4 months into Forever!

Today makes 4 months since we said “I do” and walked down the aisle into our happily ever after. It’s been a busy 4 months and we’re so grateful for things to slow down a bit over the holidays and soak up some time with each other and our families. We recently got our wedding video from ShutterHutch and have so enjoyed looking back on our special day.

CharlotteWeddingFilm Ashleigh+Landon from Shutter Hutch on Vimeo.

We are so thankful to have this keepsake in our hands and although I’m sure we won’t watch it on a weekly basis, we will certainly hold tight to it and who knows, watch it on our anniversaries? Share it with our kids one day? Re-live that special day whenever we want.

I’m so glad that we decided to have videographers at our wedding. And I’m glad that we chose Jaime and Chad with ShutterHutch.

I’m looking forward to many more months and years of marital bliss with this guy. Even on our busy days, I’m reminded of how lucky I am and how loved. I’m so thankful for each sweet memory that we have made together – and excited for all the ones to come. {Love you, LMW, to the moon and back.}
Ashleigh_Landon11302013_0111

Vendor Review continued…

Continuing with my review of our fabulous vendors

6. Shutter Hutch Videographers 5 hearts

This was a last-minute decision but one of the best that we made. Jaime & Chad were AWESOME to work with and so much fun. Jaime even picked me up in a van and drove me back to the barn so I didn’t have to keep walking in the rain (I did have an umbrella). Chad made sure to get all the best shots and we are DYING to see our video – pinky promise to post a highlight one here! I HIGHLY recommend using ShutterHutch if you’re in the market for a videographer (they also offer photobooths). They are so very wonderful. 5 hearts!

7. ROSE Shuttles & Transportation 5 hearts

Rose was wonderful to work with and on time for everything. My husband did all of the major communicating with them. On the day of the wedding, the shuttles for us and the guests were timely, the car to pick us up was on time and the rides were fun! It wasn’t THAT expensive either! I would recommend using them if you need shuttles to/from your hotel for your guests or if you’re looking for a getaway car for you and your new husband/wife!

8. AMB Media Photo Booth 4 hearts

This was a surprise to our guests since we hadn’t previously mentioned that we had a photo booth! We lucked on out on this deal and bought a Groupon for it. That can be tricky, cause you never know what you’re going to get but they were such a fun group to work with, had great props and they made sure our guests were having fun. Everyone got prints of their pictures and we ended up with a CD of these.
photo-8photobooth

9. OMB – we had a keg of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Copper for our guests. Everyone enjoyed it. Enough said.
omb
10. Our programs were ordered from Etsy. We were very happy with the quick turnaround of them. Had we known our wedding was going to be inside, we would not have made them into fans (time consuming) but they turned out nice!
program1
All in all, we loved our vendors. We also worked with J. Crew for some items, Jos A. Banks, Diamonds Direct for our wedding bands, Modern Salon & Spa for hair, Dolce Lusso for make-up. Each vendor played an integral part in making our day special and we are so thankful for them. The day was perfect.

Vendor Review

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 4 hearts

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.
DB1The 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.
dbinside

I give them 4 hearts for the space, the communication, and the quick return of our deposit!

2. Creative Solutions 4 hearts

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.
floor planWe 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.
creative solutionsI 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 5 hearts

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?”
leroyWe 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 5 hearts

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.
flowers

flowers 2
5. Wedding Coordinator: Melanie McKelvey 5 hearts

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!

Forever films

We have vacillated for most of our wedding planning experience on whether or not we would hire a videographer. The cheapest quote I was given was $1700 – but most were closer to the $2500 range for a base package. I get it, they put a lot of time into following you around on the big day, and also into editing and making sure everything is perfect before giving you those final discs. But once you’ve paid for venues, catering, flowers, coordinators, photography, and all the million other things weddings require… that extra money seems scary to spend. I talked about this a few weeks ago in this post for Carolina Bride.

My groom does not feel passionate about having a videographer or not having one. I am not sure I feel passionate about it, but I think I might regret it if I don’t. It’s not something we can go back and do, after the fact. I was discussing with one of my bridesmaids yesterday and we talked about how frequently it would be watched… probably only on anniversaries and maybe if our (one day) kids wanted to see it. She made a good point though that it’s “live” and you might not always have the opportunity to interact with folks that are at your wedding, and of course, it’s something you can keep forever.

Family members have also offered opinions, similar to my bridesmaid’s opinion yesterday. Again, I’ve also had people say that they don’t regret it. I’ve had people say that the ceremony was a disaster because the priest kept calling them by the wrong name. I’ve had people say that they love their video and it’s so special. And like Michelle said yesterday, heaven forbid something happen to one of us, but we could play the video to each other like Channing Tatum did in The Vow. (Or we could just watch Channing Tatum in The Vow).

So, I spent Monday negotiating with a videographer for the parts that we really care about being caught on camera and was able to get to a price point that I was happy with and my groom, knowing that I want it, said, “do it.” Love him.

1 month to go – and we are EXCITED!
1 month
Do you have an opinion on hiring a videographer? Please leave a comment & share!