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 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.


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