- Mz. Puppie
- 8 years ago
- Wedding: November 2009
VENUE (Ceremony & Reception):
We were lucky enough to be the very first wedding held at the Pavilion at McMurtrie Farms – our pictures are all over their website, and as you can see, we had a lovely wedding. Our experience is going to be different than most because the site was still under construction as we were leading up to our wedding, but now that everything is in place, we’re sure that brides are going to be extremely happy with how their wedding goes at McMurtrie Farms.
The biggest pro about this place is that with the pavilion, you get the house on the property. That’s a boon in many ways: you save money by housing visiting relatives there (saving on hotel rooms), you get a place to get ready before the wedding, and you also can use the house as a place to have children entertained during the wedding – or for someone to take a nap if they have to! I can’t overstate how calming and centering it was to have a “homebase” right there on-site — without the usual pre-wedding “bustling from here to there” it was so much easier to stay centered and happy.
The other big pro about this place is that the owner Chelsea is extremely invested in making sure that everything goes right. She was there throughout our wedding planning and made sure that she followed through with everything that was promised to us. When you’re at a hotel or other bigger operation, you really lose out on that personal service (and good luck seeing the owner or even the manager on the day of your event!). At our event, Chelsea was in the background supervising and making sure that all the little details were taken care of. She will work tirelessly to be sure that your event is pulled off perfectly!
I would definitely recommend McMurtrie Farms to my friends – for both weddings and events like family reunions.
There are a couple of cons – the location is in the back of a neighborhood, so you will have to quiet down once noise ordinances kick in at 10pm and there are some improvments to the property that are still needing to be made – but these are minor annoyances and wouldn’t cause me to tell anyone to steer clear.
I’ll let one quote and one conversation from the wedding serve as the opening to my review of Exquisite Cuisine:
“Best food I’ve ever had at a wedding!”
Groom: “Jack, you want to take home some leftovers?”
Jack: *several seconds of open-mouthed stammering* “I’m so happy I don’t even know what to say to that!” *Jack runs fast back to the food table*
Working with Liz is a breeze – and knowing that the owner will be on site actually making the food herself, taking care of all the details, and ensuring that everything comes out perfect really creates peace of mind. Our food was extraordinary, plentiful, and a great value. I would hire Liz again in a heartbeat (and, in fact, hope to do so soon, for a dinner party!).
Kenny’s Coffee & Catering
Kenny’s Catering provided the bartending and coffee bar service for our wedding. I would be lying if I said I had a single complaint about them. It is an incredible value for your money and the service is really top notch. These are some of the things are guests said – none of them solicited, just all volunteered during the wedding:
“I got a mocha latte with kalhua and it was a mouthgasm.”
“The frozen sangria margarita is AWESOME!”
“I love that Kenny’s bartender guy, I would hire them in a heartbeat.”
If your venue allows you to bring in outside alcohol, then you DEFINITELY want to go with Kenny’s. Not only do you get a full espresso bar and smoothie machine (which is easily converted to frozen daquiris/frozen margaritas), but you get TABC-certified bartenders, who will serve anything that’s possible with the alcohol that you provide to them.
Let me repeat that last part: that YOU provide. That means you can buy your alcohol cheap at Costco! None of the usual outrageous bar markup! WOOT! Plus, the pricing for Kenny’s is by the hour, not by the drink or by the bottle. That means that you won’t have any problems with servers tossing half-finished glasses (so that guests will be forced to get another drink, ratcheting up the bill) or with the bartenders opening new bottles before old bottles are empty (so that you will be forced to pay for additional bottles).
With Kenny’s you get no nonsense, FANTASTIC baristas/bartenders, and an AMAZING value. I cannot recommend them enough.
Summer at Stardust Pastry is quite the impressive baker. Hire her now before her rates skyrocket!
Here are some comments about the cupcakes she made for us:
“Oh thank god! You’re finally opening the cupcakes, I’ve been staring at them forever, they’ve been torturing me!”
“The whoopie pie is so amazing!”
When we were tasting cakes, the major complaints we had with most cakes were that they were too sweet, or they had a weird Crisco-type of mouth feel (or both). We went with Stardust because Summer’s cake was the only one that avoided both of those issues. Plus she was flexible about doing cupcakes versus regular cake — she even made mini-cupcakes for the bride & groom so that we could taste all 4 flavors at our wedding without going into a coma!
The most popular flavors at our wedding was the almond cake with raspberry coulis (heaven!) and the whoopie pie (chocolate cupcake with scratch-made marshmallow topping which had been dipped in chocolate).
Her sugar work is impeccable and she was extremely responsive and professional throughout the process. I would hire her again in a hot minute.
Nessa K Photography
Nessa was wonderful – she’s extremely laid back and very much into her craft. I can’t tell you how many wedding photographers I’ve seen that think that they are in charge of the show. Instead Nessa integrated with us and let all of the pictures happen in an organic and beautiful way. She was there for all the formal pictures too, of course, but there wasn’t any of that stress to take a hundred pictures when you’re herding cats.
Nessa is a “photojournalistic” style of photographer. If you want your wedding to happen naturally, and to get beautiful pictures of the things that actually happened, then she is your gal. If you want a billion posed pictures and you’re looking for your pics to be on the staged side, then she’s probably not right for you.
The pictures are freaking GORGEOUS. She’s an art-school grad, and you can really see that artistic perspective in her work. Seeing her pictures for the first time made me fall in love with my wedding all over again. She’s got great shooting skills, and great post-processing skills as well. Plus she’s friendly, super-flexible, and doesn’t force you into weird packages where you’ve got to buy all kinds of stuff that you’re not really interested in.
She’s relatively new to the business, so she’s undercharging for her talent right now. Hire her now before her rates skyrocket. She’s wonderful.
Austin Flower Company
First thing to note is that Austin Flower Company is not a full-service florist. They are a flower wholesaler. This is NOT the place to go if you want a florist to create bouquets and centerpieces for you. However, if you want to do your flowers yourself, you can get seriously gorgeous flowers for very little cash.
For my wedding, I used flowers for just bouquets only. So, the day before the wedding, a bridesmaid and I headed to Austin Flower Company. We picked up 2 dozen red and 2 dozen white roses for $40. Yes, roses there are $20/2 dozen. We took them home, prepped them, and popped them in water with some flower food.
They were relatively closed up when we got them Friday afternoon, but by the time of the wedding Saturday night, they had opened up beautifully and were lush and gorgeous. My bridesmaid gathered and taped them into bouquets and we were good to go. My ridiculously beautiful bouquets made my heart sing with joy every time I saw them.
If you’re willing to go the do-it-yourself route, you can save SERIOUS coin by using Austin Flower Company.