I’m going to try to list as many vendors as I can that I used because I realized while I was going through this process that I could’ve used rec’s on some of the “smaller” vendors. Its not really in any particular order so I hope you can bear with me. Here it goes…
Venue: The Luv Shack on the River. The Luv Shack is a very beautiful place. It’s very rustic. No a/c but it does have ceiling fans. The bridal suite room was scorching hot on the day of even though it was close to 80 outside with a breeze and there were bugs that would hop out of the grass. But even with the little bad things, if we had to do it again, we’d still have the wedding there.
Juanita is the lady who owns it and she is so helpful. She and her husband moved all kinds of stuff for us the morning of and if there was anything they had that we wanted to use, we were free to do so (with a few exceptions of course). They even had their son helping by directing parking. They strung custom lights through out the inside and partially outside after we signed our contract and they were SO beautiful. We received so many compliments on the location it was insane. We had our ceremony outside, but there could easily be a ceremony inside if you wanted (or for a rain plan). The only other thing I would say is that I like them to offer more handicapped help for things like from the parking (in the small field beside the barn) and places like where we had our ceremony.
I’d definitely recommend them to someone looking for a barn venue in the Upstate area. They’re very reasonably priced too!
Caterer: Mug and Muffin Catering. We contacted Jim about 6 months before the wedding for catering. We had a tasting that was good, but they had very limited tasting choices which made it hard for me. My husband was fine choosing the food. I like how their buffet was set up. They actual serve the food to the guests so it goes faster and also controls over portions. The only things was that they never brought water that I saw, which would’ve helped tremendously in the heat. They also tried to pressure my MOH and my friend into bringing the cake out early (it was in the fridge since it was hot) because they were cutting it and wanted to get it done. When they did cut the cake, they left an entire layer not cut (the only layer that had raspberry filling btw) and we had to figure out how to wrap it up that night. They also left fairly early and took all of the drinks with them which sucked because they were the ONLY non-alcoholic beverages in the place for about 2 hours.
Bottom line: I would hire them again since we got a lot of compliments on the food and how quickly they were served and they were VERY cheap, but I would be more specific about how things should’ve been handled.
Cake: Buttercream Bakehouse. Karrie, the owner, was such a sweet person to deal with. Our tasting went great, she didn’t pressure us into anything, and even brought up some ideas/questions I had never thought about. She worked with me on my simple, differing heights layered cake and, as far as I know, delivery went well (and was free since we were close). They even were thoughtful enough to put it in the fridge for us since it was still pretty warm in the barn when they got there. The only thing that bothered me a little was that the ribbon and sugar peony (which was freaking amazing) were a little paler than I had picture din my head. But that was on me since I should’ve brought a picture of my “peachy pink”.
Flowers: Publix at Thornblade. I used the florist at Publix for my bouquets. Those were the only live flowers I did. I spoke with her about 4 months before my wedding and specifically wanted dahlias in my bouquet (BM’s were just bunches of baby’s breath). That was my “big” thing for my bouquet. I wanted dahlias and the rest weren’t that important. They were supposed to be ivory and light pink. Well, I went to pick it up the day before the wedding and is was a small, egg-shaped, dark purple and burgundy “death bouquet”. It was awful and stressful to deal with and I was devastated because ethe only way to get dahlias is to order… and you can’t overnight something like that.
I do have to give her credit because she worked literally all day to try and remedy the problem. She did end up tinting spider mums for me and I was happy with the result, but if I could go back, I would’ve just gone to a bigger name florist since I found out that dahlias were actually really important to me.
Dress: David’s Bridal Greenville. I was very apprehensive about going to David’s Bridal for dress searching but my mom pushed me into it. I really wish I could remember my consultant’s name because she was fabulous. I made an appointment for a Sunday morning/afternoon and we were leaving just as it was getting busy. My dress was a Galina and I feel it was good quality for my price range. I tried to convince my mom, though, to wait to buy the dress but she wouldn’t and, months later it was about $300 off. Oh well.
We also went to Dimitra’s. They had us search the racks ourselves and only sorted by sizes and not any kind of price. Their prices seemed high but I maxed my budget at $600 so apparently I’m cheap. =P
We also went to The Dress and they were nice ( a little pushy. I said “no bling” And they brought me a dress that literally had “bling” all over the bodice). They didn’t have a huge selection for my price range either. But if you’re looking for a higher end gown for cheapER, then they might be a good place to go.
Photographer: Chris Newman/Shutterdoggy Photography. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Chris. He’s been a photog for awhile but his wedding portfolio is still a little small compared to some of the other “bigger names” in the area. Do NOT let that fool you. He has VERY reasonable prices, but whatever he charges would be worth it. He did our engagement pictures which I love and had some framed. When it came to the wedding, we met and then communicated completely through email. He never showed a problem with this (a lot of other vendors actually did). He listened to what I liked and didn’t like. He does fantastic candids and that was a big thing for me.
His turn around time was also amazing! Our e-pics, our sneak peek, and our whole wedding album were presented in no time. He also gave us the option of a disk or USB for photos which was much appreciated. I would recommend Chris in a heartbeat!!! He was amazing and we couldn’t be happier!
Hair: Shampoo Salon. I did my own makeup by had my hair done by Felicia at Shampoo Hair Salon on Woodruff. The trial took forever but it was something she hadn’t done before and we learned a few tricks. The actual day was so fast and perfect! She even blocked out half of her day just for my hair appointment! She’s young and not super experienced, but she did a wonderful job, listened to what I wanted and they were pretty inexpensive. Loved her!
Rentals: ABC Rentals. I rented all of our tables and chairs from ABC and they were easy to work with. They weren’t the highest quality but our budget was low and everything worked. The bonus is their cheapest black folding chairs work pretty well with any scheme/theme so we didn’t have to worry about ugly chairs. Delivery was smooth, but the guys didn’t set up every table which wasn’t a big deal.
Hotel/Room blocks: Holiday Inn Simpsonville. We did our room blocks at the Holiday Inn off of Fairview Road in Simpsonville. Greg Carpenter is the General Manager and he was easy to work with. We also stayed there the night of and were upgraded to the Jacuzzi room for free. The room was really nothing special; kind of plain and basic, but we were only there one night and I definitely appreciated the hot Jacuzzi to soothe my aching feet when we got there at the end of the night.
Nails: Xanadu. I had my nails done at Xanadu off of Woodruff Road. Didn’t have an appointment and they got me in immediately, but be careful on a Thursday during wedding season. Half the women in there were the bride or going to a wedding that weekend. My pedicure was nice, but the exfoliant was kind of rough. I had a gel manicure and it looked amazing. She even drew a small heart on my left ring finger.
Waxing: UltraSkin Waxing Center. I had a trial of waxing done a few months prior to the wedding to test it out and then had a bunch of stuff done the Thursday before the wedding. Everyone there is so nice and both times I had a job well done. The pricing is also a lot cheaper than I was expecting. I would definitely recommend going there if you’re looking to get waxed.
Officiant: Reynolds Treasures. We used Penny Reynolds for our wedding officiant and she was so awesome. We booked her a year in advance and, of course, communicated mostly through email. She was so sweet and even sent a Christmas card that first year we booked her! She helped us create a personal ceremony that reflected our views, love, and thoughts as a couple. She was so patient with me too. I would decide on something and then change my mind, but she was always very accommodating. She came to our rehearsal and wedding both early and ready to go. Plus, all of our paperwork (changing name, license, etc) was neatly stacked in a folder and given to us when we signed the license which helped SO much! She was great and we would use her again if we had to do it all over again!
DJ: DJ SoCal djsocal.com We used Sam Dunn as our Dj at our wedding. He did the reception and ceremony music. He was so quick to get back at me about ideas and music and got every song right (that I can remember!) at the wedding. The only thing is that he forgot to mic my husband for the ceremony so just be sure to let him know exactly what you’re thinking. Otherwise, we got SO many compliments about him that night and he had everyone dancing… even people who never usually dance. And it was great because he was even out on the floor teaching dances to people! His Thriller is awesome!
Travel Agent: Melissa Dutton/My Travelling Panda. I emailed Melissa about our HM plans near the start of the year. She was so patient with me in trying to decide what was best for us. I felt so bad emailing her things like “The first resort’s restaurants, with that resort’s beach, and the other resort’s rooms.” But she was great through it all! She was free, of course. We didn’t get any free upgrades like I was hoping =( But we had a wonderful time anyways! We’ll use her again in the future!