- 5 years ago
- Wedding: April 2013
Hi Charleston Bees! Things have been super busy but the wedding is over and it was such a great weekend! I’ll write up a small vendor review list because I literally googles the entire wedding. If it wasn’t for reviews, bee and weddingwire this wedding wouldn’t of happened. I had some FANTASTIC vendors!
Hotel: The Joseph Aiken Carriage House: A++ ($199.00 a night)
I want to start with this first because my wedding would not of nearly of been so special if it wasn’t for our accommodations. My entire family stayed at The Joseph Aiken Carriage House. This is a hidden gem and it is just amazing. The Joseph Aiken House is a old 1800’s mansion, the “slave quarters” is set up for 4 suites. These suites are 800+sqft and they comes with two bathrooms, a full kitchen, living room (I stayed in Suite D) and it is beautiful. Original wood plank flooring, exposed brick walls. It was perfect. The best part? It is only 199.00 a night (on weekends) plus only a 2 minute drive to downtown. Since my entire family was spending the night there, they open up the “big house” with extra bedrooms for additional family. I wish I stayed in that room – the big house is like being in an old movie. Plus it made for beautiful pictures!
Ceremony: The Confederate Home & College: A+ ($500)
My first time seeing this building and the courtyard was Thursday before the wedding lol. Their hours were so difficult and getting in touch with them is rough but it is very much worth it. All I have to say is wow. It was perfect. The little old ladies are sweet, your location fee pays for their living expenses…so it goes to a great cause and the building is beautiful. My guests fell in love with this building. The rain indoor backup (thankfully did not have to use, is a great second choice). The fee is bery inexpensive.
Reception: McCrady’s: A
McCrady’s was fantastic! Everyone raved about the food, the service was just spot on. They made us feel like royalty. I couldn’t be happier with McCrady’s. We only used The Gallery and not the long room but it was perfect for our reception. The only reason why I didn’t score this a bit higher was because of the event coordnator. She was very difficult to get a hold of. I like phone conversations, email can go back and forth for a long time. We did most of the planning via email. I just wish it was more personal with the planning, but she did call the day of to make sure everything was okay.
Cake: Declare’s Cake: A++
Chef Deb was amazing. Our cake was beautiful and delicious. We went to a few tastings and the servicec from the very first tasting was amazing. We couldn’t of been happier with our cake, most of our guests had 2 slices! Plus we asked for our cake to be a little bit personalized and she did it exactly how we wanted it 🙂
Rentals: Eventworks: A+
Affordable, professional and the prices were the best for what I was looking for. They had dupioni silk linens in the exact navy the bridesmaids dresses were! So my runns, napkins and sashes matched perfectly 🙂 Considering the cooper river bride run was going on at the same time, they set up early and definitely on time!
Flowers: First Bloom Charleston: C
Sigh, this was the only time I got uspet during the wedding. It started with the portrait, my bouquet was very small….My flowers were Garden Roses. They are supposed to be big fluffy flowers…a suitable replacement for peonies. I let that go, come the wedding my bridesmaids flowers were the wrong color pink – they were light pink instead of bright pink. They also were regular roses….not garden roses. My bouquet was perfect…I can’t complain about that. When my sister in law texted me the centerpieces I had a heart attack and had to go down to McCrady’s to fix them. There were gerby daisies everywhere, all of this filler in the vases (flower buds?) it was just not good…it looked like a mess. Once I got the terrible fillers out and the gerber daisies (I never asked for them? I don’t even like them?) the centerpieces were perfect. But why should I pay all of this money for flowers and have to go down and fix them! Sigh 🙁
Ceremony Music: Classical Charleston: A
Our ceremony music was beautiful. We did the string duo (violin and cello) they did a phenomenal job. The only thing that uspet me, I hadn’t heard from them for a long time…I called a few days before our wedding and they forgot about us 🙁 This wouldn’t of been so bad if we didn’t pay 100.00 extra to have one of our favorite songs done by them. It wasn’t in their normal playlist and not common enough for them to know off hand. After having a minor heart attack! They pulled it all together and the music was perfect. Which is all that really manners anyways right? 🙂 The music got a ton of compliments.
Reception Music: Music by Jay Maxwel: A
Our DJ was great! Everyone was dancing and had a wonderful time!! I just wish he knew a little bit more of the newer popular songs but it’s okay everyone loves some good throwbacks.
Makeup: Elina Mille – Bellelina Makeup and Spa ($120) – A++
She was amazing!! Loved her! She almost comes as a package, our hair stylist, and her husband did our ceremony music. It made planning a hundred times easier since they all work together all the time! Less coordinating for me 🙂 Plus she did a great job and really made sure I loved the look. For the portrait I went a bit heavier with the makeup and for the wedding I went with less eyemake up and she didn’t push at all 🙂 Very flexible! Was my first time having my makeup airbrushed and it lasted forever, plus looked very natural!
Hair: Serendipity Salon and Boutique: A++ ($120)
Alena was amazing!! Even with being pregnant she was such a trooper. Considering the race was going on and she lived over the bridge – still made it on time! I hate to sound over confident but my hair really was georgous. It was just pefect, exactly what I wanted 🙂
Officiant: Wedding Minister in Charleston, Pastor Greg ($220) A++
Pastor Greg was amazing! We had not met prior to the ceremony and it still felt like he knew us. His wife handles a lot of his scheduling and she was a doll. He is very flexible with the vows, and I just loved his civil service. We didn’t need to change or add a thing to it.
Transportation: Black Cab Company: ($180) A++
I had a black british cab take me to the confederate home and then to pick us up from McCrady’s. You can book them for an hour at a time, which is plenty of time so of course I had them a little early. Poor guys they waited a bit but they were troopers and super polite!! Loved it and can’t wait to see those pictures.
Photographer: CmPhotography, Charles Merry A+++++
Charles was amazing – poor guy ended up doing 12+ hours of work and loved every minute of it! Here is my review from wedding wire:
Words can not explain how happy and thankful I am for CM Photography, Charles Merry. We got married on April 6th and he did our wedding and my bridal session. When planning a wedding in Charleston you have a huge selection to choose from when it comes to your photography. I knew he stood out from the very beginning. When I first contacted him about his services, instead of just sending me an email with prices and a link to his website (like so many others), he actually asked questions about the groom and I. He wanted to get to know us and make sure this whole experience was personal. That’s really what you’re looking for in a photographer isn’t it? Someone who can capture those personal moments on your most important day.
I have never had any professional photography taken of me before, so I was extremely nervous about my bridal session! Charles made me feel so at ease and comfortable – which is a huge task when you’re in the streets infront of the entire city! All I can say is that the pictures from my bridal session are timeless. I have posted them on the bridal forums I participate in and the positive feedback was outstanding. I think the most positive feedback I received was, your great great grandchildren will still be looking at this picture 150 years from now. That is exactly what you want to hear, I am so happy with the bridal/wedding pictures!
I can go on forever but I am so excited to write this review today. I hope every bride gets to have the same experience I have, after all the crazyness of the wedding the pictures are what you have left. I have beautiful pictures and memories because of Charles, Thank you!
For other vendors since I’m from Charlotte I did local here. I used the paper source for my invitations which came out great!
Hope this helps! Will be posting pictures when I get them in 🙂
If I forgot anything let me know, Also don’t mind the awful grammar – I am too tired to proof read.