Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Real wedding: Michelle (of Inspired Weddings) and Gio

In celebration of our 3rd wedding anniversary, I'd like to take this time to reminisce about the days that led to the big day. 

But before I do, I'd like to put this disclaimer that 1) this wedding was held in the Philippines; 2) all the suppliers we had are from Manila; and 3) this is a super-budgeted wedding.

Our budget that time was more or less Php160,000 or not more than USD 3,800. And here in the Philippines, that's already an average (even below average) amount for a wedding that had around 170 guests. So how did we go about it?

Hubby and I relied on Manila's most famous DIY haven: Divisoria. That's where I found our suppliers for the dresses and raw materials for the music CD souvenirs. Also near the area is a street called Recto Avenue, wherein lots of printers accept wedding invitation jobs. We had Printlane do our scroll-type wedding invites.

For the flowers, we went to Dangwa, a short drive from Divisoria, where stalls of flower shops are lined next to each other. It's where you can find affordable flower arrangements for different occasions; almost all of them do weddings, too.

Rings would have been expensive, if we chose two-toned and diamond encrusted rings. So we opted for the simple gold band (around USD 210) and had our initials and wedding date engraved.

The biggest splurge we made was on the food. Almost 40% of the wedding budget went there. We found Eloquente, a caterer that offered great food, nice reception set-up, plus cake and use of the bridal car.

For photography, we got Treasured Memories. But since we were working with a tight budget, we opted to get their photography service only, which consisted of only unlimited unedited shots saved in a DVD.

One of the challenges we had were with regards to venues. We wanted a church and reception venue that were close to each other. Good thing Mt. Carmel Church in Quezon City had a function hall in the premises. 

Where to prep for the big day was also a challenge, as that time, everyone was so obsessed with getting married on 8/8/2008. We were getting married the next day. Hotels were quite fully accommodated at this time. But good thing we found a quaint bed and breakfast called Stonehouse that's some streets away from the church.

Working with a really tight budget seemed stressful at first, but when you've got family and friends to pitch in on some things, it becomes less daunting. My brother and his friends played for the ceremony, my friends hosted the reception party, and my sister and cousin coordinated everything.

So was it successful? I think yes, primarily because 1) we had a long preparation of 1 year and 2 months before the big day; 2) we did a lot of research and legwork on our own, and we got to talk to all of our suppliers face to face; 3) family and friends were there to help (in one form or another); and 4) we learned to let go and enjoy the moment.

The event didn't pass without any snags; of course there were a bit of things that didn't go exactly as planned. But it didn't mean that we should stress out and sweat the small stuff. We thought, after all, nothing's bigger than celebrating our union.

Here's a short slideshow featuring a few things and moments from our wedding:

And that concludes my story on how we made our wedding possible. Hope to hear from Inspired Weddings' readers soon!

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