Friday, April 24, 2009

Real Weddings: Details Diva Goes to Bohol

Remar Balatero-Joelene Sarmiento

Baclayon Church
Bohol Tropics
Almost a year ago, I got an e-mail with the subject, “in desperate need of a wedding planner.” I was intrigued by the subject line and I immediately opened and read the message. One could sense the sender’s desperation and predicament. Briefly, she told me her difficult situation: 1. They are a couple based in California. 2. Both of them could spare only a few days in Manila before the actual wedding. 3. The wedding would be held in Bohol. 4. They expect 250 plus guests.

After sending her my standard wedding proposal with a few links featuring my most recent weddings, I got a follow-up e-mail from the bride – “I've spoken to numerous coordinators through the e-mail, but none have quite the experience and portfolio you have. I've spoken to many coordinators that just didn't mesh well with me, and now I feel like, judging from your e-mail and website galleries, I found THE one.” Now, tell me, who would not be flattered by that generous compliment? Even I, in my jaded, stoic self was so touched, and honored to be a part of her wedding.

Luckily, a huge load was taken off my back when I learned that Mimi and Karl, Madge Lejano, Veluz Reyes and Jason Magbanua were all included in the list of suppliers.

I visited Bohol twice for ocular inspection and to look for local suppliers who could furnish our other needs for the event. The wedding preparations were a breeze. Joelene, the bride, had a clear-cut vision of how she wanted the wedding to be. My inbox was filled with photos she gathered from all the websites and these were used as pegs -from the gown to the invitations, flowers and the reception. Everything neatly fell into place.

The details were, pardon my self-patronizing tone, downright elegant, coherent and exquisite.

Invitations. The purple, damask-laden invitation was rich and opulent. It featured a letterpressed main invitation with an RSVP page, entourage page, and liturgical participants page inserted into a lime green- lined envelope.
Chocolates. The two-layered Kitkat chocolate wafers were covered with specially designed wrappers that bore the purple damask prints of the invitations. These chocolates served as décor on the customized lime green linens. Individually, all the seated guests got significantly apt and different words (e.g., laughter, trust, desire, compromise, etc.) that semantically spell a happy and successful marriage. At the back of the chocolates were the pronunciation transcription enclosed in parentheses and a brief dictionary definition of the word. Truly, this ingenious touch was a conversation piece. Unity candle set. The crystals encrusted on the matches and candles were actually earrings snapped up from a thrift store. Add a silver ribbon and voila!, you have an instant expensive-looking unity candle set. Misalettes. The misalette covers were done plain lime green and plain purple. Adding interest to the misalette were metal ear hoops with a vintage feel.

Gown and bag. To say that Veluz did a geat job was an understatement. Joelene’s wedding gown was truly a fashion magnum opus. The moment she glided along the church aisle for her bridal march, a series of ooohs and ahhhs emanated from the guests. Apart from the jaw-dropping intricate details, what made the gown most amazing was the fact that Joelene never had a fitting not until a week before the wedding. The bag featured ostrich feathers and the same rosettes found on the wedding gown. Simply, Veluz outdid herself once again (as if this is even possible) proving time and again that you will never go wrong with great talent combined with sheer artistry. Gifts for the principal sponsors. The couple gifted their principal sponsors with a pack of social cards – something which they can use. Special silver gift wrappers covered the boxes which contained a matched set of 100 cards and 100 envelopes. The packaging was topped with a personalized gift tag and accentuated with purple ostrich feathers. Bridesmaids’ outfits. Since all the bridesmaids would come from the U.S., it was Joelene’s idea to buy their outfits online. It was also very thoughtful of the couple to give the female entourage members brooches to be used on the wedding day. Even the cute flower girls were provided with brooches. Notice the matching shoes of the female entourage members – very chic indeed! Bouquets. Each bouquet for the female entourage member had a special crystal trinket. This is another personal touch which was well appreciated by the bride’s friends.Cake and dessert table. Would you believe that the wedding cake cake was made of butter icing? From afar, the cake looked like it was made of fondant which is the common trend in wedding cakes. And with its intricate damask print design, one would expect fondant icing to be used. But no; upon closer inspection, it was made of butter icing! A dessert buffet was set around the cake table. Aptly labeled “Sweets for my sweet,” it offered a variety of decadently delectable desserts specially chosen by the bride and the groom. A hit among the guests was the R and J- shaped gingerbread cookies. Thanks to Ching Usares of Lola Lilia's for the scrumptious dessert spread and the intricate wedding cake. Floral arrangements. A great find in Tagbilaran, Bohol was the team of Joseph Dumadag and Michael Yu of Blue Grass Project who supplied all my floral requirements. The aisle of Baclayon Church was lined with white floral arrangement on lighted posts. For the reception, special white damask printed lamps and ornamental wood lamps from Manila were shipped all the way to Bohol. These lamps were decorated with clusters of white flowers. Customized green linens were made specifically for the 14-seater tables of Bohol Tropics. Specially designed table numbers and program cards adorned each guest table. The program cards contained the names and oft-quoted verses of famous poets. Four damask backlit posts topped with cascading white flowers served as the couple’s backdrop. Stairs. Of all the motifs, I liked most the love quotes which were placed strategically on the stairs leading to the reception area. These love quotes were specially handpicked by the bride. Photo Booth. If Mimi and Karl brought the Clique Booth to their own wedding in Bora, Joelene brought it to Bohol. Guests didn’t mind the long queue just to have their pictures taken. Bus ride. Since there were about 60 guests who came all the way from the U.S. (and some Manila-based guests), a bus shuttled all the guests from the resort where they stayed to the church and back to the reception venue. Wisely, every would-be bride should listen to what Joelene has learned from the pre-wedding experience-- one has to “let go” so one can enjoy her wedding. She trusted her suppliers and in return, she got the best (and more) from all of them.

Special thanks to Auntie Bettie for helping us with the logistics; Mae of Supreme Weddings and Chinkie Agregado for their expertise and indispensable assistance;. Ella and Joy for making sure that all wedding plans and details were carried out to the letter; Ryan Li for the tips in mounting a wedding in Bohol;. Veluz, Niko and Ate Lempot for the masterpiece and the pleasure of their company.( I appreciate as well their going out of their way to help us with the entourage outfits); Tetta for hosting the event in three languages – English, Filipino and Bisaya; Madge for leaving her comfort zone and doing an excellent job on Joelene; Jason for the well-received on- site video coverage; Mimi and Karl for the wonderful pictures and for recommending me to this wonderful couple. (Wow, I feel like I’m the bride here.). Lastly, on a serious note, thank you Joelene and Remar for your trust in me. It was a joy planning your wedding and I look forward to going with you to Disneyland in July.

Click here for M+K’s article on Remar and Joelene’s wedding.
Click here for the wonderful
write-up by Veluz.
Click here for
Jason Magbanua’s onsite AVP.


Madge Lejano said...

Ang wedding na walang stress puro pressure!

You did a great job ernest! Keep it up!

Pagan said...

Bravo, Goddess!!! As can be expected from you, the wedding details were fantastic. Congratulations on another successful wedding :o)

Ernest said...

Madge - Agree! This wedding is so laid back. Hope to have more weddings like this.

Pagan - Thanks for your kind words! Miss you!

judy g said...

Winner 'to! Love all the details! Ang cute ng pic nyo...3rd wheel ka! joke :D

Ernest said...

Judy - thanks for dropping by! I love what I did for this wedding too. I am writing na a blog about your wedding. =) See you in July.

Anonymous said...

Another beautiful wedding Ernest. Once again it reaffirms our decision to entrust our wedding planning to you. =) You never cease to amaze me, especially since the couple was based overseas like us. Only you can pull this off. xoxo Katrina

veluz said...

definitely one of the best weddings I've been to :-)
thank you Joelene and Remar for the wonderful memories and hats off to you my dear Ernest for making everything oh so fabulous! mwah!

Krishna said...

I have read this blog post pati ung mga links over a million times now..ok exag lang.. mga thousands.. hehe..

Love it love it love it.. I'm in super good hands..

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