“My US$3,000 budget wedding” #1: Do-it-yourself

Unless you’re too busy to even have weekends for yourself, there are a lot of things for your wedding that you can do on your own. A little patience, research and creativity can go a long way—especially when it comes to cost.

Whenever you hire a service provider, you don’t only pay for the product, but the cost of labor and creativity as well. My husband Marc and I run a small design firm, so we kind of know this for a fact. We don’t just factor in the hours worked on a project, but the value of the design as well. When you do things on your own, you only need to consider the cost of raw materials—you won’t need to pay for labor nor for design value, because you’d be the one doing it. Unless, of course, you need to “bribe” a creative cousin or nephew to do some “arts and crafts” for you. But still, it won’t cost as much as hiring a pro.

Realistically, you can’t do everything on your own. If you’re not an owner of a catering business, you’d definitely need to hire a caterer (you wouldn’t want to spend the night before your wedding cooking loads of food, do you?). Same with flowers. Hiring a florist would be logical if you don’t own a flower shop. But there are things that you can do ahead of time. Here are some ideas… Read more »



“My US$3,000 budget wedding” series overview

I honestly don’t know how much a wedding is going to cost in other countries, I’m only telling you this in context of the Filipino culture. And when you talk of Filipino weddings, you would know that weddings here in this country is not just a family affair—it’s a celebration that involves, most often than not, the entire clans of the bride and groom.

Filipino weddings

I don’t understand it much either, to tell you the truth. Weddings here are such huge events that even if a family isn’t well-off (like us!), they’d want an extravagant wedding (or “bongga,” in colloquial terms). A “simple” wedding here in the Philippines can mean a lot of things—having 50 guests instead of 100, or having a judge perform the rite and treat just about a dozen people to dinner for a reception. With all these different perceptions of what a “simple” wedding here means, allow me to just describe to you our wedding so you’ll have a pretty good idea of what came about with that Php155,000 (approximately US$3,000) budget. Read more »



Outdoor wedding receptions

I have honestly dreamed of having an outdoor wedding reception. I love nature, and I love animals, so it’s only natural to want to have my special day in a place that I’m particularly fond of. But, we just couldn’t afford it 🙁

Through extensive research and canvassing, my husband then-fiance, Marc, and I determined that a garden reception was just a bit too pricey for us. Outdoor venues in Quezon City are just way too pricey. And the thing is, we wanted our wedding ceremony held at a church which held sentimental memories of my late grandma. That’s our main priority, so we just contended ourselves with an indoor reception. Read more »



Wedding albums: Going digital

Nope, I don’t mean “going digital” as in, bringing your wedding to the Web. I’m talking about digital wedding albums.

Digital photo albums from Ultravision Photo and Video

These albums are actually becoming a trend already. Why? Well, for one, you can truly show the essence of your wedding through its limitless possibilities in album layout designs. Each page can tell a story through the creative use of graphic effects, patterns, and filters, as well as fancy fontography and catchy texts. Unlike traditional albums, each page is mounted on a stiff board, then laminated. Some even have magnetic page corners, thereby protecting your albums from the test of time. Read more »

The Honeymoon survival guide

It’s been a helluva of a week for me—it’s no joke coping up with work backlog after a week of getting sick. Anyway, I’ve been going through my honeymoon photos and thought this might be interesting to share.

Marc and I spent a four-days-three-nights trip to Hongkong for our honeymoon, a gift courtesy of an uncle who’s a pilot for the Philippine’s flag carrier. I’ve been to Hongkong before with my late grandma, but I don’t see any point of complaining about seeing the place again for free!

Hongkong Disneyland

Anyway, here are a few ideas to keep in mind in order to get the most out of your trip. Read more »

Food tasting events are more than just free food

For me and my husband (Marc), food tasting was the best part of planning our wedding. Why? Free food, of course! But, as we’ve found it out the hard way, depending your lunch on a food tasting event is bad idea if you have a big appetite. 😀

mfw-foodtasting.jpg

The food servings given at events like these are only small portions—basically, just enough for you to have an idea of how their food tastes like. And because there are a lot of people going to these events, you won’t be able to see the actual table arrangements (they’ll show you photos of real weddings for those). Sometimes the caterers go all out on decorating their buffet tables (like Josiah’s Catering did on a bridal fair I attended), but there are also times when the setup is just simple (not the real thing in weddings, obviously). Read more »

A very publicized wedding proposal from a volleyball coach

Last Saturday, Marc (my husband) and I attended the Latino-themed wedding of his high school and college volleyball coach. I heard from Marc’s old teammate how Sherwin (the volleyball coach) proposed, but I never could have imagined how he actually did it until I saw an AVP presentation of the proposal during the reception.

Though my husband is very fond of volleyball, I’m not (definitely not)—I’m more of a basketball person. So I’m really sure when the proposal took place (I think it was during the Shakeys’ V-League last year, if I’m not mistaken).

Imagine proposing in front of hundreds of people (with video coverage to boot)… Read more »

Bringing your wedding across the globe

wedding websiteIt’s quite common to have relatives and friends abroad. It’s easy to send them invitations via mail (though you got to go the extra mile and cash to pay for the delivery), but it’s really not that easy to get them here in the Philippines to attend your wedding due to time and budget constraints. But what if you’d like to share with them what will happen on your wedding day?

The easiest (and cheapest) way to do this: get a wedding website.

A lot of people already have access to the World Wide Web, and what’s better than taking advantage of this technology? With a wedding website, you can show the progress of your planning and share wedding info with relatives who can’t be physically with you. Face it, brides have a tendency to want to talk about their wedding plans to anybody who would listen (I know I did!).

There are two ways you can acquire your own wedding website: sign up for a free account, or hire a professional. Read more »

“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 »

Brides with flowers, beads and crowns

I was looking through my parent’s old photo albums (no, not the online kind), and had the pleasure of seeing their wedding pictures. Aside from amusing myself with my dad’s pointy collar and my mom’s ruffles, I can’t help but notice how elaborate her wedding was compared to mine.

What I mean by elaborate is, well, everything just seemed so… Fussy. The flowers (geez, her bridal bouquet looked like it weighed a ton), the gowns, the make-up, the headdress.

I’m not a fashion expert or anything, but it really seems that “simple and minimal” is the “in” style nowadays.

I couldn’t help but put my bridal photo and my mom’s side by side to compare. I’ve seen gowns with ruffles (you know, the more daring designs) and brides who actually wore them (they don’t look bad anyway if not overdone), but I’ve been seeing floral crowns less and less. The only time I’ve seen one is probably at my friend’s parent’s silver anniversary sans renewal of vows. Other than that, I haven’t been to a wedding or encountered a bride who told me they’d wear an elaborate floral crown.

Tiara

Nowadays, I’ve been seeing a lot of brides who would opt for a simple flower on their hair (like, just one or two), beads, Swarovski accessories, or little tiaras. I, for one, had a tiara when I got married. I’m not really into the “princess look,” but my hair and make-up artist advised me that it would look nice (and it actually turned out quite pretty). If I had a Christmas-themed wedding, I’d probably want to put something a bit more unique, like a Poinsettia perhaps 😀 But our theme was modern Filipiniana, so the tiara worked just fine.

How about you? What would you like to put on your hair when you get married?

CREDITS: Photo by Tri-Color Studio.