Venue: Starpointe Residents Club at Estrella Mountain Ranch: A+/C
For the venue I gave it two ratings. The “A” rating is for the overall appearance and the ability to bring in all of our own vendors (a big plus for us). The venue is absolutely beautiful – green, lush, trees, lake- perfect ambiance and lots of opportunities for great pictures. The price can also not be beat- the total price of the venue for 8 hours was under $1200. The downside is that we had to bring in all of our own rentals (tables, chairs, linens, etc.) which bumped the price around the $2000 mark, but it was still a great deal compared to comparable locations we toured. Why I also gave it a “C” rating is because you get absolutely no help from the venue in setting up, running the wedding, etc. We were told by the director that there would be two people (one for maintenance/trash/ set up and one that was overseeing the event) that would be available to help set up the rentals, set up for the reception, or anything else needed along the way. However, once the ceremony was complete we did not see these two workers again until the end of the night. Our caterer was preparing a majority of the food onsite in the kitchens there, but the stove and ovens were extremely slow to heat (45 minutes to boil a stockpot of water) which set dinner and food prep back over an hour, and resulted in us paying a few hours extra for the kitchen (which was set at an hourly rate). We also needed a $700 deposit put down in January that we were told would be refunded to our credit card the Monday after the wedding. That Tuesday (after the wedding) we got a call from the director telling us the policy had changed and that she would need to send the deposit back by check, which finally arrived two weeks later. Overall the venue was in an absolutely beautiful location, but poor details and communication was their downfall.
Bartending: Shake it Up Bartending: A
We opted to rent a bar and bartender and provide all the drinks and alcohol ourselves. The bartender was professional and showed up on time. The website has great resources to help you figure out what type and how much of the mixers and alcohol you should purchase for your number of guests.
Rentals: Andrews Party Rentals: A
By far the lowest prices we found, plus they price-matched if another company rented at a lower price. They delivered an hour early, which wasn’t a problem but we were 45 minutes away from the venue when they called and said they were at the venue. We just wanted to make sure that all the items were there (which they were) when brought, but no big deal. They were very punctual to pick up the items at the end of the night as well.
Makeup: Sara Colello: A+++++
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Sara! I have never had my make-up done before and she did an amazing job! It was natural looking and not heavy or clumpy despite the heat of the day. She took her time and would not leave until everything was perfect! She travelled to my house for the trial and to a friend’s house the day of the wedding. She is extremely professional, sweet, and talented!
Hair: Jenny H. A +
Jenny was recommended to me by my hairstylist. She traveled to our getting ready location and was gentle, patient, and super talented. I showed her a couple of pictures I had in mind from Pinterest and she created something similar in my hair. She listened to any input I, or others, had along the way and kept playing with the hair until it was perfect. It held up extremely well throughout the night, even through the heat and the wind, without feeling like a football helmet. The bobby pins didn’t even feel heavy or give me a headache.
(PM me if you would like her contact info)
Officiant: Ani Hamilton: A+++++
Absolutely fabulous! We found Ani through another recommendation on The Knot and could not be happier about having her perform our ceremony. She had great communication, checking in with us every month. The ceremony was beautifully conducted- in fact it was my favorite part of the night!
DJ: Jon Gaub from Got You Covered Entertainment: A
Jon did a great job as our wedding MC and DJ. All songs we asked him to play were played at some point during the night. He kept in touch with us and was very thorough and personable in our meetings and conversations prior to the event. He arrived extra early to make sure everything was completely set up before guests arrived. He kept the evening moving at a great pace and reminded us before any of the “special” events took place throughout the night to make sure we were ready for them.
Photography- Rachel Curry Photography: A +++++++
Love, love, love Rachel! She is so incredibly talented and personable, and makes you feel so special when she is photographing the event. I can't tell you how many compliments and comments we received from our guests about her endearing, upbeat personality and fearlessness to get in the to get the perfect pictures at the perfect moment! We haven't received that final wedding pictures back yet (its only been two weeks) but our engagement pictures turned out fabulous.
Wedding Night Hotel: Wigwam Resort: C-
Since we got married in the west valley we wanted to stay at a resort that was fairly close to our location. We have heard great reviews about the Wigwam in Litchfield Park; unfortunately, we did not have the same experience. When my husband arrived to check in earlier in the day the concierge yelled at him and the manager came over and reprimanded him then pulled him from his station right in front of my husband. A little unprofessional, but whatever. As a consolation they said they would send a bucket of beer up for the groomsmen to enjoy, which was great, but it did not arrive for an hour and a half which was just as everyone was leaving for the wedding. It was still a nice gesture. We opted to not get a suite since we would not be arriving until late and would be leaving in the morning. The rooms were extremely stark- only two small pictures on the wall, and there were no lights when you walked in so we were fumbling around in the dark that night trying to turn a light on. One of the lights was also broken by the bedside. The pool area is beautiful and we had a great balcony view of it from our room. Our biggest annoyance was housekeeping knocking on the door at 8am the next morning to ask us what time we were checking out…. I can honestly say that has never happened to me at any hotel before. We were tired and my husband was very irritated that they woke us up to ask us this. He spoke to someone downstairs when we checked out about it and were told that a manager would call that week to discuss the situation, but we never received a call. We has such high hopes for this hotel based on the beautiful grounds but the customer service and room amenities could definitely use some work.