Sunday, December 30, 2007

CRANK - NACION (December 30 2007)

This is our last event for December 2007. There's been very short preparation for this setup, but it's because the floral arch has been made over and over and over that we're tempted to actually freeze dry the entire thing and just keep it in the stockroom for future engagements.

In fact, our January 3, 2008 client was here earlier and - you already know it - chose the same setup for her wedding. We can only sigh in disbelief and resignation (I am complaining because it isn't really easy to do). I have requested the farm to pull out the photos of this setup from the official photo albums. The thing is, it's on the latest cover of the farm postcard and they also blew it up into a poster for the January and February bridal fairs in SM.

I guess the floral arch is here to stay so I really should stock on Flanax starting today.

We are glad that our events continue to see more visitors from other countries. At least they'd be able to witness how our weddings are done, as well as providing a good opportunity for everyone present to learn from each other.
The groom makes his way to the altar.

Josh eagerly awaits his bride along with his friends.

Ms. Joy beams as she makes her entrance.

If you aren't really into sermons, your mind would probably wander to the trees and lights and what other guests are wearing, but when the officiating minister gives you take-home messages such as, "God’s plan can only climax by the joining of man and woman, your manhood can only be fulfilled by your partner (I forgot what he said exactly), because no one, no one can satisfy himself," you sure will sit up straight and rue your inattention. I think the take-home message really hits the nail on the head.
Sigh. Another day is over but thank you, Lord, for making every day special and meaningful.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Our event today got postponed because the bride was admitted to the Makati Medical Center last night for a tummy ache (we are not privy to the actual medical condition).

Here's hoping Ms. M.J. gets well the soonest!

Monday, December 24, 2007


You can click on the player below to play HALLELUJAH by my favorite classical composer, George Frideric Handel. Have a truly meaningful and merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 22, 2007

DE GUZMAN - ISAAC (December 22, 2007)

The Annual Grand Foodtasting of Hizon's at the Mango Farm last August 5, 2007 brought with it an unexpected surprise - Vincent and Charmagne for Vatel Manila's first morning wedding ever. Such a charming couple who were intially quite mum about what they really wanted their set-up to be like.

We eventually settled for our all-time bestseller - the floral arch - but this time instead of moss, we used darker leaves so it would look heavier as the wedding is in the morning. The moss is perfect only for evenings as it gives off an ethereal effect under the yellow lights. A darker, heavier look suits the sharpness of the morning sun.

That kneeler is blocking the view of the couple who were seated facing the guests, but it's a required tool for the ceremony. I need to have that fabric pressed, grrr. It was added at the last minute.

Serious looking at first, but who would have thought that in the next 30 minutes they'd be in tears? I've never seen so many people in tears during a wedding. You'd know a winner wedding by the number of people crying out of happiness. It can get very infectious!

Two ladies cut beautiful figures in their lovely Filipiniana with the Farm greens as their background. We lean towards Filipino motifs a lot and we are glad that many guests still come in their finery. Somebody came in this really nice tea green Jean Goulborn ensemble. I noticed many guests asked to be photographed with her. Too bad we didn't get to take a photo of the dress.

Bored? Bring a Rubik's cube.
"Other men said they have seen angels, But I have seen thee And thou art enough." (G. Moore)

This is a series I took during the release of the doves - one of the most appreciated portion of a wedding ceremony. This one was fun and funny at the same time.

Here's how to release doves: One might want to throw one into the air and the other can simply put it down on the ground. At least it's different!

"Look! Up in the sky! It's a ... dove!"

"Look, sweetheart! They're unreachable!"
"That's right, but how long do you intend to keep your arms up?"

One of the doves landed with a crash over the podium...

...until the officiating minister caught it. Most caterers clip the wings of their doves so they could be caught and reused. I am seriously considering banning doves - and butterfly releases - from all of my events because of this. Oh, if there's only an alternative!!!

"I love thee, I love but thee With a love that shall not die Till the sun grows cold And the stars grow old." ~ (William Shakespeare)
Married life - like life itself - is a long road, a long trip. May pitfalls make your love stronger, and may joyous occasions lift you up ever higher. Best wishes from us at Vatel Manila!

Friday, December 21, 2007

LIJSTER - ACONG (December 21, 2007)

One funny thing that occurs during events organizing is that it is all too possible that you'd never meet the couple in the flesh until on the day itself. This is the second time it's happened and it can be rather disconcerting.

The worst thing that could happen is that there's actually no communication whatsoever and you're just handed an idea sketched on notepad paper and nothing more. Hmmm...

Despite an hour and a half of delay (because of late guests), Peiter and Abby finally got on with the ceremony. They've already been married in Netherlands early part of the year.

From paper to reality. A cabana-like structure takes center stage. I had nothing to do with this tent at all. This was the handiwork of one of our crew. The minister has got to be the youngest officiator i've ever encountered. He was very - what's the term for it? - masigasig.

There is unity in uniformity - pink balloon-skirt dresses and crossed legs all in one direction.

Songs and dances completed the night. I heard the youngsters were alagas of Kuya Germs.

Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. (Franklin P. Jones) and with this quote we send our congratulations and best wishes to the newly-weds. Mabuhay!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007



The kids made fun of the dog, Chuchay, by making her wear a floral headpiece. I think she is pregnant again.


The wedding today was totally different. I am very happy to have been given the chance to do this once-in-a-lifetime thing. We had two ceremony setups today: a Muslim wedding which happened first then a civil rite followed immediately after.

Of course you have seen our A-Tent before. We moved it to dry ground as it had been raining for three days and the ground was soggy. Anyway, nothing new here. Moving along.

The groom, Eric, is a Christian and was converted to Islam today in a very simple but elaborate ceremony which was held here at the larger gazebo. The bride's father made sure that all the guests - especially the Christians - glued in to this part of the program. A kind of watch-and-learn, so to speak. This was my favorite part because it was a ceremony where Christians learned from the Muslim. I do not have to remind you of the roots of our decades-long insurgency problems in the South for you to understand the significance of this encounter.

Anyway, we made a simple setup. In fact, the banig never had the chance to fold out completely (see where the folds used to be). Anyhoo, my crew chief, Tony, came up with something nice with my green tablecloths. He decided to wrap them around the bare posts in a malong manner, which I totally appreciated because it was very male and represented Eric in a way as the groom. Symbolism ranks high in the way we do things at Vatel Manila.

If you are wondering why a tablecloth is hanging there at the Muslim wedding setup, it was to shield the bride from the prying eyes of the crowd - and that of the groom. Cute. She is not to be seen until the groom actually moves in to join her at the altar and that is when the cloth is removed. We've had that tablecloth for many years (used it a lot in Cagayan de Oro) until I brought it to the farm for a photoshoot. Now, two years after, it has seen the light of day again.

Of course the capiz curtain is here again. Here we can also see the intricately carved Koran stand, a prinsa (antique flat iron) which I used to hold hot coals for the incense used during the ceremony. The table is two bangko (chair with no backrest) held together by a beaded scarf.

Detail. Calla lilies, pink astromeria, and palm leaves.

Detail. On this side... A leatherskin drum (tied a yellow scarf around it), antique burnays (Ilocos jars) topped with rosal leaves and dendrobium orchids lorded over by a bunch of deep red DX Royale tropical blooms.

The pretty bride, Shay, poses with her parents at the altar area.

Meanwhile, in the lavatory, Eric is being cleansed by the imam. This was taken after the washing of his feet.

Finally, Eric wears the mullah.

The ceremony for Eric wraps up with a solemn vow to follow the tenets of Islam. After this, he is led by the imam to the altar.

Sorry but I don't know what was going on at this point. I'm pretty much dead curious myself. As I was typing this, I noticed that Eric was wearing a barong pala, something almost always never worn by our Muslim brothers as they were not under the direct authority of the Spaniards when the latter were still in the Philippines unlike the Tagalogs who had to wear this flimsy clothing to make sure no bolo or something similarly bladed was hidden under their shirts.

I forgot to ask what the hotdog pillow was for. They seem to be fond of pillows. Shay is Tausug, by the way. She and Eric met in St. Luke's Hospital where she is a Nutritionist and Eric is a graphic designer (presumably for the in-house newsletter, but I could be wrong). That red-and-white banig was my mother's. It has been displayed in my bedroom for many years until today. I have forgotten its provenance. Must be from the Visayas.
Thank you, Lord (Allah) for this wonderful day.


--  "But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I...