Ashley Sue and Marcus's Wedding

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Other than some hotel drama and having to get a new photographer a week before the event, the wedding was perfect. I do wish I had thought out a few things to make the morning smoother and more calmingly celebratory for the bridesmaids, groomsmen, the groom, and myself, but c'est la vie! The day was perfect and I would have changed *almost* nothing!

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Vendors & Venues Reviews

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James Ward Fotography (NC)
Wake Forest, NC
Photographers

After a year from our date, I was finally compelled to leave the truth. ----> The gentleman was perfectly nice. He stepped in when my photographer realized two weeks from our wedding that he couldn't do it - and my photographer called and booked James Ward for the event before even calling and letting me know my own guy was out. So, he seemed really nice to step in. THAT ALONE IS WHY HE GETS TWO STARS. I DON'T KNOW WHY HE BOTHERED TO SAY YES, unless he perhaps thought it was a way to book an empty Saturday and make a little money. He took photos, but completely missed taking some MAJOR photos (like of my sister who was my maid of honor - I mean, WTF?). Any staged pics right after the ceremony, I had to choreograph. If I could write "I" in bold, I would. I mean, like I didn't have enough going on without having to think of who to get for the pics and how to have people pose them (aren't professional photographers supposed to have an ability to pose people? Because he had us look like a bunch of jerks, lined up boringly). Needless to say, our photographer's complete lack of creativity means all of our pics are in crappy lame poses. Further, he didn't bother to let us know that shadows from the trees were falling on HALF of our faces in pics, and not on the other half of the people's, so those photos look like my Uncle Bob took them. Nice. Even guests say they noticed that - but HE is supposed to be professional, yet didn't notice this.

Then, it was about 100 degrees, so we stopped taking pics - particularly because he was of no help in getting photos organized or posed, the angles of the photos being taken were bad, and we were bored and ready to get the reception going. So, what happens? An HOUR into our reception, when people are finally dancing and enjoying themselves, he comes and gets me and tells me to get the wedding party and family to go down to the lake so we could take more posed pics. WTF?! So we can waste ANOTHER 45 minutes thinking of poses while you stand there silently and snap an occasional shot?! No thank you!!! I was completely pissed. My husband was even more. We spent A LOT for his time and service, and got jipped. I would have rather posted a Craigslist ad and paid a local art student that money to help him/her start his/her portfolio and STRETCH HIS/HER CREATIVITY, which apparently this "pro" didn't feel he needed to do at all. Then, eight weeks after our wedding, when I had to harass him for the paid-for disc of photos, he showed up 30 minutes late to his own studio, leaving me in the parking lot waiting until he bothered to show up. No call. No nothing. Just late. And again, a shining portrait of unprofessional.

So, there's my story! Better luck to you in your photog hiring! All I can say is I thank God that I have a TON of friends who took photos & shared - many of them took better pics with their camera phones!


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227682 l
Durant Nature Park
,
Ceremony & Reception

The location was beautiful (and very unexpected) if you have a nature-inspired wedding. Jeri from the staff (Asst Manager of the park) is amazing. Make sure you follow policies, be communicative with them, and upon getting in, MAKE SURE THE MOP AND BUCKET are accessible to you so you can get cleaned up and out of there in good time. :)


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227688 l
Durant Nature Park
Raleigh, NC
Ceremony & Reception

The location was beautiful (and very unexpected) if you have a nature-inspired wedding. Jeri from the staff (Asst Manager of the park) is amazing. Make sure you follow policies, be communicative with them, and upon getting in, MAKE SURE THE MOP AND BUCKET are accessible to you so you can get cleaned up and out of there in good time. :)


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Hampton Inn Raleigh-Capital Blvd. North
Raleigh, NC
Hotels/Accommodations

The hotel staff is 100% delightful. From the first time I walked in to establish a block of rooms, to the guests who stayed there and their responses, to the cleanliness, to the pool, to the tasty waffles the morning after, and the price as well... this hotel was a winner. We would have made this the only hotel block for our guests except it was a little further away from the wedding location.


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Champps Americana - Bar & Restaurant
Raleigh, NC
Restaurants
251124 l
Hilton Garden Inn - Triangle Town Center Raleigh
Raleigh, NC
Hotels/Accommodations

When asking if I could see the difference between two room types so I could choose my block, the manager on duty warned me to knock before using the key to enter the room. I should have known that was trouble.

The night before my wedding, my Mom and Stepfather had two guys with a cooler burst into their room at 430 IN THE MORNING. The staff had given them that room key and number, even though it was booked! They promised my Mom and Stepfather full reimbursement for their room, but then gave only partial. They stopped returning phone calls, and upon me stepping in, they said it is guests' responsibility to use the "privacy bar" on the door to insure no one enters. Bull!

Also, the groom and I had free-breakfast coupons printed by the concierge for our guests to use the morning after at the hotel restaurant. We agreed to pay the cost for each coupon turned in by our guests. We were over-charged for breakfasts by nearly double, but upon arguing to have management stick to their promise to reimburse my Stepfather in full, we gave up the breakfast battle.

We would HIGHLY recommend staying at the Hampton Inn on Spring Forest Rd and Capital Blvd, or the brand-new Courtyard Marriott in front of Triangle Town Center Mall on Capital Blvd (less than a block from this Hilton).


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Creative Acoustics
Raleigh, NC
Rentals

They were AWESOME. Best prices anywhere, and great service. A little timing mishap, but call and confirm your pickup time for your equipment, and you'll be great!


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