Aug 02, 2009
We had no idea how important having a good DJ at the wedding was until we met with Turner Hayes of Elite Entertainment. When we had our initial meeting, we were just in shock at how MUCH a wedding DJ actually does. He pulled out his very organized binder and we spent quite a bit of time just running through our vision of the wedding day and what he would be doing for us. We found out that day that a good DJ does not just play music, he creates atmosphere and moves the day along. This is EXACTLY what Turner did. On the day of the wedding, he arrived right on time (maybe even a little early!) and started setting up for the ceremony. He played EVERYTHING we requested him too, and I was ecstatic to find that he selected a piano arrangement of Air in G for the bridal party processional to match the piano piece that I walked down the aisle to. Little details like that are something that he really took into consideration really helped me enjoy the wedding day that much more! During the reception, he was the PERFECT MC. Although we were behind schedule, he was completely laid-back which really helped OUR nerves in turn. He would subtly sidle over to our table to whisper what was next on the repertoire so we would be informed about our next activities. We played a couple of games too, and he MC'ed those PERFECTLY as well! And at the end of the night, he played music that kept people on the dance floor almost until the very end! There was a time near the end of the night where people started drifting off, but he noticed that right away. He quickly put on Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" and everyone STAMPEDED back onto the dancefloor. All in all, Turner Hayes of Elite Entertainment was the best money spent in the entire planning process. Would DEFINITELY recommend him to anyone having a wedding in the next however many years that he's with the company. :)
Services used: DJ
Trudy's Brides, Prom & Special Occasions
Trudy's is definitely the store with the largest selection of bridal gowns in my area (South Bay). I've heard so many nightmare stories of bad service and rude saleswomen that I was a bit skeptical when I went in the first time. It was my first ever time going dress shopping, and I arrived without an appointment near closing time. They informed me quite nicely that next time, I should make an appointment but since another girl canceled, they could squeeze me in (which was a huge surprise!) I got Sheila as my sales associate and she was AMAZING. I gave her my vision of a wedding dress and right away, she started pulling out half a dozen gowns for me to try on. They were all beautiful, as if she knew exactly what I had in mind. She also took the time to make me feel comfortable and clipped the dress perfectly so I could see what it looked like in my size. Another plus: Trudy's lets you take PICTURES. The second time I returned and got another associate, who wasn't as helpful as Sheila, but far from rude and condescending. She just wasn't as attentive, and didn't have as much of an eye for what I liked, but she was still very helpful. All in all, it must be a hit and miss, depending on the associate you get. But I recommend SHEILA. :D
Services used: Dress & Attire
Giao Nguyen Makeup Artistry & Hair Design
I absolutely cannot say enough good things about Giao! I went to her for a hair and makeup trial and she did absolute wonders on me. At first, the makeup was a little darker than I was used to, but once I told this to Giao, she did her best to change it right way. It was absolutely perfect! Also, I LOVED how my hair turned out, I couldn't stop smiling when I saw it. It was exactly how I pictured it to be, and I can't wait for her to recreate it for the wedding day. Giao is an absolute sweetheart, too, and we talked for hours as she did my makeup and hair. She and her husband, Thai (he is a photographer: Thai Mai Photography), are so easy-going and a joy to work with. You can tell she has such a passion for what she does; she's very careful about her work and makes sure EVERYTHING is perfect before she lets you go. And her floral designs are BREATHTAKING. Just head over to her website www.giaonguyen.com and you can take a look at the beautiful floral headpieces that she's made. I tried on a few during the trial run and now I absolutely cannot decide which one I want to go with on my wedding day. I think, hands down, she and Thai will be my favorite two vendors that I will be working with in the whole wedding planning process! Highly, highly, HIGHLY recommended! Edit: The wedding day has passed, and I didn't know that it was possible...but Giao was even BETTER than I expected. She really went above and beyond for me and I am so grateful I had her there for the wedding day! The day started at 8:00am sharp at my hotel room where she immediately got started on hair. Now, I've had quite a few trials with her, and I decided I wanted something a different than the trials on the wedding day. We had a brief discussion about it before she started, and about an hour or so later, my hair was secured into a BEAUTIFUL updo! It was as if she knew exactly what I wanted! There was nothing I would have changed about it at all. The makeup was just flawless as well. My skin is by no means perfect, or even acceptable. She used her airbrush machine on me and my face was magically smooth! She is so careful in her work, and she'll really make sure that you look just beautiful on your wedding day. Giao really understands what you want and what looks suit you as for hair and makeup, and she really has an eye for style. And her hairpieces...absolutely stunning! They're just SO unique, and she's willing to push the boundaries when it comes to bridal headpieces! She's really got a good feel for what's new and fashionable, and it comes through in her work! I wore her headpieces on the wedding day and SO many people commented on how much they loved it! Like her husband, Thai (who is a superb photographer), she's got so much heart and love and passion for what she does. It really does show in her work. She has such a vibrant personality that it's just impossible NOT to feel comfortable with her! Again, highly recommended! :)
Services used: Beauty & Health
Tressa shot us for an engagement shoot, and I have to say I'm absolutely floored by the photos she took. Each and every shot was beautiful, and all the elements of the pictures came together perfectly! Her work speaks worlds to her talent, and she is the sweetest and easiest person to work with. I can't wait to show these pictures off to friends and family, and I would definitely recommend her as a wedding photographer to any bride-to-be!
Services used: Photography
Milly Bridal Design Studio
I can't say enough good things about Milly Bridal! They were quick to respond to all my inquiries, and so helpful through the whole process. The process of having a dress custom made halfway across the world can be a nerve-wracking experience, but MB was SO easy to work with. They sent me regular updates of the dress including pictures, and when I wasn't satisfied with a part of the dress, they fixed it RIGHT AWAY. Along the way, I also wanted to add beading and extra lace to the dress and they integrated it beautifully (for a little big extra). The quality of work and material was superb. It's the same bridal satin (polyester weave) that Maggie Sottero and Casablanca uses. You can also upgrade the material you use to a silk satin or silk chiffon. All in all, I'm so happy with the service and the dress, and I think I will be ordering my bridesmaids dresses through them!
Services used: Unique Services
Thai Mai Photography - CLOSED
Where do I even start with Thai? He's a great guy, easy to work with, and an excellent photographer! My fiance and I were blown away by the level of talent that showed in his photos and he made us feel comfortable and at ease in front of the camera. I showed friends and family the DVD of pictures he sent to us, and they all raved about how beautiful the pictures looked, and how he captured such natural moments and emotions. Both Giao (his wife) and Thai took very good care of us during our photo shoot. Thai is highly recommended if you're looking for a GREAT photographer. :) We can't wait for him to shoot our wedding in August! Edit: Thai was just incredible on our wedding day! I don't even have the words to describe how above and beyond he went for us, and how much heart he put into his work. He prompt, enthusiastic, and raring to go at 8:00 am (when I was still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes). He made everybody feel so comfortable in front of the camera with his easy-going personality. Although DH and I were more practiced than the rest of the bridal party were, he made them feel wholly at ease as well. I don't think I ever saw him sit down the entire night! He was up and around like a ninja, always taking photos of...everything! AND the MORNING after the wedding, I already had a dozen of teaser pictures from the day before right in my email! INCREDIBLE. I can't believe how fast his turnaround time is; it's superhuman! The photos were just BEAUTIFUL...there wasn't one photo in the group that we sent that we didn't like. His ideas are so creative and unique! Thai and Giao were such a great team and made such an impression, that one of the groomsmen and his fiance decided they wanted to book him for their wedding after seeing him work that night! His prices are VERY reasonable for the quality of work. He's really such an honest person and would never try to trick or swindle you. If you have a tight budget, he'll work with you to find a photography package that will suit your needs and still fit in your price range. He's worth every single penny you invest into him, and I'm sure he'll make sure of that as well. :)
Services used: Photography
An AMAZING site...what can I say? The have the most gorgeous selection of paper for invitations, and also include custom cutting for a nominal fee. What I really have to rave about is their excellent customer service and QUICK shipping! I always got my orders within a week. :) There are other sites that do offer paper at a slightly lower price, but I really like paperandmore for their selection and great customer service. I also love the fact that they sell paper in smaller bulk...instead of having to order packs of 500, you can opt to order packs of 100 pieces of paper.
Services used: Invitations
La Boutique Des Brides
Ugh...might possibly be one of the worst vendors I've encountered yet. FIRST...this place is impossible to find. It seriously is a giant underground labyrinth in the Jewelry Mart; I felt like Minos wandering around in search of the Minotaur. I finally found the shabby little shop (and that's with the help of two bridesmaids). I walked in and the place was BURSTING full of gowns. There weren't that many at all; the shop was THAT small. The owner of the shop, Hilda, was a very pushy saleslady, foisting dresses onto me that I clearly told her I didn't want to try on. For example, I tried on a dress with a detachable train that I detested, and I immediately wanted to take it off, but she insisted on having my walk around in the cramped space to try to convince me that the dress "moved well". The dress also had a low back, so she reached down my dress, yanked out my bra, and shoved in a couple of cups. I was TOO MUCH in shock to even register that my privacy had been completely violated. It so happened, also, that the appointment before me came late, so it was both me and her trading dresses back and forth since we happened to like the same ones. After having the girl in the changing room across from me ask for the dress I tried on for the 3rd time, I had enough. Hilda saw that I had lost interest and pretty much just left me to change out of the giant dress and hang it up myself. Fortunately, this was the only bad experience I have had with bridal shops. Don't even waste your time here.
Services used: Dress & Attire
Bridal Image of San Francisco
This was a smaller bridal shop, but the service provided to my by Elizabeth was excellent! This was the only boutique that provided me with a fluffy bathrobe to wrap around me while I was standing in my underwear in the dressing room. Definite plus for me! AND she allowed for us to take pictures, when most bridal salons do not. The selection of dresses is not very big, but there is plenty of variety and there's a style for everyone. The gowns are not stuffed into plastic garment bags, so you can see what they really look like in their full glory. :) All in all, it had a very home-y feel which I really loved. I was so comfortable there!
Services used: Dress & Attire
I went during the Jim Hjelm trunk show because I just HAD to try on a dress that I had been eyeing for the past month or so. I decided to take work off for half a day and go on a weekday since I knew the weekend would be hectic. The staff there were very helpful and attentive (could be attributed to me being the only one there) and they even allowed me to take pictures! The owner was a little bit pushy when it came time to leave and tried to get me to purchase the dress that day (which I need to think about), but it wasn't bad enough that I had a headache over it. I can't speak about browsing around the store since I only tried on what was provided at the trunk show, but overall, my experience was quite good. :)
Services used: Dress & Attire