As I’ve mentioned in my previous post about my daughter’s first birthday party, here is a more detailed suppliers review and rating.
Please note that the honest comments here are based solely on my personal experience and may not be necessarily applicable to other events.
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Event Stylist : Sweet Street Manila
Sweet Street Manila exceeded my expectations! They really made my boho chic dream come true! My mood board truly came to life and I was so happy with the results. Charmaine Bernardo of Sweet Street Manila was very easy to talk to. Plus, their rate is very affordable. I’m quite reluctant to book overpriced suppliers just because they are popular. I really prefer the up and coming vendors.
On the day of the event, they arrived very early, even before the call time. I was surprised when they called me up; I was actually still at home. They finished on time too and didn’t have any complaints even if the venue didn’t turn on the air conditioning yet so it was a bit warm. They never demanded for their breakfast crew meal and even attempted to call for delivery themselves. Good thing I was able to stop them because I already ordered food. Anyway, I ‘m babbling. For the styling itself, I didn’t have to direct them because they knew what they were doing. It’s good to have independent suppliers so you can lessen your stress before the event.
This supplier gave me great value for my money. Highly recommended! The only reason why I gave them a 4.9 instead of a 5 is due to several complaints I received about some of our own props (I also had DIY props), and extra souvenirs/prizes being taken home by the Sweet Street team. I did tell Charmaine before that I could give her the props after the party since I won’t be using them anymore. However, it would have been more polite if her team asked us first before actually taking them. There were a few items as well, which were not really props but extra prizes from the games and some souvenirs, which my mom wanted to keep. I guess it was just a matter of miscommunication and probably something Charmaine needs to discuss with her team. But overall, I was happy with my choice of stylist.
Event Coordinator : Party Fixers
Simply put, I got what I paid for. I tried to negotiate for a lower package when we were discussing the terms. I didn’t find the need to get a full package and preferred an on-the-day coordinator since I had pretty much everything arranged already. I thank them for meeting my budget but like I said, I got what I paid for.
They sent two coordinators that day – two young and pleasant women who were dressed appropriately. They were nice and offered all the help but let’s just say that it wasn’t enough. They were soft spoken and seemed a bit shy. I needed them to be more assertive and to have more knowledge of the program. However, I had to instruct them and ask them to do this and that instead of them reminding me of what was needed. Thanks to the host, who also happened to be my friend, the program flowed smoothly. The host acted more like the leader and the two were just assistants instead of them guiding the other suppliers. It’s like I hired two assistants instead of event coordinators that day.
For coordinators, I recommend that you choose those who were referred by friends and acquaintances, those whom they already had experiences with. I never heard of Party Fixers before but I took the risk. It wasn’t that bad but the party would have been better if we hired the experts. J
Photographer : Silver Linings Photography
Rating : Okay, so I will have two ratings for my photographer. 5/5 for the attitude and 4/5 for the skill (Overall 4.75/5)
Val of Silver Linings Photography was very easy to work with. She is a nice woman who really takes time to get to know her clients. It’s as if we were already friends to begin with. She was pleasant the entire time and would also offer to shoot early and to have a pre-birthday shoot at a discounted rate. Unfortunately, we were to busy, we were not able to avail of the pre-birthday shoot. Anyway, I did not have problems with Val in terms of her attitude and work ethic. However, I think her work skill still needs a little bit of improvement.
Maybe I expected too much. She posted teasers on Facebook (about 5 photos) a day after the party and I was so excited because the photos were amazing! When we received the full set on DVD via mail, we got a bit disappointed because it seemed quite lacking. The photos were nice – they look bright and happy (I like that style) and she did great shots of the styling details. However, we felt like there were some shots missing. My parents said there were too many candid shots of the kids – the artsy kind. My mom was looking for a shot of the tables on the floor with mats since these are so “boho” but we didn’t find any. My dad was looking for photos of the lechon and the food. I was also looking for a nice shot of the cake because I was going to send it to my supplier, but only found a “halfie” artsy shot – not the entire cake. We were also looking for a shot of the prizes because those owls were so cute but didn’t find them too. Maybe my parents are traditional so they were looking for all the customary party shots while Val’s style was more on the artistic side. Anyway, I ended up asking for the complete set of all the raw photos just to satisfy our desire to see more. Hence, the 4/5 rating.
She delivered the photos very quickly by the way! And she sent the raw files free of charge even if I offered to pay for it. This kind of gesture will make your forget any kind of shortcoming you may think of so it pays to have good attitude. J I would still highly recommend Silver Linings Photography c/o Val to all my friends because in the end, she still delivered great photos matched with a great personality. J Maybe next time, we just have to tell her more specific moments we like captured.
Caterer : Kubiertos Catering
Rating : 3.5/5
If you read my previous post about the whole party planning, I’ve mentioned several times that I was really so frugal and wanted to look for the most inexpensive supplier with the best value for money. Looking for a caterer was quite tricky. I know a lot of popular caterers out there but to be honest most of them are overpriced. So I searched and searched for the right caterer until I found Kubiertos. I went to their office in BF Homes Paranaque (being based in the South is a total plus because I don’t have to travel all the way to meet with them) to book them. I never got to meet their owner/manager Ms. Imelda Lopez because she was always out doing events but her assistants accommodated me. Ms. Imelda would respond to my emails so our transaction was smooth.
I like the way their packages are straightforward and simple. They were very affordable and came with a lot of freebies like the free tarpaulin and chocolate fondue. You can also easily interchange the food items on their menu. Other caterers are too strict about that but Kubiertos accommodated all my requests. I like how they were so flexible and they really tried to meet all my demands. Yup, demands hehe J
Now here come the bad parts. On the day itself, they arrived later than expected, which was a total turn off. Good thing their headwaiter knew what he was doing so they were able to set up immediately. BUT the major hassle of all was they did not bring enough tables. We had to make use of the round tables of the outdoor garden area to be able to accommodate our guests. We felt really bad about this. I guess it was not totally their fault that the set up was a bit cramped because that’s on the venue and on us for over inviting. But they should have brought enough tables and chairs as we have discussed. This was the major setback I had with them. Apart from that, they were also not able to provide the jars I requested for the candies. Plus, the gift table was too small.
In the end, I heard good feedback about the food from our guests. There were no major complaints and booboos too. So that’s all that matters. I tasted the dishes and they were okay. Nothing fancy, just your ordinary party food. I suppose it also helped a lot that my dad ordered Lechon and my mom ordered Paella to add to our merienda. Again, I just got what I paid for. If you have a lot of budget and you are not being frugal like me, perhaps I could say that it would be better for you to stick with the usual overpriced caterers out there. But if you are a kuripot mom like me, Kubiertos is an okay choice. Just make sure to repeat and detail all your instructions and make sure they deliver.
Magician : Christopher Abrina
Rating : 4.5/5
Christopher was a good referral. I was supposed to hire the popular Chayno for the party but he was already booked on that date so he recommended Christopher. Like all my other suppliers, I haggled for a lower rate and got it. Usually, entertainers like Chayno and Christopher are packaged with hosting and game facilitation, sometimes even with sound system too. In my case, I already have both the host and sound system, so I was able to negotiate for a tad lower rate.
Anyway, Christopher was professional (he came on time and was easy to talk to), and of course he was funny and entertaining. The kids loved him and even the adults could not contain their laughter during the “masked volunteer” portion. I didn’t want a traditional magic show so it’s good he is also a ventriloquist and he also knows how to twist balloons. His shows usally go for an hour long but we only did 30 minutes and I didn’t mind. I didn’t want to bore the older guests.
The reason why I’m giving 4.5 and not 5 is not because of Christopher per se, but because I have yet to meet or see a show wherein I am really totally entertained. I usually get bored with magic shows. But I know the kids love them. Maybe on Andie’s seventh birthday I’ll get those singing and dancing Disney Princesses. Haha! J I would highly recommend Christopher to all my friends.
Lights and Sounds : Rental Monsters
Rating : 3.5/5
This is pretty straightforward. They responded to my emails quickly and they were easy to talk to. On the day of the event, the staff were kind and respectful and delivered according to requirements. However, they did not bring a table for their sound system (they did not mention that we were supposed to provide this). Their laptop was a bit out of date, and the music played were not up to date as well. They needed instructions and there were times when there was no music playing during the party. I guess they did a mediocre job.
Events Host : Katherine Ranoa (YourKatherine.Com)
Rating : 5/5
Okay, this review may sound quite biased because she is my friend, but I promise that this is as objective as possible. I think that being my friend is aactually one of the reasons why she performed so well. There was a level of comfort on both sides. I have always been a fan of getting hosts whom you actually know than getting “Radio DJs”, “VJs” or famous professional hosts. They don’t have to be your best friends, but at least they’re not strangers. We did the same on our wedding and loved how it turned out.
Anyway, going back, Choy (as I would call her) is also a professional. She does part time hosting but usually for corporate events, so she has enough confidence and experience. She came on time, was dressed appropriately for the occasion, and was funny and witty the entire program. What’s best about her is how she helped handle the program flow. In fact, I felt a bit embarrassed because I knew it was not her job and she was only stepping up because my coordinators were not performing so well. So she took control and managed the entire program well. Getting her was really a great decision! 🙂
So there you have it. In the end, I think that all my suppliers did their jobs to the best of their abilities and that’s what matters. There were no major mishaps and booboos, just minor things that needed improvement. And of course, the party was a success! Yay! 🙂
I hope this detailed review helps anyone planning a party soon!
Good luck! 🙂
Party Planning Mom,