Oct 05, 2008
Louise is such a gem! I found her off of Yelp and I was not let down. She even let me bring a friend with a cocktail dress and me with an extra dress as well to my first wedding dress fitting and squeezed all of that extra work in without even batting an eye. My mom is a seamstress but wouldn't dare tackle a complicated wedding dress and said for the work she did --took in the bodice, fitted the top, hemmed about 6 layers of material and did a bustle for $350--she is a STEAL! My cocktail dress had to be completely taken in about 2 dress sizes, top rebuilt and zipper ripped out and replaced for $95. Very easy to schedule with, although she is quite busy so try to schedule in advance. And always, always bring your proper undergarments and shoes to EVERY single fitting (I had to come back once because I thought we were done with the hem...silly me!)
Services used: Dress & Attire
Pin-Ups Makeup Artistry
I used Alice Sawdey of Pin-Ups Makeup Artistry for myself (bride) and wedding party in Livermore, CA. Let me just say that Alice is such a talented professional and also she knows weddings and the inevitable craziness that will ensue and yet she makes your whole day feel so calm and cool. I am definitely a makeup person, I do others makeup for events/I used to do makeup crew for theater productions but I knew for my big day I didn't want to be shakily applying liquid eyeliner or some other snafu to trip me up so I put my trust in the hands of a professional and I could not have been more pleased with the final result!! She is extremely talented: I had a blemish erupt the day of the wedding and no one could tell!and I am very pale so when I get hot from dancing/drink my skin normally flushes and yet my face was perfectly porcelain the entire night and I cried during our vows and yet my eyeliner/mascara didnt budge! She even gave me lipstick to keep to touch up for pictures. She puts you at ease: she is so calm and meticulous and understanding and just someone I was happy to have around me on that big day. She is prepared: she brought doublestick tape and waters for us just in case! So thoughtful, she even offered to drive one of us over to the bridal suite when we had a car mixup!! All of my bridesmaids looked fabulous, and I could not have been more happy with how my makeup turned out. The makeup trial at her house was a lot of fun--she even let me bring my dogs over to play with her dogs in the backyard with my husband while I got my makeup done inside and I actually didn't feel weird about the whole experience because she is just that nice and she's chatty and fun and sweet. Very reasonable prices, she is SO accommodating and of course, her makeup skills are spot on. Highly recommend for any event--you will look gorgeous!
Services used: Beauty & Health
Wendy Hithe, Photographer
We used Wendy for our engagement photo session up in Napa, CA and our Wedding almost a year later out in Livermore, CA. My husband used to do cinematography/audio visual production-- so the quality and artistry behind the images taken from our big day was probably more important to him than it was to me as the bride! Wendy scouted an amazing location ahead of time for us to take our engagement session and she even allowed us to bring our german shepherd puppy to the shoot and somehow got him to stay put and off leash for her?! (she must be an animal whisperer of some sort!!) Also of note: I somehow forgot all of my makeup to put one when we got there and yet I looked amazing (I am sure due to her airbrushing skills!!) and based on those amazing shots she took and the interesting angles and poses she gave us, I was certain our wedding day would be just as beautiful and I was right! Wendy is a consummate professional but she also just puts you at ease--she is such a sweet person that even during stressful times ie my shoes were left at the hotel and my flowers hadn't arrived before we started taking portraits-- she worked around it and kept cool under pressure and still managed to get an amazing amount of shots done in the small amount of time we had leftover before the wedding started. She also was very accessible and responsive via email and phone and she was prompt and on time for everything! The photos from our wedding were nothing short of amazing (they're on her website for you to peruse). She is extremely talented, and she gave us exactly what we wanted--more informals/photojournalistic/artsy photos vs traditional poses. The hardest part for us was choosing which images to frame and put in our book--seriously! She takes beautiful black and whites and the placement/lighting of all the shots were breathtaking. You will not be let down--best vendor of our wedding hands down!!! I only wish we were staying in the area so that we could get all future photo shoots from her!
Services used: Photography
First off, I am an avid baker and so I knew it would be crazy to bake favors AND a cake so to hand over that task to another person was an important decision since its one of my sole pet peeves of wedding cakes with how stale they taste/dry. NOT Cassandra's at all! That and I abhor the taste of almost all bakery's fondant. We were so impressed with how moist her cakes were at our tasting and the delicious fillings and extremely reasonable cost (they use high quality choc & vanilla ingredients as well which I appreciated). We ended up going with chocolate cake enrobed in dark chocolate ganache with either cream cheese or espresso mousse filling. YUM-O We didn't get to eat much at our actual wedding but I am slightly embarrassed to admit that we ate our cake topper with our fingers on our long ride to our hotel in San Francisco!! SO GOOD! I think they no longer run a store front since our wedding last fall but its worth scheduling an appt. for a tasting.
Services used: Unique Services
We used Alexandria's for ordering specific flowers and greenery we wanted for our wedding (my sister actually made the arrangements and the bouquets) but we chose to give my sister a break and outsource the boutonnieres as well to Alexandria's. I loved that she was local, next to our cake bakery for easy and convenient meetings and we really were speaking the same language about what we wanted and her suggestions for seasonal substitutes were spot on! (I'm not a Bay Area native so my breadth of knowledge of seasonal flowers was limited to our one trip to the SF flower market the fall the year previous) My husband is half German so we wanted to incorporate elements of those traditions--such as wheat stalks for prosperity and happiness, along with the stunning and unique fiddleheads and hypericum berries that matched the style and color scheme of our colors and my own bouquet. We were more than pleased and the cost was reasonable considering the items we special ordered and the components of the men's flowers. They were extremely friendly, professional and on time--what more could a girl ask for?
Services used: Flowers
I got married here last October and I have to say overall I was really happy with the venue since the cost was pretty reasonable and the day was beautiful. -location: the landscape and the pictures you will get are amazing and gorgeous and the weather was perfect (but due check Farmer's almanac ahead of time, since it drastically changed weeks later in October--ie much colder and extremely windy) -the food--we had filet mignon, cornish hen and stuffed zucchini and it was amazing, everyone commented how great it was. I wanted MORE! -the wine--if you expect Napa quality wines, forget it! Garre suffers from trying to make too many varietals and so quality suffers on some if not most of the types they make. After many many trips to their tasting room, we settled on an '04 Cab and an '07 Pinot Grigio--if you do plan to marry there, they dont tell you this, but def buy all of the wine you think you will need WELL in advance, not only do they have case discounts and sales but they sold out of almost all of their whites before we got married so I was glad we bought ours in the summer. I was very surprised that they don't keep cases off to the sides for their weddings but they are a very small producer, so if you like it, buy it! And don't waste your money doing their drink package--to make it worthwhile guests would have to drink more than 4 bottles PER person! -the tent for the reception...was less than ideal, its pretty dirty and not maintained, same goes for their sad excuse for portable bathrooms on the side of the tent (almost the size of airplane bathrooms) but if you turn all of the lights off and forget to look down at the stained poured concrete floor you'll be ok (fyi they have super low wattage to begin with + old wiring so our lights/fuse blew out mid-reception oh well) -ceremony site is the large oak tree--its amazing on its own and really didnt need much in the sense of flowers and other decor, i just added some simple pomanders and hung lots of satin ribbons from the trees flanking our aisle -event planning staff was horrifically bad (hence minus 1 star)---we had to get switched to another planner halfway through since our first planner was completely incompetent and disorganized If you want professionals who will respond to your questions/emails within 10 business days or if you want a straight answer on simple questions and they don't change the answer 6 months into planning it--go somewhere else. For ex. we were told we could use a specific beverage distributor to provide hard alcohol and then were told 5 months later that hard alcohol cannot be served on the premises? There was a lot of verbal things told to us that were not honored or were complete lies and that was the most frustrating. On top of that we paid extra to have a coordinator do setup/strike for us and she was still setting up when guests arrived 20 minutes before the ceremony began (talk about seeing the man behind the curtain!) and she did not pick up any of our items after wards as she left before our event ended and expected us to leave over 5k in rentals unattended overnight--the staff also damaged a rented linen (we now own a 9x6ft choc. brown linen!!). Suffice it to say we ended up doing the breakdown ourselves (in a wedding gown nonetheless!) -Also ignore their photos online because almost all of those photos are from brides who rented everything--they put nothing down on the table except glasses and napkins and silverware!
Services used: Wedding Venue, Rehearsal Dinner