Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Waiting for July 19th to arrive it sometimes seemed like it would never come, but once it did the time flew! Thank you so much to everyone who came to the wedding, especially those who traveled from far away. We are enjoying our honeymoon in Asheville now but wanted to post links and reviews of all of our wonderful vendors plus a link to photos from the wedding. A LOT of photos were taken this weekend; if you have any that you'd like to email to us or burn onto a CD for us we'd love it. We tried to see everyone and everything and take it all in, but I'm sure we missed a lot. After all that time thinking about table decorations and floral arrangements, I'm not sure if I even looked at how it turned out! One of our bridesmaid, Elizabeth, has posted her photos online for everyone to see. Hopefully I'll have more to share soon.
We were thrilled with all of the vendors that we worked with. We were constantly surprised by how agreeable everyone was. We kept expecting to run into problems or to be told "no" but we never were! Everyone we worked with was accommodating, polite and exceeded our expectations. We would heartily recommend any of the following vendors for your next event. If you are interested in knowing more about any of them, don't hesitate to ask us.
The Vineyard couldn't have been more beautiful due to both the natural setting (those sunbeams!!) but also because of the painstaking attention to detail in the architecture of the Villa and the landscaping. Though Raffaldini is new to hosting large events, we were only their 3rd or 4th wedding I think, they are learning quickly and are eager to please. If you enjoyed their wine, you can order more on their website, join their wine club and, sometimes, find their wine in grocery stores and at Total Wine.
Little Richards Barbecue
You tasted it, what more do we need to say? Barbecue may seem a little unusual for a wedding but Chris and I wanted to serve food that we loved to eat and we hope that you enjoyed it too. For those of you who asked, yes, we got a chance to eat. We have heard that many brides and grooms forget to eat dinner at their own weddings but it was the first thing we did after joining the reception! The Little Richards that provided our wedding feast is not the same as the Little Richards in Winston. We aren't clear why they have the same name and logo (perhaps a long past family feud?), but the Little Richards in Clemmons and Lexington are under different ownership than the Little Richards in Winston. While we love the Winston location, we think that the Lexington restaurant is even better. If you have a chance to eat at the restaurant make sure to order the corn fritters. They aren't available for catering, unfortunately, but if you have the chance to try them they aren't to be missed!
Bonnie Berlin, our photographer and a close friend of Chris's family, was and continues to be unbelievable. We have been fortunate to have Bonnie photograph us on several occasions- portraits to celebrate my college graduation, an engagement photo session (photos from which were used in our guest book) and now the wedding. Her work is amazing, her talent inspiring and her work ethic and attention to detail beyond expectation. We have heard countless nightmares about wedding photographers but have had nothing but wonderful results from Bonnie. She is easy to work with, respected our silly requests (like photos to show off my wedding stockings) and stayed calm even when her camera suddenly stopped working on the day of the wedding! Though we can't wait to see all the wedding photos she took we will have to be patient. I've been told that she took THOUSANDS of pictures and now has to narrow it down to the top 300 hundred and do all the editing (a painstaking, time consuming process). You can see the photos we took in our pre-wedding photo session here. We will post an announcement when the rest of the photos are up. The password for the photo gallery is "chris".
In addition to weddings, Bonnie does also specializes in portraits of High School and college seniors, family portraits, children, pets, professional "head shots", artistic photo collages, custom photo greeting cards, fine art, albums and more.
Cakes by Mary Ann
Not only was the grape vine inspired cake that Mary Ann Blade made us beautiful, it was also delicious! We heard so many people comment that, unlike many wedding cakes, this one actually tasted great. Mary Ann was charming to work with and turned a sketch painted by Dianne into a culinary work of art. In addition to wedding cakes, Mary Ann also does cakes for birthdays, anniversaries and other events. She is located in Charlotte but is willing to deliver to surrounding areas. And if you ever have the chance to try her Cake Ball Truffles, mmmm, you'll be craving them forever after (I know I am!). I'm already looking forward to next year when we plan to order a smaller cake to celebrate our first anniversary!
Highland Brewing Company
No, Chris didn't brew the beer himself. Though Chris has dabbled in home brewing, ABC laws require that alcohol served at an event like ours must be provided by a commercial/certified/approved brewery. Chris chose his favorite local microbrewery, Highland Brewing Company, based in Asheville, NC. We served the Gaelic Ale but if you enjoyed it we encourage you to try their other beers as well. If you are visiting Asheville make sure to take a tour of their brewing facility. The tour is interesting and you get to taste everything!
We can't say enough about the celtic band Barrowburn. Even though we made them play outside in the terrible July heat they played beautifully. Even though I kept changing my mind about what I wanted them to play in the months leading up to the wedding they were always patient and gracious. They normally play in the Raleigh area, so if you are nearby make sure to check their performance schedule. I just wish they had a CD to buy, but sadly (for us) their passion is in performing, not recording.
George K. Walker Florist
All of the cut flowers were provided by George K Walker Florist, the florist started by my grandfather. Dianne, Chris's mom, designed all of the cut flower arrangements and bouquets and, with Chris's help, put them all together the Thursday before the wedding. The potted arrangements on the dining tables were created by Jan, Laura's mom.