Monday, May 27, 2013

Thank you, Dette and Geoff!

Dette contacted me first when she was looking for an emcee. I informed her right away that I was already booked on her date. However, after a few days, she contacted me to ask if it would be possible for me to help her with the AVPs she wanted for her big day.

She sent me close to 300 pictures! :)

So I suggested that we divide them into four AVPs, just so we won't go over 5 minutes for each one. We had (1) a game AVP to be used during cocktail hour; (2) a tribute AVP for family and friends; (3) a growing-up AVP, and (4) a love story AVP since they sent me bullet points regarding how they met and fell in love. Glad Dette went with the idea of dividing the pictures into 4 AVPs -- especially since she needed to buy prizes for the table that would win the cocktail game.

Sharing here the love story AVP as well as the message I got from Dette when she received the DVD of AVPs. :)


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sharing a Frustration

When I posted this thought, I didn't think it would be shared and re-posted. I just thought of sharing my frustration at seeing brides and grooms straining to get a better view of each AVP given how guests approach and stand between them and the screen. But I guess since people shared it and re-posted it, they "share my sentiments", too.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Brave and creative, they are.

Mike and Vicky thought of using the Pub Quiz format for their wedding reception last Feburary. While I was a bit scared that some guests might find it annoying that we'd stop from time to time to answer questions, I was also excited about executing it. After all, it's not everyday that a couple comes to me with such a fresh, enticing concept. (I have to admit that it appealed to my inner "geek", and it gave me a chance to re-live the games we played during leadership training seminars conducted with my co-alumni in the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines. :)

We had a "meet and greet" here, but we basically finished the programme online since they are based abroad. A fun discussion of what would be done to begin the programme, and when to put questions ensued via Skype, but when they finished writing the questions (around 30 or more), they gave me a freehand as to what questions would be asked per segment. Thus, if I remember correctly, we had the Star Wars-related question right after their grand entrance since they came in wearing masks. Talk about being brave and creative!

Needless to say, their concept was a big hit! Guests were literally diving into their answer sheets after every question. Table-mates huddled so that guests from other tables wouldn't hear their discussions. Yup, the question and answer moments were really competitive. You want proof of how engaged they were? Check out this FB conversation after the wedding (as provided by Vicky).

I loved how even those at the VIP table were getting into the game -- answering out loud, mouthing answers, and even standing up to support particular tables by helping them respond to the questions. (Vicky and Mike made sure they had a variety of questions ranging from religion to math, technology, movies, and the like. So yes, everyone had something they could relate to at certain points and they made it obvious due to their reactions. So we all had good laughs, too.)

The Once a Bride team provided a scoreboard via an excel sheet, and when we revealed the current standing upon resumption of the programme, everyone got even more engaged, so much so that we had a tie at the end of the programme and even went into "sudden death rounds" of not one but two tie breakers!!! The picture on the left shows the winners -- they who survived two major questions at the end of the programme. Wow!

The best part of the night for me was not just the fireworks at the end, but also the "fireworks" I felt while walking to the car and overhearing guests talking about how they had fun because the programme was "not too long" and had a "unexpected twist". There was really nothing traditional save for the pictorial to buffet process. Well, everyone has to eat, right? :)

Thank you, Vicky and Mike, for taking time to write the note below despite your busy schedules. I truly appreciate it! :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Full Weekend and a Full Heart

I had four weddings this weekend -- one on Friday, 2 last Saturday, and 1 yesterday/Sunday.

Friday had a starry, starry night theme in Glass Garden. They had a really nice painting to encapsulate the theme. It also served as their message board and I guess the guests loved the concept that they all didn't need to be asked twice when they saw a pen beside the painting. The canvas was full of messages by the time we ended the programme. The table names were also based on constellations which we got to emphasize because there was a table bingo as well. The painting served as their base for the boutonnieres, too! And check out the dazzling and cheery Vatel Manila bouquet! The vibe was effectively matched by the set-up of K by Cunanan Catering.



The cake also communicated the theme perfectly. Kudos to Ms. Joy San Gabriel. :)

After dinner, we had a "Name That Tune" contest. Of course, among the songs were: "Stars" and "Vincent". Loved the guests' reactions to the songs as we played each one through the sound system brought by Ms. Chi of Once a Bride. They were even singing along to some tunes. Because there were selections from the 70's, even the godparents were answering -- telling each other the titles -- even if they were technically excluded from the game.


We ended the programme with a great SDE from Niceprint. :)

The heartfelt "thank you" from the couple was more than enough to make my night complete. :)
My first wedding last Saturday was in Camp Aguinaldo. They didn't really have a theme, but the couple truly wowed the crowd with their dance numbers -- first, with the entourage using the tune, "Gentleman", then on their own using three songs. Yup, they pulled off a medley despite having only a few days to prepare for the programme. :)

During the programme, the wedding superstitions game was a hit among guests with everyone competing to give the correct answers. The clincher was the question regarding the nationality that started the tradition of wearing white. During the said sudden death round, one participant raised "B" right away, so the other one had to go for "A". Little did he know that "A" is the correct answer! So yes, the group went home with prizes from the bride and groom. :)





We also had a singles game wherein we ended up inviting the fiancee of the bachelor who got singled out. Everyone laughed as the girl thought she had already escaped getting a consequence that day. :)

In lieu of dancing to get the garter, we had the 3 kisses challenge which the groom and the bachelor did with gusto -- after all, they were kissing the ladies they truly loved. :)

The very touching handshake and thank you messages I got from the parents before I left were more than enough to make my day, but today, Monday, I received a really sweet message from the bride as well... Thank you, Kim... :)

I wrote a separate blog entry about by second wedding last May 18 in Blue Leaf. The beautiful set-up on the right is from K by Cunanan, while the cake came from Hearts and Bells. Great music flowed from Sound Salad with Sensitivity providing tech support. :)

See:  Aian and Tata: Our OBB

In the link, you will get to view the OBB I made for them. This is the AVP that gets shown right before the couple's grand entrance. :)

Tata was also very sweet because even if she was supposed to eat, have her retouch, and worry about her grand entrance and first dance, she remembered to ask her coordinator for the gift she wanted to give me. The picture of the gift is also in the link... :) Super touching gesture! Thanks again, Aian and Tata... :) I'm sure their guests also appreciated all the prizes they gave away including a cellular phone!!! :)

They also had such wonderful onsite AVPs from Francis Perez of Team Pat Dy & Notion in Motion. A scene from the same day edit of Notion in Motion even prompted the relatives of the groom to exclaim, "Parang artista nga!" You guys should definitely see both AVPs... :) I could not stop talking about them till the next day! Haha! :)

On May 19, the Feast of the Pentecost", we made our way to Gloria Maris, Greenhills. I was so looking forward to the grand entrance and first dance because the bride and groom planned on dancing from the entrance to the dance floor. This would be no mean feat because not all couples are able to pull this off... And I am so glad to say that they did make it happen amidst the cheers and applause of the guests. They did what they were not expected to do and the guests came out of the experience pleasantly surprised. I don't think there was anyone in the hall who did not have a smile on his/her face while the couple was dancing! Kudos to Gilbert and Precious! :)

The "Kiss My Shirt" couples' game was also fun for everyone with one couple garnering as much as 68 points! As Precious said prior to the game, "Be Competitive". And the bride and groom truly made it worth the while of the winner because they got buffet gift certificates from one of the leading hotels in the Metro. Wow!

Vatel Manila and ETC provided the lovely bouquet and the floral pillows that matched the dancing shoes of the bride! :)

This programme had heartfelt yet entertaining speeches. Was really amazed at how all of them (4 males, 2 females) had the crowd reacting to their messages.

I guess they were able to write such crowd-drawing speeches because they truly care about the bride and groom, and they really knew how to describe them in ways only those who truly know them can. Kudos to the best men, their friend, and the maid and matron of honour for keeping everyone focused during the well wishers time of the programme.

Kudos, too, to Paul Vincent and Afama for their superb takes on what transpired throughout the day through their onsite AVPs. :)

Thank you to Precious and Gilbert for taking time to send me a message this morning. Truly, truly appreciated! :)

So now you all know why this entry has the title, "A Full Weekend and a Full Heart". :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Aian & Tata: Our OBB

Aian and Tata were very hands on in creating their programme. They made sure each element would be enjoyable to the guests -- including the games and prizes!

I was given the task of preparing their OBB, the AVP that gets shown right before the couple's entrance. So happy they liked it... and judging from the applause and reactions of the guests to the phrases that came out, I'd say, the guests appreciated it, too. :)

Here's the OBB :)


Thank you for the gift, Tata and Aian... :) Super appreciate it :)


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Letting Guests Know You Care

How do the bride and groom communicate that they have the best intentions for their guests?

a) They get a good stylist so that the guests have a feast for the eyes upon entering the venue. (See the two bottom pictures, styling courtesy of Love in Bloom)

b) They prepare a carving station complete with various sauces and bread so the cocktails would be heavy enough to sustain guests while they are waiting for dinner.

c) They also prepare a sweet and savory buffet of treats to keep guests busy during cocktail time. (Even at the end of the programme the buffet still had treats that guests could take home.)

d) They choose to have two drink options during cocktails -- lemonade and iced tea -- complete with paper straws that matched their motif.

e) They hire two photobooths so that the lines would not be long -- considering the number of guests they had (more than 300).

f) They prepare games that guests would truly enjoy, the first of which was a themed poses challenge.

Guests had tent cards on their tables stating the actual scenarios they needed to recreate as tableaux in front. (I think it was also a challenge for the couple since they prepared 30+ scenarios and they even made a powerpoint of all the table scenarios/themes so that the rest would know what scenario is being shown and if they ought to get ready because they are next.)

I am so happy to note that all the guests -- young and old -- participated in this challenge. This means though that couples really need to assess their guests before thinking of games. And indeed, it truly pays off in the end when couples provide food during cocktails, because guests are easier to deal with when their stomachs aren't grumbling. :)

g) They decide on having a quick singles game by way of what I call, "The Damsel in Distress Challenge". We all had a good laugh here because one of the boys ended up running away with the shoe of the girl he was supposed to save... yup, he ended up holding on to the shoe long after he should have helped the girl wear it. And when we discovered where the shoe went... he was greeted with cheers and loud laughter.


It's always gratifying for brides and grooms when the programme ends with a hall that still has a lot of guests. This reception was no exception. It really is important to invite guests who care enough to stay and to think of programme elements they would all appreciate so that staying would not be a difficult decision.

Thank you, Doty (and JP) for the note you sent after the wedding. I truly, truly appreciate it. :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

When you're with The Queen...

I announced that I would be on coordination hiatus last year; thus, you can imagine my surprise at the inquiries I am suddenly getting again for coordination -- one after the other, since yesterday. Over the past months, I would get inquiries for emceeing wherein the brides/grooms ask me again if I would really not reconsider my decision to go on break, but still, they are primarily asking for the emceeing packages. These two days, the experience is different -- they are really asking for coordination packages.

I figured, now is the right time to post this entry regarding one of my idols in the wedding industry.

I first met Ms. Queen David when Ms. Benz organized a dinner for "w@wies-turned-coordinators" in 2010. She struck me then as someone who was no-nonsense yet down-to-earth. Several months after, she was featured via a w@w podcast. I listened intently, played it over and over, and forced my husband to listen as well. Forced is the word because he said he hears of weddings 24/7 with me pa lang, now he also has to listen to a podcast? Kidding aside, I learned a lot from that podcast and I encourage all coordinators to listen to that episode. :)

I finally got the chance to work with Queen and her team this 2013. I looked forward to the opportunity because I knew it would have the right mix of seriousness and fun. I wish I could be as cool and unperturbed as she is -- a wedding coordinator who doesn't look stressed. I know when I was coordinating, there were times I could not play the role of the proverbial duck -- unruffled yet furiously paddling underneath. But this lady was cool as a cucumber all throughout the event -- despite the number of suppliers present, despite all the details especially during the grand entrance to first dance part, etc.

She had an efficient team of professionals who worked on various facets -- from briefing the entourage to staying at the tech area, to encouraging the singles to join the singles game. I really saw them on the floor, egging on the singles to walk to the program area as fast as possible so that the beginning of game time would not be dragging.

In the end, getting an experienced coordinating team, in this case, Just Like Ours, truly paid off for the bride and the groom -- all they needed to worry about was executing their grand entrance and dance really well. (But that's another blog entry... see my post regarding April 27, 2013. :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Thank you, dear couple! :)

Che and Aldwin wanted a simple, elegant, and Christian reception... :) Most of their guests stayed till the end of the programme to personally wish them well. This was really heartwarming -- a scene that can't be staged, a scene that only come from guests who truly love the bride and groom. :)

Loved it that I got to see my past couple, Rafferty and Kathy, again. Rafferty had everyone in stitches as he walked ever so slowly & gingerly to Kathy while all the boys were already getting their fill of cake. All the boys were blindfolded and only Rafferty was careful enough not to hit anyone as he walked towards the sound of Kathy's voice... :)

I received this from Che yesterday -- yup, on their first monthsary! Let's all wish them well... :)




Monday, May 6, 2013

April 27, 2013 - When it rains, it pours... (good memories)

The 27th of April 2013 was a big day for me because I had two brides -- one who booked me for full coordination but changed dates and another who booked me during my first emceeing promo... :) Before you read on, do note that not all pictures came from me. I asked for permission from both brides if I could grab some pictures off their Facebook walls, just to complete this blog post. Both graciously agreed... such sweet brides! :)

Erlyn and Archie


Erlyn booked me for full coordination so many months ago, I can't even remember exactly when. What I do know is that we spent more than a year preparing for their big day. It was unfortunate that when she had to change wedding dates, we ended up getting one for which I had already been booked prior for emceeing. We thought it would be best to stick to an April date to avoid the rain; moreover, almost all suppliers were free so no loses in terms of downpayments. I asked fellow suppliers for recommendations so I could entrust Erlyn and Archie to a an on-the-day coordinator who could take care of her details. Erlyn agreed to have another team handle her on the day, but she requested that I still visit her during preps.



Fast forward to April 27, 2013 -- after hundreds of email exchanges -- I was in Dusit walking to Erlyn's room. Her blush pink gown was of course, breathtaking to say the least. It matched her skin tone, her slender figure, and her over-all bubbly personality. Accessories also came from premiere designer, Cecilio Abad.

The candles, personalized cord, and matches were ordered from Eyzel of PDW.

Make-up and hair were courtesy of Elaine Silva, Erl's sister, and her team. Even the entourage had their hair and make-up efficiently covered by Elaine's team.



Bouquets were from Vatel Manila. I was transfixed for around 2 seconds when I realized that the bouquet had peonies and thistles -- both were part of my very first Vatel couple's bouquet and boutonniere. Talk about going full circle with Dylan! (Yup, this is my last coordination stint.)


When I mentioned to Archie that the rest have boutonnieres, too, he asked if he's the only one with a special handmade boutonniere from {ETC}. I said yes, of course! Archie responded by saying, "Syempre, di ba? Groom naman ako today".




Archie, the fathers, the mothers, and the ladies in the entourage all trooped to Tito Boy Kastner's atelier so that they could look their best on this big day. Tito Boy made sure Erl's picnic theme would be communicated by the printed dresses. Look at how happy the colors are despite the rain that day! There's another print used for the other ladies but I haven't seen pictures yet on Erl's wall. I should have taken pictures of them in Dusit!



Archie looked dapper in his tux. And look! Erl got her wish to be photographed with Krispy Kreme hats and doughnuts. I know the gate picture and the Krispy Kreme pics came from Toto Villaruel's wall... :) So pretty! You won't think it rained just minutes prior. :) 
After taking pictures of the details and discussing stuff with Thea, her OTDC, I transferred to Archie's room to check on him. I asked to see the boutonniere from {ETC} and of course, I took a picture. Sooooooo cute! I called for housekeeping to fix his bed, had a quick chat with his dad and his nephews, and reassured him that Hans of Uno Ritmo was ready to accompany him during his surprise song number later. Then, I went back to Erl's room.

While there, I reminded Toto and the rest of the ImagineNation team as well as John Marvi and his Cinemaworks team that Erlyn had lots and lots of details waiting for them at the reception. Since Erl was already having her make-up, I decided to transfer to Enderun to check on her details.

What greeted me upon entering Enderun was of course, the heat. After all, it was prep time, so no airconditioning yet. I wanted to do a sample for the manong florist so I asked for the bottles, table numbers, and the box of flowers. Manong assured me he would add to the flowers since we only had one bottle per table. (And he did, based on the Facebook pictures I saw later on.)

I must commend the waiters of Enderun because they did all requests without complaining or muttering snide remarks. Yup, even if I made them repeat the arrangements of the white and black tiffany chairs; repeat the folding of table napkins because we had table napkin rings, even if they had to painstakingly fasten the table belts, and even if they were hauling boxes of bottles from storage to the pavilion and kitchen. There were lots of bottles because: 1) some were water bubbles for the ceremony area, 2) some were bottles for the centerpieces, and 3) some were bottles to be used as iced tea glasses for dinner. You can imagine the number of boxes they hauled! When they finished setting up the white chairs of the VIPs, the coords started fastening the place cards to the chairs. I did the designs of the place cards, stubs, and the table numbers and asked impress prints to handle the printing. Enderun does not have white tiffany chairs, so we had to order them from Maja Martinez - Angeles of Passion Cooks. :)

Before I left, I took a picture of the escort cards attached to the fans. Inside each fan pocket were three cards for Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, and for the raffle later. Krispy Kreme and Juicebox were already starting their set-ups, and the coordinators had a chance to test the DVD I made for Erl and Archie as well -- a slideshow of couple pictures, an OBB, and a growing-up AVP.

By the time we were already leaving the McKinley area, dark clouds were forming. I prayed hard. I asked God for just a little time -- just so they can have their garden ceremony. However, God had other plans that day, so it rained cats and dogs and the ceremony had to happen inside -- no choice. I'm sure the guests were still happy they got to take home the personalized umbrella giveaways.

It was a bit disconcerting to see the raindrops on the windshield, as I was even joking with Elmer of Rejectkrew that I would take a picture of him before set-up and after so we can see how "fried" he would look after wiring his speakers under the intense heat of the sun. Of course, I'm glad they were able to quickly clear out their electronics when the rain started.

Loved it when Thea informed me that they were able to do group photos by the gate the florist set up and they got to use their E and A backdrop at the reception.

It was very heartwarming to see the pictures of the march, the first dance, and of course, to read the posts after the reception -- especially regarding the surprise song number of Archie for Erl. I am so looking forward to seeing the onsite photo slideshow of Toto and the SDE of Cinemaworks. Thank you, Thea, for taking time to call me that night just to let me know all went well; I know you must have been tired already by that time because you emceed as well. :)


Thank you, Erl and Archie, for the gifts! They are truly appreciated! :)

John and Marianne


Marianne booked me during my first promo as emcee. Despite her busy schedule as a lawyer, she was able to accomplish the my emceeing file and send it to me with time to spare. After a series of exchanges, we were able to practically iron out almost everything in the programme. Soon it was time to meet with her, John, and Queen, their ever efficient head coordinator. I was excited to join the meeting because Queen became one of my idols after the "w@wies turned coordinators" dinner Ms. Benz organized. (I will write a separate post about her. :)

During the meeting, we thought of a way to spice up their grand entrance and make full use of their LED wall from Sensitivity, the sound and light support Jamsy would provide, and the live feed coming from the team of Bob Nicolas. It was great that both were game enough to consider doing a singing entrance. After all, 3rd Avenue would be there to provide vocal assistance should the song be overwhelming.

Prior to the day, I prepared possible backdrops to be displayed on their LED wall. I even bugged sensitivity because I was scared about the file pixelating and all. Good thing, all three came out all right. These are two of the pics that were shown on screen as backdrops.


When John and Marianne arrived, we did a quick run through between bites -- yup, while Marianne was also being given a retouch by Tippy Dee and his team. They were even able to practice their dip as instructed by Tippy. Hehe! I got so transfixed by the practice, I forgot to take a picture of the beautiful Vatel bouquet, so yes, this is once again a screen grab from Marianne's FB wall. I had a chance though to take a picture of the cake that Kiko made and one of the set-ups of Gideon Hermosa. By the way, the gown is one of Marc Rancy's resplendent creations... :)

On the day, it was truly magical hearing 3rd Avenue do their blending right after I introduced John and Marianne. The moment John brought the microphone closer to his lips, the crowd started cheering. They finished their song on stage, danced to the chorus as 3rd Avenue performed their assigned part of the song, and finished with a flourish. But that was not their planned their first dance. They just wanted the crowd to think that way. They still had one more surprise up their sleeve -- a medley of 90's hits! That really brought the house down -- people were alternately singing, clapping, cheering, and taking videos as John and Marianne did their steps on stage.

Needless to say, the grand entrance to first dance segment made everyone realize how much John and Marianne prepared for their big day. They also raffled off major prizes after dinner. Their raffle though was via trivia questions. Guests had to call a given number if they knew the answer. The first to call and answer correctly would definitely bag the prize. Though guests were busy going from the mobile bar, to the candy buffet, to the flip books area, and the buffet, they dutifully sat and intently watched both the rockshow onsite presentation of Francis Perez (Team Pat Dy) and the poignant SDE of Bob Nicolas. After the final speech of the couple, the guests didn't need to be invited twice to party the night away with John and Marianne as 3rd Avenue began their party set. :)

I had a chance to take pictures with the w@wies who were there, particularly Joed See, who won the digicam via the instagram contest, and Jhellie de Guzman - Santos, my former bride. I was able to chat a bit with Moki Gray who did such a wonderful job with the invites, the signature frame, and the monogram of Marianne and John.

Thank you again for the gift, Marianne and John. Will definitely use the items inside... :)

This message made my morning!

It's so nice to wake up and read something like this... Thank you, dear couple... See you guys in a few months! :)


Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Great Thing about "Getting Married"

When I first read "Getting Married" written on a contract, I got excited. After all, it meant that I would be working with none other than Ms. Kutchie Zaldarriaga whom I only hear of and admire from a distance.

Since I was able to exchange Facebook messages with her, I knew it would be her Team 2 on the day; however, I still had goosebumps as I made my way to the venue -- perhaps, it's also because I'd be hosting the wedding reception of the sister-in-law of one of the icons of wedding videography, Mr. Bob Nicolas. (Needless to say, the videos that day perfectly blended poignant moments with cheer-and-laughter-inducing scenes. :)

This year, I had another chance to work with Ms. Kutchie's team 2. The difference? Ms. Kutchie had the chance to visit us because the venues of her weddings that day were literally less than 5 minutes away from each other. When I saw her prior to the start of the programme, I felt a mix of excitement and anxiety! But since Ms. Kutchie is so nice and ma-kuwento, I felt more at ease by the time I got the go signal to start the program.

What's so great about the "Getting Married" team? Let me tell you about my personal experience with them.

1) One is assigned to do a run through of the program -- including changes and names of proxies. She  approached me even before I could seek her out.
2) Said person is also assigned to assist the emcee all throughout the program -- so emcee doesn't need to look for, scan the audience, and cringe at how far the coord is when she needs to ask if the Onsite is ready, if the game paraphernalia box is nearby, etc.
3) Oh! No need to ask the coord also if the Onsite is ready. She will give you a timely update about it -- whether to lengthen a segment or just stick to the regular flow because everything is on schedule.
4) There is always someone at the sound area so music gets played according to couple's specifications. This relaxes me because I don't need to worry about the tech getting mixed up and playing the wrong songs.
5) There is also someone in charge of the projector tech, so videos are played on cue.

Actually, the list of positive points is endless... But ultimately, I really am thankful for the warmth they all exude -- even if we just met in the venue. I think, this is because they see how Ms. Kutchie deals with people -- always with a cheerful smile, always inclusive. I guess with her status, I expected someone who would not have the time of day for a newbie like me. It's the opposite and now I know why all her couples and fellow suppliers love her.

Thank you again, Ms. Kutchie! You are such a great role model! :)