Monday, May 23, 2011

Venue Review - Crystal Gardens

A few of you have been wondering... where are the reviews?  Well, here's another one for you.  This time it's Crystal Gardens in Howell.  I do 6-10 events here a year.  As it is close to home, I'd like to do more here, but they have an odd way of recommending vendors - it's about about who pays to advertise with them.  You've already heard me complain about bridal shows being nothing more than a sales rally.  Needless to say, I'm not listed as one of their "preferred" vendors because I don't do their bridal show.

Crystal Gardens at night

Regardless of politics, I have to say, Crystal Gardens staff is one of the most professional I've ever worked with.  There are always plenty of staff members to take care of all your needs.  When food is served buffet style, the food NEVER runs out.  Someone is always there to replenish the pans before they're empty.  The food is always good and pending what entrée choices were made, it could even be worthy of a five star restaurant.  The hall is elegantly decorated, well kept and always clean.

If you're planning your wedding here I do have some tips for you...

> Make sure you book the hall for the full amount of time you'd like to stay.  While I don't have a problem playing longer (hourly rates apply), they won't extend the time for you at the end of the night.

> The food ranges from good to incredible.  Most caterers will allow a time for a tasting, I don't know if they offer this, but you should ask.

> The corner room with the corner DJ booth may look nice, but it doesn't accommodate a very large reception.  Keep that in mind when booking.

This is the corner room setup for the wedding ceremony.

The view from the corner DJ booth.  It's difficult for guests to make requests in this room.

Because the dance floor is in the center of the room, there isn't a good way to keep the sound aimed strictly at the dance floor.  This can make it hard for non-dancing guests to talk later in the evening.  In other rooms, the dance floor is at one end of the room.

While price may be a factor, Crystal Gardens does a VERY nice job and your guests won't be disappointed. Just keep in mind you CAN pick your own DJ!

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