I have not really made a proper blog entry about this wedding considering that, in my mind, it was one of the most beautiful that I ever got to witness. In one of those super rare cases (in fact, this may be the only one), I was at the church, too, helping the coordinators distribute the flowers to the entourage. Since I had nothing else to do that day, I decided to attend the wedding. I also checked out the reception set up at the Museum courtyard (we were decorating the doorway) and maybe out of habit, fixed the wayward carpet as well (the groom, who was behind me pala, quipped: "You can't help it, ano?" Ha ha!). Anyway, what blew me away were the gowns & the soft nudes & mocha: everything was perfect for an Old World-themed wedding. Why, even the April weather was awesome!
I met Nat & Grace through the graciousness of a future bride (who's finally getting married this month, June 2011). I met them on a Holy Thursday (!) and their wedding was like just two weeks from there (!!!). This has got to be the shortest notice ever. Anyway, all's well that ends well. Happy, too, to be working for the first time with industry giants, Dino Lara & Jason Magbanua. Who would have thought that we would be blessed to be working with them in '09 when we were practically still a start-up? Ahhh, those were the fun days. :-)
In this post, Bride Grace shares her thoughts on her wedding:
Q: How did you two meet?
A: Nat and his friends crashed a party our block was hosting back in law school. He became my smitten stalker ever since. :P
A: Tell us about finding your wedding dress.
Q: After taking so much time hemming and hawing as to who will make my gown, I suddenly realized I only had about three months before the big day. Fortunately, when we arrived in Los Angeles, we struck gold in an all-lace beauty by Pronovias. But the story doesn’t end there. A few days after my purchase, I couldn’t get my mind off the Oleg Cassini classic I saw days before — it had a certain je ne sais quoi about it, a simplicity and sensuality that really got to me. In the end I followed my heart and went with the Oleg. (Besides loving his designs, I also love how he has made his mark in history.)
Q: My favorite detail(s) of the wedding was/were:
A: The whole day was a confluence of details and memories that I would always cherish. It was a really warm and fuzzy feeling (even just a few hours after the reception) to see our Facebook pages teeming with compliments on how beautiful and joyous the wedding was.
After the honeymoon, a friend asked me what I would change about the wedding. I simply answered “nothing,” and meant it. We’re so blessed to have our family and friends present, and we’re so lucky we got all the right suppliers!
Q: Anything D-I-Y for your wedding?
A: Since we were very particular about the aesthetic of the details, we decided the best way to go was to DIY. (It wasn’t stress-free, though: a day before the wedding I was still can-spraying the picture frames to be used for the table numbers and Nat was still editing video greetings from abroad :P)
Luckily, we had the most supportive family and friends who really rallied to make everything divine.
A week before the wedding, our living room saw no end to the misalettes, menu cards, place cards, and table numbers being prepared. Also worth mentioning: my mother and sister surprised me with lace-wrapped bottles of alco-gel (infused with my favorite scent) which were distributed as additional tokens; we used my father -in-law’s favorite car as our bridal car; I used my cameo pendant, a gift from Nat, as my bouquet accent; my sister and family friends did my hair and make-up; we used my personal Bible for the ceremony (a birthday gift from our Ninong, Chief Justice Reynato Puno); we got huge discounts from our friends in the wedding industry (A huge thanks to our family jeweler, Tikadas Mobile Bar, Fab Occasions Events Management, and Concept Smile Photobooth!); one of Nat’s clients did back-up photography; a good friend who happened to be a wine connoisseur gave us the perfect vino to match the menu.
In the end, these details not only achieved the look and feel we envisioned for the ceremony and reception, they also made everything more meaningful.
Q: What was your biggest splurge?
A: Nat was absolutely adamant on only one thing with regard to the choice of suppliers: the Dino-Jason tandem. We had to check their availability before we booked the church and everything else, and yes, relatively, they were our biggest splurge. Aside from the undeniable artistry which propelled them to their place in the wedding industry, what really stayed with me was their professionalism when I came face to face with the chaos of the big day. I remember how they instructed me how to hold my bouquet, how they were concerned at how my veil would rest over my hair (which was swept all the way to only one side), how one of Jason’s female videographers even helped me tape parts of my dress so the tags won’t show.
In retrospect, they shared not only their talents and years of experience, they also showed that they truly wanted our day to be perfect in any way they can.
Q: What was the design inspiration for your wedding?
A: Since we were having the wedding and reception at the San Agustin compound, we were inspired to go for a romantic old world vibe. We used a lot of lace and beads, some “old” colors and some design elements such as candelabras for our table centerpieces and a canopy for our backdrop. Our entourage wore soft, flowing gowns and headbands with lace appliqué accents. We used sweet and romantic flower arrangements to complete their look. As for the venue itself, we only dressed up the entrance of the courtyard with a frame of flowers, and went with strategic lighting instead of drapes. We were lucky that the whole place left little to improve on as it was already characteristically remarkable the way it was. (Thanks to Vatel Manila, not only for the fab flowers, but for all the design and set up inputs!)
Q: How does it feel getting wed in a world heritage site?
A: We’re very proud to have been married at San Augustin, the oldest and perhaps the most historical church in the Philippines. Being lovers of everything old and hoary, we found the church, its inner courtyard and museum full of genuine character and history that perhaps no other wedding venue could boast of. We often joke that since the structure has survived centuries of wars and calamities, perhaps we could expect our marriage to be as strong. As a bonus, it was really amusing how our wedding became a tourist attraction when a mob of Chinese (or Koreans?) even requested a pictorial with us in front of the church!
Q: What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding?
A: The biggest challenge would be the lack of time as we were travelling a lot in the few months that we prepared for the wedding. Fortunately, we were able to make the most out of it by doing what we could wherever we were: We bought my dress in Los Angeles and did some pre-nup sessions in New York. I also stocked up on some make-up while I was in Tokyo.
Q: Tips to brides-to-be?
A: When choosing suppliers, think of how much you will regret not getting who you really want. If you can only splurge on a few, go for the best photo and video coverage. It’s true, the memories will be all that will be left with you. If given the chance, try to book suppliers who had already worked with each other. Not only will they already know each others’ idiosyncrasies, the rapport among them will surely translate into a warmer, more seamless event. And of course, it goes without saying, the food and wine should be sublime.
Preps: Traders Hotel Manila
Ceremony: San Agustin Church
Reception: San Agustin Museum Courtyard
Photographer: Dino Lara
Videographer: Jason Magbanua
Wedding dress: Oleg Cassini
OTD: Camille Yamio, Fab Occassions
Entourage Flowers: Dylan Gozum for Vatel Manila
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