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It’s been over three months since Tim and I got married, yet I have not yet made a proper post showcasing our wedding details and putting our suppliers under the spotlight.

I only took a one-week leave from work, and it was barely enough to complete last-minute preparations, get married and celebrate, recover physically from the big day, and do all the things that had to be taken care of afterward.

Before I knew it, I was back to the daily grind. And things have been hectic since: I was assigned new tasks in the publication where I work full-time, I resumed working on my master’s thesis, we got another cat, and we also had to plan for and go on a trip.

Now that things are slightly more bearable, I would like to get a chance to talk about the details of our big day and the vendors that helped us make things happen.

Ceremony venue and officiant, plus paperwork assistance

Tim and I agreed to have a civil wedding. Although he’s Christian, I am no longer a fan of organized religions and would like a sectarian union at all costs. Good thing, we learned about The Matrimonial Civil Wedding Management, which helped us deal with all the necessary paperwork. Its service was perfect because we both were so busy when we started planning our wedding.

After booking the company and paying the 50% downpayment, we submitted all the requirements to its representative, who guided us every step of the way.

Another great thing about this company is it also provides the venue for the ceremony, as well as the officiant. It was so hassle-free that we simply showed up at its office on our chosen wedding date and tied the knot right there. We also liked the fact that its ceremony space was tastefully designed, so it also looked great in our official photos.

Invitation

Wedding invitation wasn’t among our priorities since we thought we could simply send people messages online about the occasion. However, our photographer told us that we could set aside a card for him to photograph on the day itself. It was only then that we started thinking about creating one.

But since our wedding was so small, and wedding invitation makers normally required a minimum number of orders, I decided to just go DIY and create one using Canva. It seemed like the best thing to do since we also wanted something simple. Plus, I thought it would be a great way to make the most of our printer at home.

And that’s what I did. I chose among Canva’s preset templates and edited it to my liking, added all the necessary details, and printed it on some special paper from National Bookstore.

Once done with printing, I cut the cards manually using a cutter knife and ruler and put each of them in a baronial envelope, also from NBS. Then, for some drama, I bought ready-made wax seals from Craft Central and used them to seal the envelopes.

Wedding rings

Tim and I aren’t into jewelry, so when we were looking for the right wedding rings, we only had two requirements in mind: they should be simple and durable. And since we didn’t really have a lot of time to scour jewelry stores, we ended up buying from a Karat World branch close to our place.

It turned out to be a great decision because we were able to find a pair with a design we immediately fell in love with. The rings were made of 14k gold, too, which, according to my research, would be durable enough to withstand the test of time. We were also delighted to learn that the rings came with a 50% discount. I think we got really lucky that day.

Outfits

I got married in a pink dress from Tayo Studio. It was called Priscilla Midi Dress, and its color was technically Pomelo. However, I just call it pink, the color of the year 2022.

I have to admit, I had a hard time deciding on what to wear on our big day. I was at my heaviest at the time, and as you may have already known, shopping for a flattering plus-size dress is not really an easy task. That’s why when I found out that the brand had a nice dress in my size, I was so happy.

I couldn’t ask for a better dress because it was comfy, and it looked great in our official photos. And, most importantly, I felt really beautiful in it.

As for my shoes, I just bought a pair from Dr. Kong. I am not a huge fan of closed shoes because they usually make my feet hurt. But, it’s a great thing that I found something that would not only match my dress but also make sure I wouldn’t feel pain on my feet on a very special day. It was called Esi-Flex Women’s Casual Shoes, and it was nude in color.

Tim’s outfit, on the other hand, comprised mostly of articles from Uniqlo, and not all of them were brand-new. His blazer and pants were both from February 2020 when he bought an ensemble to wear for a party hosted by his employer.

Actually, I really wanted us to buy an entirely new set of clothes for him, but he didn’t want to. He said it would be an impractical move. So, I just insisted that he buy a new shirt from Uniqlo plus a new pair of shoes, which we ended up getting from Vans.

Hair and makeup

One of the important things I learned as a wedding writer is that no matter what size your wedding is and regardless of how simple you want it to be, you still need to hire a professional makeup artist.

This is particularly important if you are not highly skilled in applying makeup because, the truth is, weddings demand a whole new level of skills. It’s an affair that runs for hours, and it is expected to make you sweat, cry, eat, and drink a lot.

In other words, your look has to withstand a lot of things throughout the occasion.

So, as soon as we finalized our wedding date, I began looking for good makeup artists online. To avoid complications when it comes to logistics, I only considered makeup artists within Metro Manila, prioritizing those who are based in the city where I live. I took a look at more than 20 profiles, checking photos of their previous works and learning about their styles and the tools and products they used.

I also checked how each of them did eyebrows. It was something I was so concerned about, considering that I have really light brows, and I knew I really needed help in that aspect. Of course, I didn’t want to work with a makeup artist who drew them as though they were using permanent markers.

In the end, I chose Makeup by Chaii Santos. We talked about what I wanted for my special day, and I told her right away that I would no longer have time for a retouch because we’d have limited free time between our ceremony and reception and we would definitely use a chunk of it to travel to Antipolo from Quezon City.

She told me that if that would be the case, I should just opt for airbrush makeup. Though I hadn’t tried it yet, I was aware of its advantage over traditional makeup, so I followed Ms. Chaii’s advice and went for airbrush makeup.

It was a great decision. Our wedding was held in April, and it was so hot on that day. Yet, my face was fine throughout the day, which was unbelievable, considering the fact that I’ve always had an oily face.

Another thing I really liked about my look was how clean it just appeared, even up close. Everything was just flawless, and it really showed in the photos. I also loved how what she and her assistant did with my hair.

Bridal bouquet and headpiece

Earlier this year, I got into dried flowers. I also learned that they are more accessible now locally since a lot of flower shops have begun drying and preserving their blooms to prolong their life.

While looking for stores where I could buy dry flowers for our home, I came across Boho Filipina, which I learned was a creator of bridal bouquets, headpieces, boutonnieres, and other wedding needs requiring flowers.

So, when it was time for me to finally get my own bridal bouquet, I looked no further and just messaged the said shop on IG. I then checked out its website and chose a bouquet design from its gallery. I also decided to have a headpiece done, and I eventually selected a nice headband adorned with the same type of bloom I wanted for my bouquet—baby’s breath.

Why this particular flower? Well, growing up, I was often told that baby’s breath was simply a filler in bouquets. Even when I started writing about weddings, I noticed that it was seldom the main attraction in arrangements. Although I understood that it was probably due to its simple and neutral look, I also thought that it was kind of sad because the flower was charming on its own.

This is why, when it was my turn to plan my wedding, I only had one flower in my mind for my bridal bouquet: baby’s breath. And I was so happy to learn that Boho Filipina actually had a bouquet design that just put it in the spotlight.

When I got my bouquet from the maker, I was so delighted. It looked even prettier than the sample I had seen on the website.

Reception venue and food

Planning a wedding celebration amid a pandemic was such a pain in the ass. Although we never really wanted a huge celebration, it was still challenging to come up with concrete plans while knowing all the possible risks involved in gathering people.

To minimize the risks, we made the reception as small as possible. We invited only our immediate families and we chose a place that we could rent in its entirety, therefore avoiding exposure to strangers.

We ended up booking Chives Market + Bistro in the City of Antipolo, where I grew up and where most guests were coming from. We chose this restaurant because reviews said they served good food, plus I really liked the place’s overall look and vibe. I also thought it matched the rustic theme I was going for.

It did not disappoint. The restaurant really looked great, even in photos. And, the food was good and worth the price. By the way, we chose a menu set for the occasion. It included house salad, country-style baked pork, roasted lemon pepper chicken, spring roll, red rice, bolognese pasta, Batangas coffee jelly, and raspberry iced tea.

Cake

Although we didn’t want a proper cake-cutting ceremony, I still made sure we’d have a nice cake on our wedding day. And since we were having our reception in Antipolo, I decided to look for a cake maker from the same city, thinking I could simply tell them to deliver the cake directly to the venue on the day itself.

One of the cake makers I first saw online was Sugarific Cakes, and since I was really impressed by the cake photos on its Facebook page, I immediately sent it a message of inquiry alongside a photo of what I wanted for our cake. Upon learning that it was something the baker could do and that its price was something I was okay with, I immediately paid the downpayment. I also finalized some important details like the cake’s flavor and the type of frosting.

The next time I talked to Sugarific Cakes was a few days before the wedding when I gave the shop all the necessary details so its staff could deliver the cake to the venue. I also paid the remaining cost of the cake just so I could stop thinking about it.

I was so stunned when I saw the actual cake for the first time on the day of the wedding. It was better than I expected. Even our families were so in love with it.

Photographer

One of the things I always hear as a writer of wedding articles is how important it is to hire a professional photographer on one’s wedding day, and I think it just makes sense. Just because a person can hold a camera does not mean they can take great photos. And I would rather not take risks, especially if it’s my wedding we’re talking about.

So, as soon as Tim and I decided that we’d get married soon, I soured Facebook to find the right wedding photographer for us. At the time, I had these requirements in mind: The photographer should have a clean and bright style, they should be specializing in civil and intimate weddings, and they must be willing to travel from QC to Antipolo.

Eventually, I found Anggulo Studios. I got a quote from it and said I’d definitely make a booking as soon as we had our wedding date.

That’s what happened. Immediately after Tim and I agreed on April 26 as the date of our wedding, I booked Anggulo Studios.

The photographer assigned to us was Sir Thirdie, and he was the best photographer we could ever ask for. He was so punctual. He arrived at the ceremony venue before the scheduled time. He was also very professional and easy to work with. Although Tim and I are both awkward people, especially in front of the camera, Sir Thirdie was able to take good photos of us.

Of course, our guests also liked that we had a professional photographer to take photos during the small gathering we had, and they were so happy when we released the official photos.

I’m not gonna lie. Planning a wedding, albeit small, was such a pain in the ass, especially amid a pandemic. It also didn’t help that Tim and I were both so busy with work and other things. But still, we were able to have a nice wedding.

Of course, things would not have been possible for the suppliers we worked with. We’ll forever be grateful for them. I also need to give credit to Tim and myself because we did a great job as well. I, in particular, made the most of the things I’ve learned from writing about weddings for years.

About Post Author

Mina Deocareza

I'm a writer, editor, and content specialist. I currently live in Makati City, Philippines, with my husband, Tim, and our two adorable cats, Dubu and Kimchi.
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