Monday, April 26, 2010


I used to review films for in my past life and managed a full-blown film blog, Pinilakang Tabing. Those were the days.

Lately, in between film festivals in Manila, I content myself with watching wedding videos. There are wedding videos, and then there are films. Lately, I have been quite attached to DLS films. The emotion is palpable and most importantly, there's a story line (to date, this remains to be my favorite)!

I can only blame DLS for making me cry buckets in private, and I envy the couples whose stories have been recorded on film for them to enjoy over and over again all the rest of their lives.

Watching Daniel Lei's films reminds me of Victorio Edades who once said,"Art is when the heart guides the hand." I feel that DLS's aesthetic is one that truly comes from the heart.

Mitch and Leo from MWCDLS on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

REAL WEDDING: SHERWIN + KAT (April 25, 2010)

What can I say. I forgot to take photos of the flowers made for this wedding because I was gelatinous with fatigue (to borrow a line from Orwell's 1984) from the wedding the day before. But one thing's for sure: I shed tears when I saw the bride walk down the aisle (left) as the groom awaits at the altar (right). I don't know, but she looked really really happy. Kat was beaming and beautiful. Her gown (by Manny Mondelo) was smashing.

For the aisle, we used lots and lots of goldenrod (Solidago) chosen for their bright, golden flowers. In between pots of goldenrods are minimalist arrangements of Oncidium which pretty much connects the rites to the reception thus establishing the continuity of the design.

Inside the Pavilion, Macy Dy of K. by Cunanan Catering, played with ash & yellows to create that soft, laid-back look.

Apart from yellow / orange roses, she also used lemons and rose cacti (left) for the centerpieces. In keeping with the theme, the couple gave away dried mango balls in these cute little bags which carry the design of their invitations.

The caterer also used yellow damask for the lamp covers (left) while Vatel Manila used cream & white damask at the ceremony for the seat covers and the pillow kneelers. We were able to photograph only one kind of floral arrangement for this wedding. Here (right), the bouquet was composed of yellow roses, two-toned orange Carnations, Queen Anne's Lace, & multicolored rice flowers for that garden-y feel. This was the bouquet for the Mothers & the Maid of Honor. :-)

Looking forward to the official photos!:-) Thank you very much, Sherwin + Kat! You will be terribly missed.

P.S. I rarely do this, but the coordinator for this event, Making It Happen, deserves special mention. I've worked with so many event coordinators before, but here's one that's not only efficient, they work quietly behind the scenes (as coordinators should), and were really really nice to everyone. No throwing their weight around or anything of the sort. And they speak great English, too. *laughs* I know that's hardly a qualification, but it is for me.

Ceremony Setup//

Entourage Flowers//

Dotie Diaz


K by Cunanan Catering
c/o Kaye Cunanan
Tel. Nos. 711.0940 (look for Meg)


Landline +632 631 3060 | +632 496 7591
Mobile +63 921 485 0838
Studio Address #28A General Capinpin
Street San Antonio Village
Pasig City, Philippines 1600


Threelogy Digital Video
54-E Mapagkawanggawa cor. Magiting St, Teachers’ Village, Quezon City, Philippines
Telefax - 02-4344428
CJ - 09189139627
Jon - 09175396148
Bong - 09209506558
Open Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 6pm.


It must be true, the saying that says,"Two heads are better than one." This applies to weddings more, of course, when two people decide to live their lives together. This, however, applies to certain things like photography, too, when a team of two people churn out photos as heart-warming as these.

I knew of the Daniel Lei Sarmiento + Joannie Candi tandem by way of a (now-amusing) conversation with the bride, Mitch.

Me:"So who's your photographer? Sana magaling naman."
Mitch: "I think magaling naman. You can check out his blog."

I became an instant fan of Daniel Lei Studio the moment I saw his blog (so much for my haughtiness, sorry!). I connected to the photos almost immediately, and I felt so much by just looking at them. The chosen color motif have also played a major part in this event: black for the groom's serene attitude, yellow to reflect the bride's joie de vivre. DLS has captured those characteristics perfectly.

Photographs are sui generis. They are unique for that specific time and context. They remind us for all lifetime of the importance of every event in our lives, that is why it's always a good decision to get someone who will do the job of recording well.

At this point, the decision-making process should be a lot easier already. Check out more of the series here.


Landline: 334-9037
Globe: 0906-2722320 (Primary)
Smart: 0920-5016209
YM: wsi_lei

REAL WEDDING: MARK + PAOLA (April 24, 2010)


This bouquet (left) reminded me of how much of a village the world has become in recent years. Since the eruption of the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, Wednesday April 14, all flights between Europe and the rest of the world were suspended. Needless to say (but I'm still saying it), the only remaining connection of Manila to Europe via KLM was cut off for a few days. Florists scrambled for alternatives, some brides weren't able to arrive, etc etc. That is why in times like these, we have China to thank for. In this bouquet, replacing flowers originally ordered from Holland, are fuchsia roses and single whorl-Matthiola from China. Wax flowers were already available prior to the flights suspension. The Matthiola incana is one of our favorite flowers. They smell good, and come in various colors (i.e. pink, red, yellow, lilac & purple). They are the Cinderella of the Brassica family to which the kale, mustard and cabbage belong. We normally order the Holland variety because of it's double whorl (which makes it look thicker), although that genetic aberration makes it a little expensive than the China variety.

The flowers for the flower girls (right) used Carnations, Roses, rice flowers, Queen Anne's Lace & bundled together in a red tin pail.

Starting with this wedding, Vatel Manila has adopted a new look for Summer 2010. Our principle of lush + plush remains, but this time using new materials. The local version of Queen Anne's Lace has been very abundant this year and we've used it a lot to create these "little gardens" that you can hold. The idea is to create bouquets with lots of texture versus those commonly made by other florists which are either too solid or two-dimensional. We've also been exposing more of the stems lately to create an illusion of height. So far this look goes well with pinks and yellows. We'll be doing this again using pomelo pink in May. We're continuously experimenting with combinations that work so you can get arrangements that are unique and one of a kind.

CEREMONY at the Plaza Gat Tayaw

When we found out that that Mark, the groom, has a bonsai garden, we thought of having a bonsai-themed wedding to which he immediately took a liking. The problem initially was transporting (you have no idea how heavy a pot of bonsai is), so 10 pieces of plants of various species were brought to the farm in two batches. We used six for the aisle (right), two for the altar as backdrop (left), and two for the couple's table backdrop at the reception. I think the whole idea was pretty swell and unique! I am sure it will never happen again in my lifetime. I just so loved the idea of using elements that are dear to the couple and in this particular wedding, the groom was very hands-on in all the aspects of the wedding preparations. He visited the Farm a lot to observe other weddings, he met with the caterer, and discussed the concept with us during his every Farm visit. Don't you just wish all grooms were like him? Ha ha!

RECEPTION at the Glass Pavilion (Flowers & Setup by Vatel Manila)

The setup for today's reception is a study in restraint. To be sure, many would be tempted to use all pink flowers available to color this reception, but the Vatel Manila school of thought thinks otherwise. We took advantage, too, of seasonal flowers from local farms to highlight the fact that this is a Summer wedding and second, to bring down the overall cost. Left: For the centerpieces, we created full topiaries using Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus), a short-lived perennial. We added crystals to those located at the VIP table and topped the topiaries with Aranthera James storei orchids, the only imported component of this reception setup. I have long wanted to use this smashingly beautiful orchid specie, made possible by a cross between the Arachnis + Renanthera species. I can't wait to see it's yellow counterpart! In between the tall vases are short vases of light pink Alstromeria to break the monotony of dark pinks. We also made sure that the caterer didn't put ribbons on the Tiffany chairs.

We are not very fond of fabric ruffles. We think it's way too old school, that is why we made a very simple cake stand in solid fuchsia with just a short vase of Sweet William and a candle for accent (right). This way, this really cute cake stood out for everyone to appreciate.

Candles are a must in all our events. There's nothing like the drama of candles that is why we make sure we have lots of it on our tables. We always use the V#2 because it lasts for hours compared to the usual tea lights.

Left: The couple leads the guests in prayer. Right: The bride's father performs 'Sunrise, Sunset' from the film, Fiddler on the Roof. If you haven't seen the 1971 film adaptation of this musical, you must. You can listen to the song here. I think it was a very touching thing for the bride's Dad to do this. A line from the film: "Love", Teyve says, "it's the new style." (Teyve is the bride's father-character in the story). It emphasizes a shift in paradigm: from arranged marriages (a cultural thing) to actually falling in love with the other first before deciding to get married. :-)

We have always been wary of topiaries because they have the tendency to block the view of the visual experience that is the wedding so for this project, we tested the view by sitting on different tables around the room and looking at the AVP screen. We haven't seen anyone standing up, necks craning or anybody removing the centerpieces during the SDE screening, which is just great!

Allow us to make a short comment on photog lights. Many brides ask us about special lighting, but in smaller venues like the Farm's Glass Pavilion we rarely recommend it because the moment the lights of the photographers go on, everything else is blotted out. My ideal setup for this project was for it to look cozy, warm, and romantic (right), but this is already impossible in this day and age where weddings have become production numbers. *sighs*


Lina Vitan Catering
40 Judge Jimenez St., Kamuning, Quezon City

Photo / video//
Nice Print
Unit 204 Emerald Place, 604 Shaw Blvd., Pasig City
Telephone numbers: 6365505, 6333812, 6385206

Ceremony Setup//

Entourage Flowers//


-- We distinctly remember this day: we had five (5) weddings (two in Metro Manila, one in Cainta, one in Cagayan de Oro, and another in Bora...