Overall, I was satisfied with how the wedding went. Of course we should be with all the effort and expenses!:)) Wedding planning was harder than I thought so I appreciated the feedback very much.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Our contact person was Bro Reyn (last day Jan 15).
The reason why we chose this place is because it has air conditioning. The place has to be well ventilated given that we are going to be in multiple layers of clothing. I don't remember sweating (except my nose for some reason:p) so I'm glad the chapel did their part of the deal. :)) It doesn't come cheap though because the church fee is exclusive of the air conditioning. It's a good thing that the air conditioning is inclusive in our package.
Our officiating priest was Fr. William Ramos. He is not the chapel's official priest but conducted our canonical interview. He was cool (cool-bo daw sabi ni Topeng) and even pranked me slightly so Topeng can make up for his proposal (according to him) so we requested for him. Our parents liked his homily and he liked our chosen Gospel. Yey for us since that misallette took a lot of work. If I knew, I would have just availed from the chapel to create the misallette, but I'm still glad we did since we get to personally choose the readings meaningful to us and make it according to our motif.
Reception Venue: Fernbrook Gardens
Contacts: Claire dela Pena (account executive) - 09175643163; Jerico (venue coordinator) - 09177918452
Since we had to work onsite during the engagement period, this was the only place where Topeng and I had time to have an ocular and Topeng loved it immediately. We didn't book it immediately though since I found it grand. After Popy arrived in Tucson, they had bridal fair there where they offered some discounts and packages which I took advantage of. Initially, I chose the lower package which included the reception, ceremony flowers, catering for 100pax by an accredited caterer, sounds, OTD coordination and one-night hotel accommodation. But after talking with Pop on the phone that night, he also liked the inclusions of the higher priced package which included the ceremony flowers and photo video aside from the items already mentioned. I called/texted Claire to ask if we can still change the chosen package and she approved. Whew! So that took care of a lot of things!:D
The package also included a free use of the venue for prenuptial shoot. We got our money's worth there as well since aside from the shoot, we also had our civil wedding there free of charge. It was a dream.
Our guests and friends from abroad were impressed with the venue. The victorian ambiance, trumpeted entrance and gondola were unique for them. It is also convenient that the ceremony venue is the same location as the reception and the guest parking is spacious. We were the only event that day so we got the venue with the bridal room to ourselves.
Catering: K By Cunanan
Contact: Macy Dy 09175199986
Fernbrook has 8 accredited caterers and I admit I went to most of their food tastings. Free food is one thing that you can never say no to. What makes K different? Instead of the usual bridal fair banquet, they have private food tasting. At first, I found this a bit elitist but I realized it ensures that the quality of the food is good and not "cafeteria" type. So what made us chose K? A lot of our friends recommended it so they must be good. Macy is a professional and is diligent in taking note of our requirements. The Fernbrook package price was lower than their lowest package but I was so relieved that we agreed on the Fernbrook price. It included the basic food and styling unlike the other caterers where there is no option but to pay additional for their lowest package price. With K, we just had to pay additional for the upgrades (lechon,tiffany chairs, backdrop,crew meals). Even at the last few days before the wedding, we were making changes to the guest count and she can easily be contacted for that and additional questions we had. Two days after the event, we were made aware that the food was not properly allocated. We contacted Macy and I really appreciate that she took time to reply and made sure that we were satisfied.
Recommended: Yes, most of our guests complimented the food (kaya siguro nabitin). Our coordinator warned us that they serve only exactly as declared so 1.) make sure that you have informed your suppliers that crew meal will be provided if you have availed of crew meals. 2.) Get plated service though this is more expensive so only if you have the budget.
Flowers: 1558 Flowers
Contact: Anthony Ong 09178518669
There are two accredited Fernbrook florist. My mom chose 1558 because their flowers are not artificially colored according to her. Our ceremony and entourage flowers were as vibrant and fresh as I expected them to be.
Recommended: Y. My only pet peeve with them I guess is that they have no name recall or at least customer record keeping system/database. I have been to their booth several times and on all instances they didn't recognize me and our requirements are not on available for viewing. If my brother hadn't asked if a boutonniere would be worn, I wouldn't have remembered to count our entourage flowers. If I wasn't so persistent , I had a feeling that they'll get our order wrong because they didn't even call us before the wedding to verify our order.
Sound and Lights: Aljoe Mix
Contact: Joebert Sixto 09174601454
Review: They are the only accredited lights and sounds supplier of Fernbrook so they should now what they're doing. Our package only included the sounds and projector so we had to pay separately for the lights. No complaints in both departments.
Recommended: Yes, if your venue is in Fernbrook and you are avoiding corkage and you aren't getting a separate meals for the crew. Otherwise No, since they ate from our buffet instead of the allocated crew meal...nabitin tuloy ung guests.tsk!
Event Coordination: Jhune Salud
Contact: Jhune Salud 09164879326
Review: Popy tried to convince me to get the partial coordination since we were out of the country most of the time but I'm content with the decision of just getting the OTD coordination which is part of our Fernbrook package. I don't want to pay for something that I can do and I was afraid that a partial coordinator will just be an additional thing to coordinate. Anyway, there are 3 accredited Fernbrook coordinators. Since Tita Jade, my mom's friend, booked Jhune Salud, I also booked him as well. The meetings with Jhune before the wedding went smoothly. He gave me helpful checklists to make sure that I don't forget anything. He provided several tips and helped prepare the programme. On the day, Jhune and his angels were at our disposal. They made sure that our wedding paraphernalia were distributed, our appearance and that of our entourage are polished and the timeline is followed as scheduled. We enjoyed ourselves and their didn't seem to be a problem. He even provided me with guest and timeline status while I was having my second look done after the ceremony,pictorial and before the reception. The programme was changed slightly but it was a pleasant surprise.
After the wedding though, there were some items that I wish they handled differently. The guestbook did not reach the groom's side of the reception and was not fully signed. I wouldn't have mind but if I knew that that would happen then I could have someone from the entourage pass it around the reception. Another thing is the crew meals. Their team was not able to eat because they gave their allotted crew meals to the buffet meal because some suppliers ate from the banquet lessening the food supposedly allotted to the guests. I sure hope that they were able to use the unrewarded Starbucks GC. Also, the skylanterns we ordered from a Fernbrook supplier were not turned over to us. Tita Jade gave her excess skylanterns and those were ones that were used and there were still leftovers. Lastly, we raised these concerns with them but we have not received any reply. My mom just relayed their unofficial response to us.
Recommended: Maybe. They were helpful before and during the wedding; they were just not able to follow through afterwards. I just don't know if I'll encounter the same problem with other two accredited suppliers.
Photo Video: Wally Gonzales Photography
Contact: Arlene 09178492559
Review (by Topeng): It was a bit of a surprise to many when I chose Wally G for our wedding's photo and video since I am a bit picky especially in these 2 realms. I was actually a bit hesitant in booking them but the alternatives were just too expensive to compute. One of the biggest deciding factor as well is my assumption that since they are the in-house photo/video of Fernbrook, they should know every angle, nook and cranny there.
The WG team was actually very accommodating. Me being always behind the camera was a bit lost when I became the subject instead of the photographer, good thing they are ready to direct your with the standard poses. Some people do mind this and prefer the so called journalistic photography, good thing I don't. I already have a lot of things on my mind that day to think of what pose I should be doing. :p
As for Nina, I don't think she had any problems at all! As with all her photos that I saw, she was perfect in all angles. :">
Let me separate the review into photo and video:
Photo: They have decent gear (I think I saw the FF: 50L, 24-105L, 70-200L f2.8, 60D, 5Dmk2 and 7D) as they should and a group of talented photographers. Most of the photos are good and can be considered standard wedding poses. So far I have seen most of the photos that they have taken and pretty much contented. I am saying most of because it is a bit hard to browse 6,932 containing all photos, mostly burst shots (good: there are times you can capture a winning moment; bad: harder to browse). Only one thing that I think I would miss is that I am a fan of negative space shots and shallow DOF shots and I felt they were lacking in those area. But aside from that I and for sure Nina are happy with the output. We have yet to select the photos that will be added to the album but it is safe to assume that it will be awesome.
Video: The base package only has standard definition included and no SDE. Me thinking that since this will be a once in a lifetime event and that we actually did have a lot of stuff we would like to immortalize, we upgraded our base package to include the same day edit (as Nina would say "Tumabo sa takilya" video) and also to the full HD package since I want to make sure that memory of the day is recorded in all it's 1080p glory. The SDE sure was more awesome than I expected especially on the first viewing. But repeating it 10x it in 1hour I saw some clips that I would have changed. :)) Nonetheless I have no qualms and expecting the remaining coverage will be just as good. Arlene also gave me the raw clips of the entire wedding, so in the event that I have the time and patience, I can create my own short clip of the wedding. Yey!
Other reception amenities: Reception Essentials
Contact: Vangie Ramirez, now no longer connected to Reception Essentials, email rerouted to email@example.com
Review: We availed the bridal car, gondola and skylanterns from them. No complaints with the bridal car; the driver even took us back to the hotel after the reception. No complaints with the gondola either; "it is good to have especially if you have an SDE"-Topeng. Skylanterns should have been turned over sooner and I don't believe that the supplier for this should be accredited by Fernbrook as with our case. "This one can't be shown in the SDE so I'm not sure if it's worth it"-Nina. In terms of follow through, I didn't get a response on the skylantern concern even just to clarify.
Recommended: Based on the review, you be the judge.
Photobooth: Photobooth Manila
Contact: Kristine Francisco 09064140939
Review: This is Topeng's baby that Ate Tinay is managing so you know it's quality!-> We have three layouts which I loved...feeling ko bida kami ng koreanovela.:)) We also have a photo album where guests can sign in which initially thought was redundant but turned out to be a good thing given the output of our signature album.
Recommended: Of course!
Other Photo and Video needs: Verses Photography
Contact: Johnny Francisco 09217723043
Review: Thanks to my father-in-law for making our AVP, signature album and gallery pictures. Our AVP was looped throughout the reception and was filled with our childhood and travel pictures. The signature album is now our coffee table book and the gallery pictures are now displayed in our home.
Recommended: Yes, you can rely on them to share/display your memories.
Attire: Berto/Marilyn Adriatico
Contact: Emilene Francisco 09217929755/8718420
Review: I loved how our and our entourage's attire turned out. It was as youthful and polished as I imagined it to be. It did not come easy though. I could have booked a couturier with a name but I didn't because I couldn't bear to pay that much for something that may not be worth it.
The male entourage tailor, Berto, was recommended by our Ninong Noel. He used to make suits for an SM brand. I'm glad that he got the measurements right the first time since he is based in Pampanga so it was a challenge to coordinate.
For the female entourage though, we had to go through trial and error. Initially, I booked my gown with Bridal factory and the female entourage with Flordeliza's which we both found in 168 but were both unsatisfactory. Bridal Factory did not follow the specifications as sketched and Flordeliza did not follow the correct shade of textile that we agreed upon. Parehong hindi ganong kaganda ang tahi at pareho kaming pinagtataguan. I'm so grateful my mother-in-law stepped up since we had to fly out of the country after we realized this fact. She found her old couturier, Marlyn. She is a skilled seamstress but was already planning going abroad to earn money to build a business. Without my MIL's perseverance, PR and diligence to go to Divisoria, the gowns wouldn't have finished on time. Also, we retained the flowergirl dresses from Flordeliza so that would have been better.
For both suppliers, we bought the textile and materials in Divisoria and just paid for the labor. Our principal sponsors were cool with using their own suits and paying for the labor of their gown and we just provided their neckties and textile. Our female entourage were cool with buying their shoes with my specifications and the male entourage with their tie clips.
Recommended: I recommend my mother-in-law so if Emilene's Bridals pushes through then book her ASAP! :)) As with the other suppliers mentioned, book at your own risk. If you're entourage is paying for their own clothes and are willing to make it according to your specifications then I guess it's ok to book for someone with a name and good reputation. Otherwise, I hope you'll be lucky enough to find a reliable, skilled tailor/seamstress or have mothers like mine. If you're relying on a sketch, ensure that the sketcher is also a dressmaker.
Hair and Makeup: Red Mirror by Karen Garcia
Contact: Karen Garcia 09228243521
Review: Kai is also the one who did my hair and makeup during the civil wedding/prenup shoot. I gave her my feedback (similar to the one I posted in my civil wedding entry) and decided to book her again. She tried to convince me to upgrade to airbrush this time but I had no time to do another trial. I didn't want to take the risk on the day. Now I'm wondering if I should have found time to do the trial before the wedding and if it could have helped with my uncharacteristically sweaty nose and sweating after our first dance.:)). My feedback was not applied on the first touch though so I had to reiterate it to Kai. My hair was still somehow straying. I heard the coordinator mentioned something that could have helped with that but Kai did not bring it so that could have been remedied I guess. She was cool with retouching my makeup though after I ruined it with our eye cover eklavu and eating lunch. Points for improvement aside, I was satisfied with how my entourage turned out especially my pretty sisters.
Recommended: If we have the same budget and you're not that keen with makeup, then yes. Their team is small though so I suggest to get an additional makeup artist if you have a lot of members of your entourage who wants to have their makeup done with you.
Host: Ryan Fortaleza
Contact: Ryan Fortaleza 0915 7735652 / 0923 7299902
Review: My mom recommended him because he also sings. The programme we discussed with him was slightly different from what happened during the event but luckily we were open to it. One of our guests told us that he was also their emcee at their wedding. After the wedding, one of our guests asked for his contact so I'm glad he was a hit. :)
Music: Friends and Rhymes Ensemble
Contact: Dhoie dela Cruz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Review: My mom also recommended them. Their female vocalist, Rice, is from my mom's office staff. She gave us a sample and I admit hearing her voice gives goosebumps. I also appreciate Dhoie helping us and providing us with our song selection.
Recommended: Yes. They were also a hit with our guests.
Contact: Angelyn Tan
Review: We were glad that Angelyn had a cake with our budget using our desired motif. My MIL was able to negotiate the cake to be mostly edible instead of just a slice. Too bad we weren't able to share it with our guests since we didn't know until after the event. Also, thanks to my brother-in-law Mat for making the cake toppers.
Recommended: Yes. They don't have delivery for our budget though so you have to make separate arrangements for that.
Review: This seems to be the best hotel in the area. We booked a suite and deluxe room aside from the one night stay in the package. I just wished our rooms were not adjacent to each other because we could have easily seen each other during the preparations.
Choreography: Just Dance 4
Review: We didn't get a professional choreographer. Thanks to this technology our dance was hit and we were able to practice our choreography during the busy holiday season and lose some weight as well.
Recommended: Yes. Ang hirap talaga kumita ng pera but it was fun.