Aug 29, 2009
Wedding Window .com
We used weddingwindow.com for our site and we have gotten a bazillion compliments on it. It is pretty easy to use and is really flexible. We basically created a style because we wanted to use some of my FI's dad's photos around the site. We loved the customizable music as well. Check it out!: www.caraandericswedding.com
Services used: Unique Services
Meaganne McCandess Makeup & Hair
Meaganne is SO talented!!! She is fast and just knows what's up. She did my boudoir hair and make-up, my day-of make-up, all 7 bridesmaid faces plus the 2 moms and everyone was wow-ed by all of it. The lashes were the best! Or maybe it was the airbrush make-up. Hmmm. Toss-up. My stuff did not move all night and I felt as beautiful at midnight as I did at 3pm walking into my pictures. Do yourself a favor and book her. Lisa Holt did all the bridesmaids' hair and was wonderful as well. These two ladies are good people :) Also, we worked out a good package and I paid Meaganne in cash as I knew I'd rather receive it that way if I was an independent contractor.
Services used: Beauty & Health
They're awesome! Mark Haggerty DJ'd for us and everyone keeps talking about how great the music was. I'm going to take some credit here in that I started putting together our wedding playlist a bazillion years ago as I attended weddings and watched what the crowd reacted to, but major credit to Mark for sitting with me for 3 hours the week of the wedding (I was an out of town bride) and going through every little detail with me. He was totally not put off by my ridiculous detail-oriented nature and he took great notes to make sure not to disappoint. The only issue we had was the mic giving some major feedback during my dad's welcome speech at the reception but seriously, if that's the worst of it that's fine by me! My stated goal was to keep the dance floor moving all night and that's exactly what Mark did - we practically had to push people off the floor to clear the way for the cake cutting!!! Awesome. It's worth the money - these are true professionals who know what they're doing. Music can make or break a wedding so just do yourself a favor and hire the people who really know what they're doing in this category!!
Services used: DJ, Lighting & Decor
Huckleberry Karen Designs
So I officially hired Karen for my 8/29/09 wedding! She is so cool, flexible, and just so darn pleasant! She is incredible with budgets (and never once laughed or scoffed at me with my ridiculously low budget) and has been great with her communication through this whole process. I love that she doesn't try to overcharge you for every little thing (warning about other florists: paying $30+ for petals in a flower girl's basket is RIDICULOUS. Don't do it.). She also gave me her price list w/ranges and let me dictate how much I was comfortable paying for each item. Will update as I go but Karen is great so far!
Services used: Flowers
Amazing Flowers & Events
The good stuff - Nelya is totally open to working with budgets; basically you can give her your number and she will make it happen. She is also great about letting you use the containers and props that she already owns. She doesn't believe in charging you to rent them or buy them. This is SO nice of her and is a rare find for a florist. The bad stuff - you really need to make sure you can handle her personality. I swear, I couldn't get a word in edgewise during our consultation. I mean, the woman is FULL of ideas but basically it was just like opening a floodgate. I just stopped trying to convey what my look was and what I wanted and let her roll because it just wasn't getting heard. I decided that having her around on my big day was just NOT something I could handle. She's pretty straightforward and I could see my overly-sensitive self dissolving into tears day-of. Bottom line - great with budgets, lots of ideas, make sure you meet her in person to decide for yourself.
Services used: Flowers
Ok so I'm biased because this is where we're getting married and having our reception, but I have to say, this is a gorgeous hotel! There's so much history and character to it and the various ballrooms are unique. Our ceremony is on the Rooftop Garden, cocktail hour will be in the Fountain Room (I preferred this indoor/outdoor room to the Pavilion Room, plus I thought the Pavilion Room carpet was heinous.), reception in the Crown Room. We could not resist the CR. There's a 270 degree view of the bay area and it's just breathtaking. A total experience for all guests, especially the out-of-towners. So far the staff has been good, Jamie and Al are really nice. I'll update if needed!
Services used: Wedding Venue
Update: Ok, bought my dress from here along with the FG dresses. Not very organized but everything arrived on time and I think I'm just really more Type A than they are. My star reduction from 4 to 3 has to do with their alterations ridiculousness. DO NOT HAVE YOUR DRESS ALTERED HERE. It is highway robbery, a total monopoly, a complete scam. Yes they "guarantee" their work but you'd better believe you're paying through the nose for it! They quoted me almost $800 for a hem + bustle!!!! Um, no thanks! And when I freaked out (since that was HALF the value of my dress and well, the whole being over budget thing isn't fun) they were like, "that's ok, go to this person instead. About half our brides go there." People, I'm not stupid. I wasn't born yesterday. If I refuse to pay your Renee Strauss price premium on alterations, you'd best believe I'm not lining your pockets through the lady you have an "arrangement" with! No way. I went to Daniela Kurrle Couture in West Hollywood instead. Daniela did a PERFECT job and charged me $300 for ALL my alterations for my wedding dress (complete re-make of the torso to take it in 4", re-making the all-lace skirt to add a seam, adding built-in cups, creating a fabulous bustle...) AND my rehearsal dinner dress! Amazing. Call her. DON'T pay the exhorbitant rates at RS - there are too many talented people in LA to deal with that crap. Original Post: Wow I definitely did not have the terrible experience that a lot of the other brides did! I came to my appt armed with photos and was very clear about my budget upfront. The girl assigned to my appt seemed very new but I just did my thing, took charge a bit more, and went with it. If you're looking for a dress under $2k-$3k they'll show you the Watters line. Fine by me because I bought a Watters dress from them and LOVE it! They were very honest that Watters dresses can take a LOOOOONG time to arrive and quoted me a May delivery (I ordered in November). Guess what? The dress arrived in January! Everyone was happy, especially me :) I went back a few times to try on the dress for my mom and various MOH's & BM's and they were patient each time. They informed me of their annual W's trunk show coming up, made me an appt and I bought the dress on the day of the show for 10 or 15% off! Ok so the carpet's not the latest but really, they have a ton of dresses, they're a well-established business (I didn't want any sketchy risks with my dress), and they have a round step up now so us shorties can see the full length of the dresses. Oh yeah, they don't allow photos of you in a dress unless you put a deposit down so just bring in a BM or MOH to sneak some pics of you. They need to get over that rule, I would never buy such an important dress before seeing how it photographs. That's just dumb.
Services used: Dress & Attire
Michelle Walker Photography
MICHELLE IS AMAZING! Her work is breathtaking and her personality is top notch. She is so easy to get along with and has felt like a friend through this whole process so far. She's definitely on the pricier side of SF/Bay Area photographers but photography was a top priority for us and in this case, I believe you get what you pay for and then some!
Services used: Photography
So I didn't end up hiring Laura from Floramor but it wasn't because of her work, it was because I couldn't afford her. I had no doubt that she would execute a BEAUTIFUL event, perfect to the last detail. However, I was worried about project scope-creep where I would see a beautiful thing in her arsenal of props and miscellany and just "HAVE" to have it. Laura created wonderful proposals, putting into words and images what I was trying to describe as my vision. But yeah, even when I shared my budget range in multiple meetings, each proposal just kept coming back nowhere near where I was comfortable paying. I didn't trust myself, nor did my credit card.
Services used: Flowers