Chapter Twenty-Four: The Glass Garden

2 July 2008 at 10:35 pm | Posted in Adventures, Partners, Reception | 3 Comments
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[She Writes]

The Glass Garden| 257 Evangelista St. corner Pasco Ave., Barangay Santolan, Pasig City| 646.5323| http://www.theglassgarden.com.ph

The first few weeks I started our wedding planning, I was looking for venues near our area.  I came across The Glass Garden and became fascinated by it, but never got around to visiting the actual location.  I had gone to their website, which wasn’t completely finished at the time, and the photos didn’t seem impressive.

During the wedding expo, I encountered The Glass Garden again, and learned that the owner was a former school mate of mine!  I didn’t even recognize her, because she looked so grown up.  But she recognized me right away, and chatted me up.  I became even more intrigued, because I knew that she has impeccable taste.

I was finally able to go to the place when Manila Catering extended an invitation for food-tasting mid-June.  I brought two of my friends from work and we had no trouble locating the place though we weren’t familiar with the area.

Much like another well-known venue, The Glass Garden is situated in an urban area in which one would never have guessed that such a beautiful place existed in its midst.  On the (slightly narrow) road to the venue, we passed by lines of tricycles, trucks, and what looked like abandoned warehouses.

 

But once the gates to the Glass Garden opened, it was like entering a different dimension.

It was clean – almost distinguished  – which I think is precisely what they were going for, being an English-inspired venue.

Parking was ample, with a designated lot for each “Garden.”  I believe there’s even additional parking in a basement.

There are two garden venues – Diamond and Emerald – which didn’t have much difference in terms of size and design.

 

The food-tasting was being held at the Diamond Garden.  Entering the glass doors, we were greeted by a beautiful zen-like paradise with soothing water cascading down a large stone wall.

A bridge connects the “lobbies” of Diamond and Emerald.

When we stepped inside the Diamond Garden, my first thought was “The initial pictures I saw in the website did not do the place justice.”

It was spacious and airy, with just enough greenery to lend the feel of nature, but urbanized enough so that it remains very comfortable. (No need to fear insect bites or creepy crawlies!)

The colors of the walls were subtle enough to maintain an atmosphere of elegance, and blended well with the trees, plants and flowers.

Most noticeable and notable is the great intelligence and intuitiveness put into the design, with the guests’ utmost comfort in mind.

Everywhere is handicap-friendly, with floors that had rubberized matting.  The stairs’ steps were just sufficiently spaced (Yes, that I even noticed), and no area was left un-maximized.  At the corner of the Garden is the Suite, where the couple or the guests could choose to rest.

While it is a gem on its own, it still allows for creativity.  In a wedding, for instance, the couple can opt for a dramatic entrance from the Bridal Suite to the entryway, or directly from the Bridal Suite, or directly from the entry way.

It is beautiful as it is, but may still be dressed up with swags or more flowers, depending on the couple’s taste. 

There are also so many ways in which the caterer can set up their wares, because of the ample space of the Garden. 

I don’t have pictures, but I just have to say that even the bathrooms are beautiful – possibly better than some hotels’.  Inside (in the Ladies’ room at least), there was a slightly smaller version of the zen-like garden with the water cascading down a large stone wall.

We were also able to explore other areas of the venue – even as far as the offices.  Everything adhered to the English Garden theme.

RAVE:  Beautiful.  Clean.  Serene.  Comfortable.  Easy to find.

RANT: Not exactly located in the likes of Forbes Park.  Nevertheless, the place behind the heavy gates should more than make up for that.

REVIEW: If we didn’t already have a reception venue, The Glass Garden would definitely be on our shortlist.

Chapter Four: The Click Factor

2 March 2008 at 2:32 pm | Posted in Partners, Photographer | 1 Comment
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[She Writes] 

I am a photofanatic.

In fact, as soon as we had settled the date, the very first Wedding Partner I booked was our photographer.  (That’s right – not even the Church nor the reception venue.) It’s not so much as vanity as it is to ensure that our once-in-a-lifetime (ideally) moment will be captured beautifully.

DINO LARA PHOTOGRAPHY| www.dinolaraphotography.com| www.dinolara.com| http://.dinolarablog.com

Rave: It was serendipitous when I came across his name while surfing a certain videographer’s website.  I clicked on his link, and I was hooked.  Even my fiance was inspired by his art.  Dino’s work speaks volumes about his talent and creativity.  His response to my email emanated with humility and sincerity.  Meeting him only served to add more substantial reasons why he is the photographer for us.  He showed me his albums, and took my compliments in stride, even pointing out how certain shots could have been done better.  While his style is photojournalistic (which is our personal preference), he also appreciated (and allowed me to appreciate) the (more traditional) styles adopted by other photographers.

Dino Lara

His albums are also highly personalized, which is a prime factor for us.  When I was telling him about our love story, he seemed genuinely interested and even advised us to start saving certain meaningful elements in a CD so he and his team could incorporate it into our album.  The people in his office are also very nice and accommodating.  And he has a Boston Terrier too! –> Okay, so this last statment is really not a basis for anything. But our beloved pet, Jack, happens to be a Boston Terrier, and I just felt this coincidence further confirmed that this partnership was truly meant to be.

Jack

Rant: Nothing. That’s why he will be celebrating with us on our special day.

Review: We can’t imagine anyone else capturing the good wishes and great moments in our wedding.

Fotogra (Mimi + Karl)| www.fotogra.ph| www.mimiandkarl.com

Rave: Dino Lara himself had nothing but praises for this duo.  Their style is photojournalistic, and their website is evidence of their love for travel and art.  They are creative and innovative, dynamic and young.  Their work alone can speak for these.  I never met them in person, communicating only with Mimi through email.  Online alone, one can already sense how nice and accommodating she is.

Rant: Nothing. We’re just hell bent on becoming Dino Lara alumni.

Review: For modern couples who want an innovative style of photojournalism.

Andy Samaniego| www.andysamaniego.com| http://andysamaniego.blogspot.com

Rave: He lives conveniently near our reception venue, so I decided to meet with him.  And I’m glad I did.  He takes beautiful photographs in a modern photojournalistic approach, and his albums are timeless and classic.  He is very accommodating and helpful – so helpful, in fact, that he even gave recommendations about the photographers in my shortlist.  He didn’t give me a sales pitch, offering only honesty and sincerity.  His passion for art and photography is crystal clear in his work.

Rant: Again, nothing. We just REALLY like Dino Lara.

Review: For couples who want a style that’s photojournalistic and timeless.

Metro Photo| www.mymetrophoto.com| http://mymetrophoto.blogspot.com

Rave: A gem I discovered through WeddingsAtWork, Metro Photo’s work precisely reflected their passion for the “unordinary.”  Oly Ruiz, their Chief Artist, responded swiftly and in detail.  He was also witty and funny, so I can just imagine how fun our wedding could be with them around.  Clearly, their service is also highly personalized and genuine.

Rant: What do you think?

Review: For young couples who want photos that are”unordinary” and photographers who can bring fun to your wedding.

Pat Dy| www.patdyphotography.com| http://blog.patdyphotography.com

Rave:  He is known in the industry, and it is no wonder why.

Rant: You know already.

Review: Pat Dy. How can you go wrong?

Eddie Boy Escudero| http://ebeseyes.multiply.com

Rave: Also known in the industry, his is a name I saw consistently in bridal magazines, capturing weddings of prominent couples in society.  When I communicated with him through email, he was oh-so-humble and accommodating.  He was quick to reply and sweet, saying he was crossing his fingers about our decision.

Rant: Nothing.

Review: No matter what angle, your wedding will be beautiful through Eddie Boy Escudero’s eyes.

Mango Red| www.mangored.com

Rave:  Innovative. High-Style.  Young.  Dynamic.  Passionate.  Creative.  Very Creative.

Rant: If you’re into “simple and minimalist,” try Mango Yellow or Apple Red.

Review: For adventurous couples who want an artistic and stylistic memento for their wedding.

Smart Shot Studio (Lito Genilo)| www.smartshotstudio.com

Rave: My brother’s wedding partner back in the day.  Established.  Strong foundation.  Award-winning.

Rant: Not our style.

Review: For couples who honor creative traditionalist photography.

Ariel Javelosa Photography| www.arieljavelosa.ph

Rave: Established.  Award-winning.

Rant: Not our style.

Review: For couples who want creative classic photos.

Almost all true photographers are naturally gifted and passionate about their art, the difference lying only on their style.  Choosing a photographer therefore, depends greatly on one’s taste.  But apart from your personal preference, an important determining consideration is the chemistry between you and the photographer.  When you meet with a prospective photographer, you’ll know if he or she’s the one for you.  You’ll feel it – the click factor.


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