Chapter Thirty-Five: Attending a Tagaytay Wedding

20 October 2008 at 12:04 pm | Posted in Adventures, Caterer, Ceremony, Invitation, Reception | 6 Comments
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[She Writes]

One of my eldest brother’s best friends (whom we considered family) recently got married.   My brother was in another country, so he wasn’t able to come. But my Mom was a Godmother, and we all attended to show our love and support to the couple.

The save-the-date magnetic strip immediately reflected their personalities.  My brother’s best friend was in the car racing circuit, while his fiancee (now his wife, obviously) was a commercial model.

The invitation showcased their wedding’s bright sunset (or sunrise) hues of orange and red.

It also carried their theme of car racing and show business.

AdWorks, famous for their fun caricatures, produced the pop-up invitations.

I absolutely loved the wording on their invitation:
“When God started the engine
He paved the road that captured two hearts
To share a race that has no finish line.”

The invitation included a map and a registry card.

The reception was held at Ville Sommet in Tagaytay.  We left Manila after lunch, and arrived half past two.  We were very early.  Although the invitation stated that the ceremony would start at half past three, it was supposed to officially start at four.  And it actually began at five.

Nonetheless, we were able to enjoy the breathtaking place for a few hours.  Ville Sommet is a lush garden that offered beauty and privacy.

One is recommended not to wear heels though for the paved steps are cobblestoned and uneven, and the ceremony itself was held on the grass.

There was a beautiful nook under the tree where we hung out at before the event.

The pond was filled with large Kois and other fishes.

Josiah’s Catering set up Cocktail tables along the path towards the ceremony and reception areas.

Tents covered the patch of grass where the ceremony would take place.

A beautiful arch of flowers where the wedding entourage would pass through.

Beside the ceremony area was The Glass House, where the reception would take place.

The Groom with his parents.

The entourage.

The Bridal Walk.

Bubbles filled the air.

The Bride was crying the whole time…

… And so was the groom.

The Groom hugs his Bride’s mother.

They sealed their love with a kiss…

… And a long tender hug.

The beautiful couple’s blown-up photos propped up on easels, welcoming the guests before entering the reception hall.

Guest were asked to pick a mini racing flag before entering the reception area.

Josiah’s set-up for the VIP tables.

Long tables were set up banquet style.

The ceiling drapery was standard in the Glass House.

Votives added a romantic touch to the centerpieces.

The emcees were the bride’s model friends.

Torches were lit as the couple entered the venue.  The guests waved the mini racing flags during the couple’s entrance.

They immediately had their first dance…

… And the cutting of the cake.

The awesome cake followed the wedding theme.

It was almost symbolic of the roads they took during their time together…

… Until they finally reached their destination, their wedding, their marriage.

The wine glasses were dressed up in a tuxedo and a wedding gown.

The couple’s table.

The beautiful couple staring at each other.

The couple’s friends prepared an AVP for them.

Finally! I was able to capture a kiss!

They had a money dance.

No less than Php500s please.

There were several giveaways: a small chocolate cake by Joy San Gabriel, a mini bottle of wine, and a tin of candies.  I wasn’t able to take a photo of the cake though.  We ate it right away!  It was delicious!

Here’s the wine though.

And the tin of candies.

 

The candies were Jelly Bellies, no less!

 

A sweet ending to a sweet wedding.  Best wishes to the gorgeous couple!

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Chapter Thirty-Three: Gazebo Royale

17 September 2008 at 5:25 am | Posted in Adventures, Bridal Events, Caterer, Partners, Reception | 7 Comments
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[She Writes]

A picture is worth a thousand words.  So here are the images I took from the Hizon’s Catering’s grand food-tasting held at the Gazebo Royale.

Beautiful greenery greets guests.

Hizon’s Food Tasting was held at the Champagne Hall.

The Champagne Hall is a huge area that should easily fit 350 to 500 guests.

It is a roofed but open-air venue.

Ceiling treatments of the Champagne Hall.

One of the many ponds.

The men’s rest room.

The bridge leading to the women’s comfort room.

The airconditioned and spacious rest room.

A venue for smaller gatherings, the Bamboo Grove.

Airconditioned and fits about 50 to 60 people.

From the Bamboo Grove to Phoenix Avenue.

A smaller version of Champagne Hall.

The ceiling decor of Phoenix Avenue.

RAVE: Fairly easy to locate.  Clean feel.  Gorgeous greenery.  Spacious parking.  Airconditioned bathrooms.

RANT: Venues may get quite hot.  Far from more desirable churches.

REVIEW: Beautiful option for a garden-style wedding within the metro.

The Gazebo Royale is located at 29 Visayas Ave. Ext., Quezon City.  For more information, visit their website at http://www.gazeboroyale.com.

Chapter Twenty-Five: DIYs Again

5 July 2008 at 7:56 pm | Posted in Invitation | 2 Comments
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[She Writes]

I must really be bored.  Or excessively obssessed about designing wedding invitations – not necessarily mine.

In any case, I hope you enjoy looking at the latest designs I made:

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 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.

Chapter Nineteen: DIY

5 June 2008 at 11:48 pm | Posted in Adventures, Invitation | 1 Comment
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[She Writes]

Like a lot of brides, I am forced to unearth talents that may not even have been buried in my body in the first place, in an attempt to personalize and effectively cut on expenses for THE day.

As part of this wedding saving slavery, I decided to try my hand at DIY (Design-Invitations-Yourself).  I’d been toying with Adobe Photoshop for a while, but I’d never had the guts to show my output to anybody except for my Mom and my Goldfish.  So far, I’ve had great response from them – a motherly pat on the back, and a flick of a fin.

My idea for the invitation is a “storybook.”  Hence, the title of this blog.  It does NOT, I’d like to clarify, translate to a Fairy Tale theme.

These are simply “inspirational” designs for the “cover,” and may not appear as is on the invitations.  I believe in constructive criticism, so go ahead: lay it on me.  I can take it like a woman. 

UPDATE: On the advice of a few lovely ladies from our online community, I’ve added variations of a couple designs, and then some.

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17. Special thanks to Janice

18.  Special thanks to Ri

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If anything, I hope you had fun viewing these.  Cheers!

Chapter Eighteen: Why I want a Sex and the City Wedding

2 June 2008 at 11:08 pm | Posted in Adventures, Insights | 2 Comments
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[She Writes]

SPOILER ALERT.  If you’re planning to watch “Sex and the City” in the theaters and don’t want to know the ending, then you should probably stop reading here.

But if you’re still reading this, then you are either too curious for your own good or planning on just buying a dee-bee-dee.   Well, don’t say I didn’t warn yah.

I’m not even going to dwell on the entire movie.  This being a wedding-tagged blog, I am only going to focus on the wedding-related events in the movie.  (It’s still a major spoiler though.)

I want a Sex and the City Wedding.  Yes, there is a wedding.  Whose, you say? If you have to ask, then I have to ask you back, “Where the hell have you been?”

Fifteen minutes into the movie, Big and Carrie bought an apartment in Fifth Avenue together – a penthouse, no less; reconstructed the closet to fit Carrie’s tastes (and shoes); and talked about getting married.  It was all very grown-up.  No heart-stopping proposals.  No dazzling diamond ring.  Carrie was in her forty’s.  Big was, well, OLD, and on his third marriage.

So at the start, it seemed like it was going to be an intimate affair.  Carrie bought an urbanesque white suit from a vintage store designed by no one famous.  And that was her wedding gown.  Rather, it was her wedding dress.  Or more aptly, it was her a wedding outfit.  It was that simple.

But like most weddings, what starts out as an “intimate affair” ends up being, well, not so intimate.  Like most brides, Carrie got carried away with the the trimmings and trappings that inevitably come with wedding planning.  And like most grooms, Big thought it was becoming too big.

It started with an announcement of the engagement on Page Six.  Then came a spread on Carrie as the 40-year-old bride in Vogue, where she wore gowns by the “haute-est” designers, her favorite being Vivienne Westwood’s.  Naturally, Carrie ends up being gifted with the dress by Vivienne herself.  And the Westwood gown certainly kicked her wedding-outfit-by-no-one-famous’ ass.

From there, the guest list of 75 became 200.  And The New York Public Library, where the ceremony was going to be held, was filled to capacity.

All Big wanted was to marry Carrie.  And he would have done so at the court, in front of a judge.  After two failed marriages (sealed with grandiose weddings), he was no fan of the celebration.  For him, the wedding should be about the two of them and no one else.

On the morne of the wedding, Big sought assurance from Carrie that the celebration was going to be about the two of them, and no one else.  But like any movie’s plot twist and turn, Charlotte’s daughter (who happened to be played by a cute little Pinay) unthinkingly kept Carrie’s mobile in her tiny purse out of Carrie’s physical or auditory reach.

So on a momentary lapse of courage, without Carrie’s words to strengthen him, Big bails.  He is jolted by an epiphany minutes later, but Carrie is already jilted at the altar.  She spends her supposedly surprise honeymoon for Big with Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha instead, and lives the rest of the year as a recluse.

Carrie refused any form of communication from Big, so she wasn’t able to read the love letters Big had sent in her email until many months later.  Big had never written her a love letter in his life, so this was a big turning point in the story.  Well, I won’t go into the details anymore, but basically, when Carrie saw Big again, love and forgiveness took over and brought her into his arms.  Big proposed properly, getting down on one knee. Instead of a diamond ring, Big presented a diamond-clustered shoe – very Carrie.

They got married in civil rites at a court with a number of other couples waiting to be wed, watching their simple union.  Carrie wore her wedding-outfit-made-by-no-one-famous, and her “engagement shoe.”  After the “ceremony,” they invited a handful of their friends for brunch at some diner, and that was how they celebrated the wedding most couples wanted – an intimate affair.

For a future bride, the movie certainly jolted in me an epiphany of sorts.  Sometimes, I get so caught up in the details of planning that I forget the true essence of the wedding – which is to be one with my Sweetie.  I probably won’t go as far as getting married in court (since we both do want a traditional church wedding), but it certainly helped me gain greater perspective.

The Sex and the City TV series has always been about fashion-forward styles, grand traditions, and drama.  The movie, while it still had all that jazz, belied its origins, with the heart of it all centering on the simple and romantic.

I want a Sex and the City Wedding – a simple celebration of love, where all that matters is “us.”

Chapter Sixteen: Love and Time

10 May 2008 at 6:53 am | Posted in Insights | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

Love inspires.

Love and Time

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left. Except for Love.

Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment.

When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said,
“Richness, can you take me with you?”
Richness answered, “No, I can’t. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you.”

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. “Vanity, please help me!”
“I can’t help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat,” Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked, “Sadness, let me go with you.”
“Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!”

Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her.

Suddenly, there was a voice, “Come, Love, I will take you.” It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Realizing how much was owed the elder,

Love asked Knowledge, another elder, “Who helped me?”
“It was Time,” Knowledge answered.
“Time?” asked Love. “But why did Time help me?”
Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, “Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is.”

Chapter Fifteen: Love and Marriage

10 May 2008 at 6:48 am | Posted in Insights | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

A wedding is merely one day in the lifetime of a marriage.  Be inspired not only by the wedding, but the marriage as well.

Love and Marriage according to Plato

One day, Plato asked his teacher,”What is love? How can I find it?”

The teacher answered, “There’s a large wheat field in front. Walk there

without turning back, and take just one leaf. If you can find one leaf

that you think is extraordinary, it means you have found love.”

So Plato walked .. and not long after that, he came back empty-handed.

The teacher asked him,”Why didn’t you bring any leaf?”

Plato said, “I can only bring just one leaf and when I walked, I couldn’t turn

back. Actually I found one extraordinary leaf, but I didn’t know whether

there would anymore extraordinary leaf in front, so I didn’t take that leaf.

When I walked further, I realized that the leaves I found are not as

extraordinary as the one I found previously. In the end, I didn’t take any leaf.”

Then the teacher told him, “That is love.”

 

Another day, Plato asked his teacher again, “What is marriage? How can I

find it?”

The teacher answered, “There is a forest in front. Please walk there and

don’t look back. You can only cut one tree, and cut the one that you

think is the highest, because that means you have found marriage.”

Plato walks there, and he came back not long after that bringing one

tree. The tree is not a very good tree and not a very tall one, either.

It’s just an ordinary tree.

The teacher asked him, “Why did you cut that kind of tree?”

Plato answered, “Because, according to my previous experience, after

walking through the field, I came back with nothing. So this time, when I

saw this tree, and I thought the tree is not so bad, so I decided to cut it

and bring it here. I don’t want to lose another chance to get it.”

And the teacher said, “Well then, that is marriage.”

 

Little notes

The more you look for love, you will find nothing. Love is in your heart,

when you can control your desire and your hope to find something better.

When you have endless hope and wish of love, you will only get emptiness

because you wont get anything, and time cannot be turned back. Accept love

for what it is.

Marriage is a continuation of love. It is a process of having chances, and

you choose the best option among all the alternatives. If you want to

have a perfect match and a perfect marriage, you will only waste your

time, because there is no perfect marriage.

There is no such thing as a perfect human relationship.

Have you ever wondered why the shape of a heart is not a full circle?

Because only GOD can fill in that space.

Chapter Thirteen: A Priceless Wedding

4 May 2008 at 4:43 pm | Posted in Insights | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

Every bride says she wants a beautiful wedding.  But you’ve got to admire the groom who wanted a priceless one.  I’d like to share his story:

This is a true story about a recent wedding that took place at Clemson University.  It was in the local newspaper and even Jay Leno mentioned it. It was a huge wedding with about 300 guests.

After the wedding at the reception, the groom got up on stage with a microphone to talk to the crowd. He said he wanted to thank everyone for coming, many from long distances, to support them at their wedding. He especially wanted to thank the bride’s and his family and to thank his new father-in-law for providing such a lavish reception.

As a token of his deep appreciation he said he wanted to give everyone a special gift just from him. So taped to the bottom of everyone’s chair, including the wedding party, was a manila envelope.

He said this was his gift to everyone, and asked them to open their envelopes.

Inside each manila envelope was an 8×10 glossy of his bride having sex with the best man. The groom had gotten suspicious of them weeks earlier and had hired a private detective to tail them.

After standing there, just watching the guests’ reactions for a couple of minutes, he turned to the best man and said, “F— you!”.  Then he turned to his bride and said, “F— you!”. Then he turned to the dumbfounded crowd and said, “I’m outta here.”

He had the marriage annulled first thing in the morning.  While most people would have canceled the wedding immediately after finding out about the affair, this guy goes through with the charade, as if nothing were wrong.

His revenge…making the bride’s parents pay over $32,000 for a 300-guest wedding and reception, and best of all, trashing the bride’s and best man’s reputations in front of 300 friends and family members. This guy has balls the size of church bells.

Elegant wedding reception for 300 family members and friends ………………………………..$32,000.
Wedding photographs commemorating the occasion ……………………………………$3,000.
Deluxe two week honeymoon accommodations in Maui ……………………………………….$8,500.
The look on everyone’s face after seeing the 8×10 glossy of the bride humping the best man ……….Priceless.

There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s MASTERCARD.

Here’s (not) wishing everyone a priceless wedding!

P.S.  This is considered an urban legend, which has been circulating online since 1995.  True or not, it’s a great source of laughs!

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