While the groom and the bride are obviously the most important people on the day of the wedding, a few others play a significant part: the officiant, the parents, the wedding party, and the vendors. Our vendors helped make our day special. Our vendors transformed a very empty barn into a rustic-chic paradise. Our vendors are still being praised by our guests for their mouth-watering food. Our vendors (coordinator) held the day together and made sure everything went smooth.
So for other Charlotte brides out there, I thought I’d provide a run down of our vendors and review them on a 1-5 heart rating scale. 1 being the worst, 5 being the best. This is just my opinion, you should form your own opinion. I do recommend meeting your vendors before booking them and “interviewing” them. It’s okay to meet with multiple vendors in the same category before making your decision.
1. The Dairy Barn
We chose The Dairy Barn after many internet searches for photos, talking with the staff and visiting for a tour. We loved it. However, the Dairy Barn is bare-bones. You get the structure of the barn, the grass outside and if you’re lucky the sunshine outside. You are locked into a deal with Creative Solutions to provide your tables/chairs/decorations and cannot use another vendor. It is also suggested that you use Leroy Springs Catering for your food, as other vendors do not have the ability to enter the barn before a certain time the day of the event.
The barn is beautiful. The inside is spacious. The upstairs is stunning. Like I said, we loved it. We had planned for a wedding by the cabin on the hill, facing a tree and a field, but instead we got married in an old loft. A perfect tribute to my grandfather, who used to let us spend hours playing in the hay loft. During the wedding, we had a “barn monitor” who sat under the stairs. Not quite as troll like as it sounds, but that is essentially what it was. He was there to make sure things were not out of control, to problem solve and to assist us with getting in the cabin for photos.
I give them 4 hearts for the space, the communication, and the quick return of our deposit!
2. Creative Solutions
Creative Solutions is contracted with the Dairy Barn to be the sole-provider of decorations. You can bring your own items in as far as chalkboards, pictures, etc. And if you wanted, you could bring your own larger items, but you have to remove them at the end of the night, so you end up paying for convenience to rent these things. I appreciated their continuous ability to work with us on our constant changing of the floorplan (pictured below) and adding and removing items. My biggest qualm was finding out 3 weeks before my wedding that they had to know by 9 A.M. the day before if it would be inside or out. At 9 A.M. the day before, I couldn’t even get a 24-hour forecast. Now, we all know that the day before I was a mess, and I was easily able to make that call since skies were grey and everything was wet. They actually worked with me on this as well and I had until 1 PM the day before to make the final decision.
We loved the decorations that were in the barn, including the linens and the white chairs. We weren’t able to rehearse with the chairs in the upstairs of the barn due to the late call of moving it inside – but that didn’t really throw anyone off.
I also give Creative Solutions 4 stars. You can be assured you will get what you ask for with them and they were great to work with.
3. Leroy Springs Catering
Leroy Springs Catering should actually be number one on the list because they were far and above the best vendor we had. Our guests are still raving about the food. I even had someone text me this weekend asking for NC BBQ recommendations and when I provided some options, they asked “How does it compare to your wedding food?”
We had a Southern spread at our wedding: Pulled pork barbeque, fried chicken, mac-n-cheese, sweet potato souffle, green beans, slaw and cornbread. Stop drooling! It WAS as delicious as it looks. We barely remember tasting it the day of the wedding, but luckily, the Maitre-d’ William packed up two big ol’ plates for us and sent them in our getaway car. If Leroy Springs opened a restaurant, we would be regulars (and probably weigh 10 lbs. more than we do today).
Leroy Springs gets a 5 in our book, and I think all of our guests would agree. If we ever plan a vow-renewal, we are going to use them again and have breakfast for dinner. I can only imagine how heavenly that would taste!
4. Ta-da’s Florist
We used Ta-da’s not only for our flowers, but also for our coordinator (more to come on this because Melanie deserves her own section). The flowers were combinations of garden roses and hydrangeas. They were gorgeous and just what I had envisioned. Jan was great to work with and helpful in identifying what types of flowers we could use.
5. Wedding Coordinator: Melanie McKelvey
Initially, I did not want a coordinator. I figured, I will tell people where to go, what to do, and we’ll be fine. THANK GOODNESS I DID NOT GO THROUGH WITH THAT IDEA! The first time I met Melanie, we talked for over 2 hours. The second time with my husband-to-be (at the time) was only slightly shorter. She was SO easy to talk to, so easy to walk through ideas with, and so friendly! We loved her. And we loved having her there on the day of the wedding because everything, I mean everything, went smoothly. Melanie was the best money we spent for our wedding day. I HIGHLY recommend using Melanie for your wedding, and if not Melanie, use A coordinator. It makes all the difference in the world to have someone else dealing with minute details that the bride doesn’t need to hear about on the wedding day. Melanie can be contacted through Ta-da’s florist and does wedding planning as well as coordinating.
Whew! That’s only 5 pieces of our big day, and this is getting long. Going to stop here and let you catch up on those reviews and we’ll pick back up tomorrow with videographers, beer, shuttles, etc!