It’s been a month since the Cupcake and I tied the knot, and I’ve been intending to write about all the details and suppliers of our wedding—just to relive that magical day, share with you the little elements that add so much more meaning, and give credit to all the wonderful suppliers-turned-friends who have helped make such a beautiful dream wedding come true. But if I had to be completely honest, this is something that I’m doing for myself—so that years from now, when I look back at how incredible our wedding was, I took the time to document every single thing about it.
Just a fair warning—this will be a very long post (Haha!), but like I said: I want to be able to look back and remember all the happy feelings and memories that come along with it.
I’ve mentioned this several times, but the reason we decided to get married in Sta. Rita de Cascia Parish was because not only was the Cupcake baptized there, it was also his childhood church. He’s been hearing mass in this church every Sunday with his family growing up, and when we got together, I’d sometimes hear mass with them, too!
We have plans of settling in the area eventually, and just thinking about hearing mass in this church every Sunday with the Cupcake and our future family makes me giddy. Imagine being able to tell our future kids, “This is where we got married!”
When the Cupcake and I began acquiring all the requirements needed, one person we always met with was Glenn, who’s part of the parish office administration. He was always so helpful and accommodating, especially when it came to completing our marriage requirements.
One thing I liked about Sta. Rita de Cascia Parish (apart from having air-conditioning and a more intimate feel as compared to cathedrals and bigger churches) was that they also provided the flowers to be placed along the aisle. There were two choices, but the one I really liked were the calla lilies. Days before the wedding, the point person assigned to buy the flowers, Marimar, assured us that if there were calla lilies available, she’d get them. This also made it easier to visualize how I wanted our ceremony to be styled, which I’ll get to when I start talking about the event styling!
Another thing I love about Sta. Rita de Cascia Parish? They allowed Booboo (and my brother’s dog, Motchi) to attend our ceremony—provided that they were behaved! Because of this, I bought a barong for Booboo from BEST Paws Pet Shop (for only P250!), and my sister asked for extra cloth from my entourage gown designer and made a gown for Motchi.
A lot of people (mostly my family) expected that I’d cry as soon as I started walking down the aisle. Even I expected myself to cry! Surprisingly, I was smiling from ear to ear the entire time. As soon as the doors opened and I heard Manila String Machine playing my bridal march (Belle of the Boulevard by Dashboard Confessional), my heart wanted to explode from excitement! I couldn’t see people clearly because of my veil, but I could feel all their eyes on me. A tip to upcoming brides? Walk slowly and take your time! I almost forgot about this until my wedding coordinator whispered from the side to walk slower. Haha!
MARRIAGE OFFICIANT: Bishop Socrates Villegas
I shared this story on Facebook, but for the sake of consistency, I’ll share it on the blog as well. September 13, 2019 was truly the day my dream wedding came true.
There was supposed to be a thunderstorm that day. But my mom, the Cupcake, and I offered eggs at Monasterio Real de Sta. Clara two days before and prayed for good weather. We also prayed that Bishop Socrates Villegas would be able to officiate our wedding.
See—a few months ago, with the help of my Ninong Randy (one of my dad’s best friends, my Tita’s husband, and also one of our Principal Sponsors), we drove up to Pangasinan to ask if he could, and he agreed. But after that, we weren’t able to keep in touch as much.
Weddings are about compromising sometimes, and I knew it meant a lot to the Cupcake if we got married in his childhood church. And while the Cupcake got his church, I wanted to get Bishop Soc. He was the one who officiated my First Communion, my Confirmation, my Grade School Graduation Mass, and my High School Graduation Mass. I thought it would have been full circle if he also officiated my Marriage.
Not knowing if he was going to be there or not, I went about the day very happy, calm, and collected. Planning the wedding was a process I truly enjoyed because of how hands-on the Cupcake was. While I did more of the “pretty and fun” things (like researching on suppliers, booking my glam team, putting together the mood board, and working with my sister and cousin on the logo and invitations), he was actually the one who would talk to our coordinator and suppliers more. It was very easy for me to let go that day, because I trusted the Cupcake and our suppliers so much.
I woke up early to have a heavy breakfast. I got to eat a nice lunch. Preparations were such a breeze, and the photo shoot with my family and entourage was so fun. When we left the hotel for the church, I wasn’t nervous at all. I was more excited that I’d finally be able to walk down the aisle.
We had a backup priest in case Bishop wouldn’t be able to make it. But while I was waiting in the car and Baby Cheng (the Cupcake’s youngest brother and one of his Bestmen) or my coordinator would check on me once in a while before the march began, they both told me that Bishop was there—and that he actually arrived an hour before our ceremony. That was the only time I cried. Haha!
Photos grabbed from Day One Project
I loved his very personal homily for us, and I’ll never forget it. I’ll forever be thankful that despite everything, he still took the time to be there for us.
PREPARATIONS + RECEPTION AND SIT-DOWN DINNER: Seda Vertis North
Because our ceremony was held in Sta. Rita de Cascia Parish, the Cupcake and I both agreed that the most practical venue for our preparations and reception was Seda Vertis North, which was a quick 10-minute drive away from the church. We didn’t want our guests to have a hard time, especially since some of them flew in from different parts of the world. The hotel also had a ballroom big enough to accommodate our 200 guests, and the clean and minimalist look of Seda incidentally matched the wedding look I was going for.
Photo grabbed from Seda Vertis North
The Cupcake and I initially thought our guest list would reach about 150 people max, but seeing as this is the first wedding on both sides of the family, it was quite a big deal for everyone. We wanted all our family, friends, and loved ones to be there.
The day before the wedding, we checked in our respective rooms. I was given a corner suite, and for easier logistics, they placed the Cupcake on the same floor about two rooms away. My suite was also connected to my cousin/Bridesmaid’s room, so wedding preparations were convenient since we had a lot of space.
The night before the wedding, I requested Seda to deliver breakfast to my room at 6:15am, since I planned to wake up and shower by 6am, and my glam team would be arriving anytime between 6:30 to 7am. From there, time seemed to have flown by so quickly, and I found myself ordering room service for everybody’s lunch as well.
Our sit-down dinner was a 4-course meal that included Prawn Salad with Mixed Leaf Bouquet and Balsamic Vinaigrette; Cream of Mushroom Soup with Truffle Scent; Roasted US Tenderloin with French Beans, Garlic Mash, and 3-Peppercorn Reduction; and Glazed Chocolate Pave Layered with Matcha Tea Infused Ganache and Raspberry. For guests who didn’t eat meat, we replaced their main course with Seared Norwegian Salmon with Saffron Mashed Potato, Roasted Bell Pepper, and Coconut Cream Sauce. We also served a special menu for kids—Fried Chicken with Steamed Rice. Seda served unlimited coffee and tea throughout the evening, too!
Photos from our food tasting last July 19, 2019
The Cupcake and I weren’t fans of the soup bowl, so we requested to change it to something more formal for the wedding.
Actual photos of our sit-down dinner (by Ian Villar):
WEDDING COORDINATOR: Day One Project
When the Cupcake and I were deciding on a wedding coordinator, I initially wanted to get an on-the-day, because I knew we’d be very hands-on in planning—but he insisted on getting mid-way, just so that we could already meet with them as early as three or four months before the wedding. Once we booked our church, reception venue, photographer, and videographer, I did my research, asked friends for recommendations, and even went to a bridal fair to compare rates. Angela Silan of Day One Project was immediately my first choice, primarily because three different friends who attended three different weddings highly recommended them. One was actually the one and only Maan Fernandez (also my Bridesmaid!), who is friends with Angela, and the other was Hannah Bernabe (my college blockmate, calligrapher, and our Cord Sponsor).
As soon as we booked Angela, we had an initial meeting with one of her staff back in October 2018 mostly to discuss timelines and marriage requirements. The only reason we couldn’t meet her back then was because she was due to give birth to her super adorable baby, who I fondly call Milk Tea Baby (because he has such big eyes that look like pearls!). We had a Viber group as well, where I’d randomly consult Angela on different suppliers.
We finally met Angela in person late June or early July—to go through a more detailed timeline, and to start drafting the wedding program. She also listed down tasks that we needed to accomplish before our next meeting (which included booking our lights, sounds, and LED wall supplier; providing Day One with our guests’ numbers for the RSVP; sending out our invitations; filing our marriage license; scheduling our food tasting and ocular with our event stylist; and having a barong made for the Cupcake).
Our third meeting was on July 19 at Seda Vertis North. In the morning, the Cupcake and I had our food tasting, and then it was followed by an ocular with Angela and our event stylist, Kirae Salanguit of Passion Cooks. It’s a super small world that Angela and Kirae are close friends, and Kirae happens to be a good friend of the one and only Maan Fernandez again! Kirae even got Maan to be her Flower Girl two years ago when she got married, and I remember that time vividly because Maan had her gown delivered to Calyxta, and I watched her fit it! That meeting in Seda was incredibly fun and memorable, because it was like having casual and comfortable conversations with two people I felt like I’ve known for a while, when in reality I had just met them!
Our third meeting with Angela took place on August 21, and it was with the Cupcake’s older brother, Kuya Jake, since he was our wedding host. We went through the wedding program together, and finalized other details. The last meeting was over a call on September 3—and it was to complete things we needed to buy for the mass, like our offertory baskets, etc. Angela gave a really encouraging pep talk as well—about how the day goes by so fast, so just savor each moment and completely enjoy it. No need to worry about anything else, because that’s her job. Even before her pep talk, I had no worries at all—because I knew that the Cupcake and I were in good hands.
During the wedding day itself, I felt so spoiled. I had a Bride Manager, Joyce, who assisted me in everything. She held my phone, made sure I had an extra pair of comfortable shoes in her bag just in case my feet hurt, would give me water or mint whenever I requested, made sure I ate, helped me pee when I was already wearing my gown, and sewed the bustle of my gown to strengthen it because my train kept falling.
I know some brides have had their horror stories during their wedding day, but I honestly can’t think of anything to share about mine. I felt like I was on cloud nine from the moment I woke up, up until I went to bed after the after-party—and I can’t thank Angela and her team enough for that. I’m really glad that through this wedding experience, I got to meet people like Angela and Kirae, who have become my friends. To be honest, one of the things I miss about the wedding, aside from being a bride (Haha!), is them! It makes me want to get married to the Cupcake all over again—just so I can do a repeat of working with our wonderful suppliers.
BRIDAL GOWN: Rosenthal Tee
A while back, I wrote a blog post: Custom vs. RTW Gown – Which Do You Prefer? I mentioned that I’ve always had a clear idea of how I wanted my wedding gown to look like—minimalist, timeless, and had a structured silhouette.
To give myself a better idea, and to see if the cut and shape I liked would complement my frame, I visited Rosa Clara and fitted a few designs similar to the wedding look I wanted. I briefly considered getting an RTW gown from them, but with every gown I tried, I noticed that there was something I wanted to alter or change. And in the end, I decided that maybe RTW just wasn’t for me.
Just a few of the beautiful gowns I fitted at Rosa Clara Greenbelt (first two photos) and S Maison (third photo)
When I was sure of my decision, I consulted with the Cupcake’s good friend, Rosenthal Tee, who sketched my gown’s design and incorporated her aesthetic. Even though I already had a specific vision, I still wanted to get her opinion and see what recommendations she had. In the end, we found a good balance and came out with the sketch! Chantal (Rosenthal’s nickname) suggested to use Mikado silk together with French lace, and added the bow detail—which I loved so much! She also made sure I had pockets!
I was first measured in February, and then again in May because I lost weight after being extra active in playing Ultimate Frisbee. It took only two fittings before I picked up my gown two weeks before the wedding.
During my first fitting in June
After months of trying to visualize how my gown would look like, fitting it for the first time and seeing how it turned out surpassed all expectations I had. It turned out to be the most breathtaking gown I had ever seen.
During my second fitting in August
I was so mesmerized by the minimalist design and the subtlety of the French lace. I can’t thank Chantal enough for producing such a dream wedding gown. Pardon me for using the word dream a lot, but a lot of things I envisioned about our wedding found a way to all come true!
BRIDAL SHOES: Kate Spade
I shared the story of my bridal shoes in a separate blog post here. Since my style has always been very minimalist, I wanted my shoes to translate this—and seeing the Sela Heels from Kate Spade felt like “the one” just by looking at photos on Pinterest.
During my two fittings with Rosenthal Tee, I always made sure to bring my shoes—just so I could practice walking in them while wearing my gown.
I wore these shoes the whole time during the ceremony, but decided to change into a more comfortable pair for the reception that made it easier to walk around and dance all night!
BRIDAL MAKEUP: Jake Galvez + BRIDAL HAIR: Mong Amado
I shared this story on Instagram as well—as a makeup artist, I initially wanted to do my own makeup—but the Cupcake suggested I get someone else instead, so that I wouldn’t have to stress over it. I only had two people in mind to do my hair and makeup on my wedding day—Mong Amado and Jake Galvez, who I’ve worked with for several Calyxta cover girl shoots (including Lauren Reid, Andi Eigenmann, Maggie Wilson, and Iza Calzado). I’ve always been a fan of their work, and I knew I’d be comfortable with them. Mong did my hair for our pre-nup photoshoot but Jake, even without trial, I trusted completely as well. I knew he’d give me that bridal glow while still making me look like me.
Photo grabbed from Jake Galvez
For my hairstyle during preparations, I wanted loose beach waves with volume—so Mong used extensions to add more drama. My ceremony hairstyle was a sleek chignon to match the minimalist design of my gown. Lastly, for the reception, I just wanted my hair down naturally but still with volume.
BRIDAL PAJAMAS: Simple Sew
Growing up, I’ve always been a pajama girl. I don’t wear shorts or nightgowns, because I get cold easily. And the reason pajamas became associated with me in our family was because there were summers after school, and even weekends after work, that I’d spend the entire day wearing my pajamas.
Pajama Crew with my Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids at my bachelorette weekend in Seoul
It was precisely this reason that I decided to forego the traditional bridal robe, and opted to wear silk pajamas instead. I also wanted to wear similar pajamas with my parents and siblings for our family shoot during the wedding preparations. My mom ordered everything from Simple Sew, which is the business of my uncle’s wife (my uncle happens to be the DJ at our wedding, and their kids were our Flower Girl and Ring Bearer!).
BRIDAL CAR (AND DRIVER!): Family Car + Chino Fragada
The Cupcake and I had always agreed that we’d be using their family car as my bridal car. And then a few months before the wedding when we were thinking of who would drive it, his brothers, Kuya Jake and Baby Cheng (who I’m really close to!), offered to drive for me. I thought it was a really cute idea.
A day before the wedding though, we found out that one person from our video crew and my Bridal Manager had to be in the car with me—so it was Kuya Jake who had to give up his slot in the car. Everything turned out okay though, because he still had a huge part at our wedding as our host (plus he surprised us with a couple of song numbers!).
WEDDING RINGS: Orogem
Our wedding rings were actually the gift of my parents. My mom had them made by a local suki jeweller, and after her experience working in the jewelry industry in Los Angeles, I knew I could more than trust her when it came to her supplier.
I’ve always been attracted to a half-eternity ring, especially after seeing different pegs on Pinterest. So they custom-designed a half-eternity with 13 diamonds on a white gold band—13 to represent the Cupcake’s and my special number! It exquisitely matched the engagement ring that the Cupcake bought from Miladay. Meanwhile, the Cupcake’s peg was a simple, thick, white gold band that had a matte finish. Both rings were engraved with our names and wedding date.
ENTOURAGE GOWNS: Patricia Syquiatco
Finding someone who could do the entourage gowns turned out to be easier than expected—and it’s also another testament to how small the world really is. During a bridal fair I attended for Calyxta early in 2018 (even before I got engaged), I encountered the booth of Patricia Syquiatco and was immediately attracted to her minimalist designs. I found out later on that she was the college blockmate and good friend of Baby Cheng.
I still did a little bit of research on other suppliers, but in the end, I went with Patis (her nickname). Because my gown was structured, I wanted the entourage gowns to have structure as well. I chose a lilac shade for my Maids of Honor, and a cool-toned purple for the Bridesmaids, Secondary Sponsors, and Flower Girls. I gave everyone the freedom to choose the design they wanted, but Patis and I agreed during our first meeting that they would all have A-line skirts (similar to my gown) and a detachable bow in the back to match mine.
I always looked forward to all the meetings and fittings at Patis’ showroom in Valle Verde 5, because it gave me a chance to spend some time with my best girls—especially my goddaughter and Flower Girl, Cadence!
Cadence showing off her gown the first time she fitted it
Though it took several fittings until Patis’ team got each dress right (especially because some of my cousins gained or lost weight in a span of eight months), I’m still so happy with her service and how she always accommodated every adjustment we requested.
ENTOURAGE HAIR AND MAKEUP: Aldrin Jalandoni and Katch Mejias
For my entourage’s hair and makeup, some of them booked on their own while some requested I book for them instead—since I knew and would be able to recommend different people from the industry. We collectively agreed on Aldrin Jalandoni and Katch Mejias—two people I’ve worked with for several shoots. Check out how beautiful they made my Bridesmaids and Principal Sponsors look!
Makeup by Aldrin Jalandoni
Makeup by Katch Mejias
Makeup by Katch Mejias
Makeup by Katch Mejias
Makeup by Katch Mejias
Makeup by Katch Mejias
GROOM’S BARONG: Exclusively His Tailoring + GROOM’S SHOES: Florsheim
When it came to the Cupcake’s wedding attire, he definitely took his time in finding a barong. I think he even bought his shoes before he had a barong made. We scouted different suppliers, compared the quality of their work vs. their rates, considered RTW, and in the end, we went with the one that his mom suggested—Exclusively His Tailoring.
We went there once to get measured and choose which material and design he liked most, and then went back only to pick it up again. It was that fast and easy. I think it only took them three weeks to finish!
PHOTOGRAPHER: Nicolai Melicor
In choosing our photographer late last year, I had a vague criteria in my head. I wanted someone whose photos were clean and crisp, and had a light and bright feel that would complement the minimalist aesthetic of our wedding. I researched on a lot of wedding photographers and even met a few during bridal fairs—but in the end, it was the style, charm, and friendliness of Nicolai Melicor that I loved so much. Prior to booking her, we had a quick video call over Skype, and from then on, I was sold.
Even when she informed me months later that she was pregnant and would be giving birth during the week of our wedding or earlier, we still stuck with her and her team. She got to shoot us during our engagement photo shoot, while her team of equally fun and talented photographers took good care of us on our wedding day. Just like Milk Tea Baby, I love watching Instagram stories of Nicolai’s adorable babies—Isla and Ocean!
VIDEOGRAPHER: Lula Films
Being a managing editor of an online magazine and having worked on more than a dozen cover girl shoots that include an editorial video, I was also particular about our wedding video. I wanted it to be slightly cinematic, but still capture who the Cupcake and I are as a couple (very fun and easy-going). I think Lula was able to do that and more! Their works are amazing—I suggest visiting their Instagram feed to see what I’m talking about!
FLORIST, EVENT STYLING, AND GRAZING TABLE: Passion Cooks
Another part of the wedding planning that I thoroughly enjoyed was the event styling! If you can recall, I wrote about the creative process of our wedding logo and branding here. It was all influenced by a style guide I prepared earlier on (tap the image below to scroll through the style guide)—thanks to fun evenings of just browsing Pinterest!
Out of all the suppliers I researched on and reached out to, finding a stylist and florist probably took the longest. I wanted someone to not just understand what I envisioned, but also someone who had dedication and malasakit—and I didn’t feel that with anyone except Kirae of Passion Cooks!
After taking a look at my style guide and trying to understand what I wanted, she put together a package that also followed our budget. Of course, I had to compromise with both the Cupcake—given that he didn’t want to spend too much on the styling and flowers (which I agreed), and Kirae, since the flowers I wanted were quite expensive.
My bouquet was a wonderful arrangement of Ecuadorian roses
Since Sta. Rita de Cascia Parish already provided the flowers for the aisle, Kirae just added electric candles inside cylindrical glass jars and a beige carpet to match my peg. For our reception, she styled the tables with low and lush centerpieces full of my favorite flowers (mostly roses and carnations) and colors. She also provided flowers for the bridal car and cake table, and a welcome sign right before the ballroom.
Photo grabbed from Day One Project
A week before the wedding, we decided to remove the stage since our reception was a sit-down dinner, and the Cupcake and I would be the ones walking from table to table to take pictures with our guests. We also wanted to sit in the VIP table with our parents, instead of having a separate table. Because of this, we didn’t see the need for a stage anymore—so we replaced the center of the ballroom with an LED Wall on a platform. Kirae converted our stage setup into a photo wall just outside the ballroom, where guests could take pictures in case the photo booth had a long line.
It was so convenient that Passion Cooks became our one-stop supplier for flowers, event styling, and even our grazing table—which we decided to get a couple of months before the wedding to make sure guests didn’t go hungry while waiting for the dinner and program to start. Everyone kept telling us how good the grazing table was, and there were even a few who kept returning even when the dinner was already being served!
I really loved working with Kirae that I’m already thinking way ahead and planning my future kid’s birthday—just so I can get her team to cater and style the event. Hahaha!
WEDDING LOGO + INVITE DESIGN AND LAYOUT: Giana Gatan
If you’ve been following our Wedding Chronicles, I had an update on our wedding invitation design here. It really means the world that it was my sister and Maid of Honor herself who designed our wedding logo and invitations—and she did it without complaints, and without expecting anything in return.
INVITATION PRINTER: Cumbidado
Because the invitation design meant so much to me, I had to make sure I got a supplier who would print them beautifully—and it was in a bridal fair that I discovered Cumbidado. Their customer service is stellar, and it was such an easy online transaction because they responded so fast. Aside from printing our invitations, we also ordered our wax stamps from them.
WEDDING OBB AND DRESS CODE ILLUSTRATION: Pauline Vitug
While my sister designed the wedding logo and invitations, it was my cousin and one of my Bridesmaids who did the illustration of our dress code, and the wedding opening billboard (which was played on loop during the program).
CALLIGRAPHY: Hannah Bernabe
It really took a village to put together our invitations, and while my sister designed it, my cousin supplemented it with her illustration, and my other cousins (also my Bridesmaids!) worked every night for two weeks mass-producing the wax stamp seals, it was my college-blockmate-turned-officemate-turned-Cord-Sponsor, Hannah Bernabe, who did the calligraphy on the envelopes.
We even had a slight delay in turning over our invitations to her, because for some reason, the white ink needed was out of stock everywhere! To the point that even the Cupcake’s groomsmen tried to help us source as well. In the end, the Cupcake had his ways and surprised Hannah and I with the needed white ink!
MISSALETTE, WEDDING SCRAPBOOK, AND GIFT CARD PRINTER: Coloriphics
I became a very loyal customer of Coloriphics since 2015 when I was working for Glamourbox. Their shop is a quick walk away from the office, so all the marketing collaterals I needed to have printed for the brands I handled were printed by them. Eventually, I also had personal things printed like gift cards, blog-related materials, etc.
Three things they printed for our wedding were the missalettes, gift cards, and our wedding scrapbook. Instead of the usual guest book, I wanted guests to take polaroid photos from the photo booth, and then place one on the scrapbook before writing a message!
WEDDING WEBSITE: Cayo Fragada
Aside from creating a Facebook event page and sending out hard copies of our invitations, the Cupcake and I put together a wedding website with complete details, as well as frequently asked questions that guests might have. These included directions, where to park, our gift registry code at Rustan’s, etc.
WEDDING CAKE: Elle’s Kitchen
Our wedding cake was another detail of our wedding that I had such a soft spot for—because it was made by one of my closest friends from high school, Elise Lim-Balmaceda of Elle’s Kitchen. There was no other cake supplier I wanted, so when I first messaged her to ask how much her cakes were and she insisted that it would be her gift to us, I was so touched!
Below was her design, which she sketched during our cake consultation last July.
From the different flavors we tried, we went with chocolate ganache and vanilla madeira as the bases, with Swiss meringue buttercream.
PHOTO AND BOOMERANG BOOTH: Marlly Photobooth
Another small world kind of story—the owner of Marlly Photobooth is my brother’s friend, and was coincidentally our former Events Coordinator at Seda Vertis North, before she resigned and turned us over to the new one who replaced her.
Friend card aside—their service is great, and the quality of their products is very sophisticated. I loved the minimalist style of their backdrop, and even the props and emojis were so tasteful. Guests had a lot of fun taking polaroid photos and Boomerang videos the whole night!
HOST: Jake Fragada
Another detail that truly added more meaning to our wedding—when it came to who would host our program, there was no one else we wanted but Kuya Jake (right of the Cupcake in the photo), who really does sideline as a professional host. No one knew us better than he did, and we knew he’d make the program really fun!
He even surprised us with a couple of song numbers—including A Whole New World from Aladdin!
CEREMONY AND RECEPTION MUSIC: Manila String Machine
Because music plays such a big part in mine and the Cupcake’s relationship, we knew we had to get a group who could play all our favorite songs but with a more formal approach. We first heard Manila String Machine at Elise Lim-Balmaceda’s wedding, and they were also highly recommended by friends. After a quick e-mail exchange, we booked them to play at both our ceremony and reception.
They have such an extensive repertoire, which included the song that the Cupcake really wanted to walk down the aisle to—the Jurassic Park Theme Song. We also requested for them to arrange Dashboard Confessional’s Belle of the Boulevard (the acoustic version), which has been the song I really wanted to walk down the aisle to since the Cupcake and I got together in 2013.
The reception playlist was something that the Cupcake and I had so much fun putting together. We asked them to open the dinner with the Harry Potter Medley and Across the Stars (from Star Wars), which most of our guests (especially my Creative Writing blockmates!) recognized right away. The rest of the playlist was pretty upbeat, and if you want to listen to more of the songs that played that night, you can check out the Spotify playlist we put together here.
Getting a DJ was really easy for us, because my Tito happens to be one! We put together a playlist for the after-party here as well—for him to use as reference. It was a good mix of songs from different decades—to cater to different age groups. My favorite is definitely the 90s!
When the dinner and program ended, and the after-party started, we didn’t expect all our guests (especially the older ones) to stay. But to our surprise, the ballroom was still full and I think 95% of our guests stayed and partied all night! I was dancing and singing along to all the songs the whole time (as seen in my #CayoNaNiGretch Instagram highlights), and I swear, it was just sooo fun.
At one point, the Cupcake’s entire Fraggy Clan (aunts, uncles, and cousins) started a conga line, and it was also our first time to see some of our family members dance! My Tito was able to capture a video towards the end of the night when everyone was dancing to Mr. Brightside:
LIGHTS, SOUNDS, AND LED WALL: Crossmix
Our lights, sounds, and LED Wall supplier was recommended to us by our wedding coordinator. They were one of the last suppliers we booked two months before the wedding, and I didn’t realize how important lights and sounds would be until the Cupcake, who is very knowledgeable in this, explained things to me so that I could visualize it. He was the one who coordinated with Crossmix the entire time, and I really appreciate that I didn’t have to do anything!
Alcohol was one thing we didn’t want to scrimp on—because we wanted to make sure everyone was drinking and having a good time! In the beginning, we weren’t sure how much alcohol to buy. We consulted with friends who had just gotten married, and also asked our wedding coordinator for her recommendation—considering we wanted to serve alcohol during cocktails while guests were waiting. Since Seda doesn’t allow mobile bars to be brought in, we decided to just buy alcohol and have their bartenders serve it. (Select tables had a bottle assigned already.)
We were lucky that the Cupcake was friends with someone who worked at Diageo, so we got to buy bottles of Black Label and Double Black Label in bulk at a discounted price. We also bought our wines, gin, and vodka from Alcoline, which was recommended by a friend when I was looking for alcohol suppliers. We ended up buying a total of 55 bottles for 200 guests:
- 15 Yellow Tail Shiraz
- 10 Yellow Tail Moscato
- 5 Absolut Vodka (Blue)
- 7 Jameson Whiskey
- 3 Bombay Sapphire Gin
- 5 Johnnie Walker Black Label
- 10 Johnnie Walker Double Black Label
We actually thought we’d have a lot of leftover alcohol that we could just keep to ourselves after the wedding, but to our surprise, the alcohol was wiped out! Towards the end of the after-party, we bought maybe 8 more bottles of wine from Seda just so guests wouldn’t feel bitin.
Photo by Ian Villar
ENTOURAGE GIFTS: Istorya, Myriad Print Concepts, Sunnies Face, and Johnnie Walker via Boozy
Putting together our entourage gifts was something I genuinely enjoyed. I actually started maybe four or five months before the wedding—because I love doing DIY projects like these! I was also really lucky that Istorya sponsored the custom bangles (for the ladies) and key chains (for the gents). They used the flower design that my sister sketched, and engraved it on the bangle’s charm! This added a whole new meaning to them.
So the first thing I did was order custom wine glasses (for the ladies) and whiskey glasses (for the gents) from Myriad Print Concepts. I’ve been a suki of theirs since 2015, and it amazes me how innovative they get every year. I requested for them to use the fonts of our wedding invitations (Notera for the wine glasses and Futura for the whiskey glasses).
Next—I ordered gift boxes from Custom Eco Pack Enterprises. I got white boxes for the guys (which I wrapped in purple ribbon), and lilac boxes with light grey ribbon for the girls. To add to the custom glasses and Istorya’s bangles/key chains, I ordered mini bottles of Johnnie Walker from Boozy for the guys, and Sunnies Face Fluffmatte in Milkshake (my favorite shade!) for the girls. Lastly, the Cupcake and I bought energy bars and placed a note that said, “In case of hunger, tear open.”
I placed white Japanese paper in all of the boxes before arranging everything—the glasses, Istorya gift boxes, energy bars, and mini whiskey bottles/lipsticks. Then I just finished it off with custom gift cards tied to the ribbon!
Meanwhile, for our principal sponsors, we took our wedding coordinator’s advice and bought each one a memory foam pillow, which we wrapped in light grey wrapper and tied with a purple ribbon (with the help of my mom). One of our sponsors even messaged after the wedding, and said she was using it already!
WEDDING GIVEAWAYS: Black Coffee PH
For our wedding souvenirs, the Cupcake and I agreed early in our planning stages that we wanted to give our guests coffee—since we both really love coffee! (We each have our own French press and grinder at home. Haha!) Originally, we were looking to schedule a trip to Baguio to buy our favorite Benguet and Kalinga beans from Garcia’s, and then order glass jars to put them in. But because we didn’t have the luxury of time, we had to think of an alternative. And then I remembered that my friend and batch mate from Poveda, Patti, owned Black Coffee PH—so we ordered from her instead.
So that wraps up the portion of our wedding that talks about our suppliers. Below are other meaningful stories from the wedding that I wanted to document as well:
WEDDING GIFTS TO EACH OTHER
When the Cupcake and I were talking about what gifts to surprise each other with on our wedding day, we both agreed that it shouldn’t be expensive and that it should be more “us.”
He ended up getting me six very special Funko Pops (in his letter, cleverly written on a Back to The Future-themed card, which is a movie he loves so much, he wrote the meaning of each one), while I got him adoption papers for Booboo. Hahahaha!
SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW, SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE
I never really considered doing the whole tradition of having something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. It just happened unexpectedly. Last year when the Cupcake and I got engaged, his parents gave us the same cord and arrhae that they used when they got married. Both are made with antique coins from the 15th or 16th century, and which were part of the Cupcake’s great grandfather’s collection. This became our Something Old, which represents continuity.
Something New were my gown and the earrings that my mom bought for me. This supposedly offers optimism for the future, since you’re about to enter a new chapter in your life.
When the Cupcake and I were putting together all the things needed for the ceremony, I realized I didn’t have a secondary veil yet! So I messaged KChan, who got married just two months before me, and borrowed her secondary veil. This also has a lot of meaning, because I was KChan’s Veil Sponsor during her wedding. This represented my Something Borrowed, which is believed to bring the couple good fortune and luck.
Because I unknowingly had a Something Old, Something New, and Something Borrowed—I decided to complete the tradition by having a Something Blue, which stands for love, purity, and fidelity.
So I used my Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue perfume and wore it on my wedding day!
SONGS WE DANCED TO
The Cupcake and I are huge Disney nerds, so when it came to choosing what songs would be played for our First Dance, Mother-Son Dance, and Father-Daughter Dance, we decided to make it all Disney!
Funny story—the Cupcake and I both can’t dance to save our lives. About a month or two before the wedding, we asked for Kuya Jake and Baby Cheng’s help in putting together a choreography (since they’re both really good dancers). We practiced one entire afternoon in their house until we sort of got it right. The night before the wedding, the Cupcake and I stumbled upon the ballroom of Seda Vertis North and found that it was already arranged for our reception the next day! So we snuck in to see how big the dance floor was, and practiced again.
WEDDING PROGRAM, GAMES, AND UNCONVENTIONAL BRIDAL TOSS
The Cupcake and I didn’t want a very long program, so aside from showing his proposal video, a growing up video that my sister put together, traditions like the cake cutting and dancing, and the speeches, we also didn’t have too many games. The first game was more of an ice breaker, which was Find the Booboo. We hid 15 cut-out faces of Booboo on tables and chairs, and the 15 who found them got Starbucks gift certificates.
The last game was an Instagram photo contest, and the best photo (below) won an Instax!
Because our wedding is the first wedding on both sides of the family, it was a whole new experience for everyone. And since both families are very tight-knit clans, both sides made huge efforts in really getting to know each other better—which the Cupcake and I genuinely loved and appreciated.
It all started during the surprise dinner right after the Cupcake and I got engaged, followed by my 30th birthday dinner, and then a weekend at my grandmother’s beach house to celebrate my 30th birthday again, and then we had lunch a month or two later (which, in a way, kind of served as my pamamanhikan), and then of course, there was my Despedida de Soltera!
During the wedding, the Cupcake and I were surprised when my brothers (and new brothers!) took this adorable photo:
Which resulted in an all-siblings photo, and which Kuya Jake wittily dubbed as the Fragatans:
So that concludes my very detailed account of our wedding! If you’ve stuck with me until the very end of this post, thank you so much for letting me share and recount everything about that beautiful, unforgettable day. I always tell people that if I could cast a spell and put that day on temporal loop, I would.
Again, thanks for being so patient with me these last few months. I know I haven’t been very active in writing for the blog, but as soon as I adjust to my new life as a wife, I’ll definitely be updating more often again. Until my next update!
All the Details, Stories, and Suppliers of Our Wedding