Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book: The Power 7 Wedding Suppliers

I got this in the mail a few weeks ago. A book compiled by Thunderbird Resorts with the title, "The Power 7 Wedding Suppliers". The thick book shows the awesome work of some of the wedding industry's popular suppliers. 

A dear college friend, Ernest Pascual, is a revered wedding coordinator. When Sweetie and I were planning our wedding I bumped into him a couple of times at wedding events and he was always rushing around together with his client. I had no doubt that Ernest would make it big as a wedding planner because he's so creative and has a great eye for details.

As I was leafing through the book I was awed with the handiwork of the the different suppliers featured. The well-thought out themes for the weddings, the beautiful bridal gowns, the heartfelt photography reminded me how exciting it is to plan one's wedding. Each and every page was a feast to the eyes and certainly awakened my creative juices. It was like putting together all the magazine and resources I read online in one book.

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Planning your wedding? Get a copy of this book and see the fabulous work of some of the top suppliers in the wedding industry. 

Thanks to Thunderbird Resorts for sending me a copy of the book! 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wedding Proposal on a Building

Awesome video. Check it out.

Monday, July 25, 2011

How to Start a Wedding Giveaway/Invitation Business

I got an inquiry from Mia, a reader, asking me how to start a wedding giveaway/invitation business. I established a similar business years ago with my best friend and thought I'd share some lessons I learned from it and from coordinating weddings (albeit free).

1. Look Around, Be Creative - your product offering should be unique. Don't just copy what others are doing. Look for inspiration from books, magazines, materials that are available. My Mom is a very creative person and she can turn anything into a work of art. Experiment!

2. Practice - when I was designing our wedding giveaway (a home-made photo frame) I had to consider a few things -- it had to be unique and it had to represent what my husband and I love doing. I decided on a CD sized photo frame. It took me several tries using different materials before I decided on a final design. It is important to practice so you can come out with a polished  end product which you can offer to your clients.

3. The 3 Fs - before going to market make sure to test your products through your family first, then friends and then fools. Haha. It's good to start with your family since if you make a mistake they'd actually be more forgiving because they love. Friends would surely give you feedback on what you should improve on. Make sure that you have a great product before you actually market to strangers because feedback spreads easily (viral) nowadays and it can hurt you even before you've actually began.

4. Expand - after testing the waters with your family and friends it's time to expand your market. It would help to have a website or business blog where you can feature your creations. If I was going to do this for additional income I would start first with my 3Fs and then use my samples from those "clients" and then create a simple site where I can showcase my goods. To drive traffic to my site I would use Google Adwords and earmark a PhP50 budget per day and increase it as my orders and capacity increase. I would then eventually aim and try to export my products because that's where the volume is.

5. Cost is Key - the budget for giveaways/invitations is usually just a tiny fraction of the total wedding budget, so be mindful of the materials that you use for your products (unless you are targeting high-end clients). Be creative and try to customize as much as possible.

Best of luck Mia!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Perfect Boracay Honeymoon Place

I just realized that I have not made a post about where to go for your honeymoon. Sweetie and I just had what I call a "semi-honeymoon" because I wasn't completely plugged-out from work when we went to Singapore for ten days. I had to go to work during the day while he freely roamed around, so I agreed when my colleagues said our trip back then wasn't our honeymoon. I'm still waiting for the day when we can have a proper honeymoon hehehe.

Anyway, I was in Boracay last week and thought I'd share my experience with Astoria Boracay and thought it's the perfect place to stay for your honeymoon (I'm trying to drag Sweetie with me to go to Boracay haha). I've stayed in different resorts in past trips (from Station 1 to 3) and I liked Astoria Boracay the best.

Upon arrival I was served a tropical drink (pandan and lemongrass I think) and it definitely re-hydrated me after the long trip from Manila. (I ordered another glass the next day because I was craving for it).

The room was really cozy. I loved the colors they used because it really relaxed me and I had a good night's sleep after my massage.

Aside from the usual amenities (bed and TV), it was fitted with a dining table and a small kitchen (with microwave, sink and ref!).

This is where they serve buffet breakfast and lunch. I loved the fish decor!

This is the swimming pool at night. Went swimming in the evening and the water was surprisingly warm. The hotel also provides extra towels in your room for your swimming needs.

The hotel's frontage facing the beach.

I also took a swim in the morning after spending some time in the beach. I was alone so I decided to just hang out in the pool for safety.

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Station 1, Boracay Island, 5608 Malay, Aklan
Tel. (+63 36) 288.1111
Telefax: (+63 36) 288.3536

Manila Sales and Reservation Office:
Ground level, Retail Arcade Astoria Plaza 15 J. Escriva Drive,
Ortigas Business District, Pasig City
Tel. (+63 2) 910.0557, (+63 2) 687.1111 loc. 8024
Telefax: (+63 2) 632.9420
Hotline No.: (+63) 908.872.7922
Mobile No.: (+63) 917.868.4469

Friday, May 27, 2011

Celebrating a Golden Wedding Anniversary

My parents celebrated their golden/fiftieth wedding anniversary a week after my wedding. I left the planning and coordinating to my brother since I was already swamped with my own wedding. I was pretty much involved in it still since I ended up handling the church coordination since they were late in church!

Anyway, after months of debating on what to do we decided to hold the celebration where my parents would be happiest -- at the Parish Church they helped build for the ceremony and at home for the reception. We did all the work and spent less than PhP70K for everything.

The Ceremony - the renewal of vows was headed by our Parish Priest and instead of him giving a homily he asked both my parents to share their experiences and secret to a lasting marriage. We, the children, stood in as secondary sponsors. The grandchildren participated as bridesmaids and groomsmen. No more ninongs and ninangs since they don't need it anymore. After the renewal of vows we each gave our thanks and prayers.

The Reception - we managed to pack in everybody in my Mom's garden and just set a small area as a "stage". We made them go through most of the traditions, but kept the whole program as a surprise. One of my nephews prepared a couple of videos where we showed photos from their wedding 50 years ago, the 25th wedding anniversary, the 35th and 40th and included a lot of family photos. The grandkids also performed a couple of song and dance numbers and a reading of one of my Dad's favorite pieces. It was a fun, cozy and intimate evening with close family and friends. Just the way my parents wanted.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Your Bridal Shoes

I had a hard time looking for the perfect wedding shoes. I just wanted something simple and elegant. I searched in many different shops, here and abroad, but couldn't find 'IT'. So I told my wedding gown designer about my dilemma and he suggested that I should just have my shoes customized and gave me a number to call.

A few days after I flew to Iloilo for a business trip. On the way out of the hotel where I gave my talk I spotted the Iloilo Producers Association Trade Center. I was also looking for hand-made paper that time for my souvenirs so I thought I'd check the place out. In the shop I instantly fell in love with a pair of shoes made out of hand-woven fabric. It was the perfect wedding shoes! Unfortunately though they only had one pair (not my size) and it cost about PhP7,000 (they only accepted cash too)!

Good thing the shop keepers were very helpful and suggested I might want to buy some hand-woven fabric. They brought out a couple of fabrics and I ended up buying 2 colors - in beige-gold and light blue, both my color motifs. I got the blue one as well because my designer mentioned that it was already a trend to use the entourage color motif as your bridal shoes.

My wedding then was just a few weeks away, so I immediately went to Cubao to have my shoes done. In about two weeks I got my perfect wedding shoes. Here's a close-up of both pairs.

Notice the silver/gold streaks? I really like them. Simple, elegant and uniquely Filipino since they were made with hand-woven fabric from Iloilo. It was the perfect match for the Filipino fabric my designer used for my wedding gown. It didn't cost me a lot too.

I broke in the blue one for a few days, but chickened out just before I left for church and wore the beige one instead. I still wear them when I attend formal occasions (oftentimes as part of an entourage).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Your Wedding Album

One of the things we decided to prioritize in our budget was our photographer. I was bent on getting Mimi and Karl, not only because they are awesome photographers but because we know them already and are good friends with their whole team. Mimi and Karl is one of the most sought after wedding photographers in the country and, of course, quite expensive (hehehe), so we decided to just hire them for photography, minus the trimmings.

Anyway, after almost 18 months I finally had the time to make our wedding album. Here it is:

Here's how I made it:
1. Download the Picture Books application (go here).
2. Layout your wedding album using the application.
3. Save the file into a CD (or USB drive).
4. Bring it to a Picture Books stall (I went to Glorietta).
5. Pick up the book after 2 weeks.
*You can also opt to upload and pay via there website and have it delivered at your doorstep.

Making your own wedding album allows you the freedom at put in as many photos as you like. I ended up with 70 pages and also added our wedding invitation and save-the-date. On the last page I also made a list of our suppliers (minus our bridal car supplier!).

I had so much fun making our album I also made a 20-paged photo album of our first year together.

Price depends on the size, number of pages and whether it's hard bound or soft bound. I'll have to update this post later coz I couldn't find the flyer with the prices hehehe.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Notes for the Bride and Groom

Here's an idea for a wedding reception decoration/wedding stuff. Get a note from wedding guests by providing a small notepad where they  can write short messages for you, and station a jar beside it so they can drop their note in it.

I had a wedding wishing well during my wedding and I have since put all the notes in a scrapbook. Here's a wedding jar from my ninong's wedding -

And the bride and groom can also leave inspirational messages for guests. Make sure though that the jar is big enough to put your hand in.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Nuestra Senora de Gracia Church (Makati City)

When Sweetie and I were scouting for a church we came across the Nuestra Senora de Gracia Church in Makati City. We originally thought we'd hold the wedding in Makati so we considered the beautiful parish in Guadalupe. We were dismayed though on the prices of reception venues in the area, so we dropped the idea of holding the wedding in Makati City.

Last week we got the chance to attend our ninong's wedding at the Nuestra Senora de Gracia Church and I immediately took a liking to the church. The church is just actually 40 years old, but had the look and feel of stately Spanish churches. The altar was also very beautiful and I love how intimate the church was. It also had a lot of parking space.

Nuestra Senora de Gracia Parish (map)
7440 Bernardino St .
Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City
Tel: 896-8444
Fax: 895-9141

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Garter and Bouquet, an Alternative Game

When I was single I'd usually disappear to the restroom just before the host would call out "all single girls to the front please", but I was usually caught sneaking out and I'd end up in front joining the "bouquet toss". I abhorred it and I know a lot of single people hate it too. It's just really embarrassing.

I've seen alternatives to the game though. Some weddings lined up single girls and had them pick a flower and the one with the shortest or longest stem would be "it". Some weddings did musical chairs. Some did pass the ball and so on. Any way it was done it was still embarrassing.

Last week I finally sat out the game! Hooray! Sweetie and I were both relieved. The game though was started off oh-so-subtly. The newlyweds were called onstage to do their first dance and eventually other couples were called in. My feet were killing me, so Sweetie and didn't join.

Eventually the couples (married or not) were asked to line up. The men were blindfolded and the women were handed a plate of cake. The men had to find their partner and eat the cake. The women were allowed to call out to their partner to reach them. The losing couple got the garter and bouquet and subjected to a lip-locking contest against the newlyweds.

It was fun! It also relieved singletons the embarrassment of being partnered with someone they didn't know. Here's photos from the game:

And guess who won the lip-lock contest?