Well my wedding day was a complete blur, I don’t remember much and I wasn’t even drunk, I had ONE sip of my drink! So my one advice is to just enjoy and relax. The one thing I do remember is saying my vows, I tried really hard not to break down, but eventually did start crying. Brian kept telling me not to cry, and I kept telling him to stop talking during the ceremony.
Anyway, it’s finally my turn to do vendor reviews, so here goes:
Photographer - Tony Valadez A+++++, enough said. Tony is not only an extremely talented photographer, but very fun to work with. He’s personable and fast with returning stuff back to you. He is my favorite vendor. I should get all the pictures this week. He claimed I was his most difficult bride bc I didn’t express how I felt about the pictures. That is not the case at all. I guess I’m not the type to jump and scream over stuff. I do love his quality of work and will consider him for future photo sessions. He has an eye that’s completely unique from any other photographers I’ve seen or researched.
Cakes - The Cake Guys – A+++++, they are my second favorite vendor. OMG, everyone talked about how beautiful the cakes were and of course how delicious they were. I still couldn’t believe how good the white cakes are. I’ve never had white cake this good. We ended up with strawberry cream and amaretto filling for the brides cake, and plain choc. for the grooms cake. I can’t wait to get home to have the leftovers!! They were also easy to communicate with via email, it takes them a couple days to respond, but they always do.
DJ - DJ Ralph with bookdjralph.com – A+++++. Originally we sent him a CD of songs we liked, but no one was dancing. So finally he was able to play music the guests would dance to. Not only did he show up extra early (an hour early) but he’s great to work with AND his prices are incredible. I don’t see how people can’t find a good DJ for under 1000 bucks.
Dress – Bridesmart – currently Alfred Angelo on LBJ and Preston – A+ – I had a budget and needed to stick to it. The service here is incredible but the selection was ok. Luckily I found THE dress which was a discontinued obscure name brand that I loved. I originally was going to sell it, but I think I’ll keep it. I love my dress. I only gave them one plus because I returned the following week after paying for my dress to pick it up and found that the exact dress was 50% off and they wouldn’t give me a discount. Oh well. Again the service there was impeccable even during the busy hours.
Alterations - Becky Fowler – A+++++, she made me feel like a princess. Not only did she do a good job on the alterations, but my bustle stayed on all night even when people were stepping on my train. On top of all that, after the dry cleaners screwed up some of the beadings, I took it back to her to get it fixed. She did it for FREE. I insisted on paying her because she’s just that awesome. One thing to note, you do have to call her to see if your dress is ready, otherwise she’ll forget.
Invitations - DIY kit from Target, printing at Kinkos. I prefer the printing at Kinkos versus Office Depot because the ink is so much more crisp and it was only a couple dollars more than the other locations. In all I spent about 100 bucks for 150 invitations (not including stamps). The invitation kits were kinda drab and boring so I added some tissue paper and ribbons to reflect my wedding colors. Everyone complimented on how pretty they were.
Reception and Ceremony site - Brookhaven Country Club A+++ – Sheri the event coordinator is great. She just doesn’t know who you are unless you mention your wedding date. The food was great, or so I hear. We had london broil, chicken saltimbocca, and pan fried trout along with sides. They not only do a great job with the food and setup, but I dropped my stuff off (candy buffet, pictures, etc) and she put it altogether for me. The location is even better, right near Addison so all my guests stayed in the Beltline strip in Addison and all raved about how cool that area was. I only rank Brookhaven a bit lower because apparently Sheri had mentioned we can get ready in the girl’s locker room and some stuck up rich lady got Tony kicked out because he’s a guy in a lady’s locker room. Sheri was able to talk them into letting him back in which was fine. Also, at the end of the night while MIL was packing up our stuff, one of the staff coordinators tried to claim that some of the stuff was theirs, but I think we got everything. The other negative is that she left before the night was over, there was another coordinator there, but I guess I would’ve preferred for her to stay the entire night – just one of those bridezilla things….I should however rank them higher, because she let us have the ENTIRE clubhouse for no extra charge which is an added bonus.
Flowers - Jordan Payne with www.abridesdreambyjordan.com A+++++ – Jordan is an event coordinator and also a floral designer. Too bad I only used her for the flowers because she is just super cool. Her prices are a bit steep but for the beautiful bouquets it was worth it. I still stayed within a reasonable budget with her at under 900 bucks for 3 bouquets, 14 bouts and corsages, ceremony arrangements, and flowers for the cake. She even threw in rose petals for the cake table which I didn’t expect. Also, I loved my bouquet, it had just the right amount of colors and mix of flowers.
Minister - Lou Whitworth with Love Notes – A+++++ – everyone complimented at how great he was. Originally we booked with Marty but since I changed my ceremony time, he was no longer available. Lou is awesome nonetheless and showed up right on time for both the ceremony and rehearsal. Not only that but he was able to accommodate a reading that a friend was supposed to do but backed out last minute. He gave a different friend some very last minute suggestions (10 minutes before ceremony) and she did an awesome job.
Violinist - Richmond Punch www.richmondpunch.com – he actually found me on my blog. At 200 bucks, he’s awesome. He plays the heck out of a violin and was very professional. I hope he succeeds as he is new to the wedding scene. He showed up early for the ceremony and right on time for rehearsal. For the price he’s charging, he’s definitely one of my good deals for this wedding.
Bridesmaids dresses - David’s Bridal at Arapaho and Tollway (now closed) – A+++++ – they came in 4 weeks early, AND I got a discount because they thought I had bought my dress with them. WOOHOO. The service here was way better than the one located off of 75.
Hair and Makeup (wedding day and bridals) - Erin Blair – Knottie Dangerkitty – A+++++, I was a bit disappointed she wasn’t available for my engagements because she is just that awesome. Everyone complimented on my makeup and she is super nice. Not only did she show up on time for my wedding day (I felt bad, I was 10 minutes late), but also woke up extra early on Sunday to do my hair and make up for my bridals. Also her prices are amazing, she needs to start charging more because she is that great. MIL had her hair and makeup done as well but complained about her face being itchy at the end of the night. I of course had no issues, and I rarely wear makeup, so I guess some skins may be sensitive. But anyway, I loved my hair and makeup and she gave me exactly what I wanted.
Hair and Makeup (engagement) - Kelly Espinosa – A+++++ – She was also super nice and woke up early to do my hair and makeup for my engagements. I scheduled a bit early with her and my session didn’t start until 5pm, but both my hair and makeup lasted the entire day.
I hope I’m not missing anything else, but will post more if i do think of other vendors.