for the w@w community: suppliers’ review

We owe w@w a lot. We would have been at a loss preparing for the wedding without an online community.Just to give you an idea of what our wedding was like: we had a white on white motif and aimed for a simple wedding. We only had 1 pair of principal sponsors, 3 pairs of bridesmaids and groomsmen, no ring bearer, no flower girls. Our bridesmaids and groomsmen doubled as secondary sponsors. At the ceremony, the aisle was decked out in white flowers, white tulle, and white aisle runner. At the reception, cocktails were served inside the coconut palace as soon as guests arrived. Dinner was by the poolside. Buffet setup on either side of the pool. Tables were decked out in white linen, silver flatware and a water goblets. Centrepieces were in white roses and green apples. We had Sonata strings belting out soft music. No programme – no bouquet/garter throwing, no games, no speeches, not even cake cutting (we had no wedding cake, but instead plenty of dessert choices).
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for the w@w community: supplier’s ratings

lessons learned. many people believe that it’s all in the details. truth is, nobody else but you will remember the details! don’t sweat the small stuff. prepare early but don’t be obsessive about that one-day event. i’m all for making it the most beautiful wedding ever. but don’t expect everybody else to have the same definition of elegance and grandeur as you. make sure that you look back at your preparations as a joyful not a stressful event.

I’d rather not use ratings as I’m not sure where to gauge the ratings from. So I just asked ourselves the question, would i recommend them to my dearest friends who are about to tie the knot?

wedding coordinator. Weddings By Victoria.

invitations. CraftMaster.

church. San Agustin Church, Intramuros.

reception venue. Coconut Palace, CCP Complex.

caterer. Via Mare.

photo. Lito Sy, Inc.

video. Imacron.

event stylist/florist. Tropical Blooms.

bouquets/boutonnieres. April and Karen Yu.

harpist. Holly Paraiso.

strings. Sonata Strings.

sounds and lights. Sound Syndrome.

projectors. Brain.

groom’s suit. Veluz.

bride’s gown and wedding accessories. Veluz.

mothers’ and entourage’s gowns. Veluz.

groomsmen’s suits. Edwin Valerio.

van rentals. not sure which company, got contacts from Buy & Sell.

bridal car. Adeb.

hair and makeup. Jessy(sic) and Steve – Madge Lejano’s second team.

hotel for bridal and groom preps. G Hotel, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

DIYs. misalettes, reception invitation, arrhae (from coin collection from various countries we’ve visited).

bride’s bible.  

the wedding story

31 March 2007.

the wedding preparations took over my life in the 1 1/2 months that we were in manila prior to the day, no matter how hard i tried to resist. i didn’t realise that a 1-day event can take so much work.

but until the day, i was praying hard that the years (yes, years!) of planning would not go to waste.

we wished for a simple wedding. a day that would speak about us – who we are. so we have done without the traditions. we would have 1 pair of principal sponsors, 3 bridesmaid, 3 groomsmen as entourage. there would be no program with bouquet throwing or games at the reception nor an AVP showing how we morphed from child to adult. it was going to be different. and we had so many people telling us that it might turn out to be a non-wedding like affair.

i had the suite to myself. i decided not to have friends or family around me. i had breakfast by myself. a few hours of stillness that had been invaluable to prepare me for the rest of the day. 

early on, i was woken up by a text message from my bridesmaid letting me know that her flight from japan got delayed and would not make it to the ceremony at all. she was my only adult bridesmaid.

jessy and steve (madge lejano’s 2nd team) arrived first. instantly turning the living room area upside down. (that’s what they do, they need the space with natural light to set up their stuff.)  i was surprised that they had so much stuff.

when the photo and video team arrived, it was just manic in that suite.

i was pretty relaxed that morning, even after i got the news about my bridesmaid. but problems with the transport that we hired ourselves made me panic. add to that the fact that we are running out of time. and that there wasn’t enough packed meals for the suppliers (i ordered 25!)….and that i have no time to lift a finger to do something. i was texting my brother apologising profusely that the van we hired can’t fetch them. his response almost made me cry — that i should not even worry about them and make sure that i remember that it’s my day.

it was my day. i was marrying the most wonderful man.

lito sy was making me do weird poses and at the same breath shouting at his staff. then the video crew would begin to pester me with some more poses. i wasn’t sure i liked my make up. i was so worried about things going wrong that i just wanted to shoo them away. i still have that much hated pose – bride looking out the window with matching hawi of the curtain, argghh! but i try to let go. i was helpless anyway at that point. and i was doing everything that was asked of me (pretty much everything). but i’m not saying i had fun posing as i am a camera-phobic.

al and i saw each other on the way out. then a thousand more poses at the stairwell and at the lobby.

i was slowly welling up in the car when i try to think of the things that could go wrong. i asked a friend to step in the car when i was waiting by the church door. i needed to talk about something else and that made me regain my composure.

church door closes. and i can hear the harp playing inside. niko (of veluz) kept repeating to  me – walk slowly. the door felt like it wouldn’t open. that was the slowest minute of my life. i am not sure if the doors were fully opened then, but i started walking anyway. and a little faster than niko would have approved.

i saw the white carpet. the flowers on the aisle. holly playing gymnopedie no. 1 perfectly. there wasn’t as much people as i expected. but i saw the people that mattered most. i was happy. it was turning out to be the wedding of my dreams after all.

my parents were waiting in the middle of the aisle. and i was handed to al.

the priest was our good friend, marrying us. we had known each other for more than 20 years…and he forgot my name! even called me aileen! (which he denies). he skipped over some parts of the ceremony, including our personal vows!  but it was a solemn ceremony and nobody else noticed. it was a meaningful celebration and i wouldn’t have wished for anybody else to marry us.

the photo sessions went by quite organised. just a few teething problems with the san agustin sound system. and we were off to the reception.

cocktails were served. and we were pretty much occupied with the photo and video crew. but i had a look at the reception setup by the coconut palace poolside. and my heart welled up. it was every bit what we imagined it to be. parasols and benches dotted around the pool, all white scheme with not much frou-frous, which didn’t turn out to be boring at all, no presidential tables, buffet tables which doesn’t look empty.

my shoes turned a shade of gray after running around by the bayside. and we were slighlty less than immaculate by the time dinner was served. we made our way to our table after we were welcomed. al’s sister led the prayers. and dinner started.

we did eat. not as much as we wanted to. but we were not going to be left famished.

our AVP was a mixture of photos and videos of our travels and adventures together (al on tiroline and us both skydiving!)

sonata strings was playing wonderful music in the background. and my aunt was all praises for them.

food was great, so everybody says. and people were coming back for seconds, even thirds.

we went around. not together. just to make sure that we talk to everybody.

then imacron played their on-site video. and i felt like i realised a dream. our friends were all awed. and we quietly made our exit.

i promised myself that i would get to see every detail of the wedding, but i didn’t. i couldn’t say i have enjoyed all the stresses leading up to the hour. i wasn’t a relaxd bride. and al wasn’t a calm groom either. but the minute i walked down that aisle, i see the big picture – that nothing else matters but al and i and what our life would be after that day.

today, still on our n-day/month honeymoon, we slowly ask friends and family what they thought of the wedding. most don’t remember anything but the food and how good it was. maybe that was the biggest compliment – that there was nothing to say. most people believe that everything is in the details. but you can spend so much on placecards that gets thrown away, and on souveniers that gathers dust in the shelves. but people don’t remember much than what they were there for – the food. and of course, to witness you get married.

i do not wish for people to remember our wedding day. i wish for them to remember us.

worrywort

i worry. that if i let go now, i’d end up with a disorganised wedding. or that our guests would criticize all our efforts. or that our guests would ignore our requests at the church. or that some guests would fail to understand that they can’t bring more than the numbers alloted to them.

i am anxious. still after all these years of planning, and coming home a month and a half before the day, we are still tying up loose ends a couple of weeks before the wedding.

but i am happy. that i am marrying the best guy a girl can ever want. my best friend. my soul mate…maybe i have nothing to be worried about after all.

fate

let me wear pearls on my wedding and not worry about what luck it brings me. let me follow my heart and have faith that the shower of blessings will not falter.

so i will try on my gown before the wedding. and i will not try to have something old, borrowed and blue.

know that on our day, nothing will bring us bad luck. wish us well. uncross those fingers. stop knocking on wood. and just believe. some things are stronger than luck.