Chapter Twenty-Nine: W@w@wee!

12 September 2008 at 12:02 am | Posted in Adventures | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

[She Writes]

A few months after getting engaged, I joined an online community for soon-to-weds called w@w, derived from the website www.weddingsatwork.com.  Weddings@Work is an Internet-based resource for Filipino weddings.

I heard of w@w years back, but I couldn’t remember exactly where.  I can only recall being given the 2003 w@w Wedding Primer, which was the maiden issue.  And this is how I learned about the website.

Although the suppliers we’ve booked so far were not “influenced” by the community, learning about them from real couples who had actually experienced the way they worked during their own weddings helped reinforce our decision.

In my case, the community became my wedding planning companion.  Being the typical uber excited bride that I was, I could think and talk about nothing but the wedding for a number of months.

My mother – and probably even my fiance’s mother – had visibly grown weary of my constant chatter about the wedding even though they tried their best not to show it.  I completely understood that.  They had so much more important matters in their minds, and I knew it was torture bothering them with my girlish dreams of a fabulous wedding.

My fellow w@wies were my lifesavers.  They were not only happy to hear about our wedding plans, they also shared my excitement just as I shared in theirs.

About a month ago, one of the website founders, Ms. Benz Co-Rana, requested designs for the site’s button pins.  Bragging rights go to the creator of the selected design.

I decided to submit a design, not because of the bragging rights, but because I wanted to give something back – no matter how small – to the community that provided me a haven for my bride-ness. I ended up making several:

 

And I was so happy when Benz announced that one of my designs was chosen!

She sent me the final product…

… along with another pin designed by a fellow w@wie

… and a copy of the latest Wedding Primer!

 As much as I love the Primer though…  

I have quite a lot more than an average bride needs.

Nevertheless, I love the publications of w@w and try to collect them all.

Yes, I think I am a “certified w@w addict.”

If you’re planning a wedding in the Philippines (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter) and wish to find inspiration or information on Philippine-based resources, log on to www.weddingsatwork.com.

If you are a bride or a groom, I highly encourage you to become a member of the W@W community through http://groups.yahoo.com/group/weddingsatwork/ and gain an active support group during the preparations.

Chapter Twenty-One: The Printed Word

9 June 2008 at 8:34 pm | Posted in Insights | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

[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 Seventeen: Celebrations!

21 May 2008 at 10:18 pm | Posted in Adventures | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

[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.


Entries and comments feeds.