Before anything else, I’d like to greet everyone a Happy Love Month. ❤
With this, I’d like to start talking about our wedding. Not necessarily our wedding per se. But I’d like to share with you our Wedding Planning Journey which I hope you can get some insights and/or tips on. 🙂
I’d like to believe I’m a pretty much Bridechilla type. 😀 Most of the time, it’s the fiancee who keeps planning NON-STOP. It got to a point where I had to limit our wedding planning to some days. ❤ He understands. Haha.
Okay! So before you start looking for your church and venue, you at least need to know the following:
- NUMBER of GUESTS – The venue will depend on the number of guests you have. If you want an intimate or a grand wedding, you need to have a ballpark of who you want to invite.
- CHURCH or GARDEN or BEACH? If you’re Catholic, you need to have the wedding ceremony inside the church but if otherwise, you can have it anywhere you want.
- THEME – Your theme should dictate everything you plan about your wedding. You don’t want to end up having all sorts of different pinterest pieces that would might look like a jungle. Right? May it be a classic clean cut look, rustic, floral, travel theme, old and vintage… You need to have this in mind all the time.
- SEVERAL DATE OPTIONS – If you’re like me who’s somewhat sentimental.. You will be disappointed. So you need to be armed with several date choices. We wanted our Anniversary which is May, but we thought it’s too far. Next option was November 18 since that was our first date but there was no available church and time on the date. So we chose the closest one. It may not be our first option, but remember — the value of the date comes from what happens right? The important thing is that you celebrate being one that day.
- MANILA or DESTINATION – One of the most important thing you need to consider . . . Out of town fees!! It might seem small for 1 supplier that could range from Php 2,000 – Php 7,000 but if all suppliers will have one, it would cost a lot. But if you’re already set with your venue and church — try looking for suppliers who are in the area.
It would save you a lot of time if you know the following details above. It can extremely trim down your list. To be honest, even BEFORE my fiancee proposed, we were already talking a lot about our wedding. I, for one have been following different IG venues, bride and breakfast and the like. It’s a good thing I can freely discuss it with him without scaring him off. An added bonus? He’s also doing the same thing! ❤ before he proposed. So when he finally did, we both had ideas on what and where we want it.
Okayyyyy, so where did we start? I HAD a Non – Negotiable Church and Venue.
My Non Negotiable Church – St Benedict Parish
It definitely screams J-A-N-N-A everywhere. (cue in sad tears). It had pristine all white walls, it was clean cut anywhere you look. The problem? The next available weekend is 2 years from where we are looking at. And we didn’t want to wait that long. We can’t do it on a weekday because it would be too selfish of us.
My Non Negotiable Venue – Villa Milagros
Okay, before Bride & Breakfast did a feature on the venue, I had my eyes set on this venue. Why? It goes so well with my personality. ❤ Also, all white – it gives you the feeling of sophistication and class. It wasn’t too popular before, which I love and you will have the whole place to ourselves. The problem? We couldn’t find a beautiful church nearby. And, the place was a little too pricey and would require a lot of add ons and corkage.
What Next? Here are the different churches we considered and visited:
- Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish
This was our second best church. ❤ It was lovely. If you’re looking for something in the Metro with a huge capacity, this is it. It also has this classy feel. We didn’t pick this because we couldn’t find the perfect venue near this church.
- Our Lady of Lourdes Parish
For me, this is okay. There was no heartbeat though. It didn’t exude a fleeting feeling. It’s a church, alright but I think it didn’t fit my personality although this was near our venue.
- San Antonio de Padua
The lawn outside the church makes it a perfect for photoshoot before and after the ceremony. But our friends is getting married here the week before our date so we opted to eliminate this one from our list.
- Madre de Dios
This church is beautiful. It’s interior is somehow the same with my Non Nego church. But you are only allowed to have your ceremony here if you’re booking Tagaytay Highlands as your reception venue. We tried, but the rates given to us are really expensive yet there’s limited inclusions.
- Santuario de San Ezekiel
The structure and built of the church is quite similar with Sacred Heart of Jesus. But this is so close to home and I didn’t want that. 😀 This is about 10 minutes away from our house.
- Our Lady of Ephesus
If you’re having an intimate, quiet wedding, this is for you. The church is plain and a bit small. There’s also restrictions on the flowers. But if you want an all in one venue, this is inside Bella Rosa Gardens. We were about to book this Church and Venue already but we chose not to since we thought that guests might find it too far. It’s not but it’s situated inside residential areas and is hard to find.
Here are the different venues we considered and visited:
- Palazzo Verde
This is fiance’s first and only choice right after seeing their rates. Let me just burst your bubble of doubt. We inquired around November 2018 and the rates are around Php 700k. With this, you already have the church, accommodation, venue, photo & video, flowers, mobile bar, coffee bar and coordinator. It really saves you a lot of hassle looking for suppliers since most of the major suppliers are already included. However, I decided to shy away from venue at the first opportunity because it’s already too popular and I know a lot who got married here. I didn’t like the idea.
- Bella Rosa Gardens
You have 2 choices here: indoor and outdoor. The indoor area can fit about 100 while the outdoor can probably seat 300 or more. But in my opinion, you’d probably get the best value of the venue if you hold it outdoor, in their garden. It’s beautiful. They also have accommodation already and the bridal suite is really spacious. They even have a pool for the guests. The good thing about this place is they only book 1 event per day so you have all their attention. They can somehow be your coordinator during the day. We didn’t book this because of its location which we thought is hard to find.
- The Forest Barn
For this one, we didn’t actually visit the venue anymore because it’s not suited for our theme. But if you’re having a rustic themed wedding, you can consider this. Don’t get me wrong. I love the venue but we also can’t have a garden wedding so I omitted this one already.
- La Faite
I love the yellow lights, low ceiling, relaxed environment of this venue. They also have rooms where the bride and groom squad can stay during the wedding day. This also has a rustic feel so we didn’t choose this. But I still stalk their IG up to this day. ❤
- Alta Veranda de Tibig
Have you seen their infamous arc? It’s absolutely stunning. This probably is the perfect backdrop during a wedding ceremony or a perfect place to set up the couple’s area during the reception. I am in love with the place. ❤ Too bad, they are quite pricey.
We have been keeping this place in our radar for quite some time already. The fiancee also loves this place. We didn’t bother visiting since we are aware of their packages which we can’t afford. 😀
- Villa Milagros
Again, this is my Non negotiable which I didn’t get. So I should probably stop saying that this is a non negotiable for me. 😀 I’ll let the picture do the talking. ❤
I listed the things you should consider before looking for your church and venue right? But you also need to be armed with questions when you visit them so that you’ll have all the details that you need to do an informed decision.
For the Church
- Principal Sponsors – Do they have a limit on the number? What if they failed to be present during the ceremony?
- Parking – Do they have enough for your number of guests?
- Flowers – Some churches have a limit on the flowers and there are only areas where you can place them. It may be different from what you have planned.
- Photo & Video – In what areas are they allowed? Is there a limit? Some churches only have areas for PV team to stand as they may interrupt the ceremony.
- Songs – Are you allowed to insert non church songs? Can you pick the songs?
- Vows – Are you allowed to recite your vows
- Attire – Bridal Attire restrictions and entourage
- Others – Are you allowed to shower petals or what not. Some churches are very strict with garbage.
- Inclusions – what are the other inclusions? Do they provide for the offertory?
- Requirements – there are standard marriage requirements but it’s safe to ask if the church has other requirements
- Additional Fees – Will you be incurring additional fees? For the electricity?
For the Venue:
- Inclusions of the Package – does it include the caterer? Lights and sounds? Decor?
- Accredited Suppliers – list of their accredited suppliers. Do they charge if you book a supplier not on the list?
- Parking – is it enough for your guests?
- Space – do they have enough space for the cocktails? Mobile bar? Coffee bar? Photo Booth? And other things you might want to add?
- Styling – Is styling included in the package. If the venue is bare, you might need to incur additional charges for the styling.
- Engagement – Once you book them, can you do your prenup there free of charge?
- Preparation Venue – During the wedding day, do they have an area where the entourage can stay?
- Accommodation – What are the nearest accommodations in the area? It might help to provide your guests with this list especially if it’s a destination wedding.
- Lights and Sounds – Do they have a mixer? What are included in the package?
- Backdrop – Should you book another supplier for the backdrop? Or is it included?
- Payment terms – this is important so you know what your cash flow is.
- Number of Hours – how many hours can you use the venue? How much will they charge you if you stay beyond?
- Weather Provisions – Can you transfer your event indoors if it starts to rain?
- Fireworks – are you allowed to set off fireworks?
These are only the things I’ve learned in four months since we got engaged. It’s still best to research beforehand. Read reviews, ask your friends, visit the place and think of all the scenarios so you are prepared.
Hope you learned a thing or two. 😀 I’ll update this if I happen to encounter something else. Happy Preps, Brides! ❤