Monday, October 29, 2007

Choosing a Caterer

The largest chunk of your budget would most probably go to the caterer that's why it's very important to know how many guests you are going to have from the beginning. And -

food = enjoying a wedding
yucky food = bad wedding experience

Believe me, no matter how good you've managed all the other stuff, guests would remember that the food was not good at your wedding. Well, I do remember.

I've been getting a lot of food tasting event invitations in my mail and since my weekend was suddenly freed up, I decided to go attend Hizon's Catering food tasting event at One Esplanade. I have helped my friends choose their caterer, but I've never really gone to a food tasting (left that to the lovebirds teehee). Anyway, from that experience here are some tips that I think would help when you are evaluating a caterer:

1. Menu Composition - there are many parts to a meal. Are you having a breakfast, lunch, merienda or a dinner reception? You'd normally have to choose the soup, appetizers, salad, main meal, dessert and beverage. Choosing a cuisine makes things a whole lot easier. And, don't forget to ask Sweetie if his relatives have any food restrictions (i.e. most of them are diabetic, have high blood etc.). Also, ask the caterer what their specialty is.

2. Cost - the cheapest is not necessarily the best. Find out what the cost includes - food, venue rental, chairs & tables, set-up, flowers/decor, waiters and other services. Does it include freebies like the sound system? LCD projector? Sometimes it's better just to hire a caterer for what they do best - the food - and just get someone else to handle the decor, sounds etc. And what are the payment terms?

3. Service - there were quite a number of things falling down on the floor (thus creating banging sounds) during the event. You don't want plates and stuff falling down on the floor during your wedding reception do you? It was quite annoying, plus the first table we sat down in was see-sawing so requested to be transferred another table. Make sure the waiters and service staff are attentive and are capable of exercising last minute instructions during the reception.

4. Taste - remember, not yummy food = not happy guests. `Nuff said.

*Photos by Jay de Jesus.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tips for the DIY Wedding Bride

I know there are a lot of couples who do their own weddings. Instead of hiring a wedding planner, they go through all the motions of choosing the caterer, the dressmaker, the church, the venue for the reception, the photographer etc. and the bride handles all the nitty-gritty details. I am all for that since it gives the couple a project to-do (one of the most important projects! next one would be having kids...) and they can also save up a lot by doing things themselves.


Sad to say, you really cannot do it on your own. Aside from tying the know, the most important objective you should have for your wedding day is TO HAVE FUN. I've seen a couple of brides give in to anxiety on their wedding day. Bad idea sister! Bad for the photos! You wouldn't want to have a ngiting aso smile on your wedding photos right? Right?

The key elements to having a DIY wedding are: (1) your friends/relatives; (2) delegating properly; (3) forgetting about all the details and just enjoying your wedding day.

(1) your friends/relatives

Your wedding is something you can use as an excuse to hold coffee get-togethers with, perhaps, your bridesmaids. Do not allow them to be mere "decoration" in your wedding! Get them moving and meet-up with them to help you out on wedding day tasks. It's also fun! Do it with your best gal friends (and willing guy friends) or your relatives. I was around 8 years old when I started having wedding tasks for all my Titas and cousins who got married. Imagine the possibilities!

It pays to have many friends!!!

(2) delegate properly

Emailing tasks to friends IS NOT ENOUGH. Make sure your instructions are clear and accurate. Here are just some of the tasks you should assign someone of handle, but make sure you have an "overall coordinator", one who everybody can run to on the day of the wedding so you can just sit back, relax and have fun with your sweetie:

Ceremony Things to Do

1. Physical arrangement of entourage during the ceremony
2. Church & Entourage flower arrangement
3. Distribution of entourage bouquet and corsage (don't forget to bring pins!)
4. Check sound system at the church
5. Distribution of missalette
6. Line-up of readers (readings, responsorial psalm)
7. Choir arrangement (make sure there's someone who'll prompt them to play the wedding march!)
8. Line-up of photo batches and have someone announce this or include it in the missalette

Reception Things to Do

1. Check for physical arrangement, table arrangements
2. Signature frame signing
3. AVP Presentation
4. Arrangements for the program (doves, bouquet throwing etc.)
5. Distribution of souvenirs
6. Background music/orchestra
7. Emcee program/script

These are just things I remember on top of my head and I'm sure there are many more nitty-gritty stuff that need to be cared for during the wedding day itself.

(3) enjoy your wedding day

I have a former colleague who held her wedding in Bali (Indonesia) and she took care of all the details for the wedding. When she came back I asked her how things were and she said that all she did was to forget about all the mishaps and just enjoyed her wedding day. Despite all the loopholes, her photos were awesome because SHE ENJOYED HER WEDDING DAY.

And, don't forget your sense of humor!

Monday, October 15, 2007

How to do a Bridal Shower

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. That's me. Hmph. I am a professional abay I think. I have gowns in many different colors because I always get chosen to be either a maid-of-honor, a bridesmaid or a secondary sponsor. Heck, one of my friends even had a gown made for me when I was just her wedding coordinator. I think I should start renting out my gowns. LOL.

Anyway, as a professional abay, I've time and time again planned bridal showers/despedida de solteras for my friends. I haven't done any of the rowdy ones though, but if you need a guy (you-know what kind) I think you can just find one on the Yellow Pages or ask any of your guy friends, they might be willing to do a free-show (I wouldn't want any of my guy friends to do-so when my time comes, puh-leeeaz!). LOL.

For the parties I've arranged for my friends it's usually nothing fancy. What's important is gathering everyone who is dear to her and just spending some girlie-fun time, with or without the fiance. Last weekend was no different when I planned for a party for a dear friend who's getting married next week. I just SMSed our friends that we're having a shower, asked them what food they were going to bring and gave out a theme for the gifts (thongs/undies). We just fixed things up in less than a week and everyone just showed up at my door. Nothing fancy, but packed with so much fun and camaraderie.

The program went this way:

1. Dinner
2. Harana for the couple (coz we're part of a choir)
3. Bride formally introduces the fiance to her friends
4. Bride and Groom grilling (we asked them questions like when their first kiss was, how they became a couple... our "elders" were the ones asking the more controversial questions!)
5. Marriage advice from the elders
6. Gift offering from the bride

It was as simple as that, but we had a helluva lot of fun!

Here are some photos of the bride and groom during the grilling and gift-offering:

And the friends serenaded the bride and the groom with "When I Fall in Love":

*abay - entourage
harana - serenade

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Finding THE ONE

Did you wait a long time to find your one true love? I'm almost sure you're reading this post because you found it through and that you're scrounging around for information because you are making arrangements for your wedding. Right?

If you've been following my personal blog you'd know I have been searching and searching and searching for my one true love. I sure wish it was as easy as doing a search on Google. LOL. But then again, I don't think that's something that can be indexed. Well, that's what dating sites are for and that's something I don't think I'll ever do.

Anyway, I've asked most of my married friends how they knew that they were marrying their spouse. They all said that you would just know. Geez, how vague could they get. Even my parents said the same thing.

Reading Bo Sanchez' "Finding Your One True Love" helped me a lot in clarifying things in my mind and it kinda changed my perspectives in a lot of things. I used to be one who'd run away from guys who'd try to get close to me. Brother Bo said that one must meet as many guys as possible. The worst thing you'd end up with are loads of guy friends. I'd say, it's true! LOL.

I've been through a lot, including a broken engagement (looong story) and it took quite a while before I got over that hump. Quite a number of people have told me that it's really going to be hard for me to find THE ONE because my Dad's a tough act to follow and they say one would normally look for someone like Dad. I'd say before getting married make sure he is not one of the guys listed in my 'not to date' post and think about the following:

(This is just my opinion based on my experiences and the advice of my parents.)

1. Were you friends before you became a couple?
2. Do you trust each other?
3. Are your values the same as his?
4. Do you laugh together?
5. Are you really, really sure you want to spend the rest of your life with this person?

There's no real formula I guess on knowing if he/she is THE ONE and I think to really know, you just really have to pray hard and keep your eyes open. You never know, he/she might just be right under your nose.

If in doubt, I strongly suggest reading Bo Sanchez' book "Finding Your One True Love" and getting counsel from a priest.

What do you think?

*This post was inspired by the movie "A Love Story" starring Maricel Soriano, Aga Muhlach and Angelica Panganiban. Now available on DVD (that's how I got to watch it).