Chapter Thirty-Three: Gazebo Royale

17 September 2008 at 5:25 am | Posted in Adventures, Bridal Events, Caterer, Partners, Reception | 7 Comments
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[She Writes]

A picture is worth a thousand words.  So here are the images I took from the Hizon’s Catering’s grand food-tasting held at the Gazebo Royale.

Beautiful greenery greets guests.

Hizon’s Food Tasting was held at the Champagne Hall.

The Champagne Hall is a huge area that should easily fit 350 to 500 guests.

It is a roofed but open-air venue.

Ceiling treatments of the Champagne Hall.

One of the many ponds.

The men’s rest room.

The bridge leading to the women’s comfort room.

The airconditioned and spacious rest room.

A venue for smaller gatherings, the Bamboo Grove.

Airconditioned and fits about 50 to 60 people.

From the Bamboo Grove to Phoenix Avenue.

A smaller version of Champagne Hall.

The ceiling decor of Phoenix Avenue.

RAVE: Fairly easy to locate.  Clean feel.  Gorgeous greenery.  Spacious parking.  Airconditioned bathrooms.

RANT: Venues may get quite hot.  Far from more desirable churches.

REVIEW: Beautiful option for a garden-style wedding within the metro.

The Gazebo Royale is located at 29 Visayas Ave. Ext., Quezon City.  For more information, visit their website at http://www.gazeboroyale.com.

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Chapter Thirty-Two: Inviting Invites

15 September 2008 at 8:32 am | Posted in Adventures, Invitation | 4 Comments
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[She Writes]

I’ve always found myself captivated by stationery, or any paper product that captures one’s imagination  – cards, invitations, magazines, books, anything palatable on paper!

In fact, my favorite part of wedding planning has to do with invitations – whether it’s doing research, designing, or simply imagining the possibilities for our own.

The whole of an invitation – its texture, style, colors, text, design – sets the expectation and anticipation.  Will it be an elegant affair? Will it be a fun party? Will it be an intimate event?

My fiance and I are hoping for a combination of classy yet carefree – following a poignant ceremony, a tasteful reception that will still invite guests to let their hair down.

How will this be expressed in the invitations? The classy part – from the texture and style; The carefree part – from the colors, text, and overall design.

The colors, text, and design are the least of our “cares,” as these are “free.”  We choose the colors, write the text, and execute a design – decisions, which we’re not technically paying for.

The texture (kind of paper) and style (letterpress, thermographic, embossing, or engraving) are what comprises the cost of an invitation.

Letterpress best exudes the kind of elegance my fiance and I would love to achieve for our wedding.  It is the epitome of refinement and good taste.  Even if splashes of color are incorporated into the design, the letterpress serves to balance the look and lend sophistication.

Of course, letterpress does not come cheap.  In fact, it’s darn right expensive.  As much as I would LOVE to have letterpress invites, we might not be able to afford it.

Nevertheless, there is hope! A dear friend, Luzel, from our online community, weddingsatwork, shared news of the very generous promo by Dingbat Press (http://dingbatpress.blogspot.com), a design studio that specializes in letterpress.

Adrienne Berry, the owner and creative genius behind Dingbat Press, is giving away a FULL WEDDING SUITE valued at $900.  The suite includes 100 letterpress invitations and reply cards.  Check out full details at their blog, THE DINGBAT’S AGENDA.  The promo runs until the 20th of September.

The contest is open even to non-US residents (such as myself). 

But my fiance lives in Ohio, USA.  So in case we do win, I suppose we can have the invites shipped to his place.

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Right now, I’m just hoping, wishing, and praying that Dingbat Press would seriously consider (and eventually choose) our entry.

 Good luck to all the hopeful couples!

All images in this entry were taken from www.etsy.com and http://dingbatpress.blogspot.com.  Visit www.dingbatpress.com to learn more about the company and their products.

See Chapters 19 & 25 for invitation-related entries of Storybookwedding.

Chapter Thirty-One: Swak na Swak Wack-Wack

12 September 2008 at 8:20 am | Posted in Adventures, Insights, Reception | 3 Comments
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[She Writes]

There’s a chance that our original reception venue may not pull through as it may not fit all our guests.  So we’ve started checking out other places.

Because of its proximity to our church, it was almost natural that we pay a visit to Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club.

It was quite nice, and had the feel of a hotel.

The entrance was lovely and elegant.

And the lobby was clean and classy. (The picture’s just a little fuzzy though.)

To the right was the way to Banquet Halls A & B.

Banquet A can seat about 150 guests.

During our ocular, VS&F was setting up for what appears to be a wedding.  One concern we had about the place was the limited number of accredited caterers.  In fact, there were only two: VS&F and The Plaza.

There was a set stage and space for a dance floor.  The floor may be rented free of charge from the club.

Banquet B was a smaller hall that may be used as an extension to A.  It can fit about a hundred more guests.

Banquet B has a balcony of sorts overlooking the greens.

At the side, you can see the parking lot and the pool…

… and a nice cityscape.

RAVE: Nice alternative to a hotel. 5-star ambiance at a reasonable price.  Gorgeous Cityscape. Close proximity to our chosen church.

RANT: Very limited choices in caterers.  Carpet had a slight musty smell.

REVIEW: All in all, this is definitely a place we’re seriously considering.

*See Chapters 3 & 24 for more wedding reception venue options

Chapter Thirty: More Mags

12 September 2008 at 7:20 am | Posted in Adventures, Insights | 4 Comments
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[She Writes]

The latest additions to my collection.

I got these foreign titles for a steal at Book Sale.

The latest issue of Metro Weddings has two cover options.  I purchased the one with Patricia Morato-Roa posing with a variety of wedding cakes from the Red Ribbon bakeshop.  The other cover features actress Cheska Garcia.

I bought the Wedding Essentials Destinations, which also has two cover options.  Even though we’re not planning on having an out-of-town wedding, it contains so much wedding inspiration and honeymoon ideas that would still help in our own preparations.

The latest Wedding Essentials issue I bought from the publisher’s booth at the Wedding Expo at a discounted price!

Soon, I’ll show you my favorite features in these magazines.  For now, all I can say is they’re totally worth it!

See Chapters 21 and 23 for related posts on bridal magazines.

Chapter Twenty-Nine: W@w@wee!

12 September 2008 at 12:02 am | Posted in Adventures | 2 Comments
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[She Writes]

A few months after getting engaged, I joined an online community for soon-to-weds called w@w, derived from the website www.weddingsatwork.com.  Weddings@Work is an Internet-based resource for Filipino weddings.

I heard of w@w years back, but I couldn’t remember exactly where.  I can only recall being given the 2003 w@w Wedding Primer, which was the maiden issue.  And this is how I learned about the website.

Although the suppliers we’ve booked so far were not “influenced” by the community, learning about them from real couples who had actually experienced the way they worked during their own weddings helped reinforce our decision.

In my case, the community became my wedding planning companion.  Being the typical uber excited bride that I was, I could think and talk about nothing but the wedding for a number of months.

My mother – and probably even my fiance’s mother – had visibly grown weary of my constant chatter about the wedding even though they tried their best not to show it.  I completely understood that.  They had so much more important matters in their minds, and I knew it was torture bothering them with my girlish dreams of a fabulous wedding.

My fellow w@wies were my lifesavers.  They were not only happy to hear about our wedding plans, they also shared my excitement just as I shared in theirs.

About a month ago, one of the website founders, Ms. Benz Co-Rana, requested designs for the site’s button pins.  Bragging rights go to the creator of the selected design.

I decided to submit a design, not because of the bragging rights, but because I wanted to give something back – no matter how small – to the community that provided me a haven for my bride-ness. I ended up making several:

 

And I was so happy when Benz announced that one of my designs was chosen!

She sent me the final product…

… along with another pin designed by a fellow w@wie

… and a copy of the latest Wedding Primer!

 As much as I love the Primer though…  

I have quite a lot more than an average bride needs.

Nevertheless, I love the publications of w@w and try to collect them all.

Yes, I think I am a “certified w@w addict.”

If you’re planning a wedding in the Philippines (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter) and wish to find inspiration or information on Philippine-based resources, log on to www.weddingsatwork.com.

If you are a bride or a groom, I highly encourage you to become a member of the W@W community through http://groups.yahoo.com/group/weddingsatwork/ and gain an active support group during the preparations.

Chapter Twenty-Eight: A Quick Expo

10 September 2008 at 2:33 am | Posted in Adventures, Bridal Events, Insights, Partners | 8 Comments
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[She Writes]

I’ve been a deliquent blogger, and I know it.  Blame it on my twisted priorities: work, work, work, which are ultimately for “our” future.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to manage my time much better and maintain a steadier stream of entries by mid this month.

My Mom and I dropped by the Wedding Expo Philippines 2008 held at the PICC Forum, Manila last weekend.  We had to go after lunch because I had work in the morning (Actually, I had work the whole day, but I took the afternoon off), and we didn’t stay long because my Aunt was throwing her birthday dinner that night.

I vowed to maximize this trip, which meant I must take as many pictures as I deemed fit.  And I did – despite the many signs (literally) keeping me from fulfilling my own promise.

Right smack at the entrance of the venue was a huge banner prohibiting the use of cameras, which I swear I didn’t notice until just now while writing this entry.  And there was a periodic reminder from the PA system about the use (or non-use) of cameras inside the Expo.

Nevertheless, our readers-slash-viewers should be happy that I am more of a camwhore than a model citizen, that a huge tarpaulin sign is not enough to deter my will to document my latest (and long-time missing) “wedding-related” adventure, and that an hourly announcement that seems very likely directed to me will not dash my determination to achieve my goal.

So here is a “collage” of my experience at the Expo:

Bridal cars all in a row.

Jeez, Chrysler!

I finally saw the Limo Beetle in the flesh (or in the metal?)…

… with the matching Groomie Beetle!

What a cute pair!

I believe this is a Jaguar S-Type.  (To the car enthusiasts, please correct me if I’m wrong or if you wish to specify the model for this vehicle)  Regardless of its make and model, this is definitely the cat’s meow in bridal cars.

Here’s the classic-looking limo-type Benz.

Soon-to-weds have the option of renting souped up cars.  In person (or in car-ness?), the silver car’s mags are moving!

Paradoxically, many modern couples are opting for vintage bridal cars.

Long lines of people greeted us at the registration area.

More lines going through the actual fair!

My fiance was well-represented at the Expo despite his being many miles away.  My fiance’s parents and little sister had come to the Expo as well, and had been roaming the exhibit since late morning.

My Mom and I skipped the first few rows of the exhibit and met them at the booth of ISS Makati Skyline.  We’d been considering Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club as our reception venue, which currently had only two accredited caterers – The Plaza and VS&F.  Apparently, ISS Makati Skyline has submitted their request for accreditation and may well be on their way to becoming one of the preferred caterers of the exclusive country club.  This was good news since we would be given more (and hopefully, more reasonable) choices.

After our quick inquiry with the caterer, our first official stop was our very talented yet humble photographer, Dino Lara.  I introduced him to my Mom and my fiance’s family, and they were very impressed with his work.

I was also pleasantly surprised that he remembered the tin of tea bags from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf I had given him a few months back.  What a guy!

My fiance’s family said they had to go because they were running late for an appointment.  So I was able to introduce only my Mom to the guys of Threelogy, who will be capturing our wedding on video.

Jon, Bong, and CJ are hilarious, and so are almost all the people in their team (Hi Jen! Hi May!).  Even my Mom couldn’t help laughing at these guys’ antics.

But I am almost 100% certain that my mother would remember CJ most vividly.

When we got to their booth, the guys had just taken their “yosi” break.  So my Mom and I hung around their booth for a while.

Jon and Bong got back first and they, of course, exhibited the typical pleasantries when I introduced them to my Mom.

But when CJ arrived and I told him that my Mom was with me, he took her hand, shook it, and introduced himself with such confidence and galantry: “Hello, Mommy.  I’m CJ.  I’m very happy to meet you.” (Not his exact words, but you get the drift.)

I expect there will not be a dull moment at our wedding with these guys around.

We chatted for several more minutes.  Dino even came by with his lovely daughter, Ansel.  And we joked around with him for a bit.  Afterwards, my Mom and I decided to begin actually roaming the other stalls, starting from the entrance.

Unlike in the previous fairs I attended where I stopped at almost every booth, I skipped the rows of photographers, videographers, and makeup artists since we already had our partners for these tasks.  (Well, it was primarily because we were pressed for time.) We mainly checked out the reception venues, stylists, and caterers.

I was no longer surprised when I ran into my good friend, Camille.  Their family owns The Glass Garden, an English garden-inspired venue that is fast growing in popularity.  *See Chapter 24 for Storybookwedding’s own review of the Glass Garden

Camille is the perfect representative for the venue because she exudes the simple elegance and refreshing appeal of the place.  She was also able to charm the necklace off my Mom who thought she closely resembled teen actress Kim Chiu.

The Glass Garden’s closest competitor would be Fernwood Gardens.  What I love most about Fernwood are its exotic animals.  One of which they had brought to their exhibit – a Blue and Gold Macaw.  I tried to pet it, but it kept rolling its head, attempting to peck my hand off.

 

One of my favorite artists, Henry Pascual, was the official stylist of the Expo.

I love how his designs can go from simple to avant-garde while maintaining a distinct style and class that only a true creative genius can produce.

He is genuinely passionate about his craft, and he is able to relate well with people – a winning combination for his field of work.

I did not book any supplier that day.  But I still managed to spend money at the expo, though a minor amount – on the latest issue of Wedding Essentials magazine.

Being the old-fashioned lover-of-words-and-pictures that I am, I am still captivated by the text and photos printed on smooth glossy paper.  As thankful as I am for the Internet, I still enjoy caressing the edges of paper and feeling the soft wind created by the pages’ dance.

On our way home, I realized that the Wedding Expo was definitely worthwhile when my Mom, who had become sick of accompanying me to wedding fairs, said: “That was by far the best bridal fair you’d ever dragged me to.”

I can’t wait to drag my fiance to the next Wedding Expo Philippines.


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