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 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.


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