We actually didn't join Wedding Mapper until after our wedding, but we used it to help find some of our vendors, and it was very helpful. Our wedding went off with nary a hitch, and was wonderful.
Rick was a wonderful DJ. When we wanted something specific, he would let us get as detailed as we wanted, and when we wanted him to take over something, he'd do it and do it masterfully. He was a great MC, as well as a great DJ, alerting the crowd to important events, and getting the crowd into the more complicated elements of our wedding. He also read the crowd perfectly, always seeming to play the right music at the right time. We used him for both the ceremony and the reception, and he was masterful at both.
Also, as we were preparing for the wedding, I drove the car into a ditch, and he helped us get the car out. Rick, who's prices are extremely reasonable, is worth every penny and more.
Teri at Cakes Unlimited did a wonderful job. The hardest part of getting our cake together was picking the actual flavors, everything was so delicious. Teri was very amenable to the designs we wanted for the cake, and very forthcoming with ideas when we asked for them. Her prices are very reasonable, and the cake was absolutely incredible. Everyone who had a piece of cake had a comment on just how delicious it really was.
Chef Gil was teriffic. He was very patient with us as we kept changing our minds about food, he took care of ordering all the rental equipment we needed, and the food was absolutely out of this world. Chef Gil is clearly a talented chef, and we would use his services again in a heartbeat.
Dawn did an absolutely wonderful job with our flowers. She was very, very helpful when it was clear we were lost at our meetings, and was never afraid to speak her mind about some floral arrangements (which we REALLY appreciated). The flowers were perfect, and we were extremely satisfied.
One recommendation, however, is if you use her, make sure you work out the wedding day schedule in advance. We nearly had a heart attack when she didn't arrive until two hours before the wedding, but it was clear she'd been preparing all day and that was more than enough time for her to set up. We just could have done without the heart attack! :-)
Regardless of any of that, however, Dawn was wonderful beyond just her florist services, but in helping us relax in the lead up to the wedding. We'd highly recommend her.
The Dandelion Patch was wonderful to work with, and the invitations came out great. They were also very helpful, and promptly replied to any e-mails we had with questions and concerns.
They are a little pricey, and do tend to push you towards their more expensive invitations, but other than that we really have no complaints. Once we selected our invitations, everything else was perfect.
They were easy to deal with, and the golf carts worked wonderfully. We were able to transport over 130 people from a parking lot to our ceremony site almost a mile away with just two of their 6-person golf carts in under half an hour. I don't know what we'd have done without them.
I cannot possibly say enough good things about Rabbi Block. He lets you plan exactly what you want for the wedding, and is incredibly helpful in the process. He put our guests at ease, and was a delight to work with. Like most of the weddings he does, ours was an interfaith wedding, and the way he weaved our faiths together was amazing. We were able to have a ceremony that didn't tiptoe around our differences, and allowed us to express the most important parts of each of our weddings, while keeping our families happy and comfortable, not an easy task when our families included very religious Jews and evangelical Christians. So many compliments I received at the wedding were of the Rabbi. If you're having a non-traditional wedding, I could not recommend Rabbi Block strongly enough.
Julie was an absolutely wonderful photographer to work with. She helped put my wife, who is terrified of getting her picture taken, at ease. She is a delight to work with and got some AMAZING pictures from the wedding. I don't think I could recommend Julie strongly enough. What I can say, however, is that if you go with Julie, make sure you do an engagement session with her and get her photo guest book. It's just incredibly well done, and we got so many compliments on the guest book alone. Julie's a wonderful photographer, and I highly recommend her.
Since our reception was outdoors, we needed tents. FDS was recommended to us by our venue, and we didn't think much of using them. We quickly discovered, however, that our vision for our reception was one that had never been attempted before at this venue! More than that, it was one that no one really knew how to do, because it hadn't really been attempted anywhere anyone involved had seen! While for most tent companies this might be an opportunity to try to convince us that our vision is too hard, too unreasonable, and needed to change, this was not the case with FDS. Instead, they set right to work trying to figure out how they could make our reception work the way we wanted it to. The result was better than we even imagined. The tents were gorgeous, and perfectly set up. Everyone complimented us on our set-up, and it wouldn't have been possible without the diligent work of Tom at FDS Tents. If you need a tent at your event, I couldn't recommend them strongly enough.
We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful setting for our ceremony. With a cottage in the background, trees in front of us, and grassy fields all around, Prince Michel has some wonderful spots for ceremonies. We're told the spot we picked is not the one most commonly used (understandable, since it's fairly far from the parking lot), but I'd recommend our spot to everyone. We'll never forget it.
Maybe we got lucky by having our wedding at the exact right time of year, but our guests were blown away by the setting for our reception. With tables in between the vines and rose bushes fully in bloom, everything was perfect. We're told no one's ever set up to have guests at the reception seated in the vines before. We may have been the first to do it, but I sure hope we're not the last. The set-up is amazing, and there's more room between the vines than you'd originally think. Everyone loved the location, and Prince Michel's staff was just so wonderfully helpful. Brad Nicholson is about the friendliest location event coordinator you could find anywhere, and he made the whole process so much easier. I can hardly believe we got lucky enough to find this place for our wedding.
I don't have much to say about the hotels. All of our guests were happy with their accommodations, and I suppose that's what matters the most.
I don't have much to say about the hotels. All of our guests were happy with their accommodations, and I suppose that's what matters the most. Also, the Holiday Inn has a breakfast room you can rent (as my parents did), which was nice for people to meet and hang out the morning of the wedding.
This is where we had our rehearsal dinner, and it was so awesome, my parents, my wife and I decided we needed to come back here for a meal a week later, even though it's not convenient to where any of us actually live. If you're having an event or guests in or near Culpeper, GO HERE. The staff is very friendly and wonderfully helpful, and the food is AMAZING.
Skyline Drive is a wonderful place to take a day trip if you've got nothing better to do. The view is out of this world, and teh drive is incredibly pleasant. Just be warned, there is a cost of admission, and it's not cheap, but it's completely worth the price.
A fascinating piece of history, James Madison's old home, Montpelier, gives some great insights into the Father of the Constitution.
If you've ever had any questions about Thomas Jefferson, they'll be answered at Monticello. I've been blown away every time I visit. They have some of his neat and unique inventions, and the house provides amazing insights into his life.
This was on our attraction list for one reason only: it's where my wife and I met. For that reason, I can't not give it five stars... :-)
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