Spill It

I have so much to say about my wedding. Here's the full play-by-play of my vendors.

Long-Winded 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. That’s nice for the view, but bad for the elevators. It took a while to get up and down, and we were only there on Tuesday-Wednesday. I can’t imagine what it would be like on the weekends.

Dallas also helped me book reservations at Le Village Buffet at Paris. We booked for 12 people and everyone was able to pay separately. We ended up with only 10 people, but it was fine. I was one of the people who couldn’t go, because I had to get the booze to the Double Decker Bus and I didn’t want to miss the drop-off time (again), but H told me everything was great. They got to use the VIP entrance and skip the lines. AND they had their own “room” in the buffet. Awesome!

Dallas also helped us book tickets for Peepshow. I don’t think we got a deal on price or anything, but we had AMAZING seats. Three rows from the front, and almost dead center. It was perfect. He also got us reservations at The Eiffel Tower Restaurant, and we had a great window table. (PS- Eiffel Tower Restaurant was great!! We ate SO MUCH damn food and it was all delicious. We did the tasting menu, and with drinks, it was sooo expensive, but it was worth it.)

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 Entertainment (Noah) – C+
After the reviews I’ve seen, I was hoping to get Lantz. I don’t know if things would have been any different, because some of the issues we had weren’t really Noah’s fault. Apparently the amplifiers had been left in the sun when they were setting up and right before the ceremony, they realized that they were fried. Replacements were brought right away (seemed that maybe they were extras in the DJ’s van?), but those didn’t work either. Marie (my coordinator at Platinum) came to talk to me before the ceremony and explained the situation, and basically said that we had no sound. We could either wait for another replacement to be brought from the company, or we could just start. Well, at this point it was about 5 minutes past ceremony start time, and all our guests were already in their seats. I wanted to cry, but I said to start. We had some very meaningful songs (specifically an instrumental version of a song H wrote for me when we first started dating, that was going to be my processional.)

Anyway, at the last second, he found a monitor speaker that worked and used that. However, it was very quiet, and most people couldn’t hear the music or even parts of the ceremony. So that sucked. Also, he started playing the wrong song for the wedding party entrance. Fortunately H caught his sister’s attention and got her to run to the DJ and fix it.

Other than that, I felt that he did a fine job, but H felt differently. He followed our must play (except he missed one song) and do-not play list well. We were hoping to have dancing from 8-11, but after first dances and slideshows and speeches, dancing probably didn’t get started until about 8:30. My dad brought a lot of music (Persian music), which I was happy to hear, but Noah played too much of it for the time we had. I later learned that my dad was tipping him $10-$20 every time he played some of “his” music. Probably around 10pm I went up to Noah and told him he probably didn’t need to play any more of my dad’s music, and to his credit, as soon as I said that, he stopped. There weren’t really any truly slow songs to dance to, which now I regret. But the music he played did keep a lot of people on the dance floor. The final song of the night was Waking Up in Vegas, which was a really great closer. So for me, I’d give him a B, but H is strongly in the C- camp.

Ron Miller- A++++++
I should have some photos to share any day now, but he is an absolute artist. Our first plan for photos was Vegas Sign-Bellagio-Fremont St. When we met with him for E-photos on Wednesday before the wedding, I said let’s skip the Vegas sign and instead do a couple other hotels- like the Cosmopolitan, which I had been in the night before and completely fallen in love with. Then on Friday he told me that he had been asked to leave the Cosmopolitan, and he didn’t want to risk any problems by returning so soon. So he suggested Planet Hollywood or Mandalay Bay. PH was one of the hotels I’d wanted for pictures, so we went there instead. I told Ron I had heard about an artsy area near Fremont and would love to hit that as well. Ron commandeered the whole photo tour on Saturday, communicating with our limo driver on where to go, since he had an outdated itinerary. This was awesome, because Ron totally understood the kind of shots I wanted and I didn’t have to think about where we were going.

We actually never even made it to Fremont St. And I don’t care in the slightest. We first went to Bellagio and did photos with just H and I, in front of the fountains, in the entrance, and in the conservatory. He definitely kept in on the DL, and we were just fine. Then we went to PH, and did some fun group shots in front of the chandeliers in the lobby. We walked through the casino and did some shots outside. Ron was good at directing us as a big group (12 people!). Afterwards, we went to some graffiti walls near Fremont St. And finally we ended up at the Brain Center??? I’ve never seen this before but it was this big crazy metal building and we all did some awesome poses. I saw a couple on the back of his camera, and they are gorgeous. I can’t wait to share!

He was great at setting up our first look, especially considering I was so anxious and excited that I could barely listen. I assume he got a bunch of detail shots of flowers and programs, etc. The only thing we didn’t get, which I didn’t even think about until later, was a gambling shot of us at a table or sitting at a slot machine. Not a big deal, since we took some shots walking through the gambling floor at PH.

After the ceremony he took us down to Platinum’s lobby and did some artsy shots in the lounge there. Also, during our first dance he ran up to our room, and got some shots from above with a fish-eye lens. I saw one on his camera- it’s to die for! You see the whole strip in the background, the pool, us dancing, all our guests. WOW!

His assistant was a little odd, but it was nice to have two cameras for the busiest portions of the day. I am dying to see the photos.

We also did an engagement photo shoot at Lake Las Vegas. I’m glad we did, not only because it’s beautiful there and we’re sure to have some great photos, but also because it was really helpful to work with Ron ahead of time and get used to having a camera all over us. It made the wedding day run that much smoother.

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. Choc fountain and Drumstick were the most popular. We ended up with a lot of Cotton Candy left over. I saw people taking some with them at the end of the night too, which was great. I loved that we got to share one of our favorite parts of Vegas with people. We had a 6” cake to cut that was vanilla-vanilla, and it was delicious. They piped our monogram onto the side of the cake, and it was beautiful. We took it home with us and are still eating it. And it’s still good!!

Retro did forget to put our cake topper on our cake. But they did put all our cupcake picks in our cupcakes, which was more important. I didn’t even realize the cake toppers weren’t on there until the next day. We went out to the bakery on Tuesday before we left to say hi, thanks, and try a few new cupcakes. Kari was SUPER apologetic and said that had only happened one other time, and it was also to good friends/customers of theirs. About 10 minutes later, that couple walked in! Turns out it was Orange Soda Photo (it was cool to meet them!). They said that their cake ended up looking better without toppers. I can’t say the same for ours, because it was a pretty plain cake, but it wasn’t the end of the world. And Kari gave us the 5 cupcakes we had picked out for free. And we still got our cake toppers to take home with us as a keepsake, and I was most worried that they had just disappeared.

Platinum Hotel-
Wedding- A
Hotel service- B+
Hotel Rooms- A+

Things were close-to-perfect. Overall, everything was just fantastic. Any guests who stayed here, were so impressed by the rooms, including us. We checked in to the Marquise suite on Thursday. It was ready early too, like around 10am. It was HUUUUUGE! It had this great big balcony too, that overlooked the strip and the pool. I never wanted to leave! They brought champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for us too (though we brought them to our next room, and didn’t eat/drink until Saturday night). We had a casual rehearsal dinner in the room, and there was TONS of room for the 25-ish people we had in the main area. We had In-N-Out Burger and salads from Jason’s Deli. FIL and SIL went to pick up In-N-Out right after the rehearsal. It took them about an hour to get there and back, and I hear they had a few angry customers behind them, but oh well! They ordered a shitton of double-doubles, some with onions and some without, and fries. It went over so well! It was fun and casual, and it was nice having some chill time with our nearest and dearest. We also had Mega Chip Cookies from Retro Bakery and stuff for root beer floats for dessert. It was a good pre-party stomach padding.

We were able to get a late checkout the next day (for 2pm) which was great, because the suite was a mess after dinner and after people gathered back there after the bachelor party/girls night out/etc. AND we got checked into our next rooms early- by 10ish, so it was easy to transfer stuff, and we could save all the food/booze we hadn’t finished. I had a pedicure at the spa at noon (it was fine, nothing amazing, but the spa area is very nice). I went back to the suite to make sure nothing was left, but my key didn’t work. I was hungover and tired and cranky, so I figured someone had already checked out, but it turns out they just cancelled the keys at noon, even though we had a late check out…? H and I had a bit of a rough day on Friday (thank GOD we planned a recovery day in there). We met with family in Stir Lounge in Platinum’s lobby for some half-price drinks and food. Everything there was delicious and it’s half priced every day from 4-8 (on EVERYTHING). Good deal for a quick bite and drink! H stayed with some groomsmen that night, and my mom and youngest sister stayed in our room with me. We were upgraded to a Princess Suite (I think it’s just slightly bigger and has a washer&dryer, which could have been handy but we never got around to using.) A few others in our party got upgraded to Princess Suites as well.

The soaking tubs at Platinum are worth the price of the hotel room. OH.EM.GEE. Amazeballs.

The pool area is really nice (though not super crazy or fancy) and has lots of lounge chairs and day beds, and it doesn’t cost any money to use them! We laid out at the pool for a bit on Sunday and Monday, though I never actually got in the pool or hot tub! Oh well, next time.

Marie, our coordinator, was wonderful. She met with us on Wednesday for a walk-through and for us to drop wedding items with her. She gave me her cell number with instructions to text her at any time I think of a question, which was very nice. I only used it a couple of times, and it was nice to be able to send a quick text and receive an answer quickly. She was easily reachable by e-mail in the weeks leading up to the wedding, which was very reassuring. I felt as at ease as possible, knowing she would be there orchestrating everything. She stayed until at least 9pm on the wedding day, and checked in with me before she left to make sure everything was fine.

Alejandra was our banquet manager for the night, and she and the staff were excellent. Our bartender was super awesome and created a specialty cocktail for the evening, after someone’s suggestion, called the Mother-In-Law. He riffed on it and made my mom a special drink as well. AND I had a special drink! They had a special bottle of amaretto at the bar just for me, and I drank a delicious drink that was kind of like sex-on-the-beach, plus amaretto. It was delicious. I tipped him at the end of the night, and I should have tipped him more. He kept our guests very happy.

Getting married on the pool deck was so amazing! I kept getting distracted during the ceremony by the view. It was hot that day, but once the sun dipped below the Paris or Bally’s hotel building, all our guests were in shade (I think this happened right around 5:30). There’s a big empty lot between Platinum and the back of Bally’s. It’s ugly. But you can’t really see it from the pool deck, unless you’re right up on the windows. And even then, you see so much of the strip, you don’t even notice the empty lot and random billboards. It was perfect for our group to be close to the strip, and yet far enough away from any craziness. Dancing outside with the lit-up strip as a backdrop was so pretty! I was in awe all night long of how perfect everything felt.

Things that didn’t go quite as planned:

I wanted the drinks to start off in glass. That didn’t happen, as far as I could tell. My sister/MOH knew about the plastic cup drama, and she said to me “Oh, so you decided to just go with plastic?” I was like, “UM WHAT?!” Not a big deal, and they were “nice” plastic cups. But I was annoyed for about 2.5 seconds.

H gave a welcome speech before dinner was served, and we were told the buffet was open, so we went and got plates. No one was around to dismiss other tables. So we just told the closest table to go ahead. By the time they were back, banquet staff was around, bringing out kids meals (and we stupidly told the table with the kids to go first), so things moved from there, but it was really awkward at first.

Non-wedding related, but our room keys stopped working again on Monday, even though we weren’t checking out til Tuesday. We apparently had two separate reservations, because I had a gift certificate for the weekend. But then wouldn’t they have stopped working on Sunday?? It was annoying, especially after going all the way to our room to discover this.

The staff did go above and beyond in a few places too. When people started jumping in the pool, the staff brought a huge pile of towels out right next to the pool. Also, they didn’t make me feel bad when wet people started dancing on the dance floor (outside, but still). I tipped $100 at the end of the night, which I hadn’t really planned on, but we did make a wet mess.

Alejandra brought all our stuff up to our room about 20 minutes after the reception was over (table number holders, toasting flutes, cake, etc). Shortly thereafter I realized that our cardbox was not there. H went down to check, and she said it wasn’t there when she loaded all the stuff up. We freaked, and texted all our friends and family asking if anyone had it (we didn’t think anyone would take it and not tell us, but we gave it a try). Responses started coming in that no one had taken it. We went back down to the restaurant and looked around. Alejandra was immediately on the phone with security, telling them that this needed priority (apparently there’s a camera on the entrance of the restaurant) and to look at the video right away. As she was on the phone, we got a call from my dad saying that my grandparents had the box. My non-english speaking, non cell phone carrying grandparents. We were slightly embarrassed, but I really appreciated that Alejandra was ON IT right away, and never once made it seem like it wasn’t her problem.

I also didn’t have to worry about returning any rentals from the florist or from Retro Bakery. They took care of all of it. That was a nice surprise.

Also! The food! It was excellent! We had 3 passed hors d’oeuvres (kalbi beef skewers, mini grilled cheese with pesto & bacon, and brie en croute). H’s fav was the beef, mine was the brie. Our buffet consisted of a veggie platter, Caesar salad, wild rice, asparagus, roasted red potatoes, parmesan chicken breast with a lemon butter sauce, and beef tri-tip with some fancy sauce. Almost everything was just as good as it sounded on the menu (and much better described than what I just typed). The only thing that disappointed me was the veggie platter- it was described something like “raw, marinated, and lightly cooked vegetables” but to me it all looked raw. They were nice veggies (not like veggies and dip) but I was expecting more cooked I guess. The chicken was my hands-down favorite. I ate the whole thing. I was so impressed. H loved the beef. People kept telling us how good the food was, which made me so happy, because food was very important to us.


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.