Chapter Eight: Expo-rience

25 March 2008 at 7:42 am | Posted in Adventures, Bridal Events | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

It wasn’t the first I’ve been to, but it was by far the biggest.  The Wedding Expo by Themes & Motifs held at the PICC Forum brought together most of the major players in the wedding industry.  Discounts, freebies, and all kinds of promotional gimmicks were abound.  It was the best time to reserve suppliers, because most of the promos exclusive to the fair were excruciatingly tempting.

I, however, came only to look, not to book.  I had the leisure of time, which I chose to spend wisely.  At a previous fair, I had already made arrangements with my selected suppliers who were in-demand, whose schedules I had to take into consideration, and whose price increase I wished to be shielded from – the photographer, videographer, and makeup artist.  The others such as the caterer, I decided, could wait a bit longer because I wanted to get the opinions of other people who mattered to us, particularly our parents.

Because my Sweetie lived several oceans away, I usually visited the fairs with my Mother.  For the Expo though, I decided to ask along my fiance’s Mom, who very gamely agreed to keep me company.  We brought along my Sweetie’s little sister, who I considered my lucky charm:  At The Wedding Library’s booth, she “picked” a prize and won for me a garter.  Later on, at one of the hourly raffles, I was announced one of the winners of a pair of gold pearl earrings from Karat World.

We visited the Expo on its last day.  Knowing it would be at its most crowded, I came prepared wearing my trusty comfy flats.  To save time, I had a ready stack of sticker strips with our computer-printed details – name, wedding date, church, and contact details – to put on the registration pad of the participating suppliers.  Little sister was more than happy to be in charge of sticking one on each and every supplier’s guest book.  The suppliers as well, seemed both amused and impressed by the stickers.  Just days after the event, I received numerous updates from various companies, telling me about their products and services, which I welcomed heartily since I actually liked receiving them.

We spent hours at the Expo, making sure to check out each stall, ask the essential questions briefly, and keep all brochures, flyers, and papers handed out to us.

We visited the booths of Dino Lara Photography, Threelogy Digital Video, and The MakeUp Studio, just to say a quick hello and leave some sort of impression to be remembered at least.  We also checked what they were offering and I was surprised to find that most had already increased their prices.  I was thoroughly relieved and felt sufficiently justified that I had booked them much earlier on.

Threelogy Digital Video at the Wedding Expo March 2008 Dino Lara Photography at the Wedding Expo March 2008

The food-tasting invitations I received from a couple of caterers were godsend.  Because we had spent practically half a day at the Expo, we were able to utilize the invitations for a late lunch and early dinner.   We first tried Juan Carlo the Caterer and went to Josiah’s Catering after another few hours of roaming the stalls.  We were also able to talk to other participating caterers such as K by Cunanan whom I had been eyeing because of their consistent good reviews I’ve been reading.  From the Expo, I was able to get a feel of the food, services, and styling of many caterers, which allowed me to be more open to a variety of different options.

I came home with three paper bags filled with brochures and paraphernalia from hundreds of wedding suppliers.   Though I hadn’t booked any company from the Expo, it was still such a fruitful trip – I was exposed to a myriad of fresh ideas and latest trends, my fiance’s Mom was able to understand more the present planning process in weddings and share her ideas with me, and I (further) bonded with my fiance’s family.

I can’t wait for the next bridal fairs – That’s right. I will attend them all!

For a complete list of wedding-related events such as fairs and expos, please refer to the Events Page/Tab of Storybook Wedding.

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Chapter Seven: In the Supplier’s Shoes

8 March 2008 at 12:04 am | Posted in Adventures, Caterer, Ceremony, Partners, Reception | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

A couple of weeks ago, a former work colleague (a very good friend of mine) asked me to help her coordinate her friend’s (the groom) wedding.   The company I used to work for, which she is still a part of now, handles corporate PR, publicity and promotions.  I figured it would be fun working with her again in coordinating events. Plus, it would be able to provide me a basic assessment in terms of hiring my Day Coordinator for my own wedding as well.  Hence, my adventure of (sort of) being in the Supplier’s Shoes.

Non-working holiday.  The Wedding Day.

I had to attend to work-related matters in the morning (workaholic in the house), so I arrived at the venue (The Oasis) around noon.  Coming from ABS-CBN, I was able to get to The Oasis in less than fifteen minutes (It’s either the fact that it was a non-working day or that I drove like a maniac. Or both.).

I passed by The MakeUp Studio, which was located at The Oasis, to pay Jesy Alto a visit.  She was shocked when she saw me. And when she found out that I was doing day coordination, she kept teasing me that we might someday end up working together as suppliers.  It was fun seeing her, and I somehow felt more excited about helping coordinate this wedding.

The Couple.

The Bride was very sweet and genuinely nice.  She was radiant in her gown, though she confessed that she was stressed from the preparations, admitting that they only focused on their wedding planning about a month before THE day.

The Groom was… unconventional.  He didn’t get to the venue until about 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony (And he was still in his jeans and an old T-shirt).  He burned the songs for the ceremony only minutes after he arrived.  He said they had a missalette.  When we rummaged in his bag, they actually did – one photocopied missalette provided by the church.  And that’s it.

Oasis Couple

That’s when I knew it was going to be an interesting day.

The Oasis| 169 Aurora Boulevard, San Juan| 721.4585| 726.6832| http://www.oasismanila.com

It was my first time at The Oasis, and I couldn’t mask my surprise at the location.  I’ve seen photos of the place, and I never at all expected that it would be in an area right along a major road, much less right beside the LRT.  It was mind-boggling how a place so serene could exist within an area completely unlike it.

The Oasis Manila

I met up with my friend and we went up to the Bridal Suites (There were three, and two were being occupied for this one wedding).  We checked where the Bride was being made up, and it was filled to capacity by (I presumed) family members and friends.  The room wasn’t that spacious to begin with, but people kept popping in to see the Bride in all her un-made-up-yet glory.  My friend had earlier advised the photographers to shoot the wedding details at the (luckily) unused hall next door, which worked out better for them because it offered more lighting.

Oasis Suite

The second room was for us (coordinators) and other materials such as souvenirs, flowers, doves, and whatnot.  We had our lunch there (Jollibee Chickenjoy – Yum!), and my friend handed me one of two walkie-talkies her brother purchased for her in the States.  As I inserted the plug in my ear and hooked the radio onto the waistband of my skirt, I was really feeling the Day Coordinator vibe.

We went downstairs to check The Pavilion.  It’s basically the largest of the three options in The Oasis, and it offered the best “garden” location without having to worry about the unpredictable weather.  I saw this benefit first hand since the sky was moody at the time – rain and shine and rain and shine.

Oasis Manila

The staff knew that we were coordinating the wedding (as a friendly favor) and they were very accommodating to us, helping us in any and every way possible.  They helped us carry the souvenirs from the room to The Pavilion, and they shared their supplies with us (scotch tape, scissors) when we were preparing materials for the reception program.  (I figure professional coordinators would have enough people to carry wedding-related materials, and would have essential supplies on hand.)

Oasis Reception

After some last minute checking on the venue and the bride, we loaded all the materials for the ceremony – the doves, the flowers, the bible, the veil, the cord, and all the CDs of the songs to be used – in my car, then headed to the Church.

Mount Carmel| Our Lady of Carmel Shrine| 5th St., Broadway, New Manila, Quezon City| 724.5938

It was also my first time at Mount Carmel, and it was no wonder that it’s the usual church tandem with The Oasis because it’s only about 2 or 3 minutes away.   It was fairly easy to locate, and there was ample parking.  There’s no airconditioning, but because it was raining, heat wasn’t really an issue.  It’s also quite spacious, so there was plenty of air circulation.  The huge wooden doors allowed for a dramatic entrance for the bride, which is a big plus for me, personally.

Our Lady of Carmel Shrine

We brought all the materials down from my car (By then, the interiors of my car smelled suspiciously of molten earth and bird poo), and settled at the last pew at the back.  We set the cage containing the doves near the entrance for easy accessibility to one of the groomsmen who volunteered to take care of the dove release.

About 10 minutes before the official start of the ceremony, we handed out all the bouquets to the entourage members.  I’m quite proud that we were able to get instant proxy’s for the Ninangs who were running late.  (The Maid of Honor was a great help to us.)

We stayed only until after the bridal march.  After making sure that everyone and everything was settled, we headed back to The Oasis to check on the reception set-up.

Hizon’s Catering| http://www.hizonscatering.com

The caterer was the long-standing Hizon’s Catering.  Their set-up was quite festive, following the couple’s theme colors of maroon and gold.  Long vases held lively flowers arranged like a pomander.  Tiffany chairs were provided for all the guests, which was good.  I just didn’t like how they added a maroon Organza to decorate the chair, which I felt defeated the whole purpose of having the Tiffany.  Oh, well.  I guess that’s already a matter of personal preference.  The couple’s table stood under a gazebo with strings of tivoli lights cascading at the back.  Two long presidential tables were placed at either side of the couple’s table.

Hizon\'s Catering

While it was good that they had finished their set-up early, they also already brought the cake out (We saw this even before heading to the Church).  It just sat on the stand for hours, being exposed to all the outdoor elements.

Because of the rain-shine-rain-shine weather, a couple of chairs by the registration area were already wet.  But none of the people from Hizon’s bothered to remove them to keep from being further doused with rain.

They had a guest frame as well, but didn’t even bother to remove it from the plastic bubble wrap.  It was just lying on the gift table.  They didn’t have an easel either, and they didn’t even exert any sort of effort to mount it on anything.  I just placed it atop a chair, and I had to ask the Captain Waiter for the marker, too.

Hizon\'s Catering Set Up 01

About an hour after the supposed start of the ceremony, the waiters were already dressed in their uniforms.  They sat on one of the guest tables, and they were playing with the goblets and utensils.  Seeing this, I felt like a Mother who wanted to scold naughty schoolchildren for misbehaving, but I decided to let it go.  It wasn’t that big a deal anyway.  That is, until the guests started arriving.  Even when they could clearly see the people heading to the pavilion (and most were Principal Sponsors), they just continued to sit there, playing with the dang goblets and utensils, like they were oblivious to the entire event, which they’re supposed to be working for.  We told them politely that there were guests arriving, and they just looked at us.  So we had to request them explicitly (albeit politely) to move because the reception was starting in a few minutes.

Because our coordination was being done as a favor, we could also partake of the buffet like all the other guests.  And considering I was really hungry by dinner time, I still wasn’t very satisfied with the food.  I’ve attended other weddings with Hizon’s as the caterer, and the taste of their food doesn’t seem to be consistent for all their events.  There were some occasions where their food was delicious, but others (like this wedding) weren’t up to par.

Emcee| Friend

Right at the start of the reception, it was further justified – the emcee is actually CRITICAL and IMPORTANT in ensuring that your guests will enjoy and actually stay to finish the entire program.

While it will save us money to enlist friends to do the emcee-ing, it will not save us from the possible embarrassment of having a long-drawn-out and dull program.  It’s best to hire someone who is naturally witty, with a good sense of humor, and whose taste is similar to ours.

Trading back shoes.

After all was done and said, it doesn’t really matter what I thought about this couple, their wedding or the suppliers they chose.  The most important thing is this:  During their wedding, every time I happened to glance at them, they looked happy and satisfied.  And I’m sure this didn’t come simply from the fulfillment of their plans for their wedding day.  Instead, I’m pretty confident it came from the fact that they’re finally going to spend the rest of their lives together as man and wife.

Cheers to all the couples who have taken the plunge.

Chapter Six: Makeup and Madness

2 March 2008 at 6:58 pm | Posted in Hair & Makeup, Partners | Leave a comment
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 [She Writes]

Oddly enough for a self-professed kikay, Hair and Makeup were the least of my priorities in terms of wedding preparations.  I figured it was an issue I needed to address only a few months before I walked down the aisle.  Nevertheless, this didn’t stop me from scouring possible options.  And it was a happy surprise to have discovered such a treasure when I least expected it.

Makeup

Madge Lejano| www.makeupbymadge.com

She had a link (literally) to almost every sought-after wedding supplier’s website.  That, I believe, reflected the kind of person she was and the quality of her art.

Cherry Pacheco-Uy| www.cherrypachecouy.com

The before-after photos on her website are jaw-dropping.

Ara Fernando| www.arafernando.com

She’s a kasiyudad, and her testimonials were detailed and consistent.

Tita Star| ABS-CBN

I met her during a stint for work.  She’s beautified many faces in local showbiz, and has fantastic PR skills that can make people (including myself) buy a hundred-peso bag of chocolate-covered marshmallow cookies.

JESY ALTO| http://jesyalto.multiply.com

After making my downpayment to Threelogy at a bridal fair, I (very innocently, I might add) asked Jen if she has worked with so-and-so makeup artist or if she could recommend one.  Without warning, Jen grabbed my hand and dragged me to The Makeup Studio’s booth, and introduced me to her kabarkada, Jesy Alto. 

Jesy Alto

With her short hair and short (ahem) stature, Jesy’s like a pretty little pixie.  Her size, however, belies her endless energy.  She (and Jen) chatted me up non-stop about everything, discussing the actual issue at hand (hair and makeup services) only briefly.  We clicked like old friends, and I knew right then that I wanted her to be a part of our wedding.  As a clincher, her rates were reasonable and her before-and-after photos were jaw-dropping as well.

Jesy Alto - BeforeAfter01Jesy Alto - BeforeAfter02

I figured, because they will be with me for the most part before my walk down the aisle, the Hair and MakeUp Artists should be people I could, at the very least, get along with.  Luckily, not only did I get along with Jesy, I love her bubbly and bright personality as well.  Being with her would definitely let me just enjoy the day and make the moments before the “I Do’s” a blast.

Chapter Five: Moving Pictures

2 March 2008 at 5:43 pm | Posted in Partners, Videographer | 1 Comment
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[She Writes] 

During a stage of cluelessness, when the glistening marquise had yet to settle comfortably on my left ring finger, I was set on alloting a major chunk of our wedding investment to photography.  And practically none for videography.  (Insert loud cries of disbelief here.)

At the time, a video, to me, was a mere documentation of the events that transpired, to be used only for future reference, or maybe never at all.

That was, until I came across Jason Magbanua| www.jasonmagbanua.com

I was introduced to the concept called “On-site Video” or what many are now coining “Same Day Edit.” For days, I watched AVP after AVP of weddings of couples who were strangers to me.  And yet each video either moved me to tears or made me cry with delight.  My Mom thought I had gone insane.

At this point, I had entered a stage that was entirely aware of the beauty and importance of wedding videography.

Soon, I was hungry for more on-site videos.  I googled away for “filipino wedding videos.”  None could hold my attention the way Jason’s were able to.  Except for those of THREELOGY DIGITAL VIDEO| http://threelogyvideo.com

Their style was similar to Jason’s.  But it was different somehow, in tone and mood.  Threelogy’s works seemed so much fun and playful, and as expected, my fiance was more drawn to their videos.  So was I.

Threelogy

I first met with Jon, who seemed like the quiet type but wasn’t.  He was very accommodating and didn’t mind that I had a lot of questions.

The next time, I spoke with CJ who was hilarious on the phone, and even funnier in person.  Lucky for me, Bong and Jon were there too, and I was able to witness first-hand just how much fun it was to be with all three of them.  Add to that, they’re also good friends with Dino Lara and his team.

Third time’s a charm, as I finally made my reservation with Jen and May at a bridal fair.  Jen and May are also a riot.  It’s like there’s a requirement to be funny to be part of their company.

Even after having made the reservation, I still visit or get in touch with them, just because.  I’m looking forward to our wedding, not only because I’ll be marrying the man I wish to spend the rest of my life with (although that’s the main reason), but also for the fun time I’m sure we will have because of our wedding partners.

Chapter Four: The Click Factor

2 March 2008 at 2:32 pm | Posted in Partners, Photographer | 1 Comment
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[She Writes] 

I am a photofanatic.

In fact, as soon as we had settled the date, the very first Wedding Partner I booked was our photographer.  (That’s right – not even the Church nor the reception venue.) It’s not so much as vanity as it is to ensure that our once-in-a-lifetime (ideally) moment will be captured beautifully.

DINO LARA PHOTOGRAPHY| www.dinolaraphotography.com| www.dinolara.com| http://.dinolarablog.com

Rave: It was serendipitous when I came across his name while surfing a certain videographer’s website.  I clicked on his link, and I was hooked.  Even my fiance was inspired by his art.  Dino’s work speaks volumes about his talent and creativity.  His response to my email emanated with humility and sincerity.  Meeting him only served to add more substantial reasons why he is the photographer for us.  He showed me his albums, and took my compliments in stride, even pointing out how certain shots could have been done better.  While his style is photojournalistic (which is our personal preference), he also appreciated (and allowed me to appreciate) the (more traditional) styles adopted by other photographers.

Dino Lara

His albums are also highly personalized, which is a prime factor for us.  When I was telling him about our love story, he seemed genuinely interested and even advised us to start saving certain meaningful elements in a CD so he and his team could incorporate it into our album.  The people in his office are also very nice and accommodating.  And he has a Boston Terrier too! –> Okay, so this last statment is really not a basis for anything. But our beloved pet, Jack, happens to be a Boston Terrier, and I just felt this coincidence further confirmed that this partnership was truly meant to be.

Jack

Rant: Nothing. That’s why he will be celebrating with us on our special day.

Review: We can’t imagine anyone else capturing the good wishes and great moments in our wedding.

Fotogra (Mimi + Karl)| www.fotogra.ph| www.mimiandkarl.com

Rave: Dino Lara himself had nothing but praises for this duo.  Their style is photojournalistic, and their website is evidence of their love for travel and art.  They are creative and innovative, dynamic and young.  Their work alone can speak for these.  I never met them in person, communicating only with Mimi through email.  Online alone, one can already sense how nice and accommodating she is.

Rant: Nothing. We’re just hell bent on becoming Dino Lara alumni.

Review: For modern couples who want an innovative style of photojournalism.

Andy Samaniego| www.andysamaniego.com| http://andysamaniego.blogspot.com

Rave: He lives conveniently near our reception venue, so I decided to meet with him.  And I’m glad I did.  He takes beautiful photographs in a modern photojournalistic approach, and his albums are timeless and classic.  He is very accommodating and helpful – so helpful, in fact, that he even gave recommendations about the photographers in my shortlist.  He didn’t give me a sales pitch, offering only honesty and sincerity.  His passion for art and photography is crystal clear in his work.

Rant: Again, nothing. We just REALLY like Dino Lara.

Review: For couples who want a style that’s photojournalistic and timeless.

Metro Photo| www.mymetrophoto.com| http://mymetrophoto.blogspot.com

Rave: A gem I discovered through WeddingsAtWork, Metro Photo’s work precisely reflected their passion for the “unordinary.”  Oly Ruiz, their Chief Artist, responded swiftly and in detail.  He was also witty and funny, so I can just imagine how fun our wedding could be with them around.  Clearly, their service is also highly personalized and genuine.

Rant: What do you think?

Review: For young couples who want photos that are”unordinary” and photographers who can bring fun to your wedding.

Pat Dy| www.patdyphotography.com| http://blog.patdyphotography.com

Rave:  He is known in the industry, and it is no wonder why.

Rant: You know already.

Review: Pat Dy. How can you go wrong?

Eddie Boy Escudero| http://ebeseyes.multiply.com

Rave: Also known in the industry, his is a name I saw consistently in bridal magazines, capturing weddings of prominent couples in society.  When I communicated with him through email, he was oh-so-humble and accommodating.  He was quick to reply and sweet, saying he was crossing his fingers about our decision.

Rant: Nothing.

Review: No matter what angle, your wedding will be beautiful through Eddie Boy Escudero’s eyes.

Mango Red| www.mangored.com

Rave:  Innovative. High-Style.  Young.  Dynamic.  Passionate.  Creative.  Very Creative.

Rant: If you’re into “simple and minimalist,” try Mango Yellow or Apple Red.

Review: For adventurous couples who want an artistic and stylistic memento for their wedding.

Smart Shot Studio (Lito Genilo)| www.smartshotstudio.com

Rave: My brother’s wedding partner back in the day.  Established.  Strong foundation.  Award-winning.

Rant: Not our style.

Review: For couples who honor creative traditionalist photography.

Ariel Javelosa Photography| www.arieljavelosa.ph

Rave: Established.  Award-winning.

Rant: Not our style.

Review: For couples who want creative classic photos.

Almost all true photographers are naturally gifted and passionate about their art, the difference lying only on their style.  Choosing a photographer therefore, depends greatly on one’s taste.  But apart from your personal preference, an important determining consideration is the chemistry between you and the photographer.  When you meet with a prospective photographer, you’ll know if he or she’s the one for you.  You’ll feel it – the click factor.

Chapter Three: Where it all began

1 March 2008 at 12:48 pm | Posted in Partners, Reception | Leave a comment
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At the onset, we wanted to hold the reception in LOYOLA GRAND VILLAS.  After all, this is where the major milestones leading to our wedding happened – the official commitment to date exclusively and the engagement.  It was almost the natural choice, considering its significance to our relationship.

But, of course, we explored other possibilities.

C3 Events Place|  18 Missouri St., Greenhills West, San Juan| www.c3phils.com.

 C3 Events Place

Rave: It’s a hip party place with a modern ambience that requires minimal styling.

Rant: Nearly Five-Star Hotel Prices.  Very limited parking spaces.

Review:  This is a nice option for a high-style, intimate event.

The Blue Leaf Events Pavilion| 100 Park Avenue, McKinley Hill Village, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.| www.theblueleaf.com.ph

The Blue Leaf Events Pavilion 

Rave: It’s clean and serene with wonderfully landscaped greenery, perfect for Zen-inspired themes.  The pavilions are air-conditioned and have wonderful views of the gardens.  Situated in McKinley Hill at the edges of the booming metropolis of The Fort, it is fairly easy to locate.  It’s brand-spanking new, and it definitely looks it.  The people are very accommodating and quick to respond.

Rant: The venue was much smaller than we expected.  Parking within the venue is limited (although guests may opt to park on the side of the street).  Rate is a little more than what we were willing to shell out.

Review:  It’s a good option for couples looking for a venue within The Fort.

Makati Shangri-La|  Ayala Center, Makati City|  www.shangri-la.com.

Makati Shangri-La 

Rave: Makati Shangri-La. ‘Nuff said.

Rant: Five-Star Hotel Price. ‘Nuff said.

Review: A five-star hotel will always be a good choice for special occasions, if you have the moolah to spare.

The Peninsula Manila|  Ayala Corner Makati Avenue, Makati City| http://manila.peninsula.com.

Peninsula Manila 

Rave: Military forces sieged it.  A tank was forcibly rammed through its lobby entrance.  Despite all the chaos, the weddings, the birthdays, and all other celebrations for the day pushed through.  And less than a week later, the entrance was back to its former splendor.

Rant: Five-Star Hotel Price.

Review:  It may cause a little extra, but you’re assured that no army takeover or fifty-ton tank will stop your wedding from happening.

Manila Polo Club| McKinley Road, Forbes Park, Makati City|  www.manilapolo.com.ph.

Manila Polo Club 

Rave: Great location. Private and Prestigious.

Rant: Sponsorship from a member is required in order to hold an event in this venue.

Review:  Worthy option for couples eyeing the area of The Fort.  If you’ve got the connections to hold your celebration here, use them.

In the end, we went back to where it all began: LOYOLA GRAND VILLAS| Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City.

Rave:  It has sentimental value to us.  It’s like being home.  It’s simple and elegant.  It’s air-conditioned. It’s convenient. And parking is sufficient.

Rant: Only members of the community are allowed to use the function hall.

Review: As a place that holds much meaning for us,  it’s where we wish to celebrate with our family and friends on our special day.

As most people say, “location is everything.”  And it is.  In choosing the right reception venue, there are so many considerations, including proximity to the church, convenience to majority of the guests, the atmosphere, and the surroundings.  For many, the location determines the entire “mood” of the wedding.  A hotel, for instance, will not make guests think twice about dressing up to the nines.

Our venue might not be spectacular by most people’s standards, but it is, to us.   There is really no way of pleasing everyone, but in the end, what’s important is pleasing ourselves and being happy with our choices.

Chapter Two: Search for the Church

1 March 2008 at 10:31 am | Posted in Ceremony | Leave a comment
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The search was over before it even began.  The Church of the Gesu.  Our prime choice.  If we had our way, this is where we would stand before God and our family and friends to declare our lifelong commitment in holy matrimony.

Church of the Gesu

Operative word: IF.

Because it is not an actual parish, the Church of the Gesu cannot conduct sacramental celebrations such as baptism, confirmation, or marriage.

Hence, the beginning of our search for a church.

Sta. Maria della Strada| Katipunan Ave. Corner Pansol St., Loyola Heights, Quezon City| 929.7790

Rave: Geographically speaking, it is the perfect choice for our ceremony.  It is situated right beside the entrance leading to Loyola Grand Villas.  The rate is very reasonable.  And the wooden interiors are sufficiently clean and well-maintained.

Rant: We were concerned about the three P’s: Parking, Photo-Video Friendliness, and Pamaypay requirement.  Parking spaces are limited to the relatively small area in front of the church.  Being situated right beside a main road, Katipunan Avenue, the Jeepneys and cars speeding by may be seen and heard in the cameras.  And the church does not have air-conditioning, enclosed only by wrought-iron gates that cannot protect against smoke and pollution from the busy streets.

Review: The three P’s were primary issues for us.  Otherwise, Sta. Maria della Strada is a good option for those looking for a church in the Quezon City area.

Christ the King| Greenmeadows Ave., Quezon City| 633.0280| 687.1909

Christ the King

Rave: Both our parents suggested it.  And it is arguably one of the more beautiful churches in Manila.  The structure is round, enclosed by clear glass, allowing plenty of light to seep through.  And it’s air-conditioned to boot! The altar is magnificent, and looks spectacular in pictures.  Parking is no problem since there is an entire lot for it beside the church.  The rate is reasonable enough, already including the floral decorations, the choir, the air-conditioning and the officiant.

Rant: Reservations are accepted no more than 12 months before a desired date.  The staff are not very accommodating.  And the entrance is a sliding glass door, eliminating any hope for a dramatic bridal entrance.

Review: It’s a gorgeous church that would be a very wise choice for any couple.  In our case, we just wanted to be assured of a church much sooner; and the bride really wants some semblance of a dramatic entrance.

Sanctuario de San Antonio| McKinely Road, Forbes Park, Makati City| 843.8830| 843.8831

Sanctuario de San Antonio

Rave:  It’s “where the wealthy come to worship.” Situated in one of the more affluent areas in the metropolis, its antique Spanish exteriors exude an old-world feel.  Inside, a mood of solemnity and grandeur is reflected, with the warm lighting and magnificent altar.  It’s air-conditioned.  Parking is ample. And it’s the church of the bride’s dreams.

Rant: It’s nowhere near our reception venue.

Review: It’s perfect for couples planning to wed within Makati.

SANCTUARIO DE SAN JOSE| Duke St., East Greenhills, Mandaluyong City| 725.2044| 724.4139 | http://ssjparish.com.

Sanctuario de San Jose

Rave: Beautiful – The exterior is a happy marriage between the traditional and the modern.  Solemn – The interiors reflect a subdued atmosphere with a magnificent altar that lends a certain grandeur.  Private – Located within an upscale subdivision, privacy and security are ensured during the ceremony.  Perfect – Parking is ample;  It’s air-conditioned;  A dramatic entrance of sorts is possible; It’s picture-perfect.

Rant: It’s not quite as near to our reception venue as other churches, but close enough.

Review: This is it.  The search is over.  This is THE church.  This is our church.

The Ceremony is the most essential part of the wedding.  Heck, it IS the wedding.  The choice of church – where you will be declaring your vows to commit to one another forever and ever in front of your family and friends – is therefore unequivocally important.  The atmosphere of the church will determine the atmosphere of your wedding – whether it’s solemn and traditional, light and relaxing, or contemporary and airy.  Guess which one we’re going for?

Chapter One: The Wedding Date

1 March 2008 at 6:29 am | Posted in Wedding Date | Leave a comment
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16 December 2004 – Exclusive Dating| 23 December 2007 – Engagement| 30 December 2009 – Wedding

Each date is exactly seven days apart.  Each week is reason for celebration.


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