Chapter Thirty-Five: Attending a Tagaytay Wedding

20 October 2008 at 12:04 pm | Posted in Adventures, Caterer, Ceremony, Invitation, Reception | 6 Comments
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[She Writes]

One of my eldest brother’s best friends (whom we considered family) recently got married.   My brother was in another country, so he wasn’t able to come. But my Mom was a Godmother, and we all attended to show our love and support to the couple.

The save-the-date magnetic strip immediately reflected their personalities.  My brother’s best friend was in the car racing circuit, while his fiancee (now his wife, obviously) was a commercial model.

The invitation showcased their wedding’s bright sunset (or sunrise) hues of orange and red.

It also carried their theme of car racing and show business.

AdWorks, famous for their fun caricatures, produced the pop-up invitations.

I absolutely loved the wording on their invitation:
“When God started the engine
He paved the road that captured two hearts
To share a race that has no finish line.”

The invitation included a map and a registry card.

The reception was held at Ville Sommet in Tagaytay.  We left Manila after lunch, and arrived half past two.  We were very early.  Although the invitation stated that the ceremony would start at half past three, it was supposed to officially start at four.  And it actually began at five.

Nonetheless, we were able to enjoy the breathtaking place for a few hours.  Ville Sommet is a lush garden that offered beauty and privacy.

One is recommended not to wear heels though for the paved steps are cobblestoned and uneven, and the ceremony itself was held on the grass.

There was a beautiful nook under the tree where we hung out at before the event.

The pond was filled with large Kois and other fishes.

Josiah’s Catering set up Cocktail tables along the path towards the ceremony and reception areas.

Tents covered the patch of grass where the ceremony would take place.

A beautiful arch of flowers where the wedding entourage would pass through.

Beside the ceremony area was The Glass House, where the reception would take place.

The Groom with his parents.

The entourage.

The Bridal Walk.

Bubbles filled the air.

The Bride was crying the whole time…

… And so was the groom.

The Groom hugs his Bride’s mother.

They sealed their love with a kiss…

… And a long tender hug.

The beautiful couple’s blown-up photos propped up on easels, welcoming the guests before entering the reception hall.

Guest were asked to pick a mini racing flag before entering the reception area.

Josiah’s set-up for the VIP tables.

Long tables were set up banquet style.

The ceiling drapery was standard in the Glass House.

Votives added a romantic touch to the centerpieces.

The emcees were the bride’s model friends.

Torches were lit as the couple entered the venue.  The guests waved the mini racing flags during the couple’s entrance.

They immediately had their first dance…

… And the cutting of the cake.

The awesome cake followed the wedding theme.

It was almost symbolic of the roads they took during their time together…

… Until they finally reached their destination, their wedding, their marriage.

The wine glasses were dressed up in a tuxedo and a wedding gown.

The couple’s table.

The beautiful couple staring at each other.

The couple’s friends prepared an AVP for them.

Finally! I was able to capture a kiss!

They had a money dance.

No less than Php500s please.

There were several giveaways: a small chocolate cake by Joy San Gabriel, a mini bottle of wine, and a tin of candies.  I wasn’t able to take a photo of the cake though.  We ate it right away!  It was delicious!

Here’s the wine though.

And the tin of candies.

 

The candies were Jelly Bellies, no less!

 

A sweet ending to a sweet wedding.  Best wishes to the gorgeous couple!

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 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?


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