Perfect 10 Weddings

Friday, August 27, 2021

To Test or Not to Test? That is the Question.

Imagine doing an ento shoot — maskless — with one of your girls or boys as an asymptomatic carrier. Imagine how you will later on, after being exposed, have photos — maskless — — with your parents who have comorbidities. Imagine how you and the rest of the entourage will later on have photos with others — maskless. Imagine how later on they will go home to their families already carrying unwanted “passengers”. 

The antigen test is an additional layer of protection. No choice for the bride, the groom, their family members, and entourage, but to remove their masks during make up and the shoot — ok, for the later, there is a choice but most of the time the couple wishes to have memories of their big day sans covid; thus, the request to remove masks just for quick photo or video opportunities. Sometimes they even forget the new social norms & hug or beso upon seeing each other. At least with an antigen test the day before, they get to weed out those who could be sources of the virus. There are providers who send kits and do the tests via video calls.  Of course, it can also happen that their virus load won’t show up yet depending on days after exposure, but at least the couple gets to lessen that chance with an antigen test the day before. 

For suppliers, this will give them a chance to change particular team members who tested positive — without exposing others during transport. This will also prevent anyone positive from the hair and make up team from being in close contact with anyone maskless and vice versa. This is really difficult because theirs is the closest contact with all those who need make up and hair. Although the artists are wearing protection, they will still be facing people who are maskless. 

So is the extra expense worth it?  You decide. 

Note: It helps everyone if all people present are fully vaccinated because then the chance of the virus affecting one severely gets diminished. The vaccine though is not a replacement for wearing masks, social distancing, and applying other safety protocols. 

#theweddingtipsheet #weddingplanner #darlenetansalazarweddingemcee #weddinghost 

Monday, August 16, 2021

Is moving your date the answer?

Covid 19 has been with us for almost a year and a half already. Based on pronouncements of those in the know, it will persist and mutate for as long as there are lots of unvaccinated individuals. Countries have to move fast to vaccinate, populations have to accept the need, etc. These basically mean that there are lots of factors we can’t control in the fight against covid. But we can focus on those that we can like strengthening our immune systems, getting vaccinated, observing safety protocols, praying, etc.

Based on experiences of those who decided on march, april, may, and august weddings last year and moved to the same months this year, moving dates did not ensure their weddings. They still got affected by surges, ecq pronouncements, etc. 

Believe me… We understand your fears, you may have comorbidities or family members who are susceptible. But you know moving and moving your date will not ensure that covid will not be around anymore, that another calamity is not waiting to happen. Life has so many challenges. We just have to find ways to deal with them. 

If you’re afraid, have nice food packs to be distributed after the short program. That way, no one is allowed to remove his or her mask. Your post nup will be after the short program that consists of only the important parts (around 45 mins tops right after the ceremony). Or you can have a first look so all couple shots are done prior to the ceremony. 

If you want people to eat in the venue, get a big venue so social distancing can be ensured. Have those who are highly susceptible join via online means. These are suggestions, of course, everything depends on your personal preferences. 

Now… decision time. 

Ask yourself: If Covid will be around all of next year, can you handle it? If not, then don’t move to a definite 2022 date yet. Ask your suppliers if the reservation fees you gave can be put on hold first. Then just be prepared for the new rates when you decide to push through — when covid is finally just a memory. 

This is better than moving to a definite date then moving again when the definite date is close by and you’re still feeling scared about the situation. The latter deprives other couples of the services of the suppliers who are being held by your reservation. 

{Note: this does not apply to those who need to move because of govt lockdown declarations.} 

#theweddingtipsheet #weddingplanner #darlenetansalazarweddingemcee #weddinghost 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Should you inform your parents regarding your wedding plans?

In our culture, we have what is called the pamamanhikan. It is a gathering wherein both sides are informed of wedding plans. Sometimes this can’t happen right away because of various reasons — living abroad, covid, parents are thought to be unsupportive, etc. 

Parents, being who they are, often want to know what is going on in their children’s lives — it doesn’t matter whether the son/daughter is 2 or 32. They would still like to be informed. 

However, as a wedding planner, I do understand how often parents — despite trying to help — affect wedding plans and mold them according to certain norms they believe in. Example: you would like to have an intimate wedding with people you truly know while your parents want to invite a lot more — even those who are unknown to you. Or they want to have certain famous people as godparents even if you’d rather keep the list focused on those you can talk to anytime. Then the clash happens.

If you would rather not have your parents involved in the planning phase, talk to them nicely that you feel this is your first big project as a couple so you would rather focus on things you really like. However, if you will do this, make sure you do not need any form of support from your parents. If you will ask for money or service/assistance in the form of handling paper work, etc., then you better be ready to also listen to their suggestions. 

To be fair, not all parental suggestions will clash with your plans so it’s a good idea to listen. That way, they won’t have resentments days leading up to and on the day of your wedding. It’s hard to deal with parents who are unhappy on the day. They can affect the photos and video clips that will be taken simply because their actions can affect your mood as well. Worse, they might say something negative during their speeches.

So best thing to do? Compromise. Say yes to suggestions you can live with and ask them to accept some of your plans as well. That way, no resentment builds, and no problem on the day. Do this compromise early on so you won’t feel trapped as well when they tell you they already invited several friends or they already asked some individuals to be godparents. Obviously it would be difficult to uninvite people. Avoid letting the situation get to that point. 

Most parents have so much love for their children. Hence, a lot are willing to compromise. So try them first. Don't make hiding your wedding plans your first option especially if your whole lives your parents have been nothing but supportive of your dreams and aspirations. 

{need a planner or an emcee, message me via}

Monday, August 9, 2021

Should I go for sit-down or buffet service?

As a wedding planner and emcee, I have seen my share of sit-down, buffet, and lauriat services. 

Buffet service is a popular choice because the couple and/or their parents feel that their guests would really feel satisfied because they can get as much as they desire. 

Sit-down service is often frowned upon because people think that this one would not satisfy hunger. 

However, based on experience, sit-down service should not be dismissed right away. 


1) because it’s safer, given the current situation with covid (No matter the reminders, some still go to the buffet without masks, and some buffet service providers don’t have people to manage so guests end up holding the serving spoon or even talking over the food. 😭)

2) because if the courses include an appetizer, soup, salad, first entree, sorbet, main course, and dessert, people really do feel full (This refers to actual sit-down service not the hybrid we have here which has lots of stuff on one plate — sauces mixing together, and looking a bit less appetizing.) 

It can be a bit tedious though because often sit-down service menus have beef as main course, perhaps, because it is touted to be more filling. But we all know not everyone eats beef. So  during RSVP time, guests need to be asked if they have food concerns — some only eat fish, some only eat vegetables, some have allergies, etc. 

It’s also a bit more expensive given the number of people in the kitchen plating food and the number of servers involved. But this doesn’t come into play much since there are usually 50 or fewer in the guest list, so spending a little more for food and for safety, doesn’t cause as a major as a dent in the budget as a wedding of 150 or more guests. 

Oh and don’t dismiss tasting type menus because the number of items and the bursts of flavor per item can really fill the stomach. Plus you’re giving your guests an experience far different from what they would normally have at weddings. 

I think the most major plus of a sit-down service choice is that of lessening eat and run guests. They won’t leave since they still need to wait for their food to be served. Haha! Kidding aside though, it does help in keeping guests seated and focused on the reception. (Also, since intimate weddings are in vogue, you can avoid inviting those who are known to eat and run. Send them food and make them watch via your live stream. That way, they can have both their goals — eating good food and staying home.) 

{if you’re on the lookout for a planner or an emcee, e-mail me via} 

#theweddingtipsheet #darlenetansalazar #weddingcoordinator #weddingemcee

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Preventing Your Wedding from Turning into a Series of Unfortunate Events

People take time to plan their wedding details because they want things to come out the way they envisioned. But guess what, plans don’t always happen the way they should. Then things can quickly escalate and make your wedding A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS. 

How do you prevent that from happening? 

1) remove your mindset that the coordinator you will hire is a helper — someone who will make your plans happen. Because you don’t need a helper, you need someone who thinks quickly! This person should analyze your plans and tell you what’s wrong with them based on his or her experiences. This person should know how to troubleshoot as quickly as possible. 

2) put together a team of suppliers who will care enough to speak up and suggest when things are going wrong — this one you can ensure by researching about their good work and if they have already worked with each other. 

We are Filipinos. We like to say “dapat ganito, dapat ganyan” on social media, but we rarely confront or speak up when things are going wrong for fear of being branded as “epal”. Stick na lang sa job description para walang blame later on. But if we all know each other in the team, it will be easier to air out suggestions and help because there is less fear of rejection or judgement. 

3) talk to your entourage and your parents — they should not be the first individuals who would cause problems in the timeline because they don’t want to wake up on time for make up, dress up when needed, or listen to instructions. When you have such attitude among your family and friends, you bet things will not happen as planned unless you have a coordinator who knows how to speak firmly but politely. 

Let’s prevent your wedding from turning into a series of unfortunate events. Have a free consult with me (either as coordinator or emcee) — message via :)  

Monday, July 5, 2021

Questions to Ask Prospects/Possible Suppliers

Let’s make this short. I know you’re in a hurry to meet up with your prospect. Online platforms make meetings easier to schedule at everyone’s convenience. You’d like to book him or her right away, but you also want to make sure you won’t be scammed. 

Prior to the meeting: research about the supplier, check his or her online profile, gather independent feedback about him or her through groups like weddings at work or randomly message a bride or groom whose feedback is posted in the supplier’s site 

During the meeting: 

1. Ask the supplier for 3 words he or she can use to describe himself or herself. These will give you insight into what he or she values. This will also help you see if you can relate to each other. 

2. Ask the supplier about what makes his or her package unique. This will show you the motivation behind the creation of the package. Is it purely money? Did the supplier just copy someone else’s package? 

3. Ask the supplier about cancellation and date movement policies, also out of town or transport fees. Most likely it’s a no refund of reservation fee policy but asking helps you gauge transparency and honesty. Will he or she beat around the bush and give a vague response so you will book? Will he or she be straightforward? 

4. Ask the supplier about what to expect after booking. This should be very clear to you so that you won’t wonder why the supplier didn’t message you anymore after making the sale. The supplier can also show you the timeline after booking. If the supplier gets tongue tied, he or she may not be sure of what to do after making the sale. 

5. Ask the supplier if you can read the contract before booking. This is important because you should know what you’re getting into. It should not be reservation fee first before contract signing. 

Bonus: ask the supplier about difficult wedding experiences and what he or she did to help or how he or she dealt with it. 

Now, you can set that meeting. You’re ready. 


In need of an emcee or a coordinator, send me a message via 

Note: this was an all-white wedding :) 

Note: attire request for emceeing was beige :)

Friday, May 7, 2021

Gallery by Chele, A Great Intimate Wedding Venue

What makes Gallery by Chele a great intimate wedding venue? 

1) it’s a restaurant — most of the community quarantine declarations give restaurants the chance to operate, albeit at a limited capacity 

2) it’s in BGC so there are several churches that are pretty close by including Santuario de San Antonio, Magallanes/ St. Alphonsus, St. Michael, Nuestra Senora de Gracia, Sacred Heart, and Trinity (Christian Church). My couple in photo below with my coord team after the reception had their ceremony in Magallanes Church. 

3) it has an outdoor area so it’s perfect for those who would rather dine al fresco since it has been deemed safer (this area can double up as ceremony area also) 

Sorry failed to take a photo of the outdoor area but it has lots of fans, it’s L-shaped, and it has several tables. Here’s our photo (hubby and I) at their al fresco area.

4) it has great food that people can’t really have in other restaurants or with other caterers since the menu has been carefully curated & every bite has several ingredients & flavors. Below is the menu card of one of their tasting menus. The collage has some of the food items served. Yup, there are 9 items there are there are still others we were able to taste that aren’t in the collage. 

The kare kare in one bite was surprising. It came to us looking like balls on top of a bowl with pebbles. It also had a bagoong mayo dip which complimented the beef inside the ball & made the taste different yet still one that I could relate to — because of course, who eats kare kare without bagoong, right? 

The salad is memorable and perfect for al fresco dining. It had a pineapple dressing which was so refreshing. 

During the appetizer/bites part of the service, we had 2 seafood items — Uni crisp and the ube taco — then they served this yogurt with berries, honey, and other great stuff. It served to cleanse the palate and prepare for the next onslaught of savory items including the unique takoyaki and the chori burger which I would want 10 of. Haha! 

The mains were octopus that was made with inasal chicken marinade — so it’s something that’s not common yet common as well. The iberico with bokchoy and the tenderloin with swamp cabbage were filling but not enough to make you feel bad and stuffed.

Midway, we had this great charcuterie board. I loved how dense their bread slices were, and the different stuff we could eat with the bread — chorizo, duck, pastrami, pate, jam, mackerel, & picked veggies. 

I know you’re thinking ... why isnt she talking about dessert? Here goes. We had a mango pavlova — perfect for a summer evening and my request, the bibingka cheesecake. Love that they served it as though they were really cooking with coals. 

Oh I just need to post about the chicharon which accompanied the iberico... so light and airy... we got the taste of chicharon without the difficulty of biting and chewing. It was the same great and surprising texture as well when we ate the sliver of chicken skin on the inasal octopus and the vegetables accompanying the mains. Melt in your mouth goodness ❤️

Filipinos need rice, you say? Say no more. They had adobo rice to accompany the tenderloin adobo :) 

Ok I know your mouth is watering... but back to the point of the article, why is gallery by chele a great intimate wedding venue... :) 

5) it has a smaller room which can be booked for the retouch and mini meal of the bride and groom prior to the beginning of the reception program 

Bonus reason: they do sit down service so guests don’t need to stand up and line up with people they hardly know just to get food from the buffet. They can enjoy the program and their meal together. 

An envelope for your mask :)

Their bites/appetizer/cocktail time plate — took a quick photo before they served. 

So if you’re looking for a venue that can also provide a great food experience, check out Gallery by Chele. And if you need an efficient coordinator and/or a classy yet lively emcee, talk to me :) 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

What are the groom’s details?

Groom’s have stuff to bring, too. In fact, prior to the wedding, I would advise grooms to go to the mall and fit barongs (2 different collars) and suits, so they can assess which one matches their body structure and skin tone. Then they can confidently book a supplier for their desired attire (suit, tux, or suit barong), and they can also designate what everyone else in the entourage should wear. 

Days leading up to the wedding, the groom should complete his details for the shoot during preps of the wedding day. 

Here are the usual details. Please note that boutonnieres are for suits and tuxedoes. A barong should not have a boutonniere. In case the coordinator doesn’t know where to pin, pls remember it should be on your lapel, not the pocket. 

There you go, you’re all set. Spare the bride the task of packing because you can do it on your own. :) 

Looking for a coordinator/planner or an emcee, talk to me — :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

What’s in your bridal bag?

What items should you have in your bridal bag? 

Take a cue from one of my brides, bring your own water tumbler that’s insulated so you can have cold water all the time especially during your post nuptial shoot. (For my brides, don’t worry, your bridal manager will always have a wrapped straw in her bag.) 

Medicines are important especially if you have allergies, migraine, or other conditions that need specific pills. 

You don’t need a lot of make up, just extra lipstick in case there’s a problem and powder or oil blotter. 

Extra shoes are good but better if you can choose comfortable shoes so no need to change and cause the hem of your gown to sweep the floor. 

Oh and don’t be like me: I forgot to bring make up remover on our wedding day. I guess it’s because I don’t really put on make up most of the time — so yeah, good thing my sister-in-law was in the same hotel. 

If you have other ideas, do post them as comments :) 

Need a planner/coordinator or an emcee? Let’s get to know each other. Message me :) 

#theweddingtipsheet #weddingplanner #weddinghost #Darlenetansalazarweddingemcee 


Monday, May 3, 2021

Achieving Maximum Guest Participation during Your Wedding Live Stream

 Ed and Cha experienced 4 ceremony venue changes and 3 reception venue changes. But those did not stop them from having a really heartfelt and fun wedding day a few months ago. Check out the photos of Myio Okamoto Photography (grabbed the one below from him, too).

To date, I think theirs was the wedding with the most participation from zoom guests — at least among those I emceed. 

How did they do it? 

1. They delegated. The maid of honor couldn’t make it, so she was in charge of managing things remotely. She was the one handling our live + virtual trivia game, too. Oh and she also gave a message via zoom. 

2. The best man was also helping to manage things virtually. They had a padlet for guests to leave messages and they had virtual games so they could be kept busy while the bride and groom had their post nup. 

3. They sent food to their guests so these guests could celebrate with them. 

4. Because they had a lot of virtual guests, the maid of honor and best man set up rooms via zoom so group pictures could be more intimate. It simulated the usual group photos done during meal time since only those who knew each other were in the rooms for photos. 

5. The couple had time to interact with virtual guests per room because it was sit down service with several courses for the guests who were physically present, so they had to wait for each course to be served. And yes, they were not a huge number. All were close to the couple so even if our reception length was a bit long, no one left. 

Personally, it also helped that: 

1. The connection was stable. Live streaming service for this day was handled by Hello & Co. Cinema — also their videographer that day. They had a separate team for it. Hilton Manila has a good location with stable signal. 

2. They had a great big screen that was vivid so we could really see the guests and how they were reacting. Their LED wall was from Metrotech Projector. 

3. We had good sound & lighting support from Nine2one Pro Lights and Sounds. No song out of place. All of the virtual guests who were asked to speak were heard properly. 

4. The coord team made sure things would be seamless. Good job Kiss The Girl Events. 

5. We spent time planning every detail of the program. Love that Ed and Cha kept me (their emcee) in the loop the whole time. So it helped me get to know them and be comfortable with them as I emceed their program 🙂 

#Theweddingtipsheet #Weddinghost #darlenetansalazarweddingemcee

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Of Wedding Shoots & Pets Part 3

So I promised a three-part series so here goes. Let me address fellow suppliers who will have shoots with dogs & cats. 

I am a furmom of German shepherds, huskies, an English bulldog, a jacktzu, and aspins. I also have persian cats and puspins. 

Here are my top 5 tips: 

1. Let the dog smell you — it’s the way the dog gets to know you. If you are too scared to have this happen, then perhaps, a shoot with dogs is not for you. Photo below shows Kyuubi, my favorite among the dogs of Dog Coach Francis & Irene. This was after I emceed their reception program. 

2. Let the cat come to you. Cats have their own way of dealing with strangers. Definitely though even with their owners, they don’t want to be stroked one too many times or touched when they don’t feel like it. (This is my H & he doesn’t like strangers. Enola, our puspin, doesn’t like being touched but he will rub on his own accord.) 

3. Be ready to take candids. These dogs and cats have their own ways of posing. You have to be ready at all times. This is my Kendra. Got this photo as a screenshot of our video together because I couldn’t get her to pose long enough to take a selfie. Below is JJ who suddenly came over carrying a coconut. Third photo shows all 3 boys running after each other. 

4. Bring treats to catch their attention. But do check if these are hypoallergenic and if the owners are ok with you actually giving the treat to the dog/cat. Use it as bait if the dogs/cats have allergies to the ingredients. Look at alex (bulldog), he has allergies so some treats can’t be given to him but can be used to bait him to look at the camera. 

5. If dealing with a German Shepherd mom or dad, do not approach or get too close while holding something that the dog could mistake as a weapon. Do not touch the furmom or furdad as well. The gsd could take it as a threat. Let’s avoid accidents. (This is JJ, and it’s because of him we learned about the stuff in tip #5. He has a warning bark though so nothing untoward happened.) 

Shoots with pets can be fun. The results can even go viral.  

The owners just need to give the photo and video teams as well as the HMUA and stylist’s teams a briefing regarding their pets just so the shoot will proceed smoothly. Oh and yes, owners, do make sure you have a place for pets to rest — away from strangers and stress after the quick shoot. If prone to bloat, don’t give them water or food right away after a rigorous shoot. If all poses though and it’s warm, then water would be fine. 

If you’re having a wedding with dogs and cats & you need a planner or an emcee, talk to me. :)

Monday, April 26, 2021

Of Wedding Shoots and Pets Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of our 3-part series regarding weddings and pets! 

(Link to part 1: Of Weddings Shoots & Pets Part 1)

This time we interviewed a photographer & prenup venue owner who has both a cat and a dog. Woot woot! He is Mr. Marco Constantino. Photo below shows a prenup with both of his pets.

First question I asked Marco revolved around why he has both. (Side note: I have 10 dogs, 2 indoor cats, and 4 outdoor cats.)

Marco’s response: “It reflects daw sa character ng may-ari if cat or dog owner siya, it doesn’t matter naman... Basta you know how to deal with both and love both”. I agree. Cats and dogs have different ways of communicating their love and of being willing to receiving affection. 

So how do you deal with cats and dogs during prenups? 

Marco: Most cats, hindi madaling magtiwala. Dogs naman, may mga mas friendly. Mas mahirap magpa-pose ng cats. Kailangan mag effort. I bring my own treats. In wedding shoots and even prenups, if there are friendly strays, I include them in the shots.

You have your own cat and dog and they live in Casa Foliage with you. Do they join other couples during prenups? 

Marco: They welcome couples and other photographers during prenups. (For safety purposes though, Marco has a place for them beyond the prenup area of Casa Foliage. And yes, I asked, you may bring your pet if you’re having your prenup there. Do inform Marco ahead of time though. Photo below shows a couple with their own dog at casa foliage. 

What tips can you give those who want to include their pets in their prenups or wedding shoots? 

  1. There should be a handler who can take care of the pets when the owners are having their shoot. 
  2. Bring treats, water, and toys. 

  3. Have diapers on hand to avoid accidents.  (Additional note: bring poop bags & wipes as well)
  4. Include them in one part of the prenup (one look) then let them rest. 
  5. If you are including your pet, your pet must be ok with people so it doesn’t accidentally scratch you because it is spooked out by the number of people in the shoot. 
  6. Bring a lint roller. (Additional note: the one I got in SNR recently — in the pet section — seems to be better than all others I have tried. Yes, I really chose the photo with a husky for this tip. Husky owners would know. Well, cat owners, too.
  7. Send your pegs so the shoot can be discussed and things can be considered realistically. Example: a dog without training may not be able to do the poses you will see on Pinterest. 
  8. Train your dog or cat prior to the shoot. (Marco gives pointers because he also studied how to handle cats and dogs.) 
  9. Animals can sense if the humans in front of them like them or not. So good idea to get suppliers who are animal lovers, too. 

Thank you, Marco, for being nice to strays and for all these tips that cat and dog parents can use to help them with their upcoming shoots. 

If you’d like to know more about Marco, the photographer, or Marco, the prenup venue owner, pls check out these links:

All photos above are from Marco Constantino :)

Watch out for part 3 :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Back in the Saddle

Though I have never stopped emceeing since 2010, I took a hiatus from coordination in 2013, but before I did, I made a promise to one of the barkadas with some members whose weddings I have handled. I told them I would come back when they need me. 

In 2019, one of them did! Moreover, the niece of my mom’s private nurse needed me to step up as well since she didn’t have a lead coordinator anymore. Her first coordinator would be giving birth close to her wedding day. She had already booked me as emcee and I felt if she would end up with a coordination who could not handle her details, I would also blame myself for avoiding the task, so I offered my services and handled her very detailed, all white wedding. (Yup, that’s the reason why I am wearing white in the photo.) 

There you go... 2 weddings in December 2019 and I got bitten by the coordination bug again! 

I figured though if I were to have enough time for my emceeing clients and my family, I would have to limit the number of coordination clients per month. The photo above is of my first full planning clients post-hiatus. 

Are you planning your wedding? Need an emcee? Let’s talk about your big day :)