Aug 21, 2010

( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Apertura was the first vendor we contacted and first vendor we booked. We did not take choosing a wedding photographer lightly because the images captured will be the only elements from the wedding that will live on. (Besides the ever-burning flame that exists between my husband and I.) All good photographers have a discernible style and Apertura's drama and storytelling are epic. Luckily, photography is something we know a little about and were able to choose a photographer to match our own sensibilities.

From the first meeting to the final presentation, everything was world class professional. Even their branding rocked. All this really helps you feel at ease since this is a significant investment.

We are not accustomed to being photographed but Ray made us feel comfortable and gave us the right amount of direction and encouragement. The portraits went by swiftly because he was so easy going and personable. And confident. That's something you really need to feel from your photographer. When it came time to document the day, he blended in amongst the revelers. Like a ninja, but in a good way. We did not feel any obtrusion, yet everything was expertly documented. I swear there was some dark arts going on because we didn't notice the photographers until we needed them. Even our bulldog, Flash, sat still for him - see, magic.

Apertura's work speaks for itself and if their style fits yours, there is absolutely no alternative. Aside from the talent, you also pay for their professionalism and service. They do not disappoint in that regard either. All issues are taken care of swiftly.

Awesomeness has it's cost and it does not come cheap. It's hard to put a price on memories and something so subjective can't be quantified. I'd absolutely recommend Apertura to anybody looking for photos to be envious of.
Services used: Photography

Enhanced Lighting & Sound
( 4.8 / 5.0 )
Admittedly, we did not spend a lot of time planning the lighting. Our coordinator helped with the process and took us to the Enhanced Lighting showroom to pick out our lighting designs. It was easy peasy and Megan helped us in choosing the right design for our theme. Megan and her staff were very nice and offered their suggestions with the many options.

Lighting was something that we didn't consider too important until the day of our wedding when we finally saw how lighting totally transformed what was usually a plain restaurant. Even the staff commented that it was like a whole new place. Never has a Chinese restaurant looked so dramatic.

We underestimated the importance of lighting and will highly recommend Enhanced Lighting & Sound to transform an event.
Services used: Rentals & Photobooths

Julian Martin Entertainment
( 4.8 / 5.0 )
Julian and Badz couldn't be nicer to work with. Julian was always very responsive and went out of his way to work with us. We chose them because they offered the option of a Chinese speaking emcee. (This was important for 75% of the wedding guest.) They were to do the ceremony (outside at Yerba Buena Gardens) and reception (inside at Koi Palace). The day went off without a hitch as they seamlessly went from one location to the other.

I'd say it was pretty much how I hoped the day would go, except for some butchered names by the Chinese emcee. I'd recommend Julian Martin to anybody looking for a wedding DJ.
Services used: DJ

la Princesse Salon and Spa
( 4.8 / 5.0 )
I had a very hard time looking for a hair and make-up artist for my wedding since I live over 300 miles away. I found la Princesse through a friend. I was told that I would be in good hands with Linda and she was absolutely right. I immediately felt comfortable when I first met her. She was very personable and offered many suggestions during my trial. I wanted the bold vintage look and she executed that perfectly. Linda knows Asian faces very well; afterall, she did pageant make-up for many years.

On the day of my wedding, Linda and her assistants arrived right on time and went to work right away. Linda worked on my make-up and hair while her assistants took care of my sister and mom. Linda carefully applied my make-up while also giving me tips for touch ups should I need it throughout the day. I'm happy to say that I did not need touching up at all except for a few occasional lipstick applications. The make-up was flawless and it looked great in my wedding photos. I received a ton of compliments about my hair and make-up.

If there was one thing that I would have changed, it would have been my mom's hair and make-up. It was a little out of her comfort zone. My mom is not used to wearing full make-up and a more subtle approach would have made her more comfortable.

All in all, I would highly recommend Linda and her team. Everyone was very nice and professional. la Princesse was a great value and you will definitely get your monies worth in compliments.
Services used: Beauty & Health

Passiflora Designs
( 4.8 / 5.0 )
Passiflora was recommended to us by our coordinator. My husband and I have seen her work previously at a friend's wedding the year before and were floored by her talent. Needless to say, we were ecstatic to book her. We knew from the moment we met her that she was extremely knowledgeable. We gave Paige the colors we wanted her to incorporate and the theme that we wanted expressed. It was more on the "darker" side of the typical wedding (think "Nightmare Before Christmas," but happy). Her artistry came into play with very little specific input from us. She was able to make suggestions that were almost psychic.

We still did not know what to expect since we pretty much allowed her to run with our ideas. This was perfect because we got to share the same awe and surprise that our guests felt. We got so many compliments about how unique, yet beautiful our arrangements were; even my husband's succulent boutonniere was talked about. When was the last time a boutonniere was complimented? And my vintage bouquet turned out better than I had imagined. I not only wanted original, but beautiful, and it surpassed my expectations. And without a single rose.

The set up process was completely blind to us. Paige and her crew completely transformed Koi Palace entirely that the staff even made comments about it being their best event ever.

All of this did not come without a price. We went way over what we had initially planned to spend. But transforming a Chinese restaurant doesn't come cheap. We even had Paige make us custom lazy susans. By no means you should expect a bargain if you book Passiflora, but if you want a true artist as a florist then Paige should be on your short list.
Services used: Flowers