WEDDINGS are huge in the Philippines that is a million peso industry in itself. Since the Philippines is only one of two countries (the Vatican) that does not have divorce laws, techinally weddings are really a once in a lifetime event so we go through much lengths to have the wedding day of our dreams.
Having just finished a wedding myself, here are my thoughts on how not to have a wedding you regret.
Your bridal party consists of your closest friends and relatives who are more than willing to help out. You just have to ask them.My sister Elaine, our maid of honor, did the video presentation and also helped errands. My sister in law, Sashana, also helped out in dressing up the kids entourage and ordering giveaways. Another maid of honor, Miriam, made a bridal emergency kit that contained everything from breath mints to feminine hygiene products. I am grateful for them.
It's all about the memories:
You will be surprised how fast the wedding day goes by. You prepared more than a year for this and it was done in what feels like a blink of an eye. So make sure you hire the best photographer and videographer within your budget who can take all your precious moments and the candid events on our day. I regret not having a roving photographer as my coordinator and I decided to just hire a photobooth as we were afraid a roving photographer would distract people from the program. In hindsight I should have hired more photographers and even a second videographer. In fact I already had that in mind but the videographers said it was not feasible to have two videographers on site as the couple had to take cues from only one team.I would suggest though to hire a second team to take more photos and more videos. You will thank me for it.
Fun Games that are attunded with the times:
We forego the toss bouquet and the garter as most of our friends were already married. We did hire a host who made a pambansang “bato bato pick” contest that had every one at the reception participate. Our cousin Quennie also gifted us with a stand up comic who had funny anecdotes on marriage.
Go with what you are comfortable with:
I made sure that I can breathe while sitting down wearing my dress. I know of some brides whose zipper conked out during wedding because dress was too tight for them. Even if i wanted to be in heels, I opted for a low heel wedge shoe to be used in the garden ceremony. I also made sure my bridesmaids get to choose design and fabric that they want to wear on the day. No more ugly bridesmaid dresses. I wanted them to feel as comfortable and confident on that day as well so they were given freehand to collaborate on their dresses.
We had printed invitations made for my mom's friends because they were more old school. However, with friends our age who is into the digital age, we made a Facebook invite, a wedding website where people could RSVP . That saved our driver from insanity who had to go through Manila traffic to deliver the printed invitations to the older generation. On the advise of our maid of honor Miriam Quiambao, we also did a gifting registry which was digital as well. It was called Honeyfund. It was a great and convenient way for people to participate in our wedding and honeymoon by giving gifts related to honeymoon. We planned on an African safari so people gifted us with dining, spa vouchers from the website.It was convenient for us and for the people to not think of what to give you . They literally sent their RSVP and gifts from their touchscreen phones.
Only Invite people who you really want to be there:
I was shocked at the recent prices wherein you could easily be spending Php5,000 on each guest you invite. Skip inviting the classmate from grade school whom you have not seen in 10 years. With all your guests at the wedding, you would not have time to bond with that friend. Save that bonding moment on a one to one lunch with her any time before or after the wedding. Also, do not feel pressured to invite ALL your friends. It is difficult for sure but with the wedding expenses nowadays it truly is not practical any more. I would have wanted to invite every single person who mattered to me in this lifetime. However, I must consider that wedding is a celebration of a marriage of two individuals so I needed to respect my partner's budget and wishes. In as much as I wanted to invite 5,000 people to my wedding, we ended up having 500 guests which is still not a small number.
Enjoy the preparation and the journey because the wedding day itself will be done in a blink of an eye. And remember wedding is a day, marriage lasts forever (at least in the Philippine laws and Catholic Church's eyes)
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