Texas-Dallas and Ft. Worth

(Longest) Vendor Reviews (EVER!)

So, I'm a little late in posting these but my wedding was on 9/22 and overall, everything was great! I was really happy with the way things turned out, and how everything came together and that wouldn't have been possible without these vendors. I will try to come back later and add pictures for some things (e.g. cake, dress, food, DJ set-up) since personally, I was always curious when searching for reviews. Also, I used Etsy for lots of things (BM robes, BM personalized necklaces, lots of signs, garter, FG/RB bag and pillow, flutes, cake servers, etc.) since I am very un-crafty, and I would be happy to list or recommend those shops to anyone who is interested. (I just figured, this was already long enough on its own). :)


Terry Costa – Dress (by Allure): A-

Honestly, I searched high and low for a dress and finally had great luck here. Although you don’t get quite as much attention as you do at some strictly bridal stores, my associate was still very helpful. My only complaint was with measuring/sizing. She measured me and gave me a choice between two sizes, and I went with the larger one. However, when the dress came in it seriously barely fit me, yet, I hadn’t gained any weight. I ended up working out before the wedding, and trying to eat healthy and it ended up fitting perfectly, but at the time it was pretty nerve-wrecking.

Alfred Angelo (Bridesmaids' Dresses): C+
I was a little behind the ball on picking bridesmaids dresses, so when I found out that some of my BMs in other cities were offered rush orders (while the ones who went with me on the day that we picked them weren't) I was really irritated. When I called to attempt to add the rush to the 3 orders that I placed in Arlington, it was seriously a freaking ordeal. Several times when I called (during business hours) no one answered, and their voicemail box was full. Then the manager wasn't available that day and she was the ONLY one who could assist me. Then the associate that I talked to gave me the wrong info, then the manager wasn't sure if they could add it on or not. Seriously, the list goes on and on. The whole process took several days, and lots of time that I would have preferred to spend on something else. When I asked for a discount on the rush since it took so much effort for me to make it happen, she argued and argued and said that it wasn't their fault and refused. While the dresses were really cute, suffice it to say that the branch in Arlington really has terrible customer service and I would never recommend them to anyone. Other locations might be different, but definitely avoid that one.

Mens Wearhouse (tuxes): B
I feel like the reviews for Mens Wearhouse are always the same, just so-so. At least half of the tuxes had issues when the guys picked them up (mostly with fit or size), which meant several trips to the store for them. Also, when we went to pick them out the sales person that we had was really rushing us and seemed annoyed, which wasn't helpful at all. We went to the Hurst location and I feel like it's always a madhouse in there, so I would recommend the Arlington location instead (I did also go to that one with my dad and they were much more helpful). Overall, I feel like the guys paid a lot of money to rent something that we could have easily ordered and they could have kept. If I could go back and do it again, I would probably go that route.

Becky Fowler (alterations): A+

It’s been said a million times before, but I’ll say it again…Becky is the best! She’s so sweet and affordable and did such a great job. I loved that she also made me practice walking down the “aisle” in my dress, and gave me tips. If you need alterations, use her, hands down.

Zio Carlo Magnolia Brew Pub (Rehearsal Dinner): A

Early on, we had some issues with Zio Carlo’s because they didn’t want to uphold the deal that I had made with the previous event manager. But, she was really hard to pin down, and I never signed a contract. So, although I wish they had worked with us on that, they didn’t technically have an obligation to. In the end, it worked out perfectly. Our original plan was to rent out the whole place for $500, but we ended up with just a reserved space for free! It was definitely nice to save the money, and since we were there so early (starting at 4:30), we still had plenty of privacy. Adam, the new manager, was such a big help. He allowed us to bring in other catering (although they do have their own kitchen), and let us custom order some beers that were just for us. We also had salad and pizzas from Zio’s and they were all delicious! They kept a separate bar tab just for our party and warned us when we were getting close to our ideal limit. Adam even put up a makeshift partition to keep our area more private. It was a laidback and fun atmosphere…absolutely perfect for us. My only complaint was that one of the bartenders ended up eating some of our catered food (without asking), after she got off of her shift, which I thought was pretty unprofessional. I’m sure after I mention it that that will be corrected for future parties though.

Buffalo Bros (catering for Rehearsal Dinner): B

Buffalo Bros is our absolute favorite restaurant bar. H’s family is all from upstate NY (Buffalo, to be exact), so this seemed like a perfect idea. While the wings were delicious (as always), the delivery was about 20-30 minutes late, and when I called our contact to check on the status she said, “Um, yeah we’re on our way” and acted like it was NBD, with no apology or anything. Also, they told us that the food would come in chafing dishes to keep everything warm, but it didn’t. Not a huge deal but annoying nonetheless.

Rose Chapel & Southside Preservation Hall (Venue): A

Joni (our coordinator) was an absolute pleasure to work with and I highly recommend requesting her as your DOC if you go with Rose Chapel. Overall, the venue was gorgeous and most of the day was flawless. We were able to have our ceremony outside in the garden, and then move everyone inside for the reception. It was so nice and convenient to have everything in one place. They were very flexible on allowing me to change our set-up a few different times, and they even let me add on and change hours a few weeks before. However, I did have a few complaints that I plan to address with them:

Amy (who I believe is the head coordinator) called and changed the arrival of our alcohol WITHOUT our permission. Not only did she change the time, but she changed it to a time that didn’t make sense because no one (staff included) was scheduled to be at the venue at the time that she requested the alcohol arrive. It was bizarre and I plan to hash this out with them, but am waiting until I retrieve a few items that were left behind.

There were several kids (who I was later told by my mom were “volunteers” from the Boys and Girls Club) who were wandering around our event in jeans and t-shirts and helped themselves to our buffet line as well as our cake, without our permission. Also, I have no idea what they were “volunteering” to do, because after set-up (which was much earlier in the day and which we had an entirely different crew for) there wasn’t really much help needed. They may have been there to help with clean-up, and if so, I would have been fine with them eating but I would have preferred to know beforehand and I also would have preferred for them to dress at least semi-nicely.

My grandparents ended up in the glaring sun during the ceremony and almost had heat strokes. Literally. Now, I know we had all of the reserved seating arranged ahead of time, but I really wish someone had noticed that the groom’s side was almost completely shaded and moved them over there. This isn’t necessarily the chapel’s fault, but I know that they have to be at least somewhat familiar with how the sun falls in their garden, and I really wish someone would have noticed this.

Stephanie Brazzle Photography: A+

Stephanie has been a blast to work with, and she was really affordable (in comparison to everyone else that I contacted at her skill level). Although we haven’t seen any of our wedding pictures yet, I’m sure that they will be just as awesome as our engagements so I’m not worried a bit. The only thing I regret is not giving her a list of “fun” pictures to do. I thought about this the week-of, and never managed to find time, but convinced myself that she would have some unique ideas. However, with the heat it didn’t seem like we spent much time on formal pictures, and we definitely didn’t do anything unique/fun. So, I’m just hoping we ended up with a bunch of great candids!

Melodies & Memories ( DJ) - Lori: A++

Again, it’s been said before, but I’ll say it again…Melodies & Memories is definitely the most bang for your buck when it comes to DJs. We used Lori for both our ceremony (a last-minute but no problem request) and our reception. She really knows what she’s doing and kept the party going all night long with a packed dance floor (which you can see in our video below). She taught our guests how to do the Cupid Shuffle (yeah, you would think most people would know this by now but many didn’t, including my husband, haha) AND the Wobble. It was awesome. On top of that, she was always checking on H and I, making sure our drinks were filled and that we were happy, which was definitely above and beyond. The only thing that caught me a little off guard was the “group hug” that she had us do at the end. It was sweet, and a lot of people liked it, but it had a bit of a cheese factor. I’m not complaining, because it was a sweet gesture, but I would have liked to know ahead of time (which is why I’m telling you guys). J

I Do Cinematics (Videography): A++

Matt was so very accommodating and easy going. I contacted him at the last minute with the realization that we had just enough left in our budget for videography, and he was more than happy to help. Although we met with him probably about a month out, he wasn’t pushy at all and we didn’t end up signing the contract until the week before the wedding! Also, he threw in the extra hour that we needed for free, and since he was in the process of training an intern we technically got 3 shooters for the price of 2. Matt has been doing videography for quite some time, but only recently moved into the world of wedding videography, so his prices were great! We’ve already gotten our sneak-peek and I am absolutely in love with it. One of the best wedding-related decisions that I made, by far. To see our highlights sneak peek go here: .

TCP Catering: A+

Well, as lots of people mention, we didn’t end up eating a whole lot on our wedding day. However, every bite that we did eat was amazing (and all of our guests that I spoke to agreed). TCP is run by the same people who run The Chicken Place, a fast food restaurant in Watauga, but you would never know it by the fancy high-quality dishes that they cater. Also, an added (and very important bonus) was their price. TCP was cheaper than it would have been to have Black-Eyed Pea cater! I worked with Scott Vickers, the owner, and he was so kind and easy to talk to. Affordable, friendly, and great food.  No complaints.   

Tabitha Ballard – Cakes By Design: A+

Tabitha was so sweet and easy to work with. She perfectly replicated the designs that we requested, and the cakes were delicious. My only complaint was that the groom’s cake (chocolate) seemed a little dry, but then again, we only ate a tiny bite of the edge so that may have been why. Everyone absolutely loved our non-traditional strawberry cake (and we did too)!

Vintage Limo (Transportation): B-

The car was great, and the driver was this sweet little old man. However, the communication was definitely lacking on their part. I never received our confirmation call the week-of, we never received the call the day-of  for them to let us know they had arrived at the venue, AND the driver was given the wrong information about our stops (even though I had to fill that out on the paperwork). To top it all off, it took us probably over an hour (should have been ~30 minutes) to get to our hotel because the driver was confused about how to get to the Hyatt at the airport. I know there’s a lot of construction now, but we just kept looping around and he kept fiddling with his GPS. Finally, we stopped to ask an employee and realized that we actually had to enter the airport to get to the hotel, and we had to punch it into the GPS for him. Being a limo company, you would think they would have known that. Oy vey. It was just really frustrating considering how tired we were at that point. I would still recommend them, but I would suggest doing your own research on your final destination beforehand.

Liq-o-Rama, Blue Mound location (Alcohol): B+

We had a pretty big mix-up with the arrival time for the alcohol (as I mentioned in my review of our venue). Although, ultimately this was our venue’s fault, it’s really pretty scary that they were willing to make changes to our agreement based on a random person calling and saying they were with the venue. So, yes, that was annoying. Also, they assured us that even with the mix-up on the time, everything would be 100% cold when it arrived so the time wouldn’t really matter. Before the ceremony, my SIL went to get us all glasses of champagne and surprise, it wasn’t cold. So yeah, nothing major, but a few mistakes. We worked with Judy at the Blue Mound location though, and throughout the planning process she was very organized and helpful.

Taylor’s Rentals: A

We used Taylor’s to rent linens, barware (wine and champagne glasses), cake plates and forks (for cake as well). As far as I know, everything went seamlessly with them. They delivered everything for a small fee, and they also came to pick everything up on the Monday after, which was very convenient.

The Lily Pad Flowers: A

Upon meeting Kirsten she was just so bubbly and personable that it really made me trust her. However, before booking any of my vendors, I checked their reviews on WeddingWire, and I saw just a few that made me wary. I brought it up to her and she really helped to reassure me. I did shop around, and found that Kirsten was by far the most affordable, so I decided that she would be worth it and I have to say, she did not disappoint. Although some things weren’t an exact replica of my inspiration pics, she still got the overall romantic, calming feel that I was hoping for. She really saw my vision and made it come alive, and she did a great job. It’s also obvious that she does her job because she enjoys it, and that it isn’t about the money. I remember having a conversation with her before the wedding, letting her know that some of her counts were off and that the total was in turn lower than it should be. She made sure to get all of the counts updated, but told me not to worry about the total. I think it’s pretty rare for a vendor to “not worry about the total”…even if it was just a $50 difference, I thought that was really cool. Recently, I was also in touch with her regarding some tips for drying my bouquet, and she mentioned that she had potted some of the large succulents from our centerpieces and that I could have them if I wanted…pots and all. I was disappointed that no one took them home, so I was pretty happy out that. Such a good business practice!

Premiere Photobooth: A

These guys were easy to communicate with, and did a great job. They stated that they would match any other comparable photobooth company’s prices, and when I found something cheaper they really did hold true to that promise, which was nice. They also included a custom logo for the bottom of our prints which was cool. We received double prints for free, too, so we were able to keep them to make a scrapbook with. It was a huge hit, and I’m really glad that we decided to go with them.

Nicole Cano (Hair): A

In the beginning, Nicole was a little slow with communication (for my tastes), but I was also frantically trying to plan a date for my bridals so I was probably in more of a hurry than most brides. Also, she does do normal hair styling/cutting/coloring during the week, so weddings aren’t her only gig. For my trial, she was able to come to me (instead of vice-versa) with late notice (since I was sick), which was really nice of her. On the day of, we had plenty of time and she even stuck around so that she could do my bangs after my makeup. She was such a sweet person and we all loved the way our hair turned out.

Elinia Eads (Makeup): A+

I found Elinia through TK from someone who recommended her to brides on a budget. She just recently moved to DFW from Hawaii, so she currently has some really great pricing in an attempt to get her name out there. She was seriously wonderful. I had her do airbrush makeup on me, and it literally lasted almost the whole night. We took pictures outside (in the almost 100 degree heat) before the ceremony, so I figured I was going to end up looking like a hot mess…but you couldn’t even tell that I was sweating! The only downside was that she somehow ended up running behind schedule, so we were about 30 minutes later to the venue than we had planned, but it wasn’t the end of the world (I would just suggest planning for a little more time than you think you’ll need). She was super sweet, and apologetic, and she even gave me her granola bar for a snack…so that made up for it!

Tina Long 
- Weddings by Tina (Officiant): A++

We absolutely loved Tina. We met with several other officiants but none of them had the laidback, relaxed vibe that we were hoping for except for Tina. I know that a lot of other companies (e.g. Love Notes) make the promise that you will be able to customize your wedding to exactly what you want, but personally, I felt like the guy we met with from Love Notes was already poo-pooing some of my ideas at our very first meeting. Tina literally did not say no, or frown, or make weird faces to any of the ideas that I had (even though some of the things about our wedding were pretty non-traditional). She was open to making our ceremony a personal reflection of us, and she was able to take everything that we wanted and make it flow just perfectly. She was also super sweet, and we could not have asked for more.

Gregg Vail – Bartender (Gregg.vail@gmail.com): A+

Gregg really did a great job. He charged us a flat rate (instead of hourly) and had no problem with coming early to stock the bar. He ended up having to show up early twice, because of the alcohol mix-up (with no complaints), and he actually offered to go pick up the alcohol for us! He also provided all of the ice at no additional cost. Any time I was near the bar, he was always checking on my drink and even came out to top off my glass of wine. Later in the night, he cut H and I a piece of our cake (since we never actually got to eat a piece before)…and he searched like a madman to find us a plate. He really went above and beyond. My only complaint was that he put a tip jar out, which I didn’t realize would be happening. I would have preferred to negotiate a pre-arranged tip from us, but had I asked beforehand I’m sure he would have obliged.

Hollywood Nails & Spa (Camp Bowie): C+

This is my usual nail place and I even recommended it to someone else on TK recently. However, I have to revise my recommendation a bit. On the morning of my rehearsal dinner a group of 4 of us went to get our nails done and it was the slowest service I have ever received. I have to say, I think it was because my mom mentioned to them that we were a bridal party, so they put us in this little separate area (and I’m guessing they thought we just wanted to hang out all day). I think it ended up taking 2 and ½ hours (and of course, I was the last person to be done). At one point, I asked when the person was going to start on my hands (because usually they have 2 people working on you if you’re getting both) but he told me they were too busy for that. However, when I went downstairs I noticed that every single woman had 2 associates. Soo, my advice is to always let them know your time restraints ahead of time and/or make an appointment (even if it’s a Friday morning – because they were packed with brides and stay-at-home moms).

Hilton Downtown Fort Worth (Guest Hotel): B

As far as the actual hotel goes, I didn’t hear any complaints. It’s a nice hotel and I don’t think anyone had any issues. However, it was a pain in the arse to set the room block up. Also, they charged us different rates for kings vs. 2 doubles (which I just thought was lame). The most annoying part was that I was supposed to be able to set up a website for my guests to easily book their rooms but I could never get it to work. I called about this and they said they were having issues but should have it resolved within the next day. I tried again the next day, the next week, and the next month and was never able to create the site.

Hyatt Regency at DFW Airport (Night-of hotel): A

It was clean, and updated, and suited us just fine for an hour of sleep (or, no sleep in my case) between the reception and our 5:45 AM flight the next day. I was a little sad that we didn’t get a bottle of champagne or anything (because they knew it was our honeymoon night), but obviously that isn’t a requirement. It was super convenient and it was so nice to just roll out of bed and onto the shuttle the next morning.

Sheraton Fort Worth (My night before hotel): A+

I’m sure you can imagine my disappointment when my MOH and I arrived at the Sheraton at midnight the night before my wedding and we were told that they had oversold and the corner suite that I had reserved was no longer available. She tried to downgrade us to a regular room with 2 queens and a free stay. I was about to go into freak out mode because all of the girls were supposed to get ready with us the next day, and I knew there was no way that we would have enough space. However, when I told her I was getting married and explained the situation she immediately became accommodating. They ended up giving us a suite on their club level (which included breakfast), that was normally used as a show room. It was super spacious and she gave it to us for the half the price that I was going to pay for a normal suite. For other girls who plan on booking a hotel to get ready in, I suggest calling them ahead of time so that they can make a note that you’re a wedding party. She acted like, had I done that, they would have had me taken care of ahead of time.

Galley Bay Resort and Spa, Antigua (Honeymoon): A++

We absolutely loved Galley Bay, and it was the perfect place for a honeymoon. It was definitely a relatively quiet place (not a party place) but that worked out perfectly for a week of relaxation. Many of the reviews said that majority of the guests were older retiree couples, but we thought there was a really good mix. We met tons of other honeymooning young couples, and we were able to hang out with them at night, which still allowed us to have a bit of night life even at such a subdued place. We chose the cottage-style room that came with our own private dipping pool and it was perfect. Although it would have been nice to have a room on the beach, I think the added privacy of our cottage was ideal for a honeymoon. Also, the food was great, the drinks were great, and while the service was definitely on island time, most of the wait staff was always incredibly kind and friendly.
ETA: Bridesmaids and Groomsmen outfits.


Re: (Longest) Vendor Reviews (EVER!)

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    YAY Erica! I didn't realize you used Nicole for hair... she got to play with the hairpiece twice! I love her and I'm so glad she is getting more business in the wedding world. She's also the one that bobbed my hair recently and I keep getting compliments from random strangers on my hair (like they even knew I had long hair before....).

    Looks like everything went great!
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    Oh wow, that's great that the Sheraton helped you out like that!  Be sure and share your pics when you get them!  Congrats!
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    Thanks for all the reviews! I'm so excited to work with Stephanie - all I see are how great her reviews are... and her prices really are SO low compared to others of her quality.
    What company did you show premiere photobooth for the price match? I'm trying to find the best prices for a photobooth I can!
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    Carrie: Yep! She was so sweet. It was funny too because I almost freaked out that I forgot to bring the hair piece to my trial and she was like, "Eh, no big deal...I remember how I used it before!" :) Is she your regular hair stylist?

    Stephie: Thanks!

    EFrancis: Actually, the company that they price-matched with was called Motion Pictures (it was a Groupon that I found). However, I just did a quick search for them and it looks like they're now out of business after ripping some brides off! It's interesting because I just had this weird vibe about them and the quality of their booths, but I'm also cheap. So, I was really happy that I was able to still get a good deal through Premiere because if not, I would have gone with Motion Picture and they may not have shown up! Check this article out: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/09/27/cheated-out-of-a-photo-booth/

    It just goes to show that it really is important to do your research, check out reviews, and try to use as many recommendations that you receive from other people as you can.
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    Erica - Yes, she is my regular hair girl! I was recommended by my coworker/good friend. Now she is getting married and Nicole is doing her hair, too.

    I had my hair bobbed once before and HATED it. And I got it done at Toni & Guy, so I was shocked. Nicole bobbed my hair this time and I get random compliments on it all the time. I heart her so much.
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    fallbride1109fallbride1109 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited October 2012
    Oh wow, I just now saw you posted the link to your video--I haven't finished yet but you looked so beautiful and your hair and makeup look amazing!  Love your bouquet too!

    Oh and your veil is very pretty--great choice!
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    Oh my gosh! How awful!!! Yep, that is why I'm so catious booking vendors... and like to check here first. Thanks for the information though. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    Carrie: That's awesome! And from what I've seen your bob is super cute. I really want to go back to a bob, too. Short hair is my fave...but I'm trying to hold out until at least spring. It feels like it's taken me so long just to get it to shoulder length! :(

    Stephie: Thank you, again! I'm glad that you noticed the veil! I ended up being really happy with it and H loved it!

    efrancis: You're welcome!
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    Thanks so much for your honest reviews! I'm currently talking to the HIlton in FW and it's been a little... weird. Glad to hear that I'm not the only one.
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    I am super late to look at this! I'm glad you posted the video highlights from the wedding. Before, we were thinking video would be something we would cut from the budget, or maybe just pay one of my little brother's tech-savvy friends a little money to video, but seeing your video really changed my mind. That was such a sweet video! The wedding looks beautiful, and so do you! Love the romantic style and colors you went with! :)
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    Thanks for the review! I booked your bartender today! :)
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