Philadelphia Vendor Review—Part II

If you missed it—here’s Part I of my Philadelphia vendor review. As a reminder, there are four ratings:

  • Highly Recommend
  • Recommend
  • Recommend with Reservations
  • Do Not Recommend

”¦and everything is based on experience / opinions from me and Mr. Turkey (info on timing for booking vendors can be found here).

STATIONERY: Two Paperdolls

Paper was very important to me—I mean, this is the Bee who wrote four posts on Save the Dates (I, II, III, IV). And, because of that, I 100% splurged in this area.

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Full paper suite

Nicole was my point of contact throughout my time working with Two Paperdolls. She was incredible to work with and the designers were so responsive to feedback. They also just “got it.” I went in with sketches on paper and ideas and they brought it to life in a way that I definitely could not.

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From my scribbles in our initial meeting to a beautiful welcome map (right picture by Two Paperdolls)

It wasn’t always about doing exactly what I said, either, which was great—they brought recommendations and ideas that were outside what I was thinking and ended up being the way to go.

I would argue that their quality is unmatched (we’ve seen a lot of wedding invitations) and we were very happy with the end result.

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Picture by Two Paperdolls, editing by me

Also, as a little aside, Nicole sent us a wedding gift that tied into the theme we were working with—so unnecessary, but incredibly thoughtful.

They are a company that we will absolutely do business with in the future!

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PHOTOGRAPHY: Philip Gabriel

*Highly Recommend*

We cannot possibly recommend Gabe highly enough.

He’s energetic and FUN to work with. Mr. Turkey was not at all excited about photography, but after our first meeting with Gabe, he felt so much more comfortable. And he actually enjoyed our engagement session (believe it or not).

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Photo by Philip Gabriel Photography

Gabe is not afraid to do what he has to in order to “get the shot.” We’re talking climbing over bushes in Washington Square or laying on his stomach in the middle of Broad Street. Without question, he is the hardest working photographer in the business.

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Photo by Philip Gabriel Photography

He’s also incredibly responsive—via email or phone—even now as we’re working to get our album together. We spent an hour and a half together at his studio this past week choosing designs and photos—can’t wait to see the final product.

He was one of the people who snapped into action when our original venue cancelled on us. Add that kindness to his incredible talent and you have an amazing person to work with!

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VIDEOGRAPHY: Blossom Productions

*Highly Recommend*

As I blogged early on, Mr. Turkey and I were 100% against videography until I realized my grandmother couldn’t make the wedding and I wanted her to be able to experience the day.

Compared to other videographers in Philadelphia, Blossom is extremely reasonable in price and very easy to work with. It’s a husband/wife team and the main contact, Alicia, is amazing.

We sat down with her before the wedding to tell her about our day and even though she wasn’t there on the day of, she totally “got it” and turned around our trailer in less than two weeks.

Rachel & Chase’s Wedding {The Rittenhouse Hotel} from Blossom Productions on Vimeo.

I would have paid all the money for just this—I’ve watched it more times than is appropriate to admit. It was also great to share with coworkers. At under two and a half minutes, it was a lot easier to show this…versus 100 photos of people they didn’t care about. Here, they were able to experience our wedding in its entirety—without missing a meeting.

But then we received our full wedding video (on our birthday week, no less!) and WOW. The lovely packaging should have been a hint of what was to come.

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Our video, in the middle, copies for the parents on the left and a DVD copy of the trailer on the right (+ chocolates!)
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Inside of the cases

You’ve seen that I avoided crying during our actual wedding, but I spent half of our video viewing with tears in my eyes. They beautifully captured our day—from showing the beautiful weather with scenic Philadelphia shots, to a lovely film of our entire wedding ceremony, complete with my funny faces (trying to stay composed) to the fun we experienced on the dance floor. I could go on, but you’d never reach the end of this post. It must be said that they far exceeded our expectations on every front and we are so happy to have this keepsake.

Besides covering our two main concerns (price and never watching the video), Blossom also stayed true to their promise to be “invisible.” The two videographers, Brian and Adam, were somehow everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I swear to you”¦on the third day of our honeymoon, I asked Mr. Turkey if the videographers made it to the reception. I honestly did not notice them at all.

My only regret…that we won’t be able to have a second wedding and work with them again!

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BAND: Jellyroll

*Highly Recommend*

Hands down”¦the best band in Philadelphia.

We attended a wedding with Jellyroll about a year before we got engaged and decided then and there that we HAD to have them. They were our 2nd call (venue was #1) after getting engaged and lucky for us, we just got to experience (and see!) them again in July at a friend’s wedding.

They can play anything and everything—from old time music to Michael Jackson to Katy Perry. They will learn songs for you, too—they learned our first dance song and the Cupid Shuffle, for example. I loved how interactive they were with our guests—from serenading family members to jumping up and down with us in the crowd.

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How can you not love a band that makes your guests THIS happy? (Photo by Philip Gabriel Photography)

Besides being talented, I also found them extremely easy to work with. Kurt is the main contact and also the trombonist. They helped manage the transitions of our evening schedule and flawlessly pulled off the “surprise” with Turkey Dad and my dance. Also, a little thing, but they asked us about our wedding colors and then the men all wore vests to coordinate. A little touch, but really nice.

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That’s Kurt, second from the left in the back (Photo by Philip Gabriel Photography)

Lastly, despite doing multiple weddings / events a week (I’d guess a minimum of three), they seem to truly enjoy themselves and are incredibly humble. I wish we could throw another party and have them again.

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Anything this woman sings sends chills down your spine—she’s incredible! (Photo by Philip Gabriel Photography)

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FLORIST / EVENT DESIGNER: Evantine

As you recall, our original venue was very “white space”, so when we made our original decision around flowers, we didn’t choose a traditional florist.

The main “event producer,” Brian, has an incredible creative mind and was a joy to work with. Our visits to their studio (and warehouse of amazingness) were some of Turkey Mom and my favorite parts of wedding planning. In addition, it was Brian who “saved the day” when our original venue cancelled. If it wasn’t for him, who knows what would have happened.

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Going through flowers, glass and tablecloths with Brian

You saw how they brought our vision to life, but what you might not realize is how much creative “license” we gave to Brian and his team.

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One of Turkey Mom’s “contraband” pictures—lounge furniture in the back of the ballroom

A lot of our vision was vague—flowers in white, green, yellow, blue”¦not all “normal” flowers—and, through conversations and visits, they made it spectacular.

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Photo by Philip Gabriel Photography

They not only WOWed me and Mr. Turkey, but also, most importantly, Turkey Dad”¦who’s rarely impressed by anything.

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VENUE: The Rittenhouse Hotel

*Highly Recommend*

To start, I have to say, hive, that everything happens for a reason.

When our original venue, with its unique glass dome and views of Broad Street, shocked us by cancelling”¦we were disappointed, to say the least. Mr. Turkey and I wanted something “different” and as happy as we were to land at The Rittenhouse, we felt we might have missed something. You’re talking about Mr. and Mrs. “unique spaces only.”

Now, almost a year past that surprise (a true wedding “worst case” scenario), I can honestly say that it was 100% for the best. The Rittenhouse Hotel was the best thing that happened to us.

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Photo by Philip Gabriel Photography

First of all, the director of catering, Lori, was a Type A bride’s dream. Responsive, organized and sweet”¦I sometimes just emailed to say hi (which I’m sure she didn’t love, but didn’t tell me!). She helped calm my fears around timing for the day, organized an amazing tasting for our wedding day food, helped me provide a fun bridal luncheon the day before the wedding and was a familiar smiling face on the day of. I wish everyone I worked with was just like Lori!!

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Unfortunately the only photo I have of her…she thought I was eating Cheetos in my dress—they were pretzels :)

The Rittenhouse’s reputation for service is well deserved—from the white gloves to cookies and champagne at check in. Our guests—both those who stayed overnight and those who just enjoyed the reception—are still raving.

Oh, and there were some benefits to being the bride and groom. Besides being treated like royalty (drinks in the park!), the Rittenhouse put us at ease on our wedding day. We knew everything was under control and that they would handle any issues. There is something to be said for having a wedding where they DO weddings.

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Would have looked nicer if Mr. Turkey hadn’t lunged at them when we arrived back in our room

Thank you, wedding gods, for putting us where the Turkey wedding was meant to be.

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And cheers to you, Rittenhouse! (Photo by Philip Gabriel Photography)

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So, there you have it”¦the end of the Turkey wedding vendor reviews!

Any vendors for your wedding especially WOW you?

Note: you may be wondering about two notable reviews missing—our rehearsal dinner venue and our church.

Since Mr. Turkey and I did not deal with the rehearsal dinner venue directly, we didn’t feel we could give an assessment in the same way as the other vendors. However, we enjoyed our experience at the Vesper Boat House and you can read about our rehearsal dinner here.

As for the church, there seemed to be something “off” about doing a formal review. We absolutely loved St. Patrick’s Church! We had a good experience at pre cana (requirement of Archdioscese of Philadelphia) and Father Mackle was wonderful to work with—heck he was practically a DOC. If you’re a Philadelphia bride and have any questions about the church, please reach out and I can give you more details.

BLOGGER

Mrs. Turkey

Location:
Philadelphia
Wedding Date:
May 2012
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comments

  1. Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:46 am

    I really enjoyed these two posts, even though I’d never be able to book any of the vendors I like reading these kid of reviews and I’m so glad you’re happy with your wedding because quite honestly it looks amazing.

  2. Member
    katie395 520 posts, Busy bee @ 10:49 am

    I love the picture of Lori – you look like a little child that just got caught doing some wrong. So cute. I love your video too. It brought a tear to my eye. Thanks again for the reviews! I wish more people would take the time to do them.

  3. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 11:43 am

    Again, I love your vendor reviews, Mrs. Turkey. I feel that even if others can’t use your specific vendors, they can set standards for the vendors in their area.

  4. Member
    turkey 654 posts, Busy bee @ 8:14 pm

    @Miss Toadstool: Thank you so much!!

    @katie395: Haha – I really do, don’t I!?!?

    @StephK527: Thanks!

  5. Member
    Bumblebee86 6 posts, Newbee @ 5:00 pm

    Hi, may I ask you what your design fee was for your stationary suite at Two Paper Dolls? I was quoted 500$ per piece of stationary (invitation, STD, menu, ceremony pamphlet, etc) which would add up to 3000$ + for the total design fee. I am curious to know what your fee was when you ordered in 2011. Thanks!

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    jmelei, Guest @ 10:29 am

    hello i was wondering if you could give me more information about st patricks church like requirements and fees. thank you

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