Category Archives: Wedding Essentials

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: 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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Chinkie Uy Agregado/Metro Eventscape Planners

Yup, this is a supplier review.

Chinkie Uy Agregado and Metro Eventscape Planners: 5 (out of 5) stars

Chinkie was very different from the other two planners I interviewed (JP and Nenita Zagala). She was around 15 minutes late and sleep-deprived when we first met, which normally wouldn’t bode that well for a supplier meeting, but for some reason I was ok with it. She was a lot warmer and easier to talk to, in my opinion, than the other two suppliers, and it didn’t feel like a stiff “interview,” which it kind of felt like with the others; it was more of a coffee date with a friend. I tossed out a few images from my scrapbook, a few ideas, and she contributed her own ideas as well, and then for the most part, we just kind of chatted and got to know a little bit about each other. I just followed my instincts with this one, as I tend to do with most of my decisions, and I called up Jay and my Mom to tell them that I think I had found a coordinator who we could all work with that same afternoon after our first meeting.

In terms of personality: Chinkie is one of the nicest and most genuine people I’ve ever met, so hands-down, she gets 5-stars in this department.

For promptness and correspondence: She’s not great with e-mails, but I have high expectations since I work in media and check my work mail every minute. That being said, she will get around to answering your queries over e-mail, but it may take a quick text to her to remind her to check her e-mail. If you’re the kind of person who needs to get an email reply within the day – you should make this very clear with your suppliers, so that you don’t have mismatched expectations. Chinkie is much better with phone calls and will pretty much tell you what you need to know if you just give her a quick call. The only times that she didn’t answer that promptly were over the weekends (when she’s on the job as most weddings are over the weekend) or late at night (when she’s asleep!).

Looking back, I think I would sometimes get apprehensive because Chinkie has a really relaxed way of doing things, so I would be thinking, “Hmm… does she really know what she’s doing?” But about 2 months before the wedding she went full throttle. She would call often throughout the week or text to confirm appointments or payments; she mediated between a problematic supplier and I. She made little tweaks and suggestions on how to make the day-of run smoother. One of those suggestions was the hagads – we had… 6 hagads 8 hagads guide us through Manila traffic, which came in so handy on the day of (imagine this route – Makati-Alabang-Makati – on a Saturday afternoon/night!).

She exceeded our expectations and her staff was professional throughout our wedding. We didn’t hear a single complaint from any of our guests – and our entourage enjoyed being told what to do, and when to do it. I’m sure there were a lot of things that could have gone wrong or did go wrong – but Jay and I were oblivious to them because we were too busy having fun, and I think this is testament to a job well done on the coordinator’s part.

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Chinkie and her staff made the day a seamless flow of one fun event after another, and for this we are truly grateful.

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To reach Chinkie, please click here or text her at (0917) 328-1893. Images 1 & 3 by Jill Lejano. Cliquebooth image by Clique, the party photobooth. For more images, click here.

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Eric Pineda, Maid of Honor & Pa-alam #2

ERIC PINEDA – AFTERNOON

After finishing class yesterday I hightailed over to Eric Pineda’s home/storefront in QC to get my (sec. sponsor) gown measurements for cousin Dette’s wedding. That’s not a typo – we really call each other ‘cousin,’ or ‘cousin Dette’ or ‘cousin Ens’ in my dad’s side of the family. Anyways, when I arrived Dette and her mom (my Tita Fe) were already there, chatting away with Eric, who is a renowned ‘designer to the stars’ and, I found out yesterday, a co-faculty at DLSU (he teaches Production Design at Benilde)!

He was easy to get along with and he went buckwild (‘ooooooo, let’s play!’) with his gown sketch for me – an asymmetrical shoulder design that’s tea-length, flirty but still classy. Eric also talked extensively about the maid of honor’s role as he was explaining how he was designing Mirelle’s (Dette’s sister) gown. He explained that she couldn’t have anything too low-cut because she would probably be doing a lot of bending over (to fix Dette’s train, or pick-up a fallen hanky, that kind of thing) and that the gown can’t be too long because she would be doing a lot of walking, maybe even running, on Dette’s special day.

“After the bride has reached the altar, I switch from being the fussy designer to a guest who will enjoy the rest of the ceremony and eat lots of food at the reception. People in the entourage were picked for a reason and the maid of honor and the bridesmaids shouldn’t be ornamental – they should perform their roles on the wedding day,” Eric said.

“What does this mean? Well, for the maid of honor, she’s literally the maid – meaning the bride displaces all of her worries onto her; and of course she has to be honorable, meaning that she has been a dependable friend or sister to the bride, the one who lessens and in fact takes on the bride’s load.” Then he went on to explain that traditionally, the bridesmaids would wear veils to serve as foils to would-be carriage robbers, and that they would literally put their life on the line for the bride.

Thinking about what he said made me all the more sure of my decision to pick Wendy and Dre as my maids of honor. I kinda wish that role was called ‘mates of honor’ instead (‘maid’ is so archaic) – because they are my true ‘mates’ in the English/Ozzie sense, and are two people with a lot of honor.

He also stressed that there’s nothing worse than having a coordinator, or a designer, or any supplier for that matter that is anything but invisible throughout the wedding day. “They are such eyesores! Feeling important, like they want to show that what you’re paying them is being put to use. Please!” said the man whose poodle, Dolphino (given to Eric by Dolphy himself) slept on the floor the entire afternoon.

I’m excited for my cousin! Her wedding is happening 4 weeks before ours, but I don’t plan on taking too many notes – I just want to enjoy watching her walk down the aisle and have fun with our family at her Tagaytay garden reception 🙂 . Although I’m sure she and I can debrief several weeks later regarding any lessons learned…

PA-ALAM #2 w/ TITO BAY – EVENING

Where’s #1, you ask?

Well, Jay’s Tito Doc lives in the States and won’t be back until our wedding week so he had to do that one over the phone. #2 was done yesterday at Tito Bay’s house. It was pretty lowkey as Jay’s parents and their Jakarta group of friends already had dinner plans for that night; we just tagged along because Tito Bay (who works and lives in Jakarta) is leaving to go back to Indo today. We asked him to be our Ninong and told him our date as soon as we sat down in their living room and they shook hands and we kissed and that was that. We brought along a bottle of wine as a token of our appreciation (you can bring flowers or fruit or cake or whatever, really) and enjoyed the rest of the night – we ate and ate and ate as Jay and I were starving come 8:30pm.

So 2 down, 13 more to go! Thankfully, we have 3 married Ninong/Ninang pairs; otherwise we’d be making 20 visits :). But we’re more than willing as we know that it will take an entire village to raise Jay and I’s family and that we have a strong support network to see us through the good and the not-so-good.

[re pic below] Notice the Balinese mirror in the background? You know it’s a Jakarta family-friend when those things are around. 🙂 Picture taken with my new gadget; only has a 2 megapixel camera, but the rest of the functions are AMAZING. Wifi’s built-in, has the user-friendliness of a Nokia phone, sleek look… well, you can read the CNET review here :).

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Salt

… or should I say a grain of it?

Let me back up a bit and provide some context before I explain the salt thing.

I’ve been back here in Manila for almost two years now and I must admit that the first 1.5 years were difficult. I came back and stayed mostly for reasons that had to do with my family and particularly my mom (who was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in March of 2006). During this time I ended up going back to my passion (writing and literature) and I’m also doing what I never thought I’d be doing, at least not this early in the game – teaching at a respected university (DLSU Manila).

And the super extra bonus of all bonuses – Jay and I also found each other again, after 12 years of bad timing, geographic obstacles, and general life flux. Yay! 🙂

But I had to get used to a lot of other things that I didn’t have to deal with when I was living abroad. At least not to the extent that I feel like I do here. I’m talking about gossip. No, I’m not saying it’s something unique to us Pinoys so please don’t get your panties in a bundle. But from my personal experience, people gossip a lot over here.

I guess it’s a bit more obvious to me because before I was living in Washington, DC, where, in gossip’s stead, people talked about politics and social justice issues like it was going out of style. But our subjects were public figures (and their political agenda/issues equally public), so I guess they’re fair game to be ‘gossiped about’. But when people start talking about people you actually know, it all of a sudden makes for an uncomfortable situation altogether. At least for me it does.  Or it did… I guess you could say I’ve developed a thicker skin.

As my boss likes to say, I’ve been reintroduced to the mangniniras, the ‘haters’ who are displeased with their current predicament so they make it a personal mission to bring you down with them. It exists everywhere and has different monikers (oh – read the current issue of Psychology Today and it discusses mangniniras in Australia and New Zealand; in their parts it’s called “tall poppy syndrome,” first introduced to me by my Auzzie-Pinay friend and maid of honor [along with Dre], Wendy).

Now, like I said in my April 28 post, I had plugged in the names of my suppliers in the W@W e-group/forum search engine to see what other brides (past and present) had to say about each of them. I wasn’t going to blog about it because a moderator told me that it could influence (negatively) other brides out there who may be swayed by what I had to say. It could mean bad business for my suppliers.

But I’ve thought long and hard about it and I realize that that’s giving me way too much credit and empowerment (although… thank you?) – Jay and I and this little blog, after all, are little fish inside a very big blog pond, and what the heck do we know except what we personally think and feel, based on our own very subjective experiences?  As a writer, I’m also not the best of friends with censorship.

Additionally, it’s not giving other couples out there enough credit. I’m sure if we can sort through the muck, they can, too.

So I will say this – almost all of my suppliers (except Chinkie, our coordinator) received negative reviews. In fact, our designer and florist had a string of bad ones. But they also received glowing reviews. And after talking it over with Jay, we’ve decided to take everything with a grain of salt. Marimi talagang mga mangninira.

I could tell that a few disgruntled brides in the e-group didn’t have the best experience with a few of my suppliers; they’re entitled to their opinions. But I can distinguish between one bad experience and an agenda, as some are on a personal mission to sway other brides from going through the same hell. But that’s their hell. Who knows, perhaps they were a bit bridezilla to begin with. 🙂 Or perhaps expectations were never on equal level. Whatever the reasons, as a discerning couple, you really have to weigh out the good and the bad reviews that you read in e-groups/forums with your own personal experience with a particular supplier because everything is relative. What was rude to one couple may be seen as strictly professional and direct for another. What’s tacky to one couple may be classy for another, right?

One of my suppliers was called ‘binge’ (deaf… grabe!), there were complaints about how high a particular make-up artist’s rates are – but then again what is high for one person is affordable for another, and to my knowledge, the supposed ‘binge’ supplier of mine heard me loud and clear when I chatted with him.

So couples, YOU be the judge. Take everything you hear and read with a grain of salt. Yes, a pattern of bad behavior should set off red flags. But trust your instincts and be weary of reviews (especially nega ones) that sound too much alike because they could be written by the same person/couple who have an agenda. Go with your personal taste, preferences, and experiences. Which means beyond the forums and e-groups, if you can spare the time, go and meet with each supplier so that you can weigh out your options yourselves instead of basing your choices on someone else’s perceptions.

With that said – happy supplier hunting to all!

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Save the Date

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Some people were a bit bothered at the simplicity of our Save the Date.  But oh well 🙂 we just put the necessary stuff on it, mostly so people can just block-off their calendar (esp those abroad).  It’s a wedding.  It’s on a Saturday.  It’s on November 24, 2007.  You’ll get the invite 🙂 Simple lang.

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