Saturday, August 14, 2010

Finally! Our Supplier Ratings-LONG

Supplier Ratings – June 18, 2010 wedding

Hi everyone! J it was a long delay, almost two months na, but I finally got around to writing our supplier ratings. Hubby and I had a really awesome time on our wedding. Like I always say, it’s not perfect, but it sure is beautiful. Our guests also found it as such.

In true La Sallian fashion, I’ll make my ratings as 4.0 being the highest and 1 being the lowest, 0 kasi yung bagsak, eh wala naman bagsak samin. Pero I had a professor once, who gave me a 5 on our writing class, kasi over the top raw at parang hindi sapat na bigyan lang niya ako ng 4, kasi marami na siyang binigyan ng 4. If hubby were to decide, 5 raw lahat kasi sobrang at ease and satisfied siya with all of them. So okay, I’ll give 5 rin to those who delivered more than what we expected of them. Mahaba ako magsulat so, I’ll save it for the details. So without further ado, here are our supplier ratings:

Invitations

Calliope

5.0

They are really affordable and the quality is good. I had my brother do the design of the invite and hubby’s sister prepared the map, and we just sent it to them for layout and printing. Everything was fast and they were very polite and professional in dealing with us. We loved our invites. Our invitees loved it too, since it was so... US J

Cons-None


Church

Holy Family Parish Church –BF Almanza, Las Piñas

4.0

Hubby and I chose that church kasi we grew up going there talaga, since it was our area in our community, YFC. So the church felt like home to us already. We never really thought of getting married anywhere else, except the one near NAIA 3. But anyway, things really pushed us to get married in this church.

Pros: the church has a long aisle, perfect for those who want to savor their walk; it’s really affordable, considering it’s a big church and also beautiful, it’s almost a copy of Ayala Alabang’s St. James, at least in my opinion; their church coordinator, Ms. Josie is very nice. She knew that we will have trouble with the seminars and schedule because hubby is overseas, so she told me to just approach her regarding the schedule para everything will be ready in time for the wedding. She answered all of my questions and talagang extended her help to us.

Cons: actually, one lang naman. They have an in-house wedding coordinator sa church. She was kinda mataray, even when I met with her days before the wedding. Buti na lang, our coords and commentator were also palaban so they didn’t just say yes to everything she tells them. Grabe. She almost ruined my moments. She gave the rules on what’s not allowed during the actual ceremony, and good thing naman na my cousin, who will do part of the coordinating was there with me. I understand naman why she was like that, syempre she just wants the wedding to be smoothsailing. Grabe lang talaga on the day itself, pinasakit niya ulo ng coordinators namin. She was so bossy, according to them. She was cutting some parts from our misalette kasi nalate nga raw kami and may susunod pang affair sa church, nagagalit yung lola ko kasi syempre sinusundan nung guests yung nasa misalette diba? We weren’t able to finish our picture-taking kasi she insisted na we have to get out of the church na nga dahil may novena pa na kasunod.

Eh important sana yung batch nay un kasi they’re our YFC and CFC family na common circle talaga namin ni hubby. Lastly, she almost ruined my moment on walking down the aisle. While I was walking, I really tried to focus on my husband, the look he gave me was priceless. But then, there she was, right in front of me, almost shouting at me to kick the front of my wedding dress so that I could walk faster. “Sipain mo iha, sipain mo!”Everyone was almost distracted. Even my parents who came to meet me. I even whispered to them, "eh sipain ko kaya mukha nito?" When hubby came to meet with me, we were having a really nice moment and we were both crying gazing at each other’s eyes, but then, she had to interrupt. “Excuse me po, dito na po tayo...” to this, hubby whispered to me, “eh siya kaya ang sipain ko,” which had us laughing. Buti na lang, hubby and I were determined to have a good time that day and were extra forgiving. Anyway, the church looked really majestic on pictures. I had simple but elegant floral arrangements kasi, and it really brought out the beauty of the church and of the whole ceremony. They have a balcony where the choir also stays, and its great for taking pictures talaga. Beautiful. So for that and Ms. Josie’s niceness, almost perfect sila sakin.


Choir

Holy Family Parish Choir

3.0

Getting a choir wasn’t really my priority, since I want canned music in the important parts like the processional and the latter parts. I made a playlist in my iPod and just instructed our coordinator to guide the sound system na lang for playing it in time. So I wanted a group that’s good enough and affordable naman. We didn’t want a group who will come from Makati pa or QC kasi I really didn’t want to spend that much, and nakakahiya naman to get them like that, considering we won’t be having them at the reception. Luckily, one of my friends was a member of the choir in Holy Family, so I asked them if they would want to be the choir for our wedding and they said yes.

Pros: Mura talaga. They’re also good considering they’re not really professional singers. And marami sila which was nice kasi it makes them sound more regal. Ayoko kasi ng parang 2-3 persons lang yung kumakanta. Mas gusto ko yung choir talaga.

Cons: They’re newbies pa nga. Medyo ninerbyos ata yung vocalist at first time niya magsolo sa isang wedding gig.Na-appreciate ko rin naman yung effort nila. During the start kasi, the church coordinator told me nga na its not advisable to be plugging in other stuff in their sound system kasi baka magtunog-lata. So I was apprehensive in using my iPod, especially on my entrance. I don’t want the mood to be ruined by technical difficulties. So I asked the choir if they can learn my entrance song. Sabi nila, sure. On the day itself, the moment I stepped inside the church.

Aba, first line pa lang eh out of key na yung vocalist. As in wala sa tono, first line pa lang. Hindi na rin ako nainis, instead, natawa na lang ako, at ok rin naman since nawala ang kaba ko. Eh mejo nagbibinata at nagdadalaga pa talaga yung mga boses nila. Oh well, buti na lang we had a sense of humor. But for the other parts of the mass and when they sang The Prayer, nakaka- goosebumps rin kasi ang solemn ng pagkakanta nila, hindi yung parang may mga vocalist na nagpapasikat. They really sing well as a group and I think they will get better with more experience. Siguro dahil wala rin sila masyadong practice. I just heard them sing during the fiesta mass of the parish, other than that, hindi na. Mahirap din sila hagilapin kasi nga they weren’t really a professional group.


Flowers (church and entourage)

Angel of Hearts

4.0

They were the suppliers for two of my aunts wedding and I found their arrangements simple and elegant. After much researching about them here in W@W, I looked for them in one of the wedding expos and I booked them right there.

Pros: I love their creations. Super nice and they were easy to deal with. The price they gave me was also reasonable and I also got a lot of freebies, as in. Parang tatanungin ko lang kung how

much magpa-additional, they would just throw it in the package. I had an all-white concept for the flowers of my entourage para yung bouquet ko lang ang colourful. Ms. Lorrie suggested adding a hint of blue hydrangeas para mabuhay ng konti yung arrangement. True enough, the arrangements looked really romantic and elegant. Everyone loved my bouquet. It was perfect for my dress and my personality.

Cons: I wanted an all-white setup sa church to bring out the color of our entourage and guests. So we agreed on a dozen of white calla lilies with gold sinamay accents on every pew. Hubby really loved the idea kasi very classic nga. 2 days before the wedding, I got a text from Ms. Lorrie, asking me if it was okay to change the flowers from calla lilies to roses kasi hindi raw maganda yung nakuha nilang supply ng calla lilies. I was already in my bahala na mode that time, so I was gonna say yes na. But then I told hubby about it and he was kinda disappointed.

Sabi niya, we’ll stick to whats been agreed upon, bahala sila maghanap ng calla lilies kasi hindi

naman namin kasalanan yun na hindi maganda yung mga nadeliver sa kanila. They said okay, and at the church, nadeliver naman nila so no biggie. Medyo minus lang yun making us agitated for a bit about the church arrangements.


Rings

Golden Hills

4.0

Our rings were simple and elegant. Hubby wanted a rotating ring, so that’s what I got for him and mine was the identical one, with no diamonds or whatever. I had no problems with our ring supplier. In fact, from the time I paid my reservation, she really took care of my requests and made sure we had it exactly like we wanted. Hubby was just kind of disappointed that the second layer of the ring wouldn’t rotate as fast from the base level, but I guess that was the best we can do with a rotating ring. His inspiration was the ghetto belts kasi that was popular before.

Hotel Preps

Parque España

5

Pros only. We didn’t really see any negative about staying there for our wedding preps. We actually loved it. Kasi if we have big families and a group of friends who also stayed at the hotel. So the suites were big enough to accommodate us and our suppliers. With our budget, we would have been cramped up in small rooms in other hotels in the south and it would have annoyed me much. Buti na lang we decided to look at Parque España. The suites were spacious, it was clean too. I was able to relax talaga kasi hindi siksikan sa room. Also, hubby forgot his laptop when he

left the suite on their way to the church. Good thing the make-up artist they hired saw it and asked the people on the concierge to keep it for us. We got it back when we checked out. And they were all congratulatory and pleasant.


Gowns and Groom’s Suit

Dan Cadiz

4.5

Tito Dan is a close, close friend of the family. We would always come to him when we needed dresses for special events, so we were kind of his muses. He was really excited to do my wedding gown and I knew no one could ever do it but him.

Pros:

Well, he is really good and considering his work, really unexpensive. His quotations are reasonable and from the outcome, you will see that you got your money’s worth, and more. With the budget I gave him, plus my requests and add-ons, feeling ko nga lugi pa siya. But he did it with love of course. Our entourage loved their dresses, hubby looked dashing in his suit and I

absolutely love my gown. I would go breathless every time I remember it. He made a miracle with that one. I originally wanted a simple, empress-like design, I didn’t think whether it would fit me, I just thought it looked beautiful. But during my first fitting, I looked like a pregnant bride, my flower girl said so. Tito Dan, of course, said he will just repair the bone used in the bodice. So that I can still have the design I wanted. Less than a month into the wedding, I had fit the gown again. It looked beautiful on the mannequin but not on me. I still looked preggers. I started to panic. I then realized that the problem wasn’t with the dress but with my body type. I couldn’t wear an empress-cut gown without looking pregnant. And so, I just decided to let Tito Dan take the reins; to just surprise me, and make the gown look beautiful and bongga on me. And on my next fitting, there it was. Winking at me like it knew we would be meeting soon... my beautiful gown. The details were so intricate and it looks so delicate and just really beautiful. Plus, the bodice made differently so that it could look like I have a waist! Hehe. I felt really blooming and sexy in my gown. Tito Dan is really good, even with time pressure, he still delivers.

Cons:

Maybe it’s because we’re very comfortable with each other, or that he doesn’t have a secretary, that sometimes he forgets that we have agreed on this certain thing or this certain schedule. Good thing lang that I am an OC bride so I always remind him of our meetings and deliverables. My hubby was an OC-groom too so he would always ask me about his suit, and it took a long time before Tito Dan was able to show it to him. Although when he did, it was perfect. Just a few minor alterations because hubby lost some weight. Other than that, I couldn’t really complain since I really got more than what I paid for.



Hair and Makeup Artist

Mario Alondra

4.5

I don’t say it because he’s my uncle, but he is really good. I’m a creature of habit so I really wanted him to do my hair and makeup on my wedding, since he has done it for me since I was a teenager. And people always tell me I look beautiful after being made up by him. He also did a good job on my mom and sister. After the wedding, people told me that my makeup was really

nice since I looked really blooming J

The only problem was that he couldn’t stick around until the reception because he had another gig. I was a bit disappointed, but it was okay. He waited until after the photo shoot with the photographer was done to do a little retouch before we left for the reception.


Bridal Shoes
Abbylyns
4.5
I got my inspiration from Korina Sanchez's bridal shoes by Cesar Gaupo, which probably costs more than 30,000. I provided the cloth and showed them my design. The outcome was really nice, almost exactly like Korina's shoes. It was beautiful. I'm not a shoe person, but I really fell in love with it. It makes you feel more confident when you have good heels on. Plus it was really comfy considering it was four-inches high. The other plus is that it was very cheap. P2,500 with
a customized bag. The Abbylyns staff at Cubao Expo were reliable and accommodating.

Photographer

Jeff and Lisa Photography

5.0

All Pros. No cons. They are the best in their craft and style. Amazing pre-nup and post-nup shoot. All the photos were nice. We only availed of their service-only package (which I’ve come to know, costs twice now than what we paid for last year!) but we weren’t treated like second-class clients. Ms. Lisa is really a darling. And Sir Jeff of course, is nice too J Funny because we were really at ease with them, that hubby refers to them as Kuya and Ate. They are just super nice. I’m gonna stop here because you might think I’m patronizing.


Videographer

30 FPS Digital Videography

4.0

Pros:

They’re good and affordable. Among the known and good ones, I think they’re the ones who offer the lowest package. Its always nice to work with couples because you see how they work together. You see that they’re totally different from one another yet they click and their tandem works, as a married couple and as business partners. Like for most couple-suppliers I’ve encountered, it’s the guy, Paul who is more chatty and outgoing. Yet when you talk to the girls, in this instance, Ms. Caron, who seems a bit suplada at first, but when you start talking to her, you’ll see that just like any woman, she gets you. In my case, I have a brooding family of visual artists (future filmmakers) so it was important to me to have a videographer that edits well, can capture all the moments and give us the raw footage. 30-FPS fits my requirements that way. I know my family would want to sit back during the day itself, but they could not resist having their own edited version. So I trusted 30-FPS to do the documenting J In fact, during the wedding day, they even asked me why I still hired a videographer, when it seemed like my family could also do a pretty good job. They also brought a nice group with them. The guy who was assigned to follow me around the whole day was pleasant to be around. He didn’t make us feel uncomfortable for one tiny bit. That’s the thing with how I chose my suppliers. I wanted them to be really low-profile. I’ve been to several weddings and I was really turned off at how some suppliers kind of steal the show. They hog too much time with the bride, or the couple, that the really important people are pushed aside. For my suppliers, I wanted them to be efficiently working in the background, blending in with my family and my groom’s family and our friends, as this really is our time. And that was how they did it. (sorry, couldn't post the onsite vid)

Cons:

Other than the fact that I couldn’t contact Paul days before the wedding, we really didn’t encounter any bad experience with them. Paul even apologized for not being able to answer my email promptly and explained that he was out of the country for a while. Aside from that time, they were always prompt with the correspondences. They were really professional from day one.


Reception Venue

Monte di Portofino Clubhouse

4.0

Pros:

The place was really nice, romantic and affordable. I even got a discount. When we had conflict with the capacity of their function room, they easily agreed to have our reception on the veranda and poolside area instead. They were actually easy to deal with, once you survived the necessary challenges. Everyone liked the place, especially when it was beautifully set and lit-up.

Cons:

Yes, I think you need an endorsement from a lot-owner or a Brittany Corporation employee to be able to book the place. But everything’s kind of easy na after that. When you’re in, you’re in. We originally booked their airconditioned function room, but our guests ballooned so we learned

na hindi pala kami kasya dun. We were allowed to use the poolside naman, kaya lang the place was really hot. We prayed hard na hindi umulan, although we didn’t anticipate na we would have a problem with the ventilation. Also, just a few days before the wedding, I couldn’t contact the usual contact person in Portofino. Good thing that I decided to do an ocular at the place and called up their office. The whole staff in-charge of the clubhouse resigned na pala. We weren’t informed and not properly turned over to the new management. But in general, it’s a really

beautiful and affordable place J


Catering

K by Cunanan Catering

5

K by Cunanan is another W@Wie find. At first, I was even apprehensive to get them kasi they really looked so expensive. Just the way people talked about their setup, like it was really elegant, I was hesitant to even go there – to approach them and inquire about their rates. You could say that I was intimidated but one of my suppliers told me that we really should try to inquire. So I did, and it didn't take long before we knew they were the one for us. For hubby, it took one picture. For me, it took one meeting with Kaye, for my mom and sister, it took one taste of their food. After meeting them and tasting the food, I just knew I couldn’t walk away from them. After that, I learned that one of Kaye’s partners/account managers Kar is a good friend of my brothers. Funny, because from the start, they were insisting that I get their friends’ catering business for the wedding, and I didn’t want to take their word for it. But I ended up getting them pa rin.

Pros: The styling was definitely a cut above the rest. They didn’t mind if we got a really low package from them, they really made sure everything looked beautiful. I had a picture of how I wanted our reception to look like, I explained it to them, they made it a reality and made sure they top what I had in mind. Their inputs really counted, kasi even if I consider myself really OC, they would still suggest some things that didn’t even cross my mind. They even took care of our cake buffet. I got two freebies: a chocolate fountain from the bridal fair, and a round of cocktail drinks from the Martha Stewart magazine. And do I even have to mention that their food is really good? Over the top talaga! I really find myself craving for their food even after the wedding.

Cons: nothing much, except for some comments from my parents na parang nagdisappear raw agad the food, iniisip nila na parang kinuha ng mga waiters. Hindi ko na rin kasi napansin so I couldn’t confirm if it was true. We also weren’t able to use our notes, kasi our guests weren’t fond of writing din naman, eh hindi pa sa guestbook so the idea must have been new to them.

Also, hindi nasunod yung chocolate fountain kasi I opted for a white chocolate fountain pero when I saw the dessert table, it was the milk chocolate kind. Ok lang naman, hindi na ko humirit kasi free lang naman.

So despite of the cons, we’re still giving them a 5. With the way they brought our vision to life and made our reception really elegant, plus everyone loved the food, they deserve nothing less. In fact, we’re already saving up so that we can get them again for our anniversary and for our kids birthdays or baptism in the future. Haha.

(more pictures in this website)

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/album.php?aid=458433&id=309988215715&ref=mf



Cakes

Cake Buffet (Cakes from different shops)

4.5

We ordered some of our favourite cakes from different bakeshops and our guests loved it. Kar of K By Cunanan helped us with the styling of the cake buffet, and set up a really pretty dessert buffet for us. It was a really good idea because almost all our guests were able to sample the delicious cakes we picked out. We had 5 kinds of cake, 11 rounds, for only five thousand pesos! :))

Lights and Sounds

Rejectkrew

5.0

Pros:

Really really really good! Affordable too. Elmer deserves all the praises that he gets from his previous clients. I was afraid of expecting too much from this guy, because I didn’t want to get disappointed, with all his previous brides building him up, and with the price I paid, I thought I really shouldn’t think everything was gonna be perfect. But he surpassed all my expectations! A few weeks before, I told him we were gonna need an extra projector screen, he provided one for me at a low price. I told him that instead of the indoor setup, we were gonna have the reception outdoors, he said there was no problem with it. A few days before, I also told him that we might need live feed because some of guests were seated far away from us. The night of the reception, the lights and sounds were seamless. He also cooperated well with our program team. The moodlighting was unbelievable. I’ve never seen Portofino more glorious. It was like he planned this lighting for a long time. Elmer really is a genius at his craft.

Cons:

The screens he provided me was from another supplier, a friend of his. Kasi he really only has one screen and he told me about this from the start. But when I told him that I needed one more, he made a way for me, since I didn’t want to worry about it na and I just want one point person for the lights, sounds and visuals. During the reception, there was a technical glitch with one of the screens, but it wasn’t a big deal din naman kasi our program team forgot to tell them about this other video that was gonna be played in another laptop. And at the end of the programme, he personally came up to us to congratulate and apologize. He even offered to give back the payment for the screen. But we didn’t get it na, kasi its just a minor glitch and the happiness he gave us when we saw the lighting in the reception was MAJOR!!




Mobile Bar

Swizzle Mobile Bar

4.0

I met the owner, Karla, in our events class in CSB. She’s a very cheerful and friendly girl. She’s also handling their family business, The Plaza Catering and The Plaza Ham, so she’s really used to events. Of course, she’s a very creative person rin, so her new biz is really hip and happening.

Pros: I got discounts, of course! J We just met once, and everything turned out great during the reception naman J Their colourful shots was a nice touch to our colourful wedding. And its safe to say that our friends really got tipsy enjoying their cocktails.

Cons: None that I can think of! Oh, maybe only that when hubby and I got to the bar, they were running low on drinks na! Hehehe. Alcoholic ata mga kaibigan namin eh.


Photo Booth

POOF! Photo Booth

4.0

A wedding expo find J

No more pros and cons, just GOOD JOB! As an OC Bride though, I was worried that they weren’t getting in touch with me after I booked them. BUT! No worries with that, because when they finally contacted me, everything was easy and we were really happy with their services. Our friends loved it and aside from the magnetic photo, we had their bagtags as souvenir J

Back-up Tent

Belles and Doves

3.0

Only because they’re easy to deal with. I really didn’t have the chance to see their setup because we didn’t need tents on our wedding ;) But I’m still grateful that they were there for back-up, in case we had to do our plan B (which we didn’t).


That ends our supplier ratings. Once again, I would like to express our gratitude to the whole W@W community for everything that I have learned here. Our wedding wouldn’t have been really beautiful if not for you all. Thank you J And inspired by this spirit of unity and love, I promise to really do my best to extend help to other brides out there, W@Wie or not.

Here’s to love! Cheers! J

Cams













Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Been there, Done that! (Reminders from one bride to another, from one who's been out there)


As much as I want to, I'm not so good with giving tips. I'll just lose my train of thought after a few minutes, and we'll be on a different topic before we know it.But I think I'm good at sharing. At telling stories. I might be yakking away for a long time, but at least I try to be animated and humorous about it.
So in my effort to reach out to other brides who are gracious or maybe stressed out enough to read this blog entry, I'm gonna try to relate what I experienced during the wedding by sharing. From realizations on what did really well, what really helped me, and what could have been done better. And from this, I hope you learn a thing or two, be reminded of the things that really matter, or at least have a good laugh with me, as I recall some experiences from what we call our "big day."

  • I'm an OC bride, and for those who are like me, let me tell you the real deal: It's okay to be OC... just as long as you let go on the wedding day. Being an OC planner did wonders for my wedding. Because I was like that, every important detail I specified was followed. My coordinators (who are our closest friends helping out) didn't have such a hard time. I planned everything, they did the implementation. I was OC with everything, but I knew that to really enjoy our wedding day, I had to let go sooner or later. For me, it came later. Up to the day before, I was typing in files, looking at the checklists, guestlists, reviewing the contracts. But that was because I was determined to let it all go on the wedding day. So after going Ms. OC, sending in all files to our coordinators, and giving them last minute reminders (everything talaga that I can think of, and I told them to ask me anything na, para the on the wedding day they won't have to ask me), turning over every item and paraphernalia that they would need, I sent an email and text message to all our suppliers, telling them that I will no longer entertain phone calls, questions or clarifications. Instead, I have forwarded to them the contact details of the coordinators so that they can get in touch with each other regarding the wedding preps. I told them that I will be resting and preparing myself for the wedding day, and I trust them that they will make everything alright. After that, I let go. Hands-off on the wedding preparations. During the morning of the wedding day, I gave both of my phones to my maid of honor. It was hard to let go, but after feeling rested and relaxed, and after seeing that our friends and suppliers really did a great job in coordinating everything, I knew we made the right decision. They felt good that we trusted them, and they surpassed our expectations. At the start, I thought of getting a professional team of OTDs na lang, since I was an OC bride nga, I didn't want to feel bad if my friends disappointed us on our wedding. But after having a good talk with our friends, and knowing that they are capable and they would love to do it for us, there was no second-guessing. On the wedding day, they didn't stress us out at all. They took care of everything. And they loved the feeling afterwards. One of my friends who was in-charge was ecstatic because the suppliers gave her a pat on the back, congratulating her for a job well-done. It saved me a lot of money, and a lot of stress.
  • The day before the wedding, I had a mani-pedi, foot spa and a body scrub. Some brides do it the week before, or days before, but I knew I would just ruin my manicure if I don't do it the day before, and I'd still be so stressed out by then. So after my beauty routine, a really relaxing body scrub, I felt great and I felt glowing. It was like the hardest part was over, and I was ready to be a bride. The night before, after reading my vows and saying a prayer, I already felt like sleeping beauty. My fear that I wouldn't be able to sleep the night before and have breakouts on my wedding day didn't happen. I felt relaxed and at ease.
  • On the day of the wedding, before the suppliers came in, I already had my me-time. It happened after breakfast. I'm not exactly sure how it happened that I had the hotel suite all to myself. So there I said a prayer, contemplated for a bit, and sang out loud while watching music videos. That really calmed my nerves. It wasn't like I was preparing for my wedding, it felt like hours before preparing to go on a concert. I really felt relaxed and ready for the busy day to come. It helped that I had a great breakfast with my family, and we stopped talking in high tones. I know they were all anxious too, but we kinda have the relaxed vibe at our suite, and we just focused on savoring the moments. I approached them in a relaxed manner, and vice versa. Have a moment to yourself. Even for just 10 minutes before everything gets crazy.
  • Don't second-guess your decisions, but have a really good Plan B. From what I have learned from my events class, there should be no Plan C, because Plan B should be as good as Plan A. So as our wedding falls on the month of June, we were really apprehensive about the weather. We had an outdoor event. We did the drill, we went to Sta. Clara and offered eggs. We went to mass consecutively, for the intention of the whole wedding as well. Of course, we still had Plan B. To transfer one part of the reception to the indoor function room, while the rest that wouldn't fit would be tented outside. It was good enough, but of course, we're still hoping for Plan A. Two days before the wedding, my caterer's tent supplier said that they can't do backup for our event. It's either we get them and set up the tent, or we don't. I thought about the costing. What if it didn't rain? Then we would be wasting a ton of money and a lovely floor plan. So we had to let go of that supplier and look for another one that can do backup. I was only able to finalize the deal with the new supplier the day before the wedding. On the day of the wedding, I noticed my maid of honor (my sister), and our coordinator, pacing back and forth looking at the floor plans that we have. When I asked, they said that the caterer is having second thoughts on plan A because the sky seemed a bit unsure too. So they asked if I could be ready for Plan B. We talked about it, and we all felt that we weren't ready to give up yet. The weather seemed to be accommodating our plans so far. So we decided to still go for Plan A. At the church, it drizzled for less than a minute, and it was sunny again. It didn't rain. We were faithful, the Lord is faithful. When we got to the reception venue, the setup couldn't be any more lovely and romantic. It was a good thing we stuck to our decision.
  • What we forgot was this: if everything happens according to our wishes for a no-rain wedding, it will be the complete opposite. It was so hot on our wedding day! We didn't anticipate that it will be that dry. Everyone was sweating at the church and during the reception. We were all good sports about it, but if we just believed that the Lord wouldn't let it rain on our wedding day 100%, we could have just rented fans or air coolers instead of backup tents.
  • Don't neglect your bodies, and have a good rest. I was very religious in my beauty routine and drinking vitamins up until maybe a week before the wedding. I forgot about my Vitamin C and E. Thankfully, I didn't get sick on the day of the wedding (although I had a migraine when we got back to the hotel), but the groom had a cold. He was so conscious about it throughout the entire ceremony that we just had to laugh about it. He even mistakenly used the priest's handkerchief to wipe his nose. Thankfully, the priest was my uncle. Later on, I learned, that he wasn't able to sleep well the night before.
  • Eat before going to church. Its true what they say, that you might not be able to eat on your own wedding reception. Before, Babe and I swore that we won't care what anybody says, we will eat on our reception. We won't pass up on all that good food we have paid for. But on the wedding day, its different. While waiting at the car, the waiter already served us the cocktail food. Everything looked yummy! We tried to eat some, but then when we heard our emcee's voice calling out the names of our entourage, we knew we also had to stop eating and get ready. When we got to our table, picture taking began and as we wanted everyone to feel part of the programme, we went table hopping and mingled with all our guests. By the time we got back to our table, we were served with the most beautiful plate of all mouthwatering dishes. We tried to eat, but our friends came up with a really good programme that we were so preoccupied with it, and when you're up there, you really can't think of anything but what is happening around you, people taking chances to have their photos taken with you. And of course, you'd do anything to make their efforts of going to your wedding well worth it. The food was right in front of us, but we barely touched it. After the reception, we had packed food for us at the hotel. But we were both tired and in a state of shock and happiness, that we forgot all about it and ended up bringing it home with us. If there was anything I regret about the whole wedding, its that we weren't able to eat the sumptuous feast that we have prepared. Everyone said that the food was great. And we could only smile. Brides out there, if you're still not done with the food-tasting, be sure you make the most out of it. don't just taste, EAT! Or else, you'll be having a monstrous craving afterward, just like I do now =(
  • Break-in your shoes at least the night before. I started walking in my shoes the whole night before. Strutting, trying to run and dance with it. And even though I kinda felt silly, I'm still glad I did. Saved me from an embarrassing experience of tripping from it.
  • For the sake of the wedding pictures. If you feel like crying, go do it. Holding back will make you look like you are sneezing in pictures. I was blessed that our photographer reminded me of this. I didn't bawl out, but just freely let the tears flow. That's the whole purpose of a touch-up anyway. It saved me from having a lot of awkward pictures.
  • If you have personal vows, practice reading it before you go to church. You will feel confident reading it in public right after.
  • Finally, and what might seem like the whole point of this blog entry, just relax! Remember that despite all the hangups and setbacks and epic fails that you will see right in front of you on your wedding, what matters is that you have your groom with you and after this will be a lifetime of togetherness. I've been there. The worst thing that can happen is it not happening. But it is. So when you're there, breathe and relax. Everything's under control. The moment the doors opened for me and I stepped inside the church, the main vocalist in our choir, singing my entrance song was out of key. He went on and on off-pitch. But instead of me throwing a fit about it, it made me laugh. And I saw my groom's face and he didn't care. He was looking at me, crying. We couldn't care less. From being just a far-fetched dream, our wedding was turning into a reality. The church's coordinator was ruining the moment by telling me to kick underneath my wedding dress as it was long and it was keeping me from gliding. She was irritating, but I didn't care. When I met my groom, he joked about kicking the coordinator instead. And then I knew, we were there as ourselves. We were off to a good start. I am a worrier. Admittedly, I worry more than half the people I know. But on my wedding day, I did what I thought I could never do - I relaxed. And as far as I can remember, there wasn't a moment I didn't like about my wedding day. I'm the happiest bride I know :)
So I guess that's it. I don't know for sure if what I wrote will help you, but for me it did. And I can only hope for the best for you, pretty bride to be. Be fearless. Trust in the Lord. Trust in the love of your fiancee, the love of your family and friends that they will be the best for you on your wedding day. Trust in yourself, that you did and can do whatever there is to be done. I've been there. This OC, overly anxious, clumsy, scatterbrained, laidback dreamer bride has made it. I'm sure you will too. ;))

love, Cams

The Scare

A week before the wedding, Babe and I agreed that we would not be seeing each other until the day itself. To spend more time with our families and to build up on the excitement. From the time we parted on our last night, we really held up to our deal, and even if we were at the same places (happened many times), with the help of our friends, we managed to not see each other despite close calls.

But of course, being the OC bride that I am, I gave him his schedule on the day, and reminded him of the time he should leave from the hotel and proceed to the church. I had a different plan for him on how to spend his last days as a single guy, but I let him be. Especially since the whole gang (the boys) were already at the hotel the night before. They were doing the programme, taking care of the details, while watching the Finals of the NBA series Lakers vs. Boston Celtics on the morning of the wedding. I was already in relaxed bride mode, so I trusted him and our friends that everything was under control.

We were calling and texting in the morning, but after lunch, it was crazy busy. There were so many people in our suite and as soon as I got dressed, the pictorial started. Time flew by so quickly and before I knew, it was three o'clock, and we needed to go down and head to the church. The photographers and our coordinator-friends made sure that we wouldn't see each other on the way down to the hotel, so they told me to wait until Babe has already left the building. I was even left with one of the videographers for a few minutes, until we heard that the groom has already left and we can already go down.
And so we were there at the lobby, which was really small, it would be impossible for us not to see each other in case he's still there.

So I was sitting there with my parents, waiting for our car that would bring us to the church. And then I noticed. His friends was still there, his family was still there. I specifically told him that they should be at the church by 3pm.

But more than that, I realized, if they were still all there, to whom did the groom ride with on his way to the church? And then I noticed, they were all going up and down the building. His best men were still there with their wives. I saw his parents, his mom greeted me and said I looked beautiful. So... if the groom was not with the people that he was supposed to be with, then, WHERE IS THE GROOM?!

I started to panic, as they were all asking each other where Babe was. Each of them thought he was with the other. They said they left him at the car to wait, as they picked up the other friends, but when they got to the car, he wasn't there, and the key wasn't there. So they lost the groom. Our on-the-day coordinator, who is also one of our closest friends, must have noticed that I was aware of what was happening. She came up to me and reassured me that everything was under control. I managed to smile, but nervous drops of sweat trickled down my face.

What followed could have been the longest 10 minutes of my life. I was worried about Babe. For a few minutes, I contemplated on whether he has gotten cold feet. Did he change his mind and run away? But I know Babe won't do that. He's not a coward and he loves me. And then, I thought, what if something bad happened to him? What if he was kidnapped as part of an insensitive joke? What if he was abducted(yes, me and my crazy imagination)? In my mind, I was already praying... "Lord, as long as he is safe..." and I was already starting to tear up. But I knew it would ruin my makeup and we don't want any more delays now, don't we? So I just continued to pray.

And then after what has been a nervewracking moment for me, they found him. At the empty lot beside the building. Contemplating. Sure and ready as ever. And I uttered a prayer of thanks. They made their way to the church and soon after, we did too. I was happy again :)

At the church, when it was finally my turn to walk down the aisle, I saw my groom, the love of my life, teary eyed as he approached me. The look on his face was priceless.

When we were walking, I also broke into tears. I told him that he scared me a while ago, when he was nowhere to be found.

Later on, I learned that he didn't know people were looking for him. Our photographer, Sir Jeff, told him to hide, as I was already on my way down. He didn't have time to tell any one of his companions where he was going. He was hiding in the bushes. Typical Babe. Doing what was unexpected, not knowing that I was going crazy and being upset. But I love him, even when he's like that. And typical me. Worrying about him, even when there is no need to. And he loves me, because I'm like that.