Friday, November 30, 2012

Our Vows

Next to the I Do's, I believe that the moment when wedding vows are said is the second most important part of a wedding ceremony.  At Christ the King, we were blessed to have been allowed to write and say our own vows, besides the standard ones recited in the church.  For Rolly and I, that moment was highly emotional, and it turned out to be one of my wedding day favorites. :)

Since we didn't have the luxury to invite every single one of our friends to the big day, I'm just sharing "the words" here for all the world to see.  If you're reading this, you are now a witness to Rolly's promises to me! Haha. =D


"To my beautiful bride, Joyce... When we met, I told you that you're the greatest gift that God has bestowed on me, and now that we're getting married, here's my chance to show my gratitude - by taking care of you, cherishing every part of you, and loving you unconditionally, all the days of my life.

"We will always be one, because there is no me without you.  My existence wouldn't make sense if you're not part of it.  We will face life's challenges together, and you'll never be alone.  With God's help, I will lead and take charge of our marriage, making sure that we are treading the right path, but know that I am yours to command whenever you need me.

"I will always remain faithful, and I will love no other woman but you.  In the times that I am not in your presence, you don't have to worry about anything because my loyalty stays firm.  I will never do anything to hurt you.

"I will work hard and spare no effort to be a good provider to our family.  I want you to live the convenient life that you deserve.  I will be a great father to our future children, and we will raise and train them well, upholding the same Christian values that we share.

"In as much as I want to excel in every endeavor I pursue, they will never get in the way of my goal of being the perfect husband for you.  I am yours forever, love.  I commit my life to you.  I love you, until I draw my last breath."


"Mahal... We've been together for more than four years, and as I stand here with you, I can't help but remember how I felt when we first met.  I knew you were the one I prayed for from God.  I knew that He sent you because I asked for someone like you, and I was reminded once more of the power of prayer.  You are an amazing compilation of all the qualities I've been looking for, and though no one is perfect, I've found something very close to it in you.  

"Today, I am honoured and humbled to have you as my partner for life.  I eagerly anticipate every day that we will share together, getting to know the man that you will become, with whom I know I'll be falling in love a little more everyday.  I vow to always put you first in my life and to give you the best of me every time.  I promise to love you in the best of times and in the worst, with all that I am and with all I have to give, in the only way I know how --- completely, faithfully, and forever.  I love you... you and no other." 


The vows were long, I know, but that's how eager we were to proclaim our promises before God and our family. These words will always remind us of the love that we felt on the first day of our life together --- the same love that we will nurture as we continue this life-long journey called MARRIAGE. :)

Cheers to forever!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Post-Wedding Thoughts & Suppliers' Ratings

It’s been almost 3 weeks since Rolly and I said our I Do’s, and until now, there’s never been a day that I don’t play it back in my head. Our wedding may not be grand, but it was definitely magical. ;) That day, November 8, was not only how I had always imagined my big day would be… it was more.  It felt so surreal that there are moments when I still wonder if it actually happened. :p 

Oh well, right now is one of those moments when my head is on my shoulders, my feet are on the ground, and I am not at all wistful and scatterbrained. :) It's true, Rolly and I have tied the knot, and I am now Mrs. Joyce Del Pilar - Delos Reyes. Totoong totoong totoo nga ito. :) 

Anyway, I must say our wedding day wouldn't have become as beautiful and organized as it was if not for the careful and meticulous planning. Rolly and I got engaged in July 2011, and all those one and a half years before the day of days, all I did was research, research, research. And here, W@W (weddings at work) was a HUGE HELP. It was my online support group, my lifeline when it came to wedding preps, the site where I went to when I had questions or when I wanted to see the thoughts and ramblings of other brides-to-be who were on the same boat as I was. Of all types of posts, I especially loved reading suppliers' ratings. This was where I got ideas on which suppliers are good, and which ones I must avoid. Now, it's my turn to give back and share my two cents worth on our very own wedding team for the benefit of those researching on suppliers.  Here it goes... 

Ratings: 5 - highest, 1 - lowest. 

Church: Christ The King, Greenmeadows 
Rating: 5 

There's no denying how beautiful CTK is. In fact, it's among the top 10 best churches for weddings in the Philippines according to wikipilipinas. The altar is very photogenic with or without extra decorations (in fact, we only got the basic package from the in-house florist but the church did not look under-dressed at all). CTK is also air-conditioned, so you can be sure your groom and entourage won't get drenched in sweat while waiting for you to hit the aisle. 

In terms of coordination, the parish's point person, Ate Aileen Garlitos, has been very accommodating. May pagkamakulit ako, but I never saw her getting tired of my never-ending questions. She answered all my phone calls, even text messages and emails. She's really nice. When Fr.Peter Coching, the in-house priest who used to be a radio DJ, overlooked our wedding date and scheduled a provincial trip instead, Ate Aileen immediately informed us and looked for a replacement who's equally good in giving homilies (that was our request). We never had a problem dealing with her. :) 

Reception Venue: The Glass Garden 
Rating: 5 

We wanted the venue to have a garden feel, but we didn't want to risk doing it outdoors because of the very unpredictable weather. This was what made The Glass Garden perfect for us. It's like a garden brought inside the halls protected by glass walls. No matter what the weather, the program would go as planned. Also, the venue is very beautiful in itself, thus minimal styling is needed. 

In terms of coordination, we did not encounter a problem at all with our AE, Hazel Mapili. She's quick to respond to queries, and she's nice too. 

Caterer: Hizon's 
Rating: 5+ 

With regard to food, there is no question that Hizon's is always delicious. That's already a given, and I didn’t doubt that I would give their food a grade of 5 when I’m already doing these ratings. But what made me give them a 5+ was the excellent customer service of our Hizon's planner, Mark Valdellon. The planner originally assigned to us was Drew Menor, but since he got promoted, we were turned over to Mark. At first I wasn't too happy, but when I met Mark for the first time, I instantly knew we were in good hands. He's very dependable. :) 

Photo/Video: Nice Print 
Rating: 5+++ 

Why the high rating? The photos and video can speak for themselves. :) Because we only wanted the best, we got Nice Print’s Team A to cover our wedding, namely, Kenneth and Rupert for photos and Gherome for video. 

See their output here: 
Couturier : BKS Couture 
Rating: 5+++ 

There were two items in the wedding that I loved the most, and the wedding gown was one of them. While it was still in the works, I already imagined how it would look, but the moment I saw it in front of me, I still got surprised at how pretty it turned out to be. It was far better than the picture in my head! Magaling talaga si Tito Boy, not to mention his excellent PR and customer service. :) 

Tito Boy also made Rolly's suit, the mothers', bridesmaids', and flower girls' dresses. Hands down! For a very reasonable package, the gowns turned out to be really nice. Feeling ko nga nalugi sa amin si Tito Boy because we booked a year in advance, and at that time, rates were of course relatively lower. Hehe. Getting him to design our wedding attire was one of the best decisions we did during the wedding preps. Every single trip to his shop was worth it! :) 

Hair & Makeup: Mayone Bakunawa 
Rating: 5+++ 

The second of my two favorite things in the wedding was the makeup! Waaaaah! Mayone really did wonders on me! Hehe. She covered every single red spot and blemish on my face! Hehe. And I loved my smokey eyes! If only i could keep the makeup on days after the wedding was over, i would! I love love love Mayone! 

Even if Mayone was pregnant, the baby bump didn’t hinder her from doing her job very well. She followed me around to do touch-ups even if that wasn’t needed (because the makeup was intact the whole time), and she stayed even until the reception was almost finished to look after me. She's extremely nice and fun to be with. I adore Mayone and her magical hands so much that if and when Rolly and I would renew our vows many years from now and I would need to be 'big day-pretty' all over again, without batting an eyelash, i would ask her to do my makeup once more. That’s how great she is! Worth every cent. Swear! 

Wedding Rings: Golden Hills 
Rating: 5 

Dealing with Golden Hills was a breeze. We booked at a fair and at that time, the design that we chose was not the final one that we ordered. We changed it after we visited their branch in SM North and found another design that we liked more. Also, we had them tweak the rings a bit. For example, instead of 7 diamonds, we only wanted 5 because i have a tiny ring finger and 5 studs seemed enough. And instead of putting only the spouse's name on the ring, we had them put both our names on each ring with the infinity symbol in between. The date was also engraved on each one. :) 

Lights & Sounds: Rejectkrew 
Rating: 3.5 

What others have said about Rejectkrew's owner, Elmer Bautista, are all true. He's extremely polite. In a sentence, he uses about two or three po's and opo's. Haha. And his rate is also very competitive. Overall, nothing went wrong during the reception despite the fact that we never got the chance to meet up and discuss details prior to the wedding day. Things went well naman. The only thing that perhaps Rejectkrew could improve on is in terms of their coordination with clients. I understand they're a very busy team, just like most suppliers are, but i think this shouldn’t be a reason not to respond to clients' queries. An email response would only take a minute or two out of their busy schedule, but that reply would mean so much to stressed brides-to-be. I'm sure Elmer has his reasons, but I'm just saying he could still further improve his customer service. :) 

Musicians: String Minstrels 
Rating: 5 

We only got them for the reception since Christ the King had their in-house musicians already. Overall, we did not have any problem dealing with Tina Pasamba, the owner, even when we made last minute changes in the repertoire and the vocalist. Because Rolly and I were busy during the program, neither of us gave particular notice to the quartet anymore. All we know is that nothing went wrong, the music was easy on the ears, so it's all good! 

Preps Place: Eastwood Richmonde Hotel 
Rating: 4.5 

The primary reason why we chose Eastwood Richmonde, aside from its proximity to the church, was the fact that it has a fine looking staircase which is very ideal for pictorials at no extra cost. It's a pretty new hotel with an elegant lobby and nice rooms. For the wedding, we booked 1 Suite Deluxe and 1 Deluxe rooms,and much to our delight, they were upgraded on the day we checked in! We would have given it a perfect score had it not been for the additional charges for services that are normally free (i.e. 500 bucks a day for wifi access and 15 bucks per local call made from the room). 

Emcee: Marge Hizon 
Rating: 5 

We only have good words to say about Marge. She’s full of energy and has perfect grammar and diction! If you’re fussy about the host’s communication skills like we are, you can’t go wrong with her. We even got this comment from several guests: “Yung host n’yo pang awards night!” :) 

Flowers: Scenta Creations 
Rating: 4.5 

Overall, we were satisfied with what they delivered, which was based on the details we agreed on. It was also easy to transact with them. All of the flowers turned out as I expected. My keen eye caught a few which didn’t look too fresh, but they were hardly noticeable. In addition to the flowers, they also provided the arch that was placed at the church's entrance, which was way better than what the in-house florist of CTK offered. 

Souvenirs: Excel Frames & Decors 
Rating: 4.5 

Excel Frames was one of the first suppliers that we booked, at that time when we still hadn’t finalized the theme and motif of the wedding. Initially, I envisioned a modern fairy tale/Victorian concept, so the moment that we saw their designs with crown jewels and horse carriages and gold ornaments, we were immediately swayed into making a decision. Little did we know that our theme was still about to change, hehe. It was a little impulsive but we have no regrets. Our guests still loved the keepsakes even if they did not fit to the Romantic Whimsical theme anymore. 

Excel frames also provided our gifts for principal sponsors - bronze images with silver details of the Holy Family. We got them for P640 each, but they looked a lot more expensive. Good buy! :) 

Cake: Perfectly Sweet Cakes and Pastries 
Rating: 5 

Our wedding cake was a gift from my boss, but I personally took care of the detailing. We never met Bess, the cake maker, personally. All communication was via facebook and sms, but the cake was exactly how I wanted it would be. It tasted as good as it looked! 

Invites: Global Invitations 
Rating: 5 

One word about our invites: LOVELY! :) Pam, the owner, was also very easy to deal with. 

Prenup Video: Fuguwi Collective 
Rating: 5+++ 

Fuguwi by Al Cruz, though relatively new in the wedding industry, is extremely good at tugging at one’s heartstrings. You can watch our prenup video here and see for yourself. :) 

Shoes: Perfect Match 
Rating: 3.5 

I had my wedding shoes customized by Perfect Match, and the pair looked exactly as the peg I gave them. There are just two things I didn’t like: 1) Mari, the owner, said they would provide heel cushions, if needed, until the client gets perfectly comfortable with the shoes, but in my case, she did not. She just told me I could easily get these at Mr. Quickie. 2) Two crystals on the shoes were displaced even when I didn’t wear them yet. 

Bridal Car: Jaguar c/o Ninong OMR 
Rating: 5+++ 

Thanks for lending us one of your gwapo cars, Ninong Orville! 

OTD: Timeless Events by Janina Pangilinan 
Rating: 5 

Janina and her team didn’t disappoint. They were there on time, and everything was smoothly done, all points covered. They made me stress-free on my wedding day, and until now, I have no idea if anything went wrong because I didn’t see anything that was amiss. Good job! :)


That's it! :) Our heartfelt thanks goes out to this dream team who helped make our dream wedding become a reality. Thaaaaank youuu!

The big day is over, now the spotlight is on our life-post-wedding bells, something we have to seriously work on every single day of our lives forever. Are we ready? Yes we are. Game face on! :)

Now a wifey,

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Last Fling Before the Ring

It was a pleasant surprise two Fridays ago, October 19, exactly twenty days before "the ring" permanently seizes my fourth finger. Aptly, my girlfriends called it "The Last Fling Before the Ring." :)

I knew the bridal shower was gonna happen, but I had no idea when.  Days before that Friday, Janina and I even had dinner and she told me it's hard to get a common schedule among her and my other girlfriends, that's why it was difficult to finally set the party.  Oh well, I thought, that's fine.  We had plenty of remaining days anyway.  

That Friday, Jan asked me if I could join her in a client meeting (she's a part-time wedding coordinator) for support.  It was the first time ever that she asked me for such a favor, and of course I agreed.  I never had an inkling that she's bringing me somewhere else.  When she told me the meeting would be at a hotel, at first I wondered why.  Normally, meetings are done inside restaurants or perhaps in the client's house. But at a hotel? Hmm. For a millisecond, I thought there might be something going on.  But that hunch went away immediately after I told myself that Janina never kept the bridal shower plans from me anyway.  Why hide it then?  

Imagine my surprise when I entered the hotel room and saw this.

And all my girlfriends (Carlie included) were there!!!

I felt sooo happy!  I have the most awesome buddies in the world!!! :)  The evening was filled with crazy fun.  We had booze, food, games, and shockers!

via Instagram
via Instagram

My husband-to-be was a surprise guest of honor.  I didn't know that he was coming for he made it sound like he was already home when he called me.  While I was blindfolded, I even thought that a male stripper was waiting for me as soon as I opened my eyes!  I kicked and yelled, and when I heard the guy whisper, I knew it was not a stripper after all.  Only one voice could make my heart skip a beat like that.  I knew it was my Rolly. *kilig*  He stayed for only about ten minutes.  He just gave me flowers and said a sweet, sweet message for my friends to hear.  (Kinilig pa nga si Carlie! Haha).  Oh well, I was sorry he had to leave.  That's my bridal shower, and technically, he should be off-limits. :)

After all the games and laughter, another shocker bolted from the blue.  I was blindfolded once again;  I thought I heard them setting up the iPad and the TV speakers.  Naisip ko, baka message from mommy and daddy, or from my other friends.  I waited and waited.  When my blindfold was taken off, oh my God!  There was a half-naked man gyrating lewdly in front of me!  

Of course there were no photos!  Haha. But I was really shocked!  At first, I got scared that he might move too close to me or force me to touch his uhm, you-know-what.  But after Carlie told me it would be okay and that the stripper was instructed not to do such things, I found myself calming down.  It was all good.  That was my first time seeing a real macho dancer!  We were all shouting and running and laughing.  It was fun!!! But the person who had the best time was... surprise suprise, CARLIE! =)) ROTFL

I'd like to thank my friends again for this really wonderful night.  Janina, Cess, Nikki, JJ, Ms. Lerms, Joie, Jam, Carlie, Ate My. and Ate Shirl, I love youuuu!  I wouldn't have experienced this if not because of you guys.  You are awesome!!!

Getting married very soon,

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