Callie's Wedding in Review
Written by: Callie
Cover Photo and all photos in post (except for Pinterest screenshots) by Jess Morales Photo
Alright, this one is for all you Houston/Montgomery area bride-to-bes because this is the full and comprehensive review of all of my wedding vendors! Buckle in because this is going to be a long one. I promise I'll try to keep this short and interesting, but there's a lot to go through. Let's jump right in!
I have known John and Carolyn since before working at Hodge Podge Lodge (in fact, Carolyn was the one who actually got me that job!). So when it was time to pick my wedding coordinator, of course I knew exactly who I was going to use. I've worked with Carolyn on tons of weddings and the thought and care she puts into each one is astounding. Seriously, go read her other reviews, I don't think I've read a single bad one. She's an amazing person with an incredibly kind heart and I can't wait to see where her re-branded business will take her!
Dave and Lauren are the absolute best! Again, I've known these people from being in the wedding industry and worked with other bartenders and there's just no comparison. They both really love what they do and are more than happy to help you throughout the entire bar planning process which turned out to be more than I thought! They will help you decide quantities and I even had Dave tell me exactly the type of liquor to buy and how much of each because I had no clue. I knew that I wanted signature cocktails but I wasn't sure what kind; Dave gave me lots of wonderful choices and finally helped me decide on a vodka strawberry lemonade that was to die for! Lauren made this special fresh blend of strawberry lemonade which was so delicious! Beyond Bartending will always be my go-to choice for any future party needs!
They will be Brenna's wedding bartenders too, so I'm looking forward to seeing them again!
Okay, so this one may kind of be cheating, but maybe not. Simply Splendid is mine and Kenzie's wedding rental business! So this could also be considered DIY. Thanks to Brenna, Mom, and Kenzie, the decor at my wedding was awesome! We had a vintage bike that I had restored with my dad, a beautiful dresser my mom repurposed as a cake stand, my own dining room table, centerpieces, mismatched china, every little thing, and it was perfect! And it meant so much more that it was all MY stuff, it had sentimental value to me. But we also rent all these pieces out so if there's something you like, give us a yell and we'll get you set up with rentals!
Okay, so I LOVE snowcones. Probably too much. So my mom found TAPS and booked them for my wedding! Laurie was so sweet and even set up a personal tasting for me and my bridesmaids at my house! She drove her van and we had a tasting right in my front yard. The flavors are delicious (you HAVE to try the silver fox, it's so good, though my personal favorite will always be wedding cake) and it all comes in a cute truck that just parks outside your venue! There was some miscommunication and in the days leading up to my wedding we did not hear from Laurie. Turns out she had a medical emergency (but thankfully is okay!) and was not able to make it. In her place, she sent two of her children who were very nice and accommodating! Unfortunately, in the hubbub of the emergency it was not relayed to the replacements that we had hired them for two hours and they only stayed one.
Hair & Make Up
These girls are so sweet and so talented! We had Abby and Dazi with us for my wedding. I also booked them for a trial run when I had my bridals done and I'm so glad I did! I loved the makeup they did for me for bridals but I am so Casper white that when I got bridal photos back I could tell where the makeup stopped and my normal pasty white skin started. So morning of the wedding I was able to tell Dazi to go lighter and she did exactly what I wanted! Now for my hair I chose an updo and while they were working on other girls I started to nit pick little things I didn't like about my hair. Luckily, Kenzie was there to help talk me through the things I didn't like (without making me want to cry) and was able to tell the SKMU girls the way I felt about certain things. Abby went straight to work and fixed the tiny things I saw as imperfections. They had me and four other people to do hair and make up for and did it all in time with touch ups! Loved them!
So I booked when Jess co-owned a company with Colby Novak. I booked them because I liked her style and they had a photography and videography package! Which I loved because that meant that they liked, and were good at, working together, because I have seen weddings where the photographer and videographer do not work well together and it's awful. Half way through planning my wedding this company disbanded.
Overall, I am pleased with the work Jess produced! However, there were small hiccups that I found to be unprofessional during my wedding day. There were a few things that took me out of my bride mode and more into my old venue manager ways when I really wanted to just be the bride for the whole day.
But, like I said, overall the photos turned out great!
Wanderlust Wedding Co/Colby Novack
Here’s the overview of this section: I would NEVER hire him again. This was the worst experience of my whole wedding planning. His communication was severely lacking, he made my video months late in 4 hours (bragging about how fast he was able to create it) and I hate it. The video was not color corrected he used less than ideal footage (when other better videos were available!) and the music cuts are very noticeable. This video was one of the things I was really looking forward to having to look back on this wonderful day and Colby ruined it. I’m STILL waiting on a reedit (which we had agreed upon when he left the state and would not be able to film my wedding personally even though he was specifically mentioned in my contract).
1/5 would NOT recommend
Jacob is literally the best. He's funny, personable, and knows exactly what he is doing! So, I don't dance and the music was one thing that I was actually kind of worried about. I wanted people to be dancing all night, I didn't want anyone to be bored at my wedding. I decided to leave it all up to Jacob. He sends out a sheet to complete with your specific songs to be played and at the end of that sheet I said, "Here is a list of bands that Jason and I like, I understand that most of them are not bands that one might dance to. Work these in however you'd like, but do whatever you have to do to keep people on the dance floor!"
He played all the bands I love and found different, beautiful renditions of some of the songs and played them during cocktail hour and dinner. Then for the actual dancing he did his own thing. And I am so happy he did, because he even had me out there dancing ALL NIGHT! I didn't want to stop dancing at the end of the night, which was not what I was expecting.
So many people came up to me during the wedding (and even still tell me now) that the music was perfect. The people that know me and my taste of music loved cocktail hour and nearly everyone danced all night (and our families have quite a few people I did not expect to see on that dance floor). I didn't even know that your wedding music was something that people commented on. But Jacob did so good that he made people talk about it!
I'm still in awe of what he managed to create out of my night and some of the best memories are dancing like goofballs with my friends and family!
And he's DJing Brenna's wedding so I get to do it all over again in January!
These people were great as well. Candace was always easy to get in touch with and answered all my questions! They let you chose quite a lot of food for your tasting which was nice, as well as bring up to 3 people with you! We went the traditional route and had a chicken and beef option. Although we did have all of our guests (literally all of them, I hunted them down if they didn't send it in) select a meal option, we still ran out of chicken. But that was also at the very end of dinner so perhaps they made the perfect amount!
We also did our appetizers through them which was chicken brouchette and candied bacon which was SO GOOD!
Florals by Pam Hoke
One of mom's really good friends is a florist so naturally when it was time to find a flower person she was our girl! I know that flowers can get crazy expensive and I tried to be conscious of the budget in every aspect of planning so we incorporated a lot of our own personal succulents into the florals (also because I love succulents so why not have them??) as well as a lot of greenery.
The day before the wedding Pam, my mom, and I went out to the venue to set up as much as we could. Pam made beautiful arrangements for my cake dresser, bike, and ceremony wreath. Not to mention the amazing bouquets!
5/5 WOULD recommend again!!
Jason and I met the owner at her shop in Huntsville for a tasting and to go over our ideas for our cake. I sent her pictures of what we wanted, a simple buttercream with a disheveled pattern. Then I was going to make an arrow for the decorations day-of.
Her cakes are absolutely delicious and day-of was no different (though there was not as much strawberry filling as we had expected). However, the frosting was lack luster. I know I didn't want much detailing but I feel like the cake we received was nothing like what we had shown her. I was very disappointed in the wedding cake as that is something I have always loved photos of in wedding galleries. I'm not sure if it was a miscommunication issue or if she had just never tried that type of design before but I was very sad when the cake finally came out to the reception area.
The first photo is the photo sent to show how we wanted the icing done. The second photo was to show off how we wanted the arrow (though I do not think it was Baking Sweet Memories that placed the arrow, not sure who did that), and the third is the cake that was brought out to the reception.
Some people may not believe me when I say that this place is great because you'll think "oh she worked there, she has to say that" but I don't! I really do just love it this much!
It's a beautiful historic (built in 1854) home on some gorgeous property right in downtown Montgomery! It's got century-old oaks and pecan trees for your ceremony, a permanent built in photo booth, and now a really great reception hall enclosed with glass and awesome decking (that my mom and I stained the week before my wedding) all the way around it!
We had our ceremony between two pecan trees in the backyard, our cocktail hour on the deck, and reception in the Glass Garden. Jason's family, who lives about three hours away, were able to stay at the B&B there all weekend so they were really able to enjoy their time there! Everything turned out perfect and all the hard work my mom, Kenzie, my dad and I put into landscaping areas around the yard was totally worth it!
Kenzie and I met with Jo to discuss all our options. She was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and helped me pick out some amazing elements (like a real wood invite!!). I also had Dawna Hasara, a local artist, paint me a watercolor of HPL and Jo scanned it in and printed it on the back of my invites! When everything I wanted came out to be over my budget Jo worked with me on different options to bring the cost down to something more manageable!
This one may also be cheating? Brenna did all the pretty handwriting stuff! She helped address my save the dates and wrote a welcome, order of events, and menu sign for me! She loves perfecting her handwriting even though it's already fantastic! So if you want some pretty writing at your wedding, email us! (PS Simply Splendid has all the chalkboards, windows, and mirrors you need too!).
The owner met with me and my mom one day after normal store hours. She was very sweet and accommodating and showed us all our options. With HPL's included tablecloths and Simply Splendid decor we only needed to rent napkins from Premier but would have rented more from them because they were great. We picked the napkins up the day before the wedding and dropped off the Monday after.
I went to a lot of stores before this one. Some stores were okay, others were not, but none compared to Whittington. I found a dress I liked at one boutique we went to but I was far from impressed by their customer service and did not want to give them my business. So Brenna searched my dress online and found out that Whittington carried it!
The girls that work there are so helpful and really want to make your time there enjoyable. They offered us champagne/mimosas when we arrived (they were the only store to do this) and joked with us like they were just one of the friends that came with me to try on dresses. The dress came in on time but it was a different color than the one I had ordered so I'm going to take one point away for that. But I ended up liking the color that was delivered so I didn't complain and just went with it!
Debbie was very sweet and professional. She did try to convince me not to cut the train off my dress but I was adamant and she did a great job taking that off. I was scheduled to come for a last fitting and take my dress home one week but she had to cancel and reschedule for two weeks later. Which wasn't an issue, I was just super excited to bring my dress home that I didn't want to wait two more weeks!
Jason spent quite a bit on my engagement ring and when we were looking for wedding rings I wanted to try and keep the cost down as much as possible (we ended up keeping each of our rings under $400!). My engagement ring is a solitaire so for the wedding ring I wanted something unique. I ended up finding a beautiful ring from Ferko's that I am in love with!
Jason also wanted something different than the typical gold band (we're not gold people). Being a materials engineer, he really wanted a ring made out of some material he's worked with (while he was completing his masters degree, he made himself a ring out of titanium. So he's probably the only guy to have an engagement ring!) and liked. He ended up deciding on tungsten and then found a cool silver ring that claims to have meteorite in it too!
5/5 WOULD recommend again!
Shoes & Accessories
I think I've mentioned it somewhere in a blog post but when I saw the prices bridal shops wanted for a veil, which is literally a piece of tulle glued to a plastic comb, I was like, no way, take me to Harwin! After a lot of shops, we finally found a veil that was nice and noticed it had a hole, so Brenna used that management degree and negotiated the price down! We also got earrings for the bridesmaids from one of the shops here.
I wore the fake diamond necklace I always wear on wedding day. I wasn't sure if I should or not and some people suggested I shouldn't but I literally never take it off and I felt bare without it so it stayed! I never was able to find earrings I liked in a store so I raided Kenzie's collection and she let me borrow her prom earrings which was a beautiful cluster of diamond-like stones so it kind of matched my ring! I was going to wear a bracelet, either a pearl one I was gifted a long time ago or my dainty silver one my mom got me a few years back. But I totally forgot about it...
Now on to the shoes! Again, I had a semi difficult time finding a pair of shoes that I just absolutely loved. Well, actually I LOVED this pair of shoes, but that was not in the budget so everywhere I went searching for shoes I was comparing them to these and trying to match them as closely as I could. And then it was Christmas morning and I'm opening a gift in a shoebox (but we wrap lots of presents in a shoe box) but then the shoe box was blue and said Bella Belle on it and there they were! The family got the shoes for me! I felt like damn Cinderella trying them on and walking around in them! AND they were comfortable!
5/5 WOULD recommend again (but maybe call us before you come dig through Kenzie's closet?)
And there you have it, a review of all my vendors! My wedding day was so amazing and it was all because of these people! If you have specific questions about anyone feel free to email us at:
and I'll be more than happy to discuss vendors with you further! Be sure to subscribe to R&R to keep up with Brenna's wedding planning next! And I've got a few blog ideas regarding weddings for the future!