Friday, October 31, 2014

Winners! Winners! Winners!

Congratulations to the following: 

Shared 50% discount 
Malyn Sabariaga 
Rose Ann Diwa 

#thebest2waybridalpurse
Ricci Cruz 
Mary Rose Riccio

Do e-mail me so we can confer about how you can claim your prizes :) 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Because a girl can't have too many bags... let's make it an even happier xmas promo!

I've been thinking about this bag for ages -- ever since I started doing weddings and seeing how brides and grooms worry about keeping their monetary gift envelopes all throughout the reception. I've had a dad inadvertently leave a tall glass jar full of envelopes; I've seen a mom carry a cage and another mom, a box of monetary envelopes, and I've seen brides straining to stick all envelopes into a tiny bridal bag. 

Brides can't be seen lugging something big and bulky all throughout the day. They need something small and dainty -- until they get all the envelopes being handed over by guests. So why not have something that can be converted? Small and dainty at the beginning and bigger yet still coordinated with the wedding gown when needed.

Good thing Charie Cuisia of BKS Couture decided to lend me a helping hand. She produced the two bags we will be giving away in this promo. I was ecstatic when she decided to undertake the project despite her busy schedule. 

The question: Aren't we having second thoughts about giving these bags away? (Honestly, we are... we love them so much! But we know we don't need them as much as those who are getting married in the near future. So we are doing our best to selflessly give them away.)

Take them off our hands before the month ends... lest we change our minds... :) Yup, that's the reason why we shortened the promo... We are that excited to see our winners smile upon receiving their purses! :) 






Friday, October 10, 2014

The Promo: More Details

This is open to all whose weddings fall between November 2014 and June 2016, except Dec 2014 and 2015. All bookings are entitled to two discounts -- one from me and one from Gigantically. To qualify for both, you will need to book an emceeing package. You may or may not use your Gigantically discount voucher for your wedding. You may choose to use it for an upcoming party or a friend's party. That's fine. :) 

All those who will book will be entitled to a raffle entry -- we will draw the winners on November 8, and announce on November 9. Raffle prizes are noted below. :) 

How do you know if your date is still open? 

E-mail darlenetansalazar@me.com
Use the subject line: A happier xmas promo
Send in your names, date, time, and venue


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Promo! Promo! Promo!

This will go on from the 8th of October to the 8th of November 2014. Please do send your inquiry email before it's too late... :)


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Links to Helpful Articles for Those Planning their Weddings

I wrote several blog articles for Weddings at Work, thanks to Mimma Benz for the opportunity and the article ideas. Below are the links to some of them. Will update this list with the other URLs. For now, you may check out the following:


For those who wish to know what good OTD coordinators do:
What effective coordinators do

For those who need help in choosing the most suitable venue given their requirement:
Which venue should you choose?

This is for all couples because one doesn't get married without guest list woes -- written with Ayie Tuates of Imbitado Events:
Solving Guest List Woes

Wondering what you should watch out for when planning your morning, afternoon, or evening weddings? What about your out of town wedding? Click on the links below.

Anatomy of a Morning Wedding

Anatomy of an Afternoon Wedding

Anatomy of an Evening Wedding

Anatomy of an Out-of-Town Wedding




Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dear Wedding Guests

Look at these guests...
They participated in the
Photobooth contest,
and they won! 
The bride and the groom consider you important, that's why...

a) they sent you the invitation in advance
b) they worked so hard on the seating arrangement (making sure you're comfortable where you will be seated)
c) they made sure the place would be well-decorated
d) they chose a good caterer
e) they prepared a detailed programme with your enjoyment in mind

Thus, in return, you should...

a) respond to the RSVP request

Let them know if you're going or you're not going. Please do not give an answer akin to "maybe". It just unduly complicates matters -- it's as though you're telling them to spend more than a thousand for your food even if you're not sure you're going.

b) sit where you have been assigned

This is especially important among VIPs because their tables are at the centre and when they leave their seats, they end up making the front of the hall look empty. Of course, that makes the couple sad as well.

{Note to brides and grooms: A good rule of thumb is to sit the godparents with their spouses, so they won't feel the need to leave their seats.}

c) avoid taking home the decorations because there's always a chance the stylist would require the bride and groom to pay for the items that have been taken home

Ask the coordinator if you can take the items home before proceeding to pluck everything out, and please do not do so while the programme is going on. That is in very poor taste.

d) eat well but please join the group pictorials before raiding the buffet

Oh, there is absolutely no reason to avoid the cocktail hour canapés to leave room for lunch/dinner. Remember the canapés are being served at least 2 hours before the actual dinner; so yes, you would have digested them by the time the buffet gets opened.

e) participate and contribute to the programme
Guests hamming it up for the camera... with a little help
from We Celebrate's photographer, Kristel :) We all know
how We Celebrate goes the extra mile to help guests celebrate
the love of the bride and groom; thus, the very apt
company name. :) 

It does not make sense to dress up and go to the reception, only to leave after eating -- it just says you are impolite. It also does not make sense to make an effort to attend if you are just planning to be a quiet spectator. Do the cocktail hour activities, wait for the announcement of winners, talk to people, and be an active participant during the programme (clap, cheer, hoot, laugh, cry, be competitive during games -- REACT). It will make a difference if you will react and contribute -- you will not only lighten your own mood, but also the general atmosphere. Now who wouldn't want that, right?

If you are still reading, then that means you are a well-meaning guest. May your tribe increase! :)


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Can you name that tune?

This game is always a big hit but I am posting just now because it was only yesterday that I came across photos that show how much fun it is. Grabbed from the Facebook account of superb photographers, Manny and April Pulido :) 

This was during the wedding of Adrin and Tine. Guests were super competitive. We ended with a sudden death round but not without playful accusations of cheating, ie guests from other tables looking at their friends' answers. Haha! :) 




Thursday, February 27, 2014

Instagram game, anyone?

Yes, I bought an ipad connector for this purpose...  But I'm blogging about this January wedding because the bride and groom took the game to a whole new level. Most would just give a prize to the nicest Instagram photo. This couple decided to test the oc-ness of their guests by asking them to post using their wedding hashtag and particular category hashtags. They had more than 10 categories, and yes, the guests responded with gusto... :)

Tine and Adrin prepared a sign per table so everyone would
know about the hashtag categories. :) 







Monday, February 24, 2014

My First Valentine's Day Wedding

April and Benedict have enough sweetness and love to truly infect all those who would see them with happy thoughts and lovely dreams. :)

They chose to center their wedding on time -- giving away cute timepieces to all attendees. Guests reciprocated by giving their time to the bride and groom, and staying till the end of the programme. :) 

Thank you for the touching message and gifts, April and Benedict :) 









The Instagram screen shot is the winning entry in their Instagram game. :) Maja's set up included timepieces from the bride and groom, but she went one step further by making and attaching clock hands to the gerberas. Adorable! :)

Kudos to those who worked hard on this wedding -- Jayson and Joanne Arquiza, Dan Mendiola, Thoffy Consulta and team, Rejectkrew, Metrotech, Passion Cooks Catering, Vatel Manila and {etc}, Gretchen Pichay, and Totally Mesmerized :) Always fun to work with supplier friends :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Thank you, Anj, Sugar, and Tal

I know I've been remiss with posting thank you notes... Trying to rectify now by posting three at the same time. Will do my best to post the past notes as well. Of course, each one is super appreciated. Some get posted in my fb wall and I'm not able to paste them here... For that, my apologies. 

Thank you, Angeline, Sugar, and Crystal, for sending your sweet notes... :) it was fun handling your events... :) 

Most memorable parts: 
- with Angeline, I will never forget how cold it was in balai taal that day... Nonetheless, the ento and the bride and groom performed well -- as though they weren't feeling too cold as well :) 
- Sugar, those were nerve wracking minutes when we had to play the AVP via globe streaming but our prayers prevailed and yes, Alvin was able to pull off his surprise song number for you. :) 
- Crystal, not everyone can do a showtime entrance -- kudos to chino and your guests and of course, kudos to you, Ronald, the entourage, and your daddy for your energetic numbers :) 






Thursday, January 30, 2014

How do efficient coordinators handle reception details?

Below are some observations of the way efficient coordination teams work:

a) They have team members who really work and have specific tasks -- one does not see them chatting, eating along with the guests, using the Photo Booth -- unless they are truly done with all their tasks. 

Prior to the programme, they check on the layout, and ensure a programme area especially if there's enough space within the venue to have a real programme area. They also check on the arrival and set-up of suppliers. 

Oh... and they remind photo and video teams of how much time they have for the pictorials "in between" so guests do not end up waiting too long either. 

b) They really know the contents of the programme and what they need to do in order to execute the programme contents seamlessly. (Oh yes, the success of the programme does not depend purely on the emcee. But sometimes, coordinators seem to forget this little fact; thus, the emcee ends up reminding them of things/people needed per segment, that is, if there is even a coordinator nearby. If wala, sorry... announce... ad lib... ad lib... and ad lib until makuha ng coord sa labas yung needed items.)

c) There's a coordinator near the emcee -- updating regarding developments of the on-site AVPs, technical difficulties, and the like; letting the emcee know if he/she inadvertently forgets or skips something in the programme or if he/she needs to skip something because the materials aren't ready, the speakers backed out, etc. (The emcee does not need to keep "scanning the horizon" for the coordinators in order to ask about the on-site, etc.) 

d) There's a coordinator who reminds speakers that they will be called next; thus, these speakers are ready when called or better, they are already standing near the programme area. They aren't in the comfort room, getting more food from the buffet, and the like when they're being called to speak. 

e) They match up the prizes and props with the games during preps -- so they actually have time to prepare more prizes, purchase needed materials, and the like. (When the emcee arrives, it's just an hour before the programme -- hardly enough time to buy materials unless the mall is just adjacent to the reception venue, of course. It really smacks of poor coordination when the emcee arrives, asks about prizes and props, and gets a blank stare/a response akin to not knowing where the stuff are.) 

f) A coordinator reminds the sound system technician and the musicians about what should be played next. This is super important during the pre-dinner part of the programme when the entrance songs and dance songs really matter. (There are musicians, back-up dancers, and the like who need to be reminded of their parts because they have holding rooms. It's important to assign a coord who will remind them so the emcee doesn't announce, "It's party time" then end up with deafening silence!!!)  

Of course, it would be great if these musicians and dancers have PAs who can check on their parts and remind them as well. Some coordinators don't get the hint, even if the emcee has told them time and again to please remind the musicians/dancers prior to their parts. 

g) There's a coordinator helping the bride with her train while she's walking around especially if the stage and path have lots of items which can cause problems with the train.

Yup, the cloth that trails behind the bride is called a train... :) 

h) They manage the flow of traffic for pictorials -- and they do not forget to ask the couple to visit the VIP table. Oh, and they don't ask the VIP to stand and leave their dinner unless absolutely necessary, e.g. there's no space for the couple to stand behind the VIP because the space of the whole venue has been maxed out.

You'd think this is really basic, but no... no... no... Some coordinators leave the couple to their own devices during the table hopping part (lauriat and sit-down service). OR they only assign a coordinator who helps with the train but doesn't guide; thus, a 45-minute table hopping portion ends up going beyond an hour. 

i) There should also be someone reminding the waiter regarding the toasting flutes and the requested beverage (if they want something non-alcoholic, they want specific bottles, etc.)

j) They help with the games, e.g. blocking for the pictorials before the games especially if the participants are shy and are moving towards the back, giving props, assisting if there are props that need to be tied, etc. They don't end up running around looking for materials and prizes when the emcee starts talking about the games. They also do not ask the waiters to take charge of the games. (Oh yes, I already experienced a team that gave the props to the waiters!?!)

k) They have someone who checks on and reminds the on-site editors regarding the estimated time remaining (and if the editor is having problems, they tell the emcee in advance about the status and perhaps, a possible contingency plan/additional game/additional singer). They also test the other AVPs prior to actual programme time. (Thus, there are no surprises like: 9, 10, 20-minute AVPs being shown in the middle of the programme.) 

l) They prevent on-the-day glitches by reminding suppliers of call times days leading up to the big day. They also make sure all pieces of equipment needed on the day have been booked prior to the actual day when they are needed -- projector & screen that match the # of guests and size of the venue, musicians' requirements from the sound system, wireless microphones especially if there will be a singing entrance, etc. 

m) Efficient coordinators also ask for items needed based on plans and previous discussions -- they do not say on the day, "Ay wala naman siyang binigay". She's the bride... he's the groom... they are entitled to forget because they are on the their big day. Unfortunately, coordinators do not have the same luxury. And that's where complete checklists and dedicated team members come in. These team members can also ask about things they always bring -- that way, nothing gets left behind. 


In all truth, being a coordinator is hard work. It's stressful to be on the floor and ensure the smooth flow of weddings day in and day out. I know; I've been there. However, do note that you have a team, while the emcee is by his or her lonesome and is holding the mic. Thus, he/she cannot suddenly stop and help the projector technician or the sound technician because they made mistakes or they can't find what they are supposed to play. 

To our dear brides and grooms, 

Take the deadlines and guidelines coordinators and other suppliers give seriously -- it's for your own good. You can't blame the coordinator for being disorganised on the day ...

- if you didn't give your documents in advance -- thus, depriving them of the chance to make a complete checklist; 
- if you caused the coordinator to lose sleep because he/she has to wait for you to send your guest list;
- if your items for turnover are all over the place (room ni ganito, room ni ganyan, kotse ni ganito na padating pa lang, etc.); 
- if you didn't accomplish any document and relied on texting the coordinator and e-mailing every time an idea pops up (in all honesty, suppliers don't have the luxury of remembering all the items you say every time your mind changes, so best to give a summary prior to your big day -- oh and the summary should not have 10 versions either); 
- if you made your coordinator team your styling team; thus, making them spend too much time fixing your venue, they ended up with very little time left for the things they ought to do, 
- and if you hired suppliers who have reputations of being hard to manage (Let's level expectations... you can't expect the perfect output of Florist A if you hired Florist Z -- hoping your coordinator will perform magic. Hmmm...)

The smooth flow of your big day does not only depend on the coordinator -- remember, the input comes from you, the bride and the groom, so definitely, your choices/decisions will have an effect on the outcome.