Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Philippines' Wedding of the Year: Mar Roxas and Korina Sanchez

It was the biggest news yesterday here in Manila: Senator Mar Roxas tying the knot with broadcaster Korina Sanchez.

Touted as the wedding of the year, primarily because of these two big personalities in politics and media, respectively, their wedding had a Filipiniana theme with white and ecru as the color motif. The ceremony, held in the colossal Sto. Domingo Church, was said in Tagalog.

I would say Korina Sanchez looked radiant in her Pepito Albert Filipiniana-inspired wedding gown made of pina fabric. It had a serpentina silhouette and off-shoulder neckline. The gown's main highlight, in my opinion, was the five-meter long cathedral train.

Some guests may describe the event as "simple" because they did away with the planned reception at Araneta Coliseum (they donated the amount set for the reception -- a whopping Php 2.2 million or almost US$ 47,000 -- to foundations helping typhoon victims) and the utilization of white blooms for the bouquets and venue styling, but it was all in all laden with pure elegance -- and, well, a bit of showbiz and politics, what with the who's who in attendance.

I would have wished they had a more private wedding, but they're public figures and they owe their earned fame to the Filipinos, so I guess having a very public (yes, the masang Pilipino were allowed to witness it in church) was just right.

Congratulations and best wishes to the new couple!

(Post-script: how I love the vintage top-down Mercedes Benz they rode to Bahay na Puti...)

Photo credit: Inquirer.net.

Create your own inspiration board with Dessy's Pantone Wedding

Want to create your own inspiration board? Thinking of great color combinations you could use for your wedding? The Dessy Group has teamed up with Pantone to build the Pantone Wedding, a site where you can choose from Dessy's dresses and accessories according to your favorite colors.

I tried out the site, and it's pretty easy. All you have to do is create an account and you're ready to go!

Before creating your inspiration board, you must choose the color combinations you like from the swatches on the top right. After picking your colors, an array of dresses and accessories will show on the right side. Just click and drag the ones you like on the board. You can also write a note on it. It's that simple.

If you're done with your inspiration board, you can easily save it in your account for future viewing. And if you like to share it with others, perhaps with the members of your entourage, you have the option to post it in your blog or email the board's link.

What I like about this wedding tool is that, first of all, it's free and it instantly gives you a preview of how your entourage will look like wearing those dresses in the color motif you want. It's also easy to use, because you can easily create an inspiration board by just clicking and dragging. You can also adjust the size of the items so they could fit on the board. And if you want to remove a picture, you just have to press delete.

The downside, though, is the limitations in terms of the selections. It features mostly bridesmaid dresses, a few flowergirl dresses, and fewer accessories. I hope Dessy would feature more of their collections here, which will also include wedding dresses and a lot more accessories for men and women.

Here's a sample inspiration board I made using Pantone Weddings:

Overall, this wedding tool is fun and easy to use. The Pantone Weddings is very helpful, especially if you need to visualize how your colors will blend. Try it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Planning a Wedding on a Tight Budget

In these times when money is hard to come by, couples have to be extra careful when planning their wedding. I remember reading brides-to-be saying that their budget for the wedding day alone costs around US$20,000 -- and that does not include those they have to spend for after the wedding, like apartment rentals and other stuff. To be honest, you can really do a lot with that big an amount, but are you willing to spend that much just for one day?

Me and my husband, we didn't have that much money, so we crammed all the wedding stuff in a very small budget: about US$4,000. Besides, we didn't want to end up in debt. And believe it or not, we managed to fit everything in that amount. Suppliers for church, venue, food, dresses, photography -- all of it. And even after our wedding, guests raved at how much they enjoyed that day.

Here's what we did:

1. Chose a place where the church and reception place were near each other. Actually, we found a church with a multi-purpose hall that they also rent out as a reception venue. We saved costs for that, and also for the guests' transportation.

2. Chose a ceremony and reception venue within the city, where more than 70% of our relatives and friends were located. Again, saves on transportation and lodging costs.

3. Prioritized what we needed versus what we wanted. Having a tight budget doesn't mean going cheap -- it's all about designating the budget, how to partition the amount at hand. Our main priority was food because, as they say, guests will forget almost everything about the wedding -- except how the food tasted. Half of our budget went to the catering, the rest were divided into photography, the dresses, flowers, and others.

4. Chose cost-effective suppliers. Our caterer, for one, already offered a free cake, bridal car, and guest table arrangements in their package. I also found a dressmaker who could do the bridal and entourage dresses all together. Many suppliers have packaged offerings ready, but of course, we were careful enough to choose which of them would be affordable but still give the highest quality of service.

5. Did DIY's. Invitations, souvenirs, misalettes -- all labors of love. It also helps to have a creative partner and very eager family members and friends to help out.

6. Asked friends to lend their talents. Our wedding had friends as back-up photographers and reception program hosts. My brother also played the piano during the ceremony.

7. Limited the number of guests. More guests meant more plates for the meal. Caterers (at least here in the Philippines) charge per plate, so limiting our guests to 160 saved us some money. Also, we invited only immediate family members, first-degree relatives, and the closest friends we've had individually and as a couple. We did not invite those we didn't know.

8. Always looked at the budget list. Since I was in charge of handling the budget, I kept a close look at what we have spent and what we still need to get for the wedding. To make sure we didn't go overboard with the budget, we saved more than the expected amount to make room for extra expenses.

When you have a tight budget, it doesn't mean you'll end up with a wedding disaster. Research and keeping within the budget is the key. That's what we did, and I'm proud to say our wedding was a success -- a very beautiful day we'd want to remember always.

Your special day could be wonderful, too, even with a small budget. Take note of these few tips and you'll truly have a fun and worry-free wedding.


Photo credit: Kiss by Atroszko from sxc.hu.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dress ideas for guests from Looklet.com

I found this very interesting site called Looklet.com. It's a site where you feel you're playing dress-up with a virtual Barbie. Though it doesn't have real wedding dresses in its selections, it's a nice site to find inspiration for what to wear if you're invited to a wedding.

At Looklet.com, you can mix and match looks. It has tops, bottoms, dresses, bags, accessories and more. You can create casual, corporate or formal looks. I tried making some looks and found myself addicted to it. :D

The only issue I have are the limitations in terms of the colors of the clothes and the choices for shoes and accessories. But otherwise, Looklet.com is a fun website.

Here are two of my creations which I would say can be worn by guests of weddings or special occasions:

If you want to save your creations, you can simply register at Looklet.com. It's free, so there aren't much hassles.

I'm telling you, it's a great site, especially if you want to satisfy the fashionista in you. Go get addicted to it like I am!