You can find more information on this vendor at www.tuskies.com. This was a very nice location for a rehearsal lunch because they have a room downstairs that can hold about 40 people away from the hustle and bustle of the regular restaurant. There is even a full service bar down there that is tended for your party. The food was really good, we had a lunch buffet. I think we had two main course choices (chicken and vegetable lasagna). My favorite part about the lunch was the pumpkin cheesecake. It was the one thing I wanted at the rehearsal lunch and definitely didn’t disappoint. The restaurant is located close to historic downtown Leesburg so your guests can walk around before/after. Parking is relatively close-by and wasn’t too bad to find.
We went on a 10-day cruise to Jamaica, Panama Canal, Costa Rica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel for our honeymoon. The trip left from Fort Lauderdale on a Monday. Boarding the ship was very easy and smooth. Our luggage arrived within a reasonable time. The honeymoon amenities were nice (champagne and chocolate covered strawberries). Princess Cruises is known as attracting an older, more laid back crowd. We stood out as one of the very few young couples on this ship, but that didn’t bug us. We aren’t attracted to the “party atmosphere”. It was nice not to have drunks running around the ship making noise at all hours of the night. The ship was quiet and there was plenty to do. We also loved all the ports of call. Due to some choppy waters in Grand Cayman we couldn’t do the shore excursions we would have liked, but Princess immediately refunded us our money. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and both of us can’t wait to go on another Princess cruise again.
This hotel came recommended from our caterer because it offers free shuttles to and from Whitehall for your wedding. It is located very close to the Leesburg outlets on Route 7. Rooms vary from singles, doubles, to suites. A complimentary continental breakfast is also offered in the morning. I was very pleased with the service from this hotel. After a last minute mix-up and I had to give my bridal suite away to some out-of-town guests the front desk was able to give my guests another room that they had held in reserve for incidents just like this and I was able to have my suite back. I was very happy! The hotel is very clean and I recommend for those getting married in the Leesburg area.
More information about this vendor can be found at www.kirkabee.com. This was by far my FAVORITE vendor for the wedding. Kirk Rubley who owns Kirkabee DJ’s is wonderful! From the beginning he met with us in his home in Vienna for a consultation. He has been DJ’ing for many years and really listens to create the exact environment you desire for your wedding. He asks you how involved you want him to be and even allows you to pick a “do not play” list of songs he will not play no matter who puts in the request. He is not corny and makes the whole night a lot of fun while not trying to be the center of attention. For those Virginia Tech graduates out there he even has the Marching Virginians version of the Hokie Pokie! He is also really reasonably priced for what you get. My best friend tried to use him for her wedding, but we did find out he doesn’t do New Year’s Eve anymore…sorry! I highly recommend Kirk for anyone!
The caterer forced me to choose from one of two bakers for my cake. I did not really like my choices limited for me. But I understood the reason behind this….they wanted to use a trusted source that will provide the best for events. I chose Carolyn Taylor to make our cake for several reasons. She makes her cakes out of her home near Whitehall Estate. Because of budget constraints I could not afford to pay $3-4 a serving for Carolyn’s typical cakes. However, Carolyn worked with us. She needed to make a new demo fake cake for her upcoming wedding season and allowed me to design my dream cake that she would be able to use in subsequent shows. She then made sheet cakes to serve to our guests. Since most of the cost comes from the labor of staking each cake tier we were able to save a lot of money on the sheet cakes (about ½). Carolyn delivered and set everything up the day of the wedding and added real flowers to the demo cake that I left for her. Unfortunately, I only got one bite of cake on my wedding day (for the “cutting” of the cake) and don’t really remember it but I hear it was very well received by guests. I remember from the tasting her cakes are very good and she has lots of choices and you can customize whatever you want. I would highly recommend her, but she is a bit pricey.
More information about this vendor can be found at http://www.celebrationscatering.com/. I was forced to used this caterer because they own the venue I wanted to use for our wedding (Whitehall). Even though they were a bit pricey the service and food was excellent. The co-owner whom I dealt with was Mr. Doug Armstrong. He was very nice and accommodating. Even invited my mom out for a second tasting they hold on a monthly basis. This caterer handles everything from food to linens/table layout. They have a monopoly on the beautiful venue so they can make you pay a bit more. That said the day of the wedding was wonderful. The staff was very polite, the banquet captain George saw to my every need. My mom was very attracted to just paying one bill for everything and not having to worry about getting everyone in one place on-time. There is a huge commercial kitchen onsite for their preparations. They go over your event timeline in advance and the team followed mine to a T. We had a buffet and I assume it was good, but wouldn’t know because my husband and I were served plated meals at our sweetheart table. Another nice thing was that we were allowed to bring our own alcohol and weren’t charged a corking fee. This definitely saved us some money. I don’t know a lot about what happened in the background…but isn’t that how it should be as a bride? I would highly recommend this vendor, even though they were a bit expensive.
More information on this vendor can be found at http://www.f22.us/weddings/. Let me start by saying I am a picture SNOB! The photography was probably #2 most important to me behind the venue for the wedding. Because I am an amateur photographer I had such high expectations for my photography. But my budget did not allow me to go after the “big guys”. I found Jay on theknot.com and I was attracted to his resume as a photojournalist in Washington and following past presidents. Because his primary work is not wedding photography meetings and such were a bit less professional. We met at a coffee shop and discussed a custom package that met our needs. My biggest thing was owning all the negatives so I could print and do what I wanted with them. Jay’s style seemed to fit this…he takes the pictures and then turns them over to you. Regarding his style: The ceremony pictures really captured the mood. I would have liked more close up pictures of my husband. The pictures from the dancing/reception did not turn out as well mostly because there was very little light. I would have liked Jay to tell me: Hey if you turn up the light a bit most of my pictures won’t be blurry. For this reason a lot of what would have been awesome shots are blurry. Jay will tell you he is not big into formal/posed photography. I had dreamed of getting those great, artsy posed pictures…but didn’t really get them. Jay really just puts people in a line and takes the picture, there is a lack of creativity here. So if those types of portraits are most important to you I would not recommend this vendor. The best shots of the entire day were those candid ones that Jay caught at just the right moment. He definitely is a true photojournalist.
After the wedding it was really hard to get ahold of Jay because he was out of the country. In fact I did not hear from him for over a month and he mailed our dvd’s of the negatives from France! Also, the negatives we got had no photo touch ups….there is one shot in particular that I loved on the website but is not the same on the dvd I received. Also, he advertises a certain amount of prints you get with the package. By this he means he orders the prints from a website and you get them in the mail (like printing stuff at CVS). The quality is good but be careful….Jay shoots in 35mm frames so the pictures don’t match the normal 4x6, 8x10 sizes…and he didn’t tell me this until the photos showed up at my door.
In the end, I did get a lot of beautiful pictures…but being that my expectations are so huge I don’t think they were satisfied to what I wanted. Nothing really huge to complain about but not really a top-notch vendor: rating 3.
I ordered all the ceremony / décor flowers from the website www.bigrose.com. They feature a bridal kit that comes with:
* 1 Bridal Bouquet (up to 50 stems)
* 1 Maid of Honor Bouquet (up to 18 stems)
* 4 Bridesmaid Bouquet (up to 12 stems)
* 1 Toss Away Bouquet (up to 12 stems)
* 2 Petit Hand-tied Mother's Bouquet (up to 8 stems)
* 10 Attendant Boutonnieres (up to 3 stems)
* 6 Centerpieces (No Vases Included) (up to 24 stems)
* 1 Rose Petal (Boxes)
I was able to choose the kind of rose I wanted and was able to mix the colors within each item. For example my Maid of Honor and Bridesmaid bouquets had red, orange, and yellow roses. You also can pick what kind of ribbon for each. I didn’t like the ribbon it came with (it was cheap) so I bought my own and rewrapped all the bouquets. Everything was handled over the phone and the flowers arrived on Friday – our wedding was Sunday. The flowers come wrapped in boxes but the bouquets are already tied for you. I had to “blow” many of the stems open because they didn’t quite open a ton before the wedding. The company did send some extra stems just in case some of the flowers died in transit. The colors were vibrant and beautiful and I was completely satisfied. Of course the numbers in the basic package worked out perfectly for me and we had lots of flowers left over to decorate with. It looks like the price of the basic package (which I got) went up $100 but it still might be worth it if you don’t want the hassle.
You can find out more information about this site at http://www.whitehallevents.com/. My dream for a wedding was to get married at an old historic house. This place fit my vision perfectly. The old house was built in stages starting in the Revolutionary War through the Civil War. My caterer owns the property and had just put on a new addition/function room in 2006. We were lucky and signed our rental contract before the addition was finished so were able to take advantage of lower rates. It was still quite expensive about $3500 for a Sunday evening. This gave us time for the ceremony and a four hour reception. The staff was very accommodating and let me come out the week before for bridal portraits. We were married in the front yard under the yard arch (the staff was even nice enough to leave some beautiful decorations on the arch for our wedding that I would have never been able to afford.) The event captain was wonderful and took care of everything. There is a smaller dance room that has windows into the large function space for eating. The layout was perfect for our small wedding (75ppl). Due to the popular time of year and two Saturday weddings we had to do our rehearsal at 7:30am and couldn’t come onsite to setup until 1.5 hours before the ceremony. This made it tough to set all of our stuff up, since we did all the decorations ourselves. We were allowed to bring items the day before (when we did the rehearsal). I would highly recommend this place to everyone! It is absolutely beautiful and the staff is top-notch.
We bought our wedding jewelry in Frisco and Forth Worth, Texas because that is where we live. I was able to find a wedding band that perfectly matched my engagement ring and it now looks like a set. The purchases went find but the warranty/care afterwards has not been stellar. I had my ring soddered together and redipped in rhodium and it I think the soddering is a bit off-centered and I can tell it was redipped. When we took my husband’s ring (which was two-toned) in to get the scratched buffed out it came back with the two-toned finish complete stripped off. The store could not replace the exact ring and we had to choose a different ring that was close but not quite the same. It upset me at first that within one-year of getting married my husband had to get a completely new ring, but I’ve gotten over it. It is just a ring afterall. I think this jeweler has gone out of business within the past six months.