North Carolina


I got married in Raleigh on May 8th, 2010.  I loved my vendors and I hope this post will help some of you who are still early in the planning stages :) I'm big on "word of mouth" & I found out about a TON of the vendors that I ended up using on this very board! Please let me know if you have any questions.

RD Location: Caffe Luna, Raleigh (A+)
Their catering managers were easy to work with and the wait staff was excellent.  The food was delicious and the private room was just perfect!

Venue (Ceremony & Reception): The Pavilions at Angus Barn, Raleigh (A)
We had a beautiful outdoor ceremony by the lake, and the reception was held under the pavilion.  Food, wait staff, linens, dishes, flatware, tables/chairs, (even centerpieces if you want to use theirs) are included, which made things VERY simple.  The food was absolutely AMAZING and their staff worked with my family/friends to decorate the Pavilion exactly like I wanted it.  I was a bit upset when I found out (a week before the wedding) that the lady who I had worked with throughout the planning process was not going to be present on my big day, but her replacement was super nice and really eased my mind.

Photography: Kellie Kano Photography, Greensboro (A++)
I really loved all of my vendors, but Kellie was THE BEST.  She is super-talented and she has a great heart.  She's going to blog our pictures and reveal our online gallery on Monday and I absolutely cannot WAIT! I'm not going to lie....I spent a small fortune to have her for our wedding day, but she was worth EVERY SINGLE CENT.  Her images speak for themselves.

Flowers: Lyn Graves with Fresh Affairs, Raleigh (A+)
Lyn is fabulous.  Our peony table centerpieces were one of my favorite parts of the wedding.  He knows what he's doing and he's SO experienced.

Cake: Ashley Lattier with Ashley Cakes, Raleigh (A++)
Josh & Ashley are an adorable, super sweet young married couple.  My DH and I loved their flavors so much that we had TWO tastings with them.  At our second tasting, Ashley accidentally forgot to bring a flavor that we had requested, so she hand-delivered it to our house a few days later. :) I had a very specific vision about what our cake(s) would look like (we had 3), and they absolutely nailed it.  The cake was moist & delicious, but it was absolutely gorgeous, too.  We had tastings with 2 other well-known bakeries, but we chose Ashley Cakes for their personality, flavor, and amazing prices.  I cannot recommend them enough!

Videography: Keith with KA Studios, Charlotte (A+ but haven't seen the DVD yet)
I'll do another quick review of KA Studios after we receive our DVD, but so far we have been VERY pleased.  Keith responds to my emails very quickly, and he worked so hard on our wedding day.  I would see him filming something one minute, and the next thing I knew, he was across the room filming something else! The last thing I saw as we rode away in the limo was Keith RUNNING AS FAST AS HE COULD across the parking lot to get a final shot of our "getaway."

Dress: Pearl's Place, Louisiana (A++)
I fell in love with a dress (Wtoo "Maria" Style 1008) at a boutique in Raleigh.  I figured out what size I would need, and ordered it over the phone from Pearl's Place.  I saved about $200, received the dress SEVERAL WEEKS earlier than I would have if I had ordered it from the Raleigh store, and only paid $12 shipping from LA to NC.  The dress was in perfect condition.  They even called me to let me know that the dress and the sash were mailed separately and would be in different boxes, so I wouldn't worry if one arrived without the other.  I highly recommend Pearl's Place!

Alterations: Olga Samarskaya, Cary (A++)
Olga is outstanding! She took my dress in several inches, added bustle points, added bra cups, and changed the "straight across" strapless to a "sexy V-shape" in the back.  I loved that she added a tiny blue bow underneath as my "something blue."  She is super affordable and super nice.  Highly recommend! (919) 462-9472

BM Dresses: David's Bridal (A+) 
The girls loved their dresses.  They were super cute and comfortable and they can easily be worn again in the future.  They arrived in a timely manner and David's steamed them a few days before the wedding for free.

Groom/Best Man's Suits: Kohl's (A+) 
The guys loved their khaki suits.  DH bought his when it was on sale, AND we used one of their 15% coupons, AND got free shipping.  It was an amazing price and the quality was excellent.  He looked super handsome :)

Ties: The Tie Bar & Hudson Belk - The Men's Store (Crabtree Valley Mall) (A+)
The Tie Bar is an online store.  It's very easy to browse on their site.  All ties are $16 and I think shipping was about $6.  They have TONS of color combinations.  I found DH's tie at The Men's Store for about the same price as the other ties.  They have an amazing selection.

Make-Up: Make-Up Art by Jenny - Jenny Raele (A+)
Jenny was awesome! She really listened to my thoughts about my make-up, and she made me & my ladies look beautiful! She uses high quality products that are made for people who will be photographed.

String Trio: NC Strings, Raleigh (A+)
We had 2 violins and a cello.  Our trio was fabulous! They did a great job despite the fact that the crazy wind was blowing their hair all over the place and their giant umbrella was tipping sideways.  One of my family members said having them there really added "a touch of class," which is exactly what I wanted.  Molly was super nice, and she played a ton of songs for me during our consultation until I was completely happy with the songs I had chosen.

Graphic Design: Melissa Spivey with Graphically Inclined Design, SC (A++)
I loved working with Melissa.  She is located in South Carolina, so we communicated through emails.  She designed our reserved signs, Bride/Groom signs for the head table, and a sign for our cake flavors.  She listened to what I had in mind (a design that would flow with our invitations), and then created several different versions until I was completely satisfied. She worked very quickly, and she was so affordable.  She emailed me the files, and I had them printed at Office Max.

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas (A+)
Perfect. Absolutely Perfect.  I am so glad we decided to buy our invitations through WPD instead of attempting to DIY.  They had the perfect invitation with our exact colors, and we played around the fonts/wording to make it our own.  They arrived quickly and had excellent customer service.  Highly recommend -- Well worth the $$!

Rose Petals: Petal Garden (A+)
We ordered freeze-dried petals for our "petal toss."  I almost waited too late to order these, but they arrived just in time! The customer service department even emailed me to assure me that they would arrive in time for our wedding.  They have a great selection of different colors.  I also really loved their "calculator" on the website that helps you determine how many cups of petals you will need.

Linen Rentals: CE Rental, Raleigh (A+)
They were easy to work with, and they have SUCH a huge selection of colors/sizes! We found the perfect shade of fuchsia and were so pleased!

image Matt & Ashley 5.08.10


  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for the recommendations! I absolutely love your photographer...she has amazing photos..but I already have one and im pretty pleased so far. I have been looking for places for rehearsal dinner and I was interested in caffe luna so if they're good as you say they are I might check them out.

  • edited December 2011

    If we had decided to have our wedding in town, we totally would have went with Ashley cakes too! I loved their cakes, and Ashely is such a nice person!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    Good to hear that all your vendors at least received an A!  We aren't using any of those, but I'm glad that everything worked out wonderful for you!

    Leigh Anne & Billy
    *October 2nd, 2010*
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • edited December 2011
    I just recently got married (May 15, 2010) at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. I used Mr. C's Moble DJ. Not happy AT ALL! So many things went wrong. First, I told him just a few days before the wedding that my colors were black, ivory, and light pink. He asked what color vest I wanted him to wear so I said black. The day of my wedding he showed up in HOT RED!!! He said something had happened to his black vest, well as a professional wouldn't you think he should have rented a black on or even not worn one considering hot red mixed with light pink! He also played to wrong song when the wedding party was introduced into the reception. That is one of many examples of him not listening. Then he introduced my husband's parents first as the "people responsible for this event" Keep in mind MY PARENTS paid for everything! He knew all this and when the wedding coordinator said something to him all he said was oops!! Then our dads gave the toast and he AGAIN introduced my husbands father first saying he was to thank for the event! REALLY! Throughout the whole evening he kept coming up to my parents and myself asking about music to play. Let's also keep in mind I had given him a very detailed list of songs to play and things not to. For example I said no songs with cussing or guest request (I know this may sound extreme but if you knew my husbands friends- they would have been requesting I'm On A Boat and while I can handle the song I don't think the children or grandparents at the wedding could!) So needless to say he started playing guest requested songs!! I just never felt like he really listened to anything I said. I asked him to set up in one spot because of where I wanted to dance floor to be, well he refused to set up there and would not move!!! Also, during the ceremony he completely sliced a song mid word! The list goes on and on. I was EXTREMELY disappointed in him. He seemed to not listen and only do what he wanted to do. DO NOT USE HIM ALL HE DID WAS ADD MORE STRESS TO THE DAY!!!
  • CJ4578CJ4578 member
    edited December 2011

    So glad your day was awesome and your vendors were fantastic. :) One question about the Kohl's suits- did you pick out a style and tell the groomsmen what to buy, or did you just tell them a color and let them go at it?

    -- C
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

  • edited December 2011
    Ash, I'm curious too about the suits. :o)
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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