Reviews

Some things went quite well during the wedding; a few caused us a bit of grief. As a public service, an outlet for ranting, and an acknowledgement of the good, we are putting up this page with commentary on the vendors with which we dealt.

Reception Hall (The Primavera and Connie)
Our experience with the Primavera was excellent. The place is beautiful (take a look at some of the photographs, particularly around the staircases), the food is great, and all of our interaction and setup passed with a minimum of hassle. Considering that we did most of our planning remotely from California, this is pretty amazing. Some of this, of course, is because our parents helped, but a lot of it is simply thanks to the Primavera itself.

Our main contact with the Primavera was Connie. She was wonderful both before and during the wedding, helping arrange and organize the process. It was largely thanks to her that the services were able to run smoothly. She kept a sharp eye on things and made sure everything proceeded well despite any individual momentary difficulties.

Pundit (Pandita Dube)
Pundit Pandita Dube (617 298-7309) of the Ganeshe Temple in Dorchester performed the Hindu ceremony. He did a wonderful job. He made sure that we understood what was going on, helped customize the ceremony, and made certain to cover the vital aspects of the service, fitting them within a relatively limited ammount of time. He did run over the time we expected, but since the full ceremony is supposed to take three hours, that is understandable. We recommend his services for anyone who needs to perform ceremonies in the area.

Photographer (Alek Goland)
Our photographer was Alek Goland (781 789-1156) . We were not sure at first whether we wanted a photographer. But our parents insisted (which is to say "Kids, you're getting a photographer.") We are very happy that they did. This was Alek's first time photographing a hindu ceremony and he was quite excited. He had a nice attitude, came to the rehearsal, and talked over what we wanted. He took lots of great photos, many of which you can see on the photo page.

Hairdresser (Yuri of Fine Lines Hair Salon)
Yuri (Fine Lines Hair Salon 617 630-0228) did a great job with Sonia's hair. He was reluctant at first to tackle the slightly complex job (four feet of hair does not seem the norm), but he relented, and Sonia loved it. So did everybody else who had a chance to see it.

Mehendi (Jaishree Laddha)
Jaishree Laddha did mehendi for Sonia, and other women who wanted it. She arrived promptly, had good rates, worked quickly (and for many hours), and did a beautiful job on everyone. Her designs were clean, she customised the patterns to whatever a person wanted, and had a great attitude.

Paintball (Apache P & L Indoor Outdoor Paintball)
For the first part of the bachelor party, we went to play some paintball in Taunton. (Apache P & L Indoor Outdoor Paintball 508 822-7788). Unfortunately, most of the places we contacted were only open on weekends, and for outdoors. We were going on Friday with a bad forecast. Apache was open, though, and we had a good few hours of gaming in their indoor area. The arena was cool, the people helpful, and we had a lot of fun at reasonable cost, so if you are in the market for shooting each other with paint, check this place out. The outdoor area is probably more fun, though.

Wedding Cake (Dessert Works)
We got our cake from Dessert Works in Medfield. The flowers (the pink decorative ones) were not what we expected, but the cake overall was excellent. And it looked gorgeous. So we were happy with the result.

Rabbi (Mark Golub)
The Rabbi did a nice job of the Jewish ceremony. He came to the rehearsal ceremony to help us figure out what was going to happen when, stayed in contact with us long before the wedding, giving detailed assistance with customizing the ceremony, and did well with the unorthodox mixture of cultures. Some aspects of his personality clashed with those of us and our families, but overall, he was a great help with the wedding.

Florist (Lovell's Flowers)
The florist (Lovell's Flowers in Medfield) screwed up our order. Instead of giving Sonia a cascading bouquet, they gave her a regular one. They also messed up the bouquets of the Maid of Honor and Matron of Honor. We requested that those two be slightly different from the other bridesmaids, but they were delivered exactly the same. In addition, the color of the roses they selected was not the shade of pink we requested. We wanted (and pointed out on a sample flower) a strong pink, they gave us pinkish white. Overall, the flowers looked okay, but they were not what we wanted.

Beauty Place (Blaine Beauty School)
We made a judgement error in going to a beauty school for Sonia's bridal preparations. They ended up burning Sonia's arm and eyelid during the wax, and missed patches. It's probably not a good idea to go to them for anything complex.

Travel (onetravel.com and ATA airlines)
We recommend against ever traveling with American Trans Air (ATA) airlines, or booking with OneTravel.com.

The service and circumstances of our flights were ridiculously bad, far worse than any prior experience with airlines.

First, we were lied to when making the reservation. We booked (and paid extra for) a nonstop flight via OneTravel.com. When we came to the airport we discovered that the flight stops in Midway. This is not a small thing, or a mistake, or any sort of excusable behavior. It's a pathetic moneygrubbing lie from an airline that claims to be 'honestly different'.

On the way back, when we got our seat assignments, the ticket agent gave us the rearmost seats in the aircraft, saying that most likely we would have the three seats to ourselves, since the seats were not desirable. A short time later, there was an announcement asking for people to give up their seats because the flight was overbooked. If the flights are that full (and the fact that the same happened on the way to Boston suggests this is normal), then there are clearly not going to be any empty seats.

Then we got on the plane, which smelled like a public toilet (all the way through, not just near the lavoratories).

Shortly after takeoff (in a plane that smelled like a public all the way through, not just near the lavatories), during the beverage service, I asked for an extra packet of peanuts for Sonia, who was hungry. The stewardess refused to give it. (fears of bankrupcy, no doubt) On the way back, they were handing out their extra snacks, and completely ignored Sonia's attempts to get their attention.

During the layover (the one we were not supposed to have), we stepped out to eat. I left two books and a bag of candy in the seat pocket in front of me. Sonia's seat pocket was full of garbage from the previous flight, which the cleaners had never bothered to clean out.

When we came back, we discovered that the cleaning crew had taken the candy and took a bookmark from inside one of the books. This was a rather pretty bookmark, and a present to Sonia. Obviously, this was not just a mistake, since the books were left behind (I guess they aren't much use for the illiterate), and someone had to have reached into the book to get the bookmark. They don't even have the excuse of cleaning, since they didn't bother getting rid of the garbage in Sonia's seat pocket!

The bookmark was a present to Sonia, and the candy is something I need during takeoff and landing. Without it, my ears hurt, particularly during landing.

The stewardess, when confronted with this, was thoroughly uncaring, and claimed that she'd call the cleaning crew, but never got back to us.

To summarize: ATA's employees are lying, cheating, spiteful, thieving and incompetent. Their flights are dreadful and being on them was the worst part of our trip. We highly recommend against using them or onetravel.com (which is likely at least in part to blame for selling us tickets with a stop as non-stop).

Music (Sonny Desai of Cloud 9 Productions)
...not to be confused with DJ Sonny...

Do not book Sonny Desai or his ilk for any event.

Sonny Desai competed with ATA for most incompetent award (and won). ATA appeared to be malicious - Sonny seemed to have the brains of malnourished sea urchin. He was incapable of following simple directions, even when repeated numerous times.

He showed up with four other guys - absurd for the situation, where one guy, (and maybe someone to help set up) is more than sufficient. He erected a large banner advertising his own club. (I got him to take it down.) Then...

We met with him ahead of time, and asked him to play a mix of American, Indian, Russian and Jewish dance music. We gave him labeled CDs of Russian and Jewish he could pop in at need. We even gave him American music CDs so his job consisted almost solely of picking Indian music, and swapping CDs. We requested the following:
- No rap
- No country
- No more than one or two Bangara songs (a type of Punjabi music)
...The first song to come out of his speakers when we asked him to start the dance music was rap. About a man who cheats on his wife. The second through fifth songs were Bangara. This set the tone for his behavior for the rest of the evening.

We repeatedly had to go to him to try to get him to change what he was doing. It usually took four or five imperatives to comprehend a command, and even then, he usually went back to what he was doing a few songs later. He actually argued with simple directions, claiming to have some sort of method which evidently, the people merely paying him were beneath. (His method consisted of taking 10 songs to transition between any two genres.) Here is a sampling of what he could not understand:
- Play some slow songs as well as fast songs.
- Don't play only slow songs.
- Stop playing all Bangara music.
- Play song x. (it's amazing how hard this was for them)
- Stop after this song for a toast. (took half an hour)
For every one of these requests, we had to go back several times to get them to obey - for instance, they played 3-4 indian songs after we asked them to mix with samething else, despite that with every song, we told them to do something different.

And at the end, he took down his equipment and left before told to do so... while the wedding party was outside doing the bouquet toss... before we had the last dance.

Do not do business with this man.