Reception: Alhambra Hall A
Beautiful interior, great location. My wedding was on NYE and I had the hardest time deciding whether to have an early evening wedding so we could enjoy the gorgeous sunset or late evening to ring in the new year. I'm glad I went with late evening b/c we had excellent views of fireworks. Even though the city doesn't put on a show, tons of locals shoot their own fireworks. Someone even did fireworks on the lawn out back of alhambra, it was such a nice surprise and all the guests thought we planned it!
Church: Christ Our King Catholic Church A
I grew up in Mt. Pleasant and this is where I consider home. Its not as fancy and ornate as St. Mary's or the cathedral but its home to me. I will give a warning to anyone hoping to plan a catholic wedding from out of town. Be prepared to be flexible. The diocese is very against our priests saying weddings for non-parishioners. You have to bring your own priest to St. Marys or Cathedral (unless you are a parishioner) and unless you have a very very close relationship with a priest in the area you probably won't convince him to give the mass at your wedding. We just dont have enough priests and they are so busy with all the other needs of the parishes.
Florist: Carolyn Anderson with Palmetto Petals A
She had great prices and the flowers turned out beautifully. I wanted something unique for the centerpieces. I knew I wanted to use ornate mardi gras masks and she helped us come up with a beautiful way to present them. The big centerpiece she did on the food table was breathtaking. I was very pleased with my bouquet and the bridesmaids bouquets as well.
Caterer: Tom Smith Catering B+
The food was fantastic. He let us pick our own menu and was willing to make a new orleans jamabalya for us. I liked not having the typical hamby's fare. People raved about the food and the presenation was very nice. All of the seafood was delicious and very fresh. The bar prices were the best we found and the drinks were well made (or so my guests told me!). The international cheese tray was amazing, some very good cheeses which I didn't expect. My husband and I enjoyed the basket of food that evening.
I was upset that we were supposed to have a shrimp and grits station and it turned out to just be part of the buffet. Also, they ran out of cake plates and started serving the cake on colorful birthday type plates... that was odd to me. Tom was hard to get a hold of sometimes, he's not the quickest with email. But you do tallk with him directly, and he was there at my event.
Photographer: Alex Chalkley Photography A+
Alex was fantastic! She literally took pictures of us all day. Her pictures are very artistic and she does very neat stuff with color. She was alot of fun to hang out with and fit right in with our group. She did a good combo of posed and photojournalistic type work. My husband was worried we'd be 'posing' all day but she made everything very relaxed. Her price was fantastic and she gave us CDs of all of our images so we can make our own prints. Look her up on facebook!
Dress: Jean's Bridal B
The ladies there are very kind and attentive. I bought my dress off the rack for $100. I wasn't hunting for a bargain gown, that just happened to be the one I loved the most! Be sure to check our their sale rack, they have alot of hidden gems in there! My only complaint was alterations... I live out of town and wasn't able to come pick up my dress until the week before. They forgot to sew in the cups on my dress and it ended up causing a fitting disaster. I was in the shop until 5pm the day before the wedding, but the steamstress was very patient and kept working until the dress was perfect. The sales ladies helped me and my mom wrap the bridal party gifts and we got ready for the rehearsal there in the shop! However, they did charge a second time for the fitting claiming that it was because I lost weight, but I think that if the cups had been in there in the first place there wouldn't have been a problem. But I guess we'll never know!
DJ: Lee Edwards B-
I had a hard time getting them to call me back. I just wanted to talk to my DJ prior to the event and I never got to... I did finally talk to Lee a week before but some things still got lost in translation. Overall though, the DJ did a good job and we had people crowding the dance floor most of the night. It was just odd to me how they made it seem like it was so important to fill out that booklet and then they seemed to throw it out of the window that night. I definitely heard a few of my "do not play" songs.
Cake: Home-made by my cousin! A+
Rehearsal Dinner: Cottage on the Creek & Bessinger's BBQ. A+
Great combo, we had a huge rehearsal dinner that was basically a casual mini reception. We had the oysters and bbq. You really can't go wrong with that combo for a SC party!
Invitations: Reeve's Engraving A+
High quality, classic invitations. I wanted something timeless and elegant and that's what they do. Great prices and good customer service.
Wedding Party Attire: David's and Men's Wearhouse B
The best option for our wedding party that was all over the country. Plus its hard for girls to argue with a classic look at good prices. I wanted a full length gown and the prices are high at department stores so David's was a good option. However there were some fitting issues. I think they try to get the girls to order them larger so they can get money for alterations. But you can't beat the prices, so if I did it over again we'd probably still get them from David's. We went with a classic tux. Let your groomsmen know that you can buy tux shoes at JC Penny for $20... same as it costs to rent them at Men's Wearhouse!
Photobooth: Shutterbooth A+
So worth the money! My mom told me I was crazy so I decided to give it to myself as a gift. I'm so glad I did! We had it right next to the dance floor and guests went wild for it! They loved the props and the booth was full all night long. I got double prints so my guests could paste one in my scrapbook and keep the other as a favor.
Hiar and Makeup: Karen with Covergirl Brides A
Karen was great. I got the airbrush makeup and it looked great from 10am until 12:30pm! My hair and veil stayed in place that whole time too!
I do wish she would have told me to have my own waterproof mascara. Mine was not waterproof and we had my dad running to the store to try to find some mascara two hours before the wedding! Looking back, I wish I would have splurged on the hair and make-up trial. It might have been worth it b/c on the day of we were so rushed I didn't even really get a chance to look at myself in the mirror before rushing out the door.
Best of luck to all of you! I'd be happy to answer any questions! We also did a new orleans style second line and had cake pulls. I embossed my own cocktail napkins and made a wreath with ornaments in my wedding colors. Oh and sparklers for the send-off... so if you have any questions about those things, give me a shout!