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.

Chapter Twenty-Seven: It’s Raining MakeUp!

25 July 2008 at 10:34 pm | Posted in Adventures, Bridal Events | 2 Comments
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[She Writes]

Although I already made a reservation with another lovely makeup artist, I couldn’t resist a FREE (Yes, you read that right) makeover from Reiman (Hence, the title of this chapter).

I passed by his booth at the Wedding Congress in Megamall earlier, and asked about his portfolio with before-and-after photos.  He didn’t have one, but he had something better – a free trial!

I was a bit apprehensive but I figured I could just rub the makeup off if I didn’t like it.  So I settled in front of his mirror, and let him work his magic on my face.

I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome, and a lot of people said I looked radiant and younger (which is a good sign, right?).  I liked it.  Do you?

BEFORE & AFTER (With Soft Flash)

BEFORE & AFTER (Without Flash)

If you like Reiman’s style, you may contact him at 632.383.6599, 63920.922.6859, 63922.953.1992, or 63906.558.7858.  His packages for bridal makeup start at Php8,000.  His trial makeup starts at Php1,500.

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-Five: DIYs Again

5 July 2008 at 7:56 pm | Posted in Invitation | 2 Comments
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[She Writes]

I must really be bored.  Or excessively obssessed about designing wedding invitations – not necessarily mine.

In any case, I hope you enjoy looking at the latest designs I made:

Chapter Twenty-Four: The Glass Garden

2 July 2008 at 10:35 pm | Posted in Adventures, Partners, Reception | 3 Comments
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[She Writes]

The Glass Garden| 257 Evangelista St. corner Pasco Ave., Barangay Santolan, Pasig City| 646.5323| http://www.theglassgarden.com.ph

The first few weeks I started our wedding planning, I was looking for venues near our area.  I came across The Glass Garden and became fascinated by it, but never got around to visiting the actual location.  I had gone to their website, which wasn’t completely finished at the time, and the photos didn’t seem impressive.

During the wedding expo, I encountered The Glass Garden again, and learned that the owner was a former school mate of mine!  I didn’t even recognize her, because she looked so grown up.  But she recognized me right away, and chatted me up.  I became even more intrigued, because I knew that she has impeccable taste.

I was finally able to go to the place when Manila Catering extended an invitation for food-tasting mid-June.  I brought two of my friends from work and we had no trouble locating the place though we weren’t familiar with the area.

Much like another well-known venue, The Glass Garden is situated in an urban area in which one would never have guessed that such a beautiful place existed in its midst.  On the (slightly narrow) road to the venue, we passed by lines of tricycles, trucks, and what looked like abandoned warehouses.

 

But once the gates to the Glass Garden opened, it was like entering a different dimension.

It was clean – almost distinguished  – which I think is precisely what they were going for, being an English-inspired venue.

Parking was ample, with a designated lot for each “Garden.”  I believe there’s even additional parking in a basement.

There are two garden venues – Diamond and Emerald – which didn’t have much difference in terms of size and design.

 

The food-tasting was being held at the Diamond Garden.  Entering the glass doors, we were greeted by a beautiful zen-like paradise with soothing water cascading down a large stone wall.

A bridge connects the “lobbies” of Diamond and Emerald.

When we stepped inside the Diamond Garden, my first thought was “The initial pictures I saw in the website did not do the place justice.”

It was spacious and airy, with just enough greenery to lend the feel of nature, but urbanized enough so that it remains very comfortable. (No need to fear insect bites or creepy crawlies!)

The colors of the walls were subtle enough to maintain an atmosphere of elegance, and blended well with the trees, plants and flowers.

Most noticeable and notable is the great intelligence and intuitiveness put into the design, with the guests’ utmost comfort in mind.

Everywhere is handicap-friendly, with floors that had rubberized matting.  The stairs’ steps were just sufficiently spaced (Yes, that I even noticed), and no area was left un-maximized.  At the corner of the Garden is the Suite, where the couple or the guests could choose to rest.

While it is a gem on its own, it still allows for creativity.  In a wedding, for instance, the couple can opt for a dramatic entrance from the Bridal Suite to the entryway, or directly from the Bridal Suite, or directly from the entry way.

It is beautiful as it is, but may still be dressed up with swags or more flowers, depending on the couple’s taste. 

There are also so many ways in which the caterer can set up their wares, because of the ample space of the Garden. 

I don’t have pictures, but I just have to say that even the bathrooms are beautiful – possibly better than some hotels’.  Inside (in the Ladies’ room at least), there was a slightly smaller version of the zen-like garden with the water cascading down a large stone wall.

We were also able to explore other areas of the venue – even as far as the offices.  Everything adhered to the English Garden theme.

RAVE:  Beautiful.  Clean.  Serene.  Comfortable.  Easy to find.

RANT: Not exactly located in the likes of Forbes Park.  Nevertheless, the place behind the heavy gates should more than make up for that.

REVIEW: If we didn’t already have a reception venue, The Glass Garden would definitely be on our shortlist.

Chapter Twenty-Three: A Wedding Directory Launch in the Metro

1 July 2008 at 7:52 am | Posted in Adventures, Bridal Events | 1 Comment
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[She Writes]

For practical reasons, my fiance and I have been thinking about moving our wedding date.  But we can’t finalize anything yet until the end of this year, when we have more information that will help us in making our decision.

Because of this, I obssessed less about our wedding planning.  I stopped being active in our online community, and even ceased blogging for a while.

It doesn’t mean I’ve completely turned my back on all things related to our wedding planning.  I still continue surfing the Internet for ideas, and leafing through magazines for inspiration.

Because of the extensive time left for preparation, I still have the liberty to allow my imagination to wander (What details will make for a fabulous wedding!) and encourage my common sense to keep me grounded (A wedding is only a day, a marriage is the rest of the days after that!) .  In the end, I hope my head would come to a healthy compromise (A beautiful wedding as a start to a more beautiful marriage). 

A wedding planning-related activity I recently indulged in is attending the launch of the latest Metro Weddings Directory.

I received the email invitation about a week before the event, and deliberated for days whether or not I’ll actually go.

I resolved to attend on the day itself, when I finally admitted to myself that I’m still obssessed enough about our wedding planning to not want to miss this.

It was held at Heaven on the Fifth in Rustan’s, Makati.  And rightfully so. Stepping off the escalator, I seemed to be stepping into what looked like a piece of heaven.

K by Cunanan Catering, which was serving cocktails, set a romantic mood with the gorgeous flowers and elegant table settings.

The “stage” (which I’m not certain was done by K by Cunanan as well) was a stunning vision of simplicity.

I was the second to sign the guest book, right below Henry Pascual, the BFF-worthy stylist who I’d met at the recently held Wedding Summit.  He had been so friendly, that when I saw him sitting only an arm’s length from me, I almost wanted to chat him up (feeling close).  I approached him instead after the event, during cocktails.  He was as nice as ever, and excitedly reported that he was the official stylist for the upcoming Wedding Expo in September.  He said it was going to be very different from his previous works.

I arrived at the launch in the nick of time, just as Metro Weddings’ Editor-in-Chief, Romina Gonzalez, went “onstage,” signaling the start of the program.  She was pleasant and easy-going, making us feel very comfortable.   She was also very engaging, as she talked about the magazine, the Directory, the content, and provided tips about wedding planning.  I even saw a couple of brides taking notes.  She talked to a few people in the audience (myself included) and I learned that there were a couple of w@wies present.  She gave soaps to some of the brides, and a complimentary copy of the Directory to me.  I already had a copy, but I happily received it anyway, and gave it to a fellow bride who was sitting in front of me.

After a while, she got everyone to play a game, which involved “scoring” oneself according to the “rules” she would be saying out loud.  One example of a “rule” was something like “Give yourself 10 points if your fiance kissed you today.”

I got a total of 44 points, which turned out to be the third highest in the group!  I got a prize from the Beauty Bar, which was a paper bag filled with pretty-fying goodies.

There was a facial mask by Bloom called Skin + Tonic: A Facial Pick Me Up!;

Body Tonic Water and Body Lotion in Mandarin Orange by Durance en Provence, which my fiance thought were a couple bottles of orange juice when I showed it to him in Skype;

And an Exfoliating Body Wash by Bloom.

After the game, a representative from Rustan’s (who had on the most gorgeous Black & White animal print shoes) talked about Rustan’s The Registry (Weddings & Beyond), and gave away a few of the more popular items from their stores and then some – a MAC bridal kit, a duvet, glassware, and gift certificates to the Mandala Spa.

She picked from a bowl of calling cards.  And voila!  I won a duvet!

Apart from my “prizes,” I also took home a goody bag, which they were giving away to all the guests.

Inside was the Jan – Jun 2007 issue of Metro Weddings, which I thankfully didn’t have yet.

There were other goodies, too.

There was a cake by Penk Ching of the Pastry Bin;

And a gift certificate from Melissa Shoes at Anthem Rockwell.

Although I already had a copy of the Directory at home, I bought two more – one for my friend who accompanied me at the event, and another for Dino Lara, my photographer on which I was quoted in the magazine.

With the purchase of the Directory, I got a cool free gift!

It’s a star-shaped bottle of perfume by Iridescents.

Aside from the Directory, I got the latest issue of Metro Weddings as well (with Amanda Griffin on the cover) – a great addition to my “collection.”

I will most likely buy the next one (with Cheska Garcia on the cover), which Romina said may come out in August.

And thanks to Metro Weddings, I’m inspired to be active in the wedding planning circuit again!

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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NOTE: OFFICIAL ENTRY TO MY FILIPINO WEDDING & SEAIR ADVENTURE CLUB CONTEST

[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, ” kasal.com, 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 http://www.flyseair.com or http://myfilipinowedding.com, or click this link http://www.flyseair.com/seair-starts-35-minute-flights-to-northern-palawan 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 Twenty: SUMM-like-IT-hot!

9 June 2008 at 7:05 pm | Posted in Adventures, Bridal Events | 3 Comments
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[She Writes]

Themes & Motif’s Wedding Summit 2008 was held on a June day so hot I wondered if I’d lost track of time and were back in the summer month of April.

After dropping my Mom off at Greenbelt, I hied off to A. Venue Hall, which was along Makati Avenue.  Unfortunately, I forgot that the area of the street where the A. Venue was situated was one-way, and I went around in circles about three times before I finally arrived at the place – and I think I actually violated a couple of traffic laws getting there.

Luckily, I was able to grab a parking space at the lot in front of the building, which was previously occupied by a VS&F truck.

I’d been to A. Venue before – late last year when it was still under construction.  And even now, it seems to still be under a lot of development.

The lobby was nice and clean, as was the registration area, which I don’t think I ever saw busy throughout the day.

I blamed it on three things:

1. The Long Weekend – Everyone got up and went out of town.

2. Saturday – Most of the couples already visited the fair on its first day.

3. A. Venue – When they couldn’t find the place, people just gave up trying.

Nonetheless, I looked forward to a leisurely walk through the Summit, without having to squeeze between people.

I met up with Tina, who I got acquainted with through our wonderful online community.  She was having lunch at Josiah’s foodtasting session with and her husband, Archie, and sister, Valerie.  And she was kind enough to have me join them.  I didn’t eat anymore, as they were almost done and I had already tasted Josiah’s food.  And as it turned out, we shared the same opinion about the caterer.

So after a few minutes of chitchatting, we headed to the exhibit area.

The exhibit didn’t do justice to the event name.  With a title like the Wedding Summit, I was expecting a truly mountainous affair, much like the organizer’s claim to fame, the Wedding Expo Philippines.

It was a decent-sized fair, with a handful of great suppliers.   But had it not been for the company of friends, I may not have stayed too long.

Tina and Archie’s wedding was set for June 2009.  They’ve booked the essentials – the ceremony and reception venues, and were now treading the most head-spinning road of the process – selecting the best partner to capture their wedding day.  Much like us (or maybe just me), they have included the photographer in their list of priorities.

We went through the lot of photographers in the Summit.  We checked Nelwin Uy’s booth, and was surprised that his rates weren’t as steep as I’d imagined.  We also spoke to Kenneth Uy himself, who I initially didn’t realize was him.  And to think, I was babbling about how I’ve heard good things about Kenneth Uy, blah, blah, blah.  Thank Goodness I didn’t entirely put my foot in my mouth.  He was very nice about it, and even told me that we definitely made the right choice with Dino Lara.

Next, we came across the line of videographers.  Archie asked me about our chosen videographer, and seemed to be pondering the raves and rates I told him about.

They seemed genuinely interested in my opinions, or at least they were kind enough to pretend that they were.  But Tina later informed me through our online group that, amid my ramblings and babbles, I had actually convinced Archie to meet with Dino.  Hey, maybe they’ll even consider Threelogy.

As we walked further along, I stopped by Henry Pascual’s area and excitedly examined his set-up.  I again almost put my foot completely in my mouth, when I started chatting up the man sitting at the table who turned out to be Henry himself.  I couldn’t refuse when he asked me to sit down, so Tina, Archie, and Val went ahead.

Henry was much younger than I thought, and even nicer than I anticipated.  He was genuine, and clearly passionate about his craft.  He was definitely BFF-material, and seemed like a really dependable person.  I probably would have enlisted him to style our own wedding right then and there had his minimum rate of PhpXXX,XXX not brought me back down to Earth – HARD, and on my butt.

In any case, I was happy to have met him, and I just had to get a picture taken with him – because I knew at the back of my mind that I probably won’t see him again.  He even suggested using his set-up as the backdrop, and had a fellow exhibitor across his booth take the picture.

I caught up with Tina, Archie, and Valerie at the booth of Juan Carlo the Caterer, and found out that they had booked them!

We were talking about Juan Carlo the Caterer earlier and had both agreed that they had among the best food and service in the industry.  So I was almost as happy as they were that they had gotten them for their wedding.

Mark Abrea, the persistent banquet officer who always invited me to their food tasting events, was there and recognized me right away (probably because I’m always running into him at different bridal fairs).  He didn’t look surprised anymore, and he jokingly asked when I was going to book them.  The great thing about Mark was that he never pressured me to get their services, but was always keeping their company on my radar in case we were ready to make our decision.

Minutes later, Gie, another gal pal from our online community, and Weeya, a former officemate who had also joined the web group, started calling me for directions, and I met up with them.  Gie brought her friend, Tiffany, who she bumped into on the way to the Summit.  I clicked with Gie right away, because it was obvious that we were both kikay, highly excitable and adored being with people.

Coming back in, we filled out feedback forms for a wedding network called weddings and lifestyle (I visited their website only to find a blank page that says “Coming soon”), to get a cute keychain and nifty Bride and Groom button pins.

Gie was looking for a stylist, so we went our separate ways for  while – Gie with Tiff, and me with Wee.  Wee chatted up with Ate Lala, her cousin who worked with AdeB, one of the more popular limousine services.  She also paid a visit to 30fps, her videographer for her wedding in October.  Tina, Archie, and Valerie caught up with us at the 30fps booth to bid goodbye, and we promised to hang out again at the next fair.

We met up with Gie and Tiff again at the Goldenhills’ booth and checked out the shiny rings.  I felt I had to mention their company because one of the attendants was kind enough to snap a photo of us.

By then, Gie and Tiff had to run off, so Wee and I continued our sojourn through the Summit.  We came across Baicapture (which I had earlier checked out with Tina, Archie, and Valerie) and had our photos taken.

Photo booths were starting to click again as a source of wedding souvenirs, and Baicapture had one of the best deals I’ve seen.

After, we went back to Ate Lala and chatted up with her about Wee’s wedding.  We didn’t stay long, and we headed out while the sun was still shining.  Wee’s got almost everything done, and what a feat considering how short her preparation time was.  And she has pretty reputable wedding partners to boot.

While the Summit didn’t meet my expectations, that didn’t stop me from looking forward to Themes & Motifs’ next event, the Wedding Expo Philippines!

 

 

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