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So we got married, then I got preggers, then I gave birth to a cute, healthy baby boy ❤ ❤ <3… now, the planning for his baptism must start… gosh, this is wedding planning all over again!  Problem is, we have to have it in Cavite because there’s a new (?) rule that you only get to have the baptism at your parish church.  So I’ve got very limited reception venues now.  Of course, there’s the budget to consider also.  >_<  I hope to update you about this and I hope that I’ll get PMs re suggested venues around Imus.  =D

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A Quick Update

It’s been years since I last posted in my blog.  I owe my suppliers and the w@w brides a review of our wedding suppliers.  I plan to post them here but I just didn’t/don’t have the time, especially now that we are blessed with Uno, our bundle of joy.  =)

So I’ll try to post a review of each supplier, which performed outstandingly, everyday – one at a time.  Yes, I won’t post a review of those who failed to meet my expectations.  I don’t want to give them bad reviews anymore especially since it’s been years since our wedding (who knows, they may have already improved their services!).

So there.  =)

It’s Gorgeous Jr.’s fault if I can’t sleep tonight.

But first of all, what’s my blog without all those unnecessary introductions.  First, yes, dear brother, I know that you called your electric guitar ‘Gorgeous’.  That time, though I understand, I can’t exactly relate.  However, when I saw my semi-finished gown made by Gretchen Pichay (she’s not finished yet with the beadworks because, per Pinoy custom, you can’t fit your bridal gown before wedding), I almost said ‘Hey there, Gorgeous’ and, overwhelmed by my happiness for the outcome of my gown, I thought ‘From now on, I’m gonna officially call you Gorgeous because you keep on making me say Hey Gorgeous whenever I see you.’.  So that started my cheesy love affair with my bridal gown… ♥_

Unfortunately, I still can’t post my bridal gown because Noly must not see the gown until before I walk down the aisle.  I want him to be speechless when he sees me, hahaha!  I don’t want him to have any idea at all on what I will look like on our wedding.  I am even demanding a 2-week-prior-to-wedding no communication with him.  So far, he hasn’t agreed to it yet hahaha!

So the main story for this blog is Gorgeous, Jr.  But yet again, another backgrounder from me.  For the longest time, my bridal shoes has been a mini problem.  Fact:  I’m not very fond of heeled shoes and I was dreading that this will ruin my wedding day.  I also can’t find that perfect red shoes from our local stores.  I was like, ‘too shiny, too tall, too plain, too uncomfortable’.  Then w@w sisters have recommended three suppliers of customized shoes.  Checked all three but I only fell in love with the works of Steph Castro.  That time, I was only able to see two photos of her works (both are shoes of w@w brides) but I was convinced that she HAS to make my shoes.

So I inquired, afraid that it’s gonna cost me a fortune just for my shoes (‘afraid’ because I know that if such is the case, I just have to let go).  Surprisingly, she told me that her shoes are P3,500 max (final amount still depends on the materials)!  So I said, ‘Hmmm… that’s more or less how much the shoes at the stores cost.’  So I was happy to book her (tho you won’t be paying for the shoes until pick-up)!

I met up with Steph some two weeks ago and she was just so charming.  She is always giggly and very, very nice.  You can easily get comfortable talking to her because she talks to you as if you’re a long-time friend.  She showed me some photos so that I can choose, which one is most appealing to me.  I chose the flowery one and just told her that I just want it to look very kikay.  In any case, she just wanted lang naman for me to choose so that she’ll know my taste – she’ll then design according to this.  My major request was that it should be comfortable even with the heels.  She told me that what makes a heeled shoe uncomfortable is when you stand still for a long time.  Constantly walking won’t be too tiring though.  However, she’s got this special trick to minimize the discomfort: having that uhmmm… I can’t remember how she calls it… ‘hidden platform’ (?) at the front of the shoe.

Two weeks later, voila!  She called me to say that she already has the finished product and that she’s too excited to show me!  When I saw it, omg, it was STUNNING!  I suuuuper love it!  And just like my love at first sight with my bridal gown, I just HAVE to call her Gorgeous, Jr.

Anyway, sorry for the loooooonnnnngggg intro.  Here she is… YIPEEEE!!!

Front View

Back View

Side View

Isn’t she GORGEOUS?  

check out her other creations at:

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Faire-La-Fete-Shoes/103559319678015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey girls!  Here’s a link of an informative and very helpful wedding tool for us brides.  Check out this link:

http://www.bridalbook.ph/articles/find-all-your-wedding-needs-here

=)

Why is it that it’s easy to give opinions to another person but if you have to decide for yourself things just get so complicated???  So here I am, trying to make up my mind (and must do it NOW) on the cake design but I just can’t zero in on one.  So I’m posting the finalists but I am VERY open to ideas and designs.  These are just the results of my googling…help!

well just the classic old-fashioned cake

then more soft, classic designs..

then the retro designs…

and then some more vintage-y cakes

goodness…ive to decide soon! >_<

 

ring

 

(Above is the closest image that I can get from the web, which is similar to our supposed wedding ring.)

Just a quick, hurried post on my long overdue report on wedding rings.  Again, this has been sitting in my drafts folder for MONTHS so just tonight, I was really dying to get rid of it so forgive me if I skipped my usual long introduction, side stories and morale-of-the-story ending 😉 :

We’re not taking any chances in booking super affordable ring-makers, which will not guarantee us the ff:

a.  Superb craftsmanship and gorgeous designs.  We don’t wanna spend our hard-earned peso for (to put it bluntly) ugly rings.  Ideally, rings will be there as long as you’re together (that is, eternally) or until you pass them on to your ‘taga pag mana’.  We don’t want to keep on regretting purchasing the rings whenever we see them nor do we want to (later on) purchase another set out of frustration.

b.  Lifetime warranty and (it follows) business stability.  Without the latter, how can we avail of the warranty if they can’t assure us that they’ll be there ‘until death do us part’?

Of course the following are plus factors!

a.  Affordability (of course).  We have to stick with a and b above because rings are investments.  BUT we made sure that we can find a supplier who can both give us quality rings and services  AND a reasonable price.  We don’t want to spend almost all our wedding budget on the rings only.

b.  Flexibility of payment.  We didn’t know that ring suppliers offer installment payments until we visited one of the ring suppliers! 

c.  Quality of warranty.  Of course almost all are offering warranty services.  The question is, which supplier gives the best warranty services?

 The finalists:

 I got all of these from w@w, the yahoogroup for brides:

 a.  Matus Jewellery

 website: http://www.weddingrings.com.ph/

 email: matusweddingrings.com.ph

 landline: (632) 740-3004

 mobile: (63) 917-82MATUS(62887)

 address: 5th Level Mega Atrium (near the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord)
SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Philippines

 b.  Meicel Jewelry

 website: http://www.meiceljewelry.com/

 email: MeicelJewelry@yahoo.com

 landline: 725-8311

 mobile: 0920-9216837

 address: 34-J Wilson St., West Greenhills, San Juan City, Philippines

 — while these first two both have good reputations, Noly and I didn’t find our ‘it’ ring from them.  Quite honestly, the next two are the ones who passed our standards when it comes to craftsmanship and/or ‘pagiging polido’.

 c.  Suarez Wedding Rings

 website: http://www.suarezweddingrings.com/

 email: cs@suarezweddingrings.com

 landline: (632) 556-1954 (SM MOA Branch)

 mobile: +639228771406 (SM MOA Branch)

 address: 1st level, South Wing, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City (beside Department store entrance) , Philippines

 d.  Goldenhills Jewelry

 website: http://www.goldenhillsjewelry.com/

 email: inquire@goldenhillsjewelry.com

 landline: +63 2 299 6122

 mobile: +63 917 517 0811

 address: Greenhills Shopping Center, Robinsons Manila, Things-Glorietta, Robinsons Galleria – among others

— we just love the designs and quality of these last two.  However, we booked Goldenhills over Suarez because the former gives a longer installment plan, which is one year (perfect for a more-than-a-year engagement) and free resizing is included in Goldenhills’ warranty.

Quite surprisingly, while Noly will leave all the wedding decisions to me, when it comes to wedding rings, he was hands on and picky.  For him, while every other wedding expenses will only be useful on the wedding day, rings are investments since we will use/keep it forever.

To all those couples presently looking for ‘that perfect pair’ – don’t rush it!  Take your time before you decide.  This part is one of my most favorite because you’re looking for a wedding item that you get to use as long as you live.  So just enjoy!

Looking for a venue is perhaps the most exciting but at the same time, most frustrating stage in planning your wedding.  I won’t be doing a narrative of how we went about our venue hunting since there’s just sooo many venues that we discovered.  Instead, I’m going to enumerate all venues that I can remember, and do a semi-review of each place.  HOWEVER, let me be clear that this is MY blog and these are MY opinions.  My opinions are largely influenced by Noly and my situation, our preferences and our budget.  When I joined w@w, I realized that there’ll never be one universally perfect wedding.  One bride can tolerate an imperfection, while another bride may raise hell over the same issue.  One couple may drool over one reception venue, while another couple may find the same venue totally unappealing.  I realized that the couple will always have the liberty to create their own dream wedding.  While getting suggestions from people may give you the best alternatives, being too conscious by everyone’s opinions may not only give you sleepless nights, but may actually ruin the perfect wedding that you’ve always wanted!

My goal here, therefore, is to give you a sneak peek of some of the venues in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces.  I’d give out opinions, but then again, I was born opinionated so it’s up to you to decide whether my standards for imperfections are tolerable or not.  In any case, if you feel that you are slightly interested in a certain venue, I suggest that you contact them or much better if you visit the place.  Before Noly and I finally decided to book our venue, the “This Is It” feel that couples often talk about was just a myth to me.  When we visited the venue that we eventually booked, we realized that there’s really a perfect place for each couple…to think that our chosen venue has good and bad reviews from w@w, but just like true love, if you fell in love with the place, you know that there are imperfections, but you overlook the imperfections and just let your instincts decide for you. 

1. FERNBROOK GARDENS

Address: Portofino South, Daan Reyna, Las Pinas, Metro Manila

Email add: info@fernbrookgardens.com

Tel. No.: 383-6865/387-3740/710-8608

Website: www.fernbrookgardens.com

Fernbrook

After attending a friend’s wedding in Fernwood, QC, I told myself “Wow!  I want to get married here!”.  Some time later, I found out that it already has a southern counterpart – Fernbrook Gardens in Alabang.  I then told myself – this is it!  I HAVE to get married here even if it’s gonna take us years to save for this.  But alas!  When you get engaged, you realize that there are a lot more things to consider and it won’t be wise to spend all your hard earned peso for just the venue.  But, being the it-wont-hurt-to-ask type of person, I still emailed them and was given the ff. infos (rates are as of October 2008):

a.  There are 4 venues:  The Byzantine Gardens 1 & 2 and the Victorian Garden 1 is for at most 200 guests;  The Victorian Garden 2 is up to 350 guests.

b.  5-Hour Venue Rental for a Morning Function is from 89.5k to 98.5k before VAT, which means that we’re looking at 100.24k to 110.32k VAT inclusive.  For an evening function, it’s 125k to 152k and with VAT it would cost 140k to 170.24k.  However, if your guests exceed their maximum limit, you have to pay an additional P80/head. 

c. Extra Charges:  P10k/hour  in excess of 5 hours, P10k for use of electricity exceeding 1,000 watts, P3k for dance pad;  Carriages, boats, limos etc is from P10k-P12k

d.  Freebies: Aircon, electricity, 150 invites, 350 guest passes, 150 maps from V-Craft, staff coordinators, bridal suite, use of venue for prenups

e.  In-house ceremony:  They have an in-house chapel called Notre Dame Vie Chapel with the ff. fees:  P12.5k wedding fees, P5k for the aircon, P15k for basic flower arrangement.  Morning schedule: 8:15 – 9:30 am, 9:45-11 am.  Evening schedule: 3-4:15pm, 4:30-5:45pm, 6-7:15pm

f.  Accredited Caterers: Center Table, Josiah’s, Juan Carlo, Mandarin Oriental, Via Mare.  Note that payment for the food is EXCLUSIVE of the rental I mentioned earlier.  Per head of these caterers is around P1k.

g.  Accredited Florists: Scenta Creations, 15-58 Flowers

h.  50% Dp is required to lock your date

Why we like them:

It’s well-maintained, has a gorgeous facade, has lovely carriages and best of all, it has its own chapel so guests only have to walk from the chapel to the venue through a beautiful garden ambience.

Why we didn’t book them:

The most obvious reason: It’s too expensive for us.  Also, it didn’t quite duplicate the charm of Fernwood Gardens.  Fernwood was generous with its supply of greenery and it will certainly make you feel that you entered an enchanted forest…yet still is within the Metro Manila.  Fernbrook on the other hand is yet to do more landscaping.  Frankly, Fernbrook looks like a big function hall with plants every now and then.

2. OASIS MANILA

Address: 169 Aurora Boulevard, San Juan , MM

Email add: info@oasismanila.com

Tel. No.: 721-4585/724-5016

Website: http://www.oasismanila.com/main.html

oasis

I was heartbroken when I realized that it just won’t be practical to book Fernbrook (or Fernwood).  But I told myself that we’ve got to have a garden wedding.  By this time, I have no idea if there are other garden venues within Metro Manila but I was determined to hunt them one by one, hoping to find one that will suit our taste.  Hey, we may not be filthy rich (faaar from it actually), but we still want our wedding to be elegant, personalized and well-prepared!

My very first find was Oasis Manila.  Hmmm…maybe I did find other garden venues but I guess this was the first one we actually liked.  So I emailed, I sent text messages, I quite literally pestered Maan (0916-5274903) and Anna (0915-3868990) of Oasis.  I can be really makulit and even annoying if I am excited with something.  I have to get my answers right away!

I got the ff. infos. (as of November 2008):

a. Oasis has three venues:  The Pavilion, which is the Garden venue (good for 450 pax max), The Gallery (good for 150 pax) and The Lounge (good for 140 pax).  Needless to say, we wanted the Pavilion.  Venue rental only for the Pavilion is P50k for weekday mornings, P55k for weekend mornings, P60k for weekday evenings and P65k for weekend evenings.  Venue rental only for the Gallery is P35k flat rate while for the Lounge is P25k flat rate.  The latter 2 is fully airconditioned while the Pavilion is with misting coolling system.  The difference between the amenities of the Gallery vs the Lounge is that the latter has basic sound system and operator while the former has none.  Both have aircon and parking slots for guests.

b.  Since we only have eyes for the Pavilion, let’s focus on the Pavilion.  The Pavilion has the ff. guaranteed amenities: Elevated stage, basic sound system with operator, FREE USE OF BRIDAL SUITE, standby generator, parking slots for your guests.

c.  Their wedding packages are (among others) inclusive of the venue rental and a buffet dinner/lunch/breakfast.  The use of the Pavilion has two packages: Their Daybreak package (7am – 1pm) is at P160.5k for 150 persons,  while their weeknight package is at P175k for 150 persons.  Wedding packages for the Gallery and the Lounge is at P118k and P110k respectively.

d.  FREEBIES!  Brides looove freebies!  Oasis has attractive freebies since some of them are not included in packages of competitors.  Catch is, you’ve to choose only one per group.  Group A is a 3-layered cake vs Bridal Car vs floral decor vs Emcee; Group B is ImagineNation/Best Shot or Nice Print photo and video vs 150 pcs. invites from Printed Matter vs SJT Live String Quartet vs Bridal Gown my Michi Calica (you have to add 12k, though) vs OTD coordination of 4 personnel vs complete bouquet for bride and entourage vs Fireworks by Dragon; Group C is Guest book vs Signature Frame.

e.  Caterers are no less than Hizon’s, Delica, Lina Vitan, Tamayo’s and CVJ

f.  Among the normal amenities, they have: Tiffany chairs for everyone, red carpet, luminaries per table, torch or sword parade, bottomless drinks and no corkage fee for lechon and alcoholic beverages.

g.  Churches nearby: Mt. Carmel (5-minute travel to and from Oasis), Sacred Heart, Mary The Queen, Sanctuario de San Jose, Immaculate Conception, Christ The King, St. Joseph’s Chapel, St. Ignatius Cathedral, Twin Hearts, San Sebastian and Pinaglabanan Church 

Why we like them:

We’re suckers for the best deals.  Oasis gives you so much room for your budget and, have I mentioned that they have great freebies?  Oasis is also accessible (along Aurora Blvd.) and they have accommodating AEs.  Parking is not a problem also and you don’t have to worry about the rain because it’s covered.  And of course, the Pavilion especially at night is gorgeous.  We can actually have a garden wedding without spending too much!…and oh, no corkage fee for the drinks!

Why we didn’t book them:

We were very close to booking Oasis but I guess there will really be a ‘This is it” for every couple.  Oasis is almost perfect but for some reason it didn’t feel exactly right.  A week before our planned bookig with Oasis, we visited our present venue and we just totally forgot about Oasis.  Fate and destiny considerations aside, Oasis is still a little more expensive than our eventual venue…hmmm…I guess by that you’ll realize how completely in love we are with our venue.  Oasis is almost perfect, but Patio is such a darling.

3. GAZEBO ROYALE

Address: 29 Visayas Avenue Extension, Quezon City

Email add: info@gazeboroyale.com

Tel. No.: 920-6503 to 05

Website: http://www.gazeboroyale.com/

gazebo-royale_phoenix

As I was about to start my description on Gazebo, I kept on thinking what our considerations were when we decided not to book Gazebo.  Up to this point, honestly, I still haven’t got one good reason except for the fact that I’m head over heels in love with our present venue.  I guess I’ll think of something as I go along the way.  Here we go (as of November 2008)…

a.  Gazebo Royale has three venues:  the Champagne Hall, the Phoenix Avenue and the Bamboo Grove.  Champagne Hall is the biggest among the three.  It can accommodate up to 700 guests (900 sq.m. area).  Mon-Thurs morning rental is 80k, evening rental is 90k, Fri-Sun morning rental is 85k, evening rental is 98.5k.  Phoenix Avenue is smaller (400 sq.m. area) and can accommodate up to 280 guests.  Mon-Thurs morning rental is 50k, evening rental is 60k, Fri-Sun morning rental is 55k, evening rental is 65k.  Both Champagne Hall and Phoenix Avenue has the ff. amenities: bridal suite/VIP lounge, outdoor cooling system, basic sound system, free guest passes and maps, parking and generator.  A fee of P80/head will be charged if you’re gonna exceed beyond the maximum capacity.  All rates are for a 5-hour venue.  For more intimate occasions (up to 60 guests), Bamboo Grove can be available.  This is an airconditioned, glassed-in venue.

b. For December engaged couples, the weekend rate will be applied regardless of your date of wedding as this is their peak month.

c.  Gazebo has the ff. accredited caterers:  The Manila Catering, Eloquente Catering, The Swan Catering, Verleo Catering, Hizon’s Catering Services, Tamayo’s Catering and ISS Makati Skyline.  Non-accredited caterers may be allowed per management’s approval.  They will be subject to corkage fees, though.  I just can’t remember if the venue rental is separate from the per head charging of the caterers.  So sorry…=b

Why we like them:

The same basic reason:  it is a garden venue.  Plus it has a bridal suite and ample parking.

Why we didn’t book them:

I really can’t remember why we didn’t inquire more.  I guess this just wasn’t our ‘true love’.  Hmmm…I think, if my memory serves me right it can be two things: 1.  They don’t have a food+venue package and 2.  Sounds can overlap if one or more events are taking place.  PLEASE check this with Gazebo since I am not sure if these really were our considerations.  I don’t want you to just give up in pursuing a venue because of reasons I can never be sure of.

4. SONYA’S GARDEN

Address: Barangay Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite, Philippines (near the vicinity of Tagaytay City, Philippines)

 Email add: info@sonyasgarden.com

Tel. No.: 63-9175329097/63-9175335140

Website: http://www.sonyasgarden.com/

SONYAS

We never did an ocular at Sonya’s but per web photos, the place is just breathtaking!  I keep on coming back to Sonya’s because it was just perfect for my dream garden wedding and the ambiance is just so relaxing!  Anyway, here’s their package as of November 2008:

a. Their package is simply presented.  You just have two choices: The Standard menu and the Filipino menu.  Both can either be a set meal or a buffet.  The Standard menu is P650/head with the ff: garden salad, bread, pasta, dessert and bottomless dalandan/orange juice or taragon tea.  You can request for the special order of the ff.: Braised chicken with potatoes (P650 ea), roast chicken (P495 ea) and red/white wine (P550 ea).  Obviously, the standard menu is American – too light for a rice eater like me.  The Filipino Menu on the other hand has five different sets.  Now this is what I wanted because this comes with rice, sweet potatoes, dessert, soup and bottomless drinks!

b.  For a minimum of 100 guests, they will give the couple free overnight accommodations at their B&B!

c.  They don’t have a food and venue package, which means that you have to pay an additional P10k for the venue rental.  Add-ons are: Cake (P10k), sounds (P6-8k), flowers (P10k decors, P8k entos)

Why we like them:

The place is just so relaxing…of course, that’s just based on the photos.  Somehow, I get the feeling that their set-up will be simple yet romantic.  I like that type of ambiance.

Why we didn’t book them:

Two things: location and budget.  Noly has set a rule that we won’t have an out-of-town wedding.  His reason was, he doesn’t want to burden the guests.  I didn’t argue.  My reason basically is because of our budget.  Besides the fact that their package is more expensive than most, they have the simplest package that I feel that the couple must endlessly hire/order/purchase additional amenities.  Also, OOT (out of town) charges IS a big factor.  Most of our major suppliers will be coming from Manila and you won’t believe how excruciatingly expensive OOT charges are!

5. THE GLASS GARDEN

Address: 257 Evangelista St. Barangay Santolan, Pasig City

Email add: the_glassgarden@yahoo.com.ph

Tel. No.: 63-9228570029/63-9228570028/(02)646-5323

Website: http://www.theglassgarden.com.ph/

glass_garden

The Glass Garden is one of the three ‘survivors’ after our looong process of elimination.  It’s literally picture perfect – that’s cus for months I’ve been a frequent visitor of their website and it just looks stunning.  When we did an ocular, it was mid-afternoon, and the place still looks well-maintained.  During that time, one of the venues was getting prepared for an evening wedding.  The place actually looks like a mini Fernbrooks…of course Fernbrooks will always look grander.  Here’s their package details as of November 5, 2008:

a.  They have two venues:  Emerald and Diamond but you can opt to rent them both.  For morning Mon-Thurs functions, rental for  either Emerald and Diamond is 60k while for both is 120k, for evening weekday functions, charge is 75k for each and 150k for both.  For Fri-Sun morning functions, rental is 70k for each and 140k for both, evenings cost 80k for each and 160k for both.  That simple.  =)

b.  Emerald and Diamond venues, separately, is from 100-350 guests while both of course is up to 700 guests.

c.  Highlights of their package are: a fully airconditioned, landscaped, soundproof and enclosed venue (the rain won’t be a problem), bridal suites, 160 parking slots, generator and airconditioned rest rooms.  Japanese lanterns can be made available for an additional charge of P2k.

d.  Corkage fee of P20k will be charged if you’ll get a non-accredited caterer.  It may not be necessary to look for a non-accredited since they have an impressive list of caterers: Aufrrance, Bizu, Goblet, Hizon’s, Jennyrei’s, K by Cunanan, Le Souffle, Manila Catering, Mandarin Oriental and Eloquente.

e.  Among the above caterers, only Manila Catering offers a food and venue package for Glass Garden.  I believe as of April 2009, MC already has a (10%?) price increase but in any case, their Nov. 2008 package costs (for 150 pax) P162k on a weekday and P167k on a weekend.  P580/head will be charged for the excess of 150 persons.  Package highlights are: wedding cake, wine, tiffany chairs for all, white carpet with petals, luminaries for guests’ tables, torch parade, bridal car or emcee, one-hour use of bubble machine.  For 200 or more guests, they throw in additional freebies such as: 6 bottles of wine for the presidential table, cocktail tables and appetizers or desserts for 100 persons.  Buffet menu consists of 1 salad, 1 entree, 1 pasta, steamed rice, 2 desserts and one round of 1 choice of beverage.  However, there are several upgrades you can choose from – of course, you need to pay an additional amount.  Package is VAT exclusive.  Check with them if they will still add a 12% VAT or if they really are non-VAT.  I’ve talked to one supplier, I just can’t remember which one, who specified that their prices are VAT exclusive.  When I told them my computed amount (I added the 12% VAT), they said that they won’t be charging VAT since they are non-VAT.  So better ask them first so you can spare yourself the unnecessary stress.  😉 

f.   Ceremony (the wedding proper, that is) set-up is P15k, which includes: monobloc chairs, kneeler, altar table, flowers for the altar, candles, carpet with petals and two pedestals for the aisle.

Why we like them:

The place is almost perfect for our taste!  It was well-maintained, charming, enclosed, airconditioned etc. etc. etc.!

Why we didn’t book them:

…However, the location made us hesitate.  It was so hard to look for a perfect church that can be accessible to Glass Garden.  Noly pa naman was very specific that he wants sana to hold the wedding near the reception or vise versa.  Of course there are nearby churches, but they just don’t have that ‘charm’.  Another consideration was the caterer.  We’re not sure if Manila Catering will give us value for our money.  We were also a bit concerned about our budget.  Glass Garden was the most expensive among our three final choices.  We thought that if both Oasis and Patio won’t be as charming as Glass Garden, we may book GG and just settle for (mas malayong) Christ The King Church, cut on other costs and risk hiring Manila Catering.

6. VILLE SOMMET

Address: 53 L.E. Rizal, Barangay Sicat, Alfonso, Cavite

Email add: villesommet@gmail.com

Tel. No.: 63-9178323908

Website: http://villesommet.com.ph

untitled

I’m such a confused (and confusing) bride, I know!  Even after Noly made an ultimatum that we won’t have an OOT wedding, I still inquired for Ville Sommet’s rates.  =D  The place looks beautiful and I just have this certain weakness for luscious greenery!  As of Nov. 11, 2008, here’s their offer:

a.  They have two venues:  the Glasshouse and the Pavilion.  The Glasshouse is 120k VAT inclusive for a minimum of 150 pax.  What’s good about the Glasshouse is it’s for 6 hours.  Freebies are: use of Chalet, aircon, maps and car passes.  The Pavilion, on the other hand is 45k VAT inclusive for a minimum of 80 pax.  This is for 4 hrs.  Freebies are: maps and car passes.

b. An additional P4k will be charged for the electricity and that’s for only 4 hours.  Overnight stay is P10k net for two, inclusive of breakfast.

c.  Accredited caterers are: VS&F catering, Josiah’s, Juan Carlo, Cibo Di M and K by Cunanan.  They don’t have any food+venue package tho and, per Ville Sommet, these caterers start at around 900 per head.

Why we (I, actually) like them:

Again, I’m a sucker for nature.

Why we didn’t book them:

Even if location is not a consideration, their rates is way beyond our budget.  So again, bye-bye OOT!  =D

7. THE GRAND TERRACE

Address: Villanueva Drive Corner Commonwealth Ave., Quezon City

Email add: info@grandterracevenue.com

Tel. No.: 932-7407 to 08

Website: http://www.grandterracevenue.com/

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Once again, I keep on thinking why we turned down Grand Terrace.  The place looks good…period!  Why do I get the feeling that I inquired once and just forgot to get back to the AE?  Anyway, I’ll try to figure out along the way…for the meantime, here’s their package as of Nov. 17, 2008:

a.  It has four venues:  the Lotus (80 pax) and Palm (300 pax) Gardens and the Lotus (200 pax) and Palm Halls (180 pax). From Mon-Thurs, rates are as follows: Lotus Garden – 10k for ceremony, 20k for reception; Venus Garden – 55k, Lotus Hall – 35k, Palm Hall – 40k, Lotus+Palm Hall – 80k, All Venues – 120k.  From Fri-Sun, rates are: Lotus Garden – 15k for ceremony, 25k for reception; Venus Garden – 70k, Lotus Hall – 50k, Palm Hall – 55k, Lotus+Palm Hall – 95k, All Venues – 150k.  They also have a ‘Whole Day Rate’, which is renting the venue for 10 hrs: Lotus Garden – 37.5k, Venus Garden – 90k, Lotus Hall – 70k, Palm Hall – 75k, Lotus+Palm Hall – 135k, All Venues – 185k.

b.  Venue rental includes: 5-hour use, 12-hour use of bridal suite, aircon, ample parking and generator set. 

c.  They have only one accredited caterer: VS&F catering.  Per head rate ranges from P650++ to 880++.  Inclusions are almost the same as any other ideal caterers (cake, doves, floral arrangements and the likes).

Why we like them:

It DOES look gorgeous…at least in the photos.  And it falls under our ‘Garden Venue’ criteria.

Why we didn’t book them:

Yet again, just because they don’t have a food+venue package.  It doesn’t feel right to be paying separately for the venue. 

8. PATIO VICTORIA

Address: 5435 Gen. Luna corner Vicroria Sts., Intramuros

Email add: inquiries@patiovictoria.com

Tel. Nos.: 526-1953/527-8006

Website: http://www.patiovictoria.com/

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First and foremost, let me just say that this may not be the perfect venue and this may pale in comparison to thousands of other venues.  But for Noly and me, this is just our true love.

A backgrounder: last January 31, 2009, Noly and I were down to two venue choices:  Oasis and Glass Garden.  They both passed our standards but somehow I felt that something was missing.  After much deliberations, we have decided to zero in on Oasis Manila because of three things:  It was more affordable (but by a few thousands only), it was more accessible and most of all, the prospective churches (Mt. Carmel and San Sebastian) are both beautiful yet accessible.  Come Monday, Feb. 2, I posted some questions at w@w re Oasis Manila bridal package.  Noly and I planned to drop by Oasis again on Feb. 7 to make a downpayment (we want to book as early as possible to get a price lock – I believe most suppliers increase their rates at around April of each year?).  Middle of that week, after numerous correspondences with Oasis brides, Pinky (w@w bride) sent me a pm asking questions (I dont think that it was even about Oasis) then the reception topic came up.  I told her that I’m a budget bride that’s why we wanted to get the best deal.  Sabi nya ‘Have you tried checking Patio Victoria?’.  Funny that I did check out Patio during my early periods of planning.  But for some reason, even if I liked what I saw, I got the impression that it’s one of the high-end venues.  Maybe because I didn’t inquire further and just was contented in checking the website.  Pinky sent me the package right away and was surprised that it was even more affordable than Oasis!

I immediately called up Noly and told him that we have to cancel our Oasis trip and, instead, go to Patio Victoria.  If we didn’t like it then we will definitely go for Oasis.  For days I was haunted with excitement by Patio Victoria.  Sure enough, when we finally visited the place, we were just so charmed by Intramuros, by San Agustin, and finally Ash the AE and Patio Victoria.  We decided then and there that this is gonna be ‘IT’.  Everything fell into place…church is very, very accessible (walking distance), package is generous, AE is superb, reception is a garden and is gorgeous, and our wedding date is available (again, in Oasis, our intended wedding date has been booked).  Funny that a last minute referral will actually lead us to the perfect one.  =)

Anyway, here’s an overview of the packages as of February 2009:

a.  For wedding rites, fees are: P15k if held at the same garden as the reception, P25k if held at the other garden, P30k if reception will not be held in Patio.  These fees include the rental, altar, kneeler, candles, sounds, chairs and flowers.

b.  Venue rental only costs P40k.  If you intend to hire another caterer, you have to pay an additional P8k.

c.  Wedding Packages – There are three diff. sets of menus.  The food station, which is like a buffet but, probably, all the dishes of Patio will be made available; the buffet menu, which has 5 packages depending on how many dishes you want to include; and the set menu, which is a sit-down dinner.  Price range of food station is from P150,600 to P397,600 (depends on how many guests you’re having – range is from 100 to 300 guests).  Per head exces is P995 net.   Price range of buffet menu is from P92k to P227,900 for Package 1 (P650/head in excess), P100,600 to P252,900 for Package 2 (P750/head in excess), P111,800 to P281,100 for Package 3 (P850/head in excess), P118,950 to 306k for Package 4 (P1,050/head in excess) and P144,800 to P361,100 for Package 5 (P1,150/head in excess).  Price range of set menu is P99k to 233,600 for Package 1 (P700/head in excess), P107,600 to P257,174 for Package 2 (P800/head in excess), P118,800 to P292,706 for Package 3 (P900/head in excess), P123,950 to P309, 376 for Package 4 (P1,100/head in excess) and P151,800 to P367,900 for Package 5 (P1,200/head in excess).

d.  Wedding package highlights are: Bottomless iced tea, complete set-up, three-tiered fondant cake by Hearts And Bells, torch or sword parade, a bottle of champagne, wedding cage with a pair of doves, guest book, photo tarp, bridal suite, red carpet, russian service for the presidential table, personalized place and menu cards, tiffany chairs, location map, complete mobile system and chocolate fountain. I believe Package 2 and up get to have a free bridal car.

Why YOU may be hesitant to book them:

I won’t deny that even if this is our true love, this venue is not perfect.  Parking will probably be the major problem as this doesn’t have its own parking.  However, parking assistants will be assigned to religiously assist your guests.  This is also an open area, so the weather may become a serious consideration.  Last of all, I am not very pleased with the restroom.  While it is clean, it’s not exactly presentable.

Why we booked them:

Intramuros is just GORGEOUS.  Patio Victoria blends right into it.  Not only do we adore how beautiful our venue is, we were also charmed by the affordability of their wedding packages.  Just looking at their package, you can tell that Patio takes weddings seriously as much as the brides do.  They don’t rip you off your hard earned money but, instead, they give you the wedding that you deserve.  Ash, my AE, is also so accommodating and patient.  She is always open to your suggestions/requests and will do whatever she can to give you your dream wedding.

Phew!  That was a loooonggg post and, what, 6 months in the making???  I must have been crazy thinking that I can finish this in a week’s time.

Anyway, I really hope somehow I was able to help…. ;(  Sorry for taking so long to post this.  Let me remind you again, that these are just my opinions.  Our reasons for not booking the others may not be as material to you as it was to us.

I am hoping to create a short post on churches, wedding rings and wedding coordinators.  ‘Short’ because choosing them didn’t take much effort and much time.  Then maybe short individual posts for the rest of our suppliers, that is, videographer, photographer, HMUA and gown designer.

My work load is presently killing me right now that I can’t put much time in blogging…and oh, Facebook and/or Farmtown also.  Hahaha!