I will start out by saying that I loved my wedding (we had ours at The Lucy), and I’d do it all again at Cescaphe. Now that I know how they are, I would change HOW I worked with them. I do think it’s important to go into it eyes wide open. The...
positives: the venue was gorgeous and the food spread was delicious and so plentiful. Guests were in awe, as Cescaphe executed on what they do best and are known for - the food and drinks. The added hour that comes in the package is also very helpful and worth it. We also loved the vibe at The Lucy and are so glad we picked it (it is classic yet new and modern, and you also cannot beat the location).
The reason for less than five stars is really that for the price Cescaphe charges and the salesy promises they make, they should be held accountable for this offering, and clients should go in eyes wide open and prepared. Cescaphe presents a premium price tag and brand, yet truly delivers mass market service and customer experience to the bride and groom, and for now they can, because they have such a stronghold on the Philadelphia wedding market. They run a very specific playbook, and they don’t deviate from it, and as they have grown, they cut more corners. I would caution clients to save every file and document they provide you before you sign, as you will likely need it a year later when they try to tell you something is different or changed. You really need to stay in top of them and ask your event manager about everything. For us there were some small things that didn’t really matter, but the biggest disappointment was the bar. Cescaphe is known for one fixed price for top shelf liquor, but the night of our wedding, several premium liquors that were listed in the sales package were not there. The iconic bar at The Lucy was so sparse looking. We regret specifically not going over every liquor with them beforehand to ensure what was in the contract would be there, but we didn’t think we would have to. It was so frustrating. They really sell (and put in the contract) “top shelf” open bar, but they ended up removing the top of each category without telling us. Later they said it was due to “availability.”
Other tips- the “concierge” is completely laughable. It consists of a bunch of 24 year olds googling and giving you canned information and referrals that you can frankly get yourself, at the same public rates. They don’t deviate or go above and beyond. They were fine but really not needed, completely an oversold service. Also do your homework- your venue event manager will tell you you can only do things a certain way, but that is just the way they prefer it. If you push them or show them internet posts of your venue set up another way, for instance, they will allow it. You really just need to ask and be extremely proactive and detail oriented. Finally, the fact that Beautiful Blooms is the only vendor that can hang things from the ceilings or turn the lights on in the venue for a fee (“up lighting” as they say) is annoying but the sad reality. If you can spare the added logistics, only use them for what you have to and get the florist you want. Cescaphe’s preferred vendors are fine, but they certainly are not the best or the most economical. Finally, they totally overstate the venue capacity. Beware of that and round down.
Like I said, my wedding was amazing, all the guests seemed to have a spectacular time, so it might seem like I’m nitpicking. But when you are shelling out so much money, you expect a service level that frankly isn’t there. The guests won’t feel it (which is great), but you as the bride and groom sure will. If they want to continue to play in the premium space, it’s time to act like it. So just be prepared, squeeze out everything you want from them, hire your own coordinator, and then enjoy your wedding day!