Other Venues we Looked at

The Waterfront (Tempe, AZ)

Really nice location, but had to use their alcohol where we thought we would save quite a bit DIY.   Mostly we didn't really like the colors on the inside and had similar pricing to Val Vista Lakes.

The Arizona Historical Society (Phoenix, AZ)

Right near Papago Park.  Has a nice outdoor courtyard for the ceremony and you can do your reception out there.  Did not like the indoor area that much.  Good prices (almost half the price as Val Vista).  Ian wanted to have the reception indoors - and I've heard they get air traffic from sky harbor overhead.

Inspirador (Chandler, AZ)

Really modern venue in downtown Chandler.  I liked the layout and the reception hall, but really missed the greenery from most other locations.  They can do venue only or package pricing.  But seemed really expensive compared to the other places.  Really liked the location with several restaurants, bars and hotel all within walking distance though.

Ocotillo Golf Club (Chandler, AZ)

This was my "just want to check it out" place since I kind of knew it was more than I really wanted to spend.  Beautiful golf club of course and Emily (the wedding coordinator) there was really great.  It was a close call when it came down to it, but I thought we could save some money and have a great wedding at Val Vista Lakes.  One down side for me, was that they can do 2 weddings there, and I didn't like the idea of that.

Trilogy at Power Ranch (Gilbert, AZ)

Very pretty and seemed like they were incredibly flexible.  Also seemed that they weren't quite as organized as some of the other places.  I think the pricing was pretty good as well.  But one of the deal breakers for me - was the 10pm ending time.  I wanted to party all night :)  Plus its kind of out of the way, and I wanted to keep things central.

Other Caterers We Met With


We had bad timing with talking to Heidi's since they only do tastings 4x a year and they had one the week we went in that we weren't able to attend schedule wise.  Definitely more of a Sales pitch than we usually had, but sounded like they really took care of everything for you and had lots of experience.  We were able to walk through the kitchen and got some samples of food then which was tasty and they had a good selection.  They also had a ton of add on fees that we didn't like.

Arizona Taste

Was more expensive and seemed not quite as flexible.  Had some really interesting food description and sounded great.  Also didn't seem to want to do a tasting until we had committed to using them. 

Other DJ's We Met With

Riz Biz - small DJ company as its a personal business.  I had a friend use him for her wedding and he was highly recommended.  Just seemed that prices were about the same as the other places we were talking with and he didn't seem as comfortable doing the organizational stuff as it seemed he usually worked at places with a coordinator. 

Got you Covered Entertainment - Met with Eric from Got you Covered and liked him.  Also asked him if we could meet with the DJ that would be doing the ceremony and he set up a meeting with his DJ Marcus.  Marcus was really nice and seemed fun.  I got really put off by the hard sell aspect with them as they went down on the printed price quite a bit and kept telling me "this price is good for today only" etc trying to get me to sign. 

Other Dress Stores

Davids Bridal in Ahwatukee:

Had a really great experience with Jeannie here.  Highly recommend asking for her if  you shop here.  They had some really nice dresses, just not everything that I was looking for.

Azteca Bridal

Not a good experience at all.  Seemed like they only had 2 people covering everything on a weekend.  One on the floor who told us to start pulling dresses to try on and once we did she could help find some others that we might like - never saw her again.  One person in dressing room that didn't help at all with lacing/zipping/etc and didn't speak very much English.  We pretty much left without saying anything to anyone.

Almond Tree Bridal:  http://almondtreeweddings.vpweb.com/

Took some time to meet with Pam here who sells consignment wedding gowns.  She really had a great selection of gowns and I would definitely recommend everyone check this place out.  I wish I would have found something here, but maybe I'll sell my dress after the wedding.