Hello everyone! We had our wedding in September in Raleigh and now that things have calmed down I wanted to share my vendor reviews!
Ceremony Venue - JC Raulston Arboretum - A
We had our ceremony in the White Garden and it was gorgeous. The Arboretum set up our chairs for us and everything was ready to go when we got there! The only issue I had was that our day-of-contact person apparently forgot his phone on the day of? Anyway, we didn't really need him and he was easy to find at the information desk if we did.
Reception Venue - Caffe Luna - A+++
I cannot say enough good things about Caffe Luna. They were so responsive to all of my requests before the wedding and they provided excellent service on the day. We had our wedding on a Saturday evening with about 85 guests and there was plenty of room for us in the Tuscan/Palm rooms with room for a dance floor. And the food.... the food was to die for. Everyone has told me it was the BEST wedding food they have ever had. Seriously. Try the pumpkin tortellini. I still have dreams about it. Caffe Luna was amazing and within our budget and they even set up my centerpieces for me after we dropped them off the day before (I made paper flowers for our decorations).
Cake - Cakes by Frances - A++
Frances Lancaster is just one lady who makes cakes out of her home but she did an amazing job. The cake was beautiful and it tasted soooo delicious. It was also within our budget, which was hard to find. She created the exact cake I had envisioned and was very responsive. I would recommend her to anyone looking for a wedding cake.
Dress Alterations - Olga - A+
You have to book Olga way far in advance, but it is worth it. She did such a great job with my dress, it fit like a glove. She is funny and sweet, too. The only complaint I would have was that it was pretty expensive... but my dress was rather complicated with many layers and that brought the price up. My favorite part was that she put in an elastic band to hold up my strapless dress from the inside - I was very concerned about having to pull up on my strapless dress all night and I didn't have to even once! I felt very secure.
Hair/Makeup - Lula Hair and Makeup - A
Samantha Ray did hair and makeup for me, my mom, and my sister in my house on the morning of the wedding. She and I did a trial beforehand and my hair and makeup was perfect on the day. It held up and looked stunning in all my pictures, even the ones from late in the night. My mom has very sensitive skin and she was careful with that as well.
Photographer - Michelle Lyerly - A
Michelle did a great job with our wedding photos. She also included an engagement shoot in her packages which helped us to get to know her and her style beforehand. I was very happy with how the photos turned out. I absolutely love her light-filled, organic style. We are still waiting on our final CD so it would have been nice to get those a little bit sooner but the quality was excellent and the price was within our budget.
Harpist - Musica Musicians - Amy Kortus - A
We had a harpist for our ceremony music and it really added something special to the ambience. Musica Musicians were really easy to work with and Amy Kortus did a great job. She and I chatted about my music selections the week before the wedding and she followed all my wishes.
DJ - Complete Music - D+
I would not recommend Complete Music. I didn't get to talk to our DJ until about 3 days before the wedding and I think he forgot everything we talked about. When my husband and I arrived to the reception, he was nowhere to be found. Then, he had to be told when to do the toasts even though we had already discussed timing. He played jazz during dinner when I had specifically requested no jazz. And he didn't play the songs I actually had requested. The only good thing I can say was that it was cheap - I guess you get what you pay for.
Aaaand that's all I have. Let me know if you have any questions about any of these vendors!