Short-ish Reviews

Love the best man's reaction in this photo. Surprise dip-kiss FTW!
Here are my reviews I posted on The Knot. They're as short as I could make them. Sorry, I have a lot to say!

Cliff Notes Reviews

Total Experiences- Dallas Holmes – A
Dallas was great! He helped me set up a room block at Imperial Palace, and it seemed like everyone who used the room block had a pretty good view on a high-up floor. Most of us were on the 18th floor. (Good for the view, bad for getting up and down the elevators quickly.) He also helped me book reservations at Le Village Buffet at Paris for 12 people on Wednesday night. We got to use the VIP entrance and skip lines, and we had our own “room” in the buffet. He also helped me get tickets for Peepshow and scored us a great table at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant.

Double Decker Bus- B+
Our driver was Warren. People loved the DDBus. LOVED. People could not stop talking about it. Unfortunately, it was very hot in Vegas that night and we had about 15 too many people to have everyone up top. Some of my family got stuck in the bottom on the first part of the trip, and it was not pleasant. And no one was excited to switch with them, but some of our friends sucked it up, and H and I sat in the bottom with them. Having no AC or music in the bottom was lame (though we all sang our own songs to provide ourselves with entertainment). We went to the Vegas sign (got off, took pictures), all the way down the strip, and got off on Fremont Street for about 45 minutes. It was more fantastic than I could have imagined. Judy was very accommodating in helping me drop off beverages with the bus- I was able to drop it off with a bus when he was dropping another group off at Planet Hollywood so I didn’t have to drive to wherever their main office is.

Club Viva Vegas (Booked with Groupon for $24 per person) – A+
In my opinion, this is even worth the standard $49 price tag (though for $24, that’s why it gets an A+), but it sure was nice to get half the price and be able to treat my bridesmaids, a couple friends, and my mom to a night of club hopping (nine of us total). I had every intention of paying for the first round of drinks, but after a few beers on the Double Decker Bus, my head was already spacey when we got to the first club. I didn’t even buy my own drinks, so double thanks to my girls! Our club host texted me early in the day, and was reachable by text easily throughout the day, evening, and night. We shared a bus with two other groups (one of 4, and one of about 8).
We went to Foundation Room at MB, LAX at Luxor, and Pure at Caesars. It was nice to skip the lines and pay no cover. I tipped our club host about $60 (so almost $7 per person). We did this on Thursday, which means Pure was included. On Fri/Sat it’s an extra charge. The “shots” on the bus were things like pre-mixed margaritas and Cosmopolitans. But by LAX I was almost exclusively drinking water (but I’m a lightweight…) and our host (Jackie) was very free with pouring the shots, so it’s not like I was upset that it wasn’t straight up tequila or anything. I thought this was a great value, and would totally do it again sometime.

Francesca Lombardo - A
Francesca did hair and makeup for me, my mom, and my MOH. She brought an assistant to help with hair. We all looked FANTASTIC! She did a trial with me on Thursday morning and she did her best to fix any issues I had from that day (did more/tighter curls, more blush, and paid careful attention to the fake lashes). I felt more beautiful than I EVER had before. She was so friendly and easy to talk to (in fact, at the trial we talked about a bunch of LV Knotties!). I will say that by ceremony time, most of my curls had died (though my hair still looked great, and was full of volume). But I don’t think this is Francesca’s fault- more because we did pictures for 3 hours before the ceremony and it was about 97 degrees outside! Long thick hair + 97 degrees + sweaty back is not a recipe for perfect hair.

Harmony Medina - A
Harmony did hair and makeup for my 4 bridesmaids. Everyone looked AMAZING! I think everyone was really happy with how they looked, and from what I could tell Harmony listened to all of them in how they wanted to look, and the results are great. Whenever I took a moment to step back and admire my girls, I was just blown away by how gorgeous they all looked. She gave me a great price for hair+makeup for 4 girls, and I think everyone enjoyed the pampering.

Fit For A Bride – A+
Debi was so easy to work with, and is a complete sweetheart. My dress, veil, and my mom’s dress looked great. I dropped them off, and they delivered everything on Friday afternoon. It was around $100, and it was totally worth it. I dropped it on Wednesday, before all of our switching hotel rooms, which really worked out in my favor.

Earth Limos - A
A little more pricey than some other companies, but their quote included EVERYTHING- fuel charge, tax, and tip. So when the bill was paid, it was done. That was nice. We got a stretch SUV Hummer something-limo bus thing. It fit our 15 passengers with a tiny bit of room to spare. Our driver was nice and hooked up my sister’s iPhone for some music during our drive. I didn’t communicate with the driver that much- Ron (our photographer) took over the photo tour, which was perfect. He had plenty of ice in the limo for our water and champagne. (Note to brides- plan on bringing lots of water on a photo tour! I forgot about this until the last minute. Fortunately someone stopped by a 7-11 and we had a big cooler full of water bottles to take with us. We all needed it! It was HOT!) The AC was strong until the very end, where it felt a little weak, but it was there when we needed it the most!

Roxi Floral – A
Angel at Roxi did a great job for  my budget. I originally said I wanted everything carnations. I figured that would be the cheapest way to get the most flowers. But a couple months ago I decided I hated that. I called her, sent a bunch of inspiration pictures, and she totally got what I was going for. I wanted to keep things under $1,000, and it ended up close to $1200, but it was worth it. She used all our favorite flowers that were in season, and really got the feel of what I was going for. Flowers were delivered right on time- at 1pm. I had them move the ceremony décor inside to be used on the cake table, sweetheart table, etc. We even got a little note from them in our “guestbook/prediction/advice box” that had a drawing of a flower and it said “Your wedding was a joy to do!” It was so cute!

Langdon Video – A (so far)
Kelly and Debra came to my rehearsal to meet us and get a feel for how everything would be set up. That was really nice. I negotiated a price with them for only ceremony-reception coverage, because I didn’t need any pre-ceremony video. They used two cameras during the ceremony and fitted H with a wireless mic. Kelly stayed for the whole reception, which I was so happy to see. We only had our photographer until a little after 9, and there was definitely some jumping-in-the-pool action, so it’s good to know that we will have that on video. Obviously I don’t have anything back yet, so once I see a video, I can give a better review.

Pastor Pete - B
I wanted to be more hands-on in our ceremony planning, and meet with him once we got into Vegas, but time just didn’t allow. He did a great job. He has a comprehensive questionnaire which gives him info about each of you, your relationship, and how you want your ceremony to be. We both like to cook, which he used, but in an unfortunate love-making metaphor. I know we’re both adults, but I don’t need any talk about love making in my wedding ceremony. And at the end of the ceremony he said “You may now kiss your groom.” I HATE that. I’m so traditional when it comes to the ceremony. Whatever, we kissed and it was fabulous. But it’s not really his fault- I never told him, nor stressed how traditional I was, (though how was I supposed to know to mention that stuff), and he did a wonderful job with the info he had. It was personal, and he kept it flowing really well, without any awkwardness or too much spoken step-by-step direction.

All Night Long (Noah)- C+
The speakers that were going to be used during the ceremony fried in the sun, and replacements could not be found quick enough. He found a small speaker that worked, so at least we had some music, but it was very quiet, and I later found out many of our guests couldn’t hear much of the ceremony. He also started playing the wrong song for our wedding party processional. Overall, he followed our play and don’t play list fairly well. My dad brought music for him to play and was tipping him a lot, so he played a lot of my dad’s music, probably too much for the amount of time we had for dancing. I went up to him and told him not to play any more, and to his credit, he stopped. H was fairly annoyed with his mistakes and was not impressed with him in general. So for me, I’d give him a B, but H is strongly in the C- camp. (Much longer review in bio)

Ron Miller- A+++++
We haven’t even gotten photos back yet, but I know they will be amazing. Ron took charge of everything for our photo tour. He completely understood the kind of pictures I wanted- edgy, fashion-y, and glamorous. See my longer reviews for a full run down. He was hands-down the best vendor we worked with for the whole wedding trip.

Retro Bakery- A
We love Retro Bakery. They were one of the big selling points to getting married in Vegas. Everyone raved about our cupcakes. We got 20 dozen minis in 5 different flavors- Hop Scotch, Drumstick, Cotton Candy, Pucker Up, and Chocolate Fountain. We also had a 6” Vanilla cake to cut. We brought it home and are still eating it and it’s still delicious!
It pains me not to give them an A++, but they forgot to put our topper on our cake. Kari said this only happened ONCE before, so it’s not like anyone should be concerned. I didn’t even notice it wasn’t on there until the next day. And when we went to visit the bakery (and eat some more cupcakes) on Tuesday she was super apologetic and gave us the 5 cupcakes we had picked out that day for free.

Platinum Hotel- A
There were a couple of small things that didn’t go as planned, and a couple of small things where they really excelled. Because things weren’t perfect, I didn’t give them an A+, but my whole experience with the wedding and our stay was amazing and I have no regrets. Room service was fairly affordable and delicious. We felt well taken care of. Food on at the reception was delicious. The banquet staff really worked hard for us. I have a REALLY LONG review for the hotel, the wedding service, and other info in my bio.

We did a lot of shopping at Albertsons (Flamingo & Maryland) and Lee’s Discount Liquor (a little farther down on Flamingo). Both places had everything we needed. Lee’s was very helpful when we were buying for our bus tour. We basically said we wanted everything we could get that wasn’t in glass, and he pointed us around the store at different options. We spent about $200 for the DD Bus, which I thought was very reasonable. We got some really good beers, plus some Milwaukee staples like MGD, Miller Lite, and PBR, as well as some specialty cocktails in cans and pre-mixed margaritas in pouches.
We went to Albertson’s for rehearsal dinner supplies, as well as for food for Saturday morning’s getting-ready-festivities. It was very conveniently located to the Platinum.
Flying on Southwest was great. I got an overhead compartment all to myself for my dress on the way there, and got free drinks because I brought chocolate for the flight crew. On the way back, we got a bottle of champagne! (And a whole overhead bin, but the flight on the way back was not full.)