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If you are looking for a place to have both of your ceremony and reception then Pine West is the place. This venue is located right off of 131 in Kalamazoo and it is very easy and convenient to get to. There are also multiple hotels in the area. The staff is very professional and Jennifer is great to work with. She made sure all the details for our wedding were perfect, answered all of our questions and even helped us pick out our menu.
At first glance, the place doesn't look like much but the further we got into planning the more I felt that we made the right choice. Once we got it all decorated the way that we wanted on the wedding day, everything was beautiful. Jennifer even has some decorations in house to use. While it is not a large property with a huge aesthetic value like some other wedding locations, you get a lot of bang for your buck here. All of the tables, chairs, dishware, and linens are included and the staff sets up and tears down everything. All of the catering is in house and the food is very good. They also have a full bar for spirits and multiple packages to choose from for food and drink to personalize your special day.
Jennifer was amazing! We originally signed up under different ownership, and were nervous about the change. In no time we realized that our Reception would be even better with Jennifer helping us. She was great about always being around and meeting up whenever we needed. I also loved that she kept Pine West open during the day so you could go in and check out little details you may have missed. They're working on updating the whole facility, so we were lucky enough to enjoy beautifully updated bathrooms. In addition, she has years of Wedding experience which helped calm me down when I started worrying about the details. The food was amazing! Almost everyone I talked to throughout the night commented on how much they loved the food. It was also a great help that all the venders from town knew Jennifer, so they felt comfortable setting up and organizing drop off times with her (a huge stress off the brides shoulders). All in all, Pine West was willing to work with any random idea I threw their way and was always helpful and accommodating. I would recommend this place to anyone! Loved my wedding day here.
We chose Pine West for our wedding reception and catering. When we originally booked with Pine West it was under different ownership, so it stressed me out a little bit at first in how the transition to new ownership would impact our wedding reception. In all honesty, it made things better! Originally we were required to use Pine West's own DJ and Cake services. One of the reasons we chose Pine West was due to its location, being close to several hotels so we were willing to deal with the designated DJ and baker because of this. But with the new owners we were able to select our own DJ and baker, allowing for a better fit with our personal preferences. Jennifer was wonderful to work with. She was always very friendly, responsive, and willing to help us with whatever we needed. She was even ok with a menu change about a week before the reception. She was willing to meet with me several times in the weeks before the wedding to finalize details and help me to not stress as much about those things. Pine West was also really flexible with our ending time of the reception and allowed us to determine when we wanted to end the night of the reception based on how many guests were still there and how things were going. We ended up extending our time until 11:30 and we were allowed to pay for that extra time and the extra bar charges that night. I think Jennifer is the best and I know that anyone who chooses to use Pine West as their reception location will have as good of an experience as we did!
It was a pleasure to have our wedding here.
We called Brenda when trying to organize an outside wedding on the beach. Between renting a tent, renting a dance floor, chairs, DJ, caterer, and bar and then trying to actually organize everything we finally gave Pine West a call.
The convenience of having everything handled (reception, deserts, dinner, DJ, Bar, and ceremony) through one business is absolutely fantastic.
Brenda is a pastry chef and handled all the deserts and wedding cake herself. Everything was delicious and the cake was to die for and looked amazing... The top of our cake just may not survive a year... its really that good!
The cooks the Brenda has on staff are fantastic. For dinner we had Prime Rib, Salmon, and Chicken Cordon Bleu.
I have cooked and catered in restaurants and reception halls for over 10 years, so trust me when I say... The Prime Rib ranks among some of the best I have ever had. It is a MUST HAVE!! And although I didn't have it myself, the Salmon looked GREAT!
Brenda even handled the decorations inside the wedding hall, after discussing with my wife what she wanted, and she did a great job. The place looked fantastic.
Outside they have a Gazebo to have the ceremony under, a small beautiful bridge that the bridal party walks over on their way to the gazebo. The DJ sets up his equipment outside and handles all the music and provides a PA system for the minister to use during the ceremony and he did a fantastic job, I must say their DJ is also a pleasure to work with. They also have a covered refreshment bar and provided all the drinks for our quests while waiting for the ceremony to start.
Inside they have a beautiful reception hall with a dining room, dance floor and bar.
As far as flexibility, value, and professionalism Brenda and Carl are a pleasure to work with. Always available to answer any questions, help with organizing, easy to work with and very responsive and available when you want to set an appointment. They have a 100 guest minimum and we only planned on 70 guests. As far as flexibility Brenda only charged us for the quests we had at the bar and then for the extra 30 we had paid for food she made the cake and h'orderve table free of charge.
Anyways... all I can say is thank you for a wonderful wedding and evening. It was a pleasure doing business with Brenda and Carl.
When looking for a venue to have my wedding reception, I thought that Pine West was the best place for the money! The hall included the DJ, cake, caterting and decorations. Though after a while I looked at the bill and the price seemed to go up and up every time I put money down each month. Brenda took forever to e-mail me back questions that I had and rairly return my phone calls. The day of the wedding nothing was set up on the tables so we had to do the decorating ourself even though she said that her people would do the setting up. Brenda yelled at my photographer for spending too much time with pitcures out back and made my photographer feel bad. The worse thing of all was that I spent $20.00 on the adult meals and $15.00 on the children's meals and the food was HORRIBLE. It was either burnt, overdone or underdone. Everyone complained about their food and the children would not even eat their meal because it was so burn. There were not enough server's the day of the wedding and it took them forever to pass out the main dish once everyone was done with their saled. I spent over $2,000.00 for people to eat and NO ONE liked their meal. It was so embarrasing! The cake cutting took so long after the meals were finally served that people started to leave. I was very disapointed with the service that we were given. I would DEFINITLY NEVER recommend Pine West for any type of occassion! :-(
Using Pine West/Catering By Tarnow has many advantages. The courtyard and gazaebo make a beautiful outdoor wedding venue. Since we had both the wedding and the reception right there, it simplified everything. We used the Best Western next door as the event hotel and there is a short foot path that connects the two facilities. Once guests park their cars at either location, it is not necessary to move the cars again until they are on their way home. The
in-house DJ and baker simplified things even more. We used their DJ for the reception and the cake service was exemplary. What a gorgeous wedding cake--made right to our specifications! The gazebo provides a perfect spot for a string quartet as they request a shady performance place as part of their contract. We found Brenda and Carl to be very professional and also friendly and open to suggestions. We highly recommend Pine West to anyone wanting to get married on the west side of Kalamazoo. They helped to provide us with a dream wedding.
I don't know where to begin with these guys! They were so helpful from day 1! Brenda practically holds your hand through the whole process, and takes care of SO much. The cost might be a little intimidating, but don't be fooled! We were on a very tight budget, and when you break down all that's included with the package, you save so much money...and time...and stress...
We had our ceremony on October 22nd, in front of the fireplace. It was a nice enough day outside, and Brenda gave us the option of having it outdoors at the gazebo several times. She even asked us again just days before when the weather forecast said it would be a gorgeous day out. That - shocked me. We didn't want an outdoor wedding, but for Heaven's sake, if you DID want one - in Michigan - this is the way to do it! She gave us the option so close to the wedding date! Anywho, back to the wedding stuff.
The fireplace room was gorgeous. Brenda had all sorts of options for decoration, but you don't even need it. Not to mention that our guests only had to walk into the next room for the reception. They opened the bar and had snacks waiting for them while we went and got our pictures taken (which beforehand, Brenda made sure to let us know of our likely timeline, so we took men's and women's pictures separately before the ceremony). And by the way- OUR PICTURES WERE GORGEOUS!!!! holy crap! We had originally planned to go to one of the nearby parks for pics, but the back area was more than we needed. It may be hard to tell, but the scenery is plentiful, and the garden is beautifully kept..That tall grass and the bridge supplied the BEST background for our pictures.
ok food! fan.tas.tic! We had the stuffed chicken (do it), and the pasta bake...we had people telling us all night, and the days following how great it tasted. The cake could NOT have been better. This is where Brenda really shines! She was so excited, and in turn got us all revved up, when we started talking cake. I'm not going to lie...I'm a pie person. She sold me on the cake. We had a layer that was chocolate with raspberry filling, and another that was bananas foster-inspired: banana cake with caramel frosting. WOW. so good! I can't wait to dig into our top on our 1 year! Not to mention, she came up with a custom design just for us, it was beautiful!
Joe, the DJ was wonderful. There was a technical difficulty when one of our guests kicked out one of the wires by accident, and he covered beautifully. He played all the music on our list, took requests, and played the music for our ceremony as well.
The reception was wonderful as well. We did get the chair covers, and with that the reception took care of itself. The lighting is romantic and Brenda has centerpieces available. Instead we just used her votive candles, and I couldn't have been happier with how it looked.
All in all, this was unbeatable. All we had to worry about was a pastor and a photographer. Brenda made all the rest happen. No bar tender, no caterer, no silverware rental, no dj, no baker, etc.I couldn't thank them all enough for all they did for us, it was a stress-free and silky-smooth day!!! Mwah!
Mwah right back at you both! You were such a fantastic couple to assist with all of your wedding details! I really enjoyed working with you both. Your bridal party was so fun and extremely polite...and enjoyed their food immensely :)...as was all of your guests...they were just wonderful to my staff and myself! It was definitely a stand out wedding here at Pine West ...and you are the reason why. Its a joy to witness a union between two very special people like the two of you; and your friends and family were all a reflection of you...truly a wonderful couple! I wish you much love and happiness in your future together! Thanks for the "5"!!!
Pine West is a great choice for a low stress wedding. Chris and I had both the ceremony and reception at Pine West. Part of the reason that we chose Pine West was that just about everything is on-site. It made coordinating and planning SUPER easy. Brenda was absolutely fantastic and reassuring throughout the whole thing. (The week/ day of the wedding was kinda miserable weather and we wanted an outside wedding.) The outside ceremony site was absolutely beautiful w/o any extra decorations. The only problems I had were when I had to deal with Carl. I heard from a few guests that he was a little rude to them. The main entrees for our dinner were fantastic (stuffed chicken and tenderloin tips). Our cake was very pretty as well. Brenda and the baker did an excellent job of incorporating the several pictures of cakes I liked into one. THANKS SO MUCH BRENDA!
Thank you Kim and Chris for allowing us to assist in making your wedding day absolutely beautiful It was certainly an honor; you are both such wonderful people and I enjoyed helping to make your vision come to life! We were very fortunate that the weather held out, and allowed us to be able to have the ceremony outside in the gazebo garden! We beat the odds! Kim, you were absolutely stunning in your gown...
I'm happy that you loved your cake! It sure did turn out pretty...and I'm sure it will be a popular cake in our cake book with future brides. I am terribly sorry that Carl came off as being rude to a few of your guests. I believe he was just very concerned that someone was going to get injured on the dance floor with how they were getting more and more physical...especially on our hard floor! People don't always use the best judgment when they have a bit to drink...and he was probably overly stern about warning them to be careful. Carl and I both apologize, and hope you understand his concern. I am very happy that you enjoyed your dinner; when I went around from table to table to ask everyone if they were full and how they liked their meal, they were very satisfied...and full! That's what we like to hear, as we put a lot of love into preparing the food. I will be talking about your early May wedding for quite a while to come...I'm still amazed that we actually were able to have it outside! The wind quieted down, the birds were chirping, and the white petals off the flowering trees drifted through the air...covering the ground so pretty! Our best wishes go out to you for a wonderful future together!
Brenda was amazing! She was very in tune with making our wedding 'ours.' We were wedding planning from out of state, so my step mom toured venues for us. We chose Pine West because of Brenda's professionalism, responsiveness, amazing attitude, and experience. She really knew how to make a wedding flow so that it could be stress free for us and enjoyable for our guests.
The outdoor ceremony area was BEAUTIFUL. We have amazing pictures out there (We had a great photographer - Chris Mcguire - check him out!). It's close to the highway, which is really convenient for guests, but in an alcove so that you can't hear the highway and it feels very private (it also lessened the wind on our somewhat cold windy day).
The reception area is somewhat dated but clean and very functional. We chose to decorate it very simply and I thought it looked lovely. Brenda added lots of nice additions (but not too much, as I really wanted it to look simple and clean).
The food. I have to say, I was a little hesitant about the food. We like good food and generally don't hesitate to drop some money on a nice meal. The food was very reasonably priced, and I thought that might mean the quality would be less. We had the Tarnow's Stuffed Chicken and a Veggie Ragu on top of Polenta with redskin potatoes and a winter carrot cassarole. It was AMAZING. I had the vegetable ragu with polenta - if you're looking for a great veg entree - CHOOSE THIS. No joke. It was so good. We got ready at Pine West and could smell them cooking everything before the wedding - yum. It's all made fresh that day. The staff was also great and professional. We had an open bar (at such a reasonable price!) too. Great fun!
The cake. I LOVE cake. We tried cake from several places, just to make sure. And Pine West's cake was the best, by far. We had this amazing chocolate raspberry and a carrot cake with walnuts and coconut. They boxed up the leftovers for us too. My family was in heaven all week eating the leftovers. They even convinced us that we shouldn't save the top layer for our first anniv because they wanted to finish it while we were on our honeymoon :)
The Power Outage :) Yes, we lost power on our wedding day from about noon until 4:30 (The ceremony was at 5pm). Pine West, the hotels next door, traffic lights... The staff at Pine West was on top of everything! They had kerosene lanterns in the kitchen and were chopping up all the veggies. They were just about to get generators when the power came back on. I was not stressed at all and they were all very professional and kept me up to date on what was going on.
We had an amazing wedding and are so happy we had it at Pine West. It was super convenient for our guests and they did so much (at a very reasonable price) that it greatly reduced the wedding planning stress. If you have any questions, want to see pics, etc message me!
We used Pine West for our wedding in June (2010) and LOVED it! Brenda was great to work with and she went out of her way to see that things were done as we wanted. The outdoor facility made for some AMAZING pictures and I recieved numerous comments on how good the food was. To quote the best man, "this is the first wedding I've been to where ALL the food was good".
On the day of the wedding, I was extreemly pleased with how curtious and helpfull the staff was. All of my guests requests were met without hesitation.
Thank you guys! It was a pleasure working with you towards making the perfect day become a reality! You are such a great couple, I'm so happy for you that everything turned out just as you wanted it to. I hope that I will get to see these amazing photo's soon! It was a lovely day, the ceremony site was beautiful and you both looked amazing...so I'm sure that they turned out wonderful ! I'm happy that you and your guests enjoyed everything...and please, tell your best man he can come back for seconds anytime! Happy forever!
When I began planning my wedding I thought I would be in for a real challenge. My now husband and I both live in Virginia but wanted to get married in Michigan, where most of his family resides. I started my planning by searching for a reception hall and came across Pine West. I loved the website and the history that went along with this place and after talking a bit with Brenda I decided to go with this place. Brenda proved over and over again that I made the best selection. She was extremely helpful and through email helped me plan my perfect wedding. Being from out of town she was able to provide me with tons of useful information and even recommended the photographer and florist I used for my wedding. The place looked great, the food was delicious and the staff was amazing. It rained most of the morning we were there setting up and 2 of them ran around with umbrellas to shield us from the rain. Everyone was very polite and professional as well. I couldn't have asked for a better place to have my wedding and highly recommend Brenda and Pine West to anyone getting married in the Kalamazoo area. Thanks again for being such a huge help!!
- Ashley & Don
Thank you Ashley and Don for your wonderful words! Your wedding was an absolute beautiful day, even though the weather was a bit of a challenge! We didn't let it take control though, did we! The best moment was when Ashley stepped outside to walk down the aisle, and the sun came out and cast a breathtaking beam of sunshine directly down on her! It was like a scene directly out of a movie. I enjoyed working with the two of you, you gave me the freedom to incorporate some fun colorways along with some very nice finishing touches that made the room radiate with beauty...just like the bride! I wish you all the happiness in the world...and a lifetime of joy together! Remember, I'll see you at your 50th anniversary!
Pine West took my instructions for simple, but elegant and completely surpassed my expectations. The reception hall took my breath away with it's elegant beauty. They are very easy to work with, allowing my personal effects to be added at the last minute. There were a few communication issues with the final cost as the final invoice is provided the day it is due, but Carl was kind enough to adjust the bill to accomodate my budget. Our cake was even intricately beautiful and was the best wedding cake I have ever tasted. Overall, I am VERY impressed with Pine West. Their price is unbeatable for the quailty of their product. Having the ceremony and reception at the same location was very convienent for our out of town guests and there are several hotels within walking distance. We had the served buffet style dinner at the reception. It may have been worth the extra $1.oo per person to have it served at the table as the buffet line took quite a while to get everyone through (this took time away from dancing and celebrating as the bar is closed during dinner).
Sherri, I have never been happier to see the reaction of a bride then when you first saw the reception all set up! A smile a mile wide spread across your face, and you just glowed with delight! Your comments of " it's more than I ever dreamed it would be", are what makes assisting brides with their weddings so worth while! All the little details brought together made the whole room just sparkle. I'm sorry that you felt that the food line took a little longer than usual...when you have such a large crowd with quite a lot of kids attending, it does add 10-15 minutes onto things. However, I think that we kept your guests amused with the kissing game that you had planned! You were still able to enjoy your full time of dancing, I think that it just felt like a longer time had actually passed than what did...remember how I tell you about wedding day "time" feeling fast and slow at times...this was actually the first time you had been able to sit down for awhile and relax, and it did seem to go by slower compared to everything else that day! I'm thankful that you were so completely pleased, and that we were successful in turning your dream into reality...and then some! We wish you the best for your future together. By the way, you were stunning...I think that the room was just a reflection of you!
Overall our reception was great. There were a few issues with communication, but they were all fixed by the reception. I was from out of town, and Brenda was great with meeting with me when I was in town or e-mailing me pictures and ideas. A few problems - Our seating chart got messed up so our guests were not sitting where they were supposed to, and I had a few comments that the cake wasn't that great. We also had problems with the music. A lot of the songs kept skipping or repeating and it got really annoying. My one suggestion is to make sure you give everything to Brenda. My mother dropped off some things to Carl and they got lost, causing most of our problems. When I talked or worked directly with her, I never had a problem. Overall it was a great reception and was a great place to join with our family and friends.
Thank you for your kind words, it was a joy to closely work with both of you to achieve the subtle beach theme that you wanted at your reception. From the linen colors, to the sand and shells in the centerpieces, it was beautiful. I especially liked the beach buckets and shovels used for the candy bar. Your Mom really liked the sand castle cake we made as a surprise centerpiece for the candy table! It added a lot to the look. I'm really sorry that a few people didn't like the cake. They sure ate a lot of it! I was disappointed though that you didn't mention in the review about how your cake looked; like you did that night when you told me how "amazing" it looked. You mentioned how we matched all the shades of blue and aqua from other design elements, and that the hand-painted "real looking" sea shells that adorned it were gorgeous. As for the mix up with your seating chart, I don't think you can blame me for that. It wasn't something that I was even responsible for. You were, and I was completely surprised when I found the name cards in the things that your Mom had just dropped off. By the time I found the name cards (no chart) it was too late to contact you. I did the best as I could by locating the parents tables up front, they were just in reverse order than what you had wanted. I arranged the cards in alphabetical order on our front entry table, (you had them arranged by the table number), that would have been impossible for your guests to find in a timely manner. Also, when your Mom had dropped off the miscellaneous information sheets to Carl, the music list for the DJ was on top, so he handed it to the DJ that evening. Your Mom had laryngitis, and Carl couldn't understand her that there was a list of questions for me. I did however, answer all of your questions the week of the wedding via e-mail well in advance of the reception... I surely didn't see or hear any problems that arose because of the few last minute questions. As far as the music, I didn't know that there were any issues, I wish that you would have approached me that evening if you were experiencing anything out of the ordinary and I would have dealt with it immediately. I'm sorry I didn't notice it going on myself. I do want to apologize for anything that wasn't perfect, we do try our hardest to provide a positive experience for you and your guests. We wish the both of you much happiness in the years to come!
They were great. Everyone was really nice for the most part. If you book Pine West be sure you check the sign out front before the wedding. They spelled my name wrong. It was fixed before the wedding luckily. Don't get on the bakers bad side. She was kind of mean to me but that was resolved. Carl can be a little grumpy at times. My husband and I were out side taking pictures with the photographer when Carl came out and yelled at us to hurry up because the food was ready. He was also rude to the best man. I'm sorry but if we're paying you, you can just sit and wait until we are ready to serve the food. We didn't even take that long. Other than those few hiccups the wedding was great.
Breanna and I wanted to comment on this family business and to let everyone know that they deserve a HUGE high five! Brenda, Carl and their staff went ABOVE and BEYOND the call of duty when it came to our event. She was there to answer any and all questions every step of the way. When they say they treat you like family, they mean it! They really do treat you like one of the family! So many options available from the decor to the appetizer and at a great and reasonable price. They helped us in every aspect; from the picking of the menu all the way to helping with our little fishies! What really, really impressed us, aside from the exceptional service and creativity, was our hotel situation. During one of our many email conversations (I prefer email for my communication, so please don't think they are unapproachable by phone), I was sharing with her my frustrations that I was experiencing with our hotel we had for our guests. Out of no where, I received a call from my then Fiance and an email from Brenda informing me that she had called to the surrounding area hotels, personally spoke with their General Managers and was able to get us some last-minute awesome prices on hotel rooms. I did make a few calls to our guests and while it was a great offer, we did end up staying with the same hotel we originally booked, which we shouldn't have done business with in the first place. The food was amazing, the wedding cake was AWESOME (they are very artistic, spent a day and a half doing ours!), and the DJ helped us all dance the night away.
On a personal note, I cannot believe how accomodating Pine West was to not only Breanna and I, but to our guests and the overall experience. If we needed anything, or needed to "tweak" something here and there, Breanda was always on top of it. She even went out of her way and prepared a special plate for one of my guests. If you are looking for creativity, personal and exceptional service as well as someone who is not in it JUST for the proft, Breanda and her Team are definitely the way to go. We will definitely be reccomending them to anyone who is looking for not only a reception venue but a ceremony venue as well!
Shawn and Breanna Whitford
July 26th, 2008
Thanks guys for your fabulous words of praise! We very much enjoyed being a part of your wedding. In fact, I have missed our e-mails, and seeing your smiling faces! Shawn, I have never had more input from a groom than what I experienced from you...it was great. Your wedding was one of the most detailed and colorful receptions I have ever done. I loved it! You weren't afraid to step out of the box and express yourself! We definitely had a connection with all the creative aspects that were included. Every last little detail was what made for a lavish and sensuous experience for you and your guests to enjoy. Your henna designed wedding cake always gets a lot of attention when brides look at our cake book! We all wish the best to both of you for a lifetime of wonderful adventures together...
PS I do enjoy the updates of what you guys are up to!
Pine West was very professional and was there to take care of all the details for us.
Thank you for your kinds words! It was a joy to be a part of your special day.