Part 2 of our “Blog of Appreciation” and we still can’t help but be thankful for everyone that has helped us with our wedding. This includes our wedding suppliers! What would we do without them? Like what I mentioned on Part 1 of this blog, it’s not just two or three people who have held our hands and helped us with it. It’s a community of people, and we consider our suppliers part of that community.
It has been said that choosing the right suppliers for your wedding or vendors will give you less stress and even help you save money. And yes, they’re absolutely right! I can imagine us running back and forth, and pulling out my hair instead of being the radiant bride if we opted to do things on our own. You see, like anything else, there are vendors that are easy to work with and are truly professional but there are also others who don’t seem to make the grade.
This blog is where we recognize the talented, hardworking professionals we’ve worked with but it is also a blog where we assess their services. Do take note that what does not work for us may work with you, whatever may be good for us may not sit well with you…so choose the right suppliers based on your preference. Choose the ones you can work with. Meet up with them and talk about their working habits. See how they work. Get to know them. 🙂
1. Photography: Jan Mat
I placed photography at the very top simply because Jan Mat is someone I’ve known personally for about 5 years now. I won’t get into the details on how we met, but he was a blessing to us. You see, we had to sacrifice the photography part of our wedding because of budget issues. Although we really did not want to, we were ready to throw in the towel and just have friends take photos of us. But Jan came into the picture! Even though I’ve known him for years, he was really professional yet he made us feel so at ease during the prenup sessions and more so with the wedding. You know that feeling where you feel like you’re just going to have an awkward time faking the smiles and doing such “plastic” poses? That wasn’t the case with us. He knew exactly just how to bring out the genuine smiles and poses. We also learned a lot about photography from him. And his photos? We were happy with it! And that’s what matters, right? You can see for yourself the works he has done here. 🙂
2. Videography: Orange Films
At the helm of Orange Films is Stephen Kong and he’s one of the most “chill” guys I’ve met. Prior to meeting him for the videography service, a friend introduced us at an event. And before our friend introduced him to us, I’ve seen his videos a few times and I was impressed, I only had to convince Dan. You see, Dan is such a stickler for videos and photos. He has ridiculously high standards (after all, that’s how and where we got close! Him being in charge of the videos and I with the scripts for our church AVPs) and I must have sent him so many works of reasonably priced but good videographers, and none seemed to have passed his standards. So getting Orange Films can only mean one thing…their work is incredible. Our prenup and SDE videos will speak for itself. But that is not just the only thing that caught our hearts, they were also light to work with (despite the thousand forced smiles and laughs, and mustering all the acting chops we had). Inspite of their immense talent, the team (mostly Stephen and Archill) was the most humble and down-to-earth group we have met. So five stars to you guys! 🙂
— Impeccably professional
— Amazing output
— Easy to work with
3. Event Stylist: First of April
Many of us know that when you treat your clients right, you have their hearts forever. 😉 And that’s what happened with April. With her bubbly personality, you can’t help but be drawn to her. She answered our inquiries promptly, knew what we wanted, and…she had less than a week to prepare for our wedding. Now that’s a pretty tall order, isn’t it? But she exceeded them all. The decors were just what we imagined it to be. The touches she added to our wedding gave it a more breathtaking ambience. And I was in love with my bridal bouquet! Yes, it was too huge for me but I love anything that strays away from the conventional. So what more can you ask from First of April? I tell you, she’s just fantabulous!
— Top-notch customer service
— Prompt replies
— Realistic rates
— Gorgeous output
— Easy to talk to
4. Make Up Artist: Raisa Bercede
We contacted Raisa about a week prior to the wedding. I’ve heard of her from other people (specifically, my younger sister’s barkada) and I knew that she was a virtuoso at her field. She certainly did not disappoint—my makeup (and my sister’s) was awesome! As for the hair, she brought with her Shyra. He did our hair with ease and he was amazing too. A fantastic pair!
— Great work
— Reasonable rates (I recognize artistry & hardwork but the other HMUAs’ rates were just appalling)
5. Catering: Sonnet’s Catering
— Really affordable rates
— Courteous and pleasant
— Slow customer service – doesn’t answer emails, texts, or calls right away. You need to call them for them to respond to your queries (and this is not just with the initial inquiries but all throughout the time you’re working/planning with them).
6. Bride’s Gown: Anthony “Jojo” Romoff
“The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.” —Hubert de Givenchy
And this is what Jojo Romoff gave me. You see, I’m quite nit-picky when it comes to clothes and I knew that I wanted someone who understands my body structure, and what I want. I was at my thinnest months during the preparation of our wedding and I surely did not want to look frail. I also wanted a lot of softness and an ethereal touch, yet as an artist myself, I wanted to give him free rein with the design. He not only managed to hide my bones but he also gave me lots of “softness!” And he was really professional and friendly. The only thing that went wrong was during the wedding day itself because the dress was too long and I had to keep on holding my dress up (even during the bridal walk!) so that I wouldn’t step on it and risk stumbling or falling flat on my face. I don’t know exactly what happened but during our fittings, everything was perfect. Or maybe we just didn’t know how to array the dress (and the veil! I had to keep tugging on it too) since they couldn’t make it to the wedding. And yeah, I didn’t have a dressform simply because my dress was too tiny to fit into one! 😀 But generally, I was happy with my wedding gown. 🙂
— Amazing customer service
— Great workmanship
— Just what I wanted!
Weakness: No one was able to assist me with the dress, which caused some glitches
7. Venue: Amisa Private Residences
Amisa Private Residences was recommended to us by a friend and was given as a gift as well. We are truly thankful for the blessing. However, I did not appreciate the way Amisa communicated with us. We knew that the place did not hold receptions outside their clubhouse. But we sent a formal letter to anyway, to ask permission in using the gazebo and pool area for both the wedding ceremony & reception, hoping that the management in Manila would permit it. It was CLEARLY STIPULATED that we were asking for the ceremony & reception to be held outside. They got back to us a week after (around 15 days before the wedding). They have approved the use of the gazebo/pool area, with the condition that we coordinate with the manager for the electricity fees and miscellaneous. Because we were in the middle of all the busyness, we were able to coordinate with the manager 4-5 days prior. Not once did he mention about not using the pool area for the ceremony. And imagine my dismay, anger, frustration (and all other negative thoughts) when the personnel I’ve been communicating with in Manila called me in the midst of me dressing up and having photo shoot. She had the nerve to tell me to follow rules. I was puzzled at that point, when she mentioned that the Cebu manager was agitated because we’ve been told not to have the reception at the pool area. All the while, their approval was for the use of the abovementioned area was just for the ceremony. I wanted to cry right there and then. My sister got the phone and tried to clarify, and then negotiate but it was all in vain. All the planning and decors that we had for the reception went down the drain. Some of our guests had to be seated outside the clubhouse and most of them preferred it there, since it was baking inside. I have to say that the reception wasn’t my most favorite part and I’ll leave it at that.
— The pool area with the gazebo has a stunning look. The skies are a beautiful backdrop. Even if the sun is shining hard, it always brought cool air.
— The clubhouse was humid— the exact opposite of their gazebo/pool area.
— No clear communication.
Ties from Kolossas
They have a really wide variety of rentals for men’s formal wear and they’re all reasonably priced. But we were not impressed with their customer service. The first time we came there, they did not bother accommodating us at all. They were quite busy that day (since it was prom season) so I asked some of them how we can rent or to whom should we go. Some of them did not answer and one of them said that they were busy and not to bother them. Can you imagine that??? But since we were time-constrained, we had no choice but to go back a second time. Prior to going there, I called up and asked if they were still too busy. I asked if they will accommodate customers and the girl on the line answered positively but mentioned that they were just too busy the other day, which to me is no excuse at all to ignore customers and to be rude at them.
— Great varieties of formal wear for men.
— Reasonable prices
— Rude and slow customer service
— Ignores customers
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Rented (somewhere in Colon)
I apologize I wasn’t able to get the name of the shop but they were extremely cheap. FYI: The dresses were rented 2 days prior to the wedding. It took us only less than 30 minutes to find them. Something went wrong with the original dresses that someone made for them. The original look was supposed to be a light soft pink, ethereal-looking maxi dresses. But oh well, I was still happy with the dresses we rented.
Alteration of Groom’s Suit: Somewhere near McDonald’s Jones (sorry, forgot the name too!)
Because my groom has a slim build and we had a hard time looking for suits that will really fit him, we decided to buy a suit in SM and have it altered the way he wants to. We had it altered at a shop behind McDonald’s Jones and we got it back in just 2 days before the wedding. I have to say that at a reasonable price, their alteration is really good. So now that I found them, no more going to ridiculously priced alteration stores!
Maid of Honor Dress and Grooms’ Vests: Sewn by a relative
10. Cake: Chef Alex Patisserie
This cake was a gift given to us by a friend and we love her dearly for it! 🙂 Why? Because it was as luscious as it can be! The chocoloate mousse cake was baked by a former chef at Plantation Bay (at the time of our wedding, he was still a chef there) and it was designed to exactly how we preferred it. Simple, pretty, and incredibly mouthwatering. It is by far, the most delicious cake I have ever tasted.
11. Photo Booth: Big Chiz Photo Booth
We have always known the people behind Big Chiz and it is no question that we chose them to be our photo booth provider. We know the kind of service that they provide since every event that we have at church (and churchmates’ parties etc.), Big Chiz is there delivering excellent service that you’d expect from a great photo booth provider. They have high resolution photos and an awesome crew with perfectly reasonable rates!
12. Wedding Emcee: Kristine Villasis
Kristine is my uber brilliant friend who also happens to be one great voice talent! She’s a music major who has worked as a DJ in a radio station and as an emcee in various events. And she has also lent her voice to different radio ads (even on television!) you’ve already probably heard. Granting that the reception arrangement was something that we didn’t plan on (other guests were outside), she rose to the challenge and did exceptionally well!
13. Wedding Coordinator: Fritzie Licayan
Just like the first one and the one prior to this number, I placed her at the very last (save the best for last?!) because she’s also someone we know. She has also been a great blessing to us. She came into the picture around a month before the wedding and imagine coordinating a wedding in that timeframe. Although we already talked with our suppliers, she helped us a lot with all the things that only a coordinator can think of. As your wedding day approaches, there are a lot of elements that the couple will neglect and forget. And Ate Fritzie certainly gave us peace of mind when it came to those things…yes, it meant more work but is also meant not panicking on the day itself because we forgot to prepare those certain things. How many of you know that coordinating a wedding can be very stressful? But Ate Fritzie was awesome!