Monday, January 6, 2014

20 Things I Learned On Our First Year

Wow, time sure flies. It's been one year since we got married! A lot of married people told me to expect the first year to be a little rough, but fortunately for us, it wasn't at all that hard.

The (photo) paper anniversary gift. 

We've had our fair share of ups and downs, but I bet anyone who would have to adjust to having a new 'other half' would experience the same thing. There's always something new to learn, and to me, here are some of those things:

1.       You don’t really need a TV set; Wi-fi will do.
2.       Gas is always cheaper a few meters down the road and you’d realize that after you’ve just had a full tank.
3.       You’ll try your best to cut down your utility bills, but you won’t mind shelling out Php150 for a cup of coffee.
4.       You can still go to sleepovers with your friends if you choose to, but technically, you’re not supposed to.
5.       You don't have to have the same diet; you don’t have to eat rice just because the other one does.
6.       You’ve lost count how many times you’ve put the toilet seat down
7.       It's okay to remind your husband when the bills are due when you don’t have a job
8.       Php 300.00 can get you a solo meal when you dine out, and food for 5 people when you cook at home
9.       You can expect to get sick when the other one is
10.   You should be able to drive when the situation calls for it
11.   The idea of having a baby is as daunting and overwhelming as the idea of getting married when you’re not that ready
12.   You don’t necessarily lose your freedom; you just have to be more considerate of the other person
13.   You’d realize that printing your photos out is as important as taking them after your 32GB memory card decides to die on you
14.   You shouldn’t be bossy when it comes to doing the chores. If you want something done your way, do it yourself.
15.   You can’t be mad at the other person for not being like you; compromise.
16.   You need to accept  and appreciate the fact that there’s always one thing the other person can do better. But you know it’s not fair when you’re the domesticated one.
17.   You should settle any argument and always let the other person know if you have issues so you can peacefully move on. You wouldn’t want to dwell on the same issue for the rest of your life.
18.   You won’t necessarily hold hands, hug, and kiss each other 24/7 even if you live together. And yes, you can spend an entire day without even talking.
19.   You’re still two individuals even if you’re supposed to be “one”. Spending time outside the relationship is necessary once in a while.

20.   You should never take your partner’s presence for granted. Stop Facebook-ing or Instagram-ing when you’re dining together. 

Obligatory post-wedding anniversary dinner date photo :)

I'm pretty sure a lot will be added on to this list. It's only been one year. I'm hoping the coming years will be better.

How about you, what's the most important thing you've learned about the married life so far?:)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Suppliers' Review

I thought I was never going to make a suppliers' review post because our wedding happened 4 months ago and I'm still too lazy to make another entry, but since I have been getting a few messages asking me for some feedback, I might as well give a dedicated post to somewhat answer this blog's readers queries.

I'm trying my best to give my most honest and unbiased reviews about my suppliers. Here we go:

* Rating legend:
5 - Couldn't ask for more
4 - We got what we paid for
3 - It was a hit and miss
2 - Why did I even get them?
1 - Don't even try...


Rating: 5

How do I give a review about something so lovely? I mean, I was able to book my dream chapel. It was a sunny Saturday, perfect view of the mountains, cold, fresh country breeze -- how can anything go wrong? And true enough, everything went smoothly. Booking them was a pretty straightforward process -- reserve, pay, get married. Obviously, the price was out of the question. It's the perfect place for us after all.

If you're considering this place, make sure to be as decided as you can be so you can book early. You can be competing against hundreds of other couples so better make it quick. 
The chapel holds 3 weddings max (10am, 2pm, 5pm) so you don't have to worry about simultaneous bridal entrance / exits and photo-ops. Also, you're sure your flowers are as freshly installed as possible. Absolutely no recycling of flowers  like what happens in San Agustin Church. :))

Note: Bring your own priest because you'll be paying just for the place; nothing more, nothing less.

Rating: 4

The Lincoln Place was a great discovery on our part because 1) it's relatively new so the rates are still reasonable 2) it obviously goes well with our rustic-country-vintage wedding theme. 

The log homes that served as our prep area and accommodation for family and entourage were very convenient and affordable, especially for big groups.

The reason why I'm giving them a 4 is because they could still improve on their terms and conditions. There had been a bit of confusion when it came to the contracts and package inclusions. They presented me a document that says there's a payment for every extra pax in the venue, whereas my contract copy doesn't say anything about a limit in guests allowed in the place. But good thing they let it pass, since they're still obviously ironing things out.


Rating: 4.5

all images in this post are by Nez Cruz, by the way. :) 

I love Nez Cruz because he's passionate about his work,  and he's a really good photographer with an eye for wedding details. He can definitely give you a service that's worth more than your money's worth.:) But being a bit OC with photography myself, I just wished there were more pre / post wedding shots of me with my bridesmaids, my husband and his best men and groomsmen, stuff like that. I'm not sure if other brides have different sets of photos and that my set has been limited by the instances that happened during that day, though, so I could let it pass. In fairness to him, at the end of the program, I asked him if he could take a photo of me and my girls in the woods and he obliged, but it was kinda getting late so I thought I was asking for too much.  Imagine 2,000+ photos and I'm still wishing there were more. LOL. Yeah, there's something wrong with me.

Also, I think some photos  were captured using the wrong set of lens (like using a 50mm to take a scene that should've been shot with a wide lens) that's why the essence of some photos were missing. But then again, other factors could've contributed as to why those little mishaps happened --- like me being too technical.:))

Rating: 4.5

These guys simply know how to do their job well so you can't really argue with their pretty pricey rates. They know which shots to take and how to make those shots artistic. I super love their cinematography; I'm just not a fan of "directed" scenes and poses. This is the reason why we chose to just get their 'service only' package and edit the video ourselves --- they know how to record the most intimate and personal shots, but their video output will still follow a pattern that applies to all their clients.

But hey, if you don't have any problem with their signature style, then I would highly recommend them. :)

watch our wedding video


Rating: 5

Ms. Marianne (owner) did a great job in giving me the dress that I wanted. I must admit that it was a bit scary to trust someone below the radar with my bridal gown -- that one gown that I'll forever remember -- but she just made me feel like everything's going to be fine.

Even though we only paid for the labor because we provided the materials, she didn't make me feel like I'm less of a priority over her other clients who were having their full entourage made by her. She was able to copy my inspiration, and even went the extra mile of making me a bridal hat (which I unfortunately wasn't able to use) even if I didn't provide the materials for that. 

She was very attentive to my needs and she really made my gown inspiration (worn by a size 0 model) work with my size 10 physique. I never heard her say anything like "this design just won't work for you, let's make you a different one" which I admire.

my dress inspiration for your discretion: 


Rating: 3

I had my bridesmaids', MOH and MOB dresses made by Kimi Go, and they're a bit expensive at Php 2,500 for one dress, materials provided by me. My sisters-in-law also had their dresses made by them, I'm just not sure how much for. 

I'd say this one is a hit and miss, because the output is good enough alright, but a lot of miscommunications and a bit of unprofessionalism happened along the way. Imagine having to go forth and back to their shop a number of times and having to wait for weeks  again after the supposed deadline only to receive my bridesmaids dresses without any lining underneath (because they mistakenly used the lining fabric that I provided for another client). I fortunately was able to keep my cool the entire process because luckily, I saved enough patience to get me through such shenanigans until the big day.

I felt like they were prioritizing higher-paying clients over me, which I hate about the experience.

Good thing he's able to save himself by at least giving me the quality that I wanted, only I think I paid more than what I got.

Bridesmaids (except the leftmost one- she had it done by a different dressmaker)


Maid of honor
Rating: 4

If you look at their Facebook page, you'd think they don't have much to offer. I probably just relied on my instincts when I got them because I saw the potential in their works. And true enough, I've never felt so pretty my entire life until that big day (of course all brides would feel that). And my girls looked pretty as well. Just look at me:

Smokey eyes in the morning

Ceremony up-do. They also did my sister's makeup.

Reception hair

The reason why I'm giving them a 4 and not a 5 is because I thought the business was a bit risky. Yeah, they made it just in the nick of time for the event, but when I knew they didn't have a car and just took the bus to Tagaytay in the wee hours of the morning to get to the location, it got me a little uneasy. I even had my uncle pick them up from somewhere because there weren't any tricycles available in the area. I mean, what if the bus didn't leave on time and caused an unfortunate series of events? I want to commend their efforts in trying their best to deliver their services anywhere, but it would've been better if they had their own means of transportation.

It must've been a pretty lucky day for me. But if you're looking for good makeup that's not pricey, and you're confident that there won't be any problems with them getting on time for the event, I would highly vouch for them. :)

Note: I had eyelash extensions on so I won't have to wear falsies, and I used Kolours to color my hair because professional hair coloring can get super expensive. LOL.

SIGNATURE FLOWERS BY JOEL G. FALLER (multiply site no longer available)
rating: 5

I already made a post about him, so let these photos speak of his work instead:

Disclaimer: I only wanted simple arrangements so don't expect elaborate works of flower art.

Rating: 4 
Disclaimer: We didn't really pay for anything so I can't say "We got what we paid for"

Easter Valley is a family business owned by the husband's parents so, needless to say, our wedding catering was c/o the mother and father-in-law. It saved us a chunk of our wedding budget so I don't really want to dwell on this one for personal reasons. HAHAHA.
Everyone really loved all the food. And that's pretty much the whole point of getting a good caterer. I, however cannot attest to that, because we were not able to eat. But I can say they really serve good food -- based on house parties and dinners that I get to eat at. LOL. We should have at least had a taste test! Bummer.


Rating: 5

The husband designed our invitations so I can't really give a review about the level of creativity that J-Cef has to offer. But quality-wise, even I can't believe we only paid less than Php 50 for each set of these. What do you think?:) I wish you could get a hold of these, because the embossed texts (the gray fonts only, the yellow texts are printed flat) feel expensive.:))

CakeAbles by Pam Ables

Rating: 5

The reason why we were able to scrimp everything within our set budget is the fact that all our suppliers are pretty much on the down low but are really good at what they're doing.

Take our cake supplier for example. Pam is my office mate's sister, and has only been making cupcakes since around 2011, and it wasn't too long ago when she started offering cakes. 

All these cuteness for only Php 4,600 free delivery (Laguna / Tagaytay area). Wooden base provided by us.

Doesn't it look cute? And it's very tasty too. And there's no styro layer in there, just 100% cake goodness. Too bad we got to slice the chocolate part; I especially requested the one tier to be caramel. Boo.

Honey Favors from Megatradeonline

Rating: 5

This has got to be our only supplier with the weirdest lineup of products for sale. They sell a wide range of products from pure honeybee to Japanese waffle maker. LOL. I don't even know why we got them. HAHAHA.

But in all fairness, look at our wedding favors:

I obviously DIY'd the tag.:D
Our guests loved it. Our contact person exceeded our expectations. He did his best to pour the honey to 100+ little bottles by himself just to deliver our request. Not to mention the honey tasted really good!

Rating: 3.5

Is it weird that my wedding coordinators and ceremony musicians are the same people? LOL. But seriously, we had to get them to save us time looking for suppliers. Besides, they don't have OOT charges so they were very convenient. 

I've nothing bad to say about Ms. Cathz, the head coordinator and the singer, because she was very attentive to our needs and they really delivered their services. Knowing she had a past client whose wedding happened at 6am in Caleruega made me feel confident that a 10am wedding would be a piece of cake for their team. 

So why am I giving them the 3.5 rating? Well, I don't really know. Music-wise, their team performed well and her voice is really good. And they were able to play the songs that I requested. But maybe it's because of the fact that we didn't get to eat during the reception. I mean seriously, the only time that realized that I haven't eaten since 8am that day was when the reception ended, which was around 4pm. The bridal assistant assigned to me was young, and she probably still lacked the experience. I wish they had a SOP to feed the couple while the guests are settling down. The assistant gave us iced tea while everyone, including the suppliers, were gobbling on a decent lunch. It breaks my heart when I think that we only got to eat some leftover lechon by the end of the program. HUHUHU.

NORLY DIZON - SINGING EMCEE (Multiply site no longer available)
Rating: 5

I got Norly from and I don't know what it was that made me book him on the spot. I haven't seen any reviews or bad comments, but already deposited the downpayment prior to our meet up. Good thing he was super professional when we met. He showed us photos from his past gigs and we were convinced that he's had enough experience to back him up. He gave us files of to-do's so he'd have all the necessary details for the reception, which was very helpful because it served as our guideline. 

During the reception, our guests were already queuing up the buffet table even before we did our entrance. I don't know who cued them to eat, but Norly did a great job letting them settle down. Everyone was still eager to see our entrance, despite being full already.  Admit it, some guests will just lose their interest with the program after satiating their hunger. The best part was all our guests stayed to finish the reception and didn't just eat and run.:))

And oh, he's a really good singer. There were instances where we thought the background music is recorded, but when we looked at Norly, he was the one singing! And  I don't know how he did it, but he simultaneously facilitated the guests for photo op, while he was singing, while he was taking everyone's photo with his digicam for his portfolio. It was funny. 

Note: He came with a "free receptionist", but it wasn't Lala. One of my bridesmaids told me while everyone was in chaos, the free receptionist was eating so I don't know...

Other supplies and accessories:
PM me for questions / feedback

Tiffany Chairs :  Michelle Anacay
Tent Rental : Pancipane
Swagging and set design: Light and Space Contemporary

Groom's suit : Mang Fenny 
Groom's attire : SM men's, Sperry, Zara Man
Bridal shoes : Parisian 
Bridal fascinator: Marcella

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Some Snippets from The Big Day (A Super Long-Overdue Post)

After exactly 4 months, we're finally done choosing the most publish-worthy photos from the 2,000 pictures given to us by Nez Cruz. I'm not sure how these would appeal to other people anymore, because I've seen all the raw files for countless times already. But they're still nakakakilig because the photos remind me of that one special day.:)

Anyway, here are the photos. I don't have much of the emoterang poses because it felt weird. LOL. The photographers probably found me difficult to shoot. Howells. Also, please don't expect to see photos that have been made extra artistic - we only availed of the service only package so we only got the raw files.


I'll do another post for the wedding stuff and suppliers' review.

Have a nice day!:)