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 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.

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.


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