Wedding in the Making
Of Themes and Motifs
We didn't initially plan on a themed wedding. We were thinking of a beach wedding, but my grandmother doesn't ride planes and long trips would tire her. So we thought of bringing the travel aspect to the wedding.
My husband is Chinese, so it's a red and gold motif traditionally. Thing is, I don't want to go with pure red. We tried considering school colors. I'm from UP and he's from Ateneo. And this is how the color selection started...
UP is maroon and green, but I didn't want that to be the color scheme. Am not about to go for blue and white also. Alfred's not particular on the colors, so I had to be the one to work on it. UP colors went to the bouquet. Then I realized that maroon and red belong to the same family. So, maybe we could pull off the red and gold Chinese wedding combo by selecting a shade of red that's in between pure red and maroon. Hence, burgundy was the one who caught my fancy. Being a bold color, a light or pale shade of gold may be more complimentary. Ended up with champagne gold.
Alfred's graduated from Xavier School in high school. School color is blue and gold. I'm from Manila Science - it's blue and white for me. I didn't want pure white on the color palette, so I went with an off-white bridal gown and shoes.
So far, we've pretty much covered the red, white and, gold. Couldn't come up with a place for blue.
It took a number of months to come up with a solution: all the speakers for the liturgical ceremony will be from Ateneo. This way, they'll be our "something blue"
I took up my MBA in Ateneo. We got the school's parish priest to officiate the ceremony and gathered our friends to do the readings. They're not required to sing "win or lose, it's the school we choose" (it's a line from the Ateneo School Hymn).
DIY: A Little Bird Told Me STD
We've been doing a lot of research on how to go about a travel-themed STD item. We work with techie people and we figured best to come up with something they can put on their computers. I found this nanibird online and thought they could place it on top of their monitors.
Here's the link to the customizable template. You can use this too.
For other nanibird looks and templates, go to Nanibird's website.
Our Semi-DIY Passport Invite: in collaboration with Spyder Creativeworks
I think this is my ultimate DIY for the wedding eventhough I had a little help from a professional printer. We wanted to incorporate Alfred's chinese culture in the invitation. Passport invites are not common here in Manila. It really took us a while to finish the design concept of the invitation.
The items that were done by Spyder were:
- passport cover sans the strip of paper on the front cover
- chinese script of the invitation
- entourage list
Cost incurred to Spyder was Php 8,000 for 100 pieces. Other expenses incurred in the completion of the invite (digital stamps, clear stickers, special paper, photo paper, double-sided adhesives, etc.) would reach about Php 2,000. All-in-all, our invites costs around Php 100/piece.
Church: Archbishop's Palace (Villa San Miguel)
Villa San Miguel is tucked away while being located along the busy street of Shaw Boulevard. To those of you who are not familiar on the exact location of the church, it's the big wall in front of Toyota Shaw. The facade of the wall is not much to look at - long concrete walls covered in soot from the vehicle emissions passing along Shaw. Once you enter the gate, it's like a secret garden of some sort.
It's private, secured, serene and, solemn..all for the price of just Php 7,500 - fits our requirements perfectly!
DIY Escort and Table Cards
Since we have invitations in the form of passports, we figured we might as well continue the flow of the travel process. Escort cards will be given to the guests at the registration area of the reception. They will be in the form of boarding passes wherein we used names of countries instead of number to identiy the tables.
The table cards are oversized postage stamps. The pictures used in each country were shots that were actually taken either by my friends or myself during one of our travels. Each picture is also watermarked so as to indicate the name of the photographer.
Reception Venue: Corinthian Gardens Clubhouse
Big things come in small packages. The smallest function room of the clubhouse played host to the biggest event yet in our lives. What we like about the East Hall is it's unique shape..a semi-decagon within a semi-decagon. Quite a challenge for Kaye (Cunanan) to decorate, but I never doubted her eye for design. We had our pictures taken right outside our hall (East Hall is directly above the sunken mini-ampitheater of the Clubhouse). The good thing about this hall is that it has an open space big enough to hold the buffet table and around 50-70 more people. So it's like getting the biggest function hall in the clubhouse sans the price tag.
For more photo details of East Hall, you can check out this site.
Bridal Gown: Galatea
I'm not the girly type of a girl. I'd have an easier time choosing athletic wear. Having said that, it means that I wouldn't spend much on items that I don't usually have in my closet. I don't remember owning a gown and have no plans of spending much on something that I'd just wear for a few hours. That's right, a wedding gown has no bearing on me. At first, I had no plans of hiring a designer to do the gown for economical reasons. Based on some research that I've made on bridal gown rates, it seems that gowns below 15k is still a good price...what???? Fine, if it's supposed to be that much, I'm going for value for money.
Granted I have very minimal experience on gowns or having cotoured items made, I don't exactly know who to go to. I heard about the Ready-to-Wed (RTW) line of Lya Armovit that starts at 7.5k. I remember seeing her shop everytime I go to Eastwood and I appreciate her designs from the shop display. So I figured, it's time for me to actually visit her shop.
First thing I looked was the cheapest gown, of course. And there it is, the 7.5k gown. It's a simple cut with some beading going on. Not bad, I thought. Then I was advised the price is for the gown alone. Veils and other accessories would be an additional purchase. Then I saw a gown that was beaded at the top. it costs 30k including the veil and accessories. Hmm ... next.
Jontie Martinez was referred to me by a former boss of mine. She said he's one of the designers who makes gowns for Bb. Pilipinas. My main concern is that I'd find his rates quite steep. He was the first designer I really got to talk to. The first time I met him, I didn't beat around the bushes and gave my budget price. I did explained to him why I'm not keen on spending much on a gown..or any piece of clothing for that matter. He said that my budget is quite low (as expected). I said to him that I don't mind if there are no beads or lace on the gown. Even if he would just give me a long piece of fabric that's been folded origami-style or something, as long as it looks like a decent gown, I'm ok with it. Only request that I would have is to have a flowy bottom part..and if he could make the whole thing using dri-fit, that would be great. I was waiting for him to point me out of his shop. He asked me to stand up. I was saying to myself "oh no, here we go.." He started sketching. I was like..yeyyy. As I watch him sketch, I saw that he was doodling something on the top portion of the gown. I asked him what those were. Beads. I may not know much about these things, but I do know that it's the beads and lace that make gowns expensive. As he was sketching, he was telling me that he cannot let me wear something that he created that doesn't meet his standards. And since he thinks I won't be owning any more gowns in the future, he'd help me out on this one gown because it's going to be my only one.
When he showed me the sketch, it was much, much more than what I could've asked for. I didn't bat an eyelash and made my deposit. Jontie is one of my most favorite supplier and good find.
contact: jontie martinez
0920 954 4123
Bride's Shoes: Church Shoes - Anne Klein
Reception Shoes - Crocs
I didn't have any problem in selecting the reception shoes. I gave myself a hard time with the ceremony shoes for the same reason I was having a difficult time with the gown. Heeled shoes, I think that's the usual shoe type worn by the bride during the wedding. Since I'm not comfy in them, I still figured I'd have to spend a little more on for comfort reasons considering I'd be wearing them for a few hours.
I'm an eBayer. I saw an ad from one seller in the US who's having a clearance sale and offers free shipping in the US. It so happens that a friend of mine who lives there is coming home months before the wedding. I checked out the online store and saw this pair of off-white Anne Klein shoes. Since this is a pair that is used in the seller's physical store, it had a little dirt that can easily be cleaned. It's a mismatched pair, meaning the the size of the left shoe is different from the right one. I looked at the sizes and I think it would still fit me. I made the purchase with the risk of the shoe not fitting me. Then again, the pair would just cost me Php 1,000 net, so I think it's a risk I can gamble on.
My friend returned home, got the shoes, and it fits...perfectly! And you know what? I didn't even have to use the Crocs until every guest at the reception left. it was THAT comfy.
Groom's Barong and MOG Gown: Marllon Tabangcura
I bumped into Marllon at the bridal fair in Edsa Shangri-la. It's the same fair where we found Spyder. Alfred's not particular about what he's going to wear at the wedding, but since I'm spending money on my gown, it's only right that he gets a designer too.
Marllon and I share the same surname. After some chit-chats, we've come to a conclusion that we're relatives. Lucky me! He's very accommodating and really listens to inputs. I'm not well-versed with barong fabrics, so Marllon brought some swatches with him during one of our meetings. He showed us jusi and pina as he explained the difference between the 2 fabrics that are usually used for barongs. I let Alfred handle the barong selection since he's going to be the one who'd wear it. I only asked where he gets his fabric and said it's from Aklan. I recall that Aklan and the nearby provinces in the region, is where the designers, both local and foreign, get their barong fabrics. After presenting the 2 fabrics, he pulled out another fabric that he was suggesting..coccoon. First glance at it, I love the look and feel of it. And it was more suprising to find out that it's not as expensive as pina, but it looks far more elegant. Good thing Alfred liked it also.
The package he gave us inlcuded the barong, inner shirt and, pants.
contact details: marllon kenneth tabangcura
0916 727 0530
Groom's Shoes: Rockport
I am associated with my Crocs or rubber shoes as Alfred is to his steel-toe shoes. Unfortunately for him, we couldn't find one that could pass off as formal. It took us 6 malls in 3 cities just to find one that he likes and fits him nicely.
He got himself these comfy shoes from Rockport..and they were on sale for Php 3,000.00. I remember him telling me right after the reception that the shoes are really comfortable. I guess that's all I could say about it since he's the one who took it for a ride.
Entourage Gowns: Amonn Velasco
Amonn was the one who did the gowns for most of our female entourage: MOB, secondary sponsors, flowergirls and 1 bridesmaid. Reason why we ended up with 2 entourage designers was because we had a last minute change on the rest of the entourage due to some unforseen events. Amonn was out-of-town when the changes occured. So, Marllon (the designer who did Alfred's barong) ended up with the task.
Entourage Gowns II: Marllon Kenneth Tabangcura
Marllon really is more of a gown designer than a barong maker. He's had overseas experience in making gowns and is the business partner of Project Runaway Philippines' contestant, Jaz (I hope I spelled that correctly) and Veejay Floresca (if memory serves me right).
The thing I really like about Marllon is that he listens to client inputs. What I really wanted for the entourage gowns is for it to be a 3-pc garment for the bridesmaids (top, skirt, obi belt) and a 2-pc one for the secondary spondary sponsors (full dress and obi belt). The reason why I prefer to have separates is because I would like my entourage to wear the garments for different occassions and not have a 1-event gown.
Bridal Car: Atty. Charlie Alvarez
I wasn't supposed to spend much on a bridal car..let alone get one that almost costs as much as my wedding gown. Then I figured that since Leonard is not charging me for his photo rate, I might as well give him something that he doesn't see often. The bridal car had more solo shots than I do..really.
Sir Charlie and his wife are very nice to talk to. Initially, we were supposed to do an occular on their Studebaker. When we paid them a visit, we saw this very nice white 1930s Cadillac being prepared for an out-of-town wedding. It's more expensive than the Studebaker rate, but price difference is very well worth it. Maybe we should've charged the guests for the photo op with the Cadillac hehehe
Contact Details: Atty. Charlie Alvarez
0917 407 8821
Caterer: K by Cunanan Catering
Two things I'm sure about the wedding: my groom and Kaye Cunanan. Reason why I chose Kaye (aside from the fact that she comes for a family of nth generation of caterers) is because she has an eye for visual presentation. If you were to visit her site, you'd see what I mean. She was the one who took the pictures displayed on the site too.
She's very accommodating and she's quite quick to come up with suggestions. The whole reception set-up was more of a collaboration between the 2 of us.
I'm not a fan of peanuts or watermelon seeds being served before the reception dinner. It defeats the purpose of the event being formal. When we had our first food tasting with her, she served us this salad with salted egg and tinapa dressing. I really like the dressing, I just don't think my guests are salad eaters. I suggested we do a chips and dip thing instead using her dressing. I'm not really sure how she reacted to my chip suggestion..fried wanton wrappers. Reason for the suggestion was that since Tinapa Dressing is salty, the chips doesn't have to be very flavorful. Plus the fact that wanton wrappers aren't expensive. So guests can request for refills without us worrying about the expense. Kaye added banana and Taiwan sweet yam chips and Salted Egg Salsa.
She mentioned that one of their best-sellers is the Roasted (hmm forgot if it was beef or pork). Anyway, it tastes good. I just didn't want to serve something that I keep seeing in almost every wedding I've been to. We're aiming for a different, memorable wedding.
Table centerpieces was another thing that we had to talk to. I'm not into flowers, so it took a while for us to come up with an idea for the centerpieces. We ended up with a simple design using different styles of vase, colored water and, candles.
As for the rest of what was served during the reception, we ended up with this one:
Assorted Chips and Dips (Tinapa Dressing and Salted Egg Salsa)
Roasted Corn Soup
Baked Tomato and Creamy Pesto Penne
Japanese Rolled Chicken Stuffed with Cheese & Leeks
Baked Fish with Slivered Almonds on a Bed of Mashed Potatoes
Raspberry Iced Tea
Medley of Panna Cotta - mango, kiwi and, strawberry
Dark Chocolate-Stuffed Turon
No mistakes were made in deciding to go with Kaye..our guests could attest to that.
Cutting Cake: Joy San Gabriel
Cupcake Souvenirs: Frostings
Arranged by Kaye Cunanan (Photos by Tintin Molina-Ilao and Leonard Pe)
One thing we learned during the wedding planning experience, ask your most important suppliers which suppliers they have good working relationships with. Last thing we need is having problems with our chosen suppliers because they're having problems with each other.
When we were having our food tasting with Kaye, she asked us who's making our cake. Since she was the first supplier we've met, we don't exactly have a roster of suppliers in mind. She mentioned Joy San Gabriel. I told Kaye that we'd be having different suppliers for the cutting cake and the cupcake. Kaye's crew would be the one arranging the cakes at the reception.
Alfred gave me the freehand to handle the wedding cake, among others. I wanted a cupcake tree, but not with the traditional arrangement. I wanted to distribute the arrangement horizontally and vertically so that people would still notice it since we're talking about just about 100 pieces of the cupcake. Kaye and I ended up using cake displays of different diameter and heights.
Joy, like Kaye, is very nice to talk to. Took us a while on the design since I haven't finished the concept yet the first time we met. Her cakes are yum, yum yum! The cutting cake we had had an 8" diameter. It's a small cake, I know, but we just need to cut a small chunk of it for the reception and a carrot-walnut cake is not exactly light to eat. The guests would be having the cupcakes, so who's gonna help us finish off the cutting cake? The cake costs Php 2,500.00.
As for the cupcake, Frostings has been my one and only choice. I usually order the smores choco-caramel. When you see it in the stores, it looks like the picture in the 2nd row. I requested to have the icing changed to match the motif. Red color streaks and red sugar crystals were used instead of the regular chocolate syrup drizzle. Each cupcake costs Php 45.00.
0917 527 8837
0915 201 6209
Special Back-up Photo: Leonard Pe
Leonard and I go waaaayyy back in college when he doesn't know how it feels to go near (and actually buy someting from) a sari-sari store. Seriously. Never have I thought he would go into pornog..i mean, photography. The first time I saw what he could do with a camera, I knew he'd be THE ONE to pack with me when I do get married (and pack I did). He's Gensan-based when i told him the news that the special day is finally coming and I'm flying him in.
Here are his shots from the wedding.
Bridal Preps: EDSA Shangri-la Hotel (Photos by Leonard Pe)
Leonard was having the night of his life rolling on the big, big bed of the hotel's Executive Room. This is the same room where I'll be having my bridal preps, but since I won't be using the room until the day after, I let him knock himself out having a whiff of how it feels to be a bride preparing for a wedding hehehe
My room had lots of sitting areas to accommodate my family and suppliers as they go about the preps. We just had pizza delivered to the room. The room is about 63 sqm if memory serves me right. It has a vanity area outside the bathroom where we had our HMUs prepared.
Alfred's room was on the other tower. He had the Chi Premier room (picture on the second row below). So easy to relax here since the room is located just above the Chi Spa..scentsational experience! The wall that separates the bedroom and the bathroom is made of see-through glass. I decided to give him a nice room since I require a big one for the preps...grooms need some pampering too. Besides, he didn't take a leave from work the day before the wedding. i figured that the least I could do for him is help him sleep (which didn't happen with all the pre-wedding tension).
Joyce has been my florist since early 2000. I'm not well-versed with flowers, so I gave her a freehand in styling the flowers. Always a pleasant person to talk to. She's one of the suppliers whom I hardly had to check on too. I just give her a call, tell her I need flowers, what they're for, how much the budget is and give her the delivery address.
Aside from Kaye, she also helped in styling the venue by helping me select and source out the mood lights.
contact details: Joyce Aguilar
OTD Coordinator: Tita Mabel Ferrer
For 13k and all that trouble, I could only praise Tita Mabel's group...mostespecially Tita A. She's really cool. The package included the use of a treasure chest, bubble machine and fog machine. The group does RSVP check for the guests. Based on the usual packages of other OTDs here, they hardly offer this service. They're a bride's girl friday.
Nina is very pleasant to talk to. Turns out that she's the wife of my college orgmate. I realized that a number of our supplier have been long time friends. It made me appreciate the event more.
In keeping with the travel theme, we had a postcard design for the layout. You can refer to the pictures in the entries regarding the 2 photographers.
For our guests who made a stop at the photobooth, here's a copy of the individual shots.
Contact Details: Nadia Deocadiz
0917 604 9499
Over the top performance on the songs! Some guests even approached them to get their contact details. Nina (yes, 3 of my suppliers have the same name), hyper as always, is very pleasant to talk to. She's so animated and vibrant. It was through her that we got our coordinators from.
Some of the musical highlights of the event were:
entourage march - Here Comes the Sun
My husband calls me sunshine (I'm not about to explain how I ended up with the petname because it's baduy). Anyway, figured it's a good intro song for me before I walk down the aisle
bridal march - Here, There and, Everywhere by Rita Lee
If you notice, the marches are songs originally done by The Beatles. This is my tribute to my dad because he's been a Beatles fan for as long as I can remember.
first kiss song - Happy Together
After the kiss, the band started singing "I can't see me loving nobody but you for all my life." Nina said to choose a happy song..what could be more happier than this one?
reception entrance - Bongga Ka Day by Hotdogs
Really love this part. The band was playing the instrumental portion of the song as Gabby was giving out a loud voice as he was saying.."presenting, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred and Ivy Ramos!" As we walked in, they were singing the chorus portion of the song "Bongga ka day! *bongga* Bongga ka day! *bongga* Sige lang! Sige lang! Itaas ang kilay." It's like singing YMCA..audience participation was unstoppable. That was fun!
first dance song - Panalangin by Apo
It's sweet and yet fun to listen to. Simple as that.
last song during dinner - Gimme Some Lovin' by Traffic
I think the band enjoyed playing this as much as I've always have.
Contact Details: Nina Comsti
0920 952 4694
Emcee: Gabby Quimbo
Our suppliers haven't met (or heard of ) Gabby until yesterday. The first time I met him, he's so easy and comfortable to talk too. It's like a no-effort thing for him to entertain. When people ask me why i got him, I say it's because he always calls me "gorgeous" hahaha Hey, if you're prepping up for a wedding and you need to look good for the event, psyching up helps hahaha
contact details: 0915 463 7874
Photo/Video: Geronimo Photographico
They were more than an hour late for the coverage during the preps. Only reason why I wasn't stressed out was because Leonard was there. i didn't mind not having the video around. I was really after the photos. Which made me realize that having a back-up photog was really helpful.
Here are some of his shots from the wedding: