Sunday, January 27, 2013

Wedding Etiquette for Guests

Q. I got an invite but have no plans of attending; should I still send a gift?
A. First thing's first. If you won't be able to attend for whatever reason, please RSVP. A big chunk of the wedding budget goes to the reception and it will be utterly inconsiderate to just give up a reserved seat without letting the couple know. Give them the chance to assign that seat to another guest in their "waitlist." Having that out of the way, let's get to your question: YES, it is customary to still send a gift.
Q. The envelope bears only my name. May I ask if I can bring a date?
A. Don't bring a date unless your invitation specifically says "and Guest." Bringing unexpected guests is very impolite. Neither should you ask the couple's permission if you may bring one or not. Don't put your friends on the spot. We Filipinos don't really like turning down people. So how would you know if their "Yes" means yes or not? Spare them that trouble.
Q. The invite says "Mr. & Mrs." Could we bring our kids?
A. Never bring the kids unless "& Family" is indicated. Soon-to-weds don't usually invite children for a good reason. Kids get bored or cranky during hour-long masses. Their tantrums might disrupt the solemnity of the ceremony. Weddings are usually formal events typically not appropriate for the little
ones. To be blunt about it, inviting a child at the reception means added two mouths to feed - the kid's and the yaya's.
Follow-up Q. But my son/daughter is the bearer/flower girl. I'm sure it's
understood that my other child is invited.
A. Which part of the answer above didn't you understand? Seriously, if the couple wanted to invite your other kid, they would have specified that on the envelope.
2nd follow-up Q. But I'm breastfeeding, I'm sure my friends will understand,
won't they?
A. Granting that it's an infant and he or she won't eat at the reception - let's even assume that your baby won't wail at the church - the answer is still NO! Not even if you've perfected the art of being a cow in a long gown. Four words: Breast Pump and Babysitter!
Q. I don't have a clue what gift to give them. Any ideas?
A. The average Pinoy soon-to-wed would always prefer monetary gifts more than any other gift. It is the unspoken fact. We're telling you now to make it easier for them to let you know what they REALLY want; unless they indicated that already in their invites. If you're not comfortable giving cash, you may ask the couple where they are registered (Gift / Bridal Registry) and choose from what's listed under their names in the store. You can also ask them where they're residing after the
wedding and take the cue from there. If you know that they'll be migrating abroad or living with their parents for the time being, a ref or another oven toaster may not be the most practical and logical gift.
Q. I'm convinced. So how much cash should I give them? I don't want to give too
little or too much.
A. That's a hard thing to answer. It's really a case-to-case thing. Try to put yourself in the couple's shoes. How much should a guest of your stature give you without being branded a cheapskate? Also consider your relationship with the couple. If you're good friends of the couple's parents, you'll probably shell-out more than if you were simply the bride's Girl Friday.
Q. Could I skip the ceremony and head straight to the reception?
A. You can. BUT you shouldn't! You are invited to THE wedding -- that's the part where they exchange their "I dos." The reception is where the Receiving Line is. You can't be 'received' if you are already seated in the hall, right? "Patay-gutom" is too harsh a word and we assure you that it's by no means what anyone would think if indeed you decide to go straight to the reception. But admit that it struck a nerve just mentioning the word in that context, isn't it?
Q. Speaking of the Receiving Line, what should be the proper greeting?
A. Here's the rule: Say "Congratulations" to the groom and "Best Wishes" to the bride. The reason behind is that "congrats" implies that someone has caught something or won a prize, and it is rather improper to imply that the bride "caught" the man who married her. If this rule gets mixed-up in your head come wedding day, just say the two phrases together and look at both of them. That usually works!
Likewise, saying "Good Luck!" no matter how pure your wishes are will also sound very inappropriate for obvious reasons.
Q. Nice try, but what if the couple makes a Grand Entrance and left the Receiving Line to their parents? What then should I tell them? Note that I don't even know which sets of parents are whose.
A. Didn't we tell you already not to skip the ceremony? The bride and groom usually walk alongside their respective parents at the very start!
Anyway, make your pleasantries short and sweet. Shake their hands and say "Hello! I'm (your name) and I went to school with (name of bride/groom) in (school's name)/an officemate of (name of bride/groom) at (name of company)."They usually respond with "Nice meeting you." Just smile, nod politely, and move on to the next person. If one replies "Hi! I've heard so much about you!", simply smile and nod just the same. No lengthy conversation; just make small talk at most. If you can't find the words to say, just smile again, nod politely, and move.
Q. During the banquet, is there anything I need to know?
A. Nowadays, the Reception Program usually have the guests on each table stand up and have their picture taken with the couple before being led to the buffet. This is done to resolve two issues of past weddings: (a) for the couple's convenience and skip the tiring Table-Hopping ritual just to have their picture taken with all their guests; and (b) for the guests' convenience so they won't have to wait very long for their turn in the buffet line.
Keep in mind that Buffet is NOT synonymous with "Eat-All-You-Can." Do not pile your plate full. Be courteous of those who have yet to be served. Don't worry. You can easily go for seconds.
Q. I'm used to a Buffet setting, but what if it's a formal Sit-Down Dinner?
Which fork do I start with again?
A. You're on your own, pal. Watch "Pretty Woman" again and see how Julia Roberts
nailed it!


The Meaning of R.S.V.P.

What RSVP Means
The term RSVP comes from the French expression "répondez s'il vous plaît", meaning "please respond". If RSVP is written on an invitation it means the invited guest must tell the host whether or not they plan to attend the party. It does not mean to respond only if you're coming, and it does not mean respond only if you're not coming (the expression "regrets only" is reserved for that instance). It means the host needs a definite head count for the planned event, and needs it by the date specified on the invitation.
Why It's Inconsiderate to Not RSVP
An incomplete list of respondents can cause numerous problems for a host including difficulty in planning food quantities, issues relating to minimum guarantees with catering halls, uncertainty over the number of party favors and difficulties in planning appropriate seating, among other things.
So the next time you see RSVP on an invitation you receive, please call your host and respond promptly.


Don't Be The Wedding Pest

by Charlene Fernandez from Manila Bulletin Online
Manners are one of the things we take for granted, but which we notice the absence of. Consider this: do you think "Do unto others as you want others to do unto you" is limited to the concept of sin? If so then manners represent an area where we sin against each other on a daily basis, and when the sin is committed at someone else’s wedding, it’s hard to make penance. A lack of basic manners shows a lack of moral fiber, because you can’t be bothered to behave well towards others. Worse, if you don’t know that you are offending others, then you’re committing the worst sin of all: ignorance. (Are you hearing your lola now? Good!)
And now that that lecture is out of the way, let’s fight ignorance by discussing what are the worst social sins you can commit at a wedding.
• When you receive the invitation, immediately RSVP (if you don’t know what RSVP is, it comes from a French term, "respondez s’il vous plait", which roughly translates into "Please respond to let us know whether you will attend"). Donna Pilato of explains, "If R.S.V.P. is written on an invitation it means the invited guest must tell the host whether or not they plan to attend the party. It does not mean to respond only if you’re coming, and it does not mean respond only if you’re not coming (the expression "regrets only" is reserved for that instance). It means the host needs a definite head count for the planned event, and needs it by the date specified on the invitation."
Pinoys are notorious for not RSVPing, and when they travel or migrate to other parts of the world, are confused when foreign hosts are infuriated by them showing up without RSVPing. Wedding guests should never assume they’re so important that: a) their attendance can be taken for granted, or b) they can ignore the invitation and show up if and when they feel like it. Couples have enough stress planning for weddings; guests shouldn’t contribute to this stress by not RSVPing, thus causing the couple to agonize over whether to count you in or not. Think of it this way: RSVPing is a small gift to a couple, because it helps them with their preparations. Since it’s their special day, don’t they deserve more consideration than you, the guest?
• When you RSVP, pay attention to whom the invitation is addressed—whether it’s for you (and no one else), to you and your partner, or to you, your partner and your children. Make sure about this! Pinoys have the appalling habit of thinking that if one person in a family is invited, everyone is. Perhaps that’s true in the countryside (where big weddings are de rigeur), but never assume that of any couple, especially in Manila. If a guest brings everyone in his or her family to a wedding, what happens to the couple’s budget? Just because guests give the couple a present doesn’t mean they have the right to make the couple "pay" for it by bringing a truckload of relatives and friends with them. What this behavior says to the couple is that the guest doesn’t care about their feelings…so they shouldn’t be surprised when they’re never invited again to the couple’s succeeding events.
• Dress appropriately. If the couple invites you to a theme wedding and you don’t want to appear in costume, either turn the invitation down gently or explain your objections before you show up at their medieval-inspired wedding dressed in a casual outfit. Also, a wedding is not a place to show skin. No guest has the right to upstage the bride (enough said), and if a guest can’t understand the reason for this, then perhaps s/he should never be invited to weddings.
• If you’re allowed to bring your kids to the wedding and they aren’t part of the bridal entourage, keep them under control! A wedding is a celebration of a new life together, not of your children. Too many Pinoys think that having children entitles them to free babysitting services from all and sundry. People who expect other guests to take care of their children are boors; what gives them the right to assume that everyone will be delighted to take care of their misbehaving offspring? This is especially crucial in the church; if a guest loves God, then s/he will not allow their kids to ruin the solemnity of the ritual with their antics. Misbehaving children should be taken out of the church immediately, or left at home altogether.
• Don’t stage your own dramatic scene at the wedding or the reception, even if you see your ex (in the arms of the person who stole her or him away from you) or people you detest (enough to start World War III with). If you don’t know why you shouldn’t do this, then you don’t deserve your invitation!
• The worst thing a guest can do is to skip the ceremony and beat the couple to the reception area! This action tells them, "I don’t really care about you; I’m here for the food." In addition to being insufferably rude, the ceremony is the most important part of the wedding so if a guest really cares about the couple, why miss it?
• A reception is not a place to sell life insurance policies, make-up, or anything else. Regardless of what some disreputable marketing agencies tell you, a wedding is not composed of many sale prospects; it’s made up of people who have the right not to be molested by sales talk at a beautiful celebration. Don’t put the couple on the spot either by asking them if you can leave company brochures at the reception tables. Wedding suppliers are discreet about this, and you should be, too.
• If the reception includes speeches, please don’t talk to your seatmates or on your cell phone while a speech is in progress. Boring or maudlin as they may sometimes be, these speeches mean a lot to the couple, and the least you can do is to listen.
• If you’re invited to the bouquet or garter toss, just stand up and go where the couple asks you to go. Just indulge the couple, and try not to hurt anyone else standing near you when jockeying for the bouquet. Don’t be the type of female guest who wastes the couple’s time by acting cute and pretending not to want the bouquet (then elbowing everyone out of the way when the flowers are tossed).
• If the reception features a buffet, don’t pile your plate then leave behind what you don’t like. Take only a little at a time; there’s no need to hoard food as you can always come back for more. If it’s a sit-down meal, don’t badger the waiters for extra servings. The reception isn’t about your stomach, so wait a bit then stop by a fast food shop on the way home.
• Speaking of receptions, unless the couple invites you to do so, do NOT ask for "take home" food, even if there are a lot of leftovers. You’re the guest, sure, but it’s the couple that matters most on this day. Tired of hearing me say that? That’s because it’s true, so get over yourself and show some consideration!
• When you leave the reception (especially if you have to leave early), be sure to personally thank the couple before leaving. Ninety percent of all guests forget this little token of good manners, and yet it’s the gesture couples appreciate the most.
• And the tackiest thing to avoid? No matter how horrible the celebration turned out for you, you have no right to badmouth the wedding. Shut up! The couple will probably already be upset about the bad food or the leaky venue; don’t add to their misery by e-mailing everyone on your list about what cheap hosts they were. Lola always said, "If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!" And this certainly applies to a wedding

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wedding Website [Official] [NOT YET LIVE]

Wedding Rings

To Be Finalized...

Wedding Favors [Principal Sponsors]

To Be Finalized...

Wedding Favors [Guests]

To Be Finalized...

Wedding Favors [Entourage]

To Be Finalized...

Wedding Favors [Parents]

To Be Finalized...

Reception Band

To Be Finalized...

Mobile Bar

To Be Finalized...

Entourage [Boutonniere]

To Be Finalized...

Entourage [Hair and Make-Up]

To Be Finalized...

Groom’s Boutonniere

To Be Finalized...

Bridal Hair and Make-Up

To Be Finalized...

Entourage [Gowns Couturier]

To Be Finalized...

Entourage [Flowers]

To Be Finalized...

DIY Wedding Accessories

Candles + Match
Bible Cover

Offertory Candles
Offertory Things

Ring Holder (for Ring Bearers)
Flower Holders (for Flower Girls)

Wedding Garter

To Be Finalized...

Ceremony Florist

To Be Finalized...

Ceremony Choir

To Be Finalized...

Bridal Bouquet

To Be Finalized...

Wedding Theme: Vintage Romantic

To Be Finalized...

Wedding Soundtrack [Official]

To Be Finalized...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Palawan Escapade

view from the top

Location: Puerto Princesa, Palawan Philippines
Date: December 2012
Camera: iPhone 4s

Thankful for being able to travel with him and my family. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Church Hunting: Christ the King Cathedral, Tagum City

Name: Christ the King Cathedral
Location: Gonzales Ave. 8100 Tagum City, Davao del Norte
Contact No: (84) 218-5492
Notes: big church, non-aircon, enough parking space, don't really like the exterior and interior design of the whole church

Church Hunting: Sacred Heart of Jesus Quasi Parish, Tagum City

Name: Sacred Heart of Jesus Quasi Parish
Location: Apokon, Tagum City, Davao del Norte
Notes: open church, non-aircon, big parking space, perfect for intimate wedding ceremony

Keep Calm, It's Only a Wedding

The phrase that I need to remind myself of. My gulay! I never thought that planning a wedding has never been this stressful. Reading wedding threads, browsing magazines, doing research on motifs, perfect-yet-reasonable suppliers, churches, reception venue, even to the tiniest details of finding a perfect boutonniere. I can't help it. My mind keeps on thinking about wedding-related stuff up to the minute details. I dunno, maybe I'm just this person who's really into details ugh!

Anyway, we're planning to set our wedding on Summer 2014. Yes, I will be a Summer Bride.:) and that's 14 months from now. They said that I still have plenty of time to prepare. Being an overseas bride? 14 months is still too short, I guess. Oh well, I'm trying my best to keep calm throughout the preparation. So I'm wishing and praying  that everything will be fine when that day comes. Lord, please do guide us throughout the wedding preps and please do bless us with the perfect yet affordable suppliers hehe. Amen.

I've been trying also to remind myself of this phrase from one of the wedding blogs that I read, and I think that this is also important to everyone who's going to marry soon, "It's not about the wedding. It's about the marriage."

Friday, January 11, 2013

Wedding Gown Ideas

Here are some of the bridal gown ideas that I'm eyeing on. I prefer to use champagne color for my gown instead of the traditional white. I think that it looks more classy, elegant, and suits my skin color. Opted for tube neckline to highlight my shoulders though still thinking if I'm going to have a mermaid bottom or a-line, hmmm...

Bachelorette Party Ideas

Here are some cool ideas for a bachelorette party. Wish I could have mine in one of these. Calling all my girlfriends haha! :D

pinned via
Little Black Dress Bachelorette Party pinned via

bachelorette party morning after mugshots
pinned via

Wedding Motif

pinned via

I initially opted for Vintage-Travel Themed wedding since my fiance and I both love to travel but I noticed that it's pretty common so I've decided to do more research and bumped into this palette which I fell in love instantly. A Vintage-Romantic Themed wedding would be perfect. It's very feminine, pink affair, but not in the sickly sweet sense. We have chosen dusty pink as a base colour and mixed it with shades of peach, taupe and sage. Not too bright and not too boring. Excellent palette for our summer wedding.:)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It Happened One Day...

Sharing with you our first photo as a couple. He's 23. I am 20.
July 18, 2006. We're official. ;)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

We're Engaged!

Pardon the ring, we have no idea that it should be worn on the left ring finger haha!
The other ring by the way is our property ring (been wearing it since 2007). Yup, Keep Out! ;D

After 6 and a half years of friendship and dating, and after asking for our parents' blessing, we are glad to announce that We're Engaged! :)

Boe proposed to Arne on a weekend trip to Hanoi, Vietnam last September 2012 at Halong Bay while on a night cruise. The trip was made to celebrate their 6th anniversary. The engagement was not expected. He proposed. She said, Yes.:)

The Story:
It was exactly 9:20pm, He asked her to come with him at the deck. Then, he said, "Maganda ba ang view?", she said, "Oo..". "Masaya ka ba?" he asked again, "Oo naman, anong nangyayari sayo?" she replied anxiously. Then, he knelt down on one knee, facing her with an enchanting smile, blushing slightly, he revealed the hidden gift from his back. She was shocked. Her cheeks started to redden, started shaking, and said, "Anooo toooo?!?". He said, "Open it". She was surprised. It was a teddy bear holding a box. When she opened it, it was a diamond ring nestled snugly into the velvet lining of the case. He said, "Ga, will you marry me?". Looking at the ring, she didn't utter any word at first. The ring was so elegant so pure. It was like her calling. Her face clouded with emotion – love. Teary-eyed, her face broke into a rare smile, and said "Oo naman." He stood up facing her. He inserted the ring onto her finger. She hugged him. They kissed. She was his, forever his.:)