Happy Ever After {Part Deux}

My wedding day was truly a product of love.

The H and I decided we wanted to be very hands on, hence we decided to forego hiring a coordinator, which was all the rage during that time.  We instead relied on the help of close friends and family, who we assigned roles prior to and during the wedding ceremony.  It was also our way of telling them how much they meant to us, by having them take part in our special day.

To give the wedding our personal touch, we also did a lot of DIY.  I designed all the wedding invitations, missalettes, menus, placecards, table numbers and souvenirs.

The H and I also did all the cutting and assembling, and got some help from my “elves” at work :).  We saved a ton by doing so, and were able to spend more on other wedding essentials with the money we saved :).

Proof of the H doing the folding! Hahaha!

Doing my share of the work 🙂

What a dream come true our wedding was!  While I went through all the drama and the heartache that is part and parcel of wedding planning, in the end, it was all worth it, and I would so go through it all again 🙂  Hahaha! Not only did it bring the H and I even closer together, but we were able to prove that we could pull it off, with the help of those who were nearest and dearest to us.  Being the good children that we were, we were also able to orchestrate the wedding we wanted, but at the same time, made our parents happy with the outcome.

I vividly remember during both the ceremony and reception how many happy tears were shed by various members of my family and the guests as well.  It was nice to see how many people were touched by the events of that day.

Allow me to share with you some of the details of our wedding that I loved the most:

1. My Wedding Dress

My beautiful dress by Richie Ortega-Torres

My wedding dress was designed by Richie Ortega-Torres.  Working with her was so fun and easy–every bride’s dream!  What I especially liked about working with Richie is how she listens to her brides, and does not insist on her own ideas.  I don’t know how many designers I went to, who either insulted me by saying off the bat that I needed to lose weight, or who sketched designs that were totally NOT for my body type (uh hello!).  With Richie, I basically just told her what I wanted (a strapless gown in pina material), and she came up with several sketches for me based on my ideas.  Almost immediately I found a style that I thought suited my figure, and that was it!

As you will see in the photo above, the gown turned out fabulously!  The bodice and belt were fully beaded, and the beading at the hemline echoed the design of our invitation.  Richie also dyed the pina fabric a very, very light shade of pink to give it a unique touch.  In the end, I thought it was perfection!!!

Richie also designed and made all of the entourage gowns.  All my girls were very happy with their dresses, and that, in turn, made me really happy as well!  Richie was able to source this beautiful fabric from India, that draped and fell very nicely.  Not only were the dresses extremely comfortable, but they also had such a wonderful, dreamy look, and flowed with the girls’ every move.

Our beautiful entourage

2. Our Wedding Invitations, Missalette, Menu and Table Numbers

DIY Invitations

Our invitations were inspired by a design that I found in a wedding magazine.  I adapted and modified it a little, and came up with this.  The “folder” was printed in kraft board (I wanted to make use of recycled paper) which I personally sourced.  I wrapped a purple bandeau around it and sealed it with a sticker that carried our insignia.  To add a bit of elegance to the design, I added two crystals on either side of the sticker.

I really, really loved how these turned out!  I think I was pretty successful in achieving a sophisticated look, despite the use of recycled paper.


Menus for the Principal Sponsors

Table Numbers

To add another personal touch, I used photos of my niece G, as table numbers.  It was really fun having a photo shoot with her, and having her pose with numbers that went all the way up to 45!  Hahaha!  Since she was the only “apo” and niece I had then, she had the sole honor of being my table number model! 🙂

3. The Flowers and Set-up

One of the first suppliers we had booked for our wedding was the florist–advice from our married couple friends.  Unfortunately, while we had supposedly booked one of the best, he suddenly went missing and ran away with our money 😦

Despite the fact that we were pretty bummed about it, we ended up with an equally talented florist, who did such a great job with the bouquets, the table arrangements, and with draping the ceiling of the Manila Polo Club.

The bright boquets contrasted nicely with the subdued palette of the gowns.

All I can say is, when I entered that ballroom, I was completely speechless!

Floral centerpieces using different types of white ceramic containers

A picture of the ballroom. This is the only one I could find that gave justice to the draping.

4. The Wedding Cake and Dessert Buffet

The H and I looooooove desserts so one of our non-negotiables for this wedding was a dessert buffet, and I already had in mind Classic Confections to do it for us.

Baba's famous Calamansi Bars

Again, Baba Ibazeta-Benedicto, the owner, was such a joy to work with.  I must have just met with her twice, and she took over from there.  Her Banana Cream Pie and Nono’s Chocolate Oblivion were a smashing hit with my guests!

Our simple but elegant wedding cake

I love how Baba was able to incorporate details from my dress into our wedding cake.  The design was the same as the beaded embroidery of my hemline 🙂

Unfortunately, this is the only memory I have of my cake.  After the wedding, we entrusted it to MPC for the night with the instruction that it would be picked up the next day.  Come the following morning, they told us they “did not have it”.  Haaaaaay!  While I have my thoughts about what really happened to our cake, all I will say is, at least someone enjoyed it, even if it wasn’t me.  😦  Hahaha!

5. The Souvenirs

Originally, I didn’t want to have souvenirs but instead, wanted to donate the money to a charity on behalf of my guests.  My mom, however, thought it would be nice if the guests could walk away with a souvenir of my wedding day.

I am vehemently opposed to items that are useless and gather dust so if ever, the souvenir would have to be something practical like a food item.  Luckily, we were able to find just the thing!

We ended up giving out really yummy Pastillas de Leche wrapped in pabalat–a very intricately cut design on japanese paper.  The best thing about it is that we were able to find a product from a livelihood project that supported not only a small community near my home, but encouraged the re-birth of a dying Filipino tradition.  The “manangs” in the community were able to make and cut out a design of the H’s and my name on purple japanese paper and used this to wrap the Pastillas.  It was really quite exquisite and beautiful.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the pabalat, just a picture of them packaged in round containers.

The round thing my friend T is holding is the packaging of our souvenirs.

6. Our Non-Traditional Guest Book

I loved the idea of using Polaroids for a guest book.  Not a lot of people were doing this during that time so it was then a pretty unique idea.  Most people were still using the traditional signed guest books.  Luckily, I was one of the few who was able to get an actual Polaroid camera, before the company went bankrupt.  I also hoarded as much film as I could so that I could make sure that all my guests would have a chance to be photographed.  They loved it!  I also assigned my “single” cousins to the guest book so it gave them a chance to meet my other single friends–hahaha!

I love the "old school-ness" of Polaroids!

7. Our Special “Surprise” Guest

Oh eM Geeee!

Why am I so surprised in this picture and why is the H giving a big salute?  Well, he practically pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the night!  He got our friend Agot Isidro to sing our entrance song!  Boy, was I totally shocked! It was so unexpected, and I am amazed, to this day, that he was able to keep something of this magnitude from me.  Usually, I can sniff surprises a mile away.  Hahaha!

The uber gorgeous and talented Agot Isidro

8. Our Photographer 

Aside from the Church and the reception area, a good photographer is one of the first suppliers one must confirm when getting married.  Today, there are many talented and affordable ones to choose from, but during my time, there were a select few, and all of them difficult to book.

I am very fortunate that I was able to get Pat Dy, one of my top choices.  Looking at his portfolio, I loved his shot selection, and the way he captured candid moments.  Loving photography the way I do, I felt that Pat would do a great job chronicling the special details of our wedding–and that he did!  From the onsite video to the actual album, Pat’s pictures were sooooo good!  All my guests were in awe, and to this day, I myself do not tire of looking at my wedding pictures :).

Despite the fact that the photographs were pretty pricey, the H and I thought that it was well worth it.  Again, a good photographer was a non-negotiable for us, so paying a premium was something that we did not regret 🙂

With our photographers, Pat and Francis 🙂

9. The Heartwarming Speeches

Lastly, and to cap off this post on my wedding, the thing I loved the most was listening to the heartwarming speeches from our Best Men, from our Maids of Honor, and then from our parents.

The Besties

Sistahs = Love 🙂

There was such an outpouring of love for both the H and I that we were truly touched by everyone’s words.  There were funny moments, “awwwww” moments, and sniffle moments–all in all contributing to making the night more special and complete.  I loved that despite the size of the wedding, we were able to achieve the intimacy of a smaller wedding because of the closeness of the guests and the love that permeated throughout the room. *Big Sigh*

And with that, I’d like to finally end this post by thanking you for patiently taking this trip down memory lane with me.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did :).  I think I’ll be on a wedding high for a while…Hahaha!


16 responses to “Happy Ever After {Part Deux}

  1. So beautiful. Stay right on that wedding high! Lovely post.

  2. i love your blog, miss mia! and i love your diy invites and misalette. i would like to know what kind of printer did you used to print them? my wedding’s next year and i am contemplating of having a diy invites and misalettes, too! 🙂

    • Hi Lowela! Thank you for the compliment and for reading my blog 🙂 For the pages of my misalette, I just used a black and white inkjet printer. For the cover, since I used kraft board, I had to go to an offset printer talaga to have it printed. I suggest that if you are open to using C2S board, you can have your misalette covers printed in YZA at the UP shopping center. They have good laser printers, and they’re pretty affordable compared to other printers. Good luck with your wedding planning! 🙂

  3. Hi, we plan on having our wedding at Manila polo club too. May I know whether you had the buffet or sit down menu? And how was the food? They don’t have a package for drinks, so I was wondering how you worked around that. I also love your DIY invites, if only I had the talent and patience. May I know who your florist is? Thanks and would appreciate your help since I’m planning this from overseas.

    • Hi Starr! We had the buffet menu, and it was actually quite good! Our guests gave us positive feedback 🙂 I actually would recommend you get the buffet versus the sit down menu because it’s more bang for your back. For the sit down menu, you’re actually paying more for the waitstaff rather than the number of food items. For drinks, I think our package may have come with iced tea and softdrinks. So sorry I’m not so sure about this 😦 For the liquor, we brought it in ourselves and just had to pay for the corkage. My florist was Jing Tanada. She was actually pretty good and easy to deal with. Good luck with your wedding planning, and congratulations in advance! 🙂

  4. Thanks Mia! I’ll definitely go for the buffet na, the menu looks really good compared to the sit down. Thanks for all your help! You also mentioned that you designed your invite. Do you design professionally coz we plan to do a DIY invite too, so maybe you can help us then we can just print this ourselves.

    • Hi Starr, you’re most welcome 🙂 Unfortunately, I don’t do the design stuff professionally–mostly just for myself or for family 😦 Good luck with that, though! Try getting inspiration online! There are so many wonderful ideas that can get you started 🙂

  5. Michelle Betito

    Hi Mia! Just came across your wedding blog 😉 It was truly fun to read.. I liked your gown as well your entourage’s.. Were they reasonably priced? May I know how much you spent for them? Hoping for your kind response 😉 Thanks so much !

    • Hi Mitch! Thank you for reading my blog, and for the compliments on my gown and the entourage’s gown. I guess you can say that when I got married 5 years ago, my gown was a bit on the pricier side. But that was because the material I chose was pina, and the bodice and bottom of the dress were not only embroidered, but fully beaded. Today, I think the price points are different and the price I paid may no longer be applicable. A lot depends on the designer you choose, the style of your dress, the fabric, as well as the details (beading, embroidery, etc.). Same goes for the entourage gowns. The price will depend on the same things I mentioned above. If you pay around 4-7k though, that should be reasonable already. You’re actually lucky though because there are so much more suppliers nowadays than there was when I got married. I think you will be able to find dressmakers that can suit your budget, depending on how grand or simple you want things to be :). Good luck with everything! Hope I was helpful 🙂

  6. Hi Ms. Mia,

    Thank you for sharing your wedding preps with us.

    We’re having difficulty planning ours since we are on a tight budget. We knew getting married would be expensive but we didn’t realize it would be THIS expensive!

    We still haven’t found a designer we can afford yet. We’re thinking of designing our own invitations like you did. May I ask where did you source your paper boards from?

    Thank you for your advice and tips.

    XOXO 🙂

    • Hi Bunny!

      My apologies for the late reply. I was looking for all my wedding suppliers’ information, but unfortunately, I could not find the one for my paper suppliers 😦 If I remember correctly, however, the kraft/recycled boards I got from Triplex along Pasong Tamo, and for the cream boards, I got them at Paper Star Corporation. If I’m not mistaken they are located near Araneta Avenue.

      Good luck with your wedding! Hope this information was helpful to you 🙂

  7. Hello! I love your DIY wedding and I think your wedding invitations were very elegant. I would just like to ask though about your Manila Polo Club reception, is membership required to book their function halls? Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • Thanks for dropping by my blog, Belle! To answer your question, yes, membership is required to book the function halls, however, you don’t personally have to be the member. If you know someone who is a member, you can book a function room through them. However, the event will be billed to the member’s account, so it would be best if the member is a relative of yours, or a really good friend :).

  8. Elaine Magbiro

    HI Ms Mia, may I ask where I can buy kraft boards? I was inspired by your blog and would want to do my invites on my own, too. Hope you can send me email at eniale_22@yahoo.com. Thanks!

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