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Getting Married in Sacramento the Cowtown Eats Way, Part 2

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If you missed Part 1, click here to read that first. This is the second in a two-part series on the Sacramento wedding vendors I used when I got married in the Spring.

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Caterer - All Seasons, All Reasons

We checked out and tasted three Sacramento caterers before choosing All Seasons, All Reasons. Owned and operated by Monty and chef Joshua, they were super easy to work with and understood our budgetary restrictions. We went in for a tasting, and their food was superb. They proposed a menu that was out of our price range, but they were able to work with us and through changes in the menu and linens, we came to an experience that fit our budget. They definitely weren’t the least expensive option, but for us, All Seasons, All Reasons was in the sweet spot in terms of price and value. On the day of our wedding, their staff was very responsive to our requests and helped the day run smoothly.

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Still Photographer - John Decker

We used a friend and former coworker John Decker who now has his own photography business. He’s worked as a photojournalist, most recently with the Sacramento Bee, was Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s official photographer, and now is out on his own. (He took the photo at the top of this post.) We had a preference for a documentary-style photographer for our wedding, and that’s exactly what we got. But he also pushed us into a couple of more artsy photos. We trusted him, and he was right. Our photos are fabulous. We couldn’t have asked for a more responsible, responsive or amazing photographer. As with our other vendors, he wasn’t the cheapest, but he provided great value for his skills and photos.

Videographer - Kyle of Hampton Photo

We didn’t have huge needs for our wedding video. We didn’t want a super produced DVD, interviews of our guests or anything fancy. We just wanted a professional who would tape the proceedings so we’d have a record of it and be able to send DVDs to relatives who were unable to travel to our wedding. We also wanted HD video, and sound directly from the sound system (as opposed to the echo-filled audio you get when you use the microphone on the camera.) Kyle with Hampton Photo was great. He was also VERY affordable. If you’re looking for something simple, I’d highly recommend him. He can be reached at hamptonphoto@comcast.net.

Organist - John Williams

We had a wedding at a church with a pipe organ, and we wanted to use it during our ceremony. John Williams was recommended to us, and he was great. We gave him the list of music we wanted played, and he knew them all. We had cantors, and it only took John about 5 minutes of practice to get in sync with them. It was evident that he was a master at the pipe organ, not somebody who played the piano who was able to fumble their way through a pipe organ. As an hourly rate, he’s not cheap. But you’re really paying for the hours he spent mastering the instrument, not for his time. He can be reached at julieandjohnwilliams@yahoo.com.

DJ - Chad Saltzer

My wife and I booked our DJ last, and it’s reflective of the fact that we’re not really music people. Our criteria for a good DJ was somebody who was classy, not cheesy and reflected our understated style. We were referred by friends to Chad Saltzer. He was a class act, was very patient with us as we worked thru the music selections and was a good emcee for the evening. While we had a detailed plan, things took longer than we anticipated, and he was flexible while keeping the evening moving. He was also on the lower end pricewise for all the DJs we interviewed. We liked him a lot. He can be reached at chadstalzer@gmail.com.

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Dance Lessons - Christina at Spotlight Dance

I’m not the dancing-type, and the thought of having our first dance as everybody watched was terrifying. So we decided to take dance lessons. I found Spotlight Dance in West Sac via Google. Truth be told, I chose them because they were close to our work in Downtown Sacramento, and we’d be able to make our evening classes. We booked the Wedding Package – 5 private lessons. Christina Musser, our dance instructor, was amazing. She was encouraging, patient and catered to our needs as a couple. She choreographed our first dance, and provided us with the tools and confidence to be successful. Dance lessons aren’t inexpensive, but I thought they were well worth the money.

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Car Service - Johnny's Car Service

We hired a driver to bring us back to our hotel after the reception. (We had friends drive us the rest of the day.) We did a lot of research and used Johnny’s Car Service. Unlike most limo services that have a 4 or 6 hour minimum, Johnny’s Car Service is available an hour at a time. He was on time, his town car was clean, and he was professional. It was much better than a cab, getting a ride from a friend, and much cheaper than hiring a limo.

If you have any questions about the vendors, please send me an e-mail at cowtowneats@gmail.com or leave a comment. I really recommend each of our vendors. For what we needed, they were great.

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