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cddweller
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I have noticed all of the wedding threads, so I thought I'd make one thread to cover discussion about all services that are wedding related.

At the moment, I have in mind: vendors of bridal fashion, jewelry, gifts, music/musicians, locations, florists, decorations, photography, catering, and limousine chauffeurs. If we start to list and discuss affordable and professional services, I'd be glad to see the thread include other wedding-related services for bachelor/bachelorette parties and engagement planning.

Basically, let's try to keep our thoughts and lists combined in one thread for quick browsing to make life easy on the rest of those who are planning a wedding! If you've Google-searched wedding services of any kind lately, it's obvious how even localized searches yield hundreds of businesses that gush promise and value, yet it would take so much time to research every single one to get price and value comparisons. If we all contribute a little experience and recommendation, hopefully we'll have an evolving thread to list and examine what is available that will be more useful to undergrads and graduates who are ready to tie the knot (under a budget, as always)!

I for one have received requests from clients about affordable tailors and florists, so I'm on the hunt too.

Please link business as often as possible, and feel free to describe your experience with the service and the product itself so we can weigh the costs and benefits.

1/9/2008 12:16:17 AM

amber1
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I was thinking there needed to be one of these the other day...there seems to be a lot of TWW people getting married or recently married.

I don't have anything to contribute at this point, but I will.

I look forward to hearing some good recommendations.

FYI - I did just find out that Longview (The Poe House) in Raleigh is no longer taking reservations for private events, in case anyone was considering that as a venue.

1/9/2008 12:42:14 PM

cddweller
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Some information compiled from the past few dozen threads

Officiants:
One user found a guy on duty at the Wake County Magistrate's office ( http://web.co.wake.nc.us/rdeeds/marriage/marriage.htm ?) to do her wedding, she recommends the office for finding others like him.
http://www.universalministries.com/doctrine.html - A way to get family/friends ordained if you can't find the right person to become an officiant.

Rings:
TWW user suggests titanium because it can be cut off the finger easier than other metals - he claims to know someone whose finger was amputated for that reason (the ring was gold), and that he is considering wearing his ring on his necklace for convenience. Countered by another user who knows a nurse and claims that hospitals carry ring-removing equipment. Countered by another user whose jeweler said tungsten bands can be safely cut.
Another user purchased gold bands from [link]http://www.jared.com/">Jared's and noticed the metal was comfortable (he was not used to jewelry).
Highly recommended: http://www.titaniumrings.com/ , http://www.titaniumera.com/ , http://www.boonerings.com/ , http://www.stevehydock.com (user found same ring at a little more than half of retail price, arrived in perfect condition).
1 and 2
http://www.titaniumkay.com - discount prices
Raleigh based business, friend of a user: http://rivetingjewelry.com/ User is currently "really digging the handmade vibe."
One TWWer used Helzberg.


Moving on to other threads in a few.

[Edited on January 9, 2008 at 2:03 PM. Reason : still correcting HTML here]

1/9/2008 1:45:07 PM

cddweller
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More on Rings:
Bad experience: http://overstock.com sent an oversized Tungsten ring, and "return process was long and gruelling."
User pleased with TC ring that does not get scratches. Bad for working in construction area, might rip off finger.
User suggests purchasing a ring with a manufacturer's warranty should the finger size change. Purchased stainless steel at a reasonable price from http://www.tsbrown.com/ .
User recommends Mark Andrews in Apex, jeweler was informative, offered a good price and engraving was good. Free resizing. User prefers business done in person rather than online.
User lost a $1,000~ ring after the honeymoon, replaced it with a $100 titanium band. Says it's "weightless, stronger than steel, and cheap" but that "they can't cut the ring off." Others say it's a myth.
User says gold, silver and platinum can be sawed off at the hospital and that hard medals like titanium and tungsten force them to cut off the finger.

User asked for advice in comparing Tungsten with Titanium with White Gold, already tried Google.
Answers so far: Tungsten and Titanium are hypoallergenic and durable. Titanium is lightweight, Tungsten is heavier.

User asked: I was looking for a ring for my fiance and went with an Artcarved Tungsten Carbide. I never really did figure it out but whats the deal with the nickel vs. cobalt binder? Some sites were boasting how great nickel was and how cobalt sucks, but some people are allergic to nickel and most jewelry markets don't even use nickel anymore. So anyone know?
Unanswered.

[Edited on January 9, 2008 at 2:00 PM. Reason : .]

1/9/2008 1:57:57 PM

cddweller
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Tennessee locations:
User searching Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge areas for chapels.
Responses: Lookout Mountain, Graceland, Dollywood (joke), the Butterfly Hollow Farm in Gordonville, TN. Townsend, TN chapel (unnamed) suggested for low-traffic, relaxed location.

Burlington, NC locations:
Cedarock (Cedar Rock? heard both) Park - (336) 570-6760
Burke Manor-highly recommended by multiple users.
Burlington Reception Search results
Lake at Elon University campus. http://www.elon.edu/home/ Small chapel available, recommended over Burlington area. Suggestion: Lake Mackintosh off Huffman Mill Rd.

1/9/2008 2:23:00 PM

cddweller
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Wedding Cost

One user breaks $10K down: Cake-$600. Invitations-$? Dress/tux-$1,000~. Flowers-$500. Others.
One user's sister: $40K (couple was well off, shared table decorations with next family member to get married).
IMAX downtown suggested-reasonably priced. http://www.exploris.org
Suggestions for cheap ways to pull off nice affair: http://www.theknot.com/ to set up budget, include all feex/taxes. Says vendors press for time (we're booking fast!), relax and do the math. Afternoon receptions are cheaper, keep it informal. "Less is often more at a wedding."
[link]www.reavesengraving.com/">Reaves Engraving Invitations - user was pleased with results, recommends calligraphy to avoid addressing/stuffing yourself. Suggests [link]www.costco.com/">Costco. Suggests cutting out the response cards and just having "The favour of reply is requested."
Flowers: small arrangements. Costco sells them. Bind the bouquets yourself.
Hand-me-down bridal gowns, and there are frequent local businesses that have sales.
User didn't rent DJ or dancefloor, guests weren't dancers. Depends on the crowd. (I have worked weddings where there was a DJ, dancefloor available, and nobody danced. Makes them awkward.)

User spent just under $20,000, located at Wilmington beach, 115 people. Reception place/food/drinks added up to $12,000 of it, didn't have cake, wife made the flowers and table settings.

User spent about $10,000 - afternoon wedding at historical house, outdoor ceremony, small tables. She did her table arrangements and bouquet from [link]www.wholefoodsmarket.com">Whole Foods. Skipped favors and personalized napkins. Pig pickin' provided plenty food. Bought their own alcohol and the caterer provided the bartender, aunt did the videography, hired a photographer. Caterer was highly recommended, 40% less than Raleigh caterers. http://www.brendaaventkaterers.com

Other budgets mentioned: $25,000, $10,000, $22,000.

One wedding under $10,000 broken down:
Quote :
"We had ~100 guests. Here's what we spent:

Photographer - ~$2,000
Wedding Dress (and all that comes with it) - ~$500
Tux rental - ~$70/person (Men's Warehouse)
Catering (Heavy Snacks, not a meal) - ~$1,200
Cake - ~$700
Invitations/Programs - ~$250
Favors - ~$100 (Bells)
Decorations/Flowers - ~$1,000
Church Fees ~$250

I'm sure I am forgetting somethings, but it is possible to have a nice wedding for under $10k. Avoid meals/DJ's and spend money for a good Photographer, it is definitely worth it. The pictures last forever, the food lasts a couple of hours."
^Agree with that last line.

More reading: http://thewolfweb.com/message_topic.aspx?topic=492742

[Edited on January 9, 2008 at 3:10 PM. Reason : .]

1/9/2008 2:44:51 PM

SkankinMonky
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If you want to have a bar and save some $$$ would it be better to skip the meal and just have appetizers/snacks in addition to the bar? The last wedding I went to had a full meal but not everyone liked the stuff and people seemed to want to socialize more than eat anyhow.

1/9/2008 2:48:28 PM

skankinande
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Heavy Appetizers is the route we went and ours scooted in just under 7k I would suppose.

1/9/2008 3:41:51 PM

cddweller
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Plus it's a nice way to get tipsy?

1/9/2008 6:23:13 PM

poopface
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ATTN: Meredith Girls

1/9/2008 7:05:11 PM

cddweller
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Hey now, I'm working with one and she's cool.

[Edited on January 9, 2008 at 9:27 PM. Reason : I haven't forgotten about going through the other threads, I'm busy making an album. ]

1/9/2008 9:27:43 PM

BDubLS1
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most caterers i've talked to have said that a sit-down meal for reception is much cheaper than having heavy appetizers and finger foods

so we are probably going with a sit down meal.

1/9/2008 9:33:18 PM

Smath74
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this topic shouldn't be lumped into one thread.

1/9/2008 9:55:35 PM

hammster
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Where to buy flower girl dresses? I don't want to pay 100 bucks for them at Davids Bridal and I thought Easter dresses would be out at the stores, but not yet.

1/9/2008 10:30:15 PM

StingrayRush
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Quote :
"Countered by another user whose jeweler said tungsten bands can be safely cut."


according to every jeweler i've spoken to (and its been a lot), thats completely untrue. you have to apply even pressure with something like pliers and the ring will crumble, but its virtually impossible to cut

1/9/2008 10:44:53 PM

dansr12
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any suggestions for a florist in the raleigh/wake forest area...other than wake forest floral?

1/9/2008 10:58:22 PM

QTPie
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I will note - Cutting rings off seems to be a huge item of discussion on mens bands, as if it's something common.
In 12 years in the jewelry industry, I can count on two hands the number of rings I've cut off.... most to women (most of those pregnant) who slept in them and wear them 24/7 until circulation is getting scary.
With men, it's very rare - and mostly older men whom have never taken their rings off & gained weight over the years... having their rings, literally, grow into their fingers.

Hospitals DO carry an electic tool that can cut them off... capable of cutting thru titanium.
Titanium cannot be bent open after cutting, so just cut it in two places to have it come of in half moons. (umm... duh)

Also:
Quote :
"I was looking for a ring for my fiance and went with an Artcarved Tungsten Carbide. I never really did figure it out but whats the deal with the nickel vs. cobalt binder? Some sites were boasting how great nickel was and how cobalt sucks, but some people are allergic to nickel and most jewelry markets don't even use nickel anymore. So anyone know?"



-Nickel-binder tungsten carbide is hypoallergenic, chemically inert and therefore will not oxidize, cause rashes, or irritate the skin.
-Cobalt can have an adverse reaction with the wearer’s skin, sometimes causing a rash.
-Cobalt bonds with oils in the skin and leeches out of the ring resulting in oxidation. The oxidation appears similar to tarnished sliver, but cannot be removed by polishing or grinding. Nickel, on the other hand, does not bond with oil and therefore does not oxidize.
**Nickel-binder tungsten carbide is not the same allergen wise, to white gold's alloy nickel.... different reactions with skin.


[Edited on January 10, 2008 at 12:32 AM. Reason : Ok, Finished ]

1/10/2008 12:19:46 AM

Jenniferyan
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On the topic of flower girl dresses, you'll probably have luck at the Strasburg Children's Outlet in Smithfield. My aunt buys all her children's fancy clothes there (portraits, Easter, Christmas, etc.) and they have pretty good deals on their stuff that's otherwise ridiculously expensive

1/10/2008 9:25:35 AM

hammster
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^are the outlet prices MUCH cheaper than the website, cause they are expensive on there!? 150 dollars for a cotton dress!?

1/10/2008 12:34:49 PM

Jenniferyan
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It's anywhere from 25 to around 80% off, depending on the season. You can always call them to see if they have anything in stock that matches your idea, and they should give you the price.

1/10/2008 5:55:32 PM

Cansnuts
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<--- for batchleorette parties

i rep for edible ecstasy (www.edibleecstasy.com). bride will earn credit towards items, i offer discounts to the host on decor and it's just an overall fun time!

1/12/2008 1:28:18 PM

brainysmurf
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well, mens rings can be cut off

but i worry about the men whose fingers have been ripped off by their rings

1/12/2008 2:38:35 PM

lewoods
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Easy, get a tatt of a ring

1/12/2008 3:15:28 PM

cddweller
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Which reminds me, http://www.edibleartbakery.com makes some nice stuff that I've seen.

1/12/2008 3:37:42 PM

mcangel1218
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edible art did our cake. it was good, but expensive. my uncle paid for it as his gift to us.
flower girl dresses: you're not going to find one for under $100. we paid $150 for ours. unfortunately, they are just as expensive or more expensive than a b'maids dress. got ours from the bridal boutique on hillsborough, as well as b'maids.
florist: dogwood tree floral design- mel day. most awesome, amazing guy ever. i gave him my price limit and he gave me 4 options for everything- groomsmen, flower girl, bridesmaids, my bouquet, etc. so that i could pick how far under my budget i wanted to come. he only does special events, so he's usually pretty easy to get up w/.
reception: sister's catering on millbrook. did an awesome job minus the annoying "reception coordinator" that was assigned to me.
invites: ebay actually. i found them on ebay and the woman was based out of texas and did all the printing and caligraphy herself. much MUCH better price than anything around here.

1/12/2008 6:56:05 PM

shevais
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Quote :
"but i worry about the men whose fingers have been ripped off by their rings"


I came very close twice and therefore don't wear a ring at work or when i'm working around the house anymore. Other than that it's always on. I also don't sleep with it on. It stays in the same spot when it's not on, but it took my wife some time to deal with it until I showed her the scar where it tried to deglove me... case closed.

1/13/2008 9:11:00 AM

hammster
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For flower girl dresses, I think I might end up going with this one. I REFUSE to pay $100/dress for 2 4 year olds. I'm going to wait until Easter dresses come in the stores and hit up places like Sears, JCPenney, etc.

Here's the one I found at Target:

http://www.target.com/Girls-Perfectly-Dressed-Tulle-Shantung/dp/B000MD87FU/sr=1-10/qid=1200243102/ref=sr_1_10/601-5253270-9864165?ie=UTF8&index=target&rh=k%3Awhite%20dress&page=1

1/13/2008 11:57:13 AM

cddweller
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That is too cute.

1/13/2008 11:14:45 PM

MeatStick
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Anyone have advice on wholesale flowers? I refuse to pay a florist to make my center pieces. Anyone have any experience in doing your own arrangments?

1/13/2008 11:57:29 PM

skokiaan
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This thread is really just a trick to get all TWW women to post in it

1/14/2008 12:22:15 AM

hammster
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^^^ And only $22.99

1/14/2008 12:59:04 AM

amber1
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^^^I don't have any advice for doing your own flower arrangements, although it is something I'm considering. If you haven't already found it, you can buy roses and other flowers from Sam's Club wholesale (online), and they will deliver it to you. Prices are really good, 125 roses for $86, shipping included.

There was another company that came highly recommended from The Knot for ordering your own flowers, but I can't remember the name of it, and google isn't helping right now. If I find it, I'll post it

1/14/2008 9:08:24 AM

jtmartin
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anyone know where I can get Mr. & Mrs. Wuf as a wedding cake topper? They used to sell them at the bookstore but I wasn't engaged back then..

1/16/2008 11:51:08 PM

amber1
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This company will custom make cake toppers, (it looks like it cost ~$200)

http://www.magicmud.com

Here is one they made of NCSU mascot bride and Hokie groom (?)



[Edited on January 17, 2008 at 9:24 AM. Reason : .]

1/17/2008 9:20:47 AM

gforce
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For anyone who is getting married and is looking for a wedding / cover band ...I play in a very good cover band. The name of the band is (Kraze). We play some of everything from the 50's up though today. We play every genre as well...Rock, Country, Disco, R&B, and stuff from today Fergie, Christina etc...

If anyone is interested you can PM me and get my cell number, and you can either come here us at a gig or rehearsal, or I can get you a CD as a example.

We recently played a party for Cam Ward of the Hurricanes....and have another one scheduled for one of his team mates in about 2 months....

1/17/2008 10:49:07 AM

jtmartin
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^^ i saw that one online too. but there is one with Mr. & Mrs. Wuf in a tux/wedding dress. they sold it in the bookstore probably ... 2 years ago? maybe 3

1/17/2008 10:51:41 AM

MeatStick
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Anyone know a good site of what flowers are in season during your wedding month?

1/17/2008 10:54:45 AM

amber1
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By month:
http://www.freshroses.com/volume.html#seasonal

By Season:
http://www.weddinggazette.com/content/003569.shtml

1/17/2008 1:31:52 PM

jtmartin
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bttt in hopes someone knows where to find Mr. & Mrs. Wuf cake topper

1/29/2008 8:00:07 PM

BDubLS1
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there is a flower place in Raleigh called "Flowerama" that has very cheap flowers and they look great!

as for the cake toppers, 93formula and his wife had the Mr and Mrs. Wuf cake toppers. Try PMing him and asking where he found it.

I'm getting married in June.
We want the Mr. Wuf and a girl horse. (She is a Peace alum and their mascot is the Pacer (horse))

1/29/2008 8:06:47 PM

khcadwal
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this thread makes me has anyone thought about having their reception nc state style at like the alumni center or anything?

1/29/2008 8:22:47 PM

miska
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This article on DIY wedding planning from Life Hacker looks pretty useful.

1/29/2008 8:27:03 PM

cddweller
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An interesting FAQ on wedding photography: http://www.ekfoto.com/question.htm
Another article: http://www.weddingsolutions.com/article/Wedding_Photography_1.html

[Edited on January 30, 2008 at 8:42 PM. Reason : .]

1/30/2008 8:40:10 PM

hollister
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MeatStick, what are you doing for the rest of the decorations? How formal is the wedding/reception and where will it be? Also, when is it? I can throw you some DIY centerpiece ideas but need some guidance.

We got some mirrored tiles from the caterer, topped them with some greenery and tealights, and had very simple arrangements of tulips in pilsner glasses in the center of them. That worked for us but would have looked funny in a formal banquet hall.

[Edited on January 30, 2008 at 8:57 PM. Reason : spelling]

1/30/2008 8:56:58 PM

MeatStick
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October 5th. Pretty formalish. We're having our ceremony/reception at Duke Gardens. So I kind of want to stick with a garden theme with lots of flowers.

[Edited on January 31, 2008 at 3:15 PM. Reason : ..]

1/31/2008 3:14:21 PM

arcgreek
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will yall be having kabobs?

1/31/2008 3:38:08 PM

cddweller
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Kabobs @ a wedding FTW! Love it. Easy finger food, quick to choose your quantity, nice and clean. Fancy, too.

1/31/2008 9:55:22 PM

hollister
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Hmmm, outside in the fall should be relatively easy. I've seen a lot of arrangements in cube vases and really like the look. You can buy something like this: http://tinyurl.com/32lbkz, wrap it with something that pulls in your wedding colors, and fill with florists' foam and a couple of large flowers like hydrangeas or sunflowers. Hydrangeas wouldn't absolutely require additional greenery, but you could do one or two smallish sunflowers (3" diameter or so) with some eucalyptus, gerberas, mums & berries. You can also fill them with roses but that will get expensive fast.

This is more elaborate than I was thinking about, but is pretty:




Also pretty:

1/31/2008 11:31:56 PM

cddweller
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I'd love to offer a wider variety of album types. Stumbled across these the other day.

http://www.iqphoto.com/albums.htm

Right now I just offer fine art coffee table books (from http://asukabook.com ), they're pretty affordable but don't have all the Italian leather bells and whistles. Is that what people prefer, though?

[Edited on February 4, 2008 at 11:14 PM. Reason : .]

2/4/2008 11:13:23 PM

HayleyToye
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Does anyone have any good suggestions for a bridal shower location in Raleigh?

2/15/2008 10:33:43 AM

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