Red Pattern

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Getting Hitched: Dallas Vendor Reviews, Part 1

Last week marked my one year anniversary (crazy!) for blogging on the 'Bee and I decided I really should wrap things up for you guys instead of just leaving you hanging without any closure. I have a handful of posts that have been waiting for me to hit the "Publish" button, so I will be sharing those with you all before it's finally time for me to say goodbye! 

I've debated a good bit about whether or not I wanted to do a vendor review post. Although we (thankfully) didn't have anyone do a terrible job for us, the idea of rating people still makes me feel a little strange. However, when I think about just how much I appreciate a well-written review, wedding related or not, I really couldn't pass up the opportunity to share my experiences with all of these wedding industry professionals.

Like I mentioned before, no one that we hired did a terrible, or even sub-par, job. If you were to hire any of the vendors we used for our wedding I would be willing to bet you would have a positive experience. What I really want to highlight is the people who did an exceptional job. The ones that I would 100%, without a doubt, hire again if I were to do the whole wedding planning thing over again. Thankfully that won't be happening ;) but I know many of you are in the process of making these decisions, and in my experience reviews were extremely helpful. Dallas bees, always feel free to contact me if you have any other questions about the vendors we used!

Lasting Bridal Couture, www.lastingbridalcouture.comHighly Recommend
Shopping for my wedding gown was an awesome experience, especially the time spent at Lasting Bridal Couture. My consultant, Sarah, was just beyond fabulous. She was helpful, encouraging, and really listened to what I wanted in my dress. In addition to my dress, we also ordered the bridesmaids' dresses from the same store, and Sarah was very knowledgeable about how the colors compare to the swatches, how the sizes run, etc. The store allows you to order the bridesmaid dresses online, which is super helpful when all of your bridesmaids are in different locations and can't all come to the store at once, and they had the lowest prices that I found.

My dress came in on time. My alterations went smoothly with their in house seamstress, Wendy. Everyone was always very helpful and enthusiastic when I called or visited the store (and believe me, I'm the bride who calls a lot.) An all around fabulous job by everyone involved, and I would definitely recommend the store and their products!

I've had a few people ask, so for anyone else who might be curious, my dress is the Fantine by Maggie Sottero!

Lindey Duckworth Hair,, Recommend 

Although our wedding went off without a hitch, I did have a minor freak out moment about two weeks before the big day. My hair stylist, Lindey, contacted me and told me she had unfortunately had a family issue come up, and she was afraid it would interfere with styling my hair on my wedding day. I won't lie, I freaked a little. This was really the only speed bump that we had hit in our planning, and I was afraid I was going to be without a hair stylist on the day of my wedding. Luckily, Lindey handled it perfectly. She told me her sister (who is also a hair stylist and shares a salon with Lindey) would be available to do my hair, told me I could come in for a trial with her sister to make sure I was happy with it, and if for some reason I was not, she would figure out a way to be there on my wedding day. Long story short, I was happy with her sister, Holly, she ended up doing my hair on our wedding day, and she did a great job. She also styled Momma C's hair, as well as all of my bridesmaids' hair, so all of the beautiful work you see in my photos belongs to her!

Momma C getting her hair styled by Holly.
Because I had originally hired Lindey, I do still want to focus this review on her as well. I was extremely happy with how she styled my hair for my bridal portraits. I took a few inspiration photos into the salon and she did a wonderful job of following the photos while still making the style work for me and my hair. She was fun to be around and great to work with. Just as important, if not more, than the things I have already mentioned, she also didn't leave me high and dry two weeks before my wedding without a hair stylist. She gave me another great option, and ultimately told me she would honor her commitment if plan "b" didn't work out. She is super skilled when it comes to hair, as well as a reliable person to hire for your big day.

AH Makeup Artistry,, Highly Recommend

Amanda was just fabulous; she was great to work with and a lot of fun! Some of you might remember that she did my makeup way back when I took my engagement photos. In total, she actually did my makeup four times: my makeup trial, engagement photos, bridal portraits, and the wedding. Once she had worked her magic once, I was addicted and I couldn't pass up any opportunity to sit in her chair and let her put my "face" on.

Work in progress!
I do not wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis. Okay... let's be honest, most days I'm not wearing any makeup. But I do like to spruce things up a bit for special occasions, and I especially want to look my best when it's something like my wedding. Amanda did a great job of giving my makeup a natural look, while still making me feel good in my own skin - nothing too bold that would make me uncomfortable. However, just because I lean more towards the natural looking makeup doesn't mean that's all she's capable of. Her website also displays few bolder looks as well, and she as just as talented when it comes to adding that extra color.

A big part of how I judged my makeup was how it looked in pictures, and I was extremely happy with the outcome. I felt like my eyes and lips had just enough "pop!" and there was an overall glow that was perfect for bridal makeup. Seriously, Dallas ladies, just go hire her right now and enjoy looking fabulous and feeling great about yourself on your wedding day!

Piazza in the Village,, Recommend

The Piazza was awesome to work with from beginning to end. Our first impression was our initial meeting with Lorna, their Sales Director, who was wonderful and a big part of the reason we chose the Piazza. After we had signed our contract, our Piazza contact became our wedding coordinator, Tabitha, who was equally as wonderful. I loved that the Piazza provides you with a coordinator as part of your wedding package. It was great to not only have her there from beginning to end, but to also have someone who was so familiar with Piazza weddings.

Aside from the coordinator the Piazza provides you with (who was priceless on the actual wedding day - couldn't have done it without her!) they also provide an attendant who is helping out in both the bride and groom's suite on the actual wedding day. Our attendant was fabulous and definitely went the extra mile to help make sure I was happy and enjoying myself. She stayed right with me even when Tabitha couldn't, helped lace up my dress and carried my train when needed, and made sure I had a glass of water or champagne in my hand any time I was thirsty. I know, I know, crazy bride alert, but it really was so nice to have her there.

As far as food goes, The Piazza does all of the catering in-house, and everything was FANTASTIC. Literally, Mr. Coach and I still talk about how much we enjoyed it. Their food and beverage minimums are definitely high, but we were not let down by the quality of the food we purchased, and we were actually surprised to find that the food was even better on our wedding day than it was at our tasting. We were also very happy with the size of the venue (we chose the smaller, Village Ballroom, for our reception) as well as how smoothly everything ran throughout the day. All in all, a great experience with our venue. Every meeting with our coordinator was enjoyable and helpful, the venue is beautiful and the staff was great, and our wedding day was absolutely perfect for us.

Jenny Glass - Harpist,  www.texasharp.comHighly Recommend

Jenny Glass is one of the kindest people I have ever met. She was such a joy to work with, and even though I didn't get to talk to her during our wedding ceremony, (I was a little busy getting married and whatnot) I loved having her there and knowing she was contributing in such a special way. Getting to pick some of our favorite songs, and hear them played on a beautiful harp was the perfect addition to our ceremony.

I talked about Jenny a little after I first hired her, and my more recent experience with her was no less phenomenal. A few weeks before the wedding, she emailed over some example ceremonies to give me an idea of how many songs we would need for entrances, etc. but also gave me free reign to pick and choose as I liked. It was the perfect amount of structure for me - it gave me an idea of how many songs to choose without making the music to choppy from starting and stopping, but I was also able to provide her with enough songs that we liked so that there wouldn't be any guessing involved. She was quick to respond to emails and always happy to answer my questions. She also reads her "sheet" music from her iPad, which I love. It allows her to be ready for any last minute changes or extra time she needs to fill - more music is just a click away, and it gives a bride a lot of peace of mind knowing your musician is well prepared.

Along with the food the Piazza served, the other part of the wedding we got the most compliments on was the music Jenny played on her harp before and during our ceremony. Any review I write really can't do justice to how great she was, you just have to meet her and hear her play to really understand. I am so, so glad we found her and chose to work with her.

I know my vendor review posts are focused on Dallas area brides, but I promise I do have a post or two coming up that will appeal to you all, so stick around! And in the mean time, tell me which vendor you were happiest with at your wedding, or the one you're most excited to work with on your big day!

All photos by Megan Fortner Photography.

Miss a recap?

First, I shared some of my favorite guest photos from the big day.
Next, Mr. C and I spent some quality time with family, rehearsed for the big day, and then enjoyed our tasty rehearsal dinner.
My girls and I spent some quality time together and got our hair and makeup done in our hotel suite.
We headed over to the Piazza, where I slipped into my dress.
I showed off my wedding gown in my pre-wedding Bridal Portraits.
You got a sneak peek into the Groom’s Suite while the guys got ready.
I got a little misty during our First Look.
Mr. Coach and I took a few couple’s portraits with our photographers.
It was almost time for the ceremony to begin, so our parents and grandparents made theirentrances.
We exchanged handwritten vows during our ceremony.
Our photographers snapped some pictures of Mr. C and me with our Bridal Party.
Before the reception, we took the time for a few more couple’s portraits.
We made our grand entrance into the reception.
Some of our favorite people said some nice things about us in their toasts.
Things get a little crazier as we dance the night away and toss the bouquet and garter!
We enjoyed our last dance and final moments as the bride and groom.
I shared all of the details from our big day.

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