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Offically the longest reviews ever!

I know how everyone says their reviews are the longest, but sorry, I think my legitimately are! But, I feel strongly about my vendors & want you to know!

First, I want to preface this with the most important thing I learned through wedding planning…hire the right people! I am so happy I hired who I did, they made it all perfect & I didn’t stress one bit!VenueAvanti Fountain Place: AFirst off, you can’t beat the location. The ceremony space outside is beautiful & the reception space is perfect for a smaller party. Most venues for smaller parties lose the glamour, but the floor to ceiling windows & the fountains outside are so dramatic in the dark. The price for the location is also really great. The food & beverage minimums are not as outrageous as other venues in town. All of our guests loved the food. (try the crab cakes, mashed potato bar, and almond-encrusted salmon!) Amy also put together a sundae bar for us--which was soooo good!Lots of things are already included in your bill that most places charge extra for. We had security in the parking lot, choice of linen & napkin color (like 50 choices!), and all tips included (so you don’t have to come with tons of cash).Amy Lowe, the event manager is great! I did not hire a day of coordinator, but that didn’t matter because Amy was everywhere! The only reason I didn’t give an A+ is because you aren’t able to use sparklers on your exit, stupid fire code regulations! Overall it was perfect!
FloristAshlilim, Ashley Kirk: A+Ashley is absolutely wonderful! She did everything that I asked perfectly! Since I know flowers my expectations were high, and I was a little worried for my florist. But, Ashley is truly creative, amazing professional. Click on my photographers link to see her work---& then hire her!!And best part--she is the coolest!
PhotographyEvan Goodwin Photography: A+Once again, Evan is great. He is so friendly & down-to-earth, he makes you relax. Best of all---his work rocks! He really helped the wedding stay on schedule & have such a creative eye. Check out the blog from our wedding: http://evangodwinphotoblog.com/avanti-fountain-place-wedding/
Another tip ladies…he really appreciated having my entire timeline & a small list of preferred shots.. Also, feed your vendors! He was so grateful that I did that. I thought that was common place, but apparently not.
CakeSugar Queen Cupcakes, Lisa Britten: A+All I can say is yum! I normally do not eat many sweets, but these cupcakes are the best! They are quite large & really moist. Lisa is super easy to work with & very affordable. We choose 3 flavors: vanilla, white chocolate strawberry, and cookies & cream. She decorated them beautifully & also made a cake topper so we had something to cut for pictures. If you don’t plan on having traditional cake--call Sugar Queen!
DJ & UplightingComplete Music, Lindsay Walters: BComplete Music was a good price, so that was the main reason I went with them. We had a couple of hiccups the day of…ceremony mic not working correctly & our last dance was cut off due to a bad version downloaded (this one bothered me more). But overall, music was played & it got the job done. The most difficult thing is getting in touch with them. The only time I got a prompt response was when I was paying the deposit or adding uplighting ($$) to our booking. If you like to schedule & have things done in advance, don’t go with them. They don’t want to finalize anything until a few days before the wedding & that stressed me out. Even after I requested early contact, but the time I finally talked with Lindsay, it was 5 days before the wedding…and well, brides are kind of busy then! I do not fault this all to Lindsay (she was really nice), but it just seems like a silly business practice. Hair & Make-upKnockout Beauty, Cat Smith: A+Cat did a wonderful job! I really felt like a princess! She is creative & I just let her do what she felt worked best. I ended up getting extensions and they looked flawless in my real hair. The airbrush make-up was wonderful as well. Even though this is her side job, you can tell h&mu is her real passion.
OfficiantFather Milton Raybould: AMy husbands’ family and mine are both Catholic, so a real ceremony was important to them. We are not from Dallas, and didn’t plan a church wedding so we had to find an alternative. We found Milton who works with a group called Catholics Without a Church based in Houston. We got the ceremony we wanted (without having communion) and Milton threw in a little humor to lighten things up. And, our families were happy, too!
Dress (Maggie Sottero, Bernadette)
Lulus, Sharon: AAfter looking forever and trying on way to many dresses, I went to Lulu’s. I was so glad I had Sharon to help me. She was not over-bearing like some other places I had been, and she really let me take my time. I didn’t have the ‘wow’ moment finding my dress, but I felt really good about the dress I picked. Once I ordered, my dress came it 2 months ahead of time & I got a discount on my bridesmaid dresses. Planning tip: take a day off & go during the week, you will get way better service & lots more time!
Tuxes
Jos. A Bank: A-Everything overall was okay with this process. We did not have any of the horror stories you hear about missing tuxes, wrong sizes, or anything. The store manager we ordered from (Cory) was the best. But, if you go on a day he is not working, do not expect any service from any of the other employees. We walked out a few times from the terrible service--no one wanted to help & we waited forever. But, Cory makes up for that ten-fold. I recommend over Men’s Warehouse anyday!
Alterations
Becky Fowler: A+What can I saw that hasn’t already been said---call Becky! She is sooo affordable and prompt with communication. Not to mention, everything was perfect!
Rehearsal Dinner
Neo’s Pizza, Victory ParkWe are super chill people & wanted something fun & intimate. Neo’s pizza is amazing--it’s a branch of our favorite spot Olivella’s. We had a small side room with a bar & everything was great. Downside--eating left-over pizza everyday for a week straight! J Dessert: Classic Cravings, Erica BevelErica is an old co-worker of mine & she bakes out of her home. She does a great job & is super-creative with decorating. She is just starting out & has some really interesting flavors of cupcakes. Check her out on facebook--you won’t be disappointed!
Invitations
Wedding Paper Divas: AI did all of my wedding stationary from here. From the save-the-dates to the programs. Although I spend a little more than I should have, I loved it. The quality is great and it was so easy to work with them. I was able to make multiple changes to my design & work with an actual person to get it right. I really loved the paper & printing quality. If possible, keep your eyes open for their coupons & special deals. I was so bummed to miss out on a 50% off programs deal a few weeks before I ordered!
Wedding Block Hotel
Raddisson Central Expressway (recently changed to a Holiday Inn): FThis whole situation was the most stressful & dumb part of the whole wedding. Do not use this hotel! Nothing happened that was supposed to & no one that works there can communicate with each other. It was awful. So first off, we signed our contract in February for our block & send out save-the-dates with the info. A month later we find out the entire hotel is being renovated. Great. But, Sean Ferguson, the event manager, assured us everything would be complete by the end of September. That didn’t even come close to happening. Three weeks before our date, we went to visit the hotel, and everything in the lobby & first floor was torn apart & covered with plastic. When we expressed our concerns, Sean was almost rude about how it would be done it time for our wedding. Needless to say, I had to bring my parents, in-laws and around 20 out of town guests to a hotel that didn’t even had a lobby and many rooms were still getting furniture delivered that weekend. We heard back from most of our guests that the booking process was terrible. The desk staff did not want to give our block rate or told people there were no available rooms. Once we would call to check why---suddenly rooms appeared. The, once guests arrived, no one had the room they were supposed to be in--some had to wait & everyone was stuck on different floors. Absolutely ridiculous.Finally, the last straw occurred with shuttle transportation to our venue. We had been working with Sean since June to secure a shuttle to & from our venue. My husband went the week before to pay for the reservation. A few days later Sean informs us that she just found out there is also another wedding that needs transportation, but “we do not anticipate any conflicts.” Grr. Then, the day of our wedding, my father-in-law goes to check on the shuttle, and WE ARE NOT ON THE SCHEDULE!!!!!! They have to scramble to get the driver there early so our guests can make it to the wedding on time. Basically, this hotel makes me want to say every swear word ever. If you value your sanity---do NOT book there! Ok, my rant is over! J
Wedding Night Hotel
Fairmont: BThe rooms are amazing & the bellmen service is great. But, they overbooked & I had no room when I went to check-in the night before or wedding (even tho I prepaid in June & spoke with an manager about it being for my wedding), and my parents room for downgraded. They had housekeeping find me a room after I almost had a mental break-down in the lobby. The next day when my husband went to check before our ceremony, the same thing happened to him. Bottom line, hotels are stupid.
Nails
Hollywood Nails (Uptown): ATo me, nails are nails. They were like a little army for me & 3 of my friends. It was cheap & looked great!
Tanning
Tantrum Airbrush: AI also have terrible tan lines, so I had to airbrush. I got a really good deal & ended up only paying $20 for this! They will also come to your home if you want.  Congrats to you if you made it all the way to the end!  

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