Jul 26, 2008
We've hired Ashley as a photographer for a few different types of events: a birthday party, an indoor theater event related to our wedding, our outdoor wedding ceremony, and indoor wedding reception. Indoor theater photography is very challenging, because the lighting is difficult to work with, but Ashley was able to capture some really great moments on the stage, including a photo of our actors that I have copies of everywhere! Ashley is professional, organized, and very easy to work with. My favorite part about her photography style is that she brings a lot of feeling into her images, whether they're of people or objects. For the wedding, she borrowed our rings and arranged them with different objects that our officiant had used during the ceremony. I loved the symbolism in her choices and her willingness to play around with different ideas. I will definitely work with Ashley again in the future and highly recommend her!
Services used: Unique Services
Simon is great! He's extremely professional and patient and very natural at moving through a large event in a way that is intimate without being intimidating. We hired him to photograph our outdoor wedding ceremony, couple photos, group photos, and our indoor reception. He was really good at corralling guests together for group photos and took time to check the lighting and set-up for a shot before taking photos. We asked him to photograph with a journalistic style and he captured a lot of touching moments from the wedding, including moments between other guests, which was important to me, as well as objects and scenery that had significance for our wedding. A lot of my favorite photos were from his camera! It's obvious that he loves photography and takes pride in his work. We'd definitely work with him again and recommend him as a wedding and event photographer.
Services used: Unique Services
We had our wedding ceremony and reception at Caffe Verbena in July 2008, and had a GREAT experience. Our goal for the wedding was to accommodate as many people as possible (150-200), have a strong sense of our personalities embodied by the event, and be able to pay off everything without taking out loans or running up our credit card bills. Verbena was perfect for us, because it's convenient, features a nice, secluded garden, offers a beautiful indoor reception area, and has really good food for a pretty affordable price (in terms of events). For us, it combined nature with an urban bent. The venue is located in downtown Oakland, right above the 12th Street BART station. Because we had our wedding on a Saturday, most of the commercial buildings were closed and it was pretty easy for people to find parking (I would periodically call the Marriott next door to make sure they weren't hosting any conventions that would take up street parking; if so, we would have paid for the extra fee to open the private garage). The way the building is designed, we were able to save money by not buying flowers or many other decorations. The reception area features a large wall of windows overlooking the garden, so it feels sort of like being outside. Our tables were decorated with colorful tablecloths (from Verbena's vendor) and topped with fruits and leaves that were free or inexpensive to get. We had free tastings (which we REALLY enjoyed!) and guests were really impressed with the quality of the food. The quality of the food benefits from the fact that Verbena is primarily a restaurant. When we tallied the cost of food, rentals, and other misc. items, Verbena came out a lot cheaper than most of the other venues. When we finally got the bill for the event, we actually came in UNDER budget. I was really happy with my experience at Verbena and think it's a great venue for a variety of events.
Services used: Wedding Venue
Paper Source - Chicago
We made all of our wedding invitations by hand, and purchased some of our supplies from Paper Source in Berkeley. We went with a really non-traditional invitation made up of business cards tucked into a sheet of gauzy white paper on top of a colored sheet of card stock, which I purchased from Paper Source. I was also able to find a really nice "double happiness" stamp that we used for our return address label design. The store is fun to wander around in and get ideas. I'm very price-conscious and my only problem with the store is that I couldn't fit some of the cool stuff they have, like envelopes or custom services, into my particular budget. However, the quality is very good, the staff is pretty friendly, and the store is great to explore.
Services used: Invitations