Archive for February, 2009

Hmmm…what have I learned from the setting of the date and the Pamamanhikan?…

Well with regard to the setting of the date, I think it can be the first frustrating decision a couple has to make esp if you’re pressured by time.  It’s easy to say that it’s easy to set a date, however, if you’re already at it, you’ve got so many things to consider:

1. Of course the most obvious is how available are the venues that you intend to book, not to mention your most important suppliers (suppliers such as the videographers, photographers, hair and make-up artists, coordinators, florists and couturiers need to be available on your wedding and are the first ones you must book esp if you are eyeing particular dream suppliers).

2. Determine if you both plan to have it on a weekend, on a Friday (some venues include Fridays as part of their weekends) or on a weekday; if it’s brunch, lunch, afternoon or evening affair.  This is because, some days and time slots are more in demand (and therefore harder to book) and as such, more expensive.  It’s more expensive to have it on a Saturday and Sunday and can be more expensive if it’s held on a later time slot, dinner time being the most expensive.  Not to mention the fact that, if you have it during the weekdays, it means that you get to have a fewer number of guests.  While this can help your budget, you may be heartbroken to know that the people that you’re dying to see on your wedding day can’t make it!

3. Your wedding day will always and eternally be important for both of you.  But as much as possible, try to be inspired in choosing your wedding date.  As mentioned earlier, we chose ours because ’26’ is a memorable number for us that it would still feel nostalgic to celebrate each anniversary on a 26 – which is also our monthsary.

4. Feel free also to be practical…it always depends of course, in your priorities.  If your ideal date cant be available but you need to have it in a particular month, choose a date which passes all your other qualifications, say, you want to have it in December, it must be a weekend, it must be an evening affair.  Some couples also choose their anniversary based on their most ‘un-busy’ schedules.  Say after your fiscal year, after your audit season etc. etc.  Some even choose a holiday (for a yearly honeymoon trip) or the day after a payday!

5. Yes, the wedding is all about you and your future spouse.  But still, you’ve to consider the availability of your guests esp those closest to your hearts!  Your wedding will only happen once, can you deal with having it on your favorite date yet, say, your only brother can’t make it, or, say, your dad can’t walk you down the aisle because of uhmmm…visa problems?  Of course, bottomline is, make sure that your desire to have all your loved ones attend your wedding day should be reasonable and feasible.  Sometimes, as much as you want everyone to be present, it’s insane to wait for all of them to be available.

Next stop: The Pamamanhikan

I’m not a genius when it comes to the traditions of Pamamanhikan.  As mentioned in my previous post, I just know that there’s the food tradition and then the formal agreement of the parents of both parties to have their kids get hitched.  As to the other traditions, I’m not sure exactly if they are applicable to us.

But if you really need to know, per my sister in law, it can be helpful if the engaged couple have prepared for the pamamanhikan in the sense that they already know the type of wedding, the motif, the ideal venue, the initial list of entos, etc.  Per Mommy Shai, after the formal agreement of the parents, the engaged couple must then take the center stage and list down their wedding plans.

As for Noly and I, it was a bit awkward to do this (esp for me) since his parents are spending for most of the wedding expenses.  For us, even if we may have a mental picture of our ideal wedding, we can’t narrow down the (wide range of) choices unless we are informed of their budget.  So there!

Oh, I just learned recently from a friend (co-worker) that if you’re chinese, the family of the groom doesnt bring food.  They instead bring with them fabrics or gold.  I guess that would be interesting to witness…but I’d go for the food anytime!  =)


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Since ‘Pamamanhikan’ only happens once and this is the first time that my parents and his parents get to see and talk with each other, we were both looking forward to this!  We have no idea how this happens and for some reason we never bothered to ask.  For us, Pamamanhikan serves as a go-signal to formally start the wedding planning and is a medium for both families to get to know each other.  Traditions such as the kainan, the formal asking of the bride’s hand by the groom’s parents, the discussion of wedding and marriage plans, are just formalities, which we can skip at a later discussion.  Besides, regardless of how things turn out, Noly and I are still determined to get married, right?   =)

Before Noly told his parents about our engagement, his parents were really set to come to Manila in December.  When his parents found out about our engagement, we all decided to have the pamamanhikan in December also.  This may seem too early but – first, this may be the only time that his parents will visit him in Manila and second, it feels, well, “off” to start planning our wedding without the Pamamanhikan.

December 18, 2008 – Noly’s parents arrived in Manila.  They then decided to set the Pamamanhikan on Dec. 27 but since the compound of our LP house was mourning the death of their matriarch (we are the only tenants who are not related to the matriarch), we found it improper to hold a semi festivity during the wake.  We then decided to hold it on Dec. 25, at my brother’s house in Fairview.

After the loooongest wait for the Pamamanhikan to finally take place, the 25th has arrived.  We had our Christmas lunch at my brother’s in-laws (a few-minute-drive from his house).  The pamanhikan is at 3pm.  I decided to go back to my bro’s house at 2pm to just feel settled and ready.  However, I was persuaded to leave at 2.45 pm.  Being pinoys, I expected Noly and his family’s arrival at around 3pm or later.  Unfortunately, while I decided to leave at 2.45 p.m. from the Christmas lunch, Noly’s side arrived earlier than expected!  So when we were near my brother’s house, Noly and company were already parking!  Being my family’s driver, I was sooo harrassed cus I still need to park, do some last minute clean-ups AND change into a more respectable set of clothes!  In the end, I don’t think I was successful in making the perfect first impression since tumatagaktak ang pawis ko, and was in my normal malling clothes when my family received them.   Haaayyy….To this day, for some reason, I cannot remember if I was able to change into something more appropriate!  We were so unprepared that nobody remembered to take pictures!

Anyway, so here comes the parade of the fooooddd….their family brought with them all kinds of putahe!  Not only that, his mom was a great cook that the food was mouth-watering!  Dont expect me to enumerate the dishes cus cooking was never one of my favorite chores, but I swear that everything was delicious!

Then came the gory, and shall I say, embarassing part where the parents must settle all pre-marriage issues as if Noly and I were non-existent.  Basically, they talked about the when and where and their preferences.  Noly’s dad’s request was to have a superb caterer since he knows that pinoys can be meticulous when it comes to food.  My mom’s request is not to have the wedding in Bamboo Organ (some five minutes away from our house) cus she doesnt want uninvited, unwanted guests (i.e., neighbors).

My dad on the other hand, focused on our married life, stating that “the kids” should be financially prepared for marriage.  That we should start a business if we can before marriage.  For him, it’s senseless to spend thousands for a wedding if we can’t support our future family – something which both sides have agreed on.

My brother, trying to lighten things up, demanded that he “must not be forced to wear barong.  I want to wear coat and tie.”.  Kuya Chah, my brother, is a long-haired guy, who very seldom wears white. =)

In the end, Noly and his family must leave earlier than planned since they are having car problems.  Sad that it has to end soon but glad also that we survived the Pamamanhikan.  =)

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As mentioned in my previous posts, our first choice of wedding month was in December 2009.  When we checked the calendar, we checked all Saturday dates…


…and decided that we’ll have it on December 19, 2009 since our guests are still in town and because we feel that we can have a looonggg honeymoon because of the Christmas break.

However, when we started calling venues in November, almost all venues are booked on Dec. 19!  I can’t believe that someone has actually already booked a December 2009 wedding as early as October and November 2008!  So we’ve to give up the Dec. 19 date and look for another Saturday date!  We then decided to move it to Dec. 26, 2009 since 26 is our monthsary.  This is gonna be risky, though, since most Manila-based guests may go to their respective provinces for their Christmas vacation.  After checking at some more venues and found out that most venues are still open on this date (I guess, most couples dont want to have it right after Christmas), we still decided that it may be best to move the wedding to a later date.  After all, we realized that we are more financially capable in 2009 and that though a one year wedding preparation is possible, we dont want to harrass ourselves in choosing our suppliers and end up impulsively booking the wrong ones.

So we decided to have it in June 2010 (and no, not because I was dying to be a June bride – read: previous post)

 Save The Date

We again checked the calendar and luckily, June 26 falls on a Saturday!  We wanted badly to still have our anniversary on a 26 so we were either lucky, or this is just F-A-T-E.

So we decided on having it on June 26, and never let go.  =D

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I Need A Holiday

As I was reading my previous posts, I cant help but feel frustrated on how it was “poorly” written.  “Poorly” meaning, it wasnt spontaneous – it wasnt relaxed, it was hurried and it was written for the sake of writing.  All this because I wanted badly to have an updated blog re my wedding preps YET I just dont have the time and energy to do it.  ‘Tis the season to be stressed for me, because Jan-April is our audit season.

I…just…wanted…to (ho-hum) sleep (almost closing my eyes)…and wake up…hopefully…after audit….season….zzzzzzz….

This is the main reason why I dont want to have our wedding from Jan-April.  No, I didnt intentionally decide on being a June bride.  I just dont wanna look harrassed come wedding day…and yes, I beg you to give me a month (May) to restore my blush and glamour.

Dear Lord help me.  I just wanna rest…. ;(

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I’ve had so many realizations, discoveries, great finds…and of course, lessons learned.  As much as I can, I’ll try to post after event reviews of, not only the wedding suppliers but also of the wedding planning itself.  Pre-engagement, as I watch friends get married off, I knew that getting married requires hardwork.  But I never knew that there are sooooooo many considerations that I didnt know of, even if I have always lusted to be a wedding planner.

So my first leg is regarding our engagement and informing your family.  Remember though, that this is based on my situation and that I dont plan to post a politically-correct evaluation.

First:  The Engagement

I realized that no matter how you prepared for and  imagined how your own engagement will take place, you will still be caught off-guard.  Looking back, I wonder if guys actually have a special instinct to know when’s the right time to propose since almost always, girls say yes.  I’m saying this because (and Noly knows this), before I got in a relationship with Noly, I have always loved my independence and the word submission is alien to me.  To be really honest, this was one of the things that we have to deal with as a couple.  I used to be as stubborn as h**l…  I knew what I want and I stuck with what I want REGARDLESS…  Noly is my first boyfriend and I had a hard time adjusting to having to consider someone in making my decisions.  Now, I realized that God gives you someone who will complement you.  During the first year, Noly was very patient with my shortcomings, as I was able to tolerate his.

Anyway, (going back to the engagement),  for some reason, Noly knew that I would say yes.  If he proposed during “those stubborn early years” he might have received a different answer…yet regardless of how bad my mood was right before his proposal, when he asked me to get married, I willingly and happily said yes!

Let’s go now to the second part: the dreaded “I have to tell my family” part.  Hmmm…what have I learned from this?  I guess this experience only reminded me how protective and loving my family are and how special I am to them.  Yes, it was stressful convincing them that we’re ready but still, I was overwhelmed by how much they care about me.  I realized also that no matter how your parents may disapprove of your marriage (in my case, just because my mom finds it hard to let go of me), they will still look forward to the wedding and the only way to slowly convince them is to subtlely involve them with the wedding decisions.  What I do is, I consult/ask my mom what her opinions are re entos, theme, motif, venue and church choices.  In fact, the next time that we decide to visit our reception venue, I plan on making her come with us! =)

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Then came the (what I thought was) the hardest part…telling my dad.  Remember what I told you that my mama walked out on me?  Her parting words were: “Ikaw ang magsabi sa Papa mo nyan.  Hindi ako magsasabi nyan.”  So as much as I can, I delayed telling my dad about it, hoping that my mom will (or will someone please) tell my dad eventually.  In the end, it took me only a week for my Dad and I to talk about it.  Again, it was a Saturday.  I was having breakfast with my bestfriend-niece, Tammy.  Then my dad just sat down beside Tammy and told Tam: “Lubos lubosin mo na ang paglalambing mo dyan.  Mag-aasawa na yang si Mama Potpot mo.”  (my nieces and nephews call us titas, ‘Mama’) …then I was speechless for a second or two.  When I recovered I just went straight to the point “Eh Papa, ready naman na kami.  Matagal na rin kami ni Noly.  Dont worry please…”  (Noly and I have been together for almost 3 years!).  Surprisingly, my father calmly replied: “Eh!  Iniexpect ko na rin naman yan eh.  Akala ko nga dati wala kang balak mag-asawa eh.  Nasa edad ka na rin naman eh.  Bottomline is, it’s your choice.  If you wanna get married, then go ahead!”…I almost hugged and kissed my dad!  I was so happy!

Later, when Tammy and I were playing inside my parents’ room, she asked me if I really was getting married.  When I said yes, she pouted, but smiled right away…I guess she knows that I’m happy with my decision.  My 8-year-old niece will always think maturely.  Kaya nga I call her my bestfriend-niece cus you can really talk sense with her.  =)

Noly’s telling his side was smooth-sailing.  He just called up his dad, told him about it, then they just discussed the specifics – the when and where (Manila or otherwise, I guess).  Well, he is the guy…actually he is the ONLY son, so this engagement was not only anticipated but eventually necessary…=)  It was a big relief that somehow, we survived this part of getting married.

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A Substory

It’s so much fun to be part of w@w (weddings at work) – besides the free counselling, tips and advice, you get to have endless chitchats with fellow brides (and a few grooms actually).  Much as I tried to avoid posting current wedding kwentos before I’m finished chronologically updating you with our wedding planning, there’re just some topics that I’m dying to post right away!

Well, for now, among others, here’s two that I just have to post!

First: peppermint-media is coming to the w@w anniversary to do free pre-nups!  Woohoo!  Unfortunately, Noly and I are still in the waiting list since when I decided to register, I was too late.  =(  I’m crossing my fingers that we get to be invited!  I’m soooo excited to see their samples!  And of course to have a try on how they do the prenup!  Peppermint-media by the way, is a Naga-based photographer.  I got their name from w@w, of course…=)

Second: In line with w@w’s 10th year anniversary, w@w members get to vote for their top 5 wedding suppliers for the initial top 10.  Then they get to pick 3 out of the suppliers who made it to the top 10, then I guess just 1 from the top 5.  Anyway, there are hundreds of popular suppliers recommended by w@w brides but we limited our criteria to two: 1. they produce GREAT outputs; 2. they take good care of potential/existing and previous clients.  So here are our votes:

1. Phoeben Teocson – To be really honest, the first time I saw Jason M.’s work at my friend’s wedding (some 1 or 2 yrs ago?), I told myself that I will never get married if I wont get this guy.  Come wedding planning, I got depressed since I realized that getting Jason is impractical and selfish (since wedding is a two-person show, and I’m not the only one who calls the shots).  For a few weeks, I was resigned to the idea that I guess, I just have to choose videographers who are also superb in their craft BUT doesnt suit my taste.  As I was reading videog suggestions from w@w sisses, I checked them one by one….and later on, eliminated them one by one – I guess still hoping that I’d find “the one”.  During that time, phoeben’s name came up but I was having problems with their website that I was only able to successfully view one of their videos 1 or 2 wks after they were recommended.  And dah-lin, when I saw their on-site video, I just fell in love with it!  If I was a cartoon character, I probably would have two big hearts on my eyes!  And when I checked their rates, man, it was unbelievably affordable!  So I bombarded gen with a million or so questions, which she very patiently and willingly answered!  So not only was I smitten by their vids but I was also charmed by her/their attitude towards clients!  So when we visited bim last Feb. 15, it was the first time Noly was able to check their vids.  Noly is not a big fan of impulsive spending but I JUST DIDNT GIVE IN, i told him WE MUST BOOK PHOEBEN NOW (in my sweetest most carinosa tone…hehehehe).  So after that long explanation, I guess you know why we voted for him..hehe…

2. Redsheep Photography – Guj is a newbie photographer (in fact, he just started out late last year!) but his works are great!  Though we’re hesitant to book him yet (we need to see his samples first and check if our tastes really match), we were impressed by how down-to-earth, religious and patient he is!  He must be the fastest supplier to reply to my emails!

3. Cecilio Abad – Tito Cecil is one of the most revered wedding gown designers.  His works are perfect!  YET, when you talk to him it’s as if he’s unaware of how popular he is!  He’s so easy to talk to and very mabiro!  And never have I heard any negative feedbacks about him.

4. Patio Victoria – I love Ash, my AE, I love the place, the food, the affordable packages…well, I love my own!  =)

5. Gretchen Pichay – Young wedding gown designer.  She’s a newbie in the wedding industry.  But I checked her works and they were impressive!  She’s also the sweetest thing whenever I talk to her.  =)

So after the initial counting of ballots, the suppliers are down to 10 and Phoeben and Cecilio got in!  =)  I was about to vote for them both (and abstain the third) but I thought that, since we’re voting for the prestigious top 5, I’ve to choose only 1 – and yes, we voted for bim and gen…=)  And as much as I’d like to give a deeper reason than “we just wanna choose them”,  I guess we cant produce a good one.  So there…=D  Hope they win!

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