How do I even start this?
It started with a YES. And then paper lanterns were in the air. AND THEN TIME JUST FLEW. We were getting married!
I'd have to admit that I was one clueless bride. Hehe! I haven't been to a lot of weddings and when I do I really just eat and look at the couple and chat and enjoy the moment. I don't look at the details. I have never imagined what my dream wedding would be like, I've never thought of myself on a wedding gown. I really had to start from zero!
To cut the story short, Ray had a better vision of how he wanted the wedding more than I did. Haha! We actually started talking about it since 2013. By 2014 we spent months discussing the motif and going around bridal fairs. In fact I think it took us 3-4 months to finally agree on watercolor pastels! Man we were bridal fair warriors!!
For clueless brides like me, the bridal fairs really helped. I needed to be exposed to a lot of wedding pegs for me to visualize how I wanted ours to be. And that meant several weekends of booking a whole day just to walk around on fairs. For Ray, the purpose was to canvas. I'd call him a canvas-monster HAHA. I don't know where he gets all this energy to talk to every single person in every single booth, and do it all over again on the next fair. I tend to get overwhelmed by all the people and the noise. But this is very helpful in making sure that you get the best choice in terms of value for money and quality.
For those who haven't been to bridal fairs, you can imagine that it's like your wedding market. So many people, so many couples walking from one space to another, and booth attendants trying to outdo each other and compete for attention. But because this is a wedding fair, you can expect an overflow of creativity, music, and pretty things in every turn.
If you're preparing for your wedding, make sure to visit a wedding fair even just once because the discounts you could avail of are crazy! They can range from 20-50%! Other suppliers prefer to give out free services or free add-ons. If you're not ready yet to book, you can just walk around and get an idea of the latest trends and ways to execute an idea.
The Weddings and Debut Expo in PICC is what they call the Divisoria of Bridal Fairs. It has the most number of participants and the biggest extent of discounts. They also invite speakers to talk about wedding preps and preparing your heart for marriage. For those who find it too far there are also a lot of wedding fairs in SM Megamalll and MOA. You can check the kasal.com website for a complete list of schedules and bridal fairs.
BRIDAL FAIR TIP:
- Bring extra cash. You can do bookings for as low as 1-2k for most suppliers but 5-10K for major suppliers like caterers and photo/video. You'll never know if you'd need to avail of any last minute offers.
- But having said that, do not be pressured by a supplier to book for a service if you are not ready and if your instinct doesn't agree. Well unless you're ok to throw away 1-2k around but knowing na nagp-preps ka dapat spend money wisely din! Hehe! Always remember na MARAMING BRIDAL FAIRS na darating. Meron pang-January, merong March, merong June-August. Merong December. Marami kasing makulit talaga na baka mapwersa kayong magbook ng wala sa hulog . Pero that's their job, they have to make you book. It's up to you to refuse if you do not want to.
- Don't be shy to talk. There really is a major difference when you get to talk to suppliers and get a feel of how they connect to you. Wedding preps can take months or years and you will make this journey with them, so being friends with your suppliers can be a huge help.
- Research. Aside from Bridal fairs, there are a whole lot of forums that you can refer to. One major help for me was the W@W yahoo groups. I think they're the lifesavers of countless brides. You can look up some popular suppliers there and then wait for their bridal fair participations so you could talk to them up front and avail of discounts.
- Always have an eco-bag handy! You will be given a lot of flyers, brochures, CDs in various shapes and sizes. It soon gets to be a hassle when you carry them around with your bare hands.
Of course palalagpasin ba naman namin ang Divisoria? I think wedding preps aren't complete if you don't go there because of the great discounts you get for wholesale items, perfect for big events! Extra patience is needed though to get through the gems because not all items have good quality. Long-time Divisoria frequenters would find that a breeze so you may want to tag along a friend who is used to the place when making purchases.
Malls like 168 and 999 have a whole floor dedicated to bridal gowns, entourage gowns, and suits for the groom. Now this would depend on your budget and preference. We went around scouting for entourage and bridal gowns however we couldn't help but get apprehensive with the quality. Medyo manipis yung tela o di kaya alanganin yung tahi. Posible naman ding hindi namin nadaanan lahat pero we decided to look elsewhere. I still managed to find a good supplier of my ento gowns through the W@W groups.
One gem we found in Divi would have to be Melaine's Bridal, on the 4th floor of 168. They're one of the more pricey stalls in Divi but the quality of the build and cloth of their suits got Ray's nod of approval. I was supposed to have my gown made there but the idea of having to go to Divi for every fitting was too inconvenient for me.
And of course, for the decorations in the ceremony and reception, the perfect place is Tabora. It's a DIY-heaven! I had a big smile on my face while walking through the street because there's so much that you could get your hands on!
The common myth that the bride is more busy during preps didn't really apply to us because Ray really was very keen and hands on with the details and personal discussions. I was more about getting things done on track, in schedule, and that the budget and documentations were up to date. Ray was adamant about getting eeeverything organized. One quick look at our Google Drive folders and you'd know which one was set up by me and by him. HAHA.
Ray was also more makilatis. Not to say that I don't give crap about details, every bride does, but Ray just takes it two steps further. We would discuss the big picture in private first and then set out to execute. There were small things that I was ready to let go of but Ray would press on. Our coordinator, Ms. Kreds of KEE would always remark on our meetings how surprised she was that Ray was so hands on. With the setup that we have, it definitely helped that both of us were equally hands on in different aspects of the wedding and I could say that the teamwork we had was just superb.
The main challenge that me and Ray had was that we didn't have a lot of relatives in Manila and our close friends lived quite a distance from us. So 80% of the time it was just the both of us doing the legworks. It really got tiring because there was no one to delegate the work to and my parents kept getting mad at me for being so busy on weekends and going home late. Very good combo for stress hehe!
There were moments when we would just hold hands under the table and stare in space wondering how the hell we would manage. Then we'd look at each other and smile. These are moments when I know that I cannot possibly spend the rest of my life with anyone else. :)
Naka-ilang workdates ba kami? Nasuyod ata namin iba't ibang coffeeshops at kainan. Pati parking lot di namin pinatawad. Haha! We were working on preps on the go to maximize the time. We never would have survived without friends who would lighten things up and extend their help whenever they could. We would like to take this chance to say maraming salamat sa lahat ng mga kaibigan at kapamilya na nakasama namin at nakasaksi sa kaguluhan! Haha! These are only some of the photos but to all who have been with us through all the ngarag-moments, thank you so much!!
|Workdates pa more!|
|The preps on different stages: pamamanhikan, the rush the day before, general cleaning mode, etc.|
|Bridal showers and get togethers at our 'frathouse'|
|Lovely ladies who stayed with me the night before. We were almost sleepless!|
I always say that the preps were super stressful. But the journey of knowing the people we know now, the friendships and bonds that have grown stronger, and discovering how we manage different types of crises was worth it. Much more with seeing the smiles of everyone who came, and how smooth and chill everything has been. Sa kadinami-dami ng jitters at stress namin sa preps, we can still say na talagang masaya at naenjoy namin lahat!
No wedding would be successful if not for the great people who worked on that big day. It was like a whole grand team that came together and boom! We wouldn't want to have it any other way. :) I started this out having zero clues. I was having jitters because this is the first party I've ever had and I was nervous that I may disappoint myself. But it was, yes, PERFECT. :) On the next blog we talk about the wonderful people who came together and worked to make RnMDelights a beautiful reality. :)
Here's a quick rundown of our suppliers. Will post a review very soon!
Church - Sto Nino de Cebu Parish
Reception Venue, Preps Hotel, Lights/Sounds, Bridal Car and Caterer - Vivere Hotel
Wedding coordinator - Kredin the Events Engineer (KEE)
Flowers - KnK Moments
Photography - Imagine Nation / Madoka Tomas and Betty Uy
Videography - J Franco Digital Films
Invitations - Print Café
Photoman - Geronimo Photographico
Place card Souvenirs and Calligraphy - Ruth Jacob
Groom Suit - Melaine's Bridal
Wedding Gown - New Creations by Evelyn Guerrero
Entourage Gowns - Polywear
Wedding Shoes - Dom & Gab Shoes
String Quartet - Muzikqlass
Bridal Hair and Makeup - Anne Garcia's Face Art
Entourage Hair and Makeup - Hair and Makeup by Dorothy Mamalio
Wedding Host - Joan Andrea "Drei" Toledo
Supplier Meal - The Walking Pantry
Gifts - Gourmet Farms and The Scarf Factory
Prenup Stylist - Vianka Amurao
|Us with some of our suppliers and friends. Awesome people, every one of them!|