Pixels on Paper is a husband/wife photography team based in Charlotte, NC. There was a small travel fee to bring them to Hickory but it is extremely reasonable, as is the rest of their price scaling. Both Misty and Ryan make you feel completely comfortable as they capture your day in beautiful, artistic photographs. Over the course of planning our wedding, they became more like friends to us than business partners. In fact, we plan to keep in touch now that the wedding is over. I highly recommend them to anyone and promise you will not be disappointed with the level of service and quality you will receive.
Sandra Bivens is the woman behind Good Times DJ service. She is very friendly and very responsive to emails and phone calls, which is a wonderful quality in a vendor. Her prices are extremely affordable. She threw in my ceremony for free just because I was temporarily unable to reach her (for about two weeks, several months before the wedding was scheduled) when she moved to a new house! The addition of her sound system to our ceremony really gave it that ethereal feel I was going for.
At the reception, she earned points for getting my family out on the dance floor. At first I was against group dances like The Electric Slide but I have to admit, it filled the dance floor faster than anything else. I almost wish we had rented a larger one. Sandra was a pleasure to work with. I do recommend DJ's for brides with wedding coordinators however, as someone will need to tell her when certain things need to occur. We had an itinerary but things don't always go according to plan. This job fell to me but would have been much less stressful if I had hired a wedding coordinator.
Amy Murphy runs Cakes by Amy out of her home. We booked her before we were able to do the taste test because she is booked so far in the future. I don't regret that one bit! She did my wedding cake and also my groom's cake, which was a red velvet cake in the shape of the Macintosh Apple logo. The cake looked great, even though it was a complicated shape to reproduce! The next day, the wedding cake was everything I had wanted it to be. The scroll work was exactly reproduced according to the picture I provided. It was a gorgeous part of my wedding. And although I only got a few bites of the piece my husband and I cut (so busy!), it was delicious and the other guests told me as much about the other flavors. Amy's prices are fair and she is extremely responsive to emails and phone calls - something that gave me great peace of mind while working with her. I am very glad we went with her services.
Gorgeous old Lutheran Church now run by a non denominational minister. The pluses: The pastor was gracious enough to marry us here, even though we did not attend and had never even met him before I called to ask about the wedding. He only charged us $100. He was available when we needed him to unlock the church for decorating, rehearsal, etc because he lives next door. He let us use the fellowship hall to eat the pizza we ordered on decorating day, although we hadn't discussed it. He gave us the entire basement floor (very large) to get ready for the wedding. He let us write our own vows, had no restriction on decorations (such as candles), and bring in our own singer. He did not restrict our photographers or videographers on where they could stand.
Minuses: The church has no decorations of its own so we had to rent everything we needed. Not so bad really since that way you can choose them yourself anyway. The basement where we got ready was just a basement. It didn't have any amenities we could use (such as dressers) and it was very plain in places and very ugly in others (not a good backdrop for photo/video). The Pastor did have other obligations to attend to, so the sermon he ended up giving at the wedding was EXTREMELY short. However I feel if we had asked for something longer when we met to discuss it he would have done so. He also left right after the ceremony (literally), but he did wait for us to get a picture with him since we asked. Overall, he was very kind and very understanding and accommodating to our needs. I just think they hadn't done many weddings because the congregation is just starting out and is very tiny. If you have your wedding here, just ask for what you want and I am sure he will be happy to help you with it.
Can't say enough good things about the Inn at Hickory. It is the perfect venue for brides on a budget. The inn is fabulously landscaped - my friend even took a picture of the grass with his iphone, it looked so good). The real beauty of this place is that it is a blank canvass. In back, there is a pool area, a gazebo, and a large tree as well as a few smaller trees and flowers. You have free reign to decorate it how you wish and turn it into any type of theme you wish. Our theme was Happily Ever After. We rented a tent, and strung white lights in the trees, under the ceiling of the tent covered by lilac tulle, and filled the gazebo with lights. We put a fountain in the pool and lined it with candles. The tent was decorated with topiaries, lanterns, and lots and lots of candles. For our night time wedding it was gorgeous! But you could do something completely opposite of that and it would still look nice because the inn provides that canvass. The wonderful thing too is that your event rental (ridiculously affordable) includes all four guest rooms at the inn and their breakfast the following morning. You can give out of town guests a place to stay and also stay there yourself if you wish. The innkeeper is the most flexible, nice person I worked with through the wedding. He let us stay there on Friday night instead of Saturday because we wanted to go to downtown Charlotte to get a hotel on the wedding night. He didn't charge us for that night and gave us breakfast the next morning - his breakfasts are incredible, and it came with champagne. Anything we wanted to do decoration wise, he let us, and he even had a few suggestions of his own. He and his wife helped us string up lights in the trees (their idea), and he helped my sister in law set up the pool fountain. Through it all he was absolutely accommodating and flexible. I highly highly recommend any bride who is having a difficult time finding a place to check here, especially if your venue rental budget is small. It is an incredible value. Also the groomsmen were able to get ready here while the girls got ready at the church.
Only downside: the backyard is on a slope, which you could feel when you were walking under the tent and on the dance floor. However, it is not enough to throw you off your balance, and I think Chaz said he was going to work on leveling it out this year (he does all his own landscaping and it is meticulous and beautiful - he even planted flowers in our colors the winter before so they would bloom for our wedding).
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