Jul 14, 2007
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
St. Mark's is probably one of the most if not the most (I've never been to Grace cathedral) church in the city. They recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. It's reasonably priced a little over $2,125. There is required premarital counseling for at least 3 sessions. We met with Pastor Jennert and he was great. He did a wonderful job officiating at our wedding and the entire ceremony ran very smoothly. Everyone commented on how beautiful the church was. The sanctuary is breath-taking. The red brick exterior is so cute. There is also church parking for 50 spots available and plenty of street parking and there is room for the bride to get ready although I didn't use it. I really love this church and I love that I drive by it at least once a week on Geary and can see it and say to my husband, that's where we got married!!!!
Services used: Wedding Venue
Finding a good makeup artist was one of the most difficult parts of the whole vendor search. I paid $50 for a makeup trial I hated. I went through 4 makeup trials through department store makeup artists- shishedo, benefit, etc. Out of everyone I tried Jira was by far the best! Jira is extremely talented. She was very professional through out the entire process and great at responding to all my emails right away. Most importantly you can be confident that she will do an amazing job with you for your hair and makeup on the big day. My makeup lasted the entire day without any problems whatsoever. My girls looked beautful too (My mom and mother in law were not completely satisfied with their hair but it was Jira's assistant who did it. I told them to bring a picture of the hair they wanted but they didn't and so it was difficult to communicate in words. I thought they looked fine.) She was one of my favorite vendors for the wedding. The only negative thing I heard about her from other reviews was problems with her english as she's not a native speaker. I had no problems though communicating to her in English. She also likes to use pictures so it's important that you bring a photos of what you like. She replicated the hair I wanted exactly. She also arrived a little late (i think a half an hour, but also my wedding was in san francisco)but it all was totally fine and we had just the right amount of time to do all 4 people and my hair and makeup (she brought an assistant). Most importantly I looked better than I ever looked and my husband loved it.
Services used: Beauty & Health
My in-laws paid for this as our rehearsal dinner. We had a full-on chinese banquet and it was amazing. The food is among the best in SF chinatown. We had 6 out of 8 of the tables upstair and so it was almost a little private area for us. We had so much food and so much leftovers it was so great. 10 courses(peking duck, dungeness crab, albalone, fish, etc...) and they were all perfectly cooked and super-fresh. My husband ate the food a week out (as he has a tendancy to do that) and he said the fish still tasted great! They fed us much better than the actual reception dinner (hotel food). I tried to set it up but it's difficult if you don't know cantonese/mandarin.
Services used: Unique Services
We had a great time with Patrick from Denon and Doyle. He did a marvelous job. The only negative thing is that you don't speak directly to your DJ before the wedding but through the office manager who then conveys things to patrick. I think things can get lost in the communication. For example, I told Mark that I didn't want any of the cheesy wedding music to be played at all. He told me not to worry about it but Patrick would never play corny wedding music. But because someone requested it Patrick played YMCA and the macarena. Ordinarily I would have walked off the dance floor, but it was surprisingly fun to dance to and everyone got into it! We also chose one DJ but he ended up backing out because he decided to go to medical school instead. Everyone at Denon and Doyle were professional from the beginning and were very helpful. We actually were very last second with the songs we chose and music details and just let the DJ choose out most of the songs. We were really lucky to get Patrick. I think Patrick was well worth the money (Denon and Doyle I think are amongst the more expensive DJ's in SF). He was very professional. The dance floor was full the entire time and we loved the other music he played. Everyone (except my korean relatives who never dance) were dancing. My father in law who is normally such a quiet man was a nut on the dance floor. People complimented us on the DJ afterwards and everyone thought the reception ran smoothly. Patrick also MC-ed the reception and he did a great job with that too. He's one of the reasons why our wedding was such a success.
Services used: DJ, Lighting & Decor
Bev was one of our favorite vendors. I heard about her online and booked her right away. She was so sweet and extremely professional and also very affordable. At $2.25/slice for buttercream cake. She also gives you a whole minature cake for trials. We sort of took advantage of it and had 3 different cakes- marble, chocolate with raspberry filling and white with strawberry and bannana filling. We chose the latter. Her cakes taste amazing! I don't normally like frosting at all but her buttercream is to die for. On the day of, the cake looked amazing. More beautiful than I thought it would. She also provides silk flowers for you to borrow and I would recommend those as they look really good and they are free (where as you would have to pay a price to your florist which can be costly). The only thing with Bev is she doesn't do fondant and anything really fancy. She says she only does the things she knows she can do well. And she does buttercream extremely extremely well.
Services used: Wedding Cake
J.P. is awesome! Choosing a photographer was probably the single most difficult vendor choice we made. I looked at hundreds of photographer's websites before settling on J.P. I didn't want to spend too much money and most of the photographers I liked were way over $5,000. J.P.'s prices are very reasonable. $2900 for 8 hours (which was perfect for us). We also did an engagement session at and around the Ferry Building for $300. (To be frank I looked at lots of photographers sites afterwards and spoke to our friends who used much more expensive photographers and I was starting to regret my choice in choosing a cheaper priced photographer. The difference between the $10,000 photographer and JP besides $7,000 is that I think they do a lot more photoshop special effects, which in my opinion not necessary). We interviewed 4 photographers before JP. One who was about $1,000 says he only has one camera and no other equipment which is all he needed, he didn't know what the knot was (how can you be in the wedding industry and not know the knot?), and his albums looked super-cheesy. One cost $5,000 and said that after the wedding we needed to pay him $500 for a CD of the photos for the artist rights to the photos which I don't understand at all. If you are hiring someone to take pictures of you and your wedding, you shouldn't have to pay more for the release of the pictures. JP of course doesn't charge for the CD's of the photos but sends it for free. JP has been published multiple times. He's really professional, responds to emails quickly, and is also super-cool and is very enthusiastic about his job. As a favor to us he also processed our engagement photos really quickly (much more quickly than I expected) so we could include them in our slideshow. I was surprised that he said that it would probably take about 2-3 weeks for our photos to be posted on the pictage site because I feel like most of my friends who got married took a lot longer. But we got them at the 2 week mark and the photos look amazing. I've looked at so many times since receiving them. We've received rave reviews from our friends since receiving the photos. I was a little worried because I didn't give him a must-take photo list because I was running out of time but he took all of the photos that I wanted to be taken and more. He captured all of the important moments of our wedding and we'll forever cherish them.
Services used: Photography