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!

 

 

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 Nine: Encounters with Caterers

18 April 2008 at 5:21 pm | Posted in Caterer | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

Priorities.  These vary among couples.  A good number are willing to shell out a significant amount for fabulous photos.  Some would rather spend more on the honeymoon than the wedding.  Still others would never let music fade into the background.  But if there is one element that I daresay is a priority for ALL couples, it’s the FOOD.

People may not notice the intricate beading on the bride’s gown, or the variety of flowers the couple painstakingly selected with the florist, or the reception design and set-up that took the stylist months of planning and research.  But they will definitely have something to say about the food.  If they were delectably satisfied, they will be raving about it for months.  Otherwise, the untouched food on their plates and the way they subtly left the reception much too early will silently yell out the discontentment of the guests.  Feed the guests well and they will stay on until the wee hours of the morning if need be.

So we knew the selection process for the caterers required more time.  And with over a year and a half left for planning, we definitely had plenty of that.

Juan Carlo the Caterer | 78 C. Cenacle Drive, Sanville Subdivision, Quezon City | 632.929.3674 | http://www.juancarlothecaterer.com

As major sponsors of the Wedding Expo Philippines 12th Edition, three catering companies lorded over a quarter part of the massive venue for free food tasting.  They showcased not only their appetizers, entrees, and desserts, but their styling prowess as well, with their elaborate set-up and beautiful blooms.  One of these caterers were Juan Carlo the Caterer.

Juan Carlo the Caterer

Along with my fiance’s mother and little sister, we took to their buffet table mid-afternoon for a late-lunch-slash-snack.  Because we had lunch before heading to the Expo, we weren’t exactly very hungry, but the food seemed to whet our appetites.  Almost everything was delicious, from the entrees to the desserts, even down to their fragrant water, which had a hint of pandan.  My fiance’s younger sister took seconds of several dishes.  My fiance’s mom, who was a cook herself, was quite satisfied as well.

Juan Carlo the Caterer Entree

Juan Carlo the Caterer Dessert

The set-up was pretty, and the flowers they used were very elegant.

Juan Carlo the Caterer Set Up

Their service was impeccable and efficient, with a friendly and polite crew.  Mark Abrea, who I met at a bridal fair in Megamall, took care of us, making sure that we were sufficiently attended to.

Josiah’s Catering | www.josiahcatering.com | http://josiahcatering.multiply.com

My parents got Josiah’s Catering for my 18th Birthday Celebration.  The food was fabuluous, including the wide selection of desserts and the entire section for Japanese food such as Makis, Sushis and Sashimis.

 

Josiah\'s Catering Old Logo

A lot can definitely change in six years.

Josiah\'s Catering New Logo

We sampled the food of Josiah’s during the Wedding Expo Philippines 12th Edition.   We were actually pretty hungry when we got to their area.  After hours of roaming the stalls in the Expo, we seized the opportunity for an early dinner.  I showed them my SMS invitation for food-tasting, and we were ushered to the buffet station.

Even after settling in our seats, none of the account managers approached us, not even the one who contacted me in the first place.   The service crew weren’t as responsive as expected.  It took several requests before we were served water.  And they weren’t very friendly either.  We didn’t feel taken care of as compared to our experience with Juan Carlo the Caterer, which even my fiance’s mom noticed. 

Josiah\'s Catering Set Up 02

This all wouldn’t have mattered if their food more than made up for their service (or lack thereof).  But it didn’t.

Let’s just say that we had plenty of food on our plates left untouched.   Most of their dishes were quite bland, while their soup, which might have been their best bet, was ironically, a little too salty.  Add to that, the entrees were already cold and dry.  It might have already been late in the afternoon, but their warmers should have been able to keep the food, well, warm at the very least.

Josiah\'s Catering Set Up 01

My parents weren’t surprised by this verdict.  They had recently attended several weddings with Josiah’s as caterer, and their feedback mirrored ours.

Their set-up was decent, although it wasn’t spectacular.  But our primary concern was the food, so this wasn’t really an issue anymore.

I actually heard positive things about Josiah’s from a couple of suppliers I encountered, saying that their service is excellent and that they were very professional.  I suppose they just weren’t the caterer for us.

K by Cunanan | 632.711.0940 | 632.711.0952 | www.kbycunanancatering.com

Kaye Cunanan, and her partner, Kar Reyes, are charming and delightful.  The postive feedback about them are overwhelming, and I am certain that a major factor here is because of their personalized client service, and fresh ideas.

K by Cunanan

Their set-up precisely reflected their image and personality – youthful but elegant, creative but timeless.  I had my heart set on booking them, but my fiance, being the sensible man that he is, reminded me that it is important that we taste their food first.  So we did.  After meeting Kar at the Wedding Expo Philippines 12th Edition, we set the date for the food-tasting at Kaye’s house.

K by Cunanan Catering Set Up 01

K by Cunanan is innovative not only when it comes to their styling, but also in their dishes as well.  This can come out both positive and negative.  I personally like trying dishes with an odd mix of flavors, which tickle my taste buds.  But that’s me.  I admit I have an unorthodox taste when it comes to food.  I enjoy tofu and mushrooms, and can enjoy a combination of sinigang with corned beef.  So I actually can’t trust even myself when it comes to food, so I usually bring others along who have more discriminating tastes.

For the food-tasting with K by Cunanan, I requested my parents and my fiance’s Mom and younger brother to come along.  It was an unexpectedly long drive, as Kaye’s house was a little too far into their village but it wasn’t a problem.  Kaye was very nice and accommodating.  Before the soup was served, she talked us through different ideas for the reception and gave us tips on seating the guests.  The food-tasting also turned out to be a nice bonding experience among our parents, as we spent over two hours in Kaye’s house.  After, we bid goodbye and she sent us off with a smile.

K by Cunanan Catering Set Up 02 

While she was a delight to talk to and her ideas were wonderful, my parents and my fiance’s mom weren’t completely satisfied with the food.  They felt the dishes were a either a little too ordinary or they were a little too different for their taste.  My fiance’s younger brother and I actually thought the food was excellent, precisely because it was different.  But I do have to consider other guests’ expectations.  It’s always best to stay on the safe side.

I read one blog where they remarked that K by Cunanan’s food is a hit among the younger crowd, but it wasn’t as well-received among the older ones.  I suppose this was applicable as well to my experience.  And while I would have loved to work with Kaye and Kar, I suppose, again, that they were not the caterer for us.

To be continued:  VS&F Catering.  Hizon’s Catering.

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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