Mar 21, 2007
Laura Simpson, Harpist
Laura is very experienced and often plays at the Ritz Carlton in SF. I initially booked Laura but was worried that the sound wouldn't be loud enough, so I booked a trio through Laura and they were wonderful. Laura is very responsive, easy to work with and very organized. She has her own amp and accentuates the ceremony. I loved my music and can remember hearing it as I walked down the aisle - which is a big plus.
Services used: Unique Services
Cornerstone Gardens is perfect for a wedding 150 people or less (IMO) in the Sonoma/Napa area. If you are looking to have a truly unique (non-cookie cutter wedding) Cornerstone has a number of different spaces to choose from. We held our ceremony on the garden lawn, our cocktail hour inside the barn with tables outside on the barn lawn and our reception under the tent. We were able to choose the vendors we wanted, in particular caterers, lighting, and florist. In addition Cornerstone's event management team is great, extremely responsive and easy to work with. We had a spectacular and truly memorable wedding and the venue enabled us to fulfil our vision and served as the main piece that brought it all together. Lastly I highly recommend renting out the Vineyard House, the property adjacent to Cornerstone as a bride. It's a beautiful 3 bedroom/3 bathroom property conveniently located within walking distance to the property. I was able to get ready here and relax ahead of time to have truly a stress free pre-wedding and day of prep day. Thanks Cornerstone!
Services used: Wedding Venue, Rehearsal Dinner
I absolutely loved how both my engagement photos and wedding photos turned out. David and Ham are truly dedicated and view photography as a passion not as a job. They are able to truly capture some of our most intimate and memorable moments in a non-obtrusive fashion (this is coming from a person who isn't really big on pictures either). They have great vision in terms of integrating both color and texture in the background of shots. On our big day, both David and Ham arrived at my pre-wedding getting ready place at noon. Ham left approximately and hour later to capture pictures of the groom and the groomsment at his hotel. Having two photographers enabled them to capture photos of both of us leading up to the big event. During the event, I forgot the photographers were even there (which is a definite plus) but they captured some of the best shots in terms of angles, vantage points, color and focus. They both didn't take breaks and worked to capture the transitions from ceremony to cocktail hour and then reception. They both stayed until the event concluded, past 10:00, which I didn't think was necessary, but their dedication truly shows through in terms of the final shots. I couldn't be happier other than the fact that I felt guilty about them not even eating.
Services used: Unique Services
I was hesitant to book lighting for my venue given both the price and the fact that my venue already had some partial lighting. However accent lighting aka uplighting truly helps to create warmth and a dreamy feel. Under the tent, Got Light hung these great white lanterns from the top of the tent (it turned out great!) and they did soft lighting inside the tent itself to highlight our colors. For our candy buffet and cake table, the up lighting accentuated both. We also had uplighting in the area located outside of the bathrooms in our color and it looked really nice. In short, if you have the budget and are looking to create warmth and a soft glow in an outside environment (similar to mine), lighting definitely makes a difference and I encourage you to look into Got Light?
Services used: Lighting & Decor, Rentals & Photobooths
Amy Kuschel Bride
I checked out three bridal salons in SF and once I went here, I was sold. The bridal attendents know their gowns and styles. I love the fact that the salon doesn't book a ton of brides at the same time so that brides feel and get the attentiveness that they deserve. When I returned the second time to the salon with my mom, the attendents recommended a dress based on my desires that I communicated to the attendant, so they are able to listen and make sound recommendations. Additionally what I like the most about this salon is that the gown is made to fit your body type. I had a total of four fittings, getting fitted for the dress prototype on fitting #1, getting adjustments to the actual gown on fitting #2, getting the hem fixed on fitting #3 and getting the bustle implemented on fitting #4. If you are looking for simple (no-beading, no-puffy princess like dress) yet elegant and unique dresses that will be fitted to your body type, then check out this salon.
Services used: Dress & Attire
Dori Anne Veils
Debra is great. I purchased my bridesmaid's dresses through her at a significantly reduced price (in comparison to the salons). The price savings per gown roughly equated to $80 each. Debra initially stated that it would take 3 months to get the dresses but I actually received them within 2 months - another plus. Additionally Debra did all of my calligraphy at a very reasonable price. I found her accessible, but when I wasn't able to get over to Castro Valley, she mailed me my orders in an expedited fashion. In short she is efficient and offers brides a great value for the money.
Services used: Dress & Attire
Auntie B's Bakery
Bee is absolutely the best. We provided her with pictures and the ribbon for our cake and she did the rest. We had multiple people come up to us and say that our cake was absolutely the best. The frosting was light and fluffy. After one tasting, we were hooked. We had the white cake with champagne custard and fresh strawberries. Absolutely delicious and Bee is flexible - she changed our delivery time to 5 because our cake would be outside in the sun and we didn't want it to melt.
Services used: Wedding Cake
Diamonds of Palo Alto
Great custom designed ring to match my engagement ring. The service was excellent and efficient. My ring was done in approximately 3 weeks. The only discrepancy was the price. I initially was quoted X at the time of service, but when I went to pay the final invoice, I noticed that it was about $700 more than what I was quoted. I simply advised the representative of the discrepancy and they adjusted it without any issues. A minor setback, but overall I'm happy with how my ring turned out.
Services used: Unique Services
I loved how our invitations turned out. I provided them with a design and they returned a proof to approve within days. My only issue was with invoicing. I wasn't technically quoted a price for my entire order. I knew what the printing costs were going to be for my invitations, rsvp cards, and map, but when I added envelope printing for both rsvp envelopes and outer mailing envelopes, the price jumped up. It's really my fault, but in retrospect, I could have done a better job at asking for the total price upfront. My job was completed in 6 weeks, kind of long, but I was warned. So my best advice would be to get your invitations in early and allow for enough time for printing in hopes of getting your invitations completed with plenty of time.
Services used: Invitations
Professional Makeup Artistry
NO JOKE, Maria and her team is absolutely the best investment a bride should treat herself to on her wedding day. She's so seasoned and has been doing weddings for so long that she knows the drill. She and her team arrived an hour ahead of schedule (in case of traffic) - I was actually finished with makeup and hair early. She uses top quality makeup products, not to mention the air brush factor!!! The trial session is great. She works with you to get your hair and makeup to your satisfaction and then makes any adjustments on the day depending on how the trial photos turn out. Fast forward to the day of the wedding. Her team makes wedding prep truly stress free. She constantly reminded me "relax my forehead", hold my bouquet a certain way, position my gown to be the most flattering, wiped the sweat off my fiance's brow, carried a water bottle to ensure that I would NOT get parched after constantly smiling for photos. During the cocktail hour, Maria retouched my hair and makeup, not to mention secured the bustle so that my guests and mom could enjoy cocktail hour. She truly makes every bride feel that she is beautiful and is the best self-esteem booster. Maria was the first vendor I booked, not to mention well in advance and I would highly highly highly recommend any bride looking for the best makeup artist to book Maria and her team.
Services used: Beauty & Health
Classic Party Rentals Napa
Classic Party Rentals was great. They had a wide selection of items to choose from and that helped me when making a decision between them and another rentals venue. I especially loved our blue chargers, the italian glass beverage dispensers for our welcome beverage station and not to mention the seaspray (blue) linens. Carolyne is great to deal with as well. I visited the showroom three times and she was accommodating in meeting my changes and requests. Classic is also great if you are having a wedding at Cornerstone because they always deliver to Cornerstone first thing in the morning, which is helpful in maximizing one's set up time.
Services used: Rentals & Photobooths