Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bridal Beauty

As a woman, I strongly believe that like the gown, the hair & makeup that I will wear on my wedding day is probably the most unforgettable hair & makeup I will ever put on.  Thus, extra caution has to be taken to guarantee that I will look just right. :)  

I want to look and feel ultra beautiful on my day of days, but I still want to look like me.  If  "ultra beautiful" can't be achieved without altering the real face I have been given, wag na lang. =P  I want Rolly to see me, the real Joyce he has fallen in love with, walking down the aisle -- not the beautiful but cosmetically-corrected Joyce. *wink*

The first step into achieving this is already done - I've chosen and booked a good makeup artist, Mayone Bakunawa.  I'm certain that she'll do a good job even without me giving any of my own suggestions, but I am not who I am if I just keep my mouth shut. =D  Joyce isn't Joyce if she's not ready with pegs. (I should have been named Peggy! Hehe.)

Unlike most brides, I am not so much into the "no-makeup makeup" look.  I still want the makeup to be very simple, but I like my eyes emphasized.  Just like Kim Kardashian's.

For the hair, I am never tying my tresses in a bun!  I have full cheeks, and looking like a lollipop on the altar is the last thing I'm gonna permit. =D I will wear my hair down, against all odds!

If I'm not mistaken, I have already tried this kind of hair and makeup before when we did a shoot for one Belo Essentials TV commercial (see here, extra lang ako =p).  Hmm, I looked like myself naman, so pasado! :)

Remember, makeup is supposed to enhance our natural beauty, not to create a whole new face.  We must only allow cosmetics to enhance the features God blessed us with, not to change them.  Brides-to-be must watch out for this when they sit down for a trial with the artist they're considering to get.  The artist must be able to bring out the most beautiful version of ourselves,  not an extraordinarily stunning version of somebody whom people won't recognize.  When you walk down the aisle, the last thing you wanna hear is people whispering, "Siya ba yan?" =D  


Friday, March 30, 2012

Excited About Our E-Session! :)

Our e-session is just around the corner and I’m already feeling ants in my pants!!!

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, e-session is short for engagement session, a photo shoot done by soon-to-wed couples. Others call it prenup pictorial.  *wink*

Our shoot is scheduled on April 9, less than a fortnight from today. I am super excited, obviously. =D  If you know me, you know too that by this time, everything has already been set.

  • Photo/Video Teams - CHECK! :)
  • Venue Permits - CHECK! :)
  • Hair & Makeup Artists - CHECK! :)
  • Wardrobe - CHECK! :)
  • Props - CHECK! :)

Before I jump into any endeavor, I almost always know how I want things to happen.  So as usual, I have my trusty PEGS! =D  I organized them into 3 themes, each with a different look and feel.

THEME 1:  "All Things Bright & Beautiful."
Setting: Picnic / Park
Mood & Tone:  FUUUN! Full of vibrant colors! :)
Remark: Can you guess whose idea is this? Obviously, it's MINE. =D

THEME 2:  "Graceful Elegance."
Setting: Indoor
Mood & Tone:  Dreamy. 
Remark:  Not sure if I can pull this off. I find it challenging to pose without saying CHEESE! =)) My teeth are camera whores and they hate to hide in photos!

THEME 3:  "Ready for Battle!"

Setting: Open field.
Mood & Tone:  Fun na Asteeeg. =D
Remark:  Needless to say, this is the "Rolly theme." A sucker for war books and films, he'll definitely enjoy being photographed in fatigue uniform. :)


Caaaaan't wait! We're doing the session in two venues: 1) in UP Diliman, our Alma Mater; and 2) in Ninyo Fusion where Rolly proposed. :)  Hope it won't rain!  Please help us pray for a fine weather on April 9. Thaaaaanks! :)


Monday, March 26, 2012


I am guilty.  Guilty of forgetting God in the midst of all the little things I have seemed to consider as more important.   I have neglected my time for prayer, spending it reading books and watching movies instead.  I have stopped my new year’s promise of counting and writing down my blessings each day.  I have become too engrossed with my own happy stuff, that I’ve forgotten The One who has given me my happy heart to begin with. Shame on me.
I am sorry, Father. :( 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Betcha By Golly Gown!

Vera Wang. Elie Saab. Monique Lhuillier. Reem Acra. Oscar dela Renta.

These are only some of the renowned A-listers when it comes to bridal fashion.  If you have hundreds of thousands to spare (or millions, even), then you can definitely afford a wedding gown made by them.  But for brides with a shoestring budget like myself, their creations can only serve as inspirations. Hehe.  Besides, there are many brilliant designers locally who can make beautiful gowns, without couples having to break the bank. The key is to show them various pegs and crystal clear descriptions of what the bride wants, details such as the gown's silhouette or cut, neckline, sleeve style, length, et cetera.  

As a bride-to-be myself, what do I want?  How do I like my gown to look?

1)  THE CUT.
I am vertically challenged, perhaps you know that. *frowns* I'm a five-footer and am far from having those skinny models' body type.  If I were that slender, then my first choice would probably be a full-skirted ball gown.  But I am not, and I risk literally looking like a ball if I wear a ball gown. =D  I want to wear something which would in fact make me look slimmer and taller.  The answer? A trumpet/mermaid wedding dress! :)

Notice the skirt thick with "frou-frou," =D That's a must for me.  The frou-frou could be anything from ruffles to pleats or feathers.

I find the sweetheart neckline pretty and "very me".  The cut shows off a bit of the cleavage, but it still looks very decent and classy.

If the church would be too strict to approve the sweetheart neckline without straps, then I'd probably have invisible lace added.  Something similar to this:

This is something I cannot answer for myself.  Depending on how my designer would put my wishes together, he'll give me his recommendation as to how long the gown's skirt has to be.  I have a request though.  The train has to be loooong.

Hmm.  I believe I am ready to sit down with my designer Boy Kastner Santos who, by the way, was "Weddings at Work's Supplier of the Year in 2011."  I am lucky to have found and booked him even before he was announced the awardee.  Nakapag-haggle pa ako. =D  He must cost a bit more expensive now.

See you on April 22, Tito Boy! :)  I can't wait to see my gown's sketch! :)


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Our Wedding Color Palette

One of the very first things we pondered on when we started planning for the wedding was the color motif.  It's important for the elements to look unified and cohesive, and all brides are aware that a color palette is key in achieving this.

Most people who know me know as well that I love all things pink.  I've been drawn to this color for as long as I can remember, and it is but expected that pink shall be my wedding color. :) My next question to myself was: what other color must I combine pink with?

As usual, I did a lot of research, and the site The Perfect Palette was a huge help to me.  Here's a warning though before you click the link: The color schemes in the site could get a bit overwhelming for there are too many beautiful combos to choose from.  I myself had a hard time fixating my attention on just one. =D  Some of my options were the following:




The first two palettes above are really pretty and are easy on the eyes.  The colors are soft and romantic.  The third one is gorgeous too, but I am not a fan of red, especially since this color makes one look heavy (my bridesmaids wouldn't want that!). :)

I was almost close to choosing one from the three above, but I felt that something was missing.  My friends know that I am a fan of vivid and bright colors, and on our wedding, I want to see things pop on the photos. :)  
Hmm, isip isip isip.  Then I saw this.   


The colors are bold and vibrant, but at the same time romantic.  Plus, blue is the color Rolly likes most, so our palette is technically a combination of both our favorite colors. Perfect!  Finally, the decision was made. :)

We will be carefully planning the blend of this color combo depending on the wedding elements they will be applied to.  For example, the bridesmaids' dresses will be fuchsia, those of the ninangs' will be navy, and all their bouquets will be predominantly blush pink.  At the reception, most decors and linens will be blush pink, since the members of the entourage would be in vivid colors already. I don't want everything to look overly matchy-matchy!

There are many considerations in choosing your wedding colors, and most couples usually ask for the popular color trends. For Rolly and me obviously, it was a different story.  We just let our own imagination (and feelings!) guide us, while also taking into consideration the inputs of our families. Fortunately, they approved of fushcia-blush pink-navy too! Woohoo! :)


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Our Isaw Date at BF Almanza

Once a month, I am "required" to drive down south for a date with Rolly instead of him going up north.  And whenever I do, we normally go to this isaw place at BF Almanza which he introduced to me last year.  I always called it "isaw place" coz I never knew what its name was and I didn't bother asking.   That was until this afternoon when I saw a little cardboard where "Mang Raul's BBQ" was hand-written. :)

So, si Mang Raul pala ang may-ari nung sikat na isawan.  From now on, I wouldn't call it isaw place anymore. =D

Every time we're headed to Mang Raul's BBQ, we always anticipate the long wait.  The place is forever packed full!  People from all walks of life are hooked on his isaw - there are those who seem to come from socio economic classes A and B and broad C (that's why it's not easy to find a parking spot!), and of course there are also many from SEC D and even E given the very affordable pricing scheme of Mang Raul.  Like us, they are prepared to wait for looooong minutes (yes it could even reach an hour or so during peak times) in line just to have a chance to devour the really delectable "grilled chicken/pig intestines" which the place is so popular for. (Errrr, the "grilled chicken/pig intestines" phrase does sound gross, haha. But this is how wikipedia calls "isaw" in english. =D)

The ordering system is like this:  Upon arriving at the place, you'll be given a platter.  This is where you'll put the sticks of barbecue/isaw/hotdog/adidas,etc. you're ordering.  When you're done, they'll give you a small carton with a hand-written number.  You have to wait for that number to be called so you'll know your order is ready. I'm pretty sure that by time they call you, you're already trembling in hunger. Hehe. So bear this in mind: go to Mang Raul's only if and when you're not famished, otherwise, I swear you're gonna pass out in hunger before you're served. =D And if you're maarte and can't live without airconditioning, Mang Raul's BBQ is not for you.  There is no AC here, and it can really get hot inside.  You can stay outside where there are tables and chairs too, but be prepared to draw in a mass of smoke. =D Kung hindi mo pa rin kaya, just send your yaya to get your isaw for you. Hmp.


INSTAGRAMMED:  I was still HAPPY here. =D

INSTAGRAMMED:  Dito hindi na. =[ Tagaaaal kasi, I was already hungry.

Even with the abovementioned inconveniences, for Rolly and me, Mang Raul's is "the place to be" (haha, corny!) if delicious isaw is what you're after. Perhaps it's even comparable to UP Diliman's isawan joints  which I never got to try by the way. I didn't eat isaw during my college days because I regarded it as dirty and yucky. =D Maarte pa ako nun! =D Hehe. So for purposes of comparison, UPD should be our next isaw stop. :) 

Dahil nabusog na kami, umuwi na kami! :)) That's Rolly as he bid goodbye. :(
The traffic light was red, so I had time to roll down my car's windows and take the shot. =D 


My First Ever Longganisa :)

For someone who had never worked in the kitchen from the day she was born 'til she was 26, I insist that seemingly nonsense photos like the one you'll see below are worth posting. =P Haha.

Presenting my first ever longganisa! :) :) :)

They look cute, di ba? =D  I was slightly anxious before I sank my teeth into one of them because I wasn't sure if I cooked it the right way.  I just relied on how I remembered mommy doing it.  But after my first bite, I sighed in relief!  It tasted exactly like mom's! =D Yaaaay!

The list of things that I can cook is now getting longer! Haaay, dahil 'to sa request ni hubby-to-be eh. :)  More firsts to come!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hotel for Wedding Preps: BOOKED!

In our hunt for the hotel where we’ll do the wedding preps, I had only two criteria:
  1. Proximity to the church 
  2. A photogenic staircase 

The first one is a no-brainer. No bride wants to be late in her own wedding. :)

The second one is just really my preference. I always find my jaw drop in awe whenever I see photos of brides descending a marvelous staircase as they head to the ceremony venue. I had always felt that I want the same when the time comes that I tie the knot. 

With criterion #2, I bet your top-of-mind hotel is just the same as mine. Can any other hotel beat Makati Shangri-La's flight of steps?  I don't think so. Shang's staircase is beyond grand!

The sad part is, Makati Shang only fulfills one of the two criteria. It is located in Ayala corner Makati Avenue, and that’s too far from Greenmeadows where Christ the King is. I don’t wanna risk getting caught in hellish traffic and make my groom ultra nervous while waiting for me. There's a NO-STRESS rule on our big day! =D What's more, Shang’s room rates are as “grand” as its staircase. =D Their smallest and most inexpensive room already costs as much as a big premiere suite in others!

Therefore, ERASE ERASE ERASE! No more daydreaming of Shangri-La. =D

In an attempt to fulfill the first criterion which was for us the more important one, we listed down some hotels in Pasig and Eastwood. Our roll included Crowne Plaza, Linden Suites, Holiday Inn, and Eastwood Richmonde.

Then it was time to inquire where this photogenic staircase of mine could be found.

Research, research, research.

And pooof! 
Eastwood Richmonde has it! 

Admittedly, this staircase pales in comparison to Shangri-La's, but that's okay. It's still very photogenic to me. Besides, Eastwood Richmonde is just a stone's throw away from Christ the King, which means the hotel satisfies not just one but our two deciding factors. :)  Yaaay!

The lobby is very nice too. Our bridesmaids and groomsmen will be lurking here as they wait for us for the
pre-ceremony photo op.

Immediately after our ocular visit, Rolly and I were already in agreement that this was the hotel that's perfect for us.  It's still a bit pricey (but definitely not as steep as the rooms in Shangri-La!) but the rates were still within our budget.  Not too mention that the hotel rooms here are very modern and spacious, and they don't charge extra for lobby pictorials.  They also allow bringing in food, which is a big plus point since you can't expect us to feed our suppliers with hotel meals with golden price tags.

We booked a One-Bedroom Deluxe Suite for me and a Deluxe Room for Rolly.  The suite is big enough for all our wedding suppliers who will be hanging around with me as I prepare, like the hair and makeup artists, photographers and videographers, my gown designer, and coordinator, to name a few.  

Yaaaay! Inch by inch, we're already getting somewhere!  We have less than 8 months to go before the big day, and I'm happy that our hotel for wedding preps can now be scored out of our wedding checklist. :)


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The One

The moment I laid my eyes on this cake, I felt it.  
This has to be the one.

Cake by Judy Uson

The  design has just the right amount of elegance and sophistication, and it appears "garden-inspired," fit for our Romantic Whimsical wedding theme.

Gaaaame!  I've crossed out all other cakes on my list.  This is gonna be our final peg.  Weeeee! :)


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Oopsie Daisies!

Whoooops!  I stumbled upon this photo on Pinterest.

This kind of gimmick is exactly what Archbishop Tagle was referring to 
when he talked about wedding frivolities these days.  

Cute? Yes. 

But cuteness is not a passport in the Catholic church. =P


To Register or Not To Register

Should we register, or should we not?

This is the question I have always asked myself since the beginning of my "Delightfully Engaged" status.  If it were up to me, when we hand out our invitations, I wouldn't want a card inserted telling the recipient where he can get his wedding gift for us.  I am worried that some guests would find it tacky, and I don't want them to think that a gift is required, because really, in my heart of hearts, the presence of our invited guests on our big day is absolutely enough.

However, I am not blind to the advantages of having a bridal registry especially since it is but a normal thing to give a gift whenever we attend a friend's wedding.  And besides, we want to receive gifts that we will actually use and not end up in the storage cupboard.  

2 Microwave Ovens.  3 Oven Toasters.  5 Electric Fans.  6 Sets of Plates.  4 DVD Players. 3 Cutlery Sets.  This kind of list is exactly what every couple wants to avoid.  DUPLICATES.  We wouldn't want our guests' hard-earned money to be wasted just because we'd end up not using the item they've given us.

So ano na nga? Magre-register ba kami or hindi?  =D

Uhm. We have not yet decided, but I think I am about to surrender and allow ourselves to.  For practical reasons. If ever we're doing it, maybe we will just select which guests we will inform about the list, those open-minded ones. :)  We won't inform the ninongs and ninangs about this, because we prefer "something else" from them. Hahaha.  Below is a poem posted on our wedding website, which pretty much is intended for the principal sponsors. 

The date has been set and we’d love for you to come,
To our wedding in Greenmeadows, a long way for some,
All you must do, is decide what to wear,
Then polish your jewellery and comb up your hair.

Don’t worry about gifts, don’t buy us a yacht,
The stuff that we need, we’ve already got.
We’ve been blessed with a home, complete with things
Like kettles, toasters, and all other house blings.

Don’t go out shopping or get yourself stressed,
Don’t alter your plans for a pre-wedding rest.
If you want to be generous, despite what we’ve said,
Then save all the hassle and do this instead...

Dunno how to word this but we'll give it our best shot
Contributions are most welcome, we’ll go somewhere hot!
A honeymoon would be marvelous, to start off our life,
In our long winding journey, as new husband and wife! :)


*** But really, your presence is one we can't celebrate without. 
Just come and be with us on our day of days, and that's absolutely enough. :) 

I hope our ninongs and ninangs will come across this poem on our wedsite! Hehe. Hopefully, they will get what we mean. =P  So in advance, we say...



Saturday, March 10, 2012

An Addendum to My Team Dream Wedding Post!

In September last year, I posted an entry entitled Team Dream Wedding where I listed down all the wedding suppliers we had booked at that time. Months flew by very swiftly, and now there are new names in the roster. :)


She's expected to do wonders on me on our big day.  Mayone, please please, make me an enchanting, blushing bride! Hehe. =P I just hope she won't outshine me on my own wedding, she's a beauty herself! I wrote a separate entry on her here.


When we were starting our wedding preps, Rolly and I agreed not to get musicians anymore.  The choir is included in our church package anyway, and we're already getting Rejektcrew, a professional lights and sounds supplier, to spin the music for us in Glass Garden.  But like I always do, I changed my mind and got Rolly's approval after my persistent pangungulit. :)  I researched and researched and researched, and found String Minstrels.  We booked them at the Weddings & Debuts Bridal Fair in February; we got ourselves a quartet (3 instruments, 1 vocalist). Their music is really, really good! :) They were the ones who played in the Ryan Agoncillo - Judy Ann Santos wedding.


Having customized bridal shoes was never a requirement in our original plans. I was convinced that it's a waste of money since I can get gorgeous shoes off-the-rack anytime, and besides, these won't be seen under my wedding gown anyway.  But guess what.  I changed my mind, nothing new here. =P  So we got Perfect Match, a popular supplier for customized shoes for brides.  The price is a bit steep compared to ready-to-wear footwear, but at least I could dictate the design I want. I searched the world wide web and found my perfect bridal shoes! This is what I'm gonna ask Perfect Match to copy, but in pink.


Our bridal car will be courtesy of our ninong, Mr. Orville Roque, who owns a lot of fancy cars in his garage. He's lending us his gwapong Jaguar for the wedding. Yaaaay! :)

On top of these three, other additions to our dream team are the host, Marge Dizon, and the souvenirs supplier, Excel Frames. :)

Weeeee!  Now we can say that the team is 100% complete!  You won't see Rolly and I wandering around bridal fairs anymore. =D


The Infamous Interview On Wedding Frivolities

The Philippine Daily Inquirer recently published an article discussing the view of the Church on wedding frivolities, or, roughly translated, "mga ka-ek-ekan sa kasal."   According to Manila Archbishop Luis Tagle, most weddings nowadays are full of unnecessary clap traps and embellishments that tend to deviate from sacred Catholic rites. Two classic examples are his stories about DOGS serving as ring bearers and one wedding which wouldn't start without the VIP BUTTERFLIES.  To the Archbishop, such silly practices must be avoided for they tend to lose the deeper spiritual meaning of the holy Catholic rituals.

As anyone would expect, one offshoot of this article would be a corresponding report on the TV networks, and that's exactly what GMA did promptly.  Guess who the interviewee was?


If you wanna go through the trouble of seeing the big, fat, on-screen version of myself, then click at your own risk.  Otherwise, bye bye! =P

From the perspective of a devout Catholic, I perfectly understand where Archbishop Tagle's coming from when he made his statement.  I agree with him that the Matrimony is a holy sacrament, and couples getting married must see to it that this sanctity is upheld.

From the perspective of a bride-to-be, on the other hand, I must say that getting married happens only once in a lifetime for most people (Others get annulled and remarry, and of course Muslim men can tie multiple knots), and you have every right to make it memorable.  If you're a hopeless romantic like myself, I'm sure you've imagined yourself walking down the aisle ever since you were as small as a mouse, and as you were growing up, you can't wait for that daydream to turn into reality.  When that day finally comes, it is but natural that you make your day of days as special and unforgettable as possible.

However, it is important to remember that...


And marrying couples, especially the brides, have to DRAW THE LINE.

For some, this must be hard to define.  When is something considered too much?  When do you say something's already over the top and exaggerated?  Apparently, the answer to this is very subjective.

Personally, my view is that if and when something makes brows raise and eyes roll inside the church, that's a good enough indication that yes, that wedding element of yours is just too much.  If I were attending a wedding where flower girls are dressed as pumpkins and bridesmaids as winged fairies, I would say that's OA.  Or if the ninongs are donning crowns like kings and ninangs have batons like that of Queen Elizabeth's, again that's a little too much for me.  

If you're a stubborn bridezilla and it's imperative for you to channel such unorthodox looks and/or gimmicks on your big day, perhaps you could consider doing these frivolities in the reception venue instead, or outside the church immediately after the wedding ceremony.  Or, you may opt not to have a church wedding and have a garden wedding instead where you are not bound by the sensitivities of the Church (I am not sure if Christian weddings have issues with these, too).

You see, we can make our wedding our very own without having to defile the sacrament of matrimony.  If you want your dogs to play a role in your big day, why not dress them up and have them parade with you in your grand entrance at the reception?   If you want to churn out the best photos on the altar, do you really have to tell the priest to step aside and position himself some place else?  This is rude!  Get one helluva good photographer who can make his own adjustments and still generate exceptional photos.

In the interview, I said that I want a fog machine used in the church, so that a cloud of mist would serve as my cover before I walk down the aisle for added drama.  This is true, but I will never make it a big deal if the church wouldn't give us permission.  Yes I want drama, but can anything else prove more touching than a church full of family and friends wishing us well as we tie the knot?  No.  The presence of these people on our big day to witness our vows before the Lord is the most important thing.  Nothing else matters as much.

Brides, bear this in mind.  A wedding is a celebration of the union of two souls.  It is not a performance.  It is a celebration of faith, and this faith is what we should focus on when we get married.  If we put a great deal of effort in preparing for the wedding which is only one day, then let's exert a great deal more in preparing for the married life that comes after the wedding.  :)  For me, this is what's of ultimate importance - our life ever after with the spouse God has given us. :)

Cheers to weddings and marriage and to a God-centered life ever after! :)

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