Yet a wedding ceremony may only last for 3-4 hours, but do remember that memories lasts a lifetime. It is every girls dream and most people look forward to. There are of course differences with everyone’s preference of how they wanted to go about by this. Some stay practical with less to almost none preparation while there are those who regard this to be the highlight of their life thus it deserves a detailed planning.
What I can only suggest is based on what I have gone through.
Living in a far country from your better half is difficult in terms of preparing and more so when as a bride you can’t literally be ‘hands on’. Although there is nothing to really worry about as technology serves right for what you need. 😉
Firstly, I googled blogs about weddings From my country to get ideas on suppliers. Most suppliers have Facebook pages which was helpful to see their previous and current projects and also to read on reviews from clients. Suppliers should be able to meet your plans; it is but necessary for them to cater exactly on what you want and not you adjusting to what spare materials they have to settle for what they can just offer.
At first I thought I have found an easy way to planning by nearly agreeing to hire this wedding coordinator/planner however as I continue to chat with them instead of easing my worries it had further gone into confusion as how most of what I wanted wasn’t possible. They claim to be great yet I’ve asked for just few sample photos and yet either a photo looks too grand to be true or too pixelated to have been copied. They even claim to have partnership with weddding suppliers, like when I was recommended to a couturier who can’t show a single photo of dresses they make claiming that their clients buy all suits and gowns after their wedding. It certainly just doesn’t seem and feel right. I ended our fb conversation and have confirmed later that what they post as grand events are not theirs! So rule number 1. Don’t be too trusty, this is your big day and whilst you’ll be spending your hard earned money might as well be sure it’ll be well spent.
So we again started from scratch, my fiance that time made our own list and did an excel format intended for our wedding planning which was very helpful! It was a list of everything we need to accomplish and everything that is recquired on a wedding along one column organized according to priority and another column intended for expenses; it also had a space to make notes. He did a great job on that!
From not being able to secure a wedding planner I have asked my sister-in law to be our non-experienced planner; to be honest after few research and ordeals with the supposed professional event planners we thought we wouldn’t need one anyway. As long as you have the time to research that’ll help which at the same time it can save you money from hiring somebody to do the planning for you. I am not generalising, there are truthful event organisers out there, I wasn’t lucky enough to find one at that time but I do think there is still an advantage for having them such as I’ve heard from people that they can get you discounts from their partnered suppliers and can easily secure the arrangements and dates for you.
Moving on to our wedding plans with my sister in law being the mediator-organiser..
a) Firstly, I made a partial plan of our number of guests and entourage list.
b) We asked for the available dates and times of wedding from the parish church, we had a date in mind and we wanted an afternoon one.
c) Our next top priority is to have the best photographer and videographer. This is a momentous event we woul definitely invest on. Now, there are too many available professional photographers out there but we went for the one who we felt was very accommodating and responsive as we feel much at ease with someone who values our opinion as their client.
We were happy to have secured a date with the bujayphotgraphy team, we even changed the date of our reservation in the church (not that the date means anything specifically important anyway) just so we can have them to cover our wedding day. They weren’t very popular at the time in terms of marketing in social media and to be honest how we found them was purely from recommendations of previous clients. Bujay Sangalang is the owner and head photographer of the team. He usually have promo and discount to offer. Bujay responded to all my fb chats and if he can’t reply thoroughly he make sure to still let me know he’s busy. We booked a full package photo and video coverage of our prenup and wedding day.
d) Florist was a suggestion from Bujay; in getting a florist makes sure they are registered with the parish church, they do this registration I think to lessen the disappointments as there are some even legit florists out there who can’t deliver their services right. We went for ate Estella’s flower shop which is in front of St. John School (Dagupan City). The flowers used to design the church were rearranged to design our reception place; ate Estella’s team took care of the arrangements and transporting everything after the wedding ceremony; this is another great way to save money.
e) Make up artist; Well, to be honest we were lucky that my brother knew Cj Cuison (Cjcuisonglamteam in facebook) the make up artist we hired. She and my brother were former colleagues when Cj was still practicing her nursing career. Cj at that time was already starting to make a name in the make up industry of Pangasinan. She is one of the best and one of her make up artists was someone I know from previous church activities.
f) Gowns and suits; Ate Bing is known to my sister in law’s family. She designs and constructs clothing for many different events even pageants. She is very responsive and receptive of all my ideas which was very important to me. I looked for images and inspirations in the internet and I had them as idea to complete the whole entourage gowns and suits.
Perfect Bride by Marcie Aquino Sabadohttps://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001224153467
g) Reception place; Jech’s restaurant located in Calasiao, Pangasinan has their own grand pavilion and they cater for different events. We made a reservation for our wedding reception and we were just required to pay a certain amount per head/guest count. They set up and design the reception area as desired.
Now don’t forget before organizing everything that you have secured a marriage application.
Since I live outside Philippines, I had to do the legal works by last minute although preferrably it needs to be done prior to making arrangements. I went back to Philippines in December with enough time to process the marriage license.
A) Church requirements:
a.1) Some priest/Church would ask to see the marriage license prior to booking your wedding day or aggreeing to officiate the ceremony; luckily the parish understands our situation.
a.2) For a Church wedding of course you need to be a baptised member and for Catholics in particular couples should have been confirmed before the matrimony. For confirmation, just book a date with the Parish and attend the catechism prior to the ceremony.
a.3) Attend the seminar set by the church
a.4) For catholics, make sure your reservation for the ceremony with your names is published 3x consecutively on the sunday mass.
B) Government requirements:
b.1) Completely filled Marriage license application form: Needs personal appearance along with government issued birth certificates of couple.
b.2)Obtain CENOMAR (certificate of No marriage)
b.3) Attend pre-marriage counselling
b.4) CEDULA (Community tax certificate)
b.5) Valid ID
b.6) 2 piece s recent ID photo with white background
The processing wasn’t easy, it involved the typical long queue, waiting and patience; we just got our marriage license at the very last minute, really, on the day of our wedding day!
It was all worth it.
Do what your heart tells you, it is your day!
Good luck and best wishes!