Wednesday, September 30, 2009

OT: We Can Rise from Ondoy’s Wrath

Dear Online Diary,

On September 26, 2009, typhoon Ondoy wreck havoc to the country, severely affecting the areas of Malabon, Manila, Pasig, Rizal, Marikina, Bulacan, Pampanga, Quezon City and other nearby places. The damage was unexpected. Most of us were unprepared. This is evident to the following pictures collated from my inbox sent by several friends and concerned individuals:

{Waist-deep floodwater along Taft Ave., Manila}

{Another flooded area along Buendia Ave.}

{Provident Village, Marikina}

{Marikina River overflows}

{Faces of uncertainty and cry for help}

{A bridge in Marikina was submerged in floodwater}

{Residents of Teresa, Rizal}

{Affected residents of Bulacan}

{Several cars were washed out by flashflood in a passageway in Quezon City}

{the aftermath}

Most of the victims lost their home, properties and worst, their family member. Our company, JPMorgan Chase, reported that as of today, 467 of the victims are my colleagues. Around 200 more are still missing.

The good news is that God is doing his work. Our countrymen here and from around the globe are raising funds to answer the victims’ call for help. JPMorgan Chase donated US$100,000.00 to Philippine National Red Cross to finance the medical mission for the victims. Just this morning, it was reported that Taiwan will donate 15 weather stations to aid PAGASA with accurate weather forecasting.

The country’s two leading networks are currently asking for donations and pledges from everyone who can help. If they can do these things, why can’t we? Every little help counts. To know how you can extend your blessing, click here or here. Above all, let us pray unceasingly for our countrymen. God hears us.

How about those who were scheduled to marry?

Most of them cancelled their wedding but believe it or not, I know several couples who decided to face Ondoy’s challenge. Special mention to W@W sisses Jeselyn (ni Arnel) and Kat (ni Daniel) who both unfold their personal accounts on our e-group when they got married last Saturday. Their wedding pushed through despite having only around 100 guests (the invited guests are around 400). Ondoy destroyed all of their preparations, took their dream of executing a beautiful and well-planned wedding, not to mention lots of resources were put to waste.

Despite all these, no flashflood or slex traffic jam held them back from going to their respective wedding venue. One of them rode a pedicab just to reach the church on time. Another had to ask the help of Makati Fire station because all roads leading to their church were impassable to light vehicles (thus, their bridal car) because of the waist-deep floodwater.

Kudos to you and your respective families, sisses! You are the true epitome of how “Love conquers all”.

Myspace Glowing text

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fascinated with Bridal Fascinators

Dear Online Diary,

Yes, indeed. I'm fascinated with it. My passion for fascinators came way back in April when I started to rummage around the net for wedding inspiration. By the term itself, it can add glamor to the already spellbinding
beautiful bride on her wedding day.

Bridal fascinators come in a variety of materials, designs and color. Trendy styles are the traditional face veils made with mini top hat and exquisitely designed floral details but simple fascinators made with flower, feather, crystal, silk flower, or sinamay together with sequins and pearl decorations are slowly making its mark. The following are just some of the gazillion fascinators around the web from passionate brides and entrepreneurs:

{Lovely Fascinators from the following sites: WeddingFascinator, Shellysheek and Twigs&Honey on Etsy}

Although it’s more popular to brides with vintage wedding theme, I still would like to get one for myself and my girls. As always, I’ll keep you posted. =)

Myspace Glowing text

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Prep Props:

Dear Online Diary,

I've discovered another treasure which can significantly help us, radiant B2Bs, in planning our own wedding. Here are the benefits I have experience while utilizing

It’s free.
No subscription needed. You’ll just have to sign-up, create your very own inner bride and you’re ready to take the time of your life. Here, take a look at my inner bride:

{Wedding avatar created on}

It’s user-friendly.
The topics are outlined on the left column while the main tools are at the top of the page. It’s very organize yet simple to use.

Experience is the best teacher.
The website features real life weddings and engagements of its members. I’ve learn a lot of DIY projects, themes and techniques from these brides to make my own wedding preps an experience to remember.

It’s complete, if not perfect.
Let’s see: it has planning tools such as wedding checklist, wedding budgeter, guest list, website and ticker. We can search for inspiration from the endless list of wedding photos, flowers, reception, vows, cakes, invitations, songs, favors, bridal gown, groom’s suit, entourage dresses and suits, wedding rings… and I can go on forever.

It’s promising.
It promises to guide us from step one all the way to the very minute when we are ready to walk down the aisle to our honeymoon. Sweet.

This is really great and I’m having a blast. The only down side is that it's US-based so the registries and wedding suppliers are, needless to say, from the US. Nevertheless, it's still a great tool. Happy preps! =)

Myspace Glowing text

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nice-to-Have: Towering & Unique Wedding Cakes

Dear Online Diary,

In a wedding, I’m almost certain that someone can distinguish the kind of wedding by merely looking and examining the wedding cake. A simple cake symbolizes a simple celebration while a towering designer cake means a grand festivity.

I’ve found two of the best wedding cakes almost all brides would like to have on their wedding day. Read on.

First off is the towering wedding cake of celebrity Ruffa Gutierrez and Yilmaz Bektas. It’s a 10 ft apple-walnut fondant, with Swarovski crystal trimmings. It was also reported that even when a member of the security personnel guarded the cake, it didn’t stop some of the guests from taking home the precious crystals.

{The elegant wedding cake of Ruffa & Yilmaz}
This is the life-size wedding cake of Chidi Ogbuta of Texas, USA. The cake is 5 ft tall, which is made up of butterscotch (the skirt, which is the edible part) and polymer clay (the upper part and the limbs). It’s an exact replica of the bride in her wedding dress. For her, it’s a dream come true to have such a unique wedding cake.

{The couple and the life-size wedding cake of Chidi}
Too tempting, right? These cakes will definitely prompt your guests to talk about your wedding for days.

These are listed under my Nice-to-Have items, not needs. Although, you can't deny the fact that these cakes are certified eye-candies =)

Myspace Glowing text

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Wedding Theme

Dear Online Diary,

The long wait is over. After going through some intricate details, debate and sleepless nights, H2B and I were able to finalize our wedding theme. Mind you, it’s FINAL and it’s going to be

{Inspiration Board: camera, my "it" shoes, prep dress, bouquet, wedding cake, accessories & elements of nature}

Photographs. DSLR camera. Horizon. Sunset. Clouds. Plants. Trees. Butterflies. Insects. Flowers. Green meadow. Landscape. Ocean. People. Elegance. Beauty. Celebrate. Live. Laugh. Love. Happiness. Forever.

It all fits. It’s all memorable. It’s all US.

Related Articles:

Our Motif: The Elegance of Nature

1. Inspiration board created on (the best!)
2. I'm so excited to work around our theme. Until next time, happy preps! =)

Myspace Glowing text

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Feat: Our Greatest Accomplishment To Date

Dear Online Diary,

These past few months, H2B and I have been very busy with certain things that will definitely change our lives during and after the wedding. Just yesterday, we accomplished one of them and we’re very excited about it.

Do you want to know what this feat really is? I’ll let you have a peak. Watch this…

{Photo Montage created on}

Myspace Glowing text

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Nice-to-Have: Beetle Limo

Dear Online Diary,

Starting today, I am going to share some of the items that we want to have on our wedding day. Please take note, Wants and not Needs. The list is, of course, not limited to mere things. It can be a particular reception and/or church set-up, music, event highlight or suppliers. I know practical brides like me can perfectly relate that in planning a wedding, it is so hard to let go of something just because you do not want to splurge all you have in one day. This is especially true when you fell inlove with it. Anyhow, I promise that the featured items are certified eye candy. =)

Let’s start with the bridal car. The following photos are taken from a flier I obtained from a previous bridal fair engagement. The car's maker is not well known in the industry or in w@w community as of this writing. Nevertheless, I fell inlove with the Beetle Limo. This is because I like a white bridal car for elegance, stretched and roomy for comfort, and low to make it easy for me to get out of the car even when wearing a fairly heavy gown. This is exactly what the Bettle Limo is made of. Here, take a look and admire it's uniqueness & elegance:

{The black & white version of the infamous Beetle Limo}

{Sneak peak: the inside mechanism, features and technicalities}

{Comparison: customized Beetle Limo models vs original Beetle model}

Myspace Glowing text

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Trial Make-Up: Victoria Gonzalez

Dear Online Diary,

HMUA is one of the most important suppliers in a wedding, at least for me. They could make a bride radiant or not on her wedding day. This is the main reason why this early, I’ve been on the look out for a professional HMUA.

I had the opportunity to try the expertise of Ms. Victoria Gonzalez, one of the professional HMUAs present at the Wedding Expo Philippines bridal fair launched by Themes & Motifs. This is my second trial make-up. The first was with Ms. Jessica of Shiseido. Ms. Victoria has been in the industry for seven years, having the pleasure to work with some of the prominent models and product endorsers.

It was truly an experience. She’s jolly, not exactly timid when it comes to sharing her make-up product choices and photo shoot experiences. I also like that she used high end make-up products during the trial. I requested for dramatic eyes because I thought I need colors on it, to which she exclaimed and I quoted, “It’s not exactly what a normal bride would choose. I like it.” With excitement, here’s what she did:

{The client and the artist: Photo op with Ms. Victoria Gonzalez}

You can see her other creations when you visit her website by clicking here. For the meantime, do you have something in mind? Comments and/or reactions are very much welcome. =)

Myspace Glowing text

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bridal Fair Escapade: Wedding Expo Philippines

Dear Online Diary,

H2b and I were at the PICC Forum yesterday to attend the Wedding Expo Philippines bridal fair by Themes & Motifs. It is one of the bridal fairs that we’ve enjoyed. Why? Read on.

As part of the promotional efforts of Themes & Motifs, they conducted a contest for couples whose love story started or continued on Friendster. My entry was chosen as one of the 15 love stories and so, we were part of the ribbon cutting/opening ceremony yesterday, September 5, 2009. Here are some pictures taken during the opening ceremony:

{Ribbon Cutting Opening Ceremony: Our turn for photo op wearing our matching Bride-Groom shirts =)}

{Release of Doves Ceremony}

{Friendster winners with the bridal fair's major sponsors}

{Release of Doves: take 1}

{Some doves just can't leave us =)}

{As winners, we received this special gift pack from Friendster and Themes & Motifs. Thank you. =)}

Moving on to the bridal fair, the suppliers line up is impressive. We saw Jason Magbanua's booth, one of the country's leading videographers. John Mateos Ong, one of the country's most in-demand photographers, and his wife are personally there to meet and greet their potential clients. Josiah’s catering has 4-5 booths, as far as I could remember, for food tasting on site. The sample drinks of
mobile bars at the fair are not bad even for those who do not want alcoholic drinks. There are 2-3 bridal magazine publishers such as Martha Stewart and Wedding Essentials. There are a couple of HMUAs who offered trial make-up. As a matter of fact, I got one done by Ms. Victoria Gonzalez (click here for the story).

What we enjoyed the most are the photo booth suppliers. We tried a handful. Our favorite is the new concept by Blow-up Babies. They can bring their studio set-up right at the wedding venue. The set-up can be based on the wedding theme or to the couple’s preference. They can also hold a pre-nuptial shoot at their studio. Take a look at their cool concept:

{We're actually standing here. They set the "bed" right to the wall to appear like we are lying down. cool =)}

We are impressed with their original concept so we are considering to take our engagement shoot with them. I have this concept in mind, to which H2b agreed. We talked to Yan-yan, one of their photographers and luckily, they can work around our theme. Personally, I can’t wait to work with them! =)

If not for the bad weather, we would still go to the fair today. It’s a bummer because we’d like to book two of the suppliers at the fair. Oh well, may be next time. To other B2Bs out there who would like to personally check these amazing suppliers, the fair is still open up until 8:00 pm today. Happy preps! =)

Myspace Glowing text

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wedding Budget 101

Dear Online Diary,

Married life after the wedding ceremony is as important as the wedding day itself. That’s why H2B and I decided not to splurge our hard-earned money on our wedding day alone. I know my parents and parents-to-be would certainly agree.

This is the main reason why we want to get married on a budget. Lucky for us, practical brides, wedding experts give these random tips on how to intelligently allot our wedding budget:

Tip#1: Know who’s paying.
Talk with your families about who will pay for what. To bring up the conversation, talk to each family separately to have genuine open discussions.

Here are a number of strategies to determine the initial budget:

1. Ask both of your folks to commit to a specific amount, and then add up all the contributions to create your budget.
2. Alternatively, it may be easier to ask each set of parents to finance a particular aspect of the wedding (such as the catering, honeymoon, or wedding ring) instead of just committing to a particular amount.
3. Decide how much you two can contribute between now and the wedding.

Tip#2: Determine how much you actually need.
Here’s a general rule in allocating the budget:
Reception: 48%-50%
Photography/Videography: 10%-12%
Attire: 8%-10%
Flowers: 8%-10%
Entertainment/Music: 8%-10%
Stationery: 2%-3%
Wedding Rings: 2%-3%
Ceremony: 2%-3%
Parking/Transportation: 2%-3%
Gifts: 2%-3%
Miscellaneous: 8%

To avoid stress, allot about 5% of your budget for an emergency fund. If you're financing your honeymoon, remember to include that on your budget, too.

Tip#3: Learn how much you can save.
As soon as you're engaged, start putting aside as much of your income as you can for the wedding. Saving 20% of your monthly income is a good yet painful goal. The longer your engagement, the more you'll be able to sock away.

Here are some ways to save:
1. Limit your spending to things that you truly need. These changes will hardly affect your quality of life, but after a year, the extra cash will cover some wedding essentials.

2. If you have the resources, do not be afraid to experiment and do some DIY projects. Depending on your enthusiasm, this could be a good investment even after the wedding.

{photo source:}

I hope you learned as much as I did. Happy preps! =)

Myspace Glowing text

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

H2B’s Surprise Birthday Bash

Dear Online Diary,

It was H2B’s 27th birthday last Sunday, 30th of August, and a day after MJ’s birthday. Although it’s a very special day for him, he wanted to keep it simple. His plan was to surprise his family with food-ala-fiesta when we got back home from the mall. He did not have any idea that we, together with his brother, think otherwise.

As promised, I'd like to share what happened on that blessed and most special day. Here was the plan:
1. Send a message the night before to his brother to finalize the plan.
2. Ask H2B to pick me up at around 9:00 am so we can attend the Sunday mass.
3. "Drag" him to SM Southmall to have the winning Bride-Groom logos printed with extra shopping to kill time. (Side note: I had to use the word "drag" because H2B did not want to go to the mall. It was the weekend sale so the traffic was horrible and the crowd was unmanageable.)
4. Secretly send text messages to his brother to get an update as to what was happening at home.
5. Surprise, surprise, surprise!

I commend his brother for being resourceful. He was able to execute our plan perfectly. From the pizza-turned cake to the way they surprised him as soon as we arrived.

{H2B just before he blow the candle}

We're both thankful to God because we enjoyed the day and we love how it turned out. =)

Myspace Glowing text

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

DIY: And the Winning Logos are...

Dear Online Diary,

Last week, we asked our friends and w@wie sisses to help us choose the logos for our matching Bride-Groom shirts. Finally, as part of H2B’s birthday bash yesterday (read the story here), we had our shirts printed with the winning logos. Here are the final products:

{The winning logos #2: it’s a landslide victory}

{Winning logos: Close-up}

{a little surprise-slash-announcement at the back}

Thanks to our friends and w@wies who took time to vote. We will proudly wear these shirts during bridal fairs, pre-nuptial pictorial and/or family gathering.

Until next time, happy preps! =)

Related Article:
Bride-Groom Logos Need Your Vote

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