Check out Part One of my vendor reviews, here!
Haute Floral, www.hautefloral.com, Highly Recommend
I mentioned in my previous post that I wanted my reviews to focus on the vendors I would absolutely hire again if I had to start the whole process over. Kristen of Haute Floral is definitely one of those vendors. Not only is this girl crazy talented, but I just had the best time working with her. And lets be honest—having a wedding florist that you love to talk to and plan with is one of the best things that could happen to a bride.
When I first met with her, I loved how quickly she jumped on board with my ideas and saw my “vision.” A few months later, she completely wowed me with my gorgeous bridal portrait bouquet. And when it was finally time for the wedding, she knocked it out of the park—I loved every part of the flower arrangements and bouquets she put together. I talked about my experience choosing her here, and she certainly lived up to my expectations.
Last week marked my one year anniversary (crazy!) for blogging on the ’Bee and I decided I really should wrap things up for you guys instead of just leaving you hanging without any closure. I have a handful of posts that have been waiting for me to hit the “Publish” button, so I will be sharing those with you all before it’s finally time for me to say goodbye!
I’ve debated a good bit about whether or not I wanted to do a vendor review post. Although we (thankfully) didn’t have anyone do a terrible job for us, the idea of rating people still makes me feel a little strange. However, when I think about just how much I appreciate a well-written review, wedding related or not, I really couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share my experiences with all of these wedding industry professionals.
Like I mentioned before, no one that we hired did a terrible, or even sub-par, job. If you were to hire any of the vendors we used for our wedding I would be willing to bet you would have a positive experience. What I really want to highlight is the people who did an exceptional job. The ones that I would 100%, without a doubt, hire again if I were to do the whole wedding planning thing over again. Thankfully that won’t be happening but I know many of you are in the process of making these decisions, and in my experience reviews were extremely helpful. Dallas bees, always feel free to contact me if you have any other questions about the vendors we used!
Lasting Bridal Couture, www.lastingbridalcouture.com, Highly Recommend
Shopping for my wedding gown was an awesome experience, especially the time spent at Lasting Bridal Couture. My consultant, Sarah, was just beyond fabulous. She was helpful, encouraging, and really listened to what I wanted in my dress. In addition to my dress, we also ordered the bridesmaids’ dresses from the same store, and Sarah was very knowledgeable about how the colors compare to the swatches, how the sizes run, etc. The store allows you to order the bridesmaid dresses online, which is super helpful when all of your bridesmaids are in different locations and can’t all come to the store at once, and they had the lowest prices that I found.
The details of our day really don’t need much explanation, but these are all of the things, large and small, that made our day feel more like “us.”From the clothes we chose to wear, to the flower arrangements and cakes, to the rings on our hands, every item was an important part of our big day. I have always really loved the detail posts on Weddingbee (almost as much as I love the Budget Breakdowns!) and I’m so excited to be sharing some of my favorite details with you guys. Some of these pictures have already popped up in other posts, while others I have been specifically holding onto for this post, but I hope you guys enjoy seeing them all in one place as much as I do.
All photography in this super picture-heavy post by Megan Fortner!
After the bouquet and garter had been tossed and we shared a few more group dances with our closest friends, it was time for the final dance of the night. Mr. C and I chose to have a private last dance before we made our exit from the reception and it was such a perfect conclusion to our wedding day. The DJ stayed long enough to put the song on (you’ll notice he’s in the first photo but not the later ones) and then he stepped out, leaving us alone with only our videographers and photographers. Obviously their presence didn’t keep us from acting like newlyweds.
We danced to “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton and you’ll probably notice I made a little wardrobe change beforehand. Okay seriously, how could you not notice that big white dress was no longer in the picture. Momma Coach was staying behind to take everything from the Piazza that belonged to us, and I also wanted her to be able to take my dress back to our house versus having to figure out what to do with it once we returned to the hotel and headed out for our honeymoon the next day.
After we finished feeding each other cake, and all of the toasts had been made, you had better believe Mr. C and I were ready to dance. Now, we may not be the best dancers, and the photo below may or may not be Mr. C “reeling me in” on the dance floor, but either way we have a great time making fools of ourselves!
Per our request, our DJ played quite a bit of classic rock, and we started out the night by belting out a little Aerosmith to one another (no worries, the air guitar photos come later). It makes me so happy to see that Bridesmaid J is doing the same thing in the background. Who doesn’t love a good power ballad!?
We now interrupt these wedding recaps (there are more coming, I promise!) for a little Weddingbee post series action, and the one that just happens to be my favorite: A Bee’s Life! There haven’t been too many of these lately, (I think Sword and Funnel Cake were the most recent?), so I figured I would change things up a little and share my story. Not only did I find this series helpful in my pre-Blogger Bee days, but I have always thought they were just so interesting to read. Maybe I’m the only one who finds it exciting to hear just how long someone waited to get their response from Pengy or how they even got into blogging in the first place, but here’s to hoping someone else out there enjoys it, too.
How Did I Find Weddingbee?
I stumbled across Weddingbee during my Freshmen year of college while surfing wedding websites when I should’ve been studying. Mr. C and I were already pretty serious at this point, so even though we weren’t engaged, I was certainly guilty of doing a little pre-engagement wedding planning. Pinterest wasn’t really a “thing” yet (can you even imagine!?), so I was still looking for wedding inspiration the old fashioned way, and hopping around from one website to the next. At that time, FroYo had just started blogging, and I immediately started following her story because I loved that she was in Dallas and mentioned a lot of places I was familiar with. (I actually went on to use the same florist and videographer she did, so I certainly have her to thank for introducing me to them way back when. Just another thing I love about the ’Bee!) Once I started following along with some of the Bee bloggers’ stories, I was hooked, and Weddingbee became the one website I would consistently visit and read, while secretly bookmarking all of the ideas I loved!
How Long Have I Been Blogging?/My Application Story
After we had finished cutting the wedding cakes, things got a little more sentimental while our MOH, BM, and dads made their toasts. Our coordinator handed us our Kate Spade toasting flutes, and we stepped out onto the dance floor to listen to what our closest friends had to say about us.
Side Note: I know, I know. I did what all of us hope we won’t do and let my recaps get put on the back burner. Hopefully you guys have just been keeping up with all of the wonderful new bloggers and didn’t even notice? Maybe not? Either way, thanks for not hating me being patient, and I’ll do my best to not let it happen again!
Making our grand entrance into the reception was one of those tiny, little parts of the wedding day that I was really looking forward to. It comes and goes quickly, but in my opinion, the hype is justified. You’ve said your I do’s, the photos have been taken, and then, to top it all off, you get to hold hands with your new hubby and make an entrance into a room full of clapping people that are just super excited for you. I was really looking forward to this part of the day and it didn’t disappoint.
“Looking for cute and affordable favors? Put the treat of your choice in adorable boxes from Weddingbee Favors!”
I have no idea what our Bridal Party was doing while we took these photos. Literally, clueless. I remember all of us taking group photos, and I remember making our entrance into the reception all together, but the in between? No clue. What I do know, however, is that Mr. C and I were thoroughly enjoying being newly married and I think these pictures do a great job of showing it.
All photography by Megan Fortner
If you’re tired of looking at our faces, feel free to come back next time when I begin sharing our reception photos that provide a little more variety. You won’t hurt my feelings. But if you’re in the mood for some lovey-dovey wedding portraits, feel free to stick around.
After our ceremony had concluded and the guests had exited the chapel for Cocktail Hour, we headed back inside for the obligatory formal photos. This is one of the times during the day when organization really pays off. Our photographer had previously asked for a list of the photos we wanted and running through that list made things go by so much quicker. I took it one step further, however, because I meticulously planned out not only what pictures we would be taking, but what order they would be in. I made sure we started with Mr. C’s family, for example, because they have the younger children who would’ve been impatiently waiting otherwise. Once they were finished, their parents were able to take them outside to let some of that energy out while we took the rest of the photos.
For the sake of variety, I’m only sharing a few “formal” photos—those of Mr. C and me with the children who were in our wedding. We took all of the family photos inside the chapel, but I wanted to change things up a bit for the pictures of us with our bridal party. We didn’t have time to get photos with them after our first look; in fact, they walked out to meet us only to be told it was time to go back in. So, we have some fun walking shots
Talk about a cliffhanger! So sorry to keep you guys waiting after my last post, but let’s be honest—you all knew what was coming next
Mr. Coach and I kept things fairly simple when it came to planning the ceremony. Our officiant, Josh, sent me a copy of what he usually says during a ceremony, we tweaked it a bit, and that was that. I did, however, have two things I wanted to add. During our wedding planning journey, I decided I was pro-personalized vows. Although it’s been quite a while, some of you might remember my post discussing writing our own vows, and whether not we would be able to incorporate it into an otherwise very traditional ceremony. After seeing it discussed many times here, I also decided closer to the wedding that I would love to have someone other than our officiant read a passage during the ceremony.
As much as we were enjoying our couple’s portraits, it wasn’t long before it was time to head back into the Chapel to get ready for the ceremony. I am honestly not sure what Mr. C was doing during this time before the wedding started, although I’m guessing he was probably just having fun in the Groom’s suite, sharing some laughs with his closest friends. I, however, was saying hello to some lovely ladies who stopped by the Bride’s suit— Grandmother Coach and my little cousin/wonderful house party member, J. I briefly remember taking these photos, but this was the point in the day where things really started to fly by. You try to remember every last detail, but it is just so, so difficult!
All photography by Megan Fortner
After I had gotten myself together post-emotional first look, Mr. C and I had a small amount of time with our photographers for couples portraits. For the most part, these photos speak for themselves; there was a lot smiling (with some gigging mixed in on my part) and we just walked around for a few minutes while Megan told us where to stand and then worked her magic.
All photography by Megan Fortner
We started out next to the arbor through which I had passed during our First Look. It was a simple (and impromptu) back drop, but I really loved the texture of it.
If I had to sum up our First Look into one word, it would, without a doubt, be “emotional.”
Here, take a look:
See what I mean?
It was the strangest turn of events, too, because if you remember, we left off with both of us looking more than just a little excited to be getting ready for our wedding day:
We were really impressed with the Piazza’s Groom’s Suite when we were searching for venues. It’s a nice space for the guys, right off of the chapel and courtyard area, and they have some fun amenities for the guys including a TV and Xbox with games. Unfortunately, Mr. C didn’t get to enjoy those things as much as he would’ve liked because after he got dressed, he headed off to a first look with me! But the Groomsmen hung around in there for a few minutes, and I’m hoping they were able to make the most of their time.
After the photographers and videographers got their shots of me putting on my dress, they all headed over to check out my future hubby while he was getting ready.
Groomsman Tom kindly invited them in…
I was so happy to see at least a few pictures of Mr. C enjoying the food and drinks that had been placed in the suite. Before the wedding, he had chosen ballpark pretzels as a snack to be waiting on them in the suite—seriously, could the guys’ version of a wedding day be any more different from the girls’? There’s no way you could’ve talked us into eating anything with dripping condiments. The guys also enjoyed some champagne and a few Shiner Bocks (there’s nothing finer!) before they had to step into their suits.