North Carolina-Raleigh-Durham

Wedding Reviews from September wedding in Raleigh!

My wedding was 9.18.10 in Raleigh.  The ceremony was at Peace College and the reception was at Second Empire.  Wanted to share my thoughts on some of the vendors we used, hope this is helpful!
  • Invitations, Programs, Etc. - Sealed with Appeal
    • Working with Sealed with Appeal was like a dream come true.  Adger sat down with me to understand my goals and find out exactly what I was are looking for.  With everything that Adger did for me (invitations, programs, table cards, namecards, thank you gift cards, etc.) it made no sense for me to ever think about doing it by myself.  Adger delivered all of the items in an incredibly timely manner for an incredibly reasonable price.  All the items were extremely professional and all I heard were compliments from beginning to end from guests.  They loved my invitations, the programs, and people even commented on how they loved the “little things” - like a very cute cartoon on the placecards (cow, chicken, fish or vegetables) indicating their meal choice.  I am so impressed by Sealed with Appeal’s work, it’s truly outstanding!  
  • Reception - Second Empire
    • Apart from being one of the most beautiful venues in Raleigh, the food was fantastic and the atmosphere was very classy.  We booked 9 months in advance for a wedding of 80 guests.  We utilized the entire first floor (not the lower tavern), for a sit down dinner and space for a dance floor.  Tracy was fantastic to work with and had worked with many of our other vendors before which was great.  We also had Second Empire make our cake which turned out above expectations.  The location is very desirable, as our ceremony was at Peace College and only a short drive away, we also used a trolley service to transport guests to the beautiful front entrance of the restaurant.  A Clarion hotel is located right beside Second Empire which was IDEAL for older guests, or those unable to drive home! :) There is ample parking, restroom facilities and use of outdoor space (for smokers).  All the staff were extremely accommodating of our guests and attended to our every need.  Would HIGHLY recommend Second Empire as a reception location
  • Flowers - The English Garden
    • Was very happy with the flowers by The English Garden.  I was looking for a non-traditional look and they were great about hearing my vision and providing examples. I didn’t have to worry at all about the delivery and presentation of the flowers, they did a fabulous job with everything!
  • Rehearsal Dinner - Clarion Hotel
    • We used the Top of the Tower restaurant for our rehearsal dinner.  Granted I wasn’t overly impressed with the food when we had a tasting, for the actual dinner it was much better.  We had steak or chicken, a nice house salad, warm rolls, and a great german chocolate cake.  We rented a screen so we could project some pictures during the dinner which was a great addition.  But what really sold us was the convenience of the location (where many of our guests were staying) and the view - we made more just to get a better view of downtown Raleigh, and it was so worth it!  There was a small misstep when we tried ordering alcohol (to help meet our room minimum) but the wait staff wouldn’t allow us (even thought it was discussed beforehand that we’d need to order alcohol to meet the minimum).  After some discussion we were able to order drinks, but it was quite embarrassing to tell guests to order drinks and they were denied by waitstaff.  Other than that, it was a great location, view with reasonably priced food.
  • Coordination - Erin McLean Events
    • Wow, wow, wow.  I was completely wowed by Erin’s attention to detail, professionalism, and overall management of my rehearsal and wedding day.  After planning much of the wedding, I knew that there were many “day of” wedding details that needed attention, attention of which I knew I couldn’t give on the wedding day.  I found Erin through many other referrals, talked with her about my wedding schedule and how I needed her help.  Erin assembled a detailed timeline of the day’s events, worked with every other vendor for precise timing and details, and followed up with me to let me know that everything was taken care of. Erin has a great approach of making sure the bride is fully taken care of and if anything goes wrong the bride would never know.  I really appreciated this as nervousness set in on the wedding day, it was great to know that everything was being taken care of by Erin.  
  • Transportation - Olde South Trolley Company
    • Great trolley service in Raleigh.  Trolley was clean, the driver was very courteous and allowed us to put a sign on the back of the trolley.  It was helpful to have a wedding coordinator work directly with them to determine pick up times.  Would definitely use again!
  • Bridal Gown - NY Bridal (Charlotte, NC)
    • After visiting over 10 different shops in 2 states, I was pleasantly surprised by the selection and service at NY Bridal.  By far, they had much more of a selection than any other place I had been, and the quality and number of different designers was terrific.  Only had one issue with a rush request for a dress, but after discussion it was taken care of.  Otherwise, the service was great and would highly recommend this store!
  • DJ - Jeff Simpson - Simpson Sound
    • I was hesitant to hire a DJ thinking that we could just simply hook up an iPod to some speakers, but looking back wouldn’t even thing of this option!  We chose Jeff after countless numbers of referrals.  He met us at our reception location and scoped out his space, the dance floor, and how to best make use of the space.  I had very specific music guidelines, I gave Jeff a very long list to work from with very unique and uncommon songs and had many special requests (ie. song dedications for guests).  Jeff took the time to look over all of my requests, research music, and find the perfect playlist.  He was a great speaker for doing introductions and was very professional throughout.  Would recommend!
  • Seamstress - Olga Samarskaya
    • Had her alter a bridesmaid dress before and was really happy.  Came to her with the request of changing a neckline in addition to general alterations.  Olga was able to make the changes in a VERY timely manner and the prices was reasonable.  She is such a nice lady who does a fantastic job, go see Olga!
  • Hair and Makeup - Bottega Salon
    • Bottega was a natural fit for me. They have a convenient location downtown that’s hip and fun and had enough space for myself and the bridal party to get both hair and makeup done.  The staff was great and treated us so well during our time there (from 9am - 1pm).  We had a great time there and we looked fabulous!  The prices were very reasonable given the amount of time spent and the various hair and makeup “looks” that were done.
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