Chapter Seventeen: Celebrations!

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

First, two things:

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter Ten: Fourth Power Weddings and A Primer

23 April 2008 at 6:59 am | Posted in Adventures, Bridal Events | 2 Comments
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[She Writes]

The bridal event for this weekend is Power Weddings Year 4, a fair organized by Angel’s Wink.   Yesterday, I wasn’t able to leave work until about half past six (My job requires me to be at work all day from Monday to Saturday).  I knew that the fair was supposed to close by eight.  I had just a little over an hour to get to Makati coming from Ortigas, and browse the entire fair.

I was having a mini debate in my head if I would even be able to make it.  The overeager-bride-to-be in me overpowered all logical thinking, so I threw reasoning out the window and decided to go with the flow.

Lo and behold, I got to Rockwell in less than 15 minutes.  Entering the tent, I realized why their tag line said “Coziest Bridal Fair.”  The venue was pretty small, and I was surprised that it was able to hold supposedly over 70 exhibitors in there.  And because it was already pretty late, there were already several stalls that were left unmanned.  But it was still definitely worth it, if only for two things, which I encountered upon entry and upon exit – The W@W Wedding Primer and the Limo Beetle.

UPON ENTRY: The new w@w Wedding Primer is awesome!  I have two editions of the Primer (2003 – Maiden Issue and 2007).  The designs of the two were very similar, with the cartoonish graphics and pastel colors.  But the latest Primer is so different.  The cover design is edgy with a platinum-hued cover, less graphics, and more impact.

The W@W Wedding Primer 2008

It was the thickest Primer by far, and had so much information in it about everything Weddings! 

The latest W@W Wedding Primer

Dorky as it may sound, it was cool to see that the response I sent in was actually included, and that I sort of knew the other people who were quoted in the book as well.

W@W Quote

UPON EXIT: Back in the day, any white Mercedes Benz can be considered a wedding car.  But these days, that simply won’t do.  Many couples are now exploring other automobile options that will add to the feel of their wedding – whether it’s traditional, vintage, or unconventional.

There are a number of couples opting for a cute white VW Beetle although not many companies have this kind of car meant to be rented for weddings or such other occasions.  But last night, I found the ultimate bridal car for Beetle fanatics – the LIMO BEETLE.

 Limo Beetle!

You read that right – a LIMO BEETLE.  Restored and customized by Orlina Atelier, the Stretched VW Beetle is a 1973 model, with leather trimmed interiors, power window limo partition, dual airconditioning, 10″ DVD Player, and Blaupunkt surround-sound system.  (The photo above isn’t the actual Limo Beetle being offered for hire by Orlina Atelier, but it was the closest I could get to it.)  Orlina’s Limo Beetle was featured in Inquirer’s Lifestyle pages, and has been part of major Trans Sport Shows in the country.

For interested Beetle Fanatics, you may contact Naesa Orlina at 63918.6424562, NingNing Orlina at 63917.8805108, Tel: 632.781.5918, Fax: 632.749.6439, Email: orlina@pldtdsl.net.

For a complete list of wedding-related events such as fairs and expos, please refer to the Events Page/Tab of Storybook Wedding.

Chapter Eight: Expo-rience

25 March 2008 at 7:42 am | Posted in Adventures, Bridal Events | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

It wasn’t the first I’ve been to, but it was by far the biggest.  The Wedding Expo by Themes & Motifs held at the PICC Forum brought together most of the major players in the wedding industry.  Discounts, freebies, and all kinds of promotional gimmicks were abound.  It was the best time to reserve suppliers, because most of the promos exclusive to the fair were excruciatingly tempting.

I, however, came only to look, not to book.  I had the leisure of time, which I chose to spend wisely.  At a previous fair, I had already made arrangements with my selected suppliers who were in-demand, whose schedules I had to take into consideration, and whose price increase I wished to be shielded from – the photographer, videographer, and makeup artist.  The others such as the caterer, I decided, could wait a bit longer because I wanted to get the opinions of other people who mattered to us, particularly our parents.

Because my Sweetie lived several oceans away, I usually visited the fairs with my Mother.  For the Expo though, I decided to ask along my fiance’s Mom, who very gamely agreed to keep me company.  We brought along my Sweetie’s little sister, who I considered my lucky charm:  At The Wedding Library’s booth, she “picked” a prize and won for me a garter.  Later on, at one of the hourly raffles, I was announced one of the winners of a pair of gold pearl earrings from Karat World.

We visited the Expo on its last day.  Knowing it would be at its most crowded, I came prepared wearing my trusty comfy flats.  To save time, I had a ready stack of sticker strips with our computer-printed details – name, wedding date, church, and contact details – to put on the registration pad of the participating suppliers.  Little sister was more than happy to be in charge of sticking one on each and every supplier’s guest book.  The suppliers as well, seemed both amused and impressed by the stickers.  Just days after the event, I received numerous updates from various companies, telling me about their products and services, which I welcomed heartily since I actually liked receiving them.

We spent hours at the Expo, making sure to check out each stall, ask the essential questions briefly, and keep all brochures, flyers, and papers handed out to us.

We visited the booths of Dino Lara Photography, Threelogy Digital Video, and The MakeUp Studio, just to say a quick hello and leave some sort of impression to be remembered at least.  We also checked what they were offering and I was surprised to find that most had already increased their prices.  I was thoroughly relieved and felt sufficiently justified that I had booked them much earlier on.

Threelogy Digital Video at the Wedding Expo March 2008 Dino Lara Photography at the Wedding Expo March 2008

The food-tasting invitations I received from a couple of caterers were godsend.  Because we had spent practically half a day at the Expo, we were able to utilize the invitations for a late lunch and early dinner.   We first tried Juan Carlo the Caterer and went to Josiah’s Catering after another few hours of roaming the stalls.  We were also able to talk to other participating caterers such as K by Cunanan whom I had been eyeing because of their consistent good reviews I’ve been reading.  From the Expo, I was able to get a feel of the food, services, and styling of many caterers, which allowed me to be more open to a variety of different options.

I came home with three paper bags filled with brochures and paraphernalia from hundreds of wedding suppliers.   Though I hadn’t booked any company from the Expo, it was still such a fruitful trip – I was exposed to a myriad of fresh ideas and latest trends, my fiance’s Mom was able to understand more the present planning process in weddings and share her ideas with me, and I (further) bonded with my fiance’s family.

I can’t wait for the next bridal fairs – That’s right. I will attend them all!

For a complete list of wedding-related events such as fairs and expos, please refer to the Events Page/Tab of Storybook Wedding.


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