Prep site: Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences, Makati
This is a beautiful hotel, with many possible areas for pretty pictures. The rooms are also very spacious. We got three rooms—a loft for me and my family, a suite for Casey and his family, and a studio room for his family and suppliers. It is important to get at least three rooms so that it is not so crowded on the wedding day. The loft was really nice. 🙂 The staff are also very nice and not strict at all regarding guests, bringing of food, and late checkout. Each room also has a big balcony, which is great for pictures as well. 🙂
Church: St. John Bosco Parish
This church is really one of the most beautiful churches in Metro Manila. The altar is just so simple and elegant. 🙂 However, the church staff are a bit difficult to coordinate with regarding the schedule for church requirements. They rescheduled our canonical interview more than twice! Our priest, Father De Guzman, was very nice and fun to talk with, albeit kind of strict. He gave a beautiful and uplifting homily. 🙂
Reception venue: Forbes Park Pavilion
Also known as North Forbes Pavilion, this venue is the function hall of Forbes Park. It is really nice and is spacious enough for 200 guests and below. It is also quite affordable, but if you are not a resident of Forbes Park, you may need to find a resident to vouch for you. The Forbes Park staff are not that friendly though. Haha. But it’s okay because you won’t have to talk with them that much. 🙂
Coordinator: Kiss the Girl Events (KTG)
These girls are very easy to talk to, accommodating, and efficient. Our lead coordinator was Abby, who was always quick to respond whether through text, call, or email. Our wedding went very smoothly. I would also like to commend my bridal assistant, Angel, who was very sweet and always attentive. I only have one thing to note—Not everyone got to eat brunch at the hotel, and this may have been due to some family members not being aware that they are part of the headcount for the food. I suggest that to be sure, coordinators should require not just the headcount but the list of names of people who are to eat at the hotel. KTG asked only for the number of heads, and so on the day, there was no way of ensuring that everyone got to eat their share.
Emcee: Cece Mariano of KTG
I was happy with Cece, because her style was formal but not uptight or pretentious. Her humor was also relaxed and spontaneous. Her rate is also very affordable, giving true value for money. One recommendation I would have is to ask for her to be present at the final meeting before the wedding, to ensure that she is updated with the final program. There was one part of the program wherein we decided last minute to put the AVP I made for Casey when I said yes to him being my boyfriend. Cece was not aware that this was what the AVP was; she thought it was just a slideshow of our pictures. Haha. This was kind of our fault though since we forgot to mention it even to Abby, our lead coordinator.
Bridal HMU: Ana Isip and Dave Grona
My makeup was perfect! So many people complimented me on this. Ana is very nice, and one of the reasons I decided to get her is because she puts me at ease. One thing I didn’t want was for my HMUA stressing me out on the day itself (there are some that try too hard to be friendly or are too talkative). Ana was none of the above. She is naturally sweet, and she talks with her brides just enough to put them at ease. She also works quickly and efficiently. Also, be sure to get airbrush makeup. It is really worth it, because it doesn’t cake, and it looks very light and natural. Dave is also good. He was able to execute my bridal hairdo peg—relaxed bun with a braid and side bangs. 🙂
Entourage HMUA: Mhec Gado
Mhec and her team were very punctual and efficient. They are very good to get for entourage makeup, as her rates are affordable and they are very professional. I liked the makeup of my MOH, mothers, sisters, and especially the makeup of Shibby, my niece and junior bridesmaid. 🙂 But Mhec didn’t greet the groom(zilla). So he said not to give her a perfect score. Haha.
Photo: Ruffa and Mike Photography
Ruffa and Mike are very easy to work with, and they make an excellent team. They are also pleasant to be around, which I believe is important, because if you are uneasy, it will show in the pictures. Their rates are very reasonable for the service that they provide. They are also super passionate about what they do, working tirelessly to get great shots. 🙂
Our lovely onsite photos by Ruffa and Mike:
Video: Jake Olaso Wedding Films
This was our #1 priority, Jake Olaso was our dream supplier, and indeed, his output was a dream come true! We love his work! He chooses carefully each and every scene in the SDE so that there is never a dull moment. He also matches the intensity of each scene with the rise and fall of the music. He also can pull off non-traditional SDEs! Check him out on vimeo. 😀 Aside from being talented, he is also very accommodating of any special requests. In our case, we wanted a segment of the SDE to show us performing in the double quartet, but our performance was placed after dinner still. Nevertheless, Jake was able to include this segment and show the SDE at the end of the program! 🙂
Here is our awesome SDE:
Bridal Florist: Vatel Manila
Dylan of Vatel Manila is super nice and efficient. Prior to the wedding day, I communicated with him only through email. He responds very quickly, even if it is just to acknowledge that he saw my email and would get back to me soon. 🙂 And on the day itself, my bouquet was really pretty and very tastefully done! 😀
Entourage Florist: Loi Floral Sense
Serge of Loi Floral Sense is easy to talk to, if you’re talking with him in person. Through email, it is difficult to contact him. Once we met up though, everything went smoothly, and I was able to have my all-white entourage bouquets. 🙂
Lights and Sounds: Rejectkrew
These guys are the best! Coming from a musician’s point of view, I’ve had experience with many top-notch wedding lights and sounds suppliers. We work closely together, as they are in charge of mixing our sound when we use the in-house sound system. Rejectkrew is the best lights and sounds provider we have encountered. They mix sound very well, and they are very attentive to eliminating feedback. They also take care that there is never dead air, always playing house music, even in between pieces of the quartet. The lights are also well executed—classy and never over-the-top. Elmer, their lead, is also very accommodating, and their rates are super affordable! Rejectkrew is highly recommended!
Photo Booth: Clip Photo Booth (Contact Live Photography)
These guys replied very late with the photo booth design options, and so we were revising as late as three days before the wedding! Nevertheless, we were able to settle on a nice design, and we got their photo strip package, which includes one strip with the first three photos for our guests and another strip with the fourth photo and a message from our guests for us. We were quite happy with this package, as we had fun reading everyone’s messages (and seeing who hoarded the photo booth hahaha).
Our cake was free, c/o my cousin Li-an, and her design was amazing! It was very personal and well thought out, just like all her other creations! I will let the picture below speak for itself. 🙂 Check her out on Facebook. 🙂
Caterer: K by Cunanan
Food was really yummy. Styling was excellent. The one major problem? They are difficult to contact. Perhaps they lack manpower. Our EA, Nina, took long to reply to our messages, although in person, she was always very nice and easy to talk with. I think K by C has been having this problem for quite a while. They need to hire more people, I guess. We also found out after the wedding that one table that was far from the waiters was not given cocktails, which was really puzzling. We do not know why this happened, but perhaps if you decide to get K by C, you can mention this to ensure it doesn’t happen at your reception. Our head waiter, Captain Ed, was marvelous though. He is already retired, but he served at our wedding because we asked him to since last year (when he gave us an impromptu food tasting at one of the weddings we played at). Being retired, he was in charge of attending to only the VIP table and to the two of us. And he did a splendid job, making sure that my glass was always full of beer and ice. Hehe.
Gown: Janice Concepcion
Janice Concepcion is the sister of Casey. The design I wanted for my gown was a bit unconventional (the bodice was kind of translucent hahaha). So our biggest worry was that I would be kicked out of the church. Haha. Just kidding. Usually if the bridal gown is too revealing, the church will make the bride wear a shawl, which of course is embarrassing for the bride. I had so many fittings, because Ate Janice wanted to add the detail bit by bit, to ensure that the gown would still remain translucent-ish but passable for church standards. And yes, we were able to achieve this! 🙂 My gown was very pretty, and I got many compliments for it. 🙂 I think Ate Janice’s style is generally very elegant, dainty, and romantic, and so if this is the style you’re going for, she is a good choice. 🙂 One stressful thing though was scheduling fittings for the entourage, because I was the point person. At first I tried to do this on my own, but it proved to be time-consuming what with the other preps being done, and so I passed it on to my MOH Nikki (thank you Nikki!!!). So my recommendation is that if you get Ate Janice, make sure you assign a point person for scheduling fittings. 😀
Casey was drop-dead gorgeous in his tux. Enough said. 😉
Shoe and Invitation Design: Jessica Lapeña
My sister Jica graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Fine Arts major in Visual Communication from UP Diliman (proud sister here!), and it shows in her work. 🙂 Our invitations were so creative and original, and my shoes were amazing! 🙂 In fact, the photographers seemed to like them as well, because several shots of them were taken in various parts of my hotel room. Haha. She did so many other things for our wedding, including styling for our prenuptial shoot. She has very good taste, and so I consulted numerous visual aspects with her. Haha. She is awesome!
Shoe Production: Perfect Match
This was one of the most stressful suppliers to deal with. First, their meet-up options are very limited. They meet up only on Saturdays at Megamall. But this would have been fine, if 1) they finished the shoes on time, and 2) they got the design right. Their production time is supposedly 6 to 8 weeks, but they took 10 weeks, and when Jica went to get them, the heel was fat even though we specified a stiletto heel! And so it took them another week to change the heel. And then, pick-up was delayed for one more day (Sunday instead of Saturday) because one of their staff got sick. In the end, I got my shoes on October 5, less than one week before the wedding! I was able to practice our dance in them only once. 😦 But well, as for the shoes themselves, they are well-made. They were quite comfortable even if they were stiletto heels. I finished the reception wearing them. 🙂
Invitation Printing: The Lord’s Printshoppe
Lord’s is owned by Tita Tonette, the sister of one of our ninangs. 🙂 Tita Tonette was very nice and patient in answering my questions through text. One inconvenience though was that the shop was far from us (Teacher’s Village, QC), but this turned out fine in the end because they were kind enough to deliver the invites to us. 🙂 So in total, we visited the shop just two times. And the print quality was excellent; although their rates are a bit pricey, I think it’s worth it. 🙂
Musicians: Manila String Machine (MSM) and friends 😀
Because we are musicians, the group that played for our wedding had members from the Manila Symphony Orchestra, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, and Manila String Machine. 🙂 The pieces and sound system (individual microphones and mixer) were taken care of by MSM. Of course our friends played superbly! 🙂 MSM is different from many other wedding music groups out there because each piece is specially arranged for a string quartet. Thus, while other wedding groups just improvise based on a book with chords, MSM ensures that each song sounds rich, and all the notes contribute to making the overall sound very impressive and full of life. Each musician in the quartet has an active and equally important role, and so you truly get your money’s worth with this group. 🙂