I got engaged last October 16, 2009 when my then fiancé and I were still trainees in a BPO company. Just like any other couple who came from average families, a grand Wedding like those of Celebrities is far fetched. But we sure wanted a Wedding that will be remembered by us and our guests forever. A solemn Wedding by the beach or a garden Wedding are the only two options that we have. We had a lot of time preparing for our Big Day…we just do not have enough money to go by it. And so, we planned our Wedding to be scheduled on our Third Anniversary (October 16,2012) but when we thought we still won’t be able to have enough money by then (since were paying for a car amortization up until July 2012) we figured that 12-12-12 will be a good date. This post is dedicated to all the Newly Engaged Couples who have limited budget like us. It’s true that a Wedding doesn’t have to be grand leading you to break the bank. I’d like to share with you how we managed to have a wedding with our Php300, 000.00 budget by choosing the right suppliers.
Make-up Artist – Diana Santos
Diana Santos is a beautiful lass who has graced many print ads as a professional model. When I checked her website, I knew she’s going to do a great job. She was easy to deal with, very polite whenever I get the chance to exchange emails or SMS with her. The only concern that she raised a day before our Wedding was that of the food. She won’t eat anything from a fast food chain. This was just OK. I asked my mom to cook for her and bring it to our Wedding Venue so that Diana and Hair Stylist, Adrian will have something to eat. I no longer have time to order food elsewhere. Diana and Adrian for some reasons came to the Venue an hour late from the agreed time. But I was surprised with Diana’s extra ordinary talent. She did my make up in less than 30 minutes! I specifically requested for Smokey eyes since I have small set of eyes. She also did my Mom,my mother-law and my Maid of Honor’s make up. It was a wrap in 2 hours… Fast, indeed. If there’s one thing that I didn’t like, is that Diana left before the reception started.
Shiela, our coordinator tried to call her but she never answered. Whatever happened to the “free re-touch before the reception”? To date, I didn’t bother asking Diana. Good thing, I have a sister-in-law who checked my make-up and did some retouch right after I ate dinner and went back to the party. Then I missed Lace Lacap, our Make-up artist during our Engagement photo shoot. Lace was such a sweetheart. She exudes extra ordinary charm and superb personality (read my previous blog about our Engagement Photo shoot). Lace had no qualms even if she had to drive all the way from Quezon City to Sierra Madre (Tanay). Very professional.
If you’re looking for a Make-up artist…try to look for these ladies’ folios and be the judge.
Photographers – 4DotJuanProductions
Our official photographers were Gerald Celaje, Jeff Zapanta, Boggs Granada and Tristan Bello of ForDotJuanProductions. We love this Team. My husband and our coordinators are truly impressed not only with the quality of their work but also with their attitude towards work. They were always on time and would not interfere with whatever demands that their clients have. We are truly grateful. It is really important that clients are comfortable with their chosen photographers. With these photographers’ sunny disposition, I bet no one will feel uncomfortable working with them.
Suit – Francis Orlanes
Cho is my husband’s dear friend. A promising designer who rooted from University of the Philippines. Exemplary – that’s how I define Cho. I instantly became a FAN when I got a glimpse of my husband’s suit before our Wedding. Who wouldn’t be mesmerized by a cashmere pants paired by a double-breasted patterned vintage coat?
Wedding Dress – Erika Obmerga
Simple yet classy…this is how I wanted my Vintage dress to look like. I asked Erika if they could imitate a design that I saw online and I almost cried when I tried my dress on…it was an exact replica! Given a limited time of two months, they were able to finish my dress, along with the dresses of my Secondary sponsors, flower girls and the little boys.
Photo booth -RedGlassDigital
The owners, Joy and Jay de Vera are super friendly and even gave us tips for our Wedding preparations. Our guests were delighted when they saw photos from our Wedding posted on RedGlassDigital’s Facebook page the following day. We never had a single issue with them.
Flowers –Ariel Subang
Ariel Subang was referred to me by a colleague who is scheduled to tie the knot early 2013. Ariel is a florist based in Dangwa. We only met twice, first when we visited their shop to discuss the flowers that we’d like to purchase, and our second and last meeting took place when they delivered our flowers. I chose red tulips for my bouquet. A tulip boutonnière for my groom, 12 rose boutonnières,2 corsages, 4 head dresses, throwing bouquet, 30 table centerpieces, flowers for the altar with 2 large candles, rose petals, 3 baskets, 4 corsages for my secondary sponsors came with our P10,000.00 package. Ariel was very sweet to upgrade the flowers for my secondary sponsors from corsages to bouquet for free!
Venue – Callospa and Resort
Mrs. Garcia, the owner of Callospa is one of the easiest suppliers to deal with. Although we only met her on our Big Day, she made sure that her assistant will be able to answer all of our queries. They offer a worry-free package but you can also create your own package based on your Wedding needs/preferences. The venue is perfect for small weddings and they also have enough rooms if you wish to book your family the night before your event. If there’s one thing that Callospa missed to check for us on our Big Day that would be the restroom for our guests. The restroom was a mess in the middle of our Wedding party.
Caterer – Vernisse Grill
If I am to rate this supplier from 1 to 10 (10 as the lowest)…I’ll give them a 10. Vernisse Grill is one of Callospa’s in-house caterers. When we had our food tasting last October, the food presented to us was placed in Styrofoam containers. I was able to check Vernisse Grill’s website and I assumed they know how a proper food tasting should be since they had a lot of events. But no…good thing, their food taste better than other caterers who offer P380/head for a buffet. Like Mrs. Garcia of Callospa, we only met Mr. Bernie Santos (the owner of Vernisse Grill) on the day of our Wedding. Our coordinators sent them couple of emails asking if they could meet for the lay out. Mr. Santos expressed that he was pre-occupied and instead sent a hand-drawn lay out to our coordinator. We we’re all disappointed because we waited for weeks and didn’t expect a lay out like what Mr. Santos has sent. But well, we have already paid in full a month before our Wedding so we are left with no choice but to deal with it.
On our Wedding day, the staff of Vernisse Grill were already at Callospa around 10 AM. They were pretty early to set up the tables and chairs.
We paid for buffet for 150pax so our 100 guests will have plenty to eat. We wanted a feast!
But the day after our Wedding, some of our relatives told us that our food was just “good enough” for a round of food and drinks. That really surprised me! How can that be? Our guest list and photos would only show us less than 100 guests. I asked other guests and Wedding Coordinators for feedbacks and was devastated with their answers. Some of our guests saw Vernisse Grill’s waiters packing our food before 10pm when some of our guests were still eating. 4 of our 5 coordinators were not able to eat and some went back to the buffet table and saw that the only left food were some rice and chicken ala king for the main course. The rest were just sauces.
It was December 16 when I decided to send an SMS to Mr. Santos about what had happened. At first, he seem very apologetic but as I dig deeply on what caused the food shortage, he became more and more defensive but still willing to give us a refund. He sent me a letter telling me that it wasn’t their waiters’ fault but our coordinators’ because they didn’t meet before the event. It was such a lame excuse. How can someone point fingers to other people rather than taking responsibility for his staff’s actions? We demanded a refund for 50pax and after a week of sending SMS to Mr. Santos, we received the refund last December 24,2012.
Five minutes before the refund was handed to my husband, Mr. Santos sent an SMS to our Wedding Coordinator telling her that we blackmailed him. WOW!
Wedding Coordinator – Merry me!
Being a hands-on bride, it is very important for me to have someone who can understand all my demands and of course who can help me find suppliers who could offer us the best package at the lowest possible price. Exactly 10 months before our wedding, we booked Shiela Surban of Merry Me! Shiela is a friend who is armed with experience. I have a thousand details that I wanted to keep an eye on to ensure that our Big day will be a success but Merry Me! took charge of everything. Shiela organized our Wedding in the same meticulous diligence like those of her previous clients’ Weddings. She was still there, asking if there’s anything she could do help us when we were dealing with Mr. Bernie Santos of Vernisse Grill. Shiela, Yann, Diane, Mayflor and Gregor of Merry Me! went beyond our expectations…making us believe that there are still suppliers who are truly concerned with their clients more than the money that they’ll earn. Well, I must say there wasn’t a chance that I was skeptical about booking Merry Me! for our Big Day.