I moved to Charlotte two and a half years ago, all because of a guy. I know, I know; moving to a new city for no other reason besides pursuit of a relationship is kind of insane. But, I did it, and we got married this past June.
I wouldn’t have married the love of my life without Charlotte, and I wouldn’t be obsessed with Charlotte like I am without the love of my life. Enough sappiness! Here are nine local CLT wedding vendors that we used that I think you should know about.
Venue: The Arbors Events
I hate to start out on a negative note but I’m going to be straight up here, because I think anyone planning a wedding just wants an honest review. Working with The Arbors was a complete nightmare. The owner, Brian, promised us use of a space, to be included in the total price, when we signed the contract. Three weeks out from the wedding date, we found out that use of said space was going to be an additional $500.
My fiancé and I called Brian to try and get things sorted out every single day for two weeks. Every. Single. Day. To this day he still hasn’t called us back. It wasn’t the extra $500 that was frustrating to us; it was the fact that we had already paid him thousands of dollars, yet he refused to speak to us. You can’t run a business like that.
While the tree-farm-turned-wedding-venue is a beautiful space, I feel that The Arbors Events is operating on a penny-wise and pound-foolish business model. I can’t say I’d recommend having your wedding here.
(Note: We reached out for comment, but The Arbors Events did not respond)
Wedding Coordinator: Anna Bulfin of Linen and Lace
Anna works full time as a school counselor, but on weekends, she coordinates weddings with her side business, Linen and Lace. Working with Anna was an absolute dream. She was organized, punctual, personable, and incredibly helpful. She made our rehearsal run quickly and smoothly, and I didn’t worry about a thing on the wedding day, all thanks to Anna. Her prices are extremely affordable as well!
Videographer: Sara and Taylor Mathis of Sara Mathis Productions
Sara and Taylor are an incredible duo. It was 98 degrees on our wedding day and this videography crew showed up with bottles of water and Gatorade for my entire bridal party. They also had a cooler full of Reese’s cups for me, which they happened to know was my favorite candy. They were discreet during the ceremony, active during the after party, and just all around awesome. We were married on a Saturday, and Sara sent us a link to our wedding video that Tuesday, which was such a treat to watch on our honeymoon. When we received the hard copies of our video in the mail, they came packaged with a hand written note, bags of popcorn, and two boxes of movie candy. Love it.
Hair and Make Up: Jessica Kendall of Beauty Asylum
Hiring someone to do my hair and make up was definitely a splurge in regards to our wedding budget. I did some Googling and read tons of Yelp reviews, which led me to Beauty Asylum. The beauty team does hair, make up (airbrush and regular), and they travel to your venue.
I was ridiculously picky about my hair, but Beauty Asylum’s owner, Jessica, was so patient with all my requests and indecisiveness. She graciously allowed me THREE hair trials and worked with me until everything was just right. Most importantly, she made me feel like a million bucks on my wedding day.
Wedding Jewelry: Diamonds Direct and Perry’s at SouthPark
Both my engagement ring and my wedding band were purchased at Diamonds Direct in SouthPark. (Ask for Dave Lee.) Even though the jewelry store seems to have a reputation for being a little pushy, my husband and I found them to be very accommodating in helping us find the styles we were looking for at a price we could afford.
On my wedding day, my mom passed along a beautiful ring that had once been hers. It was stunning, but much too small for my hands. After asking around for suggestions, I took the ring to Perry’s at SouthPark. Perry’s specializes in estate jewelry, so I felt comfortable trusting them with a family heirloom. They sized it perfectly and did a beautiful job.
Caterer: LKN Weddings & Events
Our venue offered three different catering companies to choose from, and we heard great reviews about LKN Weddings & Events. Carlyn, the owner, was absolutely fabulous to work with and we loved her from the minute we met her. She was so kind and drove all the way from Mooresville to give us a tasting in my own home.
I guess you’d have to ask my guests, but I thought the food was wonderful.
Carlyn made sure plates were waiting for my husband and me at our sweetheart table before any guests went through the buffet line. She even had styrofoam to-go boxes waiting in our getaway car when we left the reception.
Flower Crown: Maiden Flower Crowns
I found out about Maiden Flower Crowns one day when they took over the #WeLoveCLT Instagram. My five-year-old niece really wanted to do something special for her “flower girl hair” and I thought a flower crown would be a sweet touch.
I found Maiden Flower Crown’s prices to be very reasonable and they even delivered the crown to the venue (all the way out in the middle of nowhere) on the day of the wedding.
Signs and Calligraphy: Me, Myself, and I
Please indulge me while I share a little shameless self-promotion. I painted and hand lettered all of the signs and other pieces of calligraphy dispersed amongst our wedding details. If you need something hand lettered, hit me up.
Vendor Gifts: Amelie’s French Bakery
As a token of our appreciation, we gave all of our wedding vendors a box of salted caramel brownies in addition to their payment and tip. (For future reference, 7 SCBs fit in a small box.) Since several of our vendors were from out of town, I wanted to give them some local CLT flavor. It was a hit!
All professional photos via Amanda Castle Photography.