Monday, January 26, 2015

How We Designed our (Church) Wedding Cake

I have been getting inquiries about how we designed our cake.

Since we are an overseas couple, we have to do everything by email.
Below is the Word document I sent Judy Uson. It wasn't as complicated as the Document I sent our caterer (Josiah), lol

we thought it through before we decided to really get a customized cake....that's why it was after a year and a half before we finally bite the bullet and ordered "the cake"...and below is the contract detailing the request  (mini cakes for primary sponsors and cupcakes for entourage is a separate contract)...

and here again is the finished product.....  Judy Uson followed my design to the dot! We love her!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Detailing When Overseas

I was digging thru my notes (because every now and then a friend or relative would ask me questions about our wedding suppliers or tips or what-nots) when I found this Word document. I sent this to our caterer and if you noticed every single detail is covered. Yes, I am a glutton for punishment, lol. The devil is indeed in the details.

I'm one for paper trails. I don't like verbal communication. So that when something went wrong I have a proof, lol. There were two documents, one for VIP table and one for non-VIPs and these detailing documents were updated a lot of times but was last updated a month before our wedding (as you can see from the header).

So how does our detailing paper trail looks like?
Let's start with the VIP tables.  (these are screen capture of the actual Word document, click images for better resolution)

couple's stage image from my friends Jefferly and Ryan's wedding

Now, for the Non-VIPs. Now, these tables we need to upgrade/pay extra so we can have extra flowers and decorations. We used a long table for all guests regardless if they are VIPs or not which means we need more flowers....
I only included the page that are different from the VIP document.

#4 should've been "short-lace" chair cover...we want the long-lace
but they dont have enough for 100 guests...

So there you go, lol.

It made me chuckle looking at this. Yes, I do have attention for details. I guess it's because I'm a programmer and attention to details comes with the territory, lol.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Video/Photo Update

we finally have the bluray discs and the wedding album! yey!

what's better is that the bluray discs is finally working....

i asked my dad and my sister-in-law to go to my videographer's studio to pick-up our discs but i also asked them to bring a bluray player with them, the non-working bluray disc the videographer gave us and our US civil wedding  bluray disc that's working both here in the US and in the Philippines so they can compare what's wrong with the videographer's bluray discs.....

they ran both and like everyone else who have already looked at that disc, they all said the same thing, there is something wrong with the way the disc was burned! it hasn't been corrupted during transport, it's digital not's not the's just corrupted even before it was sent to us....but that's ok, the important thing is we now have our "running" video discs and we can give a copy to my father-in-law who has been patiently waiting for that.... and our annoyance kinda disappeared because they have been very attentive and helpful when i told them the discs aren't playing so we're good.....

the photographer on the other hand we still don't like..... he kept making all sorts of excuses why it took them a year to give us our album...... holiday, busy schedule, etc..... but you know what, i don't give a sh**..... we have a contract and they should honor that.... if they know how to manage their time it shouldn't affect their deliverables even if there's holidays...... they should have plan their production with those holidays in mind..... so disappointed....

so yeah, stay very far away from J Lucas Reyes..... on the other hand,  i highly recommend  Daniel Lei Studio..... if you're not brand conscious (like me) or you're just working on a budget and want to have a very good videographer that won't cost an arm and a leg, i highly recommend DLS.....

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