Chapter Seventeen: Celebrations!

21 May 2008 at 10:18 pm | Posted in Adventures | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

First, two things:

1. I know, I know.  I haven’t been as active in blogging as I should be.  This is probably because of the second thing.

2. Yes, yes.  I seem to have lost my mojo in wedding planning.  Oh, it’s still in my mind all the time. But that’s where it ends – my mind.  Oh, well. I’ll get the excitement back somehow, I’m sure.  I just don’t know when.

Having prefaced this entry, let me tell you about the Celebrations! Bridal and Events Expo held last Saturday at the big-ass SMX Convention Center beside the equally big-ass SM Mall of Asia.

I attended the event with Jona who I met through a lovely online community of engaged couples.  We came as strangers (technically) to the Expo, but left as very good friends.

We got to the SMX Convention Center around 11 a.m. and found a horrifyingly long line to the parking lot, so we decided to avail of the valet service.  We were surprised at the thought that there were so many people who decided to come to the bridal expo as early as we did – until we found out that there were simultaneous events such as the Food Expo and another where grown men were walking around in regal-looking suits with navy blue sashes over their fronts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We stepped onto the yellow-balloon-framed escalator and trooped to the second floor where the bridal expo was.

The lobby of the second floor held a breathtaking setup by Gardens by Pido.  After getting our name tags from the registration area, we met a nice lady, who we presumed worked for Pido, and Pido himself who didn’t seem to know the meaning of human interaction and kept absentmindedly staring into space as if looking for someone worthy of his saliva.  Nonetheless, the photos of his setups were as magnificent as he was antisocial.

The prices of guest table centerpieces range from Php500 to Php3,000, depending on the complexity of the design.  The setup for a VIP table starts at Php20,000, and the bridal stage is another Php20,000.

I suppose it’s worth it for the beauty of the setup.  But I also value the relationship that a vendor tries to develop with a client.

It is no wonder then that Balay Kandila is such a popular choice, not only among engaged couples, but even among fellow suppliers in the industry.  Balay Kandila, which is re-branding itself as 4th Wall (probably because it has been offering so much more than just kandila for a while now), has such BFF-worthy owners.  We met one of them – Ronald – when we finally went inside the cavernous halls.  It was a happy shock to learn that they had a booth in this particular expo, since I’ve never seen them as an exhibitor in any of the other fairs I attended.

Ronald is expectedly witty and surprisingly down to earth.  He was very warm and sincere, and didn’t seem to realize that Balay Kandila (now 4th Wall, I suppose) is quite well-known even beyond the wedding world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I felt good – no, great – vibes from him, and was excited to explore the possibility of getting their services.

W@W was sharing a booth with them, so we got a few w@wie paraphernalia like bookmarks and flyers.  We weren’t able to catch Ms. Benz, but we met a fellow w@wie couple when we passed by the booth again on our way out.

We were able to roam the exhibit in less than two hours, stopping only from time to time to taste a cake or two.  After, we headed to the end of the hall where VS&F was.  Jona had planned on making her downpayment that day, so she was kind enough to take me with her for a food-tasting session (i.e. free lunch!).

I enjoyed the food, especially the lengua, which Jona aptly described “melts in your mouth.”  She had done her research so she knew which food choices were delicious.  I also liked their squash soup (but I may biased because I like any and all squash soups) and the fish with lemon butter sauce.

Their setup reminded me of Marikina with the greens and pinks.  I wasn’t too fond of the combination, but I thought their ceiling treatment was pretty nice.  I also liked a few of their other design elements, which might go well with a nature- or beach-themed wedding.

Jona’s contact person, Val, was very accommodating – BFF-material as well.  He provided honest input about the food, and was very patient while she made her decision.  He was also already a manager in VS&F so he had the authority to include more in the packages, which he did for Jona.

The downpayment Jona made earned her a lot of entries to the bridal expo raffle.  No, wait.  I meant, A LOT of entries.  I helped her fill out the tickets, and boy, were our arms sore by the time we were done.  We spent a good half hour just writing her name, address, phone number, and email address on each entry.  I could probably dial her number from memory by now.  She promised to treat me to the next expo if she won.

As we were about to leave, our eyes caught the stall of Carmen Lorenzo, where wafer-thin models were handing out brochures.  The gowns were beautiful, and they became even prettier when we were told the prices.  Jona and I expected a higher amount, but they turned out to be quite reasonable, definitely more affordable than most.

We met Carmen Lorenzo herself.  Her fine taste is evident in her own persona, and she’s quite charming.  She’s definitely not BFF-material, not because she’s not easy to get along with, but because she is more a Tita-How-Are-You-Beso-Beso-material than anything else.  Their store is located in Glorietta, so it’s accessible to most.

It might be because I’ve already been to a number of bridal fairs, but I suppose Celebrations! didn’t really meet my expectations.  Maybe I was expecting too much – a grander setup, more exhibitors, and lots of new suppliers.  But all things considered, it was definitely worth the trip to Pasay.

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Chapter Sixteen: Love and Time

10 May 2008 at 6:53 am | Posted in Insights | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

Love inspires.

Love and Time

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left. Except for Love.

Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment.

When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said,
“Richness, can you take me with you?”
Richness answered, “No, I can’t. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you.”

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. “Vanity, please help me!”
“I can’t help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat,” Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked, “Sadness, let me go with you.”
“Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!”

Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her.

Suddenly, there was a voice, “Come, Love, I will take you.” It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Realizing how much was owed the elder,

Love asked Knowledge, another elder, “Who helped me?”
“It was Time,” Knowledge answered.
“Time?” asked Love. “But why did Time help me?”
Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, “Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is.”

Chapter Fifteen: Love and Marriage

10 May 2008 at 6:48 am | Posted in Insights | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

A wedding is merely one day in the lifetime of a marriage.  Be inspired not only by the wedding, but the marriage as well.

Love and Marriage according to Plato

One day, Plato asked his teacher,”What is love? How can I find it?”

The teacher answered, “There’s a large wheat field in front. Walk there

without turning back, and take just one leaf. If you can find one leaf

that you think is extraordinary, it means you have found love.”

So Plato walked .. and not long after that, he came back empty-handed.

The teacher asked him,”Why didn’t you bring any leaf?”

Plato said, “I can only bring just one leaf and when I walked, I couldn’t turn

back. Actually I found one extraordinary leaf, but I didn’t know whether

there would anymore extraordinary leaf in front, so I didn’t take that leaf.

When I walked further, I realized that the leaves I found are not as

extraordinary as the one I found previously. In the end, I didn’t take any leaf.”

Then the teacher told him, “That is love.”

 

Another day, Plato asked his teacher again, “What is marriage? How can I

find it?”

The teacher answered, “There is a forest in front. Please walk there and

don’t look back. You can only cut one tree, and cut the one that you

think is the highest, because that means you have found marriage.”

Plato walks there, and he came back not long after that bringing one

tree. The tree is not a very good tree and not a very tall one, either.

It’s just an ordinary tree.

The teacher asked him, “Why did you cut that kind of tree?”

Plato answered, “Because, according to my previous experience, after

walking through the field, I came back with nothing. So this time, when I

saw this tree, and I thought the tree is not so bad, so I decided to cut it

and bring it here. I don’t want to lose another chance to get it.”

And the teacher said, “Well then, that is marriage.”

 

Little notes

The more you look for love, you will find nothing. Love is in your heart,

when you can control your desire and your hope to find something better.

When you have endless hope and wish of love, you will only get emptiness

because you wont get anything, and time cannot be turned back. Accept love

for what it is.

Marriage is a continuation of love. It is a process of having chances, and

you choose the best option among all the alternatives. If you want to

have a perfect match and a perfect marriage, you will only waste your

time, because there is no perfect marriage.

There is no such thing as a perfect human relationship.

Have you ever wondered why the shape of a heart is not a full circle?

Because only GOD can fill in that space.

Chapter Fourteen: A Lull

9 May 2008 at 8:40 pm | Posted in Insights | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

However much I refused to believe it, my family (particularly my Mom) told me it would come eventually.  And it did.

Because we had already taken care of most of the major aspects for our nuptials, I am finally experiencing my first lull in wedding preparations.

My cousin told me that when she was planning her wedding, she had been fired up the first few months, stagnant the next, then excited again later, and so on.  It was a rollercoaster of moods, and my Mom said that I would experience the same thing.  I didn’t believe her during the first few months after our engagement, when I could barely contain my eagerness to finish all the wedding details.  But now, the initial excitement is beginning to fade, albeit slowly.

I still flip through pages of Wedding Essentials and Metro Weddings, but just absentmindedly and almost purely for bathroom reading. I dig up flyers from previously attended fairs and scan the WeddingsAtWork Primer and Directory, but only occasionally and randomly.  I discuss wedding details within our online community, but not even about our own.

For this blog, I realized that I was starting to draw a blank. So I’ve decided to dedicate the next few chapters to stories that would re-inspire myself about the wedding planning process.  And hopefully, others will become inspired as well.

Typically, to motivate herself about wedding preparations, it may seem that the most logical move for a bride would be to surround herself with images of breathtaking receptions, beautiful gowns, and lovely bouquets.

But I guess I’m not typical bride.  Instead, I decided to surround myself with breathtaking words, beautiful thoughts, and lovely insights about love.  The love that is being celebrated in a wedding is no ordinary love.  It is a love so strong, it must be shared to the world; a love so confident, it commits itself to eternity; a love so meaningful, it has God at its very core.  To realize that you have been blessed with such a love, well, nothing can be more inspiring than that.

Chapter Thirteen: A Priceless Wedding

4 May 2008 at 4:43 pm | Posted in Insights | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

Every bride says she wants a beautiful wedding.  But you’ve got to admire the groom who wanted a priceless one.  I’d like to share his story:

This is a true story about a recent wedding that took place at Clemson University.  It was in the local newspaper and even Jay Leno mentioned it. It was a huge wedding with about 300 guests.

After the wedding at the reception, the groom got up on stage with a microphone to talk to the crowd. He said he wanted to thank everyone for coming, many from long distances, to support them at their wedding. He especially wanted to thank the bride’s and his family and to thank his new father-in-law for providing such a lavish reception.

As a token of his deep appreciation he said he wanted to give everyone a special gift just from him. So taped to the bottom of everyone’s chair, including the wedding party, was a manila envelope.

He said this was his gift to everyone, and asked them to open their envelopes.

Inside each manila envelope was an 8×10 glossy of his bride having sex with the best man. The groom had gotten suspicious of them weeks earlier and had hired a private detective to tail them.

After standing there, just watching the guests’ reactions for a couple of minutes, he turned to the best man and said, “F— you!”.  Then he turned to his bride and said, “F— you!”. Then he turned to the dumbfounded crowd and said, “I’m outta here.”

He had the marriage annulled first thing in the morning.  While most people would have canceled the wedding immediately after finding out about the affair, this guy goes through with the charade, as if nothing were wrong.

His revenge…making the bride’s parents pay over $32,000 for a 300-guest wedding and reception, and best of all, trashing the bride’s and best man’s reputations in front of 300 friends and family members. This guy has balls the size of church bells.

Elegant wedding reception for 300 family members and friends ………………………………..$32,000.
Wedding photographs commemorating the occasion ……………………………………$3,000.
Deluxe two week honeymoon accommodations in Maui ……………………………………….$8,500.
The look on everyone’s face after seeing the 8×10 glossy of the bride humping the best man ……….Priceless.

There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s MASTERCARD.

Here’s (not) wishing everyone a priceless wedding!

P.S.  This is considered an urban legend, which has been circulating online since 1995.  True or not, it’s a great source of laughs!

Chapter Twelve: Runaway Other Half

4 May 2008 at 4:16 pm | Posted in Insights | 2 Comments
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[She Writes]

For the past week, I’ve been coming across stories of soon-to-marry’s running away from their partners and fleeing before their wedding, many of which could leave a doubt or two about saying “I do”:

In an online community I joined for soon-to-be-weds, not one but TWO brides consecutively had their weddings called off by their not-so-better halves.  The first’s ex-fiance was bitten by the green-eyed monster and turned his back on her at her most trying time.  To plunge the knife even deeper into her already bleeding heart, he sent her his credit card bill – demanding her and her family to pay him for the stuff they had bought together.  The second’s ex-groom got frozen feet brought about by the hoots and jeers of his cold-hearted friends.  His icy toes cracked and left him with nothing to stand on – not for his love for a woman, and not for his dignity as a man with his own mind.

Late last night, the local Kapuso network aired the heart-breaking story of the infamous runaway groom from Cebu.  I had read about it months ago in the newspaper, which told of the groom about to say his vows when another woman appeared and shouted at the priest to stop the wedding.  He left the church with the other woman, leaving his bride at the altar and the guests in shock.

But according to the TV interview with the said groom, he had seen his bride-to-be with another man days before their wedding, and this was what made him decide not to push through with their wedding.  In a blog by a girl who claimed to be a friend of this infamous groom, the groom said that he and the other woman were really supposedly just friends.  It was only during the wedding day, when she had appeared at the church in tears and hysterics, did he realize that she had developed feelings for him so he went after her.

With all these tragic tales of men not manning up to the women they wooed and promised to commit to, it’s easy to be swayed into a moment of doubt and wonder if my own man won’t flee like a bee from his honey.  But this is hardly fair because even the fairer sex is not without its own dramatic deeds.

Three years ago, an American woman made like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride, fleeing five days prior to her carefully-planned grand wedding with 600 guests.  She fabricated a tale of kidnapping and sexual assault, sparking a nationwide search and intensive media coverage.  This real-life runaway bride’s story ended with her ex-fiance cancelling the wedding completely and later marrying another woman in a quiet ceremony in his parents’ home.

Months ago, my fiance and I almost called it quits ourselves.  One fateful day, we had gotten into a minor disagreement about wedding details that escalated up to a point where our four years together seemed to have become inconsequential.   The fight lasted only two earth days, but it seemed like an eternity in hell to me.

I was a confused could-have-been runaway bridezilla.  But my fiance was a grounded man who was true to his word.  For him, the ring was not simply a bling-bling that crowned our four-year relationship.  It was a testament to his willingness and readiness to marry me.  It was his commitment to be with me for the rest of his life, through good and bad times, for better or for worse.  He trusted that my acceptance of the ring was my own promise to the same commitment of marriage.

His words moved me, and remained in my heart.  At that point, all my doubts ran away.  And I knew I would forever stay.  Til death do us part.


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