Saturday, August 30, 2008

BAYLON - ARGUELLES (August 31, 2008)

Without a doubt this should have been the one of the most memorable weddings at the Farm to date had it not been for the finicky weather patterns. And it did rain, it stopped, and it rained again making Plans A & B occur within minutes of each other.

Planning for this event began very early in the year with several emails and a few meetings. It was upon the bride’s insistence that the long-retired floral arch was resurrected (but was used earlier than expected for this wedding when the weather threatened not to cooperate). Plan A, IMHO, turned out really swell. The photos say it all. The setup was robust, clean and inspired because we had all our energies focused towards delighting the bride and the guests. There was a minor crisis that occured during the reception setup but that was licked within an hour.

One hour before the event, everything was sunny, peaceful, orderly. No sign of impending rain, although it was already raining in Manila in the morning and along Katipunan area by 3PM yet Plan A still pushed through.
The happy groom with his parents.

The rest of the entourage walk down the red carpet to their places. (Note to self: Make the aisle a little wider again like before.) It was also our first time to make all-Calla lily aisle flowers to add height We have long eschewed using Calla lilies for being too common pero looking at this photo, maganda naman pala! Red and white Success roses completed the look.
Meanwhile, the bride waits in the car.

The bride is led down the aisle by her parents.

The bride in an emotional embrace with her mom-in-law.

My favorite shot of the couple.
The minister leads the community in prayer prior to starting the wedding rites. The thick leaves of the trees of the Plaza Gat Tayaw lend an almost church-like feel to this garden setting. This is what caught the bride's fancy during her numerous visits to the Farm hence the non-decision to rent a tent for Plan B.

The cocktails area where iced tea was to be served after the ceremony. So far, so good. Until it rained again. It was high time for Plan B to be set into motion.
Plan B wasn't planned to be carried out if it rains during Plan A. It's "either / or", not "and". Anyhow, since the weather was really bright and sunny until around 4PM it was decided that Plan A will go on as scheduled, but the heavens had other plans.
Plan B now in motion. Plan B called for the ceremony and cocktails to be held inside the airconditioned Glass Pavilion. The couple are in the center while the guests occupy their respective seat assignments. We hauled the aisle flowers into the Pavilion as the rains lashed out at the Farm and whole of Marikina and Antipolo. Behind the scenes, patience was running thin, frustration was palpable in the air but in well-prepared events like this one, the couple and their parents are usually shielded from all the trouble of having to personally see to the details of the new arrangement.

Looking back, what could have been avoided? The rain was unavoidable, that's for sure. Warnings of forthcoming bad weather were, however, unheeded. The adage ora et labora should really be taken to heart at all times. Second, the lack of a resolute judgment call and finally, coordination issues (despite the best of efforts things still went haywire). Otherwise, the event went peacefully until almost 10PM without any more hitches (as far as I know).

This was the setup prior to the ceremony. The caterer brought in their white tablecloths, Vatel Manila provided the maroon.
You may remember these fabrics from our Peninsula Manila setup exactly one year ago this month. Methinks it's time to do this in aqua blue and chocolate brown, one of the year's more popular color combinations.
We first did this for the Sanvictores-Murata wedding. In the confusion that followed the emergency transfer to the Pavilion, they were left unlighted. Sayang, sayang.
Red roses for white tables, white roses for maroon tables.
Everything in Your own time, dear God. Everything in Your own time.


Ceremony Setup//
Dylan Gozum for Vatel Manila

Avengoza Catering


Photo & Video//

Saturday, August 16, 2008

DOROY - ENRIQUEZ (August 16, 2008)

Don't you just hate it when not everything happens according to plan? But don't you just love it when what happens instead turns out to be far better than the original concept? For this event, we were happy to be given the chance to recreate something which we first did
here exactly a year and one month ago! With the groom's permission, I was able to secure a tent at the last minute from Tent Asia (thank you!) and I'm doubly thankful that they were at the Farm very early the next morning so we lost no time in covering the ceiling with billowing fabric swags just in time for the 5 PM wedding. Luckily, it didn't rain that hard and thanks to the thick forest cover of the Plaza Gat Tayaw, the guests outside the tent didn't even feel the rain at all.

I know setting up a garden wedding is super stressful both for the stylist / florist and the couple especially in venues where there isn't a roof over their "gardens", but different venues call for different solutions. Venues appeal to the couple's tastes and if you're really after a covered garden, there are venues for that. But in the Farm, the appeal is in the trees - 180 plus of them mango trees all over this 2.5-hectare property and no plastic roof can be an effective cover - or an appealing one, to say the very least - to people who love real nature (and to whom manicured gardens, which are contrived at best, are a no no!). Hence, if challenges challenge you, we will meet that head on. We at Vatel Manila thrive on stress and the fear of the unknown and untested. Proof of this is that I was at work for 19 hours straight to make sure our Plan B works - from standing and wading in flooded Dangwa for 6 hours to the rainy-then sunny-then rainy venue until the caterer egressed completely at 2AM. Yes, we stayed up and survived it all.

The end result? Peace of mind for everybody. Just rest easy and leave the worrying to us. :-)

The slight wind caused some of the fabric to break away from their wires, but the entire setup held up quite beautifully despite the rush job. I really hope everything looks good on the official photos! Anyway, I will have the chance to preview them a week from now. I think it's also time to buy a steaming machine to remove the creases from the fabric.

I'm happy with the way our photos turned out though. It's an evening event and the lights looked soft and nice on the skin hence the guests looked quite radiant on camera. It pays to have a great dSLR (thanks to M.S's Canon 10D). Just make sure it's on 400 - 800 ASA when shooting in these lighting conditions.
Jun Valbuena suggested that I should take off that fabric cover from behind the floral arch next time to allow him to capture the lights and trees and the Farm house behind it. I was actually after safety just in case the rains and winds gain strenght (function over beauty, 'ika nga!), but I will take that suggestion seriously next time.

A typical Jun Valbuena photo moment. It was so amusing that I found myself smiling. Sorry for this baaad photo. It didn't do the scene the justice it deserved pero ang cute ng mga flower girls, pramis!

I think the bridal bouquet was just perfect for the camera! Not too big, not too small. The colors are striking but don't steal the limelight from the bride. And aqua blue really goes well with pink / white / chocolate.

The couple with the groom's parents - a truly happy moment.

I also love the way that floral arch came out. It looked fresh and vibrant almost as if Spring has descended upon the farm. Never expected it to come out this way after several months of suspending this particular arrangement. It still hasn't lost its appeal pala!

The table setting for the principal sponsors.

Ribbons for the Tiffany chairs are characteristic of the caterer specific to this event.

I honestly think that the reception was well-arranged. The look is quite sharp, orderly and clean.

I'm very happy with the decisions I've made for this event. Anticipation is truly a gift and I thank the heavens for this. Even if it didn't really rain that hard, the presence of the tent spelled the difference between success and disaster. We are thankful for opportunities because these provide challenges and help us make our work better. In the same breadth, we also thank the couple and their parents for their trust. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!


Ceremony & Entourage Flowers/
Dylan Gozum for Vatel Manila

Photo & Video//
Jun Valbuena

Avengoza Catering


Believe it or not, I forgot to take photos of the bridal bouquet, hahaha! (Or should it be huhuhu?) I have to wait for a copy of Jun Valbuena's photos for this. Anyway, here's a photo of bouquet at best. It doesn't show you much of its details, but it's actually a merry mix of two pink hyndrangeas (which were soooooo difficult to find during these time because of the typhoon), some pink Gerberas and Carnations to reflect the flowers of the entourage, a generous dose of Millions Stars (the small white flowers), Eucalyptus leaves and blue Delphiniums (on the side facing the bride). Interspersed between all of these are imported blue statice, the blueness of which simply takes the breath away (at least that's what it did to my chief florist). For the handle, I decided to use a darker hue of blue for the ribbon (as opposed to the motif which was aqua blue) for it to stand out. Striped ribbons are very Fall 2008 in the United States. They are very, very mod. The weaved ribbon was by Mokuba, a Japanese brand which is used by florists in the US. It has been featured in magazines like Martha Stewart, House & Garden and Vogue Project Books. It is said that their New York store has 45,000 kinds of ribbons and trims on display (see photo below). Whoah!

The rest of the entourage flowers had locally sourced satin ribbons. This is the hand-tied bouquet for the mothers. It's a simple mix of white Gerberas, imported blue statice, local Queen Anne's Lace and tree ferns. As always, the acrylic crystals are never to be absent from any bouquets by Vatel Manila.

The hand-tied bouquets for the rest of the entourage is variation of the bouquet for the mothers. This time, we used pink Gerberas and the ribbons used was chocolate brown, the couple's secondary color motif.

A wrister for the secondary sponsors. This has four pieces of pink Carnations with a aqua blue striped organza ribbon base.

The chest corsage for the principal sponsors were pink Cymbidium orchids with a base of Queen Anne's Lace and benito leaves.

I have had bad experiences with flowers for the flower girls in the past. Small kids - bewildered by all the happenings around them, tired and weary of their itchy gowns - end up dashing their topiaries, floral balls or baskets to the ground. For this event, I instead made use of the blue Agapanthus' long stem to make for a floral wand - just wrap a ribbon around it and presto! Something very easy for the kids to carry. :-)


--  "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...