The Wedding Part 2: J Franco Digital Films

I promised a dedicated post for our photographer and videographer, so here it is!

Photo/Video:  J Franco Digital Films
Rating:  ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Cost:  💰💰💰
This team made miracles for me, and I can never thank them enough for it.  Really.

One of the downsides with having a long distance engagement is the fact that all your pre-wedding frills are put to a hold until your partner is with you.  Le Mari arrived in the Philippines three weeks before the wedding, and being December, it’s obvious that Fritz and his team are fully booked the entire month.  Want to know when we shot our pre-nuptial photos?  December 26.  Yes, this team woke up probably hung over from Christmas celebrations and marched off to the Joya Residences at Rockwell, Makati to give us an amazing time and well, needless to say, amazing photos.

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They made the most of the entire space.  I swear, this photo set does not even begin to describe how well they captured our coupledom.  They were patient and caring, they helped us ease into the shoot.  Le Mari is very shy, so being in front of the camera is not really his cup of tea.  (When he realized that we’ll be taking so many photos, he started to explore the possibility of not being in so many of them.  Seriously.)  But Fritz was able to put him at ease!  The photos turned out so great.
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Come wedding day, they were so early and complete.  It was a very relaxed atmosphere because of them, and my personal favorite would be the female photog, Cha (if I recall her name correctly).  The team was accommodating and on point all the time.

I do regret though not having that many photos of just me and Le Mari.  We did steal away an hour to drink at the nearby Bugsy’s just to relax before the formal reception, so we did steal from them precious time with precious lighting.  Nonetheless, we love the selection and we still owe them the final picks for our album.

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There were some problems with lighting, looking now at the raw pictures.  But Fritz and his wife Mayette are more than reassuring that everything will be properly edited and adjusted to our liking.

I swear, everything that we paid for with this team is absolutely worth it.  Book them.  Seriously.

Oh and did I mention the divine same-day edit video?  If this is already this awesome, I am so excited for the final edit.  I almost wanted to change the song, but I am so happy that Fritz talked me down and that I relinquished control.  This is just perfect.

You must MUST consider them for your next event.  :)

More supplier reviews to come later! ❤️

First, The Wedding Part 1

Being in a long distance relationship that transitioned into a long distance engagement only meant one thing:  planning the wedding alone.  Up to this day, I still don’t know how the whole wedding happened, but I know I got a lot of help from people and online resources.  We had a budget and in this day and age when blogs are popping left and right with insane wedding pegs and styles you JUST MUST HAVE, it’s quite difficult to stick with that budget.  But we did.  And we did it because we worked hard.  Hahahaha.

Let me just give a rundown of our major suppliers and my review.  Please note that our wedding happened in the Philippines, where US$1=PHP45 at the time, so prices are adjusted accordingly.

Introducing, our monogram.  Thank you, Printsonalities (more on them later).

Church:  Iglesia Ni Cristo, Bel-Air Chapel
Rating:  ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Cost:  NONE
Seriously, we didn’t spend anything on the church.  We just had to inform them ahead of time since our wedding date was right after New Year’s.  We requested for an English-speaking minister, and they gave us Bro. Felipe Naguit.  The church was clean, organized, and we had the best choir ever.  It was perfect.

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Hotel:  Fraser Place Manila, Bel-Air Makati
Rating:  ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Cost:  💰💰💰💰
This cost us quite a lot, but it was absolutely worth it.  We booked two two-bedroom suites that were so huge, each room hosted over 8 adults and 4 kids.  It was spacious enough to have two hair and makeup stations in each, and the photo-video team even had enough space to gather their editing stuff.  Did I also mention it had a washer and dryer?  Perfect for those emergency wash and dry the night before (which happened).  The staff was amazing too.  Since I forgot to book a car for my husband (SORRY MAJOR SLIP), they had a car waiting for him to take him to the church.  They were soooo accommodating, from extending our check out hours, to entertaining our suppliers as they come.  It was the best buck spent.  Each facet of their service was personalized, the best way to start the year really.

To know more about Fraser, click here.

Venue:  The Blue Leaf Events Pavilion, Taguig City
Rating:  ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Cost:  💰💰💰💰
I have to admit, I wasn’t ready to spend this much on a venue.  But Le Mari saw Blue Leaf online, and he was enamored.  There was no changing his mind, and I’m now glad that I didn’t.  Our event coordinator Mikee Reyes assisted with everything:  caterer, hotel, car, styling.  She was the best.  The venue too was great, but I already knew that, having attended a couple of weddings and corporate events in the same place.  Blue Leaf is like a semi designed canvas — just add little touches and it’s already awesome.  Our hours were only supposed to be until 10, but because my friends decided to clean out the bar, we stayed till almost midnight.  They didn’t even turn off the air conditioning till 30 minutes before they closed.  No extra charge.  Amazing.

To know more about Blue Leaf, click here.

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Caterer:  Josiah’s Catering
Rating:  ❤️❤️❤️
Cost:  💰💰💰
I have a love-hate relationship with this caterer.  Love, because they have catered to almost all weddings in our family.  Hate, because their service flat out sucks.  We booked them as part of a package with Blue Leaf, and from the moment I tasted their food, I knew I was right.  They’ve also improved a lot on their styling, based on their portfolio, so in my head, I’m in good hands.  That is, until the final tasting day.  First, the account executive made us come at noon only to make us wait for over an hour before finally tasting the menu.  She wasn’t even the one who accommodated us, it was the head chef at the time.  When we did taste the menu, everything that I said shouldn’t be there was there.  From peanuts to appetizers and desserts I didn’t like during the initial tasting, it was all there.  I have made all the details of the menu clear on the day we finalized the styling details, but it was such an epic failure to not even try with the menu.  Plus, she wasn’t there 80% of the time!  It was the head chef explaining to us what we were tasting.  Le Mari was so infuriated that he called for the sales head and demanded that that person be replaced immediately.  Take note, we only had two weeks before the wedding.  Le Mari was so angry, he actually said if that AE is at the wedding, we will demand a full refund of the service charge.  He also included that if all the allergy triggers are on the food, Josiah’s will pay for the medical expenses.  I think it was such an unusual thing to happen, to be so disappointed with the service that the sales head just agreed to everything.

Anyway, fast forward to the wedding, with the new AE, everything was good and well.  The guests even told us the food was great.  It wasn’t until I looked at the wedding photos did I notice that a lot of the styling cues we decided wasn’t followed.  For one, I hate the mirrored runner.  I wanted the continuous and flowing floral runner.  But they used the mirror and there were barely any flowers.  Same goes with the guest tables.  So lesson learned:  HIRE A STYLIST if you are particular with how you want your event to look.  Thankfully, they performed well food-wise.

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We stocked the bar ourselves, so we just requested for a staff to pour the drinks.  He put out a small jar for tips.  I wish he asked us first if he can do that, because we really didn’t want our guests to shell out anything, but I guess it was just for the trouble.  We tipped all the waiters in the end, so he didn’t really need that jar.  Good thing is all the alcohol was consumed and nothing was brought home by the staff.

Wedding Paper Divas Thank You Cards

I would love to post a review for our photographer and videographer but I’ll save that stuff for the next one.  With the work they did, they absolutely deserve a post of their own.

Please stay tuned!  More wedding details to come.

Life Update

So, I haven’t written that much and I know it’s really crappy to just say I’ve been busy.  It’s the truth though:  I have been busy with life.  That’s what hit me.  And it hit me good.

If you’ve been following my Instagram, you’ll know that in the last ten months, I got married, moved, and am now a housewife.  It’s so far from what I had imagined or even planned out, but like I said, it has been a good life.  It is also a drastically different one, which brings me to move some things around, literally and figuratively.

When I started this blog, it was chronicling everything that I have been doing.  Some time in the past, it became a melancholic release.  With the demise of my father, it has been a pretty good outlet.  This blog has transformed almost as much as I have and it’s time for another change.  It has been a lot of change, and it would be such a disservice to this outlet of mine to not change with me.  Do you understand what I mean?

So that’s where we’ll restart.  From the beginning of the change.  It may be a long trek but please bear with me, as you have for the past years.  Considering the ups and downs my life has gone through, this has to be the highest point so far and it’s been going on for ten months.  And I’ll be damned if I don’t share this height with you.

Thank you for being so patient, and thank you for joining this change. :)

MUSIC MONDAY: Lost Boy by Ruth B

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Maryland, hanging out with good friends.  It was quite a drive from Jersey; with the construction by the Delaware bridge, there was an additional 45 minutes to the usual 3.5-hour drive.

This song came on and I just looked at Le Mari.  I remembered him saying that his father would play Peter Pan whenever he was sick.  He grew up with that lost boy in mind.

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With the heat pounding our windshield and the traffic making his legs hurt, the ethereal voice of Ruth B filled our small space in the road.  The depth of the lyrics combined with Le Mari’s sentiment, this song easily took a spot in our favorites list.

What’s your summer sentiment?