Two Weddings

2nd April 2013 – I married my husband Nathaniel in a non-religious ceremony which lasted about 20 well-spent minutes including taking all the photos. The officiating minister started with checking our papers and marriage license then we were all set. My little daughter Mischa held the rings, my son Ash Lee had the camera, Nat and I exchanged vows and rings then kissed. I hugged my mother – we were both in tears. Definitely a happy day for everyone as we shared a lunch feast of chicken and seafood at Gerry’s Grill with a couple of friends who stood as witnesses.

We spent our first night together at home.

19th May 2013 – Our Big Day. Pre-wedding preps started 4AM. As a self-appointed DIY bride I had zero hours of sleep, some back pain from working on the flowers the night before and a lot of nerves. As the hair and make up duo worked on me and the entourage for the next two and a half hours, we were almost ready for the main event – a Christian ceremony at a venue called 167 Events Place along Commonwealth Avenue. We were expecting a hundred guests. Not everyone made it but fortunately those who made it had a good time. After what seemed to be ages posing for the camera inside and outside the Pacific Waves Resort Hotel, I finally got in the Bridal car c/o bridesman Francis Estrella with Bridesmaid Gines Bolivar. Though we got caught in some heavy traffic that day, we made it to the wedding venue just in time. I was getting a bit sleepy but I made it through as I was on and off the phone with my Groom who had to deal with a few early guests, a late DJ and some misunderstanding with the caterer. As the entire entourage got ready for the processional, I introduced the bridesmaids to the bridesmen and had a quick catch up with Belmon, my dear friend who flew in from SG to be at my wedding.  

And the ceremony began with the processional followed by a special dance from the Groom’s cousin Chaya Baris then with How Did You Know being played on the saxophone I started walking down the aisle. Too bad, I was busy trying not to trip on the four-inch heels I wore so I failed to see who was crying as I did the bridal march. Haha! There I was beside my husband at the ceremony couch as the officiating pastor started his message. The ceremony wasn’t what we expected – it was even better. It wasn’t formal or too long and though at times we there were distractions the wedding went as planned. We honored our parents with a photo montage of our baby pictures with our parents along with a prepared message. It was tough not to cry. As good friend Richard Chua sang his version of God Gave Me You, we read our own vows and cried even more. Clearly it was the happiest day of our lives and was even happier as we sealed the ceremony with a unity candle lighting together with our kids.

Photo ops – Smiling all the time was a challenge! I could feel my jaw going stiff and all I could think about was lunch! I bet everyone else thought the same!

Lunch – We almost cleaned off our plates. Didn’t touch the salad but the courses-roast beef, chicken cordon bleu and lasagna lived up to our expectations. Yes! We were starving! And it was a relief to see everyone eating.

The reception followed – some of the guests had to leave early but those who stayed had fun. Luckily, the Groom’s side of the family was a wacky bunch. His two cousins got the garter and the two next Brides were bridesmaid Ricca Liguidliguid and friend Jenny Reyes.  We totally forgot about having our First Dance before cutting the cake – cute chocolate cupcakes made by one of my best friends – Rona Sagun but that’s okay – we forgot some other things too but we didn’t forget to thank everyone who shared our special day with us. Not everything went as planned but we’re grateful of how our wedding turned out.

At home, the kids couldn’t wait for us to open our wedding presents. I’ll write about these in another post!

As I had hoped, our Big Day ended with us newlyweds finally getting some sleep with little Mischa beside us!

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Blue Gardens: A Review

Each time I get an opportunity to host(emcee) a wedding, I help out with the on-the-day coördination and I must say, from my experience last September, that Blue Gardens is not just another event venue. The open-air garden venue can comfortably accommodate up to 150 seated guests and the feel of the place(with the lighting and music on) is just romantic and inviting. Perfect for that night’s Christian wedding ceremony and dinner reception!                

The bride Joana took advantage of Blue Garden’s worry-free wedding package which included five hours use of the venue, professionally catered food(buffet style) for 100 guests with complete set up and amenities, photo and video coverage, high quality PA and sound system(sound techs included), souvenirs for 50 guests and use of their changing rooms for the bride and groom. She found a great deal that, to my surprise, also came with great service. 

Before the event started, I took the initiative of coordinating with the captain waiter about when to prepare for the wine toasting, moving the head table to make more space for the entertainment later in the program and for the photobooth to be moved to a more convenient area in the venue. I wonder why anyone thought of setting it up where guests would get soaked in the rain before they get to the photobooth. The waiter was easy to talk to and took care of my requests almost immediately.

What this venue lacks in parking(quite limited), it has in its facilities and security. Several guards and attendants roved the area that day and even the powder rooms were clean, pleasant and well-maintained.

Overall, I give this venue a 7 out of 10 rating.