Chapter Thirty-Eight: WE Beautiful Weddings 2008

20 October 2008 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Insights | 1 Comment
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[She Writes]

Why do I love bridal magazines so much?

There is so much cynicism in this world that I can no longer remember how many times people have scoffed when I told them I was getting married.  They would bring up issues on annulment and divorce, as if in an attempt to (though I’m sure not intentionally) destroy my idealistic thoughts on love and marriage.

The stories in the wedding glossies uplift my spirits.  When I read about unlikely love stories, and triumphs over the odds, I become more hopeful of our own love and our future together.

The latest issue on Beautiful Weddings by Wedding Essentials follows the 2007 style, with minor improvements.  The stories seem more heartfelt, and they’ve included a list of each couple’s key suppliers.

On the cover is Nina Corpuz’s marriage to Vince Rodriguez in the most romantic city in the world, Paris.

Inside, I saw features about the weddings of fellow w@wies Luzel and Sharon, whose preparations I read about in their posts on our online community.

Although I didn’t know them personally, I felt so happy for them.  I enjoyed reading their stories.

Maybe someday, our own story would be on the pages of a magazine and bring hope to other couples planning their life together towards forever.

Chapter Thirty: More Mags

12 September 2008 at 7:20 am | Posted in Adventures, Insights | 4 Comments
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[She Writes]

The latest additions to my collection.

I got these foreign titles for a steal at Book Sale.

The latest issue of Metro Weddings has two cover options.  I purchased the one with Patricia Morato-Roa posing with a variety of wedding cakes from the Red Ribbon bakeshop.  The other cover features actress Cheska Garcia.

I bought the Wedding Essentials Destinations, which also has two cover options.  Even though we’re not planning on having an out-of-town wedding, it contains so much wedding inspiration and honeymoon ideas that would still help in our own preparations.

The latest Wedding Essentials issue I bought from the publisher’s booth at the Wedding Expo at a discounted price!

Soon, I’ll show you my favorite features in these magazines.  For now, all I can say is they’re totally worth it!

See Chapters 21 and 23 for related posts on bridal magazines.

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-One: The Printed Word

9 June 2008 at 8:34 pm | Posted in Insights | 1 Comment
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[She Writes]

I am a sucker for wedding magazines.

Although I rely heavily on the Internet for ideas and could probably plan our wedding based solely on online research, I can’t help purchasing bridal magazines anyway. 

It could be the feel of the smooth paper, or the experiential layout and text that I simply cannot find online that draw me to these glossies.  Either way, these magazines make me more excited about the wedding.

I have two favorite local titles, Wedding Essentials and Metro Weddings.

I love WE for its elegant style, beautiful writing, timeless photographs, and moving stories on real weddings straight from the brides.

I like Metro Weddings for its detailed features, practical stories, and stylish spreads.

Although I buy mostly local magazines, I have a couple foreign titles.

And sometimes, I buy magazines that aren’t really bridal in nature, but have special features that are wedding-related.  (Yeah, I really must be crazy.)

Like yesterday, I purchased the Cosmopolitan Philippines June issue because it had a special section called the “Cosmo Bride.” 

The added special feature on Sex & The City cinched my decision to purchase it.

Along with this, I also bought the latest WE Destinations, and Metro Weddings Directory 2008.

I suppose the Metro Weddings Directory 2008 was meant to be the magazine version of the W@W Wedding Primer and Bride’s Yellow Pages combined.

Or the far better version of the wedding directories I got for free from a couple of bridal fairs I had attended.

In any case, Metro Weddings’ first take on a Wedding Directory is highly commendable.  They had a section called the “Handbook,” which included articles on wedding requirements and the marriage license.  There were also features on Weddings@Work, a pre-marriage checklist, wedding beauty countdown, and wedding budget choices.  In addition, they allotted pages for a Wedding Planner.  The best part about the Directory was that almost all the suppliers listed had descriptions of their style and personality from a third-person viewpoint.  The description outlined the particular vendor’s strength and persona, which should be helpful for couples in shortlisting partners for their wedding.

It was evidently produced in collaboration with Weddings@Work, the online community in which I am a part of.  Benz Rana, one of the founders of W@W had told us about it three months ago although she hadn’t fully divulged the details.  She just requested us to email our thoughts on our suppliers.

I had actually forgotten about it for a while.  So when I was browsing through the magazine and found the page where our photographer, Dino Lara, was included, I was stunned.

There I found my “thoughts” on Dino within the pages of the magazine!

Okay, so it may not be much.  It may actually be really shallow.  And I may have gotten overexcited about the little thing.  But I couldn’t help being excited anyway – like winning a mini lottery (well, maybe not quite).

Hey, maybe one day, our own wedding will be featured in one of these.  And it will definitely make purchasing these glossies all the more worth it.


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