Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WEEEEE!

A dream come true.

That, to us, was the call we got from the one, the only WEDDING ESSENTIALS magazine two weeks ago. The Editorial Assistant, Tina Roxas, was very very nice and asked us to be the next subject of their WE DISCOVERY section, a portion of the magazine devoted to up and coming wedding suppliers. For this, we only have all our beautiful brides to thank for their trust in our humble abilities. We send you our love! :-)

Yesterday, July 27, we had the first of three shoots for the January 2011 issue. The editors requested me to make two rose bouquets: one white, one pink. The white was to be clean and classic, while the pink, vintage romantic. We agonized over this for a while (given the short notice) and we were only able to improvise once we saw what materials were available to us.


The white rose bouquet was revised only once. It really was difficult to make a 6-inches diamater arrangement using roses this big, but it was the only way to meet the exacting requirements of the board, which was to draw attention to the roses. For this, we used a perennial, an Eryngium thistle, to fill in the gaps made by the roses. The subtle shade really makes the white roses pop out. Around the base, we used swamp foxtail grass which is available during the rainy season, to hide the rest of the stems and wiring. Because of of it's freshly-picked-from-the-garden quality, it reminded us so much of several films, Sense & Sensibility among them. This inspiration helped us finish the detailing of the handle. The base is a black and white toile with contemporary prints, with a lace ribbon folded in a fan manner & secured in place with a lace belt and a brooch. A sprig of black coque feathers completed the look. Jane Austen would have been proud.

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The write up we provided:

Windy fields, rustic charm, & youthful romance – these and more are brought to mind by this white, green, and mocha latte bouquet. Created with Jane Austen’s character, Marianne Dashwood, in mind, this arrangement attempts to capture Ms. Dashwood’s spontaneity, love of nature, and romantic idealism. We dedicate this arrangement to the kind of love that lives and breathes sense and sensibility.

In this bouquet: Vendela Roses, Eryngium giganteum (thistle), & Pennisetum alopecuroides (swamp foxtail grass).
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The pink bouquet was easier to conceptualize because the Philippine wedding scene is currently on a "vintage fever", as we call it. Everyone's all agog over anything vintage-y: cars, cage veils, brooches, feathers of all sorts, and laces. For this one, we only had to source inspiration, yet again, from films. My Fair Lady immediately came to mind (one of our favorite scenes there is the Ascot opening day! Watch it here!).

Although Audrey Hepburn's character, Eliza Doolittle, never got married in the film, it was implied that she would most likely do so (it would be so sad and tragic if she were to marry Higgins!). We used lots of lace to fill the space between the roses, as well as these lovely spotted feathers that gave the bouquet its sense of drama. The ribbons and the damask-patterned brocade ribbon completed the overall feminine feel of this arrangement. We're very happy about the outcome of this particular bouquet. It's just as we envisioned it. :-)

By the way, in case you haven't noticed the pendant, we found this online and ordered it immediately (yes, it's Audrey as Eliza!). Thanks, Jo Candi, for the tip!

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The write up we provided:

Every lady deserves a chance to be happy. Eliza Doolittle, excellently played by Audrey Hepburn in the 1964 film adaptation of My Fair Lady, knows this all too well. From a Cockney flower seller at Covent Garden to a lady with manners, Eliza’s character was akin to a rose in full bloom. If this bouquet does not make you want to dance all night, we don’t know what else will!

In this bouquet: Geraldine Roses, feathers and lace. Pendant featuring the likeness of Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle was bought online.
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Tomorrow, we're doing a profile shot and yet another set of floral arrangements next week. Will post updates! :-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

SDE: BILLY + ABBY

We have been earnestly awaiting this one. We guess there's always a tendency to just casually feature flowers in videos but really, weddings have too many details to fit in an SDE which explains why there's always a need to get amazing photographers who can see all things (well, almost).

In this entry, we present to you Billy + Abby's Same-Day Edit by Digital Shots.

Bily and Abby Same Day Edit from Philippine Wedding Videographer on Vimeo.


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Digital Shots Video Production | Philippine Wedding Videographer
Email: digital_shots11@yahoo.com
Landline: (+632)410.0741
Mobile: (+63)915.936.4343

Saturday, July 03, 2010

A YEAR AFTER: A BRIDE'S REPORT

by Marisa Alcocer-Chacko

Ben and I met 11 years ago at work. He was sitting in a meeting room in the middle of a training class when I walked into his life, literally! After 2 years of working together and being just friends, one sad Valentine’s Day neither of us had a valentine, so as I finished up a call, I turned to see Ben sitting right behind me with a huge stuffed Tigger (from Winnie-the-Pooh). He simply said,"Happy Valentine’s Day!" I reached out to take the Tigger and hug him, but he pulled Tigger back and said that I could only have Tigger if I agreed to go to dinner with him. I did and 10 years and 11 months later, we were getting married!
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We had been together for almost 7 years when Ben’s company offered him a chance to get transferred to Manila to open a new office. When he told me about it, I jumped at the chance to see the world. We decided that if a move was in his future it was in mine as well. We moved here to the Philippines together. After the adjustment period of his new schedule and my life without my Mom close by, we really began to open up and make new friends and start seeing Manila as our new home. Being together for so long, we had always talked about getting married but we wanted a few key things to be in place before we took the big step of being together forever.

This move to the Philippines really helped us grow in our relationship more, and also helped achieve our goals that we wanted to achieve before we said ‘I do”. So it was March 2008, a month after our year 10 anniversary that he proposed. It was a quiet Sunday afternoon. We were chatting and getting ready to explore the city for the day. I was sitting at the edge of our bed and just telling Ben about my week and filling him in on all the new things I had discovered that week when he quietly comes up to me, smiles with excitement at my happiness here and says he loves me, then he gets down on one knee with our dog sitting right next to him and he asks me to spend the rest of my life with him. How could I resist that!! This beautiful man asking me to marry him and this beautiful puppy giving me those puppy dog eyes! I said YES!

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After much thought and discussions with our families, we decided that a destination wedding was in order. Both of our families live in Texas, so we thought we can kill two birds with one stone. We get married in a destination wedding and our families get a vacation away from the US.

We began our search for venues and were coming up with just OK places. Then one night, we were out with a group of friends and met this very in-love couple who had just gotten married a few weeks earlier. They told us about this gorgeous mango farm; it really all sounded too good to be true. So the next morning, we headed out for Antipolo to visit The Mango Farm. It was love at first sight, and then once we met Dylan and Mike and Turnip (Dylan’s dog), we were sold! Thus began the planning of the wedding of my dreams.

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Tell us about your color motif:
After much thought, I finally decided on candlelight color theme. I wanted everything to be in cream/ white, and champagne. So after breaking the news to my 4 bridesmaids, 2 of whom were blonde, we all set out to find the right shade of “candlelight” that would suit everyone’s skin tone. I found a great dress for them in the US bridal magazines and had the dresses made by my dear friend and tailor, Ann Cuatico.---


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Tell us about your photographer:

Nelwin Uy was our photographer, he was also the photographer at my friend's wedding the previous January and that's where Ben and I both fell in love with his work. We loved the fact that even though there were a lot on his crew, they didn't seem to get in the way of the guests. And once the onsite slide show began, we saw the amazing quality of Nelwin's work. We were hooked!

Nelwin did our engagement photos and was equally amazing at our wedding. We still look for reasons to have Nelwin and his team to do more photos for us.

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Favorite wedding detail(s):

I can’t say that I have only one favorite wedding detail. I loved everything! If I had to choose though, I’d say the cake was the talk of the night (aside from the lovely couple, that is! :-) ---





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Why a sit-down dinner?
To go along with the candlelight theme, I knew automatically we had to have a sit down dinner. I wanted long tables, with lots of tea light candles, white roses and tall all white centerpieces as the main focal point. My fiancée and I decided instead of the traditional table numbers that we would name the tables after cities that we have visited together, which included our own home towns in Texas. ---



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Tell us about finding your wedding dress.



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The following year, I had another friend who had gotten married here in the Philippines as well. At her wedding, as soon as I saw her step into sight, I fell in love with her gown. I had to know who made it. Oliver Tolentino was the fabulous designer! I immediately scheduled an appointment with him; at good year before my wedding was even to take place!

When I met with Oliver I just knew he was going to laugh me out of his office. I had pages and pages of torn-out magazine pages. I liked certain details from one dress and the veil of the other, and the beading of two more. It was organized chaos! Oliver was very sweet and patient and listened to the ramblings of the detail-crazed bride to be that I was. Then after my rant was over, he sweetly said,"Okay, give me a few minutes." As he began to sketch, I tried my hardest not to look over his shoulder and critique. Once he was done and held up his sketch, I truly was at a loss for words. The sketch was perfect!! It was the strapless mermaid style with beading that would be done by hand in silver threading and glass beads with lots of little “diamond” beads (as I call them) mixed in. The beading would be heavy from the top of the gown and hug my curves right to the hip accentuating my hard work at the gym those past few months! :-) Then the beading would continue all around the bottom of the gown and all down the back of the dress. Oliver said, “We’ll do a lot of beading in the back since you’re back will be facing the crowd, it will give them something to admire”. I absolutely loved this idea!
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Next was fabric. Oliver pulled out a bolt of gorgeous cream duchess satin and said," This will be reserved for you." I was in love with Oliver and the sketch of the dress and the fabric; I couldn’t wait to see it all come together.

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Tell us about your menu choices and why you chose those:
Dylan, our wonderful floral designer at The Mango Farm, recommended K. by Cunanan because of her style in setting up, décor, and quality of food. We wanted something that would mix our two cultures (I’m Mexican-American, my husband is Indian-American) perfectly and add in a little mango flair to incorporate our venue. She did it perfectly!

During the cocktail hour our guests were treated to a mix of Mexican and Indian-inspired appetizers. By the time we moved into dinner, the guests' palates were excited for the main courses.

We began dinner with wonderful Barbecue Chicken Salad served beautifully in a martini glass, and then moved on to a Roasted Corn Soup that I’m still salivating for almost 2 years later. These 2 beginners were incorporated into our menu to may tribute to our Texas roots.

Two dinner entrées were served: a deliciously grilled red snapper served over a bed of carrot rice with mango salsa on top, then a perfectly grilled pepper-crusted steak with a side of veggies and smooth and creamy garlic mashed potatoes. If you can’t tell, my husband and I are big foodies!

Dessert, for those that could still button their pants, was equally as wonderful. The first dessert was Flambéed Mangoes with Vanilla Ice Cream followed by our wedding cake that was Butter Pound cake with a hint of mango sauce in the middle (to include one of the Philippines' most famous treats).

Next dessert (remember, I mentioned I’m Mexican-American so I had to do my heritage proud), for those that could still fit more in, was the last dessert, a traditional Mexican treat called Buñuelos which is sort of a fried-flour tortilla sprinkled heavily with cinnamon and sugar and accompanied by a cup of Mexican hot chocolate.

After dinner, our guests were able to work off all the food on the dance floor underneath the stars in the garden!

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Lessons you want to impart to other brides:
Patience is key. Being American, we get spoiled with certain ways in the US. For instance, a wedding in the US takes well over a year to get the wedding of your dreams planned. Venues book up fast, flowers need to be ordered, gowns need to be ordered, etc, etc.

I began my planning here in Manila with that idea in my mind that I would need to move on things fast! I needed to order my invitations 9 months before the wedding, and my gown a year in advance. I had also met with a wedding coordinator that was less accommodating than I was used to. I really didn’t see much happening with her until the last 3 months before the wedding and by then it was all done in a rush, which truly tested my patience.

In my mind, we should have had all these done and just putting the finishing touches on things the last 3 months, not trying to plan it all by then.

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Nelwin Uy Photography
17th Floor, Tower A, Unit 17A17
Victoria Towers Condominium,
Panay Ave. cor Timog Ave. Q.C.
The Philippines

{Office Hours} Mon-Fri 10am to 7pm

{telephone number} 355-0296 / 211-9792
{mobile number} +63917-8060175
{email} nelwinuy@gmail.com

www.nelwinuy.com
www.nelwinuyphotography.com

Thursday, July 01, 2010

E-SESSION: PHIL + CESS

The widely respected husband-and-wife team, Jeff & Lisa of Jeff & Lisa Photography talks to Vatel Manila about Phil & Cess' fun, funny, & memorable engagement shoot at The Fort.
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Tell us about the concept of this shoot:

Simply put, it's just Phil, Cess, and their son, Aaron, in a bookstore, really. We love shooting couples in contexts they often find themselves in. A nice and engaging environment, some delicious ambient light, and we're pretty much golden. This is what we do best, shooting couples as they are. We make it a point to draw them out and get them comfortable enough to be themselves with us. And that's what we take pictures of.
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How do you make couples feel comfortable?

We chat them up. We make them laugh. It's easy for us because Jeff and I are a married couple who've gone through all this wedding planning madness not too long ago. It feels more like two couples just hanging out rather than them being put on the spot.
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Why was a bookstore chosen for this particular shoot?

We were supposed to have a Tagaytay shoot, by the lake, but Cess and Phil decided to have it in Metro Manila instead. We had to think of a location near the place they were staying at and Fully Booked was the most promising. It's funny how things worked out. It was the perfect location for them. We couldn't have asked for more.
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How is doing a pre-nup of a family different from say, just a couple?

If this was shot by just one photographer, I don't think the results would have been the same so I can't really answer that. I think it would be more difficult then, but it was easy for us because Jeff and I know each other very well (understatement!) and the minute we found out it was going to be a family shoot, we immediately & simultaneously agreed I'd be in charge of the kid, and he'd be shooting the couple. Also, a lot rides on the child's temperament. Aaron is a lovely young boy, very charming, very intelligent. We had it easy. :-)
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Your favorite element(s)?

Aaron, ha ha! It wasn't really part of the plan having him there, but he didn't want to be left behind and they ended up bringing him along to the shoot. I adore kids, and he and I just bonded. Jeff took most of the couple shots, and I took most of Aaron's solo portraits. Also, it was an empty bookstore and we had the run of the place. For geeks like me and my husband, that's pretty much heaven.
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Favorite memory of this day?

When I lost the kid, ha ha ha! Maybe not my favorite, but it certainly sticks out. I was carrying Aaron and I put him down by the elevator. The doors opened, he went in, and it just closed behind him before I could even blink. No amount of pressing the button would open the doors. Cess and I both ran down the escalators. She managed to stop it at the floor directly below whereas I ran all the way down to the basement because I didn't know. I don't think I've ever ran that fast in my life!
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Your wish for the couple?

All the love and happiness in the world. It sounds trite but I mean it with all my heart. Jeff and I have much, much, MUCH love for these two. Also, more children. Because man, those are some good genes!
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Tips to couples on how to prepare for an e-session:

Sleep. Please, for the love of all that is good, sleep the night before your shoot. Have fun. Don't be afraid to look silly. Drink lots of water. Eat well. Laugh out loud. Love fiercely.
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Special thanks to Cess Thomas and to Jeff & Lisa for allowing us to post these photos and for doing the interview! :-)
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Location Guide:

Fully Booked & Starbucks, Bonifacio High Street
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
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jeff & lisa photography
info@jeffandlisaphotography.com
{mobile}0917.854.5472

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We're featuring engagement session shoots as a prelude to the wedding photos to show our readers how couples prepare for their big day. We also feature the photographers involved as they share with us their thoughts on the shoot. If you want your own e-session to be featured on this blog, get in touch with us! :-)
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