Hiring vendors isn’t always easy. Seeing someone’s work is great but reading other people’s experiences can be so beneficial. For this reason, I wrote this article to serve as a guide in order to help any future brides.
P.S The vendors mentioned provided a phenomenal service!
WEDDING COORDINATOR AND PLANNER
We always wanted a small wedding, even before Covid, our guest count was 50-75. With the pandemic, we had about 36 people coming. Because it was so small, I thought I would be able to handle everything with my mom and sister. Easier said than done. I highly recommend you hire a planner and day of coordinator. I wish I hired Yes, I do Weddings and Events from the very beginning . But it’s okay, she stepped in and handled everything and I was so relaxed. You want to enjoy your day. Before the big day, let a professional handle things so you don’t don’t stress. Kelly was the best, she is so kind and loving. She set up all the decor and had everything running smoothly at all times. I so appreciate her. Love you !!!!
CEREMONY AND RECEPTION
If you’re planning the ceremony in a church, I highly suggest you plan with the church first then book the venue for the reception. I am Catholic and the wedding planning in the church is mandatory and very intensive. It can take anywhere from 3 months to a year depending on your situation . Ours took almost a year and that was because of Covid. We set a date /time with the church then book the venue. You can look simultaneously for both church and venue but the venues had a lot of available dates a year out however the church didn’t. So it was easier to get everything situated with the church first, in our case.
The venue had amazing food so we didn’t have to look for a caterer.We went to tasting and loved the food , wine and cocktails they offered.
It is recommended that you look for your wedding dress a year in advance. Most of the times, when you order a dress, it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to come in. I looked for my dress 6 months before the wedding. Yep, 6 months. And it was my dream dress too. The earlier the better but with Covid, we paused planning for a few months .
The skirt and veil were made by a designer named Tisa. If you need a seamstress, reach out to her . She is amazing ! Her Instagram is Ragzdesignhouse. Tisa also does alterations. So if you get your dress from anywhere , she will alter it if needed.
WEDDING DRESS #2
I also purchased a dress from Belle Âme . The ladies there were so sweet. Check them out on Instagram . The dress is a Milla Nova dress Magda . Unfortunately, I decided to not wear it because I preferred the other dress compared to this one. I liked it though. I sold it finally !
MAKEUP FOR TRADITIONAL PARTY
With all the wedding festivities, I changed hairstyles a lot . Especially a few days before the wedding. In order to avoid applying a lot of heat on my real hair, I opted for a sew-in. I booked my trial the day I did my engagement photoshoot. Message me for hairstylist’s number.Check her IG
Gloss Nail Bar is a chic nail shop in Downtown Houston. I loved the service. I got my nails the day before the wedding.
Akintayotimi is the best ! We had a great time shooting with him. He was so much fun to work with and if I had found out about him earlier on, I would have love to also shoot our wedding. Check him out on Instagram .
DJ AND UPLIGHTING
DJ Carlos was so awesome! The wall mapping was so beautiful. It was nice hearing all of the songs we selected throughout the night.
Julie’s French Pastries made our wedding cake. I love the flavors she offered, they were so unique.
Starting the night of the wedding , we stayed at Hotel Icon , a historic downtown Houston Hotel. It has a tri-level penthouse suite with Rooftop Terrace. We loved our 4 nights stay there.
P.S I only mentioned the vendors that I would rehire again. Any vendors mentioned in this article provided a phenomenal service.
We set up our budget and stuck to it. It is possible to live life to the fullest and live within/below your means. We took a year and an half to plan because we wanted to pay cash.It gave us plenty of time to look for great vendors that offer services within our price range . Going in debt for a wedding is a no to us. I wouldn’t change a thing, our day was perfect and I’m so glad we got what we wanted and were able to finish paying everything a month prior to the wedding 🙂
It is always wise to have a contract with anything you book. A contract is created to protect you and the vendor. An act of God can happen, you want to make sure the contract addresses that. Read the contract carefully and make sure it goes in your favor , you can make suggestions. In our case, the vendors were so understanding that they made modifications. With planning a wedding during a pandemic , we wanted to make sure that they included a clause that stated that if there was a government mandate and postponement needed to happen , that they were willing to honor rescheduling at no cost or by paying a fee.
Don’t be so quick to sign a contract and pay as deposit. Make sure you read reviews, check google, check their social media page and see how they interact. Ask past brides about their experience. This is why I wanted to write this blog. You will dodge a lot of bullets when you know who you’re dealing with. Character is everything.
It’s like a first date. Make sure you meet in person or virtually. Ask all of your questions. There are vendors I thought were perfect but after the first meeting , I said next!
PLANNING DURING A PANDEMIC
Planning a wedding is a big task, even a small one. However, it was harder planning during the pandemic. We thought about postponing it but we realized that Covid wasn’t going away anytime soon and we didn’t want to it our life on hold. Our plan was to have an intimate wedding anyways but with Covid, it was even more intimate. Unfortunately, many guests couldn’t come due to travel restrictions but they were with us in spirit.
There was a point of time when I was super down and thought the wedding wasn’t going to happen. The number of cases were up and down and you just never know . We had accept that canceling or postponing could happen depending on the situation. God is good , we prayed about it and hubby was a great support system per usual. We pretty much said , it is what it is LOL. But at the end of the day , the focus is about the marriage not the wedding. We care more about our union with God. Therefore, if it came a point were there was cancelation, we would still get married at church with just our families. That’s our mentality. Whether it’s 5 people or 50 people around us, what matters is that we love each other and are married. My advice is to surround yourself with nothing but positivity. Stay close to God and let him lead you in the right direction. If God wants you to wait , it’s because there is something better ahead of you . If he wants you to have something now, then now is the perfect moment.
Hopefully, you’re delegating tasks. You deserve all the help you need(hire a planner or coordinator) , make sure you vet everyone because you need people that not just talk the talk , but walk the walk.
The day before , I went to Mokara Spa . I didn’t think of any of the planning. Two weeks prior to the wedding, I took a social media hiatus. It was hubby and I looking forward to our big day and just loving on each other . We wanted to enjoy the last weeks of being engaged. The day of the wedding , no phones. We genuinely enjoyed every second of that day. The texts and phone calls can wait. I also didn’t care about documenting in real time. Live in the moment. Months later, I’m finally finding some time to share a glimpse of our day.
We didn’t have a traditional bridal party and it was by choice. We didn’t have the typical bridesmaids/groomsmen. We did what works for us. We are close to family so it made sense having the people we love the most and see all the time around us at the altar. My brother chose my brother to be his best man. My sister was my maid of honor and that’s it. We had our parents and siblings walking into the church before us. My advice is to pick people that you trust and are super close to you.
Say no to being a bridezilla! It’s your day, you have a say in everything but do not micromanage everyone . Honestly , I let everyone where whatever they wanted. To us , a wedding should be formal so the dress code was black tie or Formal. We wanted everyone to look nice . It’s nice to see all the men in a suit or tuxedo #class ! But as far ad colors, people were free to wear whatever they pleased. My mother,mother in law and sister chose their dresses and hairstyles. I was the bride but I also wanted everyone to enjoy themselves and remember that day forever
Be prepared to repeat things over and over again although everything is perfect stated on the invitations and website ! If you don’t receive a response for the RSVP, call or text to make sure they’re coming or not coming . Most of the people that didn’t respond were in fact planning on coming. I’m glad I reached out. I get it , people are busy and plus we are going through a pandemic. Cut people some slack. Be understanding. Allow people to change their RSVP! You plan , but life happens. I always think it’s so thoughtful when someone communicates that they cannot come ahead of time. The cost per person for food is not cheap so I don’t want anything going to waste. If you rsvp, plan ahead so you can be there. Just be thoughtful and communicate . It’s always appreciated.
With social media, we see people’s lives. Do not compare your life to someone else’s ! Your wedding is always going to be unique so appreciate that. What matters the most is the person you marry. Do things your way within your budget.
Thanks to Covid-19, we haven’t gone on our honeymoon in December. We changed the date so we hope to be able to travel soon. Everyday feels like a honeymoon. We love each other so much so working from home is such a plus to us.
Honestly, we only cared about people coming to celebrate, that’s the best gift ever . As time went on, we were bombarded with registry questions. Our family and friends kept highlighting that they wanted to give us a symbolic gift. We then decided to do a registry.
MORE PHOTOS OF OUR DREAM WEDDING