Sep 08, 2007
There was one weekend when we knew that both of our families and our bridal party was going to be in town, so I went ahead and called several bridal shops to schedule appointments. Coral Gables Bridals was the fourth store that we visited, and I was so glad that it was the last one! And I was just as glad that I had scheduled an appointment, because I saw that there were girls there that was asked to return in a while because all their staff was busy. I can't remember the girl's name that helped me, but she was such a sweetheart! And I appreciated the fact that she was bilingual because my MIL can't speak a word of English! She was never pushy in trying to make me buy a dress, and she did not bring out any dresses that were above my stated budget. I tried on about 8-10 dresses, and it wasn't until the very last dress that I found and realized that it was THE ONE. When she helped me put it on in the dressing room, we looked at each other in the mirror and both had the same smile. She was was that excited too that when she opened the door to the dressing room so that I could get out and show the moms and my girls, she proclaimed that I had found THE dress. She even told me to hold on as she dashed to the manager's office to pick up a couple of boxes of tissues and handed them out before I got out, which was a good move on her part, because as soon as I walked out and stood in front of everyone, you could see their smiles get HUGE and their eyes start to tear up! It might have been one crazy and long weekend searching for my dress, but it ended happily at Coral Gables Bridals!
Services used: Dress & Attire
I had discussed with all of my girls from the very beginning that I wanted them to wear a dress that they would love and be able to wear over and over again, and not just for my wedding. I then told them that I had decided to let them choose their own dress to their liking, but that it had to be black and that it had to be at least knee-length or longer and that I had to APPROVE of their selection before they bought their dress. I loved the look of different styles that showed all their personalities, and I know that they all appreciated that I let them choose their own dress. All 9 of my girls selected their dresses from netbride.com, and they chose to do so because they had heard that their prices were the lowest and that they were just great all around. They each agreed on their experience with the company as they received their dresses early, that they paid a lot less than other places that they looked at, and for my 3 girls that had a bit of a problem, their customer service was always on point with helping them resolve the issues. We all recommend Netbride!
Services used: Dress & Attire
My engagement ring and both of our bands are from Blue Nile. They have a wonderful selection of rings to choose from. Their prices are very reasonable and at times comparable to other national jewelers. I really love the fact that Blue Nile allows you to build your own engagement ring, which I did not know until after I got my engagement ring and my then-fiance told me about it. That is a really special touch because I feel that it really does come from his heart to not just select something "generic," and that he knew what I would like and pieced everything together! We got our bands for a really great price, and when we got them appraised for insurance purposes, they were worth a lot more than what we paid!!
Services used: Jewelry
Beauty by Noel - Makeup artist & hair stylist
I did NOT want to leave my hotel room to get ready before the wedding, so it was very important for me to find someone who would come to me. Beauty by Noel not only does that, but their work is worth every penny! I not only had my hair and makeup done, but they also did our moms and my bridal party. They showed up right on time and worked diligently. It wasn't like they were robots because they chatted with all of us, and Noel, who worked on me, kept me calm and relaxed. They are all super sweet, and they made us feel like princesses! I have very stubborn straight hair that if I am out in the Miami humidity for even a few minutes, it starts to frizz a little. I wanted my hair to stay perfect throughout the night of pictures and dancing, and it did just that! Plus my makeup stayed flawless all night; I think that that is in part because I selected the airbrush makeup.
Services used: Beauty & Health
Biltmore Golf & Spa Resort (Coral Gables - Miami)
My husband and I first met each other at the Biltmore when we were both staying there for our friends who had their bachelor/bachelorette parties that time. It was only fitting that we would get married where it all started. The Biltmore is so beautiful and grand, and very pricey (well, at least for the package we selected), but we felt that it was well-worth it. Our ceremony was in the evening in the courtyard, and it was just absolutely amazing. Our reception was indoors, and that was just as beautiful and perfect as well. The only "issues" that we had was that the food wasn't exactly what we tried during our tasting, but it as still very yummy. A few of our guests also did complain that their service was a little on the slow side, and when one of my bridesmaids asked their Banquet Captain a question she said that he was quite rude to her. But everything else was just perfect. I was able to enjoy their spa before our wedding, and we got a huge and beautiful bridal suite for our wedding night!
Services used: Unique Services
Tamara is such a sweetheart! She and I just clicked right away during our initial meeting, and I booked her on the spot just based on that fact alone. I really had no idea what I wanted for our centerpieces but I knew that I wanted something different for each table, and that they were to alternate between tall and short vases. I also wanted tons of candles, and I had to have my peonies! She took my very few ideas and worked with me to design our tables and our bouquets. EVERYTHING was just so incredibly beautiful and much more than I expected! My bouquet was just so huge and lush! My bridal party's bouquets were beautiful too, as were the boutonnieres, pomanders and corsages. Then when we walked into the ballroom for the first time, I couldn't hold back the tears! Aside from our photographer, I knew that I wanted the flowers/dcor to be top-notch, and TC Event Design delivered just that!
Services used: Wedding Planning
Sara Kauss Photography
Sara isn't based out of South Florida, but she was on our very short list of photographers to look into and meet. When we all met together, we just clicked and after looking over her portfolios, we knew that Sara was our photographer! She did not disappoint, and was very well worth the budget that we put aside for the photographer. We wanted at least 3 photographers there to make sure that everything was captured, and she obliged with that with no problem. They were all very professional and wonderful to have at our wedding. At times we didn't even notice that they were there, which was good because also asked to not be intrusive at times, except for when they needed to be. We had quite a lengthy list of must-take pictures, and they also worked to make sure they got every shot on our list. When we got our proofs, we were absolutely amazed! And after she touched them up, we were just spell-bound! Sara is so incredible, talented, and such a sweetheart! If you have a chance to book her, DO SO!
Services used: Photography
Because our ceremony and reception was at one location, we decided to still rent a couple of limosines because we knew that even after the reception, we wanted to still party (and where better to do so then on South Beach?) My husband and I had one limo to ourselves going, and everyone else that we knew was coming got into the other 3 limos that we had. The limos are very clean and our drivers were very professional. Their prices are also comparable to other limo services around.
Services used: Transportation
University of Miami Student String Quartet
I always wanted a harpist and violinist to play for our ceremony and cocktail hour, and I was very happy that our planner found this student group from UM. Not only did I get the harpist and violinist, but I also got a flutist and base player. All together from what I heard they were absolutely amazing. Our guests also complimented them during our cocktail hour.
Services used: Unique Services
BBJ Linen - Miami
I really didn't like all of the linens that were included in our package from the Biltmore, and I wanted something in particular. Our planner recommended BBJ Linen, so I went through them to order our damask table runners and napkins. It was an additional expense that we could have done without, but I was very happy because their items brought together everything! They are very easy to work with, and their prices are affordable as well!
Services used: Unique Services
UBIS MUSIC & LIGHTING
Hiring the right DJ was very important for us. We didn't want one that was going to be cheesy. Our DJ had to be very fun, but also very comfortable as an emcee behind the mic! We were fortunate to have hired Ubi's Music Productions because he was everything that we wanted! He played everything that we asked him too, as well as the songs that our guests requested. He also made sure not to play certain songs that we didn't want, and was very professional yet fun. He certainly kept our dance floor filled throughout the night!
Services used: DJ