So the pictures for my wedding are finally ready! Along with sharing these images I also wanted to tell you all about the amazing vendors I had the pleasure of working with throughout the process. I didn’t hire a wedding planner and to some degree I wish I would have as there were a few details that didn’t go exactly as planned or details I didn’t really have a say in given the lack of time and the distance traveled by both me and by my attendees. Alas! All-in-all it was beyond anything that I envisioned
Okay, let me take you through the top.
1 – My Wedding Dress From Alfred Angelo
Alright…so while I loved my dress and my bridal consultant as I previously expressed in my original post, I was quite disappointed with the fit of my dress once it arrived. It. Was. HUGE. On. Me….HUGE! I do not blame my consultant at all as she was merely following protocol but she advised me to order a dress that was a size too big on me given her sizing reference card. She took my measurements and at first advised without hesitation that I should order a size six. Knowing that I wanted a fitted look, I was hesitant. I questioned her declaration and she responded with reluctance that I could try a size 4, which I did order. At first I thought—this feels just like when I found out that my bust is bigger than I originally thought! For many years I thought I was in the A’s…turns out I’m really not and the revelation really caught me off guard. Here I thought, guess I’m a size four/six as opposed to a size two…interesting…wonder if they were using European sizing?
Anyway, once I tried it on, the boat neck slouched down substantially. The bust seemed fit for someone bustier than I as it protruded well beyond my own. I didn’t try it on at the store, once I tried it on I thought it was a mistake but now I realize it was best because I would have hated to make my consultant feel bad for doing her job. I really don’t blame her. I blame the training and the store policies as I wasn’t the only one to suffer from this problem. My mom and my little sister were also advised to order dresses that were way too big for them. Back when I originally posted my Dress Shopping Blog post, I was quite happy with everything. It was hard not to be as my consultant was so lovely!! She was sweet and excitable and totally present during my appointment.
I’ve seen a ton of Say Yes To The Dress episodes and realize that it’s standard to have alterations done after the fact, but I kind of felt like I got duped. I felt as if recommendations were intentionally given with the idea of having brides spend substantial sums on alterations. Given my discontent with this store, I looked elsewhere to get the work done—enter Euro Pin.
2 - Euro Pin
I found Euro Pin through Yelp. It had great reviews, although noted as a bit on the pricier side. At this point I knew the dress would need substantial alterations and with only a month before the wedding to get all the work done, I was desperate to get it done.
From start to finish I received great service from the owners of this store. Alma’s husband manages the phone. He was really lovely and accommodating. Alma, the talent and heart of the store, is so patient, brilliant, and accommodating. She opened before the store opened—once two hours before her regular business hours. She called me to keep me up-to-date on the progress of her work. There was a lot more work to be done than what I originally expected given that the overlay of floral detail on the dress that had to be handled with great care. She handled it all with grace and delicacy. I just loved working with her. She managed to get everything done right on time for the wedding.
3 - Reverend Mills
Reverend Mills was amazing! I loved him from the first time we spoke. He has a very deep voice reminiscent of James Earl Jones—very wise and serene. He performed our ceremony beautifully. We didn’t have a microphone, but there wasn’t a need given how small our party was and of course, Reverend Mills didn’t struggle to project his voice. Our ceremony was perfect and truly the center stage of our day.
In preparation for the ceremony he asked that we provide him with a bit of background on our story so as to get to know us better. This would allow him to make our ceremony more personal. Given his instruction, both Ryan and I were under the impression that he would paraphrase what we provided him. To our surprise he actually read them verbatim. Had I known I think I would have left out the part about kissing other frogs…they didn’t need to be mentioned. None-the-less, both Ryan and I really loved what we each had to say and it made for a lovely ceremony.
4 - Gia – Owner of The Depot Hotel
Oh my goodness…of all my vendors, Gia was truly the glittering star of the show. She provided us with much more support than I ever expected. She advised us about everything!—from how we should plan the meal to what we should do before, during and after the ceremony. She called several months in advance to sort out all the details and was always present when we needed some extra guidance. Up to a certain point I felt like through her, we had our wedding planner. Wish I would have gotten a picture of her as she is quite a woman.
5 – Florist Erika Anderson
Erika was the last vendor I booked as I was considering purchasing floral arrangements from Etsy, since it was the start of wedding season in Sonoma she was quite busy. Given our mutually hectic schedules it was quite challenging to get a hold of one another, which yes, complicated things but she was always very responsive which made working with her a seamless experience
By the way, I’m soooo glad I opted to hire her as no Etsy vendor, given logistical circumstances, could have provided the level of support she delivered.
She really surprised me with how well she understood my vision for the wedding. We spoke on the phone, maybe two times, then via email a handful of times. I provided her with a few Pinterest pictures and no guidance as to which flowers to buy. In retrospect I think I didn’t make her job easy given that I also didn’t provide her with much of a description of the layout—accurate descriptions. Had I taken pictures of the venue and forwarded them to her I think that would have helped her plan and propose more recommendations for materials to use, as I didn’t do so she could only go by what I vaguely explained to her—tisk-tisk Jess!
We initially talked about having garland from end to end of our long table then a collection of bottles set up around the cocktail area. We didn’t speak at all about the backdrop of our ceremony at all—my oversight! The day before the wedding I realized that the backdrop would be quite plain hence I asked to have the fireplace lit as I didn’t want to give any of my vendors grief on my account. To my surprise, everything was rearranged the day of the wedding—all without any insight from me as I was running late. When I arrived I immediately noticed that the back drop was adorned with the garland. It looked stunning! The bottles—which were so much nicer than anything I envisioned—were set up along our table as well as a set of tea candles. The layout was absolutely amazing! I was incredibly pleased with how gorgeous our venue was setup.
6 – Photographer – Megan Clouse
Again, I based my decision to hire Megan around recommendations from Yelp. The pictures uploaded to the site also helped. She has such a beautiful way of capturing the moment: sophisticated, elegant and romantic—and that’s exactly how I would describe Megan. I just had to have her as my photographer.
Even before getting engaged I knew that the biggest part of my wedding budget would be spent on hiring a good photographer. Once we got engaged, I made sure Ryan was also on board as these would be images we would cherish for the rest of our lives. With that said, booking her was the biggest part of the wedding budget. #NoRegrets She did a phenomenal job, she was so accommodating to all our requests, and a pleasure to work with, I just wish we had booked her for a set of engagement photos.