Sunday, October 23, 2011

Photo Booth Set Up Ideas!

If the regular photobooth is getting a little too tired for you, then I think it might be time to rethink your idea of a photobooth. :D

How about hanging frames from a tree? Especially great if you are having a reception or cocktails at an open area.  If not you can ask your photobooth supplier if they have the extra beam that they use to hang the usual tarpaulin backdrop.  Put that one at the front and ask your supplier if you can hang frames from them.  I think a plain black backdrop will also work for this set up, just make sure the frames come in bright colors!  

Don't have budget for wooden frames? Cut out shapes from illustration boards and paint them with poster color!  Go with square, circle, oval, diamond or star. It doesn't have to be intricate! :D

Here are more ideas:

 Who wouldn't want a real studio at their wedding right?  If you have extra cash to burn the top picture would be one nice to have. :D  However, if you still want to be different but a little strapped for cash, take a cue from the second photo and you can print two more copies of the back tarpaulin, borrow two more beams from your photobooth supplier and voila! You have a mod 60's vibe for your booth!  Instant photo studio!

photo taken from
Another great idea from a couple who had a really fun wedding (how's The Little Rascals for a theme?), keep the layout simple and just have one picture per print out!  Then dress up the layout and the backdrop.  Mica (the bride, who is one part of the rebellious bride tandem and is also a talented make up artist) did the paper pompoms herself and they just attached it to the wall to serve as a backdrop.  A variation of this would be having the desert as a background and having famous Egyptian structures (the pyramids, the Sphinx or a camel!) at the foreground for the photobooth layout!  Great for an Egyptian themed wedding! :)

Write It Down!

Here's another great idea!!!  You can't beat this! The only thing you need for this idea is Illustration Board and Colored Chalk! Make sure you have a lot!!!

You can also take this to the next level by placing boards and chalk at the guest's tables and asking them to write messages.  Ask your official photographer to take pictures of them holding up the signs! :D  Make sure you have wet tissues to erase mistakes or if they want to write a new message!

Idea credit from Mark Sandico and Gan Perez - Sandico's wedding Styled and Shot by Chestknot Studios!

all photos by Jay Jay Lucas's Facebook Page    

Supplier Rating: Composed!

A non-negotiable part of our wedding was having a band.  And as part of our requirements, they should be easy to talk to.  We talked to other bands but they were too indifferent or too much of a hard sell.  Our meeting with Diane and the rest of Composed was really light and fun!  We clicked immediately and what we liked about them was that they have gigs at different bars so you can see them in action with a full band set up (no need to crash other people's weddings!).  Their group is also "solid" meaning they don't change members, and the more a band plays together, the better they become. :)

During the course of our preps, we would regularly go to their gigs at MOA or at different hotels to unwind and also to catch up with them. :)  During their gigs, you can also go up the stage and sing with them - Rockeoke! It helps that Benjie and Diane have their IPADs with them so the lyrics are always there!

our ASAP moment
When we were already planning for our program I had this crazy idea of doing a song and dance number using a mash-up of songs.  We are not really a mushy-mushy couple and we wanted to maximize the fact that we had a band so we asked them to make an arrangement of the original and Black Eyed Peas version of Time of Your LIfe.  They performed it during our listening session, they allowed us to practice, they boosted our morale na kaya namin mag-perform at kumanta at hindi kami ambisyosa! :)

During the wedding, they were there at the mass and they performed all of the songs that we agreed upon including the special request of our priest Fr. Ollie.  He asked us to kiss after the rites (which is at the middle of the mass) and that is their cue to to perform the traditional exit song of the bride and groom (the one that goes "ten-ten-tenenten-ten-ten-ten-ten-tenenen-ten-ten-ten).

They also followed our request for upbeat songs during the reception.  They were really instrumental in making our event a happy and lively wedding.  We gave them a song list but they told us honestly that they can't perform all the songs (they perform a lot of standards and top 40 songs!) but we gave them a free hand with regards to picking songs from their repertoire that they can use as long as it is not a ballad and not too mushy.  During dinner everyone was in a happy mood and did not get bored.  

It's a big downer when people are at a party and everyone is dancing.  Then all it takes is one corny song and every one decides they are tired so they will take a break.  During our wedding party time...

yes! we got to party!
there were people dancing ALL THE TIME!!! I would like to believe that Composed did a great job editing our song selection.  There was something for everybody.  Mind you we did not have a mobile bar, we just ordered a couple of cases of beer and a couple of bottles of chivas.  Everyone is just happy and crazy even with minimal alcohol.  Music is enough to make people get up and dance. :D  M's cousin was even able to sing with them and his friend was able to test his DJ/MC skills (parang DJ MOD sa showtime!) and it was all good with them.
We love them to bits!!! :D

Rating: 5!
Composed Band
Contact Diana Siquenza 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Suppliers Rating: San Agustin Church, Palacio de Maynila and Hyatt Hotel

The next part of the suppliers rating will be in bulk so it's gonna be a long read! :D

San Agustin was not our first choice for the church.  Our first choice is actually Malate Church because of the reasonable price and it allowed only two weddings during Saturday afternoons so it meant more time for us at the church.  However, someone beat us to booking Malate Church on our preferred date at our preferred time (4pm) so we had to look for other options.  MIL suggested SAC because it is indeed a beautiful church.  The staff are nice and courteous and processing our papers were a breeze.  We did not do the pre-cana seminar at the church because we already went through Discovery Weekend.  

What we liked about SAC is that it is beautiful in its self, personally I would have been happy with the flowers that went in the package but MIL wanted something else for the aisle so we added flowers.  On the day of the wedding, we were surprised to see aisle runners on the same day, another blessing that we did not cost us anything.  I also love the fact that they allowed us to do our rehearsal a few weeks before our wedding.  It gave the chance for our priest to tell us what we are to expect on the day of the wedding and our bearers and flower girls not to be afraid of their duties and to be able to their roles on the big day without tantrums or apprehensions. J  What we don’t like about them is that you need to do everything in one hour.  Pati si Fr. Ollie Genuino our priest na pe-pressure sa kanila.  Eh kumakanta siya pag homily to make it more personal.  Yung pictures tuloy naming very limited lang.  You can see at our church portrait as a couple na medyo strained yung smile ko kasi pinagmamadali na kami.

stress drilon dahil pinapalayas na kami. :O
Our requirements for the wedding venue were pretty simple, it had to be covered, had ample parking and airconditioned!  Palacio de Maynila was perfect for us especially when it came down to our Manila Theme.  We booked them after booking SAC  because we realized our wedding day was kind of  hot date and our wedding motto was starting to be: Daig ng maagap ang masikap. J  What set them apart from other venues is that the swags or drapes are already included in the package so that would save us a significant amount compared to getting other tent venues.  The caterers who are affiliated with them are also extensive.  Dealing with them was hassle free as the AE’s are nice, we really liked our first AE Kaye but we were transferred to Ms. Joy when we transferred to another church.  Ok naman si Ms. Joy, was bubbly nga lang si Ms. Kaye.  May corkage lang if you get a different lights and sounds supplier from the one who is in house pero we really wanted to get sensitivity so we paid this na lang.  They gave us a chance to use their projector for free kaya lang 2500 lumens lang, we did not end up using it because it won’t be clear enough for all the guests.  

view from the stage
the entrance from the cocktail area
To make the event more intimate, we placed the stage at the side of the venue so that we won't be too far from the guests.  If we placed the stage at the end of the venue, we would've had a major entrance walking along another long aisle.  However, it would make some of the guests tables really far away from us and would create distance between us. 

enjoy mag pose sa hyatt
Since we booked our venue, we knew we had several options when it came to where we are going to do our preps.  However, we ended up getting Hyatt because we knew people there and they were able to arrange for us to score a lot of upgrades and great deals.  They were able to arrange our rooms so we were all in one floor, initially we booked 5 standard rooms and one suite.  On the day of the check in we found out all of the rooms were upgraded to deluxe (same as standard only bigger!) and M’s room was upgraded to a suite as well.  They also accommodated our request to add another room the day before the wedding since my grandparents also decided to check in at the last minute.   Take note that all 7 rooms are in one floor! (btw, out of the seven rooms, 5 of the rooms stayed for two nights)  We also availed of the club at the Hyatt card and our second night was supposed to be a free stay at a standard room.  Good thing they upgraded our free room to a suite so I didn’t have to move out of the room.  After the wedding we just went back to the suite. :D  

by the mirror wall
The suite was large enough for us.  All of the family members had their hair and make up done at my room at the dining area of the suite which is beside the mirror that covered up one wall.  They stayed at the living area while waiting or eating.  We were able to dress up at my room and at the dressing area of the bathroom.  But if you have cash to spare get the higher suite ang gandaaaaaa, di naman presidential pero ang gandaaaaa. No charges also for pictures around the Hotel too. :D  

in the bedroom
our familia zaragoza shot at the living area

Sayang lang, I forgot to have pictures taken by the stairs at LiLi the restaurant.  Nice din kasi dun.  Ok din yung breakfast buffet namin.  It was nice because M and I were able to eat breakfast with our family on the day of the wedding and after the wedding. :D  Another plus point for Hyatt is that is it one of the newer hotels so the furniture inside the rooms are more modern. :)
shot at the elevator bay! :)
shots by the pool
San Agustin Church
Gen Luna & Real Sts, Intramuros, Manila, Luzon 1002, Philippines
Rating: 4.5

Palacio De Maynila
1809 - 1813 M. H. Del Pilar Street, Malate, Manila
Rating: 5
Hyatt Hotel Manila
1588 Pedro Gil cor M.H. Del Pilar, Malate,
Manila, Philippines 1004

Tel: 245 1234  
Rating: 5 

Supplier Rating: Boy Kastner Santos

I had a hard time looking for options for an entourage gowns supplier because we are based in Cavite.  We narrowed our choices because it would be a logistical nightmare if we have to ask our families to go to some distant designer to have their gowns made.  Our requirements were he should make gowns that were of good quality, relatively near or convenient for us and gave us a good price for the gowns and suits since we were paying for our family’s clothes.  We scouted around Cavite but we did not really click with any of them.  We almost considered booking someone from Manila but thank God for Sis Rachelle who recommended Boy.

Tito Boy is a major w@w find.  We had trial run with him by asking him to make an entourage gown for me and a suit for M and we found that his work was good, he delivered on time and as a bonus he is great fun to be with! :D
As we all know Tito Boy’s sense of humor and larger than life personality is legendary. :D  Not a single visit goes by that we don’t stay there for at least an hour because of all the chika and eating that we do! Our ninangs had their gown made with him too along with some of our lolas and aunts.  And what I love about them and what made them really sulit is the extra service that goes with what they do, they went to three houses to take measurements and three houses to do fittings.

He was able to go along with what I had in mind different colored gowns with different designs but when you put them together, they look really good.  He explained "papered" (actually tapered) pants to the entourage and what does a good fitting suit look like when they suit up.  He took the time to deal with our Lolas and aunts who wanted multiple changes in their gowns.  He also made my prep dress for me. :)

In the process of working with him, Tito Boy became my friend.  Any bride would be lucky to have him by her side, he will not only make great gowns but will be your biggest supporter when wedding preps are making you crazy and stressed.  I am not surprised to see that his 2012 calendar is slowly getting booked and yet he still remains humble and candid as ever.  :D

We are so lucky because he made our families beautiful and sharp on our special day! :)
Rating: 5
Boy Kastner Santos
Blk. 15 Lot 20 Springville South 1 Molino IV, Bacoor Cavite (near Daang-Hari) +63928 283 4399 / +63917 902 3616

Supplier Rating: Cecilio Abad

Cecilio Abad needs no introduction, he is supplier of the year last 2008 and if it was not for w@w I would not have known that gowns could have a life of it its own.  As a back story I would look at sites of different designers those whose rates I knew we could afford and those who were only part of weddings borne out of my wildest dreams.   CA is part of the second group of designers.  I knew about Veluz and Cary Santiago: Veluz’s work is beautiful but I know she usually works with lace and appliqu├ęs but I know I’m not the romantic type of bride, Cary is based in Cebu and when I found out about the starting price of his gowns I just continued to admire his brilliance from a far.
Yes! It's detachable!

I started to religiously follow CA via his multiply site and I would post comments on his wonderful creations even if he doesn’t know me personally.  I also loved how he described the gowns and his relationship with the brides and the process of how certain gowns are made.  I knew his market and his price point but as suggested by my coordinator, it won’t hurt to ask him.  So I scheduled an appointment with him and even when I arrived 10 minutes early, he was already there waiting for me.  They ask you to wear a stocking like material (stretch something) and they take your measurements while wearing that garment.   This is to see what kind of body type you have and he can sketch the best style of gown for you.  CA and I immediately clicked because he can execute the design that I was already thinking about, I wanted a frou-frou skirt with a long train but I want the train to be detachable so it was attached underneath the main skirt. 

It did not hurt that I was already stalking him at his multiply account so to be there at his shop and to see his actual creations was already a dream come true for me!  I was like a kid at a candy store.  I even asked permission if I could take a closer look at two of the gowns which were displayed.  The gowns that I saw are already at his site and posted here and here. :D  CA probably took pity on me and even showed me the backroom where they make everything happen, parang field trip lang. haha

When it was time to discuss the amount, CA was more than generous with me.  He asked for my budget and he gave me the gown that I want no changes in the design or material and a free cocktail dress.  I was in cloud nine!  M and I talked about it first so I gave my down payment after one week and I was saddened that another bride booked him for the same wedding date!  I really wanted him to be there during preps so when I found out that the other bride’s wedding is in the morning and is also with in Manila, I knew there was hope. J
Each fitting was wonderful because you see your gown taking shape and each time I am there I witnessed how in many different ways he is excellent in his craft.   They rushed my cocktail dress in time for our prenup video shoot.  They helped give me feedback about my bouquet so that it can be better and what shoes to wear and how to walk.  Lahat ng kalokohan ko sa gown pati ang colored petticoat (dapat wala akong peticoat) sinakyan niya.  The belt can be removed and used with other dresses, as per my request, at lahat yun ginawa niya.  In the process, he shared his story with me about how a probinsyano  from Leyte came to Manila to look for greener pastures, took on any kind of work imaginable and started to get better at his craft before making a name for himself.

Obviously happy over CA's presence! :)
One of my favorite shots with CA

Come wedding day I was beside myself with happiness because CA came to my preps!!! :D I knew it was an honor only reserved for the first bride who booked and I knew my chances were slim because someone beat me to the date but he still came.  We had a grand time laughing and joking around and best of all he got included in the official pictures!  I never thought I would be a CA bride and it came true all because I took a chance to inquire.  He is a great artist with a great heart for all his brides and I will be forever grateful. :D

Rating: 5
Cecilio Abad
1120 P. Ocampo cor. T. Ayala Sts. ,Malate, Manila 313-9672 / 484-3407 / 0917-8959012 / 0920-9027022 (Clayton)
Email: /

Supplier Rating: Party Pics Live!

We didn’t really plan on having giveaways other than having a Photo Booth at our wedding.  However a week before our wedding my Mom decided to give a little something to the guests which she organized with the folks from Pasig!  This is another cheap thrill as each big plastic bag of cookies costs Php125 and filled about 20 containers.  Containers were from Baker's Depot, monogram was printed at home and ribbon used were extra from my other DIY's.
mini chocolate chip cookies in clear plastic containers! 

Anyway back to the photobooth, we scoured for a lot of different Photo Booth suppliers but then we saw that Party Pics offered three hours for 7500 (with customized tarpaulin) we grabbed the opportunity along with other w@wies, Ayeth, Apple and Jan to book them at their Makati office.  Official receipt, follow to down payment was made at a bridal fair at NBC tent at the Fort so we can avail of the raffle promo at the fair.  Next time we got in touch with them was about 2 months before the wedding.

All of our transactions since then were done via email and they did really well.  They came up with our layout using our custom vectors and also used our cartoony manila as our backdrop.  All of the layouts were done in 2 weeks and they reply really promptly to all my emails with in the day!  We didn’t want our pictures on the layout, we just wanted to give it a hint of Pinoy so we added slang words to the layout and we think it turned out pretty great.  We also liked that the gallery of photos are organized by year and date so it’s easier to look for our photos.

They arrived really promptly at the reception venue and from the looks of the pictures (which we got by the end of the reception and were uploaded the next day) all our guests young and old enjoyed our giveaway!  You can view the rest of the Party Pics from here!

Rating: 5 stars!
Party Pics
Ms. Nadia (632)917-8261729/(632)922-8231721

Wacky Shot! :)

How many times have we heard this every time we take pictures together as a group?  And if you have 150 guests at your wedding you are bound to hear this at least 15 times, once for each time a group of people from a table goes up to the couple’s area to have their picture taken with you, the bride and groom.

Taking the wacky shot may be ok with the guests, they only have to do it once for the night, but for the couple… hmmm it might be an entirely different story.  This is one idea (that won’t cost you anything!) that we thought about so you can get a better variety of wacky shots.  Have a list of various wacky shots that you can do per group while seated in the comfort of your chair!  Here are some ideas:

Classic wacky (anything goes)
Ikaw na! (everybody point at the camera!)
Flying kiss (blow a kiss towards the camera, put your open palm out in front of your puckered lips)
Chinky Eyes (pull the edges of your eyes out towards the side so you will be “singkit”)
Belat (stick out your tongue!)
Rock and roll (hold up only your thumb, inder finger and pinky)
Wave hi (no explanation, works well for tables with more mature/older guests)
Gulat (look shocked, put hand over rounded mouth or put your one hand on each cheek, make sure your eyes look wide!)
Everyone lean to the left/lean to the right
Say Banana! (makes you smile with open mouths!)
Pirate (make a hook with your index finger and growl “arrrrgh!”)
Pogi (hold up thumb and index finger and place under your chin)

The possibilities are only limited by planking and owling (cannot be done by everyone in a small space!).  You can place each wacky shot on strip of paper and place them all in a fishbowl by the couple’s table and ask them to pick out what wacky shot will execute.  If you think it will take up too much time, you can place a wacky shot card per table and ask them to bring it to you as they approach the couple’s table for pictures.

Do you have other ideas for wacky shots? Let me know! 

Supplier Rating: WINK and Madz Madaje

Finally got around to writing my suppliers rating!  First up, the invitation!  We didn't want to splurge a lot on the invites so while doing the usual bridal fair rounds, we decided to pick the people who were the easiest to talk to and was accessible for the both of us.  WINK (or Written In INk) had an office in Makati, offered 20% discount upon booking at the fair and showcased modern but classy invitations.  Best of all, the only charge 1500 for customization of the layout (from the ground up!).  Eventually, we did not avail of the custom layout, we asked Madz Madaje to do our custom vectors from inspirations around Manila. She is heaven sent!  After several emails and various revisions she was able to transform our idea

                                 from this...

                                   to this!

Madz also did the vector for our cartoony San Agustin Church and Palacio de Maynila which we used for the various DIY's we did for the wedding.  Wink helped us in the layout of the actual invitation, sealer (monogram) and the wordings of the invitations.  Just a piece of advice, make sure you consult with your invitation provider regarding what specific program or file format do they need for the invitation layout to make sure that it will be compatible with what they are used to.  Less hassle and you won't have to do the same thing again when you find out they use a different program.

Another piece of advice, make sure your have an estimate of the number of guests you will be having before your place your order for the invitations.  We had to add 50 more invitations because we underestimated our guest list.  It was a good thing Ms. Jenny was so easy to talk to, we got to place the order via email and got it in one week.

Each invitation comes in a clear plastic bag and the sealer/monogram technically does not seal.  Ms. Jenny told us that they do it this way so that the envelopes don't get ripped or damaged when the guests open the invitations, the plastic is more than enough to keep everything together and prevents damage from dust or water! Winner!

Thrifty brides have other options like going to Recto (will have to post a separate blog for this) or choosing less expensive suppliers (like Wingdingz).  However, considering that I only had to go to their shop to get the mock invite and then once more to get the final output with the rest of our transactions done via email, I would have to say I saved a lot in terms of transportation expense, cellphone load and time compared to getting a supplier who was cheaper but is less accessible from where I am based.

Rating: 5 stars!
Jenny D. Ortega
Written in Ink (Wink)
+63 2 894 1500 local 14, +63 933 5333649, +63 2 894 1500
Unit 1 Southway Condominium
Mayapis corner Bakawan Sts.
San Antonio Village, Makati City, Philippines
Madz Madaje (add her on Facebook!)

A Second Life

Technical difficulties aside, this will still be a melting pot of my ideas, mostly coming from my wedding hangover.  Technical difficulties are blessings in disguise, I realized I want this blog to be also be personify three attributes that I have always loves and identified with... shiny, shimmery and splendid.  And yes, that was taken from "A Whole New World". 

And now I breath life into Shining Moments. :D