Chapter Thirty-Eight: WE Beautiful Weddings 2008

20 October 2008 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Insights | 1 Comment
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[She Writes]

Why do I love bridal magazines so much?

There is so much cynicism in this world that I can no longer remember how many times people have scoffed when I told them I was getting married.  They would bring up issues on annulment and divorce, as if in an attempt to (though I’m sure not intentionally) destroy my idealistic thoughts on love and marriage.

The stories in the wedding glossies uplift my spirits.  When I read about unlikely love stories, and triumphs over the odds, I become more hopeful of our own love and our future together.

The latest issue on Beautiful Weddings by Wedding Essentials follows the 2007 style, with minor improvements.  The stories seem more heartfelt, and they’ve included a list of each couple’s key suppliers.

On the cover is Nina Corpuz’s marriage to Vince Rodriguez in the most romantic city in the world, Paris.

Inside, I saw features about the weddings of fellow w@wies Luzel and Sharon, whose preparations I read about in their posts on our online community.

Although I didn’t know them personally, I felt so happy for them.  I enjoyed reading their stories.

Maybe someday, our own story would be on the pages of a magazine and bring hope to other couples planning their life together towards forever.

Chapter Thirty-Seven: Latest Bride’s Yellow Pages

20 October 2008 at 12:33 pm | Posted in Adventures, Insights | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

I love the new Bride’s Yellow Pages by Weddings At Work.  The style is similar to their latest Wedding Primer. Clean, classy and sassy!

The BYP’s masterminds, couple John and Benz Rana.

W@W’s organizing a couple of exciting endeavors – an exclusive event and a new publication!

Their new ad is right – word-of-mouth is the best marketing strategy!

Our suppliers have ads here too!

It’s much thicker now.  And there are a lot of new information.  Kudos to the creators of W@W!  Thank you, John and Benz!

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-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.

Chapter Twenty-Six: Ten-Ten-Te-Ten!

25 July 2008 at 10:05 pm | Posted in Insights, Wedding Date | 2 Comments
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[She Writes]

The milestones of our relationship happened either in January or December: We met on January 28 (2001).  We officially became a couple on December 16 (2004).  We got engaged on December 23 (2007).

It was then natural that we choose a wedding date that would fall within these months.  And we did.

We set our altar date for December 30 (2009), making our December milestones each a week apart: December 16 – December 23 – December 30. It would have been perfect.

But like almost everything else in life, nothing is ever perfect.  Due to circumtances beyond our control, we had to change our perfect date.  It was difficult, particularly for me since I had grown so attached to it.  But I knew I had to be practical.  I had to face reality.  I had to let it go.

After a short state of denial, I was finally able to venture onto the state of acceptance.  It definitely couldn’t be in 2009, so it had to be in 2010.  But January was clearly too early.  While December would be too late. 

We wanted our new date to be as perfect as the date we let go of.  We considered June for 06.08.10 and August for 08.09.10.  But the choice was clear: what could be more perfect than 10.10.10?

Already, the date has brought meaning to our lives: We learned to adapt quickly to life’s unpredictability; to openly communicate and reach a harmonious compromise; to let go and embrace fresh possibilities; and to realize that perfection is a state of mind. 

I love our new date now – so much so that I can already hear the bridal march: Ten-Ten-Te-Ten.

Chapter Twenty-Two: No Such Thing as Accidents

10 June 2008 at 10:06 pm | Posted in Adventures, Insights | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

I recently watched “Kung Fu Panda” with my brother during the non-working holiday.  This is not going to be another spoiler, but let me just say that it is so worth watching on the big screen.  We laughed so hard we had tears in our eyes – yes, it was THAT funny. Go watch it (but not before you finish reading this.)

Anyway, getting to the point: one of the – shall we say – “morals” of the story was that “There are no such thing as accidents.”  And I would like to try and prove it through this post.  (Yes, this is still wedding-related.)

1st non-accident: I was skimming through my daily digests from our wonderful online community, and the first I read was the recounting of a bride’s recent wedding, which was held in Palawan.  I’ve always wanted to go to Palawan, and seriously considered having our honeymoon there.  But since my fiance and I have never been there and we didn’t want to run the risk of not enjoying ourselves, we settled on jetting off to tried-and-tested Boracay instead.

2nd non-accident: Near the end of my “reading session,” I came across an entry about a disastrous wedding that the couple blamed on their wedding coordinator.

3rd non-accident: Being the curious cat that I am (read: CHISMOSA), I decided to google this particular couple.  After trying all sorts of keywords, I couldn’t find anything about them, much less their wedding.

4th non-accident: In a moment of epiphany (or realization of stupidity), I decided to search through the messages in our online group (which actually should have been the first thing I’d done).  I didn’t find anything either.  Instead, I found something else.

5th non-accident: One of the messages that caught my eye was a question about Filipino-themed weddings.  I’d been considering the same theme for our own wedding, and the post extinguished my curiosity about the disastrous wedding, re-enflaming my obssession about wedding planning.  So I then googled Filipino Weddings.

6th non-accident: I skipped over the first “result, ”, since I’d been to that site several times and immediately clicked on the second, which had the promising name of “My Filipino Wedding.”

7th non-accident: I was pleasantly stunned to find that the colors of the site matched the same ones I had also been considering for our wedding.  And I took it as a good omen.

8th non-accident: It turned out to be a (well-established) blog about Filipino weddings.  And the top post was about a contest to win six SEAIR gift certificates to Busuanga.  My first thought was “Where the hell was Busuanga?” to which I replied with the act of googling it  (Yes, I seem to enjoy googling a lot).

9th non-accident: I mistyped the keyword, putting Busanga instead (which, btw, is in Africa).  And I was shocked that SEAIR was already offering flights to another continent!  So I went back to My Filipino Wedding blog to re-read the rest of the entry.

10th non-accident: Lo and behold, I realized that Busuanga was in Palawan! — And didn’t I just say that I’ve always wanted to go there?

11th non-accident: And I just had to have a blog to enter!  And I do! — Just FYI, this is my first attempt at keeping a blog.  It’s not even completely about my life – only about our (or my) wedding planning adventures.  And it’s almost anonymous (at least to strangers or friends who have no idea I even go online).

If I actually win (or if this contest is even REAL), I have the opportunity to take my whole fabulous family (and maybe two fabulous friends too) to Busuanga in PALAWAN via SEAIR on August 8, 2008 – the wedding anniversary of my parents.  My Mom was telling me that she wanted us to all travel together that day, but she wasn’t sure if it was possible.  Then this would have been the 12th non-accident.

The 13th non-accident would be me falling in love with Busuanga in PALAWAN, which I had flown to via SEAIR.  And I could surprise my fiance with a honeymoon in Busuanga in PALAWAN, which we would fly to also via SEAIR.

And this post would indeed prove that there are no such thing as accidents, and that everything happens for a reason.

Visit or, or click this link for more details about the contest.  If you discovered the contest through this blog and actually win, this writer would like to congratulate you personally so she can also strangle you for putting greater odds against her one chance of getting to Palawan.  — Just kidding (sort of). Cheers!

Chapter Twenty-One: The Printed Word

9 June 2008 at 8:34 pm | Posted in Insights | 1 Comment
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[She Writes]

I am a sucker for wedding magazines.

Although I rely heavily on the Internet for ideas and could probably plan our wedding based solely on online research, I can’t help purchasing bridal magazines anyway. 

It could be the feel of the smooth paper, or the experiential layout and text that I simply cannot find online that draw me to these glossies.  Either way, these magazines make me more excited about the wedding.

I have two favorite local titles, Wedding Essentials and Metro Weddings.

I love WE for its elegant style, beautiful writing, timeless photographs, and moving stories on real weddings straight from the brides.

I like Metro Weddings for its detailed features, practical stories, and stylish spreads.

Although I buy mostly local magazines, I have a couple foreign titles.

And sometimes, I buy magazines that aren’t really bridal in nature, but have special features that are wedding-related.  (Yeah, I really must be crazy.)

Like yesterday, I purchased the Cosmopolitan Philippines June issue because it had a special section called the “Cosmo Bride.” 

The added special feature on Sex & The City cinched my decision to purchase it.

Along with this, I also bought the latest WE Destinations, and Metro Weddings Directory 2008.

I suppose the Metro Weddings Directory 2008 was meant to be the magazine version of the W@W Wedding Primer and Bride’s Yellow Pages combined.

Or the far better version of the wedding directories I got for free from a couple of bridal fairs I had attended.

In any case, Metro Weddings’ first take on a Wedding Directory is highly commendable.  They had a section called the “Handbook,” which included articles on wedding requirements and the marriage license.  There were also features on Weddings@Work, a pre-marriage checklist, wedding beauty countdown, and wedding budget choices.  In addition, they allotted pages for a Wedding Planner.  The best part about the Directory was that almost all the suppliers listed had descriptions of their style and personality from a third-person viewpoint.  The description outlined the particular vendor’s strength and persona, which should be helpful for couples in shortlisting partners for their wedding.

It was evidently produced in collaboration with Weddings@Work, the online community in which I am a part of.  Benz Rana, one of the founders of W@W had told us about it three months ago although she hadn’t fully divulged the details.  She just requested us to email our thoughts on our suppliers.

I had actually forgotten about it for a while.  So when I was browsing through the magazine and found the page where our photographer, Dino Lara, was included, I was stunned.

There I found my “thoughts” on Dino within the pages of the magazine!

Okay, so it may not be much.  It may actually be really shallow.  And I may have gotten overexcited about the little thing.  But I couldn’t help being excited anyway – like winning a mini lottery (well, maybe not quite).

Hey, maybe one day, our own wedding will be featured in one of these.  And it will definitely make purchasing these glossies all the more worth it.

Chapter Eighteen: Why I want a Sex and the City Wedding

2 June 2008 at 11:08 pm | Posted in Adventures, Insights | 2 Comments
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[She Writes]

SPOILER ALERT.  If you’re planning to watch “Sex and the City” in the theaters and don’t want to know the ending, then you should probably stop reading here.

But if you’re still reading this, then you are either too curious for your own good or planning on just buying a dee-bee-dee.   Well, don’t say I didn’t warn yah.

I’m not even going to dwell on the entire movie.  This being a wedding-tagged blog, I am only going to focus on the wedding-related events in the movie.  (It’s still a major spoiler though.)

I want a Sex and the City Wedding.  Yes, there is a wedding.  Whose, you say? If you have to ask, then I have to ask you back, “Where the hell have you been?”

Fifteen minutes into the movie, Big and Carrie bought an apartment in Fifth Avenue together – a penthouse, no less; reconstructed the closet to fit Carrie’s tastes (and shoes); and talked about getting married.  It was all very grown-up.  No heart-stopping proposals.  No dazzling diamond ring.  Carrie was in her forty’s.  Big was, well, OLD, and on his third marriage.

So at the start, it seemed like it was going to be an intimate affair.  Carrie bought an urbanesque white suit from a vintage store designed by no one famous.  And that was her wedding gown.  Rather, it was her wedding dress.  Or more aptly, it was her a wedding outfit.  It was that simple.

But like most weddings, what starts out as an “intimate affair” ends up being, well, not so intimate.  Like most brides, Carrie got carried away with the the trimmings and trappings that inevitably come with wedding planning.  And like most grooms, Big thought it was becoming too big.

It started with an announcement of the engagement on Page Six.  Then came a spread on Carrie as the 40-year-old bride in Vogue, where she wore gowns by the “haute-est” designers, her favorite being Vivienne Westwood’s.  Naturally, Carrie ends up being gifted with the dress by Vivienne herself.  And the Westwood gown certainly kicked her wedding-outfit-by-no-one-famous’ ass.

From there, the guest list of 75 became 200.  And The New York Public Library, where the ceremony was going to be held, was filled to capacity.

All Big wanted was to marry Carrie.  And he would have done so at the court, in front of a judge.  After two failed marriages (sealed with grandiose weddings), he was no fan of the celebration.  For him, the wedding should be about the two of them and no one else.

On the morne of the wedding, Big sought assurance from Carrie that the celebration was going to be about the two of them, and no one else.  But like any movie’s plot twist and turn, Charlotte’s daughter (who happened to be played by a cute little Pinay) unthinkingly kept Carrie’s mobile in her tiny purse out of Carrie’s physical or auditory reach.

So on a momentary lapse of courage, without Carrie’s words to strengthen him, Big bails.  He is jolted by an epiphany minutes later, but Carrie is already jilted at the altar.  She spends her supposedly surprise honeymoon for Big with Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha instead, and lives the rest of the year as a recluse.

Carrie refused any form of communication from Big, so she wasn’t able to read the love letters Big had sent in her email until many months later.  Big had never written her a love letter in his life, so this was a big turning point in the story.  Well, I won’t go into the details anymore, but basically, when Carrie saw Big again, love and forgiveness took over and brought her into his arms.  Big proposed properly, getting down on one knee. Instead of a diamond ring, Big presented a diamond-clustered shoe – very Carrie.

They got married in civil rites at a court with a number of other couples waiting to be wed, watching their simple union.  Carrie wore her wedding-outfit-made-by-no-one-famous, and her “engagement shoe.”  After the “ceremony,” they invited a handful of their friends for brunch at some diner, and that was how they celebrated the wedding most couples wanted – an intimate affair.

For a future bride, the movie certainly jolted in me an epiphany of sorts.  Sometimes, I get so caught up in the details of planning that I forget the true essence of the wedding – which is to be one with my Sweetie.  I probably won’t go as far as getting married in court (since we both do want a traditional church wedding), but it certainly helped me gain greater perspective.

The Sex and the City TV series has always been about fashion-forward styles, grand traditions, and drama.  The movie, while it still had all that jazz, belied its origins, with the heart of it all centering on the simple and romantic.

I want a Sex and the City Wedding – a simple celebration of love, where all that matters is “us.”

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.”

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