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Vendor Reviews! (Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville)


 

AHHH finally- two months after the wedding and I finally found time to write some vendor reviews! It was really important for me to do these because I searched high and low and did TONS of research on vendors an d I want to help out other brides planning weddings out as much as I can! There’ s links to our blog posts if you want to see what the hair, flowers, dress, etc. look like.

 



Photography

2&3 Photography, Durham

Amazing amazing amazing!! I can not say enough amazing things about them!!!! 2&3 is a husband and wife team. We followed their blog and work before we even got engaged and then when found out they lived in Durham we didn’t have to think twice about who we wanted to be our photographers. I can’t even express how happy I am with our pictures.

 

Thad and Sarah are very relaxed and you can tell how much they care about their business. Thad’s creativity and passion for photography is just crazy- he sees these shots and captures them and he’s a master with Photoshop and editing. They did our engagement pictures, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding and a day after shoot for a very fair price and they just take hundreds of pictures- all of which you get on a cd/thumb drive.

 

The wedding wouldn't have been the same without them. My parents and sisters and all of our guests just kept raving about how awesome they were. Everyone was really impressed that they didn't just show up to the wedding- they came the rehearsal, the salon, the cabin, the venue, and after ALL that, the next day they proceeded to drive an hour on the Blue Ridge Parkway, hike two miles with all of their equipment to the peak of a mountain....and proceed to climb out onto a rock ledge with us at 5892 feet of elevation.....and they actually enjoyed it! They aren't just photographers they’re the perfect team and true artists.

 

Anyways, I think their work speaks for itself.

http://2and3photography.com/blog/archives/4713

http://2and3photography.com/blog/archives/4662

 


They also just made this post so you can see how they make your photos look awesome haha

http://2and3photography.com/blog/archives/5300


Venue, Asheville

The Crest Center

Our guests were stunned by this venue. We looked everywhere in Raleigh for the perfect venue but nothing would satisfy me. I actually found it at the Angus Barn but almost had a heart attack at the price. The one thing I refused to compromise in was the venue. I wanted a perfect rustic fall wedding that was elegant at the same time. The venue is at the top of the mountain and when I took my mom and sisters to see it they actually gasped when we reached the top.

 

It is beautiful- they actually have two venues, the Crest Center and the Pavilion. There was a wedding in the Pavilion but we didn’t even notice that they were there the entire night because the two venues are separated. The staff at the Crest Center was really easy to work with- they know how to pull off perfect weddings. The setting in the mountains was everything I imagined and they had the perfect backdrop with the fall foliage for the wedding and reception.

 

The entire night went perfectly. They hire a wedding coordinator to make sure that you don’t have to worry about everything. I had a million little details that I planned but the coordinator took over and I was relaxed and didn’t even have to worry about anything the entire night. The food is amazing! Everything I had here was great!

 

Venue #2

Prestonwood Country Club, Cary

We didn’t use this venue for our wedding but I was in charge of my company’s huge gala which took place the week after my wedding and we held it here. This place is gorgeous!! We had a lot of very distinguished professionals attend and I heard from many of them that the gala was a top notch event. I truly feel that it was the venue that left this impression on them. You can tell the second you walk in that Prestonwood Country Club is just a first class venue with all mahogany and white marble, a giant crystal chandelier, wrap around patio overlooking the golf course and a double staircase in the front of the room.

 

They were very easy to work with. Whatever I wanted or whatever I needed help with I just had to ask and it was done. I worked with Sondra, who helped us set up first thing in the morning and was marking sure everything went smoothly until the last moment of the night. The food was pretty decent but not spectacular.

 

Flowers

The Flower Gallery of Asheville

I loved them! I was seriously going to buy my flowers at Costco because I don’t see the point in buying flowers that are only going to be used for 20 minutes and then die. I got a couple quotes from florists just to see what the investment would be and Mary sent me a quote back that I could live with. We met with her and explained my feelings on flowers and what we wanted and I told her I wanted to spend as little as possible. The price she gave us was so good we couldn’t pass it up. I was a little concerned that my bouquet would be small and sad at this price, but when I saw the flowers I was astounded. She listened to every little thing I told her and made beautiful arrangements. One reason she could give us a low price was because we didn’t pick exact flowers, I gave her pictures and colors and explained what I wanted. Honestly, nobody is going to notice or care if you have a certain flower or not.

 

DJ

Southern Entertainment, Raleigh

Ben is actually friends with our photographer Thad and they gave a discount if we used both of them. I’m happy we went with him! He was so easy to work with and he had a website that you just pick out songs you want- it’s so easy. He knew exactly what music to play to suit the guests and the mood and he kept the wedding going the entire night. Everyone had a blast- the old people, the young people and everyone in between was happy with the music!

 

Officiant

Hannah Desmond, Asheville

Hannah was really nice. The only disappointing thing was when she messed up our last name when she pronounces us man and wife!! Ooops…kind of a big mistake during a wedding ceremony…anyways. The ceremony was only 10 minutes long which was all I asked for and it was okay.

 

Hair

Salon Nirvana, Asheville

Salon Nirvana is in the Grove Arcade right next to the Flower Gallery. Barbie, the owner, was super nice. She had us send pictures of the hairstyles and she actually practiced them several times so she could do them quickly and perfectly. I loved my hair!! She did an amazing job- it was exactly what I wanted and it stayed in all day and night long. They closed the shop down for the day just for our wedding party and we brought coffee and breakfast in and just hung out while we were all getting our hair done.

 

Jewelry

Diamonds Direct, Raleigh

We worked with Amy for all our jewelry and she was awesome. We got the engagement ring, wedding bands and earrings. The prices were all really fair (I think?) and they treat you like gold when you’re in there. You can take your rings in at any time to get cleaned or resized and if you’re unhappy at any time you can seriously just return the ring. I had Diamonds Direct have Tacori make me a custom ring and when it came in I decided I didn’t like it. Diamonds Direct told me it was no problem at all and I picked out a different one!

 

Cake

True Confections, Asheville

Yummm this cake is seriously the best cake ever! Carole, the owner, is a true baker. We got graham cracker cake and carrot cake with caramel frosting covered in pecans. I’m extremely picky about cake because I like to bake so I wasn’t about to just have a mediocre tasting wedding cake!

 

Rehearsal Dinner

Olive or Twist, Asheville

We rented out the entire restaurant and invited all our guests to it on Friday night since everyone was from out of town. It was awesome spending time with everyone and partying and eating. The food was great and the venue was great- right downtown so all the guests got to see a little bit of downtown Asheville.

 

Hotel

The Crowne Plaza Hotel and Resort, Asheville

So we were slightly shocked at the rates were charging in downtown Asheville and the fact that some of them we couldn’t even get a call or email back from for a quite. I really wanted my guests to be downtown so they would have things to do. The Crowne Plaza is the best you can do for groups in Asheville because they cater to groups and they offer affordable group rates. They were pretty good to work with for the most part. We actually rented a Villa which is on the grounds. Some of the villas can be far away and you have to drive but we got one pretty close to the hotel and had a brunch on Sunday where we invited guests to stop by any time from 10-1 for bagels, coffee, muffins, etc. that we got from Costco and Walmart. They also have a zipline course at the Crowne Plaza now!

 

Dress

Poffie Girls, Charlotte

So I was obsessed with my dress- I knew I had to have it the second I saw it. They were really nice what I bought my dress and when I was in there. Turns out they never took my measurements, ordered me a size way too big (which cost a fortune to be taken in) and when I went in to pick it up, they told me I could only come in Monday through Friday even though I had to drive two hours to Charlotte to pick it up. I convinced them to let me pick it up Saturday, but when I got there, they put me in the back with all of the prom girls trying on dresses and rushed me. I didn’t even have the dress on when the lady just burst into the room without knocking and rushed me along. I wanted to enjoy the moment but she stood there tapping her foot and making me uncomfortable. My sister complained and they were very apologetic and gave me a cook book to make up for the experience. My sister got married a year ago, and when we went here to try on dresses, the two sales ladies literally argued in front of us over who had to help us! Sooo I’m not going to highly recommend Poffie Girls

 

Dar-lynns Bridal, Charlotte

My sister got her dress here, we got bridesmaid dresses and I also tried on a bunch of dresses. We LOVED them. They are just so nice. They make you comfortable and aren’t bitchy and rude like most bridal dress places. I wish I had gotten my dress here just so I could have given them the commission for helping me so much.

 

Alterations

Alterations by Olga, Raleigh

She did such a good job! I heard she was THE place to get your dress altered through the Knot boards. The way she bustled the dress made it flow like it was just a shorter dress and it was absolutely gorgeous. She’s a pretty silly little lady and she is obviously a pro at bridal gown alterations! The only weird thing is she works out of her home and the setup is weird. She just has a little divider you change behind and there’s a window with a sheer covering right there. I just prayed her neighbors weren’t creepers.

 


Re: Vendor Reviews! (Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville)

  • Good grief your photos are gorgeous.  You're going to have a terrible time figuring out where to put them all in your home. Some of my friends used 2&3 for their backyard wedding earlier in October and their photos were amazing too.

    Did you use a planner at all?  Everything looks so perfect!  I loved your bridesmaid's dresses as well.  
  • I agree, those photos are absolutely stunning! I don't think I've ever seen such gorgeous pictures before, they look like something out of a magazine!
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  • SCogs18SCogs18 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Do you happen to have a price list for Olga?  I'm getting married in September and I have a feeling that if I want to use her I need to book soon and I'm not sure if I can afford it.

    Also--I just noticed that I am seriously considering the same Allure bridesmaid dresses your party wore!  Did they like them?  Were they comfortable in them?  Did the strap stay up alright?  I had one of my bridesmaids try it on in the store but it was a size to small so it was hard to get a good feel for the dress.

    TIA!
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