I found previous post-wedding posts really helpful so wanted to share some vendor recommendations following my recent wedding:
Venue: Main Street Station (http://www.richmondgov.com/MainStreetStation/index.aspx) A
We loved the uniqueness of the Main Street Station and so did our guests! We rented the Station from 11-3 and had an 11:30 ceremony and brunch reception for 70 guests. There were no trains during this timeframe and the light in the space was fabulous. Diane Lillo who works for the Station was really easy to work with and offered lots of suggestions. Another plus was we were able to purchase our own alcohol. We did have more details to coordinate than if we had our wedding at someplace like a hotel that comes with a coordinator. If I had to do things over again, I probably would have paid for a wedding coordinator to save myself some time, but I had been talked out of this by my mom.
Caterers: White House Catering (http://whitehousecatering.org/) A
Their food was excellent as was their customer service and their prices were very reasonable. Jeremy Smart was one of the chefs we interacted with quite a bit but all of their staff was great (we met several). They also coordinated various rentals through the Prop Shop (at no cost beyond the rental fees).
Cupcakes: Frostings (http://www.frostingsva.com/) A
The owner (Matt Fraker) met with us before the wedding for a tasting and was very flexible with us. We rented their tiered cupcake stand and had three flavors of cupcakes (lemon, vanilla with raspberry filling, and chocolate filled with nutella and topped with hazlenuts) and one giant cupcake on top (coconut). The cupcakes were delicious and our guests (especially the kids) were really excited to try them. We were fans of their cupcakes even before the wedding and are even bigger fans now. The customer service was great too.
Hair/Makeup: Olivia (Liv) Lloyd (www.livlethal.com/
A+ Liv specializes
in vintage hair and makeup and came to our hotel to help me get ready. Her fee included a trial run and she came to my mom's house several weeks before the wedding and she put a lot of effort into the pre-wedding session. When the first hairstyle didn't come out well, she spent extra time to redo things until we got it right. We experimented with makeup too and ended up just opting for a vintage 1940s hairstyle and a natural makeup look. I received a ton of compliments on my hair and makeup on my wedding day and both held up really well over the course of the day. I really enjoyed working with Liv!
Photographer: April Renee Photography (http://www.aprilrenee.com/) A
April Campbell was FANTASTIC! She had never been to our venue before (has only been living in VA for about 9 months) so met us beforehand to get a better sense of the site. April has a great sense of style and really adjusts to various lighting situations well. I normally hate getting my picture taken but felt so comfortable with her when we were taking pictures with her before and after the wedding. During the ceremony and reception she really blended well into event and was not obtrusive but at the same time seemed to be everywhere. Some of her photos are posted at www.facebook.com/aprilreneephoto
. I can't wait to receive the rest of the photographs based on what April has shared so far!
DJ: Jason Call ([email protected]
recommended by our caterer and was a really nice guy and very professional and flexible. We wanted a lot of jazz and big band music and a lot of specific requests and he was completely accomodating. We made a pretty late decision to use a DJ and he had a lot of weddings between the date we signed him and our event so we didn't have a lot of contact with him but was a great decision to go with him as he helped with all the transitions and directions for guests to go downstairs for cocktails, back upstairs for brunch, calling guests by table to the buffet, etc. We wanted someone with a low-key personality since it was an afternoon reception with more mingling than dancing.
Officiant: Mr. Meredith Winn ([email protected]) A
Mr. Winn was recommended by someone else on The Knot and also by our venue and another we considered. He worked with us throughout the summer to personalize our ceremony (he had lots of samples of ceremony formats we could review and draw from) and was very accomodating of some twists such as including a translator since my fiance's mother doesn't speak English. We probably should have paid the extra amount to do a rehearsal with him as our entrance and exit were a little rough but that is not his fault at all. He offered a lot of suggestions along the way about how everything related to the ceremony could be organized. Although he seems quiet when you meet him, he is very experienced with various ceremonies and was very dignified and his voice carried very well.
Coleman Brothers (Short Pump). My mom actually dealt with the florists so I can't add a lot here but the flowers were beautiful. My mom met with both locations but ended up liking the Short Pump staff best They would not deliver on a Sunday which was a little inconvenient but not a show stopper. The flowers looked great, but from what I heard, they didn't have a lot of options for vases so my mom ordered those separately.
Hotel: Omni A+
The Omni gave us a great rate for our wedding room block and the location was incredibly convenient. We and our guests enjoyed being able to walk out the door and have several restaurants nearby and there was a complimentary shuttle for locations within a 5 mile radius which out of town guests appreciated. Guests with young children received a little bag with some kids toys/activities which they really appreciated, and we really enjoyed being treated to chocolate covered strawberries and champagne
This was also a really convenient location given our wedding venue. We ended up walking to the station on our wedding day taking photographs along Cary St in Shockhoe Slip.
I hope some of my comments are helpful. Our day ended up exceeding our expectations and was wonderful!!!!