Bride Talks: Series 2

Let there be light. Our bride today, Arlene Louraine, shared to us how she handled situations during her wedding day that are out of control. Read the full article and be inspired.

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“God has His own plan. He has His own way. His ways we cannot fully understand, but we chose to fully submit and embrace His wonderful plans for the beginning of our lives together.

Wedding day came. It was a bright sunny day with a little shower of rain. Our venue was located in Mayagay Sampaloc, Rizal, a private resort named The Loop Garden Resort. We kept on praying for the rain to stop, and it did, but it would rain again. It was as if God was sending His blessings for the both of us. I chose to be faithful. I chose to believe that it would be a beautiful day.

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Ceremony was over. Reception came. We reached up to the group picture per table then line up started for dinner. But the lights had gone and it was a total blackout. No microphone. No sounds. No photobooth. While the rain was still pouring. We were seated with hands held tight at the couple’s area, trying to figure out what was happening. Our friends, who were also our coordinators, gave us an assurance that everything would be fine. Electric generator was turned on and the manager of the venue even stepped in to help.

But despite this unfortunate event, the photographer and videographer professionally proceeded to their works. We used the flashlights from the guests’ mobile phones just to make this magic happen.

Guests, afterwards, gave their gifts and tokens while giving their warm greetings and best jokes saying, “Una na kami, malamig at madilim na kasi.” It was saddening, at first, as guests started to leave the venue, but I still chose to praise God. Our friends from Victory Fort started to play acoustic guitar and sang altogether, making the night as wonderful as God’s grace. We sang. We danced. We felt loved. And we knew it was God who was moving. Prayers poured and we were reminded that God was still God no matter what the circumstances are. And He still is.”

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Photographer: Beethhoven Mendez

Bride Talks: Series 1

Merry To Marry has a new editorial segment this 2017. You will get a dose of inspiration straight from real brides (or brides-to-be). You will get to read their wonderful stories, valuable tips, and random stuff every Friday. What a way to end the week, right? And for today’s bride talk, you will get to know more about the wedding budget costing.

Let’s hear from this wonderful lady, Aiki, who just get hitched last month.


Photo by Myio Okamoto Photography

Preparing for a wedding needs thorough budget analysis since not all couples have the same income. Some may have prepared for their big day and have spent years in saving for the potential expenses while some only started to put aside a portion of their income or savings after getting engaged. Whether you are a rich kid who can get support from your family or you’re just an average employee, having a wedding fund is always necessary. Having your wedding fund would at least let you know how much you and your fiancé can splurge. This will also give you a good idea how much you lack and how much you only need for certain wedding suppliers. Doing your personal wedding costing would also help in estimating the current price rates and trend in the local wedding industry, which would enlighten you and your fiancé up to how much you’re supposed to spend for each category.



Photos by Myio Okamoto Photography

When planning to do your wedding budget costing, you should highly consider the following:

  • Wedding Date and Year. Peak season rates are different from regular months as well as rates for 2016 for example is entirely different from 2017 or 2018 weddings. Some suppliers also demand for inflation rate fee to stay competitive in the industry.
  • Supplier Price Range Preference. This varies depending on your wants or needs that can be categorized from low-range suppliers, mid-range suppliers and high-range suppliers. Some couples prefer to get low-range suppliers because they are on a very tight budget while some can go to the extreme of booking all high-end suppliers which are those who usually cater to millionaires, celebrities and politicians that obviously can exceed your wedding budget to 5M pesos and up!
  • Church and Reception Venue. Obviously Manila-based weddings have a different price tag when compared to destination weddings such as those held in Boracay, Balesin or even in Tagaytay. The price rates would double or triple depending on the venue’s reputation, corkages and OOT fees from suppliers if they are not locally based.
  • List of priority suppliers to be booked. It’s simply wants VS needs. This is needed to sort out early from the beginning what you and your fiancé needs to prioritize in booking first since there’s a possibility that along the way, you will be enticed to purchase or book suppliers that is not really that important and then you’ll be surprised in the end that your initial budget of 500K blew to 1M or more for example. Other than the reception venue this will include event stylist and florist, bridal gown couture, groom’s suit, shoes, invitations, souvenirs, entourage attires, jewelries, bridal car, prep robe, etc
  • Number of Guests. Rates would vary depending on the package that the couple would get per head. Catering would either be a sit-down style menu with waiters on the side willing to assist complete with VIP treatment which is more costly than the usual buffet style menu, where all the guests would line up to get something to eat.
  • Corkage Fees. These fees are applicable when your suppliers are not accredited with each other. This is usually added with your reception venue and caterer. For example if your chosen caterer is not accredited by your chosen venue, corkage fees will apply. Same thing goes with your chosen mobile bar supplier which you need to pay corkage fees to both your venue and caterer if they’re not accredited with both.
  • Out-of-Town (OOT) Fees. This should be noted especially if you have a destination wedding or your supplier is sourced out from where you will be married or where your reception will be held.
  • Accommodation/Airfare or Transportation Fees. This is connected with OOT fees especially if the wedding/ service are held out of the country or is very far away.
  • Crew Meals. This is a standard gesture where the suppliers who will be servicing during the PreNup shoot and wedding needs to be fed properly. The food would entail from breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner.
  • Service Charge and Taxes. Not all caterers include service charge in their packages so be mindful with it since on a standard rate it’s 10% of the overall contract price. Taxes, on the other hand is 12% of the overall contract price as well.
  • Engagement Shoots. This includes either photo shoot only, video shoot only or both. Some people do not consider this as part of the wedding budget but in reality, this should be counted as well since it will take a big chunk in the expenses (around 10-20%) for the duration of the wedding preparations. When doing a costing for this, P/V rate should be kept in mind especially if they’re not yet included in the wedding photo and video budget, as well as fees for the HMUA, stylists (if there is any), location, crew meals for the day of the engagement shoot, clothes, shoes, accessories, transportation, hotel accommodation and OOT fee (if needed).
  • Miscellaneous Expenses. There are tons of miscellaneous expenses that couples were surprised in the end that they unknowingly need to pay for. Usually this includes additional headcount for the guests because of family issues, accommodation/airfare/transportation of relatives that live out-of-town, personalized DIY projects that costs almost or sometimes more than your intended budget for it, treats/gifts for your sponsors and entourage when you asked them to be part of your big day (plus your souvenirs for them after the wedding), tips/gifts for the suppliers, non-refundable deposits done from cancelled contracts, and so on.

Photo by Myio Okamoto Photography

The list can go on since it will depend on you and your fiancé’s preference but they are the usual major things to consider when doing your wedding budget costing. It may be really difficult at first especially if you’re not used to Accounting or book keeping, but hey this is your wedding and if you really do plan on being hands on and is on a tight budget, then you might as well enjoy the ride!”