Vendor review -- 4/6/13

lpick21lpick21 member
Second Anniversary 10 Comments First Answer
edited August 2013 in Texas-Austin
It's taken me a lot longer to get around to doing this than I though. My apologies. Here ya go:

Venue: AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center
Grade: A
The venue was very convenient for our needs: a fairly large (200+) guest list with many guests coming in from out of town. It was one stop shopping -- hotel, food and alcohol on in house. It was NOT inexpensive, but compared to other similar venues, probably a better value. We only paid for food and alcohol -- no rental fees for the space, had ample time to set up (basically all day) and I took advantage of all the linens/tables/dishes/silverware they provided.
The food was great. The only reason I didn't give them an A+ is because I had a few stressors, such as the venue coordinator switching mid-engagement, and a few details getting lost in transit. Also, I spent weeks working on table assignments, which I handed over to AT&T in order for them to serve kids meals. At my reception, my mom was asking me why people didn't have their kids' meals. 
But, if that was the only real problem, I'd say they did a pretty good job. 
The space itself is pretty and good if you wanna go light on decor, which I did to compensate for the cost of having that many guests.

Photography: Lahra Bryant Photography 
Grade (A?)
The question mark is because it's been 4 months and I still don't have my pictures. So, get ready for a wait. I found her prices to be on the lower end of what's average in Austin, and she's very easy to work with. I've seen 11 pictures in my sneak peak and so far, so good. 

DJ: Texas Entertainment Mobile DJ services
Grade: A+
I'm giving Travis at Texas Entertainment an A+ DESPITE having a speaker blow out during our ceremony. That's how much I like working with him (and, working in tv, I know s*** happens sometimes with equipment.) This company is based out of Bryan but does weddings all over the state. I worked with Travis for months leading up to our wedding, and he obliged all of my neurotic tendencies. In fact, we spoke for 2 hours a few days before the wedding going over each and every moment, talking about the mood I wanted to create at certain moments and how best to achieve that. He also obliged my MIL who wanted a cover song by her favorite Chicago artist -- first by obtaining it and then by cutting it down. When I asked for particular songs that would be played prominently (such as wedding party walk-in), he pointed out questionable lyrics and subsequently suggested edited versions. He thought of things I didn't -- and I'm a type-A tv producer. He was easily the most detail-oriented of all my vendors.

Dress: Signature Bridal
Grade: A+
Y'all -- these were the best people I worked with. First of all, I live in DC now, and my family is in Taylor. I traveled out to Signature (which is in Bee Caves) not realizing how far it was or considering how many times I would have to make that trip if I ordered a dress from there. It was totally worth it. I had my heart set on a dress I found online, and only went to boutiques who carried that designer. The boutiques I went to in DC didn't have the dress. Signature didn't either, but my sales rep offered to check and see if there was a "loaner sample." There was, and when the only day I had available on my next trip to try it on was a day they were closed, she let me come in anyway.
I could go on and on about how accomodating this place was, but you get the idea. Given the very short spans of time I was in town, they made it very easy for me to come in when it worked for me. I had my dress altered there, as well, and was extremely pleased. Go check out signature and ask for Kim. If you end up purchasing your dress there, ask for Tessa for alterations!

Videographer: Austin Wedding Video Company
Grade: B-
Glad I decided to get videography, but I wasn't hugely impressed. The 4 minute trailer they produced for me was awesome, but the long-form video had issues. As someone who works in the industry, I knew the video wasn't up to par. I even sent it home with one of my co-workers, a video editor, who was highly critical. In the end, they fixed some of my biggest concerns, but it was like pulling teeth. For more details, inbox me.

Cake: Cakes by Kathy
Grade: A
Kathy was by far the most reasonably priced cake vendor I could find...by half! She's based out of Pflugerville, does tastings in her home, and I was sold right away. If you're looking for an intricate 3D cake, this probably isn't where you want to go, but for traditional wedding cakes she's great. And, my richer-than-me guests on my husband's side from Chicago said it was the best wedding cake they'd ever tasted. Maybe they exaggerating, but I'll take it.

Flowers: Hayden Wilkins
Grade: A+
Hayden is a close family friend who's actually still in college. I'm not sure how many weddings he's booking right now, but expect him to have his own business one day. He did an amazing job. 

Make-up: Tiffany Taylor
Grade: A+++++
I almost feel like a tease rating Tiffany, because she's in Dallas now. But, she does come to Austin frequently, so you could maybe book her! She was great. My mom, myself and my bridesmaids were all impressed with her work.

Hair: Salon 505/Christy Pick
Grade: A+
Salon 505 is in Taylor, TX, my hometown. I'm biased, because Christy is my aunt and I've been going there forever, but they really did a great job. We had 3 stylists on Saturday and they even brought mimosas and fruit. It was a really fun experience for my bridesmaids and me, and our hair looked great, too!

Officiant: Judge Jon Wisser/Austin Wedding Judge
Grade: A+
Judge Wisser was a joy to work with. We had a mixed religious ceremony (Christian + Jewish), and with his help we wrote it from scratch. He sent us at least 10 prior ceremonies to get us started, and made suggestions to supplement our ideas. If you're looking for someone who will assist you in whatever you want your ceremony to be -- religious, not at all relgious, mixed religious -- whatever it is, he's great and so supportive. He also waived the 72 hr requirement on our marriage license, since my husband didn't get to Austin until 2 days before the wedding. I mentioned earlier that our speaker blew out during the ceremony. Judge Wisser re-tracked the entire ceremony on tape so the videographer would have good sound for us. He's just wonderful.

Wedding planner: Events by Decisions
Grade: ----
I can't give a grade. I'll just say, based on the high recommendation I received for this company, I was disappointed. Yes, I was provided some good ideas, but I hired a wedding-planner mid-process because I was overwhelmed and wanted to relieve some of my stress. I don't believe that happened. I did just as much work as I would have without a planner.
I don't want to get into specifics on here, but if you are considering this company and want details feel free to message me.

Good luck planning, Austin knotties! Feel free to reach out with questions!

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