Perfect 10 Weddings

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Note about AVPs

With the advent of easy to use software and well meaning friends and family, we have an influx of AVPs that need to be shown during the reception programme.

Do note:
A) Your major AVPs are the Onsite photo sideshow and same day edit video. Let's highlight them in the program.

A.1) Please tell your parents they are important so they should refrain from talking to you and making relatives pose with you while these are being shown

A.2) Avoid having several AVPs shown prior to these 2. I'm not talking about loops here, I'm referring to AVPs that are really given solo space within the program. If you've had 3 prior to the SDE, people might think your SDE is just like the ones that were shown earlier.

A.3) Avoid making the program too lengthy with so many giving speeches. If the program drags because of speakers giving lengthy messages, people will leave; consequently, only a small fraction of those who ate will be around to watch the final AVPs.

B) Give program space to AVPs with meat -- a story to tell, an actual video that has been edited, and the like. Sideshows of pictures can be used as loops during cocktail time and during dinner. They give people something to watch while waiting. :)

B.1) AVPs within the program should not go beyond the length of a regular song, ie. around 4 to 5 mins max. 

B.2) Since you want people to watch it closely, make it count. Add game questions, add a story line, add messages, etc. That way, they have a reason to watch. :)

C) Burn all AVPs in DVD format since most projector providers send in DVD players not laptops.

C.1) f it's free, ask if you need to pay extra for the technician :)

C.2) If you insist on connecting your Mac, bring your own connector :)

D) Know the screen size and the ANSI lumens of the projector.

D.1) Check if they have the right specs given your layout and number of guests. You can ask your photo and video suppliers for their requested specs, too. 

D.2) If you have two or three screens, make sure you have splitters for both DVD players and laptops. 

Let's lessen the stress on the day by preparing for the program prior to the big day :) 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

As I packed our boxes one last time...

As I packed our wedding coordination boxes one last time, I felt a bit of emotion... It would be the last time our team would be together to handle a wedding.

It was an apt end to a story -- a story that began in 2010 with a 7PM ceremony in Santuario de San Antonio, followed by a reception at the Banyan Pavilion of The Blue Leaf. 

Coordinating and planning weddings was farthest from my mind when we started preparing for our own wedding. After all, I was a teacher by heart, by vocation, and by profession. When things went south and plans didn't happen as they should on the day, I kept brooding about it for days on end. And so for catharsis, I figured... might as well join the fray and throw in my own brand of organization. I learned a lot throughout our months as a team. Our efforts were recognized by the W@Wies seven months after we had our first wedding in May. We became part of the W@W Top 10 of 2010.

After more than a hundred weddings, my husband and the rest of the family requested for more time with me. They could not catch me on weekends and if they would see me on weekdays, I would most likely be busy with outlining plans, preparing AVPs, talking to fellow suppliers or rushing off to meetings. My husband figured, my catharsis was complete.

I was undecided, so I prayed for a sign.

God made sure I would understand, so he sent Pachi and PJ my way. Pachi was the maid of honor of a former bride, Isabel. When Pachi asked to book, I was hesitant because I was still unsure then if I would be coordinating till 2013, but when I asked for the date, time, and venues, I knew God had answered my prayer for a sign -- it was a point when I could say, "I've gone full circle".

Because of that booking, around February of 2012, I announced via W@W through the kindness of Ms. Benz that I would be going on hiatus as coordinator, but I would still be emceeing. The W@Wies and former couples' friends extended the same amount of warmth and support and so here I am now, staring at a calendar of emceeing bookings.

I must express my appreciation and gratefulness to the w@w community for helping me prepare for my own wedding, for giving me the chance to launch my own brand of coordinating and planning weddings, and for once again having my back when I decided to go full time as a wedding emcee.

Almost a year after that announcement, we made our way as a team to the Picasso on the 11th of January 2013.  We all had a sense of making the day extra special -- it was the last time we would lay out the paraphernalia of the bride and groom, it was the last time we would prepare food for everyone, it was the last time we would assist during pictorials, it was the last time I would teach the bride how to hold her bouquet, it was the last time I would ride the bridal car and stay with the bride till she reached the church, it was the last time I would rehearse with the parents regarding their walk, it was the last time I would handle the march from the best man to entrance of the bride, it was the last time...

And so I must say... It was an apt end to a story -- a story that ended in 2013 with a 7PM mass in Santuario de San Antonio followed by a reception at the Banyan Pavilion of The Blue Leaf.  

Thank you, team! You put your best foot forward till the very end... I could not ask for more. :) 

Thank you, Fellow Suppliers! You made our days easier just by being the great professionals that you are! :) 

Special shout out to K by Cunanan Catering! You were there at the beginning for our wedding and you were still there, creative and efficient, till the end of our run as a team. Thank you! :) 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

From Tagaytay & Back: A Tale of Three Weddings

It started with Rachelle's visit... She reserved for her wedding in Ville Sommet on October 23, 2011. We were fairly new in the wedding industry then, and she had a lot of details. But she trusted that we would be able to pull it off -- that was all we needed to give her big day everything we had -- resources, energy, and much love. 

Rachelle and Paulo thought of having an adventure theme, so yes, we talked extensively about the invitation, the set-up, and the programme, including the games which had an adventure feel to them as we challenged the participants with the creatively quirky ideas Rachelle and Paulo had. I also made an AVP for them to highlight how much of an adventure they've had in their journey towards marriage. This AVP was shown right before they made their grand entrance. 

Here we are, haggard at the end of the programme, but definitely high with the one of the best feelings of accomplishment... :) We had so much fun talking about the highlights of the day and "laughing over desserts" that we did not leave till fog had taken over much of the road from Ville Sommet to the Tagaytay rotunda. (Are you wondering why there's a phrase above that's enclosed in quotation marks? Let's ask Nella! Hehe!)         
This wedding would not have been as perfect as it had been without the able hands of K by Cunanan Catering, Jayson and Joanne Arquiza, Bong Sare of Threelogy, Vatel Manila, Veejay Floresca, Boy Kastner Santos, Missy Ferrer-Litao, Chichi Sotomil, Sound Salad, and their very own coffee bar. I hope I didn't forget anyone... I am working from memory here... :)  

Soon after Rachelle's wedding... her friends started contacting me for coordination. Thus, in 2012, we handled two more weddings from their circle of friends -- Lois and Leigh. 

Lois and Gil tied the knot on August 18, 2012. They chose to have their mass in Laguna and their reception in GCF Alabang. It wasn't so difficult since traffic didn't take over SLEX that day. Thank God! :) 

I had to bargain with all the church gods (i.e. manangs) to let them say their vows. I even received communion and mentioned the same request to the priest. They were required to email the vows, and they did. So why deny them that right? They relented, the priest gave them a chance to end the mass with their vows, and I don't think there were a lot of dry eyes after Gil and Lois said their respective lines. I wish I could state the vows here... but I can't... only a doctor-bride who is so in love can think of and deliver those lines with as much emotion. You truly are one lucky guy, Gil! 

Emceeing duties were also entrusted to me, so we had a countdown AVP to usher in our couple. Later on, we showed the growing up and tribute AVP dedicated to their parents. It was a night that combined a lot of laughter and a lot of touching points. No "dessert moment" as far as I know, right, Nella? Just a "shoe box" moment during the Maid of Honor's speech... :) Ikaw na ang MOH na may props pa during the speech! :) 

Their big day had a lot of support from great suppliers -- K by Cunanan Catering, Pictratto c/o Carlo Lagman, Green Tomato, Boy Kastner Santos, Manny Marquez, Serge Igonia, and Sound Salad. :) 

My third wedding with the barkada happened on December 1, 2012 in Splendido. Yup, all three -- out of town! This was a bit different since we had a garden ceremony. When I was feeling the heat as I was checking on ceremony area details, I just could not help but look up and thank God for giving us an extremely sunny day. It would not have looked as picturesque if there were tents all over the garden. The priest also set the record for having the most interactive ceremony as he gave the godparents, parents, and secondary sponsors speaking parts... so yes, we had to keep moving the mics all throughout the ceremony but it was well worth the effort. There was also much pressure on Leigh and Herbert's readers as they read the Bible verses in Filipino. 

No one will ever forget the vows and how they induced tears from the bride and groom and the rest of their family and friends. Ano nga ulit ang title ng first movie, Herbert? :) This couple proved that partners need not have a really long engagement to know that one was born for the other. 

There was so much laughter during preps in Taal Vista. Perhaps, Nella really set the mood when she uttered the now famous line, "Good morning, Philapins!" (I hoped I spelled that correctly... hehe!) The kulitan in the room was further fuelled by the presence of the suppliers who had enough energy to match up toe-to-toe with the barkada. Noel Salazar and ImagineNation, CJ Lagman of Threelogy, Rae Venturanza... I feel as though the other rooms around us became more energetic just by hearing the thunderous burst of laughter that ensued from our room then. (Joe San Antonio, I know you were with us in spirit that day.)
Vatel Manila's lego-inspired boutonnieres and handmade bouquet were complimented by the fresh floral bouquets, ceremony set-up, and reception arrangements by Serge Igonia and his able team. Leigh and Herbert gave their Lego theme their all as they did their DIYs -- a lego curtain, lego escort card holders, lego place card holders, lego table numbers, and lego giveaways. Was there a point when the guests did not know the theme? I don't think so... hehe! Even the cake had a lego vibe. :) 

Ellen Timbol, Velvet Mood, Artuz, Christine Bautista, and the Ladera staff ably handled the other needs of the big day.

We ended in such high spirits that we even had the case of the missing shoe to cap the evening... can you imagine how Rache got the shoe without Marose (or was it Nella) noticing that it had been taken?

Rachelle, thank you for investing so much trust in us when we were still new in the industry... It's something we will never forget. Imagine! We were able to handle all three weddings and we witnessed three of your great life moments -- your wedding, your pregnancy, and your first crack at motherhood. It was great Raine came for a visit at preps! :) 

Thank you, Lois and Leigh, for giving us as much trust as Rachelle did. Thank you to the rest of the barkada, Paola, Nella, Marose, and Diane... You all contributed to making each day memorable and full of love. You are all lucky to have each other, and most of all, the men are lucky to have you... :)