I loved loved loved having my wedding at Casa Blanca, however the owners will tell you everything you want to hear. I was told things that were available to use and then when it came time I heard 'we don't have that available' so I was very disappointed in that aspect of the venue.
Ex: The bridal suite was supposed to include a steamer and the closet for hanging everything. When we arrived there was no steamer and the closet was full of someone's clothes. On the morning of my wedding I was told those things were not included. My coordinator, who I would have been screwed without, was so helpful and got me use of those things and also told me they were to be included! When we toured I asked if we could bring candles to decorate and of course the answer was yes and when we signed the contract we were offered a 'candle package' that was $200 and that was the only way we could have candles. I specifically asked before we chose if we could BRING candles and then we found out we had to pay $200 for something we could buy from Ikea for $5!
When I went to make payments some of the things I heard the owners discussing were not appropriate for clients to be hearing. The owners argued about who to make payments to and it was just unprofessional.
The day I went to make the last payment on the venue I noticed paper lanterns hanging on the patio so I asked if we could use them for our day and the answer was of course 'whatever you want' so I also asked if we could bring in our own to add in our colors and they said we could. So I went and bought lanterns to use and that morning I was told they would be added. Well with the craziness of the day I didn't notice right away but they took down the ones that were up in the morning and didn't put up the ones I specifically bought for the wedding. I was disappointed in many things throughout the planning and as much as I loved the place I don't know if I would have chosen Casa Blanca again given the chance.I'm also pretty sure some of the workers took the leftover food from the catering(we had 2 pans left and they disappeared!) If anyone wants to know any more specific stuff message me and I can fill you in.
Caterer - Cafe Express A
I can not say enough wonderful things about Cafe Express and their food, customer service and everything really! This location is newer to the Austin area so I don't know how many people know about how wonderful they are. I was at a bridal show supporting a friend in Houston and Cafe Express was there and since I'm from Houston I was thinking ' man I love Cafe Express if only they had a location in Austin.'
Well low and behold they were opening one in a few months! I contacted Candice, and though she is out of Houston, was able to accommodate our needs and even came up for a tasting. The food is delicious and we chose Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken and Spicy Italian Sausage, and we heard nothing but great things about the food all night! The food was very reasonably priced...wonderfully priced! Our original quote was for 150 guests and disposable dinnerware and was under $1700. I would totally recommend them to anyone that wants great food!
Candice Bryant-Blancas Catering Coordinator
Cafe Express (281)881-9809 Direct [email protected]
Photographer - InTandem Photography Duo A++
I can not rave enough about Sarah and Adam. They are wonderful photographers and all around great people. When I met with them before deciding on a photographer they were so laid back and I just knew they were going to be the ones. My husband didn't get to meet them until the day of our engagement shoot and he was very pleased with everything. Our pictures were amazing and we have gotten so many compliments on them.
The day of the wedding they came did their thing and the pictures are wonderful! Everyone really liked them and they were so easy to work with. I totally recommend them to anyone looking for awesome, fun, laid back people to be in your company during your wedding. http://www.abicyclefortwo.com/
link to a slideshow of our day
Flowers - Fifty Flowers B+
I did the whole DIY flower thing so we ordered flowers from Fifty Flowers and they were wonderful. We ordered white roses, green cymbidium orchids and almost black calla lilies for the bouquets and boutonniere and white hydrangeas, green spider mums and deep purple carnations for centerpieces and accents.
All the flowers turned out beautiful and worked out perfectly for the wedding. The only thing is there the spider mums and carnations were sold in too large a quantity for my needs. We ended up finding uses for them but initially we had about 40 of each flower left over and I ordered the smallest quantity of each. The flowers came when they were supposed to, there was tracking numbers through fedex for all packages and a csr called to confirm all flowers had been delivered! I would totally recommend them to anyone who wants to save a bit of money.
Just make sure you have help unpacking! I had six boxes and it took me four hours to unpack all the flowers!! Also pick up some 'homer buckets' from home depot or lowes to keep the flowers in because chances are you will have a lot!
Cake - Michelle's Patisserie B
We just loved our cakes from MIchelle's Patisserie. My cake was just as I imagined, simple and beautiful. I really wanted lemon cake with raspberry filling and Michelle's tasted just as I imagined....yummy! I also got white cake with fresh strawberry filling which was really good as well. Everyone love it! My husband's grooms cake featured his favorite drink big red! he wanted a big red can and it looked so cool! He was really happy with it and that made me happy
Dress & Alterations - Alfred Angelo B for dress and F for alterations
I found my dress at the north location of Alfred Angelo. I tried on about 15 dresses and my girls persuaded me to try on 2119, which was gorgeous but just not my style. The lady who was helping me didn't really want to get it for me b/c it was on a mannequin. I did find another associate, Bridget I believe, who went and grabbed it with no problem and I'm so glad she did b/c I fell in love! So I gave her the credit on the sale when I got my dress.
I also did my alterations with Alfred Angelo b/c there was some beadwork and I was concerned about an outside party working on my dress. Nora was the alterations specialist I worked with and when I went in for the alterations she specified the things she would work on - the hem, bustle and taking in the bust and the price was average. So I was satisfied. When I went in to pick up my dress the alterations were good, however on my wedding day I went to put my hands in the pockets, which I was very excited about, they were gone!
I was so upset, there was no reason the side seams should have had any alterations done. I even had my bridesmaids ask if maybe it came without the pockets and I thought about it, but I did take my dress to another place and remember raving about my dress and my pockets to the alterations associate there. I was very upset and disappointed on my wedding day because of something Alfred Angelo's alterations department did wrong. The ironic thing is I decided to go with them because I was worried someone else would mess up my dress.
DJ - Apex Productions F
Let me preface this by saying I was looking forward to our dj after meeting with him a couple times, but during and after the wedding I was left disappointed. I felt I was clear in letting Jason know the things we wanted and didn't want. I even asked my husband "we told him....right?"
He had many ideas about things he wanted to do during our reception which we listened to and we told him the things we did and did not want. He wanted to play some game to get people on the dance floor and we told him no games, if you play the music we want our friend will have no problems dancing. He didn't play very much music we wanted to hear....one of the first songs he played was country, which we stated we didn't want any country music played unless we specifally said to play it.
One of the things we talked about was the anniversary dance and how we wanted it to go.We wanted him to call out the years and the couples leave the floor until there was one left for some words of wisdom and he didn't do that. We changed our timeline to accommodate what he suggested and it felt rushed with cake, toast and first dance all at once then nothing the rest of the night. Also after the bouquet and garter toss he started playing some game we hadn't even talked about and I had no idea was was going on. I was so embarrassed to tell my guests I didn't know what was happening!
Another thing, which I did enjoy, he had some songs we could karaoke. Our guests enjoyed and it was a nice surprise. He suggested doing two songs - one for the guys and one for the girls and we said no just one song for everyone to start and we would ask for more if anyone wanted to do more. Well at the wedding he went ahead and played two songs but no one was interested in singing the second song....well because I asked him not to. Overall, I just think the things we wanted were not heard or listened to and the dj just did what he wanted.Linens - Marquee Rentals A
We just loved loved loved Gia with Brass Tacks! We met her at an open house for the venue(Casa Blanca) we were looking at booking. I'm not going to lie she was a big part of the reason we booked the venue. Gia was always there when I needed anything or had questions related to the venue, or anything for that matter! She was so helpful throughout the process and amazing the day of as well. I really don't know what we would have done without Gia's help for the day. Apparently there were some wedding day snags that I had no clue about BUT everything went off without a hitch! Would totally recommend Gia and Brass Tacks to anyone needing a planner or just day of coordinator.
Phew! That was long but I do hope someone finds this information helpful in their planning process as I have found so many other reviews helpful!