesn't always work out, but who knows... maybe Disney will work some magic!

Disney Florist: Rose Dizon = B+

Pros: Flowers were gorgeous. She is amazing at what she does. She comes fully prepared for all decor needs. She is also adorably cute. :)

Cons: Much slower to respond to questions. Too many bouquets arrived, which we were charged for. Apparently she never changed her bridesmaid count. It wasn't THAT much money, so we weren't entirely concerned, but she was given a final count of bouquets needed and it was her job to change it. She was also MIA in the weeks leading up to our wedding.

Still, I would absolutely love to work with her again, because despite all of this she knows what she's doing!

Videographer: Stan Severance = A+

I'm going to be honest. When we started this wedding process neither Frank, nor myself was keen on the idea of a videographer. I thought he would be in the way, I'd feel awkward, etc, etc. Let me tell you, Stan was wonderful!!! Both Frank and myself just loved him. We have only seen his preview video as of now, which is wonderful, but we really can't wait to see everything!!! I wish I could live the day over and over again, and this is probably the closest I will get!!! I highly recommend Stan. He is great at his job and he comes with a great perk... he can snag his clients reservations at Club 33 in Disneyland! While Frank is the big Disney fan in our family, even I admit to being extremely curious about what it is like inside the confines of this uber-private club.

Photographer A: Randy Chapman = ???

Since I haven't seen any of Randy's work, it is difficult to give him a grade. We thought he was very nice, and he really moved things along smoothly... I just don't know... Very nice guy, but I almost felt like he was "working" and it wasn't something he "enjoyed." I'm sure his pictures will prove me wrong, but everything felt so rehearsed and uncreative. Since most people really, really like him, I'm trying my best to be optimistic. We shall see... His packages with Stan (the videographer) are a great bargain, if you're interested in both. They work very well as a team and are both extremely familiar with Disney Weddings.

Photographer B: Robin McQuay Anderson = A+

Fun. Timely. Professional. Creative. Robin really, really knows what she's doing... and LOVES it!!! We found her via her husband, Bishop Ian Anderson, totally by accident. We had gone to their house to meet him and there were these beautifully crafted photo albums sitting out on their coffee table. I picked one up to look at it and unfolded these gorgeous, bright, and creative pictures of her family. Ian explained to us that his wife was a photographer, and the rest was history. They are a fun, fun couple. A complete pleasure to work with, and absolutely good at what they do. We hired her for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, but when we received our DVD of pictures (Already! Amazingly quick!) it had many, many beautiful shots of the wedding as well. :) Such a wonderful, sweet woman. I can't say enough great things about her or her husband, and Frank and I plan to use them both again for Vow Renewals, children sessions, etc.

Officiant: Bishop Ian Anderson = A+++

I don't know where Frank found this man, but I am so glad he did! He had a GREAT sense of humor, and did everything we asked for and more. Completely professional, and Frank and I highly, highly recommend him. There was minimal work on our part; he was completely prepared. We really enjoyed their family, as did our guests.

Hair & Makeup: Patricia LeJeune = A+++

There are absolutely no words I can say to describe how pleased I was with Patricia. She worked quickly and flawlessly, is beautiful inside and out, and was just wonderful. She was by far the most calming person in the room, often making me giggle when something stressful occurred. Choosing Patricia was one of the best overall decisions I made in this wedding. Highly, highly recommended.

Photo booth: Tish with Party Booths = A

This was one of the things I was most concerned about. Frank and I went back and forth on whether we thought it was a scam or it was real. We had to pay everything up front so far in advance... and out of Vegas?!?! We honestly didn't think a photo booth would even show up and we would be out the money. To our surprise, this large and wonderful booth showed up and manning it was this bubbly little thing: Tish. Upbeat and fun, we have an amazing scrapbook that Tish assisted the guests in putting together for us. The guests loved the photo booth, I loved the photo booth... Even Frank admitted he kind of like the photo booth. Again, highly recommended and totally worth it! The pictures aren't up forever, but if you'd like to catch a peek click here, the password is jennyandfrank.

Floral Preservation: Keepsake Floral = ???

I can't grade them yet for their work, but they have been extremely helpful and easy to deal with! I will take some pictures and give them a full grade when I get the flowers back. :)

Gown Preservation: Wedding Gown Preservation Co. = ???

N/A at the moment!

I know there are people/things that I am forgetting, but they'll come to me. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hello from Mrs. Podesta!

It has been months since I stopped posting on here, I know, but I was starting to give a bit too many details away of some of the surprises that were in store for our wedding!! I was finding it incredibly difficult to keep my trap shut. :) So I stopped... but I won't leave anyone hanging! I'll post some pictures as they come in, and do the whole "rate the vendor" thing. :)

I first must say, Frank and I had SO much fun at our wedding that we are already beginning the process of planning our 5 year vow renewals. Well... let me correct that... IIIII am in the process of planning it, he just said I could. :) Hehe. I can't wait to have another day of having everyone together, and watching the looks on their faces as the surprises unfold. Our day was full of endless surprises, love, and FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

Sadly, our honeymoon was scrapped the day we were supposed to leave. Flights were delayed, then cancelled... next thing we knew we would only have 3 1/2 days in Morocco, which didn't really make a lot of sense since the flight takes almost that long!!! I was quite bummed, and still am, but we just stayed and took the opportunity to spend some QT with my family who was staying the week following the wedding. It was great to play with my niece and nephews and watch my grandparents on their first visit to WDW. Another bummer, though, is that we all ended up sick. Big. Bummer. VERY SICK. In fact, I'm still recovering and just cannot find the energy to deal with pictures and videos right now!!! But to give you a little taste of our big day, please check out this link and this link (click on Jennifer and Frank)!!

More to come!


Friday, September 4, 2009

Planning Session

So, the wedding planning session was amazing. First, the organization of the planning staff there is phenomenal. They don't miss a thing and make you feel so comfortable. It took us about an hour and a half to go over literally every single little detail of the ceremony, reception, and dessert party. We got to do a cake tasting in the middle of the session. I wish I'd gotten a picture of it, it was so cute how they had it all set up. They had four different kinds of cake cut into little oval shapes (chocolate, vanilla, almond, and marble), and eight different frosting/filling flavors (butter cream, chocolate, amaretto, baileys, hazelnut, raspberry, one I can't remember and some kind of mango or pineapple or something). They were all so good, and I just knew I'd pick chocolate but we ended up with the almond! It was so moist and dense. Mmmm... I'm not typically a cake person, but it was SO good. We are having that with amaretto filling. Two flavors that are typically not my first picks! After the cake tasting, floral picking, and decor decisions were made, we had about an hour before we were supposed to go to the Grand Floridian Kitchen to try out our food selections! Frank, stupidly, went and got a personal pizza... a decision he would later regret tremendously!

When we arrived at the Convention Center, we were greeted by this!

That's us!!! We then met up with Michelle's (our planner) assistant, who took us into the kitchen.

We really didn't have a clue what to expect. We all had agreed that they'd have little samples out for us to try... you know, little bite size cups or plates or something. We really couldn't have anticipated what is about to follow. This was the first dish that EACH (three people) of us received to eat... yes, one plate per person! It was mushroom ravioli and was absolutely delicious.

The next one was Tomato Carpaccio, which we was the only thing we will not be having. It was really good, but the highlight was the cheese. It was so good that we asked that they could add it to our cheese display for the pre-reception.

Next up was an Endive Salad. I don't recall what the dressing was, but it was so good and an absolutely beautiful presentation!

Finally we moved on to the entrees. Each of us got 2 two entrees because the chef wanted to show us how the dishes would be presented! Can you believe the amount of food!!!

We were so stuffed at the end... and to think, Frank had pizza before all of this!!! We had such a great time, and the whole process made us so incredibly excited for our wedding!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back in the Saddle

So, I know I haven't posted in a very long time. Actually, I've been downright flaky all summer. I have reasons, but they are probably more of excuses than reasons. Now that I'm back in school, and on a routine (no more traveling all over the place) I will *fingers crossed* be able to get back into the swing of things around here!

I've actually been meaning to blog the last few days, but I'm sort of at a cross roads. See, when I first started "wedding blogging" I did it for the friends and family members far away to keep them updated and help them feel like they were part of the process. The problem now is, I got so sucked into it and was having so much fun that I want to share EVERYTHING! I'm trying to hold myself back, because there are quite a few surprises in store for our wedding guests. While I am just not willing to spill all of them, I will spill some of them, but just ask those of you attending to either not read when you see *Spoiler Alert* as the title. If you do, please please PLEASE do not go spreading the news around. It is our special day, and we are really excited about these surprises. Really, I won't be posting that much, if any... especially not the really big surprises. :)

We had our wedding planning session two weeks ago yesterday. It was amazing. The Disney Cast Members did such a wonderful job of making everything seamless and exciting. My friend Stacie was able to take a day off work and attend... it was so much fun. We ended the day with a lot of laughs, a lot of fun, and very full bellies. :) I'll post some pictures tomorrow, I promise.

I can't believe it is only a little over 4 months away! The time has passed so quickly. I am currently on the Bride diet, trying to whittle my waist down a bit. I think I'm actually beginning to make some progress, which is making me VERY happy. I've actually accomplished a lot in the last few weeks. I'll be on a lot more in the coming days catching everyone up on everything. :)

Happy Blogging!

Monday, August 17, 2009

And the Countdown Begins!

We have arrived, and settled, into our room at Vero Beach. If you ever get a chance to go to Disney's resort at Vero Beach DO NOT hesitate! It is such a small little resort with so much to offer! We love it. It never feels crowded, even when at capacity.

I am really getting excited for the Wedding Planning session with Michelle on Wednesday. My friend Stacie is meeting me there, which will make it extra special! I am so happy to have a second opinion, and one I know I can trust! I'm happy that Frank got to make it as well, I originally thought I was going to be flying solo for this. :)

I will have so much to report in the upcoming weeks as we will be diving into the planning! I can't believe it is just a little over 4 months away! Time has gone by so quickly, and honestly I still haven't gotten very much done. What can I say... I work well under pressure. :) Tomorrow Frank and I will be going over all of the boring details bit by bit in preparation for the planning session. I want to try to get every question answered while I'm there. I will also try to take a lot of pictures to share with everyone!