After two years of planning, our day was absolutely perfect. I know that getting married to the man you love is perfect in itself, but when you plan an event for as long as we did, we wanted to make sure that everything else was perfect too, and it was! December is perfect time to have a wedding in downtown San Jose. It is so festive and lit up, that a wedding is a must. Also, it tends to be the down time of wedding season, so sometimes you can get winter specials from your vendors. We were absolutely, %100 pleased with all of our vendors, who brought to life our dream wedding. And of course it wouldn't have been a wedding without sharing it all with family and friends. When you get married, there is a moment (or perhaps, moments) where you look around with your new spouse and are in amazement at what you accomplished. It is a very good feeling. We were on "wedding high" for about a week afterwards. Just an amazing experience.
The cathedral is a beautiful church located downtown. My husband and I are actually members of the parish, so there was never a doubt as to where we were going to get married. It is a Catholic church, and as a basilica there are many rules that must be followed in order to be married there. You can still get married there if you are not Catholic, but you still have to participate in certain events, in order to do so. These include a one day coupes retreat, and a Natural Family Planning class. Actually I'm not sure if you have to do this if you are not Catholic. There is also a pretty hefty fee for getting married there: $1600; but this fee is spread out between the church, your own personal wedding coordinator (for the church events only), a cantor, and an organist/pianist. The flowers that are in the church remain for your ceremony, and just the sheer beauty of the church itself would, if your interested, eliminate the need for adding additional decorations. If you're interested in having your ceremony at the cathedral, plan at least a year in advance and call their wedding coordinator Antonia Lira for more information.
Great shop and service. A little pricy, but I would highly recommend working with them if you want to find your dream dress. Remember to make an appointment first.
Great service. The staff is really helpful, especially the man in charge (can't remember his name). I once went in to see if I could borrow a tie to match colors with bridesmaid accessories, and Eli Thomas was very accommodating.
We just saw some of our photographs and they are amazing! My husband and I could not be happier with them. Tony was our most expensive vendor after the reception, but it was well worth the money. In honesty, though, we had checked out a few other photographers who were more expensive, and decided to go with him because his work looked great and he offered a reasonable price for his work. Tony books one wedding a day, so that he is with you all day long. What really impressed me was that at the reception he had set up a digital photo frame and displayed some of the pictures he had taken earlier in the day (e.g., preparation and ceremony). It was absolutely delightful. Also, Tony works with you and what you want. Another photographer we had interviewed was very hesitant about taking certain pictures that we wanted. Tony was game for anything, and very professional. Highly recommended.
AKA the San Jose Athletic Club. This is a hidden gem in Downtown San Jose. If you are at all interested in a kind of 1920s-1930s feel, it is absolutely perfect. The room is large with high decorated ceilings. There is a separate bar with a beautiful fireplace. They provide catering, with delicious food. I was very nervous about the food because we had not tried the meals that were going to be served, but everyone said the food was awesome. The have wedding packages which include a wedding cake from either Cake Expressions or Bijan Bakery. They provide a "hideaway" room for the bridal party while hors d'oeuvres are being served to your guests. They also had a server come up to the bridal party room and serve us hors d'oeuvres while we waited to be introduced. The place is just amazing, and the staff is really great at putting all of your ideas together. For the services provided, we thought that the Corinthian was reasonably priced.
Elite Entertainment is an entertainment company with many DJs. We worked with DJ Maurice who was really cool, and worked with all additional music we provided him with. They have a an extensive range of music genres that they work with, so if you don't have your own music to bring, they've got you covered. Maurice was also very helpful in helping us pick out music for certain events that we were a little ambivalent about. He also served as an excellent master of ceremony for the event, and helped us, in a non-intrusive way, stick to our timeline. He came early and left late, and made sure that there was never a dull moment during the entire reception. We were very pleased with his work.
Our cake was absolutely gorgeous. My husband and I designed the style, and Bijan created it. Not only did the cake look amazing, but it tasted so great. We actually didn't have a proper piece, but we got left overs and it was still amazing. The other great thing about Bijan is that they, like us, believe that freezing your top layer for a year is kind of gross, so if you bring them a photo of your cake they will make you a fresh one for your first anniversary. If you decide to go with them I would recommend at least trying the Black Forest cake with cherry filling. We had that cake for our bottom layer, and three other cakes for the rest of the tiers (i.e., chocolate with ganache filling, mocha cake, and red velvet with raspberry filling). Remember: if you do a wedding package with the Corinthian Event Center, the cake is included in the price, with absolutely no additional costs.
Nona Tai, the owner and florist of Floral Design Studio, was really great to work with. She put together beautiful bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages for our bridal party, and created beautiful centerpieces for our reception. We did not have ceremony flowers because our church didn't really need them, but I know that if we had asked she would have created amazing ceremony bouquets. We had a bit of a hiccup with her when she had only charged us for four bridesmaid bouquets, but had planned on making five. But she was very professional, and even refunded us some of our money for some mistakes on her part. She is very easy going, and helpful if you are like me and have no knowledge of flowers. I was very impressed with her work.
Our limo service was okay, nothing too spectacular. We got a beautiful car and really had no major issues. The only problem, which I found out after the day was done, was that the limo driver was apparently unaware of our request to make multiple trips for the bridal party. Apparently my husband had to tell the driver that he was going to make the trips, end of story. But other than that our driver was very courteous, hold doors and umbrellas for us all as it was raining on our special day.
The Sainte Claire and their staff were awesome for our three day wedding stay. As most of my family is from out of town, we booked a block of rooms at a reduced rate. The staff was able to get additional rooms for our guests at the same reduced rate, which was really nice. Also, they allowed us to use their Palm Room as a gathering site for our family the night before the wedding. The rooms are absolutely beautiful, and they even provided suite upgrades for my mother and my grandparents. Apparently while we were there, there we're a few other weddings happening, and the staff managed to make us all feel welcomed. They do not provide parking, but the do have 24 hour valet service for $21 a day. The hotel is also located in the heart of downtown and so it is convenient for walking to various shops, restaurants, and entertainment sites (e.g., clubs, bars, movie theaters). We had a wonderful stay. Oh... one more thing: their beds are awesome!
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