Feb 18, 2017

Our Wedding Preparations

I have been on blog hiatus recently as I was busy with work and wedding preparations. 

I am happy to report that JM and I have graduated from wedding planning last February 4 with flying colors.

We got engaged on August 2015 which gave us at least a year and half to plan for our wedding, 

Even before we started our wedding planning, JM and I knew that we wanted a small wedding, with just our families and our very close friends. 

We settled on a maximum of 150 guests. This may not be small for some but for us, this was just right. 

Here are some tips for my readers who are planning to get married soon:


1. DECIDE ON YOUR BUDGET AND CREATE A WEDDING EXPENSE TRACKER

Weddings are not cheap. They will either eat up a chunk of your hard-earned savings, or require taking out a loan to finance (and yes this is an actual thing nowadays)

Couples should honestly talk and decide how much they are willing to spend for their dream wedding. It may be a one-day event, but the memory will last you forever. It does not need to be extravagant, but it does not mean that you have to scrimp on everything and regret it afterwards, either.

Before booking suppliers, I laid out a spreadsheet on how much we were willing to spend for each supplier. This way, we can narrow down the research on which suppliers we can afford.

I will not tell you how much exactly we spent, but I can assure you that we were very happy with the outcome. It was just the right amount of money that we were willing to spend and it was one of the best decisions that we have made as a couple.


2. CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING DATE

We were not very particular in picking our wedding date but we wanted it to fall on the first quarter of the year and we wanted to stay away from the rainy months. 

We initially planned to get married on January 28 since it falls on Chinese New Year which happened to be a long weekend holiday in Singapore. However, since our chosen venue is already booked on that day we decided to moved it to the next weekend which was February 4.

Note that if you are inviting guests from overseas, they will probably ask you not to have your wedding during the Christmas holiday season. Everybody and their dog is in the airport on a flight to somewhere, as the holidays are a peak travel season and can become very stressful. If you plan on having overseas guests, be considerate toward them. The struggle of air travel during the holidays is very real.


3. RESEARCH. RESEARCH. RESEARCH.

I was already doing research on suppliers even before we got engaged which is why I already have a shortlist of those who I liked (which I presented to my then-fiance).

I have been a long time member of the GirlTalk Female Network and WAW (Weddings At Work) communities which helped me a lot while I was doing my wedding research. I have gained a few friends over there who I constantly ask for reviews and suggestions about a particular supplier. It really helps to do your research early on as it will give you a peace of mind on the supplier that you booked.

During our wedding preparations, I was not able to attend a single Bridal Fair as I reside overseas. I delegated this to JM. Before he went, I made sure to check on the list of exhibitors and do research on them. We booked a few of our suppliers during the bridal fair who gave us additional discounts.


4. PICK YOUR ENTOURAGE

We have only three pairs of ninongs and ninangs, whose marriages we really look up to. We picked those whom we know can guide us during the ups and downs of our married life.

Since we wanted to cut on some expenses, we decided to drop the bridesmaids and groomsmen from our entourage and stick to the roles which are needed during the ceremony. We only have a best man, maid of honor, secondary sponsors, two flower girls, and two bearers. But since we still wanted our friends to be a part of our wedding, we gave them different roles during the ceremony. Some were assigned for the readings and others during the offertory.


5. ENJOY THE WEDDING PLANNING

It was not an easy ride during the wedding planning for JM and I, we have had disagreements and petty fights over some details. It also felt that most of our time was focused on the wedding planning and we are forgetting to spend quality time with each other. 

Since we started our wedding preparations a year in advance and most of our suppliers are already booked, we decided to take a break from wedding planning and to just enjoy our engagement period. Once we got back on the wedding planning, it was a more enjoyable experience for us. 

I have also grown closer to my friends who are getting married as well. We enjoyed researching and sharing stories during the wedding preparations.

JM and I want to give back to the communities and friends who have helped us planned our dream wedding, stay tuned for our detailed supplier’s review.

Dec 4, 2016

Weekends in Manila are Always the Best

I spent last weekend in Manila since we needed to apply for our Marriage License, and it requires the personal appearance of the contracting parties. Good for me, since I will take any reason to hop on a plane and fly home any given day (this applies to promo rates lang ha, hehe).

Aside from the heavy traffic getting from Point A to Point B, which is making Manila infamous nowadays, I did spend some time catching up with friends. 

I met with some of my college friends last Friday and since most of them work around the Bonifacio Global City area, I picked Elias for our dinner get-together.

If you recall in one of Jose Rizal’s famous novels, Noli Me Tangere, Elias is a prominent character. As the restaurant’s name implies, they serve Filipino food -- and me being me, I will never get tired of eating Filipino food.

The restaurant is so pretty!
I later found out that Elias is part of Chef Florabel’s chain of restaurants. One of them is Crisostomo, which I tried years back when it started operation in Resorts World Manila. I remember I liked their food and they hadthese witty menu names.

We reached the restaurant around 5pm, and since it was too early for dinner, we were the first customers. I did liked the ambience of the place. It felt like being transported to one of Manila’s old houses.
Don Rafael
(Classic Crispy Pata – Deep-Fried Pork Leg with Garlic Sauce, Atchara & Soy Vinegar) Php 695

Sinigang Gomez (Sinigang ng Baboy sa Sampalok) Php 395

Tinapa Salted Egg Rice
Php 265

Adobo Rice
Php 265
and Pacita
(Inihaw na Tilapia stuffed with Onions, Tomatoes, Green Peppers & Pandan) Php 375

The food tasted familiar but in a good way; it was like eating at your lola’s house.

The takaw gang!
The next day, I met up with, Ate Crese, one of my high school friends who also became my roommate in Singapore. We decided to meet in Uptown Mall BGC and have lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, one of Bistro Group’s restaurants.


SCREAMIN' NACHO BURGER
Chipotle BBQ Seasoned Burger, Tortilla Chips, Pepper Jack Cheese And Southwestern Ranch Dressing. Jalapenos And Pico De Gallo Replace The Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, And Pickle On This Burger.

BUFFALO RANCH CHICKEN WRAP
A Large Flour Tortilla Loaded With Crispy Chicken Buffalo Tenders™ Topped With Our Signature Medium Sauce And Ranch Dressing, Rolled With A Blend Of Cheeses, Lettuce And Tomatoes.

BUFFALO WINGS with
Asian Zing and Sweet BBQ sauces
Takaw gang part 2!
The wraps are pretty good and serving size is quite big. I suggest ordering more buffalo wings and just sharing a wrap with a friend.

I notice that the restaurant choices in Manila are now beginning to get more variety. 

Does it mean Pinoys are becoming more adventurous when it comes to food?

Elias
Bonifacio High Street Central, 
7th avenue corner 30th street, 
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Buffalo Wild Wings
Uptown Place Mall, 
36th Street Corner 9th Avenue, 
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Nov 13, 2016

My Wedding Proposal Story

A lot of people do not know how JM and I met. Nine years ago, we met through a common friend on the social media site Multiply. JM had a Nokia 5310 cellphone back then, and I left a comment asking how it was as a phone. After a few months of being acquaintances, he asked if he can drive me home and it was a constant answer of no from me.

After a few more tries, I thought why not give him a chance, as he sounds friendly naman. 

We became friends for a few more months and had friendly dates from time to time. Then we hit a bump along the friendship road and decided to part ways. During this time that we were apart, we realized that we liked each other. 

So we got back together and as cliché as it was, the rest was history.

JM and I had talked about marriage a few years back but we knew we were not yet ready until we had a place of our own. So after the construction of our home, we knew that the next step was to get married. I was already doing research about weddings but nothing was concrete since JM had not formally asked me to marry him yet! 


On August 15, 2015, a week before my birthday and our house blessing, JM asked me to check out our master's bedroom. I was surprised that there was a bouquet of flowers in the bed. By this time, I was already expecting him to propose! I was so in the moment! 

Naiiyak na ako sa tuwa! 

When I turned around, he handed me a huge paper bag! Imagine my disappointment when I opened the paper bag and saw Judy Ann’s cookbook (which I loved by the way) as his birthday gift!!!! 

I did not show him how disappointed I was and said my thank you. 

Then he said, “Basahin mo naman yung card.” 

So when I read the card it said, “Hope you liked my second gift”

My legs were already turning into jelly and when I turned around, there he was, half-kneeling and asking me to marry him. 

My hair was a mess, I hadn’t showered yet, I was very sleepy since I just arrived that morning from Singapore, but my heart was so full. I was extremely happy. There he was, my best friend, asking me to marry him. Of course I said YES.
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