Entries posted in this blog are all related to our wedding last January 7, 2006. To read more updates on us (Iya and Leo), visit our main blog at http://iyaleo.blogspot.com. To leave comments, click on the entry title and it will direct you to the main post. Happy browsing!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wedding, Birthdays, and Baby

This entry is not about our wedding. But since it is about a wedding too, I'm posting it here

Leo and I went to Haya and Jay's wedding last October 15. The ceremony was held at the Parish of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Quezon City and the reception was held at Blue Gardens at Commonwealth. That was convenient for us since it was near our place - relatively. Blue Gardens was originally a big house converted into a function venue.

The ceremony was simple and elegant - very Haya :) Even her gown and HMU was so her! I could imagine how much work (and stress) she has put into the preparations and I am happy that it turned out so well. And to think she didn't even have a coordinator! But her family and friends helped out so everything went smoothly :) I especially love the taho and sorbetes stations at the reception, yum yum! And of course it was good to see the barkada there - all dressed up with their partners (and babies!). My, but we're growing! ;) CONGRATULATIONS and BEST WISHES to Haya and Jay!

It was also my sister's birthday last saturday but she celebrated her special day at Boracay with friends. They availed of the airline promo early on and got their round-trip tickets for only 1,600 pesos! Good deal huh ;) Hmmm, maybe I'll do an out-of-town birthday too someday :) BELATED HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LA (and BERNARD too)!

By the way, Kalli is now 2.28 kilograms at 35 weeks in the womb according to the ultrasound. What's that, around 5 lbs? Doctor said that was normal so all is good with baby and me :) They said I can give birth as early as 2 weeks from now. Yikes, I'm scared! Hehehe... I'll endure :)

Here are some more pics from the wedding...

Well that's it. Until next post!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Supplier Ratings Part I

First of all, let me apologize for this very, very, very late supplier rating. I got married last January 7, but, obviously, I only had time to do this now. A lot of things have been happening to me lately. So many changes... new name, new home, new status. First I became a wife. Soon I'm going to be a mommy too :)

Anyway, back to the ratings... You will notice below that there are only a few with a rating of 10. That's just because I didn't want to give 10++ scores. However, let me just say that I am happy with pretty much all of my suppliers (with the exception of 1) and HIGHLY recommends most of them.
So here goes... (comments and questions are always welcome)

Church: Chapel of Transfiguration, Caleruega
Rating: 10, Highly Recommended

Caleruega Facade The Ceremony Couple at the Alter
(photos by Lee Llamas)

Photo by Lara Esber Photo by Rommel Cecilio
(photos by various photographers)

This church was the very first we visited when we got engaged, and we never looked for another. For me, it was love at first sight. Even though there were a lot of factors that should have swayed us to find another, I just stubbornly ignored all of them. For one thing, we had to change our wedding date to January 2006 instead of last quarter of 2005. We also knew all our guests couldn't possibly fit inside the church. Almost all of our guests were also coming from Manila. Add to that, planning an out-of-town wedding was really hard - and I realized a little more expensive. Still, we have no regret whatsoever. For me, it made our wedding a little more special and memorable.

Tip - if there is something that you really really want for your wedding and you think will make all the difference for you - even though others can't seem to understand - go for it girl! ;)

Reception venue: Villa de Oro, Tagaytay City
Rating: 8.5, Recommended

The Gate A Fairytale Dinner
(photos by Lee Llamas)

I really wanted to have a medieval wedding, and when I saw Villa de Oro, I knew it was the perfect venue. Well ok, maybe not really so perfect for us since I had to put some guests inside the function hall and others in the garden. But I knew that from the start and it turned out ok since Balay Kandila took care of making the dining area look like one unit. The place was so big, it even had a chapel inside. It was so beautiful - specially after BK arranged it. It was really too bad the rain prevented us from having cocktails in the garden as originally planned. I also love the mansion inside the villa. Some of our guests actually stayed there overnight after the party.

Jing, the account exec, was also very nice and accomodating. Though I would say the price was a little on the high side, she gave us a lot of freebies and waived some of the fees - so it turned out ok. She also allowed BK and Juan Carlo to set up the day before the event.

The only problem I had was the power. We've been warned by other suppliers that when you light the garden as well as the 2 function halls in VDO, the power overloads. This was a concern for us since we were using practically the whole villa and BK was setting up lights all over. We mentioned this concern to Jing a lot of times, and she assured us that the power problem has already been fixed. Well, as you can guess, it still tripped during our wedding. Luckily it was restored back after around 15-20 minutes.

Oh and the place is a little hard to find. A lot of our guests got lost :(

Photographer: Lee Llamas
Rating: 9, Highly Recommended

Picture taken at the Villa de Oro Chapel Villa de Oro Walkway
Prenuptial Picture taken by Lee Prenuptial Picture
(photos by Lee Llamas)

Though we don't have the album yet, we already have the pictures, and we are really, really happy with them. Even our prenup pics are great. Lee and his crew were very professional too and their equipment are top-of-the-line (that's according to my hubby since he knows much more about these things than I, hehehe). We also booked Lee during a bridal fair and got a very good package.

One thing that saddens me though is the fact that we didn't have a lot of creative shots in Tagaytay because of the rain. Lee doesn't shoot when there's a chance his cameras might get wet - understandably since his cameras are quite expensive. Still, there were some shots that I wished we could have had.

OTD Coordinator: Wini Sanchez, Witty Jobs Party Team
Rating: 9.5, Highly Recommended

Wini is a mommy! She really takes care of you and does everything to ensure you have a wonderful, stress-free wedding. We hired her for on-the-day coordination, but she delivered so much more than that. I really felt like she was with me from the start. Most of the time, she was with us during meetings with major suppliers - negotiating for us, checking and drafting contracts, taking notes, giving ideas. She was really great.

There were a lot of stressful incidents that happened during our wedding. First, I forgot to give Caleruega the full payment - and it was a requirement before we can get married there. Then there was the on and off rain shower. Then the AVP not working. Then the power failure. You can imagine how stressed I would have been if I didn't have Wini there. But honestly, I wasn't stressed at all!
I would have given her a 10, except that we forgot to release the doves, which was supposed to be part of the cocktail event. It was during the on and off rain so I guess she was feeling quite stressed that time. I didn't mind so much, but my mom really wanted that dove release...

All in all, we highly recommend Witty jobs. The rates are reasonable. They deliver quality work. And they are all quite likable. A lot of my friends getting married this year booked her too after our wedding.

Production Designer / Event Stylist: Balay Kandila
Rating: 9, Highly Recommended

A Medieval table Round VIP tables Our Unity Candle
(photos by Lee Llamas)

Balay Kandila "WOW"ed me from the start. They're actually my "luho" because, technically, we didn't "need" a stylist. However, I couldn't resist, specially after I approached their booth one bridal fair and talked to Ronald. I actually just wanted to get some ideas for villa de oro since I was having problems with the lay-out for the event format that I wanted. I also mentioned I'm thinking of having a medieval theme. Ronald started visualizing and drawing his ideas then and there and I was really impressed! He immediately understood what I wanted. Ronald and Tisha were so easy to get along with. The rates they quoted for me were a little high, but they're pretty flexible and you can negotiate with them.

A lot of our guests were really impressed with what they did with the place. Even Lee, our photographer, commented on it. I specially love the long tables with the fruits and bread and candles for centerpieces. I also liked the arrangements of luminaries in the gargen - though I'm not sure a lot noticed because of the rain :( Most of the guests took pictures of the wooden gate with the knights and banners and the pumpkin carriage.

I would have given BK a 10, except that they were also in-charged of the sound system (I believe they subcontracted Sound Syndrome) and I was quite disappointed with them. The band had major trouble with them, and I almost thought they were not going to be able to play.

Florist for Church: Amor Verdad (Carlo Verdadero)
Rating: 8, Recommended

Isle Flowers Altar Arrangement
(photos by Lee Llamas)

Carlo was recommended by Balay Kandila, and he was really nice. He's also very artistic since he was part of the creative team that designed our reception venue and centerpieces. I was not so impressed with the church flowers and arrangements though. I guess it was ok, but I thought they were a little too simple. And I also couldn't help comparing the flowers with what Mang Boy delivered for our bouquets. The latter were much fresher than the church flowers - and cheaper too. Still, Carlo is a good supplier to work with - very chirpy and a hard worker.

Florist for Bride bouquet, Entourage and Bridal Car: Boy Mahusay

Rating: 10, Highly recommended

Bridal Bouquet Entourage flowers
(photos by Lee Llamas)

I did not have any problem with Mang Boy. Infact I thought he was the ideal supplier. It was so easy to talk to him. "Walang ere" whatsoever! His price was very, very reasonable and the flowers were so fresh! I highly, highly recommend this guy :)

Chocolate Fountain: Josiah's
Rating: 9, Highly recommended

Yummy! Don't you just want to try? It's bad for the figure Shirley
(photos by Lee Llamas)

The chocolate fountain was delicious. Ok, so we didn't actually taste it during the wedding. But we got to taste it when we booked it and it was better than all the others we tasted during that bridal fair. The price was reasonable too.

Caterer: Juan Carlo
Rating: 8.5, Highly recommended

Mouth Watering!
(photos by Lee Llamas)

Our Cake Tsk tsk tsk We couldn't resist!
(photos by Lee Llamas)

Just like the chocolate fountain, we were not able to taste much of the food during the reception. We only tasted the soup and the salad - and that was it. According to my dad, the soup was a little salty, but I didn't really noticed it. Some guests expressed their appreciation for the food - specially the cooked-on-the-spot Blue Marlin in Lemon Butter Sauce and the Stir Fried Mixed Vegetable in Oyster Sauce. We had 2 food tasting sessions with them prior to the wedding, and I thought the food was delicious then.

Alex was also easy to talk to and negotiate with. Since we had Balay Kandila doing the styling and the centerpieces, we were able to get some freebies from Alex like free crew meals and other stuff. He was also willing to implement some of my weird ideas like serving soup on champagne glasses during pre-dinner cocktails :) He worked well with the other suppliers - giving ideas and volunteering materials that Balay could use for decorating the place.

There was basically one major glitch that prevented me from giving them a rating of 10. They failed to serve my grandmother properly - which I specifically mentioned since she was already 92 years old. I heard that she was only served soup and salad. I guess it was because it started raining outside and most of the crew had to move tables and they probably forgot about it. Some guests also started moving into the VIP tables, which probably added to the confusion. Still, hearing about it made me really sad.

Invitation - DIY
Rating: 10

Paraphernalia Map of Tagaytay Hear Ye, hear ye...
(photos by Lee Llamas)

The invitations were great - if I say so myself, ahahaha. Of course they were so very tedious to do, specially since we were not professionals and were only working with low-tech equipment. Some even suggested we make a business out of it. That's probably not such a good idea right now though since we could only do at most 5 invitations a day :( Well, I still have to think about it... hehehe

Invitation Box: A-Box
Rating: 4

Out of all my suppliers, this was the one that really disappointed me the most. I was very particular with the boxes since we were using them for the invitation - and we planned to make them really unique. We even bought the materials for the boxes in divisoria since A-Box couldn't find the paper we wanted. Farah (from A-Box) made a prototype of the box and I really liked what she showed me. So we asked her to make around 100 pieces - initially. When she delivered the boxes, they were nowhere near the prototype that she made! Almost all of them wouldn't open properly and the paper covering the cardboard were tearing at the edges. The closing flaps of the boxes were curved instead of flat - and that was a big problem for us since we were putting wax seals on the flaps. It was really, really bad :( So I asked her to take everything back and fix them. I actually wanted her to start all over again and replace everything since I couldn't imagine how she could fix them. But then I thought that was just too mean. After a week or 2, she delivered the "fixed" boxes - though there wasn't really that much improvement. Since we were running out of time, we had no choice but to use them. We ended up not having enough boxes because some ended up rejects and because I initially thought we would still order additional boxes. But I just couldn't make myself order from A-Box again, so we ended up using baskets we bought at papemelroti for the other invitations.

Band: DBO's Lunchbox
Rating: 8.5

Let's Jam DBOs posing at the pumpkin carriage
(photos by Lee Llamas)

DBO's performance was very good. A lot of our friends told us too. My cousin even did a song with them - thought I didn't really see it cause I had to meet with a supplier outside. Tsk tsk tsk, I wish I saw it.

The only problem I had with the band was the fact that they played late. They were tuning their instruments a long time. They said they were having some problems with the sound system - and that probably was the root cause. It was just too bad that most of our guests went home already during the time they were tuning up.

String Quartet: Concertino
Rating: 9, Highly Recommended

Toks team was very professional and they're great at what they do. The music was lovely during the reception, and, although I didn't get a singer from them, I know from their demo CD that they have great singers too. Toks also had the initiative to call me (and meet me at my house, which was very far) when the wedding date was getting near and I have not finalized the details with him yet. He was also willing to work and practice with my choir - though that did not happen anymore cause, well.. long story, but it was our fault. Their team is pretty much flexible - just give them enough time to prepare for whatever it is you want them to do.

Gowns: Bengie "Vangie" Agustin
Rating: 8.5

That's me! Little Fairies
Bridesmaids Maid of Honor
(photos by Lee Llamas)

Tita Vangie has been doing dresses and gowns for the family every since I could remember. She's a fast worker and the fitting was always great. Naturally she was the choice for doing my bridal gown (and all the entourage gowns), specially since I already knew the design I wanted. And I'm quite happy with that decision - though I must confess there was a moment when I was afraid the tube and backless top of my gown wouldn't work. Well, she made it work in the end. I loved my gown!
Why didn't I give her a 10? Well, there were a couple of glitches that happened. First, the design for the MOH top was not followed. Instead of making it haltered as originally planned, she made it into a tube. It was still beautiful though - so I guess that was ok. We were copying a design from a magazine, altering the top part. However, she did it exactly as it was in the picture. I think she forgot about the changes we discussed. Another thing is that there was a mix-up with the flowergirl gowns. The names got scrambled and there was a confusion with matching the gowns with the girls. But having fixed that, I must say that the flowergirls really looked adorable in their fairy gowns and wings :)

HMU: Ross Regala
Rating: 9.5, Highly Recommended

Ross doing my hair Make Over!
(photos by Lee Llamas)

Ross is the only one I had trial with, and I liked what he did with my make-up then. I didn't like the hair that much, though they were pretty impressive how he did them - I just didn't think they fitted me and my medieval theme. Still, I booked him cause he seemed very talented and very efficient. He works fast (as in!) and - I've proven this a lot of times - very, very, very punctual!

When I scheduled the trial make-up with him, his name was very popular here at w@wie - in a negative way. I think he had a problem with a client or something, but the feedback then wasn't so good. I was a bit worried, naturally. But after meeting him and seeing him work, I thought he was quite misunderstood and unfairly judged by some. Anyway, I was very, very happy with my decision of booking him. I really liked my make-up and hairdo during the wedding. I looked beautiful - if I say so myself (hehehe)! And every bride should feel that way - don't you think? :)

Bridal Shoes: Le Donne
Rating: 9

My boots! D'ya like 'em? They like my boots too!
(photos by Lee Llamas)

I love my boots! They are unique. They are very comfortable (since I got a pair 1 size bigger). And they're very me! :)

Choir: Mary Immaculate Choir
Rating: 10, Highly Recommended

Beautiful people with beautiful voices Smile!
(photos by Raymond Cabalquinto)

One of the very few suppliers I gave a 10 to. And very well deserved too! Ok, so they are my friends and they actually did not charge me for their service. But that was just the icing on the cake. If I take out those facts and just focus on their voices and their songs, I'd still give them a 10. They gave me goosebumps during the ceremony. For me they made the ceremony more special.

Preparation Venue: Taal Vista Hotel
Rating: 9

The hotel was great. I even had an upgrade from the Junior Suite to the Premiere Suite! It's just too bad we didn't get any pictures in their beautiful lobby and the viewing deck. We were running late and didn't have time. We also stayed the night here after the wedding, and the breakfast buffet was alright.

The only thing I didn't like is the fact that there was a wall right outside my window. Taal Vista is not a very high hotel and the premiere suite was on the 3rd floor. You can see the wall in most of my prep pictures :(

Ross also didn't like the fact that the only big mirror they have in the room was near the restroom. It was a bit cramp when we were doing hair and make-up.

Honeymoon: Miniloc, El Nido
Rating: 9.5, Highly Recommended

Perfect Honeymoon!
(photos by Leo and Iya)

We loved El Nido! It was a bit expensive compared to other Palawan resorts, but for us it was so worth it. We stayed at a water cottage and, what can I say, it was very minimalistic. There was no TV, no mini-bar, no tub. Nothing of the basic amenities in a hotel. Lagen probably had those. But Miniloc didn't. Still, we didn't miss them at all. We went snorkling, diving, island hopping, kayaking, cave exploring, hiking, boating, had a private beach, watched the perfect sunset, spa, and gorging on food! All the way buffet! And it was beautiful everywhere! Too bad we were only there for 3 days. There were still a lot of things we could have done. I wanted to go ride the hobbycat, or do an early morning fishing, or climb the famous amazing race wall. Oh well, it was quite a memorable honeymoon.

You can view more of our pictures here:

Friday, December 16, 2005

Rainy Day Pictorial

We're finally done with our prenup pictorial - finally! Imagine, we initially planned to do it as early as May, but ended up doing it last Dec 13 instead. There's a story there that I don't really have time to go into right now... maybe next time. For the moment, here's the link

Monday, December 12, 2005

Updates - DIY Invitations

So it's been a long time since I've posted anything here. Been really busy with the preps and work and other stuff. Well, mostly with preps, I guess. Been trying to finish all our invitations ASAP. Thing is, we have decided to do our invitations ourselves but truth is we haven't got that much time for it since Leo and I are both working and we only have time in the evenings after work. That shouldn't be so bad if we are out of the office around 5pm and we live just 10 minutes away. But oftentimes we get home around 11pm :( Oh well... Good thing we have LA helping us! Atleast now we are down to our last 15 invitations, yohooo! Then next are misalettes.... Darn, but there are so much to do!

So here are our DIY invitations (which we are quite proud of, if I may say so ;b)...

upper left: The contents of our invitation box - invitation scroll, entourage, map, reception card, rsvp card, tagaytay tidbits
upper right: Our family crest on our wax seal
lower right: our inivitation scroll
lower left: The invitation package

Fruit of our labor

And here's the map to Mordor ... este Caleruaga pala, hehehe.... (the final version of our map)

Ala LOTR map, say?

So there... that's our invitation. We haven't really distributed half of it yet, but we're getting there.

Well, that's it for now. I'll post our other updates later. Right now I need to catch some sleep. Have to wake-up early tomorrow to fix our prenup pictorial venue.

Until next time...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Invitation Box

We finally found a box supplier for our invitation. Well, technically, we already contacted A-BOX around 2 weeks ago. We just couldn't find the correct material to use. We wanted a deep red textured paper. Almost like black red. We scouted the different paper suppliers in divisoria while Farah (from A-BOX) searched in Binondo and her usual suppliers, but we couldn't find one with the correct thickness. Finally, we just decided to pick one from those we found... different shades of red, but lighter than what we originally wanted. We chose 2 and A-Box made a prototype from it. And here it is...

This is not exactly how it's gonna look like since we haven't finalized the materials inside yet. Goodness, we've still got so many things to do! Anyhoo, you get the concept. Comments and suggestions are always welcome :)

On a different note, it's my sister's birthday today. Happy birthday to the bestest-best maid-of-honor ever! We love you LA!