Our Wedding Journey.

It has been a few days since we got married, and while I am on my wedding high, I couldn’t help but share this wedding journey with everyone! We are sharing our journey with our wedding preparations and supplier experience!

As I have shared here and on my other social media platforms, my husband and I got engaged last December 24, 2021. We immediately started planning, and I am blessed to have a hands-on husband with the wedding details and bonus pa na always aligned kami in our decision-making. I am sharing these not to brag but to hope we can bless others in our journey. Our journey is not through our efforts but God’s marriage to us. On this journey, I cried several times, not because of the stress and pressure but because of God’s graces and mercies! I would step out of the office to cry, and sometimes I would cry tears of joy because of all the people God had provided us. Again, this is not our wedding alone, but our wedding with Christ!

Wedding Date: Our agreed wedding date is 12.12.22. If I were to ask to choose our wedding date, it’d be on our anniversary date as girlfriend and boyfriend; however, it has been in my husband’s prayers to have it in December. Funny how people are excited to know the target wedding date on the same day of your engagement. Why do you do that? Lol. But we have to decide on either 12.02.22, 12.12.22, or 12.22.22. Yes, mejo inisip namin yung aesthetics nung date, and we knew we had to have to on a Monday. 12.12.22 is the date! Why Monday? It’s because people will be there, not out of convenience.

Wedding Coordinator: Upon posting our engagement photos, a good friend sent me a message saying she is already starting her own wedding coordination business. I considered her immediately, but I knew I had to check first in the market for referrals, and I received tons of them! I reached out to ALL of the referred coordinators and sent all the details we have summarized for the wedding. Even at the onset of our planning, I never wanted a “canned” or a templated wedding. We want our wedding to be “OURS,” and we are keen on putting even the minute details. Sadly, nothing on the list seems to fit quite right. After weeks of praying and making comparisons, we finally went to our friends, who offered her services first. Here are our considerations:

  1. She is a startup. I have always had a heart for startup businesses. Yes, there will be significant risks, but there are still risks in hiring seasoned coordinators, and it’ll be more difficult to accept the risk because of their seasonality and the expense that comes with it.
  2. Since we will be her first client under her name, we banked on the idea of 100% attention to our needs — and she did deliver on this!
  3. Startups always put their best foot forward. A client will make or break them, and I know our friend will help us attain the best.

Our coordinator, Alma, delivered as promised and has extended our help immensely. As someone who does significant company events, I never wanted to have several options. I keep my options at a maximum of 5 and trim it to the best three. With Alma, we could already choose from her recommended top three choices. I love that she creates a table of comparison and provides a detailed cheat sheet of each supplier. She is super patient with us and keeps us aligned despite the anxiety and other hullabaloos. As a bride, I never felt the pressure and stress of planning the whole wedding until a much later date — the guestlist. Lol. I know all brides can relate to this! All these said, I could recommend Alma to my friends and family for their events! Her services don’t break the bank, she will also guide and remind you of the budget and payment terms, and she will be the middle man of all the negotiations between you and the suppliers. We are blessed to have Alma, and I highly recommend getting a full-time coordinator for your wedding! Above and beyond the wedding preparations, you will be able to think and prepare more for the after-wedding such as keeping your mind aligned, thinking about how to keep the house, and shifting to a domesticated mind as a future wife.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eventsbyalmaa | Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eventsbyalmaa/

Venue: My husband and I wanted an intimate wedding considering the expenses. Since we are having a Christian Wedding, we can have a garden wedding where we can celebrate both ceremony and reception in the same place. We were considering the spots in the south, and we wanted a place where we could rule out the stress of the moody weather. We were planning to keep the guest list with the suppliers under a hundred, and what better excuse to give than the venue constraints? I had to admit, we were thinking only for ourselves and wanted the convenience of blaming a small venue. However, God wanted to show off. The actual wedding venue is far from what we were planning! Our wedding venue is far from what we have imagined, and I have never seen myself in a huge venue! Our venue is someone else’s dream venue, and I couldn’t stress enough how thankful we are for the couple who provided us with their dream venue. Their account is transferrable, our target date is available, and there were no other weddings on the same day in our hall. This dream venue was offered to us at 50% off, and I was on my knees praying to God to provide us with a great location in no less than three months! In addition, the couple allowed us to pay even after the wedding day. Grabe ka, Lord! Our venue allowed us to house 150 guests, including the suppliers, and maluwag pa yung space and hindi siya mukhang crowded. Ang ganda ng venue and hindi ka mahihiya mag invite.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fernwoodgardenstagaytay

Wedding Budget: We have none. We have no budget! Lol. Our coordinator provided options of less than 500k, at 500k, and more than 500k. She also offered what we could expect, at the very least, on each budget proposal. I’ll reveal the total actual expenses at the end of this blog.

Bridal Gown: I never asked for anything grand on my wedding gown. I have envisioned myself wearing something simple and no beadwork. Froilan Dosdosen successfully crafted that vision into reality! Above and beyond the simplicity I asked for, he gave me elegance, comfort, and a dreamy look. I’m in love with my gown, and it’s the best decision to have my husband’s suit crafted by the same designer. I love Froi’s creative process on the wedding gown details. He would ask for your story and ask questions while sketching in front of you. Right then and there, he can already provide you with a silhouette sketch of his visions for you. He would also set initial and a few more meetings to check on the details and preferences of the client. He provided not just the gown but also my prenup dress and robe! Froi provided a prototype version of the gown to fit before he did everything on the planned fabrics. I highly recommend Froi, as he is hands-on in every piece he is making. He will immensely put effort, and you will see his passion for his work on each creation. He did my husband’s suit, my mom’s dress, and my tita’s pants suit. One of my bridesmaids also had her dress for the wedding made by Froi. He is intentional in every client, madali kausap, puts your best interest first, and prays with you and for you in the wedding journey.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/froilandosdosen.designs | Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/froilandosdosen/

Hair and Make-Up: I never wanted someone expensive. I just wanted to look decent and not restless on my wedding day. Lol. Alma referred one of her trusted friends to do this, and I never regretted it! April and her team went beyond what I expected! The package I got included my mom’s and my maid of honor’s hair and make-up; they both loved it! The team is considerate of what I wanted, and I looked great in my prenup photos and on the wedding day! Ultimately, they have conquered my stubbornly straight hair! Lol. You guys must try her services! She is good at what she does and will make you feel comfortable with your skin.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aprilibanezmakeup/

Styling: Remember the couple who blessed us with the fantastic venue? They also provided their downpayment for their booked stylist! The venue is excellent, even at the bare minimum, and the stylists provided us with the accents and the fabulous bouquet, crowns, corsages, and boutonnieres. The styling went with what we had imagined, and we are grateful for this supplier!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FORGETMEKNOTFLOWERS

Band: Blessed by the couple, they have provided their downpayment for their booked band. The band performed well on our wedding day, and they were not as expensive as the others in the market, but they sounded great! We were surprised they performed the song live on our first dance; we thought they would play the downloaded music. Get them if you want a good band for your events!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/totallymesmerized

Lights and Sounds: This is probably one of the last suppliers we have booked since we needed to finalize the layout first. Again, blessed by the couple’s downpayment on their booked lights and sound supplier, we secured an LED and a great accent on the venue’s lights. We did not encounter any Soundsystem problems during our day. The wedding ceremony and reception looked well-lit and looked lovely in the photos!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blackboxaudiosystems

Food: The food did not disappoint! We have decided to somehow splurge on the food since it is one of the items your guests will honestly remember after the wedding. We are thankful to Hizon’s Catering for delivering as advertised and promised.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weddingcateringbyhizons

Program Host: Referred by Alma; she was energetic and helped us get through the whole program with no problems! She is budget-friendly and can serve formal hosting. Hindi ka mapapahiya sa pag hohost niya and she extended her services beyond what is expected.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/greyszantua19/

Photo and Video (official supplier): This supplier has exceeded our expectations! We never wanted expensive suppliers because we believe there are suppliers out there who are not over-priced yet can deliver the same quality or more. They did their best to keep us comfortable during the indoor prenup shoot and wedding day. They are unbelievably fast to send the raw shots and can do minimal edits or none! We are worried about the results of the photos but thank God for their talents and excellent service! Horror stories about wedding photos were rampant on the internet, and reading through them doesn’t help you keep your mind straight.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/justmotioncinema

Photo (friend): Jai is one of our ministry friends and has blessed us with his talent, time and treasure! I super love his shots and how he sees things behind the lens. I took my chance to ask him to shoot our outdoor prenup shoot and some candid photos during our wedding day. Super blessed by this person! He is not professionally taking clients but maybe in the future? Check out his works!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jairusbernardo/

Hotel: We stayed at a great hotel with excellent service! I have known and worked with the hotel manager; they are a must-try place in Tagaytay!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hotelcasiana

For our other suppliers in the souvenirs, we also tapped close friends and used our products. I will still tag them here!

Succulents: https://www.facebook.com/TerraceHousePh

Soaps: https://www.facebook.com/skinsandscrubs

My titas also sponsored us with pillows and bottled water for the guests during the ceremony.

Pocofino blessed us with coffee for our special day: https://www.facebook.com/pocofinoph.

For our digital and printed invitation, program flow, food menu, and other printed graphics and materials, I have nothing to thank but my best friend, Maan. She gave her all on this special project and is extremely helpful to us. I have never wanted anyone to do this but her. Her intricacy in the details is impeccable, and she never provided us with a mediocre output since the mood board work. We love her and pray she can professionalize her services to the rest of the world.

So, how much is our wedding? Our overall expense is 618,500 Php! We could only imagine having this grand wedding by God’s grace and blessings. We alone could never sustain this amount, and we are highly blessed with people sharing their gifts in cash and kind. God has provided us with more than we asked for and has eliminated all our worries by solely being dependent on Him. It is not our wedding alone, indeed. And on our wedding day, my quiet time got me crying early in the morning:

“so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

    It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire

    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:11 NIV

Through our wedding celebration, we seek to glorify God by sharing God’s testimony in our lives, sharing the Gospel, and honoring our parents. It is a timely prayer during my quiet time as a reminder that we are not celebrating our wedding alone but on how God’s magnificently worked through the people around us culminated in this one eventful day. 

Please pray for us as we continue to journey in our married life. May we continue to glorify God in our marriage by continuously serving the Lord and be a living testament to God’s goodness and grace.

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