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These are some of the usual church wedding requirements in the Philippines. Always double-check for additional requirements with your chosen church, especially for foreigners and those living or working abroad.

1. Baptismal and Confirmation Certificates:  Secure NEW copies which should  have an annotation: “FOR MARRIAGE PURPOSES ONLY”. These docs must  be secured not more than three (3) months before the date of marriage.  FOR MIXED MARRIAGE (different religions or Disparitas Cultas): a dispensation must be secured from the Archdiocesan Chancery Office at the Arzobispado de Manila, 121 Arzobispo St., Intramuros, Manila (near Manila Cathedral). The forms will be provided at the Parish Office which will be released after the canonical interview with the Parish Priest or his assistant. These have to be submitted one week before the wedding. Make sure that the data are correct especially your name and even the names of parents. Make the necessary corrections early on.

2. Marriage License:  Secure this from the city or municipality hall where either the bride or the groom currently lives. For those who are civilly married, a certified true photocopy of the Marriage Contract with the registry number of the city or town where the marriage was performed must be submitted one week before the wedding date.

3. Canonical Interview:  This interview with the bride and the groom will be done one (1) month before the wedding date and will be conducted by the parish priest or parish assistant. The schedule of the interview will be given upon the signing of the application form and paying the reservation fee. Failure to report on the interview date or failure to notify the office of any change in the schedule could mean cancellation of the application and reservation of the church for the upcoming wedding, unless there is a very grave reason for doing so and the church was informed of the reason whatsoever.

4. Pre-Marriage Seminar: Both the bride and the groom have to attend this. The schedule for the seminar will be given during the canonical interview or you may inquire at the parish office. Some churches may allow attendance in other pre-wedding seminars such as the Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE) or Discovery Weekend (DW) as a suitable substitute (if you have already attended either one of these, inquire at the parish office if they recognize either CEE or DW in lieu of their Pre-Marriage Seminar.) These seminars are more extensive but costs more. But most about to wed couples give good feedback about their experiences in attending these seminars.

5. Permission from the couples’ parish: a permit from the parish of the bride and the groom must be secured and presented to the parish office of the couple’s chosen ceremony venue. The form will be provided by the parish office of your chosen church.  A parish means the church which  has jurisdiction over the place where  the bride and groom currently resides.

6. Marriage Banns: These will be provided during the canonical interview and have to be immediately brought to the respective parishes of the bride and the groom for posting in the respective parishes where the bride and groom currently resides. These have to be returned to the office after three Sundays. (Note: the respective parishes may ask some requirements for the posting of the banns [i.e. a ID picture from the bride and the groom])

7. Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) – This is a document of proof of singleness or capacity to marry and must be secured from the National Statistics Office. For hassle free way of getting a CENOMAR, get it online thru e-census website. For foreigners, secure an  original “Certificate of Freedom to Marry” from your  embassy. The cenomar has a validity period of 6 months.

8. List of  names and addresses of principal sponsors (Ninongs & Ninangs): This has to be submitted to the parish office one week before the wedding date. Church policy requires at least a pair of sponsors and, ideally, a maximum of six sponsors. Always ask the church their maximum number of sponsors as some churches may penalize you if you exceed the allowable number of  principal sponsors.

For a list of Philippine Churches, click this link  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Roman_Catholic_churches_in_the_Philippines

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1.   Do your own invitation or ask a creative friend to help you make your own wedding  invitation- Unleash your creative side and save some bucks for your wedding.  There are  a lot of templates on the web which you can use.  Just add a few ribbons or paste some sparkling beads on the side. It’s also a great idea if you could add your initials in the invitation for a more personalized look.

If you know creative friends, ask for help. They will be more willing to help you personalize your wedding invitation. Ask for tips on the best type of paper and texture to use. I recommend using sheep skin to use for your inserts. Also, if you have a very legible penmanship, do away with a calligrapher.

Try this site for a free wedding invitation template:

http://www.hooverwebdesign.com/blue-floral-free-printable-wedding-invitation.html

2.   Ask your caterer if they can serve children’s plates for sit down menus serving. If you are planning to have your reception in a restaurant ask if children could be served children’s plates. Reason out that they do not have the same appetite as adults.  You could your caterer to prepare children’s meals such as   chicken, spaghetti,  burger and don’t forget their  ice creams.  Make make sure to give the number of children that have confirmed to attend your wedding day.

3.  Buy your gown and entourage attire at Divisoria or Baclaran. Divisoria and Baclaran  are  havens for brides on a budget. They have a wide selection of wedding attires for bridesmaids, groomsmen and even for the bride and groom.  Just make sure to get a seamstress who is very easy to talk with and have a good reputation for good worksmanship. Ask for recommendations from friends who did the same.  Their bridal and entourage dress set can range from as low as 15,000 to 35,000.00 depending on the material to be used. I made a trip to Divisoria, Manila, Philippines and found beautiful wedding gowns for less than Php 10,000.00 only.  If you are a practical bride, I suggest you go for a trip to Divisoria or Baclaran.

4. Find nearby churches and reception venues. No need to go  for an out-of- town wedding. Remember that it entails additional extra costs for photographers, videographers,  car rentals, hair and make up, caterers, hotel and room accomodations for guests and parents of either bride and groom.

Be resourceful. Scout for nearby churches within your area. Reception should be near so as to save gas. This also eases the burden of travelling far by guests  to reach your reception as hungry as as lion.

5. Book your wedding on a weekday. Weekday weddings cost less than weekend weddings.  Also, since mosts guests are at work, you wouldn’t need an excuse for not inviting everyone in the office, or all your friends and relatives.  Less guests mean more savings.

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Here’ a tip to ensure that all the important photos will be taken by your official photographer . Make sure to print this 2 days ahead and give it to your photographer. Provide extra copy to your coordinator and instruct her to remind the photographer of the special moments you want to see during your wedding. They say you will only see how beautiful your wedding is after you’ve seen the shots.

So here’s a photography planner for the shots that are important in your wedding. Just add if you need to add more photo ideas.

1) Pre-wedding

Bridal gown and shoes

Bridal bouquet

Bridal make up

Bride and attendants getting ready

Groom and attendants getting ready

Mother or maid of honor helping bride get ready

Bride leaving for the ceremony

Groom leaving for the ceremony

2) Portraits

Bride

Groom

Bride and Groom

Bride with detail of back of bridal gown

Bride with maid of honor

Bride with bridesmaids

Groom with groomsmen

Bride with bridesmaid

Ring bearer with flower girl

Entire entourage

Bride with parents

Groom with parents

Bride and groom with parents of the bride

Bride and groom with parents of the groom

Bride and groom with bride’s family

Bride and groom with both set of parents

3) Ceremony

Bridal car

Signs directing guests to wedding

Wedding programs/misalettes

Ceremony site, with guests arriving

Ushers escorting special guests to their seats

Both sets of parents entering

Groom walking down the aisle or awaiting bride

Ring bearer, flower girls walking down the aisle

Bride going down from the bridal car

Dramatic opening of the door to see the bride (make sure no one is at her back)

Bride walking down the aisle (top shot, sideview)

Special guests watching ceremony

Wedding kiss

Bride and groom leading recessional

Guests throwing flower petals

Signing of marriage contract

Bride and groom’s hands displaying rings

Altar

Ceiling / Chandeliers of the Church

Stolen moments of children inside the church

Guests wiping tears

Bride or groom wiping tears

Bride and groom departing from the entrance of the church

Bride and groom in church façade

4) Reception

Bride and groom’s grand entrance

Friends signing guest book

Guests at cocktail hour

Seating cards

Centerpieces

Reception site empty of guests

Bride and groom listening to toasts

Group pictures of guests per table

Bride and groom’s first dance

Guests dancing

Throwing of bouquet

Wedding souvenirs

Wedding cake

Bride and groom’s cutting of wedding cake

Bride and groom saying their thank you speech

Groom’s toast

Maid of honor’s toast

Thank you speeches

Stolen shots of guest reaction

Stolen shots of bride and groom’s reaction

Fireworks display (if any)

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1. LA CASTELLANA, Intramuros, Manila La Castellana Intramuros La Castillana

La Castellana is located at Cabildo, Street, Intramuros Manila. It is a relatively new events place. La Castillana is a Spanish term which means  Castilian woman.  But for the owner of La Castellana it means a lot more. It is the idyllic town in Negros Occidental, the hometown of her father. In Spain, it’s the name of a major thoroughfare always bustling with activity. Situated within the beautiful and historical walls of Intramuros, La Castellana is all of those things: a tribute to heritage, history and celebrations.

The venue was originally an ancestral house,  its time-honored architecture has been preserved even as it has been developed into the perfect setting for all your special occasions to be made more special.

From the grand foyer to the impressive ballroom, La Castellana infuses Spanish-inspired interiors and design elements every bride, debutante and reveler dreams about. The grand foyer, with its amber crystal chandelier and granite flooring, provides an elegant atmosphere the moment you enter. The plush bridal suite provides a relaxing oasis before the celebrations, while the courtyard and the Salon de Joaquin ballroom give weddings romance and every celebration an intimate atmosphere.

La Castellana not only prides itself for having a lavish and complete setting, but also provides personalized service to ensure hassle-free events. This assurance extends even to the most minute details: from providing a second foyer for registration and repository for your gifts to having pristine and air-conditioned comfort rooms. Also, unlike many other venues in Intramuros, La Castellana has a fully-equipped kitchen for the caterer and an allocated area for the service crew to make certain that the food and the service are of paramount quality.

Offering the same high quality of service and professionalism are the nine seasoned partner caterers of La Castellana. Classified to accommodate varying budgets, the partner caterers give you options without foregoing personalized service.
Source: La Castellana website

Click here to view: VENUE RENTAL RATES – LA CASTELLANA,INTRAMUROS, MANILA

Be sure to book La Castellana at least a year ahead of your wedding  especially during the peak months of December and January. It is one of the newest spots and most coveted reception venues in Intramuros.  Ask for their accredited caterers should you wish to book them.

Address and Contact Nos:

Cabildo corner Beaterio Streets, Intramuros, Manila 1002
Tel. Nos.: (632) 986-2691 (632) 5271848
Mobile: (0922) 8623003; (0922) 8431203
Email address: lacastellanaevents@gmail.com


2.   Patio Victoria, Intramuros, Manila

patio-victoria gazebo

 

Diana garden, Patio Victoria

Patio Victoria has an Old World charm that can be found only within what was known during the Spanish Occupation of the Philippines as the “Walled City”. Cobblestones walkways, an antique wooden gate, lush foilage and an old fashioned fountain are only some of the features that make the place perfect venue for wedding. Patio Victoria has two gardens-named after her daughters Sofia and Diana – and an air-conditioned banquet hall. All three venues can accommodate as many as 1000 guests. Both gardens have gazebos to protect guests against the sun and light showers. In case of heavy rains, the reception can move to the air-conditioned banquet hall.

It is owned by former showbiz personality Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez.   Patio Victoria offers a wide selection of International and Spanish Cuisine. The place’s callos, paella and lengua are old recipes obtained by Cristina from the Gonzalez family archives.

Source: Patio Victoria Website

VENUE RENTAL RATES AND PACKAGES:

  • Venue Rental Rate is  Php 50,000 for 200 pax plus additional Php 70/ head in excess of  200 (applicable for Feb-November weekdays only)
  • You have to pay additional Php 8,000 catering fee if not accredited
  • For Weddings on Fridays and Weekends of February to November  and for the whole months of December and January, Patio Victoria is the exclusive caterer.  Should you book during these dates, Patio Victoria wedding package which includes food and rental fee ranges from  Php 100,000++ (for 100 pax)  and   Php 200,000 ++ (200-250 pax).

Address and Contact Number :

Telephone number: +63 2 526 1953

In Intramuros, Patio Victoria is always booked because of their good food and proximity to San Agustin Church. You only need to take a few minutes walk to reach the venue. It has two (2) gardens with a beautiful gazebo–the Diana and Sophia garden both named after the children of Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez, the owner of the restaurant. They set their wedding tables elegantly. They can give freebies such as overflowing coffee and bubble and fog machines. However, don’t expect you would taste their food without booking them.  They don’t conduct  free food tasting events compared to Hizon’s or Josiah’s or Juan Carlo. You could only rely on word of mouth that their food taste great.  But so far they have not received any negative comments in wedding forums with regards to their food, except that they don’t have as much waiters during wedding events to cater to the needs of guests.   Photo galleries about Patio Victoria always look elegant and enticing, especially their gazebos.

3.  Ilustrado Restaurant

Ilustradao garden

Ilustrado Restaurant catering

Ilustrado Restaurant catering


Ilustrado is spearheaded by owners Boni and Rose Pimentel, maintains a glorious tradition of culinary excellence. The menu is consistently under review by a select panel of Ilustrado aficionados or patrons of long standing, together with the award-winning chefs. Top of the list are Corazon Alvina, Dez Bautista, Sonny Tiñio, Robert Lane and Bobby Caballero. Service is religiously under audit. The Ilustrado family undergoes programs to enhance performance, productivity and harmonious team relationships. Today, Ilustrado continues to consolidate its claim for dinning excellence within the Walled City.

They pride themselves in serving heritage Filipino cuisine –an a la carte menu predominantly occupied by Filipino-Spanish favorites fused with Continental, Asian and Western dishes. Popular dishes are Roast duck Ilustrado (our version of the al orange), creamy and luscious bagnet (deep fried pork), tender and flavorful Lengua con Setas (ox tongue with brown sauce) and the much acclaimed Paella Ilustrado.

VENUE RENTAL  COSTS:

Venue rental with food and  amenities for 150 pax ranges from Php 170,000++  to Php 260,000++

depending on the preferred cuisine (buffet)

Address and Contact Number:

Gen. Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila

Tel No.  (632) 527-3674

Source: Ilustrado Restaurant website

Food tastes great but service is not impecable  according to some forums.

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Long Sleeve Gown by Rajo Laurel

rajo laurel gown

Lace Gown by Pronovias

Gown with ribbon by Edward Teng

edward teng gown

Rennes Rivini Wedding Dress

Layered Gown by Aquachiara

layered aquachiara gown

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1. Juan Carlo the Caterer –    Coming from a family of Caterers from Cavite, the owner-manager Engr. Alex Michael Del Rosario was exposed to the catering business at a very early age, which fuelled his desire to put up a catering outfit of his own.

He  and his wife  met in Saudi Arabia and there they decided to  put up a mini-restaurant in Al-Khodair campsite doing small catering projects for Filipinos and foreigners as well. The exotic Arabian, Egyptian, Indian, Pakistani, Palestinian and Tunisian dishes became a part of their daily lives, contributing a lot to their knowledge of international cuisine.

In 1995 the del Rosario’s came home from abroad and started a phenomenal catering business in the Philippines .  In just a matter of months,  Juan Carlo the Caterer was able to conquer the whole of Batangas, even crossing borders to Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon and Metro Manila.

Aside from catering, Juan Carlo the Caterer also ventured into corporate canteen and club house operations for:

JG Summit Petrochemical Plant
Universal Robina Corporation
Caltex Banaba Clubhouse (Fine Dining)
Caltex Banaba Clubhouse (Fine Dining)
Nestle Lipa Factory Canteen

Artistic presentation, aside from delicious food had been the hallmark of Juan Carlo.

Source: Juan Carlo the Caterer Website

COST:

click this link for the  accredited venues and price list for juan carlo the caterer

There have been positive testimonials about Juan Carlo the Caterer.  Their celebrity endorser is non other than the mega star Sharon Cuneta . I have friends who attested to the sumptuous food they have tasted prepared by Juan Carlo the Caterer.

Food Tasting Schedules of Juan Carlo the Caterer for 2010:May 9, 2010   –  9am – 11am at Courtyard, Fernwood Gardens,Q.C.

  • May 15 & 16, 2010  –    10am – 7pm at Megatrade Hall, Megamall
  • May 16, 2010 – 1pm – 6pm at Sitio Elena, Antipolo
  • May 23,2010 – 11am – 3pm at La Castellana, Intramuros
  • May 29, 2010 – 5pm – 7pm at Colonial, Fernbrook, Alabang
  • June 5, 2010 – 9am – 11am at Fernwood Garden 1
  • June 11,12 & 13 –  10am – 7pm at Taste of Manila- Megamall
  • June 13, 2010 – 5pm – 7pm at Fernbrook-Colonial
  • June 20, 2010 –  11am – 3pm at 1-Esplanade
  • June 26 & 27,2010 – 10am – 7pm at PICC Forum, CCP Complex
  • July 10, 2010 – 9am – 11am at Fernwood Garden V-1
  • July 11, 2010 – 11am – 3pm at Palacio De Maynila
  • July 17, 2010 – 5pm – 7pm at Fernbrook-Colonial
  • July 18, 2010 – 10am – 5pm at Oasis(Gallery)
  • July 31 and August 1, 2010 – 10am – 9pm at Megatrade Hall, Megamall

Manila Office
78 C Cenacle Drive Sanville Subdivision, Quezon City
Tel No. (02) 929 – 3674 . (02) 453 – 0071
Telefax No. (02) 920-8068

Batangas Office
S. Ylagan St., Brgy. Aplaya, Bauan, Batangas, Philippines 4201
Tel No. (043) 727 – 3728 | (043) 727 – 3673 | (043) 727 – 3769
Fax No. (043) 727-3728

2. VS & F Classic Food International has been in the catering business for over 15 years.  A family- owned business operated by Mr. Buddy Y. Abesamis, former President and now Chairman of the Board of the Food Caterers Association of the Philippines (FCAP), and a member of the International Caterers Association of America (ICA) . His partner in this venture, Mrs. Josephine C. Abesamis, is the General Manager of VS&F, a graduate of the University of the Philippines.  Their experience, hard work and dedication made this business flourish from a small-time enterprise to an upscale catering service. With joint expertise from the couple and the outstanding staff of VS&F, it progressed as the Supreme Wedding and Debut Specialist in town.

VS&F is also adjudged and widely recognized as the “Best in On- The-Spot-Cooking”. All ingredients are specially prepared by our experienced culinary professionals. Every sumptuous meal will be greatly enjoyed by each guests since all are prepared hot and fresh. Truly this will be an enjoying meal.

Source: VS & F Website

Click this link for  VS& F caterer innercourtyard quotation , San Agustin, Intramuros, Manila.  Inner Courtyard is the   courtyard/garden  beside San Agustin Church.  The inner courtyard is a perfect setting for those planning on a vintage or Filipinina weddding. It has a beautiful fountain in the middle and can hold up to 400 guests.  San Agustin Church is considered a UNESCO world heritage site. Do visit the San Agustin museum to view  Catholic artifacts and treasured religious arts.

Many celebrities such as Glady Reyes, Maricar de Mesa , Aiko Melendez and Carol Banaawa had VS & F as their caterer for their weddings.   Click on this link about Grand Terrace ,  a perfect venue for weddings owned and operated by VS & F catering.

3.    Town’s Delight  -Established in 1974 at Tanza, Cavite by Mrs. Cecilia del Rosario-Pacumio, a Home Economics teacher. It has been a wedding caterer for 20 years now. Its president and general manager Mr. Andrew Pacumio is a founding director of the Food Caterers Association of the Philippines. He was the association’s vice president in 2006. The company maintains 50 regular employees and around 300 part-time employees.

The company owns The Wedding Store, a one-stop wedding shop located at the second level of SM Dasmariñas.. Town’s Delight also maintains WeddingInTheSky.com, Cavite’s first wedding website/portal that features essential info about wedding planning, products, and services. In a nutshell, Town’s Delight has established itself as a reputable and dependable catering business in Cavite that can handle wedding and other events with guaranteed expertise. It has earned the respect of Caviteños as a premier and professional company that caters to the province’s high-end clientele.

Source: Town’s Delight website

COST:

Wedding packages range from Php 500++ to Php 600++ per head.

Quite reasonably priced!

4. Josiah’s Catering – Established in 1990 by Jet and Boyet Versoza.  Josiah’s have since been making waves in the catering industry with the reputation of being a trend setter and for coming up with brilliant ideas for weddings and hassle-free packages for all catering needs.  They cater weddings, debuts, corporate events, anniversaries, cocktails, kids’ parties, baptisms, dedication, house warming, product launches, gallery exhibits, movie premieres, wakes, bridal showers, private parties, and all types of occasions.They have expanded their  business and  is the  food and beverage provider of Lancaster Suites in Shaw Boulevard.

Source: Josiah’s Catering website

I have attended two (2) weddings with Josiah’s Catering as the caterer.  The banquet presentation was fabulous. The food was good, but not really great.   However, their service was impeccable as their waiters were very attentive and would always refill the food in the buffet.

COST:

Click to view Josiah’s wedding packages.

5. Hizon’s Catering  – known for combining innovative trends with home style cooking to create a cuisine unlike any other. Their chefs create signature dishes that delight both the eyes and the palette.  They offer a diverse menu featuring Asian, Latin, Caribbean, American and European cuisines. We offer different serving styles, plated service, buffet banqueting and family style lauriat.

Source: Hizon’s Catering website

COST :

Hizon’s Catering quotation

I have not really tasted Hizon’s catering.  But I must say they have one of the most elegant set-ups and they give the most freebies.

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Follow my  next blog for a post about wedding reception venues..

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1. DECIDE ON THE WEDDING DATE AND TIME. This is the first step in planning your wedding.  Choose your wedding date and time.  If you are on a budget, it’s best to book your wedding on  a day that falls from Monday to Thursday and avoid Fridays, weekends and holidays.  For some cultures, there are auspicious wedding dates.  Try this link for auspicious weddings dates.

2. PREPARE A DRAFT  ENTOURAGE AND GUEST LIST. This may prove gruesome if you have a limited guest list.  If possible avoid inviting too many children as they  easily get distracted and bored in a formal setting such as a wedding and may ruin the atmosphere of your wedding.  Also, don’t give in to pressure especially from parents or relatives who would want to include their friends even if they are not close to you.   Most budget weddings consist of 50 to 100 guests only. For those with spending power, they can have 150 – 300 guests.  Remember to  be practical. Don’t feel guilty if you cannot invite them all because you’d rather start your married life without draining your and your fiance’s life savings.

3. DECIDE ON THE WEDDING BUDGET.  This is the part where most couples argue a lot. Early on decide who will shoulder which expenses and make sure to stick to the budget once you have decided on the figure.  Be sure to allot about 20-30% for miscellaneous expenses which would include crew meals, transportation to bridal expos, meals and other incidental expenses like board and lodging of the couple’s parents, if needed.

4.  CHOOSE A WEDDING THEME / MOTIFF. There are many wedding themes to choose from.  Oriental, Italian, Greek , Hawaiian, Moroccan, Filipiniana, Vintage, Seasonal (Winter, Spring, Summer,Fall). Or if you are the more creative type try  Movie themes like Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Indiana Jones, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.   Most modern brides choose more than one color for their motifs. Try pink and brown, green and blue, pink and lavender or if you want a colorful one, think of  bright colors just like what the bridesmaids in Confessions of a Shopaholic wore.

5. CHOOSE AND BOOK  THE PLACE FOR RECEPTION OF GUESTS. There a couple of ways to get  a good wedding caterer.  One way is to attend bridal fairs and wedding expos.  Also, there are lots of wedding resources online.  You may also get your wedding suppliers through wedding and bridal magazines.  An unexpensive way to get suppliers is by attending weddings of friends and should you like their suppliers, remember to get their calling cards.  Ask for referrals.  Remember to check out testimonials and to check out the suppliers history in delivering their goods and services. Always ask which combinations are good for the set menu. Also, read the contract terms especially with regards force majeure and deposit.  If you’re going to get married on a rainy season, it’s best to find a reception hall, or a a place with roofs. Garden weddings are discouraged during rainy seasons for obvious reasons.

6. CHOOSE AND BOOK YOUR WEDDING SUPPLIERS. Start scouting  the following suppliers:  Attire and shoes, wedding rings, photo and video coverage, flowers, cake, invites, makeup, music, event stylist,  souvenirs, hotel for bridal preparation and honeymoon. If you don not have the down payment money yet, you may ask your supplier if it’s possible to pencil book. Usually some suppliers allow at least a week or up to a month’s pencil booking. But pencil bookings are pencil bookings, if you do not give your reservation fee, anytime they could give up the slot to someone else who can pay the reservation fee.  Most suppliers’ reservation fee is 10% of the total price of the contract. However, some suppliers are flexible that you can even make staggered payment for reservation fee. Use your bargaining power and ask always for their most flexible terms especially if your wedding is going to be held a year from now yet. Avoid suppliers with bad reputation. Always ask around. Follow my next blog for a review of the caterers in the Philippines.

7.   FINALIZE THE WEDDING LIST AND YOUR INVITATIONS. At least 3 months from the wedding date, finalize the principal sponsors, entourage and guests.  Your invitations usually follow the wedding motif.  try a passport type invitation or an invitation in a bottle.   Send your invitations at least 2 months in advance.

8.  CHOOSE THE SUPPLIER FOR THE WEDDING GOWN, GROOM’S AND  ENTOURAGE  ATTIRES. Fitting of wedding gowns should be made at least 2 months before the wedding date.  To save on your gown’s costs, try researching gowns on the internet, print it and find a seamstress who can do it for you.  This is for practicality’s sake. Although, some brides want to wear designer gowns, there are cheaper alternatives for a resourceful bride.   To compensate for a non-designer gown, try to source for materials from a wholesale wedding supplier. In the Philippines, try Divisoria and Baclaran for fabrics.  If you are really not that choosy, you can also try to look at their wedding gowns. Some look very good you won’t even notice they’re not designer gowns.  See my next blog on bridal fashion for a more comprehensive discussion about wedding gowns.   For the groom’s attire,  a dark brown or gray suit is the trend. However, there are still those who prefer black or the ever reliable barong. Modern brides also let their bridesmaids choose the color and / or style of the gown. Gone are the days when bridesmaids have to wear the same color and style of dress.

9. SECURE THE NECESSARY PERMITS/ LICENSES .  Marriage licenses should be secured.  In the Philippines, it usually has a validity of 120 days from date of issuance. Make sure your birth certificates  are in order– spelling wise to avoid any unnecessary hassles. Also, get a Certificate of No Marriage as proof of capacity to marry.   Follow my next blog for a more extensive discussion about the license requirements for both church and civil weddings in the Philippines.

10.  PLAN THE HONEYMOON. One of the most exciting part of wedding preps is the honeymoon preparation.  If you both love the beach, there are pristine beaches in the Philippines you can choose from such as Thunderbird Resort in Poro Point, La Union; Shangri-la Mactan in Cebu; Alta Vista, Boracay; Bellaroca Resort, Marinduque; Panglao Island Resort, Bohol and Aman Resorts, Palawan. For those on a budget, there are lots of  beautiful spots in Tagaytay,  Batangas, Antipolo and Laguna.

11. GET A COORDINATOR OR ASSIGN SOMEONE TO BE YOUR  ON THE DAY WEDDING COORDINATOR and USHERETTES.  Having a bad coordinator, as they say, is better than not having a coördinator at all.  Coordinators will lessen the stress you’re going to feel on your wedding day.  Just make sure if you don’t intend to get a paid wedding coordinator, have your sister, a friend or relative assigned to the task. Talk to them about their duties and make sure they understand what to do. You can also ask bridesmaids to be your usherettes and to sit in the reception to advise the guests of their sitting arrangement.

12. HAVE YOUR BRIDAL SHOWER and STAG PARTY. Invite friends at least a month before the wedding for a despedida de soltera and have a girl’s night out or a nail. and spa party. Celebrate your last days with your friends and remind your bridesmaids and maid of honor of their tasks for the wedding.  For the groom let him have a stag party.  Just make sure there is no hanky panky business since you do not want to catch any unwanted disease on your wedding day.

13. COMPLETE ALL THE BALANCE  DOWN PAYMENTS  WITH SUPPLIERS. Have an organizer or arranged all the pending down payments in an excel file and make sure you have withdrawn all the necessary payments in your bank at least a week  from your wedding date and assign a trusted family member of relative to pay for them.

14. GO TO A SPA AND RELAX. Get your nail done and have a luxurious full body massage with your fiancee before your wedding date to relieve the tension and pressure.  Try Wensha Spa, the Spa in Greenbelt, Makati or Callo Resort and Spa in Antipolo.

15. LEAVE EVERYTHING REGARDING SUPPLIER RELATED CONCERNS TO YOUR COORDINATOR. On you big day,  try not to sweat the small stuff.  Smile and leave everything to your coordinator. Relax, treasure and enjoy your wedding!

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