I have never been the type of girl who fantasized about weddings or being a bride. Being a princess, a superstar, an astronaut and everything else in between, yes but a bride- never. Don’t get me wrong, I always knew that I one day wanted to be married but I always imagined the being married part much rather than getting married. I had never been a wedding and thought to myself, “I want my wedding to be like this” except for one occasion where our friends had hired a Zumba instructor and I spent most of the night drunk and dancing in my bare feet. So when Paolo had popped the question on that fateful night on the 25th of December and after all the merriment was made, I was left with the question- what’s next?
Sure, I had gone on Pinterest and filled my board with inspirations of dresses, decors and the like. I had searched for budgeting ideas, timelines and themes so much that I had overwhelmed myself to the point that in less than a month, that I had printed myself a possibly already 100 pages already Bridal Binder which, after a month or so, I have already left to rot somewhere in my office. And yet, when you ask me the 4th & 5th most important questions of any wedding: “where and when are you going to get married?” I still have no answer to give you.
(I believe that 1st most important question is: Who are you going to marry? 2nd: Why do you want to get married? 3rd: How much is your budget?)
Upon speaking to our parents, they had advised us to first to set a budget and most importantly, to stick to it! They had given us money saving techniques and ideas on how we could be more practical on our spending for this special day which Paolo and I have been mindful of in every step of the way. These tips, I will definitely share with everyone when the time is right.
Following this, we were then advised to set a date for a wedding and to book a church (since Paolo & I agreed to have a Catholic wedding) as soon as possible as some churches get booked fast. Also, people are going to constantly badger you for a wedding date so you might as well have an answer.
PICKING OUT A CHURCH:
Paolo and I had discussed our requirements and expectations of where we wanted to get married even before we started checking out churches. We both agreed that we wanted it to have air conditioning (we’re thinking of getting married some time in the summer), intimate, accessible to our guests and most of all, affordable. This then helped us narrow down our choices. Surprisingly, we were in for a rude awakening.
We then decided to check out 3 churches: St. Therese Church (Lahug), San Pedro Calungsod Shrine & Sacred Heart Church/ St. Francis Xavier Chapel.
ST. THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS PARISH
Price with aircon: additional P35,000.00
Seating capacity: over 1,000 people
As beautiful as The St. Therese church was, I cannot deny the fact that it is a whole lot of yellow and a whole lot of yellow that I cannot bear to stand which I expressed very openly in our vlog. For the price of P45,000.00 for an hour, for what we hope would be less than 200- 250 people, St. Therese Church would mean spending too much for too much space that would not be used. Also, P35,000.00 more for air conditioning?
CEBU ARCHDIOCESAN SHRINE OF SAINT PEDRO CALUNGSOD
Seating capacity: 150 people
No aircon. welp.
I honestly had my heart set on San Pedro Calungsod Shrine the moment I heard about it. Having visited it twice, I was immediately mesmerized by the interior because not only was it beautiful but it also meant that we would not have to spend on church decorations. Over the recent years, the shrine was only open for renewal of wedding vows and was just recently available for newly weds. Unluckily for us, they do not have air conditioning which as mentioned, is one of our church requirements.
SACRED HEART PARISH & ST. FRANCIS XAVIER CHAPEL
Seating capacity: 200 people
Close to giving up and fearful that we would have to increase our budget and compromise on a not-so-intimate wedding, I remembered that my aunt had recently mentioned getting married at the chapel beside the famous Sacred Heart Church. Little did we know that it was right within our budget, had aircon and actually fit all the requirements we had wanted in a church!
There is a slight problem of it being connected to the baptism area and only being divided by glass panels which could be a possible distraction during the ceremony but I’m hoping that we can cover it up. Also if you’re wondering, weddings and baptisms are not allowed to happen simultaneously and I also very, very happy!! weeee!
To be honest with a lot of you, I’m still more interested in actually being married than getting married itself but I’m going to try and enjoy this process as much as I can because at the end of the day, there are people out there who could only dream of being where I am and therefore, I consider myself blessed. Paolo and I are very simple people who enjoy being silly and simply want our special day to reflect who are as a couple and of course, to be filled with the kind of love that we have for each other.
On another note, I’d like to believe that my blog, along with my readers, grow as I do which is why I have decided to share every experience in the wedding planning as much as I can. If you have questions/ clarification, inquiries and suggestions on further posts, feel free to let me know in the comments section below and let’s have a discussion!
To love; life and reaching half of my life,
Issa P. soon to be G.