So who's who, and how'd they do?
Below is a list of all the vendors we used and some initial opinions.
After the wedding, I'll give full reviews.


Venue & DOC

Parkland Golf & Country Club
Catering Director / Day-of-Coordinator - Karen Meyers

     So far, Karen has been amazing. From the minute I met her, I was sold. She is the catering director at PGCC but also acts as the day-of-coordinator because she very much wants to be in control of the details, making sure everything goes perfect for you on your day. She is just very detail-oriented and commited to coordinating with your other vendors to make sure they do an excellent job as well. I couldn't be happier with anybody else!

3/3 Update - Had our food tasting and I'm sooo excited! The food was DELICIOUS!


Ivan Apfel Photography

    Ivan is great to work with. Super quick to respond to emails and makes himself extremely available for you. He has a strong passion for what he does and it shows in his willingness to work with you and your ideas. Needless to say, I'm really looking forward to our first engagement session!

     9/26 Was our first engagement session with Ivan Apfel and we had so much fun! I really wanted pictures that looked different and Ivan gave us the great idea of doing an evening/night session. We wandered around Riverfront in Ft. Lauderdale and took so many different, fun pictures. Ivan was easy to work with and gave us a couple teaser pics the next morning! The next day, all our pictures were posted on his blog. He was super quick and the pictures turned out great :)

     1/22 Had our second engagement session at the Dania Pier. Again, Ivan was great to work with. Pics were up the following day and came out amazing.


MXI Studios, Kenny Austin

    I was close to not booking a videographer at all because the ones that I thought were affordable, had ok videos and I just figured it wasn't worth it. But I kept searching just in case and eventually remembered I 
had gotten a referral for Kenny Austin by a DJ we had met with and loved (although couldn't book.) After emailing him, I realized he was super quick and great with communication. He was very helpful with helping me figure out the best package and worked with my budget which I was soooo thankful for. His videos on his website look great and are exactly what I wanted. I could not be more excited!



Vision DJs

    We met with Jorge A. at Vision DJs and he was overall a good mix of nice, informative, and easy to talk to. He was throrough in explaining their whole online music set-up and just seemed like a very straight-up, honest guy.

Ceremony & Cocktail Musicians

Master Musicians
Gyorgi Lakatos (guitar)  & Lennis (vocalist)

     Julie at Master Musicians is wonderful. She can be hard to communicate with during times they are particularly busy, but other than that, she's great. Our entire transaction has been via email which works perfect for me because of my busy work hours (and I like paper trails of what was offered/prices/etc). Joey did talk to her on the phone once at the very beginning and she had recommended Gyorgi - their contemporary/european/spanish guitarist - even though I was originally set on a different guitarist they had. However, the music samples she sent me of both guitarists definitely sold me on Gyorgi and I realized he would be perfect for what I wanted. I also had a particular song I wanted played as the song I walk down the aisle to and Julie had Gyorgi and the vocalist (Lennis) record a demo of the song for me to hear before I made a decision. The song was beautiful so we asked for a contract that night and booked Lennis and Gyorgi for the ceremony and just Gyorgi for the cocktail hour.


Saint Jude Ministries
Rev. Nelson Velez (Rev. V)

     Rev. V is very professional and takes his job seriously but at the same time is down-to-earth and easy to talk to. At first there was a misunderstanding with the (receptionist?) at St. Jude's who messed up our original appointment time with another Rev. so that sort of discouraged me because I felt like it wasn't handled professionally. However, once we got things sorted out, we spoke to Rev. V who made an appointment to meet with us a few days later. He's very flexible with meeting times and responds to emails quickly. He's thorough (we had to fill out a 2 page questionnaire) but he makes the entire ceremony and experience about you and your fiance. He writes customized ceremonies based on what he learns from you in your meetings and just makes the whole process seem more special and genuine.


Natinel Floral Design
Nellie Matos


     I heard about Nellie from another Knottie and loved the amazing bouquet she had done for her so of course I had to set up an appointment. My mom and I met with Nellie and she was so professional yet friendly. She showed us tons of pics and really took the time to go through every detail with us. She listened to what I liked and disliked and together we came up with some great ideas. Two hours later, we put a deposit to have her hold our date. Her prices are reasonable and she's quick with communication and easy to work with. I'm very excited to see how everything turns out.



We Take The Cake

     We Take the Cake is contracted as the cake vendor for our ceremony/reception venue. I had set up an appointment for a cake tasking with Leah. She called the day before and left a message to confirm the appointment, which I thought was nice. We show up at the bake house and the plate of samples is ready for us as well as two plates with napkins and forks. I thought this was odd since I had just spoken to her 1/2 hour earlier and confirmed that my fiance, mom and myself were coming. Not a big deal since she went to get stuff to make a third setting after we sat down, just sort of bugged me for a second. 
     Anyway, Leah seemed indifferent to just about everything. Not sure if she was having a bad day or what. She was pleasant but she just went through everything quickly, didn't talk to us much, and sort of seemed like she didn't care to impress us because she knew she already had the sale. 
     The cakes were even less impressive. This was the one and only cake tasting I went to since I don't have another option, but I was left wondering if cakes are always this "ehh" and I had just had this false impression of delicious, moist, fun flavored cakes at these tastings. Apparently the cake options that come with our venue package were -golden - chocolate - strawberry -red velvet and -lemon. Nothing special, but not bad. The cake samples themselves were slightly dry but good (although again, nothing special.) At the very least, I guess it made my decisions about cake flavors that much easier to make.
     I left slightly disappointed and unimpressed. I am happy about the cake design and that at least I got my lemon cake with lemon filling. Also, it is cool that we get a free small cake for our 1 year anniversary. However, I find myself worried/hoping the cake is good at the reception, because I'm not at all confident about it.



Bellissima Bridal Designs, Coral Gables

     Bellissima has a beautiful selection of dresses. The girls are sweethearts (but they don't allow you to take pictures in the dresses.) They are very nice and not pushy at all. When I decided on a dress, they even gave us some champagne to toast with :)  However, they weren't very good at suggesting dresses for me and just sort of let my mom and I comb through the dresses ourselves. (This can be good on the one hand, but at the same time, I think it shows a little bit more expertise and experience when the sales associate talks to you about what you are looking for and can take that info and look at your body type and make some suggestions as well.) Additionally, I'm pretty sure they unnecessarily ordered my dress one size too big. The girl was saying she picked that size because it will fit in the bust perfectly and then will just need to be taken in in the waist and hips. The sample I was trying on was only 1 size bigger than what they ordered me and it was huge on me so I don't think they know what they're talking about in regards to size. I was going to tell them I wanted one size smaller but got nervous that just in case I gain weight before the wedding, at least the dress will still fit me, haha, and it will be easier to take it in rather than let it out. However, if I don't, I will now need to spend extra money on alterations rather than the dress coming in at the right size from the get-go. I guess we'll see in March when she gets here!



Alterations by Reina (at Angelus Bridal)

     Reina is just a cute little lady who does some remarkable work with wedding dresses. She greets you with a smile and talks to you as if she's known you forever. My dress has a LOT of detail, especially on the sides of the bodice, which is of course where it needs to be taken in a size. I was so terrified because I knew the whole dress would need to come apart. However, I've had two fittings with Reina so far and I am not worried in the least bit! My dress is in good hands and I can't wait until it's finished and fits like it was meant for me :)



Mr. Tux - Pembroke Pines

     We walked in on a Saturday afternoon, no appointment because they told Joey on the phone that it wasn't necessary. They were busy so we waited about 45 minutes before anyone could help us. That's understandable but what was annoying was that we were never even greeted when we walked in or told what to do or that there would be a wait. The girls working at the counter saw us but didn't say a word until we walked up to them after 10 minutes or so and said what we needed to do. It's not a huge deal but one of those customer service things that bothers me. The girl that did help us was very nice and accommodating. FI found a nice tux set and they were willing to work out some great pricing for us.



Makeup By Claudia

     Claudia is such a sweetheart! Really loves what she does and is good at it. For the trial, I told her more or less what I liked and to just do what she thought would look good. My makeup turned out better than what I expected & I booked her for the wedding.







South Florida Limos

     Good prices. Large fleet of car choices. One way transfers. = Booked
Review of actual service & vehicle TBD.



Over the Top, Inc.

     Great selection of fabrics and colors. Reasonably priced. They came highly recommended by our Venue Coordinator. She said they always deliver really good product and if there are ever any problems they are quick to fix them. We worked with Jillian and she was wonderful.



Brelex Rentals

     Good customer service and great prices.