“We reserved 2 seats in your honor”

It is almost customary to include an RSVP card in wedding invitations nowadays. Actually, it is customary already, in addition to the Bridal Entourage insert. Those, plus a location map, are what you typically get when you receive a wedding invitation.

wedding invitation RSVP insert

Yep, RSVP cards weren’t the usual during the time of my parents. I’ve taken a look at my parents’ and my uncle’s wedding invitations (for research when I was doing my own), and they didn’t include inserts other than the Bridal Entourage.

The RSVP card was actually one of the issues my dad and I had when I was planning my own wedding. He said that he understood why we wanted to specify the reserved seats for each guest, but we do have some old-fashioned relatives who would actually find it offensive. Weird? Yeah, I thought so too. But I guess you really can’t blame them. It’s not something that they’re used to. Read more »

Dessert alternatives

If you have a sweet tooth like me and my husband, you’d probably want more than the menu choices your caterer will provide you. Caterers usually have set packages for weddings, and the dessert choices are usually very limited. Unless you choose the more expensive wedding packages, you’d probably end up with simple desserts like assorted fruits or buko pandan salad.

The best way for you to spice up the desserts you will serve your guests is to add some of these dessert alternatives. Some of them sound pretty expensive, but really, most aren’t—you just need to get the right supplier 🙂 Read more »

The art of seating arrangement

Imagine yourself attending a wedding where you don’t know anyone except for the bride. Or the groom. Unless you’re extremely friendly by nature (like, you make friends with strangers on a regular basis), it will be very difficult for you to find a place to sit and strike up a conversation with a person you’ve never met before.

The seating arrangement for the wedding reception is one of the more important aspects of planning your wedding, especially when you’re inviting a lot of guests. Unless your wedding is a very intimate celebration (like, only 50 guests or less), it’s necessary for you to have at least a blue print of where guests will sit come the wedding reception. Why am I just talking about wedding receptions? Well, for the simple reason that there won’t be a need for socialization during ceremony itself (you wouldn’t want your guests to be talking amongst themselves while you take your vows, would you?). But during the wedding reception, there is.

Wedding seating arrangement

Here are some tips on how to plan your wedding reception’s seating arrangement. Read more »

Despedida de Soltera

Despedida de SolteraDespedida de Soltera (“Farewell to spinsterhood / single-hood”), is another common Filipino pre-wedding practice where families celebrate the bride’s family’s consent on the marriage. It’s usually held about a week before the wedding day, and is typically hosted by the bride-to-be’s family. Traditionally, the groom and his family, the entourage, as well as close relatives and friends are invited to this party.

My Despedida de Soltera was actually just a simple get-together party where representatives from both clans mingled for an afternoon of merienda. I think it’s usually like that nowadays, but I can’t help but wonder that it might have been a bit more different during the older times. Read more »

My dad and his family; my mom and her family

Divorce isn’t legal in the Philippines, but there is such thing as legal separation. In a country big on families, it’s not surprising that step-families are usually a touchy issue when it comes to weddings. Unless the mom and the dad parted in good terms, such issues are, most often than not, added headaches to the bride and the groom.

Such issues are usually just trivial things for the typical wedding planner; I’ve had chitchats with some wedding planners about this issue during my stint as an invitations-maker. However, it’s different when you’re the one who is actually involved. It’s easy to say “not to concern yourself about it,” but in reality, it’s not. In a culture where respect for the elders is an important family value, you cannot simply dismiss an issue such as this.

So really, how do you handle it? Read more »

The wedding that wasn’t meant to be

Blame it on the media. And books. And stories of happily ever after. Hell, even the concept of “Camelot,” the concept of “finding the one.” But marriage isn’t just about wedding rings, gorgeous gowns and expensive food. It’s not just about romance. It’s about spending the rest of your life with your husband—your partner in life.

But unfortunately, with all the media available to us, marriage has been romanticized to a degree that some people are made to believe that it’s easy. Others, on the other hand, become so caught up with the preparation of the wedding too much to actually prepare for marriage life itself. Some forget that the wedding is just a ceremony, and things won’t ever be the same again after the “big day.” Read more »

Divisoria: Haven of cheap wedding gowns

Prior to her stroke, my mom had been a rabid shopper. She wasn’t a spend-thrift, mind you. She was smart. She bought our clothes and what-have-you’s in Divisoria at really low prices. I guess that’s why I always think that if you need to get something cheap, you can get it at Divisoria.

Nothing changed when I was searching for the perfect gown. Although some of my high society relatives insisted on it, I didn’t really see the need for having a designer gown. Besides, my budget couldn’t afford it.

Being the artist that I am, you really couldn’t help but want to have your entourage’s gowns be color-coordinated—and the same. My husband-to-be and I at that time didn’t have much to spend with. I was about to accept the fact that my entourage’s gowns will probably just be similarly colored (but not uniformed), until an aunt reminded me of the gowns in Divisoria. Read more »

Daddy’s girl

I’m a daddy’s girl. There. I said it. And I’m actually proud to be one.

Although being the apple of my dad’s eye has its perks (like, he’d make sure that my husband and I don’t go hungry no matter what happens), being a daddy’s girl can be quite a challenge when you’re about to get married. My dad and I were practically at each other’s throats the week before my wedding day. For some reason, we always had to argue about the wedding details. If my mom hadn’t suffered a stroke, this probably would have been avoided—we would have had a referee. But since things have changed, it was just me and my dad battling it out over the wedding plans.

I think the worst argument we had was about the first dance tradition—it even culminated in a shouting match where my younger sister had to step in. Though my dad said he “absolutely refuses to submit himself in such an embarrassing situation,” in the end, it all just boils down to one thing: he was afraid he was losing me. Though he never really said it. He just told me that it’s not that he didn’t like the Father-Daughter dance, he just wanted to be consulted on things that would involve him. But I understood what he really meant. After that major fight, it was as if we were both relieved of this weird feeling of impending doom. Read more »

The 6 things you can tell somebody you don’t want to invite

Let’s face it. As much as you’d like to invite everyone to your special day, you just can’t.

Unbeknownst to most people, I run a small custom wedding invitations business when I’m not doing web design. The question on “how not to invite somebody to my wedding” came up more than once during my client meetings. They have different reasons not to want to invite somebody: limited budget, the venue is too small, or simply because they just don’t like that certain person. But it all boils down to one thing: how will you tell those people you don’t want to invite them to your wedding after they find out you’re getting married?

Here are some ideas… Read more »

Bad lucks and wedding gowns

Nah. This ain’t about fashion—that’s Sasha’s turf. Hehe. It’s not about bad luck either 😛 It’s about both.

I’m aware of one Filipino wedding belief about wedding gowns and bad luck. How can I not be, when my elder aunts and some uncles insisted that I follow it? They totally went mental when I tried to say I wasn’t planning on following the belief.

Here’s how it goes… Elders say that it’s bad luck for the bride to wear the gown before her wedding day. If she does, the wedding won’t push through.

Yeah. Sure.

Having been a bride myself, I realize that one can be pretty anal while waiting for the big day to come. You do everything to make sure nothing bad happens. And I don’t blame my aunts for insisting that I follow this belief—I didn’t want my wedding not to push through. And yes, it’s true that it doesn’t hurt to follow it. What did I have to lose?

A lot, actually. It was a real hassle following it.

I’m stingy (no, really, I just had a limited budget), so I had my gown made in Divisoria (more on this later!). I was doubtful the gown would fit when I first saw it. Luckily, I was with a young auntie (she’s my mom’s youngest cousin, so yeah, she’s still young). She asked me point blank if I really want to try it on. I said yeah, I didn’t want to wear a gown that looked like it would fall off the moment I wear it. So we thought, oh what the heck. We just won’t tell my parents and my elder aunts about it. It would be our little secret. I wore the gown and saw how it fit.

I was right. It didn’t fit. It was too big. Now, that’s lucky. If I didn’t fit it, I probably walked down the aisle wearing a gown too big for me.

And you know what? Though I wore my gown before the wedding day, I’m still wearing a wedding band right now. I still got hitched.

How about you? Will you try on your gown before your wedding day?