Oct 07, 2006
His music is so beautiful. We hired a guitar and bass duo for the ceremony and cocktail hour. Absolutely loved the processional music.
Services used: Band, Ceremony Music
Jose Villa Photography
Jose is a true artist. He is actually the first photographer we looked at, but he was out of our budget. So over the course of six months, I looked at pretty much every decent photographer from Santa Barbara to Orange County, hoping to find one whose work I liked as much, for less money. Never happened. Finally, one of my friends said - you realize you compare EVERYONE to Jose - just hire him already! So we scheduled a meeting, and were both extremely impressed. We decided he was worth busting the budget for. We never regretted it for one moment. The composition of his photographs is top-notch, and he is keenly aware of light, which really makes a difference. He also has such an easy-going way about him that he relaxes you, something very important for "natural" looking photographs.
Services used: Photography
A budget buster because of the need to rent everything--plates, glasses, silverware, etc. However, SO WORTH IT. I honestly cannot even conceive of a better place to get married. The vistas are spectacular, the pole barn strikes that perfect blend of rusticity and elegance. Also, Tonya, Jill and Meghan, the coordinators, are extremely helpful and also very nice people. Even if you didn't add a stitch of decor, this place would wow your guests. The number of raves we heard from guests was really amazing. The location had a lot to do with it.
Services used: Wedding Venue
Food was a huge priority for us. Mondial came highly recommended, and the quality of food and service was certainly better than anything I have ever had at a catered affair, a sentiment echoed by our guests (some of whom are major foodies). While Mondial is not as good at the business side (meaning in terms of responsiveness), given the results, I was extremely happy that I chose Mondial. Also, Cynthia, the chef, is a really warm person, and dealing with her in person was always a pleasure. I think because we had problems reaching her and had expressed our concern about that to her, she let us substitute one inexpensive passed hors d'oervre for a much more costly one (unbelievable rosemary crusted lamb chops), which was great. Cocktail hour: champagne cocktails - white peach puree bellinis and blackberry rosemary (yumm) - we could not serve hard alcohol because we were at a winery (universal rule at CA wineries as far as I know). We also served Curtis wines (excellent - Firestone's 2nd label - and reasonable) and sangria. We served 5 passed hors d'oervres: pulled pork sandwiches, wild smoked salmon app, lamb chops, a blue cheese tart and cornmeal crusted oysters. So yummy. Then we did a 4-course "tasting menu" with wine pairings.
Services used: Catering
Santa Ynez Valley Florist
I did love the way the flowers came out, but Nicole changed something up on me just a couple weeks before the wedding (a flower was not in season that I wanted - something she should have known and told me ahead of time), and her attitude about it was not positive. The florist also did not bring the proper hair flowers on the day of, and there was some chaos trying to get the correct ones. However, on balance, my flowers were really reasonable, and when I look at the photos, I am extremely impressed with how they came out. I also had an unusual vision in terms of the color scheme (it was inspired by a photo), and most florists really didn't "get it." She did, and it showed.
Services used: Flowers
Ventura Rental Party Center
Awesome to work with, great selection, and cheaper than competitors in the SB area. Highly recommend. Ask for Heidi.
Services used: Rentals & Photobooths
I picked espresso crepe de chine as the fabric, and they could choose from 5 styles. I then found them on one of the discount websites (email is firstname.lastname@example.org) and they ordered them from Lazaro, and all from the same dye lot (essential - the color varies widely in this fabric). My b-maids saved about $100 each, and dresses came in about 6 weeks. Could not have worked out better.
Services used: Unique Services
Duet Weddings, Rebecca Stone
There is not enough space here to explain how much she was a part of our wedding. She was not just our day-of coordinator, she stepped in about 8 mos. before the wedding, when I was working insane hours and realized I would go crazy without help. Rebecca and I started emailing after she responded to a post of mine on the Santa Barbara weddings site, and she had already given me lots of advice (she got married at Crossroads the year before me) when she told me she was starting a wedding planning business. I asked her to help and she was off to the races. She did a ton of work! She even co-designed our invitations with Seth. Our wedding was very ambitious, especially b/c of all of our DIY stuff, yet she handled it with professionalism and grace. She is also one of the nicest people you will ever meet--important when you need to get a pep talk!--and she has a great sense of style. Therefore, I never hesitated to incorporate her creative suggestions. It should be noted that while she provided practical advice and ideas, she never tried to "take over" the wedding. She let it be completely our own, but I can't imagine we could have pulled it off without her, or without the many friends and family who stepped in to assist both during the planning process and during the wedding weekend.
Services used: Unique Services