New Blog: My Shakti Universe

Come on over to my new blog, MY SHAKTI UNIVERSE at http://cathyparaslara.tumblr.com to ask your wedding-related questions, atbp! :)  See you online!

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So long, farewell

As I type this, Jay is saying to me, “Sleep now… sleep now…”  I don’t even know if he’s fully awake, actually …

Anyways, we really have to bid this blog farewell.  We have absolutely no time to blog at the moment as LIFE is just kicking us in the a$$.  In a good way :)  but an ass-kicking is an ass-kicking and we come home fulfilled but tired.  Jay’s been good, he’s been playing basketball at least twice a week.  I, on the other hand, have resorted to calling my stretches after a shower “exercise.”  Not good.

I’m definitely still in the wedding loop in a way (contributing to the Philippine publication of Martha Stewart Weddings – think the maiden issue will come out in September) but again, we need to put this bad boy to rest already.  I’ve decided that any time I have on the side should be devoted writing of a more literary kind and that I really need to start reading more so I can get inspired to actually write.  It’s a vicious circle,  see?  And it doesn’t involve blogging anymore.  At least not right now.

Know this – it still puts a huge smile on our face to read all the incredible comments and links to our blog.  The huge outpouring of support, love and friendship that you all have had for Jay and I has been amazing and we are forever indebted to you.

Love, peace and light from Jay and I :)

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Terry’s slideshow

Hi!  If y’all care to see Terry’s slideshow for Jay and I, here it is:

Step 1: visit http://terryuy.com

Step 2: click on “CLIENT ACCESS”

Step 3: enter password: TANK

Step 4: click on “slideshow” and it will take you to “CATHY & JAY: THE WEDDING”.  Wait for the images to load as it’s in flash and then… ENJOY!

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Supplier Rating: Cake Concepts

Our cake was just yummy!  We chose a fondant chocolate cake because Jay and I love chocolate, and we gave out pieces of the cake once people started dancing and were so happy to find out that it was still yummy and moist inside.

This was my design inspiration (from Martha Stewart Weddings, of course!):

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Something Maite (of Cake Concepts) pointed out to me when we chatted was scale. The image above is a small cake, that’s why it can sit pretty on a cake stand :)  It would be weird to have a cake for 400 people on a cake stand, so we had to improvise, which suited us just fine because it turned out just as we had imagined it to look like:

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5 stars for Cake Concepts and Maite!

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Supplier Rating: Michi Calica (entourage)

Michi was a delight to meet and work with in the beginning. She’s really one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and she has a very impressive boutique in New Manila/Greenhills. My mom and I were impressed with her instantly and she really sells her products and services quite well. Unfortunately, she went on maternity leave and wasn’t as present as I would have liked her to be.

Out of 5 stars, I give her a 2.

Let’s distinguish between Michi and her staff. Her staff I give a -1 star rating. The only person who I felt was efficient and had it together at her store was her all-around cleaning lady/modista (Luz?) – the person who would pin together the loose parts or identify my desired hemline… the one who would offer me water or usher me to the changing area. She had it together. But I can’t tell you enough the amount of stress that her store managers put me through, especially as it came closer to their delivery dates. I actually saved all of my correspondence with them and looking back at it, I still can’t believe that dresses were switched, bridal records were mistaken (for example, someone from her shop texted me the night before the wedding if it was ok that my bridesmaid’s dress was delivered the following week because of car coding issues – this was the night before our wedding and just 1 day after I went to the shop with the bridesmaid to finalize everything… so I of course found out that they had the wrong record connected to the dress. I found this out cos I asked them to read me my groom’s name… “Brian” daw).

I’m lucky because my entourage looked fantastic in the different pink and red dresses:

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And in the end, everything worked out, despite another major glitch which I don’t feel like airing out because there’s already enough negativity on personal blogs nowadays. But if someone were to ask me if I would go through the stress of dealing with her staff again, I would have to say that I certifiably would not.

Brides are just worried about their dresses and their entourage dresses – beyond the aesthetics (a given) are of course things like customer service, logistics and follow-thru. I didn’t get any of these from her staff and I wouldn’t want to wish that experience on any other brides out there.

I’m not discouraging anyone from seeing her gowns and designs. In fact, I am encouraging you all to see them as she has some fantastic gowns on display. But as soon as you start sensing that things are falling apart (complaints from your entourage about fittings, switched dresses), call Michi right away and nip it in the bud before it snowballs into something big come closer to your wedding day.

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Supplier Rating: Angel, Tropical Blooms

5 Stars for Angel.

Angel had to deal with a lot… my mom wanted high table settings, I wanted the low ones. He told me that it might be hard to get pink peonies and that I may have to settle for white, and I basically said IwantpinkpeoniesandI’mgonnagetpinkpeonies!  In so many (nice) words :).
I think Angel had a Tagaytay wedding that he had to go to on the same day as mine, but believe it or not, he prepared for both. He requested to have access to the Rigodon Ballroom at exactly 12:01 AM on November 24, and started setting up bright and early so that come reception time, things were lookin’ money.

The ento flowers looked fresh. My peonies looked good enough to eat. They were plump and the most perfect blush hue – I just stared at them for like 10 mintues straight before I put them down to have something to eat (for lunch).

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 I kept them days after and I ended up giving them to my Tita who works at the Peninsula Hotel to thank her for all of her help.  Unfortunately, the flowers were left at her office when they had to flee because of the coup attempt.  Argh!

As for the styling, Angel captured the little drawings and cut-outs I had in my wedding scrapbook to a T.

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Entourage on the dance floor after their dancing entrance… waiting for Jay and I to enter (notice the lanterns and the slim drapings.. didn’t want it to be too heavy with the drapes, and actually, we only covered 2 of the chandeliers as we wanted to have them out cos sayang if you cover them, they’re really gorgeous).

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Notice that you can see our faces and expressions!  That’s cos we had low table settings and you didn’t have to strain your necks to catch a glimpse.  

My advice to other brides out there is to book Angel because he’s so talented, easy to work with, and he executes on the day of. The only con for me was that he hardly ever checked his e-mail, and if he did, he wouldn’t reply over e-mail (but text or call me directly), but again, as the bride, you have to get used to people not communicating with you in your preferred medium. Some people like e-mail, some don’t – so we compromise and everyone’s happy.  Tropical Blooms’ website leaves much to be desired, but show him your pegs and he’ll execute it – just remember to manage your expectations.  You can’t achieve the settings of your dreams with a teeny budget – but add a bit more and use local flowers and you then make room for Angel and his team to work their magic.

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Supplier Rating: Madge Lejano

Madge rocks. There’s no ifs or buts about it. She’s worth every centavo so if you’re not sure about booking her because she’s a bit more expensive than other artists out there, just look at it this way: You’re spending thousands to have your venue spruced up, for your dress and your music, for all the other details that many people may or may not even notice.  You shouldn’t skimp on your face because if you look bad, girl, people are going to know!  And yes, you gotta get your hair did, too.

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I love how she trimmed and shaped my brows, and she was also the first one to show up on our wedding day so you don’t have to worry about her being late.

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Steve (hair stylist) rocked as well – both of them are just the coolest and nicest professionals, and they’re really hilarious to be around.  I felt like me but a bit more heightened and dressed-up… but if you saw me walking down the street, you’d still know that it was me.

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  My Maids of Honor looked fly, too:

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Madge and Steve are awesome.  5 gold stars, for sure.

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