- 8 years ago
- Wedding: August 2009
I haven’t been much of a bee, but I have found lots of useful tips and advice on this blog so I wanted to pass along my vendor reviews for Seattle Brides, I hope they are helpful. I got married August 23rd, 2009.
Ceremony Venue: Parsons Garden Park, Queen Anne, Seattle Parks & Rec , B
The site is wonderful, the garden is very intimate and green with nice, well-kept flowers. The space is perfect for a small/medium wedding and provides a great backdrop across the street for pictures over the sound or down the street at Kerry Park. The downside, it’s not exactly private. In my case, while I was walking down the aisle, a group of Japanese tourists wandered into the garden to check it out. They ended up in most of the pictures of me walking down the aisle. I guess it has to go down as one of the nutty things that happened that day. The second one, I didn’t personally experience but my mother and other family members who helped with set-up and clean-up had to deal with a crabby lady hired by the parks department to “guard” the park during the ceremony. She yelled at my aunt to pick up flower petals and complained that we didn’t get out of there in time. The parks department then tried to charge us extra, we argued our case and had them reduce the additional fee. Bad customer relations Seattle parks department.
Venue & Catering: Ravishing Radish Catering at Tyee Yacht Club on Lake Union
A: Heather was terrific, she met with me and my mom once before the event and we talked on the phone several times. The venue is great. It has a fantastic outdoor/waterfront patio and small dock that the guests really enjoyed. We had a cocktail hour before we arrived and everyone was outside enjoying the view. They redid the design of the space in the spring and it’s very classy with silver curtains along the back wall, very neutral but modern colored walls with small candle holders along the walls at eye level. The space was perfect for our crowd of 80 people. The food was simply extraordinary. The salmon was a huge hit and we packed up the leftovers, ate them in the hotel on our wedding night and then for lunch the next day. They made a special Pilau rice from a recipe we got in Tanzania for them, which turned out delicious. We could not have asked for more, food-wise. We did have to do some negotiating of the invoice less than a week before because some prices had increased and additional things were added but Heather was wonderful and made a huge effort to help us out to stay near the range we originally budgeted for. Run quickly to book the yacht club, you won’t be disappointed!
Dress: Luly Yang Couture, A-
Lisa is super sweet and really made the process of getting my dress fun. Luly Yang is a stunning shop with gorgeous pieces, 90% of which are way out of my price range. Lucky for me, the first time I went , I found my dress, a strapless, champagne colored ,scalloped silk taffeta a-line dress on sample sale. I had them alter it so it would be more in a mermaid shape. I felt like such a princess each time I went to go try it on. The minus comes in for the alterations, they were pricey and after we would come to an understanding, the price would always rise. I would then complain and they would adjust it back to what we agreed, but it got annoying the second time around. My advice, get your wonderful dress at this amazing shop and then take it to a quality, reasonably priced seamstress for alterations, less stress all around.
Veil: Veiled Beauty on Etsy: B
I ordered my veil from Kathy at Veiled Beauty on Etsy. The simple lattice veil was the perfect color and looked really lovely with my dress. I ordered the Veil in the beginning of July (she promises to mail them out within three weeks) I ended up getting the veil one week (six weeks after the order was made)before the wedding so I was not able to see it in my final dress fitting or my first hair trial. Frustrating.
Ceremony Music: Elizabeth Knighton, A++
Elizabeth is a music teacher who I found through the University of Washington School of Music. She does freelance gigs with friends and colleagues. Her prices were really reasonable, $80 per musician for 1.5 hours of music. She was really easy to work with, helped us come up with a unique and beautiful set of music, mostly through emails, I did get to meet her once beforehand. To be honest, I was so overwhelmed during the ceremony that I didn’t notice the music that much but guests liked it and it was a classy.
DJ Jeff Hill: A
DJ Jeff is a cool guy. I met with him once before the wedding. He is really genuine and open. He was able to keep the party going with a sort of random crowd (our wedding was small, the young people mostly African-American and Carribbean and the older crowd from all over.) He did some fun things like a conga line which I never thought I would like until suddenly I was leading it He has a good selection of music, people keep dancing all night so you know that’s a good sign. The only very minor complaint I had was that he badly mispronounced my name during our entrance, which I’m used to but maybe he could have asked beforehand. He did come over and apologize afterwards. Overall, highly recommend.
Christine Heidel: Belle Nuite Events: A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Christine is an angel, lifesaver, all around amazing woman who keeps her cool no matter what. I’d like to think we didn’t have that crazy of a wedding set-up but we did have a lot of out-of-towners in the wedding party, two venues on the day of and lots of set-up. Me and my mom with met her two times before the day of(though I just hired her for day-of services) and she set up the reception venue a few days before and followed up with the vendors. Based on our meeting about 2 weeks out, she put together a detailed timeline for the day-of that we provided input and then finalized to share with all the vendors. She also put together a set-up checklist, which was a huge help in getting all the pieces ready and in the right places to be picked up. On the day-of, she was at the ceremony getting set-up before we arrived, then ran over to the reception to make sure everything was in order. She was quietly in the background making sure everything went smoothly and keeping us to the schedule we set so that we would miss out on time with photographers, videographer, guests, rituals, etc. She should be charging a lot more than she does for what she offers. I would recommend if you are planning right now and you think you don’t need a day-of coordinator (i.e. a non-family member, non-wedding party member to make sure things are running properly) you are mistaken, you won’t regret not having to worry about everything and just enjoying your day. Believe me, I’m a details nazi and worry wart and I was on cloud nine because things went so smoothly.
Flowers: Aisle of Blooms, A++++
Laura is so lovely. She loves flowers and comes up with beautiful stuff. I loved my bouquet, which was lilac roses with lace around the base. She did all of our personal flowers. She was really flexible with some last minute additions to the order and gave us some wonderful options for the buttonnieres and corsages. All of the bouquets held us the whole day. Her prices are great and she was really willing to work with the small budget that we had. Her creativity is fantastic. Highly, highly recommend.
Decoration Flowers, my mom, my aunt and my mom’s best friend.
Cake: Macrina Bakery (small cutting cake) A, Cupcake Royale-cupcakes, B
We ordered a small chocolate Mom’s Angel Food cake from Macrina, we didn’t say it was a wedding cake, we had some friends pick it up on the day of and deliver it to the reception site. I only got to taste it for the cake cutting, but it was the bomb! ! It was all gone but one piece that we’ll have on our anniversary. Fabulous, nuff said.
In the raging Seattle cupcake debate, we tried all contenders and Cupcake Royale beat out Trophy and others because the cake part was so tasty and the prices a tad better. Their frosting is not as fancy, but we are not such fancy frosting folk. Also, the lavender frosting for my lavender and sage color scheme helped them out a bit (although we also got chocolate, mint and coconut frosting). I met with Valerie once who is their wedding coordinator once at their Ballard location. Their tasting was really good and helpful, she was really helpful with ideas for colors and set-up, we ended up using their three-tiered pedestal to display them and it looked great. The downside, two things, first, there were some mistakes made on the order that I had to correct. Two, a week before the day, I took my then fiancée to the shop in Capitol Hill so he could try the cupcakes, we realized that we had paid more each for the cupcakes when we ordered in bulk then if we would have ordered them directly from the store. I.E. it’s cheaper to buy them at their café then in large quantities. No one at the store knew why and they seemed embarrassed about it, when I enquired with Valerie she gave me a very lame response that wedding cupcakes are made with more attention to detail (doubtful, since ones in the store are scrutinized more before buying), additional services such as pedestal rental (you still have to pay extra for it), delivery (you have to pay extra for it.). All in all, buy cupcakes from the store and even online for your big day but by all means DO NOT TELL THEM IT”S FOR A WEDDING or you will be charged $.25 additional per cupcake for no reason at all.
Officiant: Sharon Ramey, Center for Spiritual Living A+++++++++++++
Sharon is a gift to this world. Somewhere in this moment, she is spreading love and goodness. Sharon is a non-denominational reverend who helped us make a ceremony that was so special and unique, it felt like we were the first people ever doing this thing! She met with my mom first, then once with me and then a couple weeks out with me and my future husband. We also filled out a questionnaire that she gave us describing ourselves and our ideas about marriage, etc. She gave us some great books to help with the vows drafting, reading them together was beneficial to the process. We talked on the phone a few days before to give her more details. She really helped us focus on the rituals and parts of the ceremony that were meaningful to us. She did her own short sermon interweaving some of the stories we told her and bringing out important themes. I know we will refer to her speech in the future, she mentioned things that were true for all couples. I had relatives tell me afterwards it made them think about their marriage in a new way. I am so happy that we were able to find someone who truly took the time and used her amazing talents to make our ceremony a true reflection of us.
Rentals: Stellar Events Rentals A++++++
Jim at Stellar events was great, we ordered chairs and a table for the ceremony, they delivered them, set them up and came to pick up on time and very professionally. The prices beat out all other companies in Seattle, believe me I looked at all of them.
Invitations & Programs: Pink Lily Press, Jennifer A+++ (on Etsy)
Jennifer at Pink Lily made us a custom image for our invites without asking for a deposit first. We loved the image and got invites from her then got programs as well. She’s from the Seattle area and the quality and turn around time was great. Her prices are very reasonable and she uses high quality paper. Highly recommend.
Make-up: Callan from Sephora (University Village) A
I found Callan by going into the Sephora and making an appointment for a free make-up consultation. I brought a picture of soft, dewy make-up I liked. She did her magic and I liked what she did so I asked her if she would be able to do it for my wedding day. She gave me some samples of moisturizers to prep my face and some tips on making the make-up last. She charged me $65 and did the flower girl and junior bridesmaid for free. One the day-of, we were running late from the hairdresser and she was very chill and relaxed about it. She was pretty quick (30 mins) and it looked fabulous. My only complaint was that I ended out the night looking shiny which is probably more my fault for not re-touching or my bridesmaids for not telling me how I was looking Otherwise, I’d highly recommend.