WEDDING – a heavenly dream for couples who have pumping love for their better halves. It is a once and a lifetime event that will bring nirvana to Earth. Joyful grins and cushioned hearts are felt everywhere. It is the time when love reaches the finish line and denotes success for two people who are struck by Cupid’s bow and arrow.
A lot of my friends have been asking me about our wedding day; the process, papers, catering, venue, and the church. Our wedding was really budgeted; it was not thoroughly planned. However, I still consider it as the most magical day of my life.
We decided to get married in June 2014 and set the nuptial date on November 22, 2014.
Before planning what dress to wear, where the wedding ceremony should take place, and whatsoever exciting things to plan, complete your documents first!
Getting married is impossible without the REQUIRED DOCUMENTS. So, this shall be your TOP priority.
You have to get a MARRIAGE LICENSE first. Without this, there would be no marriage rites.
Here’s a checklist on how to get a marriage license:
- NSO copy of birth certificate (check the spellings; it’s really a BIG deal)
- NSO CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage) which should have ‘For Marriage’ as the purpose
- ID’s (all government ID’s you’ve got)
- Recent CEDULA
- Barangay Certificate
- If you’re 24 years old and below, you’ll need a parent consent form. In my case, since I grew up with only my dad beside me, I had to ask my Ninong (who’s a lawyer) to do a notary public that says that my dad is my only guardian to give the consent.
- Seminar Certificates. You’ll need to attend seminars about family planning and marriage life.
If you are to get married in a Catholic church, you’ll need the following:
- Baptismal Certificate (I had to travel all the way to Bicutan just to get mine *I was pregnant back then, and that time was a struggle for me*.)
- Certificate of Confirmation (Make sure you have this; if not, Quiapo Church offers confirmation every Sunday *my husband had no record of this at San Ildefonso Church in Makati that’s why he needed to attend another confimation*.)
- Marriage License
- Schedule for an interview with the parish priest
- Of course, down payment.
***I may have missed some requirements. You may search the web for more information or better yet, go to the city hall (the city where you plan to get married) for the complete list.
It really isn’t about how extravagant a wedding is; it’s about the MEMORIES.
Our wedding actually followed the traditional one. But if I were to be wedded today, I would have gone for a simpler but a complete one. What do I mean by complete? Well, since we lacked time and budget, we had not got the chance to have a prenup video and photo shoot *which I do regret badly*. We haven’t had the chance to plan about having a guestbook and a wedding album *my guestbook was just a scrapbook I designed* which is why I am planning to have our wedding pictures placed in a magnetic album soon.
A wedding should be memorable but it does not mean extravagant and expensive.
We proved that. Our wedding was possibly done with a little budget.
Everything happened in a jiffy! My pregnancy was unplanned and so our wedding. Our family and of course, we *now husband and wife* would like to be married before our baby arrives. Aside from the fact that we love each other, we also took into consideration the legitimacy of our child, and how ‘not being married in church’ would affect our profession *especially when we apply to Catholic schools*.
Now, I’ll be featuring how our wedding went on (from church to reception), and how it was possibly done with a limited budget (from dress to giveaways).
This church was actually the request of my Papa Roger. He wanted us to get married here for some reason. Luckily, before our wedding day, the church had undergone renovation.
HOW MUCH WAS THE CHURCH FEE?
Originally, it was 10,000Php. It’s really expensive for a small church like this. The 10,000-peso fee was inclusive of flowers, the red carpet, and the choir. But I tell you, if only we had more time to prepare and think things out, and if only I had more knowledge about weddings that time, I would have requested to assign a better choir *like, maybe, my students*. We weren’t able to choose what songs to be sung during the entourage, and the choir didn’t really sing fantastically *it basically sounded like a regular mass*.
We asked the parish priest to give us a discount by not including the flowers. He set 8,000Php as the final price. I didn’t want them to provide the flowers because that ‘2,000Php’ would only be for the aisle flowers; no bride’s bouquet yet. So, my best friend and I canvassed flowers at DANGWA.
As you can see, the decoration was very simple for an 8,000-peso fee. I am not saying that I am after the money. It’s just that in my own view, the money spent wasn’t worth it. Should churches really ask a big amount for a Sacrament of Matrimony? *just an opinion*.
Our wedding was scheduled at 3PM of November 22, 2014. However, as a lesson learned, you have to be at the church earlier. Since it was a Saturday, the church had afternoon mass schedules. It’s a no-no to be late.
DANGWA is the best place for flowers here in Metro Manila. Since it was a BER-month, the flowers were expensive that time. However, I didn’t settle for one store. My best friend and I really roamed around to find the cheapest yet worthy store of flowers; and, we did! As I could remember it, I spent more or less 3,000-4,000Php on flowers inclusive of the bride’s bouquet, aisle flowers, male and female corsages, and the mixed petals for the flower girls.
It’s sad that I lost the receipt and their contact numbers; although, I remember their store’s location. They really gave a great service. The complied with the delivery time I had set. In fact, they even delivered it earlier. Plus, they were friendly. They also congratulated me via a text message.
THE WEDDING DRESS AND ACCESSORIES, AND THE GROOM’S BARONG
THE BRIDE’S DRESS
Again, if only I had enough budget, I would have chosen a dress of my own design.
The design of my wedding dress was simple yet elegant. It was the boutique’s staff who had an awful service.
Where to find cheap wedding dresses? DIVISORIA! Everything’s there! We were really tight on the budget, so I set aside my dream wedding dress. I bought this dress for only 1,500Php inclusive of the ring and coin arras pillows, the wedding garter, the cord, and the veil. Cheap, right? But in all fairness, it didn’t look cheap at all. If only I had extra money, I would have asked them to do longer veil.
Given that I was 6 months pregnant, this tube wedding gown made me look wider *really WIDE!*. This is the reason why my shots were more of back poses. I would advice that if you think your upper body structure and arms look wide, go for a laced-sleeve dress or put on something that will cover your arms like an off-shoulder wedding dress.
Going back to why I said the service of this bridal boutique was awful — THEY TAILORED MY DRESS, LATE! I told them that I was going to pick-up my dress at November 10, 2014, Monday. That’s 12 days before my wedding day. However, they said that IT WASN’T FINISHED YET! They also reasoned out that the dress would be coming from the province! How unprofessional! I was really so stressed out! Then, I asked them a date when I could pick-up my dress, and they told me, Wednesday. That was November 12, 2014. And then, when I followed them up an evening before Wednesday via SMS, they told me that the dress would be delivered to their shop on Friday, November 14, 2014! It was 4 days late!
I am not going to recommend you their boutique even if the dress they made was lovely. If you want, you may stroll around Divisoria to canvass. There are lots of boutiques for you to choose from.
Just a tip: Do not buy inside 168 or malls beside it because they offer a more expensive price, but if you can afford it, go ahead. I forgot the name of the building where I bought my dress, but it’s near Mang Inasal and almost beside 168 mall. That building sells cheaper dresses.
I also bought my shoes and accessories at Divisoria *really the best place for me*. I needed to find a pair of heels which would make we walk comfortably since I was pregnant then. However, I was only able to wear it at the church ceremony because I had a hard time walking with it since I was heavier due to my pregnancy. As for my earrings, I bought a clip-designed one. I am allergic to the usual earrings *my ears are not pierced*. Then, I saw a 99-peso set of accessories which included a necklace, a bracelet, and a pair of earrings which I did not wear (I gave it to my mother-in-law).
See? You really don’t need an expensive wedding dress nor extravagant accessories. Does it even look cheap one me in the pictures? It’s really how you BRING YOURSELF *even if your pregnant ;)*
THE GROOM’S BARONG
My husband really doesn’t want to wear suits in these kinds of occasions. He prefers to wear BARONG. He actually has a collection of it.
He didn’t go for the usual white barong. He wanted something unique so he bought a very elegant brown barong. Guess where he bought it? Also at Divisoria, haha! It was worth 600Php.
What I liked about his barong was the ombre-colored design. 🙂 As for his slacks, he just used what he has (actually, the one he uses for teaching). As for his shoes, we also bought it at Divisoria woth 350 or 400Php as I remember it.
THE WEDDING RING
My eldest brother sponsored our wedding ring. I really am blessed with loving and thoughtful brothers. I didn’t want a fancy one. What I wanted was like the wedding ring of Bella and Edward Cullen of Twilight. The budget given to us was 10,000Php. We went to Ongpin (China Town) to look for ‘legit’ gold wedding rings *be careful of fake ones!*. We were able to purchase a paired wedding ring worth more or less 6,000Php *I don’t remember the exact price*. The ring we got was white gold *I forgot how many karats*. What I did not like about the ring was the carving of our names. It was just handwritten. Nonetheless, the ring itself is simple yet posh.
Hotel services are costly. It was a challenge for me and my MIL to find a cheap, yet classy hotel. We found THE SUEZ HOTEL (also known as The Suez Serviced Studios). It’s a very small hotel but they have a great service. Also, the room was clean and the ambiance was relaxing. They have a mini bar and a great view on their roof top where we shot our preparation photos and our SDE (Same-day edit).
Photos grabbed from Google
The rate was 2,400 pesos for 24 hours. My MIL and I checked-in at 2PM the day before the wedding and checked out at 2PM the next day. My husband just went at the hotel at 10AM to prepare, while my HMUA came at 9AM.
The hotel’s facilities are also nice except that we were only provided with one room card key which was supposed to be 2 since the room was for two. The 2,400Php was inclusive of breakfast, the room, and the use of amenities. Also, the room had a mini refrigerator and a TV (though I think hotel rooms must really have those) *sorry, I don’t usually check-in to hotels so I really have no idea*.
For more inquiries, contact them at:
I am blessed to have an older brother who’s a chef, so he was the one who handled the catering services for our wedding. Well, it was his close friends’ catering services, and as I remember it, our wedding was their first wedding event they catered food at. The name of the catering services is D&G Catering.
How were we able to pay for the catering services? Sponsors. My Papa Danny sponsored the catering services. Food is one of the biggest budget you should prepare for. I was blessed to have someone who shouldered the expenses.
Their food was absolutely sumptuous! Even our guests gave the same feedback. The package for 100 pax is worth 30,000Php inclusive of food, tables, chairs, and center table decorations.
Since my brother knows I love pink, he asked the set-up to be pink even though the motif of the our wedding was rainbow.I also loved what they did with the table napkin (4th photo) because it was personalized. They tied a ribbon attached with a circular paper that has our initials and the date of our wedding on it.
Our menu was complete; pork, beef, fish, vegetables, pasta, and dessert *however, I do not remember the specific dishes prepared except for the fish fillet and carbonara*.
Visit their Facebook account or contact them at the given numbers above. You may look for Dan. ❤
PHOTO AND VIDEO SERVICES
My Papa Danny’s (Danny Ignacio) business is photography: VIGNETTE PHOTOGRAPHY. So definitely, I am again blessed to have consumed quality services for free. In tandem with my eldest brother, Bogs Ignacio, they have been hoarding awards locally and internationally. They are members of the WPPP (Wedding and Portrait Photographers of the Philippines) and WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International).
All wedding photos used in this blog post, except the ones with the caption ‘grabbed from Google, were their shots. Take note, the photos used here are just the RAW photos; not Photoshopped yet. Amazing, right? Vignette Photography it is!
***Most of the photos I uploaded here are not the original size which is why some are in low quality and are pixelated already. I had to compress the pictures for faster uploading. For the best quality of photos, you may visit my wedding albums on my Facebook account: Veeh Narvaez-Batario.
Aside from the photos, they were the ones who produced our AVP (Growing up photos) and SDE (On-site video). I haven’t uploaded our AVP yet, but our SDE is on my Facebook account.
After our on-site video had been presented, many were amazed. A lot of our guests asked the photo and video services that covered our wedding — even up to now. However, there was a human error done on our SDE video. You will notice that the date was incorrectly type written — instead of ’22nd’ it was ’22th’.
Nonetheless, I am satisfied with my dad’s team! I hope one day, my dad will permit me and my husband to have the postponed prenup shoot maybe on the 5th year of our marriage… that’ll be called the ‘post-nuptial shoot’ *lol!*.
For more inquires, you may contact them at:
THE RECEPTION VENUE
It was also a challenge for us to find a cheap venue. I mean this is MAKATI — everything’s costly. We saw this building named, The WSI Corporate Center, located on Metropolitan Avenue in Makati City. It’s an all-in-one venue great for business meetings, parties, weddings, and debuts.
We occupied the Multipurpose Hall and Open Deck for 4 hours. The rate last 2014 was 12,000Php. Now, it’s already 14,000Php. Also, we added a certain amount for the LCD projector, and for the additional electricity that we consumed for the electric guitar and camera lights. The rate summed up to 13,000+ but less than 14,000. We had the whole floor on our own which I really liked. The venue was fully air-conditioned. Also, Von, the one who assisted us, added an hour use of the venue for FREE! He also offered cocktail tables (which were placed on the open deck) and chairs for free.However, we weren’t able to make use of the open deck that much because it rained during the reception *just right after our photo shoot*. If ever, it would have been a great place for dancing, drinking, and chitchats. There was also a mini kitchen backstage. It had a large refrigerator and a sink; a great help for food preparation. Comfort rooms were also on the same floor. What I loved about the comfort rooms is that it’s not too small, so I was able to change into my red dress hassle-free.
I also saw the building’s roof top. It’s a larger place good for 200 pax. You just have to rent tents in case it rains during your event.
For more questions, contact Von Ordonez at the given numbers above or you may directly visit the place too see it for yourself. You may also visit their Facebook page: @wsiccreservations.
GUESTBOOK, INVITATION, GIVEAWAYS, DOVES, BRIDAL CAR, AND CAKE
Since we weren’t able to do a prenup shoot, we had no guestbook from Vignette. So, I did a DIY Guestbook. I just bought a scrapbook from Hallmark and designed it. For tight budgets, DIY is the answer! Less expense, yet plus points for effort, and I think that’s beautiful *lol!*.
Simple guestbook with lovely messages from my guests. ❤
We weren’t able to take a photo of the actual invitation we made. But again, it’s DIY. My MIL and I did the wedding invitations. We kept it simple — printed on a scented cream paper, utilized sticker papers with our initial’s logo, and designed it with colorful ribbons. Also, we only gave invitations to the ones who are part of the entourage, and we only gave 1 (one) invitation per family so that we can cut the cost of materials and the fare in delivering the invitations. There’s social media to invite family and friends anyway. Communication’s faster! I created an event where I posted all the details of the wedding, and I also posted the invitation in JPEG format. Here’s the sample of what’s inside our invitation:
I also went to Divisoria for the giveaways. There were a lot of wonderful designs to choose from! However, since the budget was tight, I had to find the cheapest giveaway for my guests.
This is the only giveaway left with me *photo taken last night*. We weren’t able to take pictures of the giveaways before it was distributed to the guests. This came in may colors: yellow (as seen in the picture), pink, green, and violet *since my motif was rainbow*. This costed 12Php each. I only ordered 50 pieces since I know for sure that not all the invited guests will attend the wedding. TIP: Do not order a lot of giveaways, trust me. There were even three pieces of giveaways left after the wedding. Reminder: They have a minimum number of pieces (I think it’s 20 pieces). I was able to get my orders on the same day I ordered it! You just have to wait for several hours. At least, you wouldn’t have to come back for pick-up unless it’s a bulk order.
We were not supposed to have the ‘Dove’ tradition ceremony in our wedding because our pockets were nearly empty. Then, an angel came… my older brother’s girlfriend! Unexpectedly, she gave us a wedding gift in a form of cash. When I received the money the day before our wedding, I hurriedly went to Cartimar *that was so stressful*. It is the best place for pets. I was lucky to had met a helpful tricycle driver who did an effort to help me find a shop which sells cheap doves. I got the male and female doves for only 500Php, and the cage for only 200+Php *I forgot the exact price*.
My MIL designed the doves’ cage with crepe papers. See? DIY again. I forgot to mention that the flower girls’ headdresses were DIY too! My MIL has an amazing talent turning crepe papers into flowers and ribbons.
The bridal car we used was my Ninong Roy’s car. To cut down the expenses, we thought of borrowing a car. Since his wife, Tita Rachel, will be using the same car to attend my wedding, we thought of borrowing theirs.
It’s still up to you if you would like to rent a bridal car. I mean minus 4,oooPhp (a minimum rate for a bridal car rental) is a big help for couples who are on a tight budget.
I wanted a 2-layer fondant cake, but we couldn’t afford it. So, we settled on Red Ribbon Bakeshop.
This was their cheapest wedding cake. It costs less than 700Php. Yes, there were no cake slices for everyone. Also, there were no wines for each table because we really could not afford it. But you know what? I was surprised how this cake tasted… it was so good! For a simple cake like this, I never expected it to taste so fudgey! The flavor was thick chocolate. If there’s one thing I love about Red Ribbon Bakeshop — it never fails my taste buds. ❤
HMUA AND MASTERS OF CEREMONY
I am also blessed with talented colleagues! My HMUA (hair and make-up artists) were my colleagues and friends, Kevin Lucidos and Janice Villas. Kevin is really a great artist! As you can see, this is what he did to my face on my big day:
As for my hair, they put hair extensions since I had a short hairstyle back then. It was a messy ponytail that looked great on me *at least for me, lol!*.
You really don’t need to spend much for a HMUA. If you have friends who are talented in terms of utilizing makeup products, why not hire them, or better yet, they may offer it for FREE just like my colleagues!
You may contact Kevin on Facebook for inquires: Kevyn Lucidos.
For the masters of ceremonies, I also asked my colleagues who were doing the same job in school; Sir Rovience Francisco, and again, Janice Villas.
I wanted them to lead the program because both of them have a great sense of humor. The audience did not get bored because they were laughing at Sir Rovience and Janice’s gags.
Thank you so much for my supportive colleagues and friends!
PLEASE DO HIRE A WEDDING COORDINATOR!!!
I swear!!! I was the wedding coordinator of my own wedding, and my gosh, it’s damn stressful! I am grateful, for my MIL was always beside me to assist with everything *super thank you, Mama*. If not, I would just cry over things!!!
Okay. Time to calm… hahahaha! But seriously, get someone to help you organize everything.
It was a burden being the wedding coordinator when you are the bride at the same time. Instead of having a good night sleep, I had sleepless nights which made me look stressed out and I felt so drained on my big day.
I really got so exhausted after the wedding. One thing also was that I hesitate to ask help from my friends. Well, technically, the friend that I can count on regarding these things, was in Singapore that time. Imagine? I had to be the one to process the papers; to shop at Divisoria; to pick-up my own dress and the cake; to shop for all the things needed for the wedding; to follow-up the flowers; to do the MCs’ script; to assign people tasks; to roam around Makati to find for a cheap reception venue and hotel; and aaaaaaaaall the things that a wedding coordinator should do — plus the fact that I’m on my second trimester. Goooooosh, crazy stress! I really can’t rely on my husband with these things *and I hate it actually*. Haha! Nonetheless, MY MIL AND I SURVIVED!!! I can really say that I am a one-woman; a person who does everything herself, and minimally asks for help. When, ever, can I learn to ask help from friends? Lol!
But with this experience of mine, I can see myself being a Freelance Wedding Coordinator — why not? My best friend actually gave me that idea. Since my dad’s on photography, maybe I could be on the ‘coordination’ side — or maybe, pursue my dream as a MUA. Who knows? 😉
THERE YOU HAVE IT!
I hope you have learned something from this blog post. For those soon-to-be-wed couples, best wishes and congratulations! Remember, make your wedding MEMORABLE! On top of it all, CHERISH your wedding. ❤ It’s a FOREVER commitment. 🙂
I would love to hear your wedding experiences, and your insights on this post. Comment down or message me on Facebook — Veeh Narvaez-Batario.
Till next time! Ciao!