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-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: 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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