We ordered porcelain Christmas ornaments (oak leaves) as our wedding favors. This site has excellent customer service and provides a 5% discount to returning customers.
Joe Cea played the organ at our ceremony and the keyboard at our reception, and did a wonderful job. He also arranged for a vocalist at the ceremony, and a bass player and percussionist at our reception. He seemed slightly out of his element with the organ music at the ceremony, particularly when the selections were not “standards” (my fiancé is a musician and had selected some non-standard items, and had also made special arrangements for some of the selections). However, it is worth noting that when the vocalist who was originally scheduled for the ceremony fell sick the night before, Joe arranged for a substitute, who did a great job. Joe was responsive throughout the planning process. And finally: the music at the reception was flawless. His trio played a combination of light jazz and – since my wedding theme was based on the movie Brigadoon – Lerner and Loewes show tunes. Highest possible rating for the trio—if you want light jazz, show tunes, etc. with a classy sound, then we would recommend him without reservation.
Great tasting cake! For my wedding cake, I ordered 3 different flavors: Almond pound with apricot preserves, carrot cake with pecan praline, and chocolate raspberry with fresh raspberries and chocolate ganache filling. All 3 were magnificent. In fact, even though we ordered enough cake to have plenty of leftovers … the guests tended to eat all three flavors so we had NO leftovers! These were by far the best tasting cakes we ever tried … moist and delicious flavor combinations. Dorian studied under Jacque Torres.
Lyn Graves was our florist. He is an artist, to say the least! We had a consultation and from that he provided estimated costs with general indications of what we would be provided … no specifics, though. This is probably not a good vendor for the bride who must control all the details at every step of the way. Lyn takes your inputs as a stepping off point. We had specified wanting fall fruit incorporated into our design – such as artichokes, pomegranates, and figs and wanted tiger lilies (bride’s favorite flower) but no Gerber daisies. The contract specified that we would get fall fruit like pomegranates, and figs and flowers like tiger lilies. And of course we understood that flowers and fruit would depend on what looked good at the time of the wedding. We got green apples but no artichokes, pomegranates or figs (and the pomegranates at Harris Teeter in Raleigh looked amazingly good!); we got tiger lilies and we got Gerbers in the attendants bouquets only (since the bride did not like them but wasn’t hard core enough to ban them). That was disappointing BUT the end effect of the arrangements was magnificent. Both the ceremony site flowers (including the wreaths on the door, attendants’ flowers, brides flowers, mothers roses) were beautiful and the reception site looked like a magazine cover. Beautiful and sophisticated, even though not exactly what the bride had envisioned.
Father Flynn was THE PERFECT celebrant for us! He went out of his way to ensure we got the ceremony we most wanted … one centered on God and our Christian beliefs. I highly recommend Father Flynn. Since we are not from Raleigh, we were very concerned with finding a celebrant that we would feel comfortable with. Father Flynn fit the bill. We met for a consult and were immediately impressed. He is truly concerned with making sure couples are ready to commit to marriage (without being overbearing) and provided excellent reading material on our request. He was very timely in all our email correspondence and provided valuable information above and beyond the details of the ceremony itself (e.g., change of name). We highly recommend Father Flynn as an officiant.
Excellent quality dresses. Delivery was usually very quick (had a couple of issues with them sending the wrong item). Sizes are a bit off, though.
Amanda photographed our rehearsal dinner as well as the wedding. We couldn’t have gotten a more dedicated and tireless photographer. Amanda and her assistant Amy worked hard to provide a wide variety of photographs. Amanda has a great eye for detail, a real sense of composition and artistry, and an ability to capture both formal and impromptu moments beautifully. Best of all, she has a real gift for working with people. She provided just enough in the way of guidance and direction to keep things moving, without ever being pushy or “taking over.” It was like having your photography done by a good friend who also just happens to be an extremely competent photographer. We felt absolutely at ease throughout the whole process. Amanda was also very good at taking un-posed, informal, and/or candid shots while remaining unobtrusive. Our pictures turned out wonderful! We highly recommend Amanda.
Lanni was fabulous! Not only did she make the bride look wonderful but also all the female attendants and the bride’s mother (5 in total). Lanni did one trial for the bride – she was the third trial I had and my fiancé took one look at me after the makeover and stated that Lanni was the one. Lanni is so personable and friendly. She fit right in with the family. She travelled to the ceremony site and was able to get us all ready in time for photographs before the ceremony. She used one assistant that “prepped” us by putting on base make-up then Lanni finished us up by doing the detailed make-up work and the hair. I cannot say enough good things about Lanni. She goes out of her way to ensure you are happy. She is very professional – used to own her own bridal shop in California; she is used to dealing with stressed brides!
Jones Chapel is located on a beautiful college campus with lots of trees, a lake, and amphitheater (great for wedding pictures). The church itself is Georgian styled and has a wonderful ornate organ at the front of the church. It was initially a Baptist church so has left and right side aisles, vice one central aisle. Natalie Herrmann is the event coordinator there…she and her staff were very accommodating. Highly recommend this as a ceremony site.
Our reception site was at 1705Prime. Kathy White, the catering director, was a delight to work with. The prices were quite reasonable, and the food was phenomenal! We started with passed hor d'oeuvres, while guests were arriving. Between us, my fiancé and I were only able to try two of the four selections, including a butternut squash soup shooter that was sooooo good. (I got many requests for the recipe…as if I would know it!). Dinner was surf and turf …filet mignon and crabcake. It was amazing. In addition, both my fiancé and I really enjoy artisan cheeses, and so, in lieu of a groom’s cake, Kathy had made up a beautiful “tower” with four kinds of cheeses plus a fig loaf, dates, nuts, grapes, and herbs. It was spectacular. The only complication was the next wedding reception party arrived early so we were moved along quickly to vacate the place (15 minutes ahead of schedule).
We spent our wedding night at the Umstead and couldn’t have wished for a more glamorous yet relaxing way to end our special day. It is very pricey but they do cater to you. The room was luxurious. There was a Jacuzzi tub for two, plush robes and slippers to greet us. Later, they delivered champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and other goodies to our room. We had a patio that overlooked the lake where we breakfasted. Just amazing ambiance.
Outstanding food and service, and an enclosed dining room that provides a very smart-looking, yet comfortable venue, with good privacy. Each guest was given an appetizer, choice of entrée (from among four choices—chicken, steak, salmon, and sole), and dessert. McCormick and Schmick’s staff went above and beyond to take care of us. The timing for our rehearsal dinner was a bit unusual, in that it preceded the rehearsal. Several members of the wedding party were late in arriving, so it turned into a bit of a rush to finish up and get out the door on time. Throughout it all, the staff were very accommodating and worked with us to get certain orders out quickly, box up desserts for certain individuals, etc. Highly recommended.
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