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Recent Wedding Planning Reviews in Hiawatha

  • D
    Weddings in Iowa
    What we got vs. what was promised: Rehearsal Dinner: Contract stated that there would be 12-14 vintage platters, stands, plates, chalkboard flavor signs and accessories to create sweets bar at Rehearsal Dinner. We ended up using platters I brought with me. There were not enough platters/plates to put all of the desserts on, and so we had to borrow casino platters to fill the rest of the table. There were no vintage platters, stands, plates or chalkboard flavor signs provided as promised. When we arrived at the casino at 2:00 p.m. (dinner was at 5:00 p.m.) the wedding planner was still putting together centerpieces. Since no florals were involved, the centerpieces could have easily been completed well before the day of the rehearsal dinner. The planner appeared to be in a state of disorganization. Signage No identification signs for food at rehearsal dinner We had asked for 3 baskets to be included at the bowling lounge to hold ladies/men's/children's bowling socks. We ended up with one wire basket to hold all of the socks, so they were not separated. The children's, womens, and men's signage was lying in front of the basket. They were postcards that had two holes punched in the top of each card. It appeared that the postcards were intended to be attached to a container, but that apparently never happened. The socks still had the plastic attached to them so that guests were not able to pull individual socks apart and use them. Music The string quartet had already set up in the ceremony room when I asked the planner what they would be playing.  She did not know since she had yet spoken with them. Since music is a critical part of the ceremony, I believe that this should have been addressed. Fortunately, the quartet was top notch and we didn?t have any issues. Ceremony decor: "12 large vintage crystal bowls filled with lush, overflowing florals will march down the aisle on vintage stands, adding height and creating a gorgeous "garden feel" to the room. We will relocate these bowls to grace guest tables at the reception during social hour. - No crystal bowls or vintage stands were provided for ceremony decor "We will fill the vintage white mantle opening with vintage frames and 4 lush and overflowing bouquets of flowers in vases wrapped with golf vintage fabric, placing them on various vintage pedestals that can sit on the floor, creating a beautiful tableau". - Not provided "We will bring large gold vintage frame for picture raking to use as you like" Not provided I asked consistently to have a wedding program (nicely made fans on sticks) put on each seat at the wedding. The planner did not do this, saying she would put one on every other seat. I asked her to please set out a basket with extra programs for people to take if they wanted one. The groomsmen, grandparents and parents were to receive bouts and corsages. The planner said she could make a cute, vintage corsage out of burlap and buttons. When she sent photos of the corsages I knew we were in trouble. The green floral wire was left exposed. I asked that it be covered in twine, at least. I also asked that a flower be added to soften it up.  No flower was added. Only baby?s breath.  I asked if we could please have a simple fresh daisy bout or corsage instead? and was ignored. We could have hired another florist to do this, but it was 3 days before the wedding. We ended up wearing the vintage button corsages. A fresh daisy would have been our preference. "We will bring dinner chimes signalling guests when it will be time to find their seats in the reception room" This was not done. The banquet tables provided by the hotel had skirting that was extremely wrinkled. I pointed this out to the wedding planner and she said, 'The tables are not ours.".... I would hope that any wedding planner would represent their client to the best of their ability and seek out the hotel management in order to get the linens steamed, or do it yourself. Instead, a family member had to track down the hotel staff and get this taken care of. The one item we were specific about making sure we did NOT use in the decor were cocktail tables with ribbons tied around the middle. When I took the final walk-through, all of the cocktail tables in the atrium were covered in tablecloths with ribbons tied around the middle. Exactly what we had asked NOT to use in the decor. Family Photo Display We were looking forward to incorporating old family photos into the wedding decor. We framed approximately 50 wedding photos that guests sent to us as well as old family photos. We wanted them scattered among the atrium where the social hour was held, the reception area, as well as the ceremony area. What we got was one banquet table and half of the gift table for these photos. They were crammed together and not easily visible. Very disappointing display for something that took so much time to put together. Guest Tables: "Gold & Burlap table runners" ... No burlap runners provided on any tables "Escort Card Board will be a three arch chalkboard, art & vintage accessories to create an adorable display" The escort card board was placed on the floor. People had to bend over to read it. There were no art or vintage accessories or display provided Tables were filled with battery operated pillar candles. Many of the candles were not working and the planner was going to open the ballroom anyway until a family member asked that the candle batteries be changed before opening the ballroom up to guests. SEATING CHART - NIGHTMARE There was a fatal error in the place settings matching up with the seating chart/escort card board. Several guests were left without seats and had to relocate to other tables. Extra place settings had to be brought out. The chargers that the planner provided were so large that it may have limited the number of place settings provided at each table. The table settings did not match up to the original seating chart . The planner should have checked and double checked this critical part of the reception. At one point, the groom's parents were without seats. Two guests of the bride were unhappily forced to sit at a banquet table with people they did not know. Two other guests opted to remove the large chargers and add two chairs in order to accommodate themselves at the table they wanted to sit at. This was NOT a good experience, to say the least. Sweet Heart Table Decor "We will use small family mementos here and there to add a vintage flair to this special table" No family mementos displayed here Food: No signage for food Cupcakes: Our cupcake vendor failed to deliver the cutting cake, but the wedding planner failed to advise us of this earlier in the day. If we had known that the cutting cake was forgotten, we would have contacted the vendor and had them deliver one. The planner displayed cupcakes on a vintage cupboard prior to the beginning of the reception. Guests proceeded to eat cupcakes after dinner because they did not see a wedding cake. The wedding planner was reprimanding guests who attempted to eat cupcakes prior to when the bride and groom shared one. Sweets Bar/Lounge/Photo Booth "We will supply a vintage buffet for your Photo Booth along with fun props for guests to use. No props provided. "Guest Lounge was to include family photos... It did not. We had a large amount of candy that was to be set out for a sweets bar. I had asked the wedding planner to set out ALL of the candy. When she completed the setup, I asked her if all of the candy was displayed (I could tell it was not) and she replied, ?I have a little bit left.? I tasked her to please display the remainder of the candy and the staff brought out two huge tubs from the kitchen that had not been put out. Frustrating! Party Favors I had several dozen customized decks of playing cards left over from the rehearsal dinner that I asked the wedding planner to put in a basket and set out at the reception. I went to the extent of writing this down in a note that was hand delivered to her on the day of the wedding. This still did not get done. OVERALL RECOMMENDATION: The planning process seemed to be on track (or so we thought) until the weekend of the actual event. Much time was spent on the proposal with beautifully detailed descriptions of what to expect. As the weekend unfolded, it became clear that things were not coming together as promised in the proposal. It also became apparent that the wedding planner's cheery personality was unraveling before our eyes. Perhaps bringing in a staff of more than two or three (what appeared to be family members) would have helped ease the workload and stress. We had several guests point out to us that the wedding planner was rude to them. Whether the irritability was caused from lack of sleep, and/or lack of organization and time management skills... the lack of professionalism was not acceptable. We also spotted the wedding planner eating the appetizers as the servers were bringing them out of the kitchen. She instructed a server to take one tray of appetizers back into the kitchen. I have no idea why that try did not make it to the cocktail hour.  It would have also been nice if the wedding planner and staff could have dressed appropriately for the occasion. Would I recommend hiring a wedding planner? Yes, absolutely. Would I hire this wedding planner? No MOST IMPORTANT  RECOMMENDATION:  Be absolutely sure to let the planner know early in the game that you will be assigning a friend or family member to be present at the venue(s) while they are setting up for your  big day. They should bring the contract/proposal with them and check off each detail as they are completed. If the wedding planner balks at this or hesitates in any way, this is NOT the wedding planner you want to entrust your special day to.
    - Amy S.
  • F
    Devotion To Detail did not return my e-mail and phone inquiries. Even if she does respond to your inquiries, I would be worried about her lack of responsiveness.
    - Jennifer M.
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