When I woke up last December 8, 2011- I knew it was going to be a long day. But I didn’t realize how quickly it would be over and in that in no time- my life would have been changed dramatically.

On that day, I married the man who stood up for me and stuck it out with me through hell and high in the last two years. That most beautiful day of my life was perfect because I married my one true love.

But because beautiful weddings are not made overnight, we spent more than a year preparing for our big day. I am proud to say that EVERYTHING we booked, we paid for ourselves. The two of us spent long hours at work and grabbed every opportunity that came our way just to be able to save up for the wedding we both dreamed about.

So let me thank our sponsors/ suppliers for all the help they extended.

1. San Agustin Church (Intramuros, Manila) ★★★★

Contact Details: (02) 527-4052 Ms. Belen

San Agustin is picture perfect inside, forget the facade shot because it’s been painted peach- making it look like an ordinary Church and not the 400 year old Church we know of. It is perfect for brides who dream of walking a long aisle on their wedding day.

Ms. Belen was very approachable from day 1 of our preps. If you book here, you can also avail of their pre-cana seminar for couples which only last for half a day inside the Church premises.

Because it’s an in-demand venue for weddings, we booked it at P22,000 last October 2010. When we came back this June 2011, their weddings are already pegged at P25,000 (One hour use of venue, simple flower arrangement, priest, choir)

The only downside of booking San Agustin are the extra charges- P1,000 for closed door effect (if brides want the Church door closed before her grand entrance), P400 per pair of additional Principal Sponsors in excess of the 6 pairs allowed by the Church, P1,000 for the permit to take photos from the choir loft, P4000 for upgrade of flowers (normal package only gives the couple flowers on the pew, if you want flowers on the aisle too you have to upgrade. Good thing, you can share the amount with other couples getting married before or after you on the same day).

2. Casa Blanca (Intramuros, Manila) ★★★★

Contact: (02) 527-4084

Casa Blanca is a perfect venue for Filipiniana weddings- the interior is like an old Spanish house with wooden windows. We were originally booked for Casa Manila Patio which was just downstairs, but because we got married in December and the weather was crazy, we transferred our reception venue to Casa Blanca to make sure no guests will be inconvenienced should it rain on our wedding day.

That’s us during our entrance on our wedding night. Notice the old school house feel of the venue.

P17,000 was a reasonable and cheap amount for a venue you can use for 10 hours (4hours setup time for caterers, 6hours party time for the couple). However we weren’t able to maximize our party time because we ended our reception early 🙂

If you intend to book here and have elder guests, there’s a passage you can use via White Knight Hotel Intramuros to make it easier for them to go up.

3. Bridal Gown and Entourage: Amonn Velasco ★★★

Contact: Amonn Velasco (02) 711-7140 or 0917-5751604

Amonn is a very nice supplier. He immediately knows what gown will look good on you and he offers it in a very affordable price. My gown was only P25,000 but it was adorned with swarovski crystals, not to forget my beautifully made bolero.

Entourage gowns were priced at only P3,000 each, P1,500 for flower girl dresses, Our mommy gowns were fabulous at P7,000 only 🙂

Many of my friends said my gown was simple and elegant- exactly what Amonn said he wanted me to look like on my wedding day.

The only problem I encountered with Amonn was he had too many clients he can actually forget about fitting schedules – which would be a problem for a bride and her entourage of course. On my wedding day, he wasn’t there too although he texted to say he was on his way.

 

4. Catering: Quido’s Grill ★★★

Contact: Ms. Gina Napolis 09175027472

If you’re looking for cheap but yummy food for your wedding- go book Ms. Gina Napolis. She does the best food, we even had 2 food tastings for free! Ms. Gina was very accommodating and helpful, also ready anytime to offer advice to make our wedding beautiful.

But affordable bookings can also cause you headaches- like what we encountered with her few days before our wedding day. She was demanding about her setup time but was also quick to ask for an apology later on.

On our wedding day, she delivered what was needed and expected of her- although we were wondering where the rest of our Kutsinta went!

Ms. Gina can customize a package for you based on your budget. You can also book cheap sounds and lights and projector services through her.

5. OTD Coordinator: We’ll Take it For You Events ★★

Contact: Marj Gonzales 0917-6278478

We got our OTD coordinator a few weeks before our wedding day. We found WTIFY events on the internet and was convinced to book them after they gave us their package for only P8,000. Marj was very kind and always smiling when we would meet. The team also made very beautiful name cards for guests upon registration.

But on the wedding day itself, it was Meg who proved to be a more efficient coordinator. She wasn’t panicking and was cool right down the last minute.

6. The Rockin’ Duo ★★★★★

Contact: http://www.therockinduo.com

Backup photographer Vinz Matias and his brother VJ Matias (The Rockin’ Videographer) took very beautiful photos and wonderful videos for our wedding.

We were able to book them for an affordable price- but they are the kind of suppliers you book inexpensively but then you are given SUPERB service later. We are more than satisfied with the prenup video, same day edit and photos they took of us 🙂

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Young and promising VJ Matias (cinematographer) w/ talented brother photog Vinz Matias

Here’s a link to our one-of-a-kind prenup video http://vimeo.com/33342898 and our same day edit http://vimeo.com/33378456

Vinz and VJ we believe will surely go a loooong way in the wedding industry. Go book them guys! 🙂

7. Bottega Studio ★★★★★

Contact: Bottega Studio Facebook Image

Our FIRST Kiss as husband and wife. Photo taken by Mau Mauricio

Our main photographer Mau Mauricio and his wife Au Mauricio are very good friends of ours. Au (my makeup artist) was a schoolmate back in St. Theresa’s College. She and her husband Mau gave their services all for FREE as a wedding gift.

We were blessed because aside from having the coolest couple take our photos and do my makeup that day- we were blessed with a beautiful friendship starting to grow.

Mau took our most beautiful prenup shots in NLEX and Intramuros and was excellent too on our wedding day, tagging along 2 more assistant photographers! 🙂 Au meantime made me, my sisters and my Mom equally beautiful that day 🙂

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Me and my simple airbrush make up courtesy of Au Mauricio 🙂

8. Flowers: Seaworld Flower Shop ★★★★★

Contact: Joseph 0928-24111755

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Joseph was one of our best finds in Dangwa 🙂 He did my brother’s flowers on his wedding day, and he did an equally excellent job with our flowers for our wedding day. He also gave us freebies like an extra bridal bouquet for throwing, petals and free bridal car flowers 🙂

9. Tañong Chorale ★★★★★

Contact: Gerry Olaguer 0915-2140647

If you’re looking for the perfect wedding performers and chorale, go book Marikina’s pride- Tañong Chorale 🙂 There were only nine of them singing but their angelic voices reverberated throughout San Agustin. Kuya Gerry is very friendly and will suggest more beautiful and apt wedding songs too 🙂

10. Wink Invitation★★★★★

Contact: http://www.wink.com.ph

Our wedding invite design was drawn by my sister Pampy. But we had it printed through Wink Invites, who also did a perfect job for our invites 🙂 They made it look like an old paper too 🙂

Cindy of Wink Invites was a very helpful and efficient account manager 🙂

11. Wedding Rings: Marry Me bridal shop ★★★★★

Location: Market, Market Taguig

We found the perfect wedding ring in this shop. Although we had to travel to Taguig to fit and get the rings, it was all worth it for our two-toned and affordable wedding rings 🙂

12. DIY

Of course our wedding didn’t come without do-it-yourself stuff such as our place cards, goodie bags, table numbers, reception signages, banderitas, menu cards and thank you stickers 🙂

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My husband painstakingly cut those wood and painted them to turn them into table numbers.

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We packed the goodies, my friend Gelas did the place cards glued to the goodie bags.

ImageHubby also did these signages marked as Eder at Lia 🙂 

Aside from these suppliers, we also have our friends Janeca, Thea and Gelas to thank for all the pre-wedding assistance they willingly gave us 🙂 Thanks girls for helping us out plan the details.

Also, Tita Nenette for our beautiful and yummy Pandan flavored wedding cake! 🙂 Also, Franny for the yummy red velvet and chocolate cupcakes given to the guests. We also wanna thank John Consulta for our bridal car and driving for us to the hotel 🙂 Thank you, Mariz Umali and Raffy Tima for being our wedding reception hosts.

My sister Eila and Pampy for the help and the love- Eila for reading during the mass and Pampy for doing our invites and offering during the ceremony.

My friend Kara David and Janeca for serving as readers too, my friend Des for being our lector.

Thank you to our strict but very funny priest Fr. Cesar Marin, SJ 🙂 Also to our principal sponsors for all the help and the wonderful, wonderful presents! 🙂

Of course, special thanks to my college barkada, my best friend Anafe, high school buds Nice, Gelas, Almira and my family (mommy especially) and del Castillo family for being so supportive throughout the preparations 🙂

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Guests said, they loved our wedding for its simplicity and for being truly heartfelt. 🙂 We had the best time of our life because we got married- and you were all there to witness it.

Thank you so much,

Mrs. Lia del Castillo

The Diva is now Mrs. Del Castillo 🙂