Thursday, June 27, 2013

Supplier Review and More Tips - All

(still a work in progress.... try to visit again for the complete review)

Update: as of June 29: Added, HMUA, Wedding Gown supplier, Tito Boy Kastner on barong and ento gowns

So far I have reviewed our Caterer and our Coordinator and unfortunately, medyo hindi maganda naging experience ko sa kanila.

Now, this time happy supplier reviews naman, lol (although may konti pa ring medyo sablay sa huli).

Score is from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest. 11 means exceed expectations/super love.

Without much further ado. In no particular order. By the way, our color motif is peach with an accent color of yellow. Theme is Travel and Paris.

Judy Uson : For our Cascading Sugar Flowers cake
Score 11/10

click for better view
Ang ganda-ganda ng cake namin! Sinunod nila yung mga details na sinabi ko to the dot. What color combination to use, what kind of sugar flowers to put in (rose, calia, jasmine, etc) , those intricate white patterns on the side of the cake, the grapes, the gold ribbon. It's perfect. Sayang lang hindi ko sya natitigan ng husto. I wish I can order a miniature version of our cake, like a figurine, for souvenir.

 Our cake is a cascading flower cake. The flowers all look real and they all look botanically correct! And at the same time everything is edible (the flowers are all made of gumpaste and sugar) and it taste good! Also, the cake didn't break into pieces, like most fondant cakes, when we started slicing it because the icing is not hard, more like chewy.

We ordered a 4-layer cake, cupcakes (gifts for my entourage), mini cake (gift ko sa ninongs/ninangs, my mom and dad). Even the mini cakes are pretty. Nakakatuwa talaga.

It's just unfortunate na Sir Batch passed away before our wedding but I did get to meet him when I went home briefly to take care of some wedding errands. Ok kausap si Sir Batch. Madali kausap.

Team On Site Studio : Photobooth Extraordinaire
Score: 11/10

for more samples: 
We love our 4D photo studio! We opted against photobooth kasi parang ang sobrang gasgas na.
It's a Paris themed photo studio. Medyo nag-worry pa ako nun kasi when I met with them personally during my very short visit in the Philippines sabi nila bibigyan nila ako ng picture practice set-up nila, pero wala ako na-receive. When I asked them about it, sabi nila hindi na nila ginawa dahil magastos, because they get real flowers, etcetera. Pero I trust them that they would do superb naman so OK lang. Tapos mga a few days before the wedding, nasa Pinas na kami ni hubby nun, they sent us a picture asking us ano mas gusto naming background. Medyo nagulat nga kami kasi akala namin yung gagamitin nila yung pinakita na nila sa akin dati pa, the one that they used for their Bridal Fair booth. They sent us an indoor and outdoor Paris setting, and both photos are with Eiffel Tower. We really want the inside the house setting, para may sofa, frames, flowers, chandelier, the works, kaya we still chose the indoor photo. And kahit hindi na sya yung original photo na I thought we'll be using e maganda pa rin kinalabasan. My guests love it!

Nagdala nga pala ako ng props. So yung mga boa, hats, glasses, masks, tiaras, etc dala ko na.

cousins, nieces, bro, sister-in-law

Ang pinagsisisihan ko lang, hindi ko naisip to invite my guests to have their pix taken with me and the hubby dun sa photo studio. We do have the table to table pix naman pero mas maganda sana kung ang background yung sa photobooth namin. Team OSS actually suggested that, na dun gawin yung yung table to table kaso, advise ni coordinator parang awkward naman daw kung papalabasin pa yung guests sa reception, tapos pasok ulit to get their food. Kasi di ba, you usually do table to table pix if it's time to go to the buffet na.

Ang medyo sablay lang, which I really don't mind, may mga 5 shots na nakalusot na hindi ko guests, na guests from another event. Siguro pag ganun, advise ko to  ask your guests to bring their invitations at yun papakita nila sa Team OSS for their picture para walang outsider na makalusot.

Pero masaya pa rin! I love Team OSS!
For more sample of the photos click here.

Missy Ferrer : Emcee
Score 10/10

Bilib mga guests ko sa kanya kasi magaling daw sya. Parang professional daw talaga. Sabi ko nga: "eh professional po talaga yun!". Haha, nakakatawa lang mga reactions ng iba guests namin. Hindi ata nila alam na emcee ngayon for wedding for hire na rin. Anyway, yun nga she's good. She exudes authority na hindi bossy ang dating. Like sa games na medyo may pasaway na participants, napapa-follow nya, pero hindi intimidating ang dating. Basta, hirap i-explain. Basta OK sya. She's also very articulate. Sabi nga ni hubby naiintindihan nya daw sya (hubby's an American). She's funny din.

Tuwang-tuwa ako sa mga bachelor/bachelorette games na ni-suggest nya. Halos malaglag ngalangala namin ni hubby kakatawa nung bachelorette game na. Nakakatuwa pa na niwi-wish namin yung bestman ang makakuha ng garter at sya nga nakakuha kaya double saya!

Mayone Bakunawa : HMUA
Score: 9/10

mayone doing retouch & fixing my veil

I really like how she did my make-up both sa trial and wedding itself. I don't have a good skin pero nagmukhang flawless ako! And it's true na she stays until reception pero until before the grand entrance lang and not til the end. Ewan ko nga bakit naisip ko until the end of reception. I like it din na pag tinatanong ko sya about make-up at pano gagawin pag ganito-ganyan she shares her tips.

the loose strands
Ang medyo ayoko ko lang yung sa hairstylist nya. Ok yung ginawa sa buhok ko pero yung sa mom ko parang mabilisan ang pagkagawa. May specific instruction si mama kung pano gagawin sa buhok nya (her religion is dating daan so sobrang haba ng buhok nya), which is pusod lang pero naka-curl and fold yung whole length tapos pusod sa ilalim yung end. Nakita ko yung buhok nya ang daming loose hair na nawaka sa fold. Not sure kung nilagyan nya yung spray net o hindi.

Pronovias : Wedding Gown
Score: 10/10

the detachable one-shoulder (left)

this used to be a zipper back

I decided against getting a gown from famous designers in the Philippines because it's more expensive. So when I finallt decided I want to wear a Pronovias gown, I went looking for a premium bridal store for Pronovias (Van Cleve Wedding Pavilion). Then,  I ordered my 6-yard veil from Tito Boy Kastner, who is also my couturier for my entourage....

Medyo na-stress ako sa gown supplier ko kasi ine-expect ko gown ko na dumating 3 months before pick-up time pero hindi dumating until 1 1/2 months, which is still OK pero yun nga lang gahol na sila for alteration. My gown is originally a zipper closure but when I placed my order I told them I want it converted to corset (so it would still look OK even if lose or gain weight) and I want a detachable one-shoulder strap (because I'm crazy over one-shoulders, lol). The detachable strap is easier to do but I'm not sure about the corset. Needless to say, they were able to give me my gown two weeks before I left for the Philippines. Pinakaba nila ako sobra!

My husband just hand carried my gown, and since he's flying business class the steawardess were more than willing to help him stow my wedding gown in a safe place. I have friends who hand-carried their gown from the U.S. too and even if you don't fly business class and tell the steawardes you need a place to hang your wedding gown they were still very accommodating.

I bought this bag nga pala (see pic below) to make the carrying of my gown easier. Got it from Amazon. But I didn't fold it until after the wedding. They said the rollers inside the bag would prevent folds but I don't want to take any chances kaya I asked the hubby to carry it like a bride, lol.

Boy Kastner Santos : Groom's Coat Barong and Female Ento's gown 
Score: 8/10

We got hubby's black coat barong, my dad and my brother's barong and all the female ento's gown. I also got my 6-yard veil from him. We're supposed to get my mom's gown from him too but she didn't attend the measurement appointment that she ended up getting her barong dress from SM. The barong dress at SM are also nice but my mom "customized" it and it didn't turn out the way I would hope it to be. Hindi ko nagustuhan, but as long as she's happy with her gown then, Ok.

Anyway, Tito Boy was kind enough to go to our house in Makati to get the measurements of the wedding party. He agreed to do the same for the fitting but come fitting time busy raw sya so I ended up renting a van to take all my ento to his shop in Cavite.

I saw the initial design thru FB pix that my ento posted and was a bit disappointed about the straps. Mukha kasing leigh. I guess, masyado lang ako maarte, kasi sabi naman ni hubby OK lang. Anyway, dahil hindi ako mapakali, I emailed him and gave him samples of what I was hoping the straps to be. He didn't reply after I sent those emails which kinda got me worried but I decided to let go of that part. That time kasi I was worried din with my wedding gown so I just chose which items I should stress over and I chose my wedding gown, lol. Fortunately,  he fixed it naman. I was slightly disappointed when I saw the gowns doesn't have embelishments on them (beads, etc) and I emailed him about it too. I was willing to pay extra to put some beads sana but again, he never replied, haaay. Buti na lang maganda pa rin kinalabasan.

the "before" strap

the "after" straps
one of my favorite pix with my girls

All my secondary sponsors have the grecian design while the bridesmaids all have different starap design (one-shoulder, off-shoulder/u-shoulder, tube). Lahat sila sweetheart neckline.  My main color is peach and the accent color is yellow. So I asked Tito Boy to give the bridesmaids a yellow shawl dahil sila lang ang walang yellow accent. One of my Bridesmaids thought of putting the shawl as belt and it turned out nice din.

15-58 : Florist
Score: 7/10

Sinunod naman nila yung instructions namin pero parang tinipid kami sa flowers and to think na nag-upgrade kami. Cute lang yung post na ginamit nila for the aisle pero yung flowers parang naghihingalo na at kalbo ang dating. Tapos parang lanta-lanta na  yung flowers na ginamit for the bridesmaids bouquet. Buti na lang hindi ako kumuha ng bouquet sa kanila. My bouquet nga pala is brooch bouquet that I made myself. Same brooch bouquet that I used on our civil wedding. Note nga pala na hindi sila ang provider ng flowers sa reception tables, from Josiah na yung flowers na yun.

Notre Dame De Vie : Church
Score 9/10

9 lang score kasi pinahirapan kami sa requirements. Although I think lahat naman ng church ganun. I like Notre Dame De Vie kasi very photogenic din. Medyo may kaliitan pero (short lang ang aisle) pero carry na rin! The drapes on the ceiling are very dramatic.

click for better view

click for better view


Score: To follow

Hindi pa dumadating yung album kaya to follow na lang din yung score. Pero so far ok naman yung mga pix nila.


Score: To follow

We haven't received our DVD yet so to follow na lang yung score. But we do like our SDE. We also like how their so easy to work with and how their team is very very very creative.

Fernbrook : Reception Venue
Score: 8/10

click for better view
Eto pasaway sila nung una. Talagang lagi ako naha-highblood na muntik-muntik ko na talagang i-cancel yung booking namin. Kung hindi lang talaga sila sobrang ganda talagang hindi ako magtityaga. Yung una kong AE kasi talagang inuugat ako bago sumagot. Nakaka-praning kaya lalo na kung ang tanong mo ay kung na-receive na nila bayad mo at nag-aantay ka ng resibo.

Tapos malaman-laman ko hindi na pala sya connected sa Fernbrook. Ang naging bagong AE ko si Ronica. Nung sya na naging AE ko naging smooth na dealings ko with Fernbrook. I recommend Ronica for AE, mabilis sya sumagot at i-inform ka nya kung mawawala sya ng ilang araw at hindi sya makakasagot sa emails. Karamihan sa guests ko first time nila sa Fernbrook and they're all impressed by it. Photogenic kasi masyado Fernbrook na kahit ang tagal-tagal namin mag-pictorial feeling namin they didn't mind kasi busy siila kaka-picture around Fernbrook (at nakatulong din yung onsite photo studio). Pag sa Fernbrook ka nag-book automatic pede ka na dun magpa-prenuptial photos. At kung ano yung amenity na pinili nyo pede nyo rin sya gamitin sa prenuptial photos (in our case pati prenuptial video). We got the gondola kaya we were able to use that din sa prenuptial photos/video.

the pocket garden where we have our cocktail area set-up

onsite studio set-up just outside of byzantine 2
We booked Byzantine 2 nga pala. Which is good kasi may small pocket garden for cocktail. It's also big enough that we were able to accommodate the onsite studio set-up. Eto nga pala video ng Byzantine 2 kapag empty: Byzantine 2

Jo Acierto : Caricature Artist
Score: 10/10

jo made the caricarture with the airport background
i added everything outside the airport background

Ok sya. Very accommodating kahit ang kulit ko at kung anu-anong details pinapabago ko. I used his caricatures sa door hang tags namin (bride & groom's), sa STD sa church wedding namin sa Pinas at sa wedding site namin.

Figgie Shoes: Custom-painted shoes
Score: 11/10
click for better view
click for better view
Now, I just bought a red shoes from then I shipped the shoes in Canada (where is based), gave her the personal items i want painted on my wedding shoes and that's it. For a more detailed shoe story read: not your ordinary wedding shoes.

Trinkets and Favors by Design Avenue : Wedding Paraphernalia
Score: 10/10

I just told them our motif is peach and yellow and then i sent them our logo and that's it! A few weeks later we already have our bible, unity candle, offertory candles, secondary's sponsor candles, couple's candles, ringbearer pillow, arrhae pillow, cord.


Aljoe Mix: Lights and Sounds

Score: 5/10
ambience lighting
We like our lightings. Ang naiinis lang kami sa kanila they promised to give us free bubble machine tapos biglang wala at hindi man lang nagpa-aberya. Para naman sana nakahanap kami ng ibang bubble machine supplier. Eh para sa first dance dapat namin yun. Sa choice of songs at caliber ng sounds OK naman. Pero wala sa guests kong sumayaw after the program.

GQ : Mobile Bar
Score: 4/10 (4 for effort)

We booked Flair-up mobile bar but according to Fernbrook and our wedding coordinator, Flair-up hasn't settled their accounts with Fernbrook yet that they prohibit them from operating their bar inside the Fernbrook facilities. This is why they got GQ instead.

the lonely GQ bar, lol

What I don't like about GQ (and I'm not sure if this holds true for all mobile bars) is that when a guest want something from the bar na hindi kasali sa menu they would tell the guest that they have to pay. I guess this is an oversight on our part, na we could have made arrangements na pag may guest na gusto ng certain drinks just give it to them, tapos singilin n lang kami later. Kasi I still cringe at my guests stories about how they saw my sister-in-law (hubby's older sister) trying to get a glass of wine (kasi nga di ba, Josiah didn't provide wine sa VIPs) at biglang pagpunta nya sa bar biglang sinisingil sya. Nakakahiya lang. Sobra.

Isa pang ayaw namin ay parang hindi kami naaliw sa lasa ng mocktails/cocktails. Ang tabang. Parang one molecule lang ata ng alcohol nilalagay nila.

SJT Strings : 
Musician Score: 8/10

We booked for Set A. Piano, Violin, Flute, Double Bass (4 instruments)
Pero nag-upgrade kami at nagpadagdag ako ng sax at female singer.
Pero nag-suggest ang SJT na imbis na mag-book na extra tanggalin na lang yung flute at gawing sax na lang. So ang Set A naging: Piano, Violin, Sax, Double Bass (4 instruments).

Tapos naging 2 singers ang naging upgrade, one male, one female. Now, we paid extra for Donnie. Kaso come wedding day, nawalan na raw ng boses si Donnie and had to get another male singer. What they did is they just added an extra violin na lang daw (as you can see from the photo there are 5 musicians na). I'm very disappointed kasi I really like Donnie's voice pero ano naman magagawa mo di ba? Kung totoo ngang nawalan ng boses si Donnie (at hindi dahil na-overbook lang, or they got a better offer) hindi naman magically babalik boses nya.
Anyway, ang napansin ko lang parang puro piano ang mas madalas kong naririnig during reception so parang ang lugi na may sax kaming ni-book tapos parang 1 to 2 times lang nagamit. Maybe because the songs I chose walang sax arrangements? So, I don't know. Or baka I'm just too busy to listen. I did record them pero, haay, palpak yung nag-record, puro piano lang ang narinig.  Pero so far, Ok naman sila.
About the wrong timing sa Bridal March song, I don't think sila may kasalanan nun. My coordinator should have given them the cue. Pero for future brides, make sure you inform both parties about your Bridal March song timing and by both, I mean, Coord and Musicians.

SkyLanterns : Flair up

This is hubby's request. Ilang beses nya akong kinulit-kulit jan that's why we ordered 30pcs. Problem is it was so windy that we weren't allowed to light them. We were so disappointed. We can't refund the money so what happened was we just have to give them away to our coordinator because we don't want extra stuff in our luggage. We were able to take home 6 skylanterns, though.  Now that I think about it. Sana pala kinuha ko na lang at binenta sa w@w peeps. Ang mahal kaya nun.Php250 isa. (We're supposed to light those 6 skylanters in El Nido, but on the first attempt hindi pwede dahil the area we chose has lots of dry leaves, second attempt nalimutan naman namin dalhin sa boat, oh well. )

This is still a work in progress. For the rest of the teeny weeny details please read: because details matter

For more wedding details photos: M & R Wedding Details
For more behind the scenes photos: Behind the Scenes

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Supplier Review - Coordinator

The other day I posted about our caterer's boo-boos. Today would be about one of the famous Wedding Coordinators in the Philippines.

Eto ang tagal ko na dapat ni-blog pero, alam mo yun, nakakapagod magalit at ayoko nang i-recall yung na-feel ko nung panahon na yun. But my friends insisted I have to write a review for the sake of other brides.

photo by:
My coordinator is one of the famous ones and I thought we're in good hands, I was wrong. I should have cancelled my booking with them as soon as I heard my couple friends stories about them. To make my couple friends long story short, they almost hired a new coordinator a week before their wedding dahil nga naii-stress na sila sa coordinator na yun which happened to be our coordinator too.

 Yan nga ang problema pag sikat na coordinator. Marami bookings. Nagmu-multi-task sila. Di ka na natututukan. Now, I'm not being a brat, what I'm asking for is since I paid for the services, I deserve a good service. Hindi yung half-baked.

So here's the list of boo-boos, in no particular order (but I did save the best for last, lol)

1. Na-offend sila sa detailed instructions ko and my list that tells them everything that i would need help to. Sinabihan ako ng "we know what we're doing, marlin".  Ang taray. Ayoko lang mag-assume kaya I list them all down para kung di nila pede gawin yun or out of scope yung gusto namin ipagawa malalaman namin agad and I can assign someone to do it.

Case in point, I want to record our musicians. Kasi yun yung pinagsisihan namin ni hubby nung Civil wedding namin. Tuwang-tuwa kami sa musicians namin pero we didn't get to hear them ofcourse during cocktails kasi nagpi-pictorial kami. So one of the items on my list for them is need someone to just push the record button and change batteries if need be. Sabi nila hindi na nila scope yun. See, that is why I have that list. Because of that I know I need to delegate it to someone else.

2. Wedding banns - Doble bayad. Umuwi ako 5 months before our wedding to take care of some wedding stuff. So I asked them kung gusto ba nila ako na maglakad ng church requirements ko (ie: baptismal, confirmation, etc), sabi nila sila na bahala at yun Wedding Banns na lang asikasuhin ko. So I did that. Tapos I paid for it na rin, kahit you really don't have to pay until it's time to get it back. Tapos I sent them an email with the photo of the claim form with the receipt that it's been paid in full. May OR number pa nga. When it's time to get the Wedding Banns, late pa nga nila nakuha but that's another story. So yun nga, nakuha nila at binigyan ako ng receipt magkano binayad nila. E bayad na nga yun! I had to resend my email to them that has the receipt. Tsk, not paying attention talaga.

3. Very slow replies and they keep you in the dark as to why. We're an overseas couple, madali kami ma-praning kapag yung suppliers namin na binayaran namin at hindi namin kilala ay hindi nagre-reply sa emails namin. Tapos pag finally sumagot sila sasabihin nila may namatay kasi sa sa family. actually 5 beses may namatay sa family nila nung 2012. That''s OK, I understand that, hindi naman ako bato but what I dont like is how they turn the situation around as if I'm being inconsiderate. E malay ko bang namatayan sila, wala akong ESP no! They should atleast have an out of office notice or something (which I think they do sometimes and sometimes wala talaga)

Eto pa, one time, same thing, may important question na ang tagal-tagal nila bago nag-reply na eventually nag-complain ako. banatan ba naman ako sa email ng: "nde kme lagi online like u" . Tama ba namang sagot yan. They should check their emails regularly. And take note, hindi nama kame yung tipong gusto sasagot agad. We usually give them atleast 3 days to 1 week to reply. I therefore conclude, hindi sila pwede sa overseas couple.

4. Late to submit Church Requirements. Ang sabi sa Notre Dame De Vie checklist "All requirements should be submitted three (3) months before the wedding" (which is October 19, in our case). So ako, I trust them naman so hindi ko na sila ni-remind kasi baka mapadalhan na naman ako ng email na "we know what we're doing". Pero nagtataka ako bakit parang wala akong nare-receive na emails from them with copies of my church requirements, or update na napasa na nila yung requirements. Tapos, nung nakausap ko tatay ko sabi nya hindi pa rin daw kinukuha ng coordinator yung NSO birth certificate ko. E lagpas na ng deadline for submission at isa yung birth certificate sa requirements. So nag-follow-up ako.

Dahilan nila, kesyo they were trying to contact Bro Reyn daw and can't reach him that they had to call my AE at Fernbrook and they found out Bro Reyn's only there on certain days. Duh, I told them that already. Ngayon lang nila nalaman? So yun dinahilan nila. But how do you explain yung statement nila na they will get my NSO birth certificate from my father on October 30. Which gives me the impression na nalimutan nila to work on my requirements.

Dahilan nila lenient naman Notre Dame sa overseas couple so kahit late requirements, but that's not the issue here. I'm pissed that they are not on top of things and they didn't update me on what's going on with my church requirements. Tapos out of the country pala sila nun, sana man lang inayos nila bago sila umalis. Alam mo, minsan lang naman updates lang gusto marinig ng couples e. Assurance na, you are actually paying attention to their needs at kung male-late or whatever just inform the couple right away. Anyway,  1 gray hair later, na-send na nila sa Notre Dame De Vie but not until November 1.

5. Bridal March boo-boo. I specifically told them not to play my Bridal March song (The first time I loved Forever) until the door opens. So narinig ko na ang Canon D for the Entourage so good. Halfway thru ng ento march pinalabas na ako ng bridal car. Tapos konting retouch. Ayos ng veil. Ganun. Tapos nagulat ako biglang tinutugtog na Bridal March song ko! Eh inaayusan pa ako! Gusto ko sigawan yung coordinator ko, pero sabi, let go daw. So fine. Ayoko masira yung moment ko. So mga 5 minutes nang tinutugtog yung Bridal March song ko, naiinis na talaga ako pero nagta-try lang ako magpigil. Isip ko song lang yan, at second wedding na 'to namin ni hubby so ok lang yan. But in short, nawala dramatic entrance ko. So isa ulit proof na they are not on top of things.

6. They find it hard to go an extra mile for a client.  Remember yung tape recorder thingie that I mentioned on #1. Sabi nila sobrang busy na sila nun and that would be a nuissance for them. E ang simple lang kaya nun. Apat naman sila. At ano naman yung mag-allot sila ng 5 minutes just to check kung may battery pa yung tape recorder ko. So jan pa lang makikita mo nang hindi sila dedicated sa clients nila. Na "matabang" ang customer service nila.

7. Imposing sila. I mean, it's Ok to suggest, in fact I like that and some of their suggestions we actually incorporated on our wedding pero to be pushy, na sinabi na ng couple na "no" pilit pa rin nilang pinu-push yung suggestion nila. This is our wedding not theirs. We have our own vision of our wedding and I don't care what their vision is.

One example yung sa couples' sofa sa stage. Kesyo pangit daw yung napili namin, dapat park bench kinda thing dapat. Eh ayoko nga! Pilit pa rin sila. That they will find a nice bench daw, etcetera. Pero pinaglaban ko yung couple's sofa ko, haha. Isa pa example of this is the Love Story-Interview video. Gusto ko kasi i-play yun bago kami i-introduce. Para maiba. Tsaka feeling ko mas appropriate yun dahil 90% of our guests hindi kilala si hubby at hindi alam pano kami nagkakilala, so perfect introduction yun before kami pumasok sa reception venue. They insist na masyado mahaba ang video (11 minutes) at mas Ok kung during dinner/reception na lang, etc. Sino ang nag-set ng rule na dapat yung pang-intro video ay 3 minutes lang. Sino nag-set ng rule na bawal video before the couple's grand entrance?  Sino? Kasi daw baka ma-bored ang guests. Hindi sila mabo-bored because I know them. They've been dying to know how we met specially since my hubby is a foreign national. Isa pa, wala ba kaming karapatan gawin kung ano gusto namin mangyari sa wedding namin? Bakit kelangan ko pang ipaglaban ano gusto naming mangyari sa wedding, eh wedding namin yun, binayaran namin yun. Pero in the end napagod na ako, at pati si hubby sinabihan na ako na let go na  lang kasi nga naii-stress na ako. So yung gusto nila nangyari. Bottom line is, di dapat sila nakikipag-argue. Suggest, explain their point, tapos let the couple sit on it to decide and when the couple decided at ayaw talaga sa suggestion nila, drop it na. Wag nang buhayin ulit ang topic. Wag nang ipilit yung gusto nila.

8. Told me they won't do RSVP after I printed their names on the invitation's RSVP details. I emailed them a few times asking about the contact details that I should  use for the RSVP part on our wedding invitations. I asked them kung Ok lang ba na sila contact person for RSVP, sabi nila oo. Pero! after ma-print yung invitation bigla akong nakatanggap ng email saying: "ay, hindi pala kasali yung RSVP sa package nyo". Letch talaga. So ngayon mo lang sasabihin kung kelan naka-print na ang invitations at ready to mail. Ayoko naman burahin pangalan nila dun at masisira aesthetics ng invitation. So I had to contact each of our guests to tell them to not RSVP using the coordinator, na i-FB na lang ako or email or text. Ang hassle di ba. Imbyerna to the highest level.

9. Wedding favors surplus. We only have 100 guests and madami kaming guests na hindi um-attend but we have 120 wedding favors so medyo marami natirang wedding favors. Sinabi naman nila sa amin na may natirang wedding favors pero sabi nila pinamigay na nila sa ibang suppliers. Ah eh. Ganun? Di man lang muna kami tinanong ano gusto namin gawin sa extra wedding favors, sila na nag-decide. Feeling namin inuwi na nila yun. I hope we're wrong. Medyo kakaiba pa man din yung wedding favors namin at in-order pa namin online.  Eto itsura nya, just scroll down ng konti click me.

and the best for last

10. They messed up the seating chart. Eto na naman isang proof that they're not paying attention sa instructions ng couple.

Ganito kasi. Meron sila workbook na kelangan ko fill-up-an. Kasali na dun list of guests. I added an additional tab for seating chart. Kasi yung seating chart namin not by numbers but by famous city names, pero I numbered it din. I gave that same seating chart sa Josiah din at naka-CC sila. I emailed them a few times about the seating chart dahil nakita ko yung floor plan nila for tables at mali. In short, they know it's there.

A few days before the wedding when we met with them nagtataka ako bakit mali pa rin yung layout, pero sabi lang nila aayusin nila yun. Dun pa lang medyo my alarm bells went off na talaga. Pero that time kasi, being it 4 days before the wedding, I decided to just trust them, to let them do their work. At ayoko na kasing mapagalitan nila ulit na "they know what their doing".

So come wedding day, nagtataka ako bakit may empty table sa pinakaharap. Pero sabi nga, on your wedding day, just let go para ma-enjoy mo yung wedding mo, so I "try" to ignore it, pero super eyesore pa rin sa kin kasi that means we wasted thousands of pesos for that table (food, flowers,etc). So anyway, after the wedding dun na nagsimula na may nagkwento sa kin na upset ang nanay ko dahil lahat ng kamag-anak nya nasa dulong-dulo while  yung kamag-anak ng tatay ko e nasa unahan lahat (they're both should be in front, one family on the left side, the other on the right).

Cause you see, my parents are separated and my brother and I lived with our father when my mother left us. But I made sure none of my relatives would feel that I'm favoring one family over the other. I don't want to cause any tension. But because my coordinators didn't pay attention to my seating chart all of that effort was in vain. And who's getting all the  blame, me! Lalo pa nakita ng mga guests na may empty table sa unahan and the impression it gave them is I'd rather have that front table empty rather than have my my mother's family sit infront. Ang pangit pakinggan, di ba. Tapos jan na nagsimula ang mga chismis galing sa ibang guests na kesyo kinakawawa ko raw nanay ko. Kesyo may favoritism daw ako.

Ofcourse I emailed them about it, tinanong ko pa sila kung hindi ba nila pinansin yung seating chart na binigay ko, sabi sa kin "ofcourse we did, paulit-ulit pa dahil alam namin how detailed-oriented you are" tanong ako ulit bakit ganun nangyari, nung sumagot sila parang ako pa may kasalanan. Sabihan ba naman ako ng:
" have a better eye on all details and that you follow instructions to the letter we actually trusted that you would base all subsequent on it as well".

Nag-panting talaga ang tenga ko jan. Pag alam nila sila ang may kasalanan they like turning the stories around para magmukhang ikaw ang may kasalanan. We have given them all the artifacts, all the detailed instructions (to the point that they got offended that they feel I was teaching them how to do thier work) and all they had to do is read, ask questions if they have any, understand,  and then execute it.  I thought that's what Wedding Coordinators are for, to follow and execute what the couple wants for their "own" wedding. Di ba nila alam how important a seating chart is? If they don't know that, they're in the wrong field.

Yung iba readers siguro iniisip nyo maliit na bagay lang naman yung iba. Ok fine, maliit na bagay, pero nakakainis lang na  nakikita mo na yung yung ni-hire mo para maging stress-free ang wedding mo is the same people na nagbibigay sa yo ng stress!

I know what you're thinking I should have fired them sa simula pa lang, pero iniisip ko kasi nun baka nagba-bridezilla lang ako. Tsaka parang naii-stress ako lalo na isipin na we have to do turn overs, at nakausap na nila ang mga suppliers namin at may working relationship na sila with our suppliers and hiring a new coordinator might just confuse them. Tapos napa-paranoid pa ako na baka i-bad mouth kami ng coordinators namin sa existing suppliers namin pag ni-cancel namin yung service nlia at gumanti yung suppliers sa min on their behalf by sabotaging the goods they would deliver. I know, masyadong exag na yan, pero ewan. paranoid lang talaga. Actually, they gave us an option to cancel our contract or to downgrade and I did start scouting for new coordinators pero they offered that a month before the wedding, taken na yung mga good ones, so natakot ako and decided against cancelling. What we did was we downgraded (from turnover package to just OTD).

For the record, I'm not looking for a perfect wedding, alam ko imposible yun. This is just to warn other brides/soon-to-wed couples out there what they should watch out for para ma-minimize yung ganitong stress-inducers.

We still enjoyed our wedding kasi yung iba naman (like yung sa pagnanakaw ng servers ng food, at maling seating arrangement)  after the wedding ko na nalaman. And we have a lot of suppliers that we really really love na pag naiisip namin yung good stuff na yun, kahit paano nao-offset yung ibang palpak during the wedding. To follow yung good reviews.

So eto tips ko:

1. If you're an overseas bride and you're very hands-on, I suggest don't get them. See #1 & #3.
2. When booking a coordinator, make sure to ask about their cancellation policy, para kung ma-feel nyo hindi kayo magkakasundo you can easily fire them.
3. If sa simula pa lang pasaway na sila huwag ka nang magdalawang isip, fire them and look for another coordinator. It's not worth the stress.

Coordinator: Jetts and Rhona Battung (Canaan Celebrations)

They know all this because we were emailing back and forth
because of those boo-boos. They even offered to refund our
payment pero di namin tinanggap. It's not about the money,
it's about making them aware that we are displeased and that
they should make sure it doesn't happen again to any of their
clients. Besides, hindi mo mababayaran ng pera yung psychological
at emotional effects nung nangyari.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Supplier Review - Caterer: Josiah

This is looong overdue. I try not to think about it kasi, kasi everytime maalala ko naiinis ako sobra.  Pero may magandang nangyari pa rin naman sa church wedding namin and I try my best na wag na isipin yung mga negative na nangyari, which is the reason bakit ang tagal kong hindi gumawa ng supplier reviews.

Anyway, so this is a review/rant/complain about our caterer. The rest would be to follow. This would be taglish para mas feel nyo emotions ko, haha


1. Make sure someone checks the servers stuff at make sure may naka-assign na magbabantay sa server kasi nagsisimula silang maglagay sa container ng food kahit nde pa sila 6 hours na nag-serve tapos
sasabihin ubos na.

It was unfortunate that I found out about this a month after the wedding na and what's stated on their contract is you can complain within 24 hours after the event.

So here's the story. A few of my guests complained that they served super tiny portion which, sabi nila,  they understand. Sabi nila baka they just want to make sure everyone gets fed. Pero I don't agree sa small portion, dapat yung regular portion nise-serve nila, hindi pang-kids portion. Binayaran namin yun! So anyway,  they gave the servers a heads-up that they will come back for second helping which they did. But when they did sabi ng servers wala nang food and they blamed my Mom na kinuha na raw kasi ng Mom ko. But someone reported to me that when my Mom was asking for left overs sinabihan sya na wala ng natira. Eh anak ng talong, what do you mean wala nang natira. E kakarampot na nga sila mag-serve, hindi na sila nag-allow ng second helpings at eto pa, they usually allot 10-20% buffer for guests who eats more than some. Wait, there's more! I have 1 table na walang guests (kasi nang-indian sila! pero that's another story), one table has 8 guests, so asan napunta food na para dapat sa kanila? Sino hindi maiimbyerna nyan.

Tapos may nag-report din na guests sa akin na nakita nilang naglalagay sa plastic containers ng left over food yung mga servers. Anak ng torta talaga. And to think na nung nanghingi Mom ko ang binigay lang nila Macaroni (which is a side dish) at mga 1-2 servings nang 2 dishes at nilagay lang nila sa plastic ng isda (alam nyo yung plastic na ginagamit pag bumibili ka ng isda sa palenke, ganun), pero ang mga servers naka-container! Ang saya nila di ba!

Now, I'm not sure kung Josiah may kasalanan neto or hindi nila na sakop yun. Ang mahirap kasi, feeling ko hindi nila regular employees yung mga servers. Tipong mga dumaan lang sa harap siguro ng office nila at tinanong nila kung free sila sa January 19 at kung pede sila mag-food serve yun na, hire na. So hindi na nila responsibility ung acts nila. Pero naman! Ano ba yun. Nag-upgrade pa man din kami ng menu para matuwa guests namin tapos hindi rin na-enjoy ng guests, yung servers ang nag-enjoy! Kaya pala sa contract may nakalagay na responsibility namin na i-check gamit nila before they leave. Hmm.

Nagreklamo na ako sa Josiah nga pala. I sent them an email (si Mherlyn AE namin). Pero dedma sila. Mga biwisit. Siguro dahil nga sa contract nila within 24 hours ka lang pede mag-complain. Which I really think is stupid, kasi hindi naman agad malalaman ng couple ano nangyari in a span of 24 hours. At kahit na may mga inutusan ang couple mag-report ano nangyari during the wedding, I don't think sasabihin nila sa couple yung mga bad stuff dahil ayaw nila ma-bad trip ang couple during their honeymoon. Anyway, I digress.

Eto pa. Naubusan ng desserts yung last two tables. Ganun? Hindi sila nag-refill? Kahit na sabihin nating nagtakaw yung ibang guests at kinuha nila lahat ng flavors ng dessert, like I mentioned may 1 table na walang laman. Meaning, may extra desserts dapat for those people. Medyo maiintindihan ko pa kung 1 table nawalan ng desserts pero two!? Two!!!!!????

Eto pa, dahil tinago na nila yung left overs wala nang nakain mga coordinators ko. Ang deal e, they would eat left overs, dahil sabi nila usually naman may mga hindi sumisipot. Pero kapag walang natira, we have to give them xx amount per person. So ngayon, nagbayad pa ako ng extra dahil sa katakawan ng Josiah servers for the Coordinator's food allowance. Sabi pa ng Coordinator, because your mom bagged all the food already and nothing's left for us. See, kasi nga yun ang sinabi ng mga sinungaling na servers, when the truth is nasa mga bag na nila  yung left overs.

2. Wine toast. Wala pa lang wine ang VIP! Well, eto siguro kasalanan namin to. In-assume namin na yung wine for toasting e available din para sa VIP eh hindi pala. Gets namin na yung regular guests hindi kasali sa bibigyan ng wine pero yung sa VIP?! Sana man lang nilinaw nila yun sa contract. Para sa amin big deal yun. Nakakahiya na walang wine ang VIP at tubig lang sila nung toasting. So ayun, make sure you ask your caterer about this. Kami lang ni groom at yung dalawang nag-toast (best man at matron of honor) ang may wine.

3. Assign someone to check the list of food na ipapa-pirma sa inyo. Ang mali ko, ni-browse ko lang. Nung tinanong ko ano yun, sabi: "yan po yung food na natira at binigay namin sa mom nyo". Alam ko kasi na kinukuha nga ni mama yung left overs so pinirmahan ko na. Ang hindi ko alam yung nasa listahan hindi yun ang binigay nila! Hindi ko naisip na nenenokin ng mga servers yung left over. I was so happy and so trusting that day kasi. Tsk. So lesson, wag kayo mag-pirma unless may someone na magbabasa nun at iintindi for you. Nasa cloud 9 ka pa nung mga oras na yun kaya wala ka sa tamang pag-iisip, haha, kaya delegate.

4. Napansin ko na hindi masarap yung food during our reception. Parang ang sarap nya during our food tasting pero sa reception parang hindi na. Ang tabang! Hindi ko alam kung dahil wala lang talaga akong gana kumain that day. Yung nanay ko hindi rin kumain kasi hindi raw masarap, pero yung guests ko naman nasarapan, sa I guess that's what matters. 2 against 80 something guests.

So ayan ang aming war story about our caterer. We didn't know kung kasama ba to sa tasks ng  coordinator kaya hindi na namin tinanong kung bakit nangyari yun dahil obviously hindi nila binabantayan yun dahil they should have caught all that. I suggest you ask your coordinator to man the buffet area and watch the servers. Kung sabihin ng coordinator it's not part of their job ask a friend/family member/entourage member.

The only thing that I liked about Josiah is how they decorate our reception venue. They followed my instructions about what flowers to use, what color of flowers, what the napkin ring is, etc and it was really pretty. So I'll give them credit for that. For more pix please go to: M & R Wedding Details Pix