Hi Everyone! Sharing with everyone our wedding vows/ SDE.
If you’ll notice, there are two videos- the first one (Our Wedding Video) is by our videographer, James Jayson Ty. Since we were not allowed to exchange our personal vows at the church, I requested that James include them in our SDE. But actually, I had something else up my sleeve… I had secretly made my own vows, compiling old videos that I had kept of me and Paolo.
I wrote my vows a day before the wedding because the typical overthinking self of mine overthought the vows until it sucked the life out me! But luckily I remembered a blog post I had written was I was younger and I couldn’t help but share it on our wedding day.
I hope you like it and that it gives you inspiration if you’re a bride to be, as well!
Paolo & I wed last April 27, 2019, officially making me a Mrs. (lol. what? I still can’t believe it!) We were engaged for a year and 4 months which gave us more than enough time to explore all of our options, suppliers and ideas. While we didn’t initially have a theme, looking back at what had come into fruition, I would like to believe that it was somewhere between the lines of “Sprinkles & Sparkles” or you know, just fun colors.
I look back at our wedding with such joy and contentment knowing that was everything I had wanted it to be. It was more of a personal experience for me more than it was a visual because what we lack in decorations (flowers), we made up for with bright spirits and CRAZY stories to tell after.
But while those stories will just have to wait for their time to shine, I wanted to share other stories of the wonderful bodies that made this wedding come together and hopefully they can help any and every couple out there!
Bridal Robe: Bree Esplanada & Hoarder’s Closet I’ll be doing a separate blog just for my dress alone. Sorry, I can’t help it! I just love it SO SO MUCH!
Customised Bedroom Slippers: Cheeky Chic Fun fact: These were gifted to me by the owner of Cheeky Chic and I loved them so much, I brought them with me to the reception area and spent the entire night dancing in them!
Shoes: Maggie’s Box These shoes were custom made for me for only P 1,500.00 (plus shipping)! I got to choose to add platforms, the color and the height of my heels. It was perfect because I have size 4 1/2- 5 feet. lol
Groomsmen boutonniere : Lazada (link)
I really think this is the best alternative if you’re trying to stay away from flowers!!
Groomsmen giveaways: Lazada
Their goody bags came with a wallet & a rubber belt. We opted to keep the belts though cuz they were… rubber.
Tokens – Cheekychic I super love the gifts we had custom made for our Godparents because we were able to customize them to our liking. Inside the side table notepad contains different sheets of paper that says thank you in different languages in printed paper that matched our theme! It was soo special!!
Dresses & Hair piece: H&S Clothing I went back and forth with the possible alternatives for my flower ladies. I felt like head dresses were a bit too feminine and I couldn’t succumb to letting them carrying flowers so I really had to rack my brain for an alternative. Luckily, my friend Banisa gave me an idea after playing around with scarves that were given out during an event and thus, the floral wrap arounds!
I made the backdrop myself with the help of my staff and Alyssa! Unfortunately I wasn’t around during set up so I wasn’t able to even out the fringes so it’s a bit bulky on the top and thin in the middle. I was too meh to care anyways.
Host: Ryan Uybengkee If you’re reading this, thank you so much for everything, bro! You really brought so much life to the wedding and your games were BOMB!! ALSO, THAT PLAYLIST! FTW!!!
Cake: D&M Cafe My brother and sister in law are pastry chefs from the States and I am so happy that they decided to make our cake for us! My sister in law was soo adorable because she was literally stressing out because our actual cake didn’t quite come out the way we had initially planned it. I had first asked for a naked cake with the sprinkles showing and buttercream in the middle but things changed and they opted for a buttercream cake with cookie dough filling instead. In my most honest opinion, I think it turned out so much better (especially in photos) and it tasted even better than it looks! Seriously, I LOVED IT!
On the day coordinator/ Event Styling/ Flowers: Karen Go
It’s been a wonderful 2 weeks and a half since the wedding and now that all my family members’ have peacefully returned to their homes and Paolo & I have slowly settled into the married life (which isn’t quite different from our bf-gf life, btw), here I am getting back into the rhythm of blogging.
So let’s start with our PRE NUP!
Paolo & I had a total of 3 pre nup shoots for our wedding- the first because it was a gift from my aunt, second because I wanted my good friend to shoot us in our natural state at home (photos to follow!) and third, because we chose it to be a part of our wedding photography package.
By the third pre nup, and with this shoot being so close to the wedding, you can only imagine how little Paolo (and I) actually cared about it. But I tried my best to make the most out of it and while I’m not surprised, the photos came out great!
I’m really happy that I chose to have a studio shoot because it really allowed James, our photographer, to focus on Paolo and I as a couple. We got to experiment with a lot of different moods, lighting and props which include our eldest son, Cody; confetti and fairy lights. You will also see by the end of this bridal series that I also opted to have most of our post nup photos back inside James’ studio because I just couldn’t be bothered with the heat and having to travel to locations.
Here are my favorite shots:
As it is in my core being to over think and over analyse everything, I also really took the time to question why Paolo & I even agreed to having a bunch of photo shoots anyways. I obviously either love, or am used to photoshoots but it’s not necessarily something Paolo would jump at the idea to so why force him into something he’s not excited about?
But a friend of mine told me that photos are a nice way to look back and things and remember the fun, silly or whatever moments that happened in between. While Paolo may not have thought this was the best experience, we definitely had fun playing with Cody, just being ourselves, it got us in the wedding-y mood and hey- I have tons of blackmail photos for him now. hihihi.
I am a DIY bride through and through because 1. I would like to believe that I am perfectly capable of doing everything on my own but really 2. because it’s so much cheaper that way. If our wedding invitations were not gifted to us by Paolo’s brother in law who works in the printing industry (Thank you soo much, btw. We are soo super grateful!) then I would’ve went ahead and printed our invitations on my own using my handy dandy Canon e470 that was gifted to me a couple events ago but we can all imagine what a nightmare that would’ve been!
Also, I am a VERY fickle minded person and I felt like no designer could deal with my unending uncertainty and since I know how to work my way around Photoshop anyways, it just made sense that I torture no one else but myself.
Needless to say, I made A LOT of mistakes with our invitations because who cares about details anyways but I also did a lot of rights which I am going to share with all my fellow thrifty brides today! So I hope this helps!
STEP 1: Find your pegs
Like everything else in regards to your wedding, it’s always good to start with an idea. I tried to be as original as possible and started sketching on pen and paper but later realized that I’m not as creative as I thought I was so I quickly turned to Pinterest. Ladies, if you’re not on Pinterest by now- are you even getting married??
Of all the amazing invitation pegs there I gravitated towards the first three photos below. Basically I wanted it to be as quirky as the first photo, as simple as the 2nd and as informative as the 3rd WHILE incorporating the 4th photo which is basically the template for Filipino wedding invites. Lastly, it had to be a design that I would be able to print and create on my own or something that was at the lowest cost if I had it printed elsewhere.
Here are the designs I started with. Please if may mas gusto kayo compared to our actually invites, wa’g nyo nang e sabi. Masasaktan lang ako. LOL.
STEP 2: Decide on your invitation size
I’m not super sure HOW important this step was but I had just imagined it being easier just in case I had the invitation printing outsourced. In the end, deciding on a STANDARD invitation size worked out for the best for us because we no longer had to spend on custom made envelopes and were able to buy ours at our local bookstore. I spent P85.00 on a set of 10 envelopes so yey!
For those wondering which size we opted for, we got the 6.75×6.75″
STEP 3: Get your creative juices on!
I’m such an over thinker that it literally took me 5 months to decide on our invitations only for it to look like this. HAHA. I mean I’m not crazy about my work but honestly, I don’t really care about invitations anyways but the point was to be able to have formal invitations for our families.
Paolo and I don’t really have a theme for our wedding cuz like, is it really that important?! But when people ask, I just say Bario Fiesta because we wanted to go with something colorful because we’re “colorful” people. If black was actually a color, sure. joke lang. Masayahin naman ako misan noh.
1 OK so dito masaya, noh? Apparently my invitation layout is wrong and all the invites have been printed so whatever but APPARENTLY, the GROOM’S name is supposed to come FIRST followed by the BRIDE’S. But I was basing it off the Pinterest invitations wherein the bride’s names come first. Paolo and I were super meh about this “mistake” though. Not like we can’t get married cuz of it. So in the end, who really cares?!
2 Our coordinator instructed us to place the time 30 minutes before the events especially for the church. If your wedding starts at 1, the church mass will for sure start at 1 and you don’t want your guests walking in while your walking down the aisle. Alam mo friend, filipino time. Same goes for the reception.
3 Make sure all your names and titles are correct. You don’t wanna hurt anyone.
Just a screenshot of my working space. May math included pa.
Spice up your envelopes: I didn’t do this na but it’s an option
photo care of Pinterest
Our actual invites:
All in all, we are very happy with our actual invites. I honestly feel like Limtong Press gave us invitations that we didn’t deserve because they gave us fancy paper and we’re just bond paper people. LOL. I fully acknowledge and accept that invitations will eventually be thrown away (I personally do NOT keep wedding invites) but Paolo and I will definitely be keeping (and FRAMING) ours.
I know they say that a woman’s wedding day is the most important day of her life but if I’m being extremely honest with all of you, I’ve always felt that I’ve been the most unenthusiastic bride to ever walk the face of the earth. I’ve always wanted and dreamed about being married one day and I’m glad that I get to marry the love of my life but I never actually dreamed about the wedding day itself. Sorry to offend anyone out there but I’ve always kind of despised weddings. Maybe it’s the grandiosity of it all or maybe because it wasn’t mine but the point is, this mindset of mine made it extremely hard to even just make the first step of wedding planning.
As we eventually moved along into the wedding process, I constantly found myself questioning why I wasn’t looking forward to the wedding and concluded that maybe because Paolo and I were already living together and a wedding seemed kind of irrelevant at this point. Maybe because there were so many requirements to accomplish and there were so many other things I felt like I would rather be doing than to listen to a seminar telling me how NOT to have a baby (we’ve been together for 8 years, I think we’ve mastered that by now, ma’am).
Maybe it was because a wedding required so much money, money we didn’t necessarily have or planned to use for our future. Maybe because I was anxious of past family issues springing up and me having to face them after so many years of sweeping them under the rug. Whatever the reason are, I kind of had to muster up my feelings and tell myself that I only get married once and I might as well enjoy the process because I’m lucky enough to even be able to get married.
We are 2 months shy from the wedding and it’s been an emotional roller coaster mostly caused by people who don’t really matter. I feel like I’ve had a good support system through it all but also I’ve never been afraid to tell someone to fuck off so it’s been a party but I wanted to write this down and share it with the world anyways just in case you needed it or felt like you needed some comic release.
Here are Things I Wish I Knew About Planning A Wedding:
1. Everyone has an opinion and will impose said opinions on you.
From coordinators, suppliers, HMUAs and venues- anyone who’s been married will immediately force their opinion on you assuming that you thought their wedding was to die for. This can get quite annoying but I picked this notion up quickly and decided to not talk about my wedding so much amongst people whose opinions didn’t matter. I was never secretive about the details or what not, I just didn’t want people shoving their ideas down my throat.
2. People will immediately assume that you want to blow all your money on one day. I personally blame women who dream of the perfect fairy tale wedding for this and wish that Pinterest wasn’t so damn aesthetic. But this really was an issue that I find myself having to deal with on a daily basis because people really think that you’re willing to spend 5 digits on wedding invitations that people will eventually throw out and whatever else money you have on shit people pay absolutely no attention to (center pieces, cakes, etc.).
I constantly have to remind people that Paolo & I are not fancy people and are not relying on wedding gifts to pay our excesses. We also do not believe in getting 20 sponsors who come from money so we can pay for the wedding using the money they gave us because Ninangs & Ninongs are meant to guide you in your marriage not pay for your wedding.
3. Apparently, flowers are a big deal at weddings. No matter how much you bitch and fight, flowers apparently are more important than the bride herself on your wedding day and you will be pressured to shell out more than you wanted to on things that will die right after you pick them. I really hate flowers and contested against them but eventually had to give in to appease everyone in my life. I cannot tell you how many bitch fits I threw because I really wanted to go without the flowers but at the end of the day, it was just easier and your bridesmaids need something to hold, I guess. Whatever. Fuck it. I still hate flowers.
Fortunately, I was able to come up with some alternatives:
Fake flower crowns
4. Everyone wants to be invited to your wedding. If you’re Filipino or Chinese, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t know if this is culture or FOMO but everyone and I mean EVERYONE will want to be invited to your wedding. Remember your first grade seat mate? No? Well, he/ she does and is not so secretly waiting for you to invite them.
I’ve learned to tell people that we only want a small wedding and to therefore not expect an invitation until we finally finalize our guest list. No hard feelings, we simply just can’t afford to invite everyone. They’ll eventually get it and if they don’t then that’s why they’re not invited to the wedding. But please, don’t self invite yourself; start a group chat asking if you’re invited or suddenly start waving at me on Facebook even though we’ve NEVER talked before. Not cool and trust that I’m talking about your antics amongst people every chance I get.
5. Grooms are not into wedding planning Now I wouldn’t exactly say this is a bad thing because I’ve always been a control freak and prefer doing things on my own. Some of my friends feel greatly saddened when their partners aren’t really involved in the wedding process but come on, guys don’t really care what kind of paper you use for invitations- they just want to know how much money they need to put out for it. #truth
Prior to wedding planning I sat down with Paolo and asked him if there was anything he wanted specifically so I could take it into consideration but he’s basically just been an able body helping me move requirements, get to places and what not. I don’t hold it against him, I understand he’s not a girl and if planning this pains me what more him? I’m good doing everything on my own, we’re good.
6. Coordinators are your best friends for the next number of months. While we only opted for an on the day coordinator, I’ve sought refuge from my coordinator on more than one occasion. She’s been more than helpful and it helps that she’s basically an all in one package- coordinator, florist and stylist. I really wanted to avoid having so many suppliers to avoid communication mix ups and higher risks on the day of the wedding.
I admit I haven’t been the easiest to deal with especially because I’m so damn stingy but she does try to level with me whenever she can and she is the voice of reason during these stressful times.
6. It’s your wedding, your money, your rules. A lot of things will stress you out throughout this entire wedding planning process but it’ll soon be over and you’ll find yourself bored out of your mind without anything to do. lol.
The best piece of advise anyone has ever told me is that it’s your wedding and you’re in charge of what you want- unless your parents are paying for it and are extreme control freaks. Nevertheless, you’ll be out of your house soon anyways and you won’t have to be controlled by them anymore. Otherwise, you might really need to start exerting dominance this time.
The point is, it’s your wedding day and you should be able to have the wedding of your dreams or in our case, the wedding of your reasonable price range which can also be your dream wedding.
I hope you enjoyed this little rant of mine. I feel like I’m doing this more for myself more than anyone else because I badly need an outlet to vent. Tomorrow is Monday and I still need to work on our wedding requirements so I’m just taking advantage of my down time.
Congratulations! You’ve just gotten engaged and you’re now planning the wedding of your dreams. Planning a wedding can be overwhelming and I definitely know what that feels like. Mapping out the day itself is a feat in itself but lemme tell you, ladies, the requirements are one hell of an adventure, as well.
The main goal is to get your Wedding License. This is crucial before you can say your I Do’s inside a church or on a beach or in court. Without this, you can’t move forward so I highly suggest that you prioritise these above everything else.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ACQUIRING A WEDDING LICENSE IN CEBU
Got this checklist from the Civil Registrar at the back of the City Health office
Where To Get It
Latest certified true copy of PSA birth certificate
Paolo and I are planning to get our pre cana at the Archbishop palace for P 1,500.00 for a half day session. We’ve been told that you can do it cheaper for the whole day, with other people and that Discovery Camp is another great option!
PLEASE ASK YOUR CHURCH ABOUT THIS FIRST
Church closest to you
As soon as you book your church of choice, they will present wedding bans to you that you need to present to the church nearest to you. This is basically a PSA to everyone that you’re about to get married and if anyone has anything to say about it now they can do it now and not during the wedding.
If there are any corrections, please feel free to let me know!
I didn’t know that I was going to fall in love with Paolo when I was 9 years old at a Star Wars themed birthday party. It was his cousins, who was also my best friends’ cousin’s, birthday and I was her plus 1. I was on my way to the bathroom when I first saw Paolo playing on a console. He was 13.
It was puppy love and although having a crush at 9 years old was absolutely ridiculous, I remember having to go to the bathroom a lot of times that night just so I get a quick look at him.
I didn’t know that I was going to fall in love with Paolo when my grandmother constantly spoke about a young boy who lived a block from us who was one of the few who got into “The Ateneo”. He was the son of her subdivision mah-jong mates and at the time, all I could think as a response to this was, “why am I even listening to this?”
Little did I know, about 5 years later, as I was walking home from school on evening would I specifically wish for him. Paolo was back home college, driving a yellow car with the windows down so the cigarette smoke cold aerate. I didn’t who he was when he passed me but I swore we was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I remember seeing him drive by and wishing that I would run into him again and he would stop in his tracks and ask me to go somewhere, anywhere and I would say yes.
I was infatuated with this boy that I had caught sight of for a millisecond, that for 3 months straight, I consistently walked home in hopes of running into him again. But I never saw him and I only found out last year that the driver of this yellow car was in fact, Paolo.
I didn’t know that I going to fall in love with Paolo when I formally met him in 2011. It would be fate that I had randomly decided to get into ultimate Frisbee, his Frisbee group, through a common friend, Richard. Paolo identified me as someone who “looked familiar” and we had quickly deduced that we were, at one point neighbors and that I was, in fact, his cousin’s childhood best friend.
At the time, I didn’t even realize that he was the Ateneo boy I had heard about from my grandmother so many times, so many years ago.
That night he taught me how to throw a Frisbee and much to my dismay, I bid him a lingering goodbye and yet he never even bothered to ask for my number. He thought I was Richard’s date and wanted to be respectful.
I knew I was going to fall in love with Paolo months into conversation, we were already Facebook friends and we would spend many days & nights talking to each other. Our conversations were something I had always looked forward to but he always had a way of making me feel like he would never actually fall in love with me.
“What’re you doing tonight?” I would ask him.
“I’m going to drop off some pasta I made at my crush’s house.” He would reply.
“How come I’ve never tasted your pasta?”
“hmm… Maybe next time.”
I thought I had eliminated my chances of ever truly in falling in love with Paolo when I decided to date someone else. I figured, it was better to date someone who actually liked me instead of someone I liked who was dropping off pasta at his crush’s house.
In fact, I wanted so much to rub it his face that I was secretly over him that I casually had both of them meet. That night Paolo and I even sang a duet of “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang” at an open mic bar. The truth was, I was singing it to him and not really with him. Turns out, he felt the same.
We stopped talking after that.
But all the stars would align on October 28, 2011- it was my birthday, the fiesta of our subdivision and also the day that my neighbor, Paolo’s brother, would celebrate his birthday day as well. It’s fate because it was his brother’s late birthday celebration and had he not celebrated his birthday, Paolo would never invite himself over to my birthday, conveniently already being in the same place and we probably never would have shared our first kiss which we did on the morning on the 29th. Obviously, we also started dating after that.
As I got to know him, I quickly knew I would love Paolo for all the days of my life and by our 2nd year in, I would begin to write my wedding vows for him.
We broke up after 5 years of dating and in fact, we never even talked about marriage aside from the fact that it wasn’t in our future.
For the record, Paolo broke up with me. BIGGEST MISTAKE OF HIS LIFE.
I don’t know why I was so surprised to begin with: I never thought that Paolo would ever like a girl like me, much more love, much much more- marry.
But the most painful part of it all was me not anticipating that just when he was actually starting to love me, he would break my heart by saying that he forgot how to.
All the reasons we had to not be together absolutely broke my heart. I didn’t understand why we shouldn’t be together and the hardest part was, I didn’t know how I could ever make the pain stop.
So to answer the age old question, “where do broken hearts go?” Our hearts found themselves with or trying to be with other people.
To add to the roster of I didn’t thinks: I never would have thought that it was in our being lost that we would find each other again. And never in a million years would I think that we could pick up where we left off and rekindle the love that we had forgotten we had after having gone through so much.
But a few months later, there he was, standing outside my door, with his big goofy smile and I knew, it was and will always be him. Despite the pain, despite the journey, all my roads always lead me home. And it was clear, that he was my home.
I eventually knew that Paolo was going to propose to me because of his impeccable lack of being able to keep a secret and his poor choice of engagement ring hiding spots but what I didn’t know was how unnecessary his proposal would be last December 25, 2017. It was nothing short of romantic but unnecessary because he already had me, he had all of me, every single bit of my being was already his. Ring or no ring, weddingor no wedding, I would get into his yellow car or whatever car it was and go anywhere with him. There didn’t even have to be a car, if we had to, would pack our bags and live at the side of the road with him. But the ring was nice, the gesture was amazing and of course, I said YES! And so, we are to be wed in April next year.
I don’t really know what I think I know but I believe that the universe has given us so many chances to be in each other’s lives that if we never gave it a shot, we’d both be missing out of the greatest adventure of our lives.
I also not only believe but know in my heart that I could never love another person the way I do we have 400+ pages worth of blog entries, letter and poems about and for him, which we keep as a reminder of our love to prove it.
And so if I haven’t said it enough, I love you, Paolo. You are my home. You are my refuge. You are the father of our future children. You are my adventure. You are the answer to all the things I never thought, never knew and all the questions I will ever wonder.
Yes, ladies and especially to the gentlemen, pre nups are more than just an agreement now. Aside from planning the “wedding of your dreams”, wedding trends now advise that you also pre document your big day whether through video and/ or photos. Pre nup shoots/ engagement photos have become such a big part of weddings over the past years with different themes, tones and sets. While some prefer their sessions to be as grand as their love for one another, others might prefer a more laid back and chill session- I, on the other hand, prefer whatever is free/ cheap. lol.
But honestly, free isn’t bad especially when one of your favorite aunt’s, Malou Dingal, one of the best photographers in the business.
I initially wanted to hold off any pre-nup sessions until I had finally achieved my desired weight (trying to shed 10 lbs!!) but when one of Sydney’s sought after and award winning wedding photographers offers to shoot your photos, you suck in that extra weight and make.it.work!
As with any and every shoot I do, I like to establish the theme and especially the location so that I can build our outfits around it. I felt it was important for us to have 2 looks where 1 reflected our fun & silly personalities while the other one being a little more posh. I was lucky enough to borrow a couple of outfits from my wedding gown designer, Bree Esplanada, and after a quick scan through our closets, I was able to come up with a couple cohesive looks for Paolo & I.
I also made sure to give Paolo this quick posing lesson as per Pinterest.
But if I’m being completely honest with you, Paolo & I really just winged the most part out prenup shoot, mostly because we trusted our photographer 100% and knew that she would know what to do with us and I think it’s important that with any couple to also feel the same. And while Paolo and I have agreed on having a couple more shoots done in the next months, here are some thoughts I would like to share with you:
1. Plan your shoots in advance. Is there a place you have in mind? A certain theme? Pinterest inspo? A certain type of photography style? Make sure to talk it over with your photographer then you can decide whether their services are best for your preferences. If not, you can always ask them to recommend someone who best suits your needs.
2. Figure out what you need. As soon as you’ve locked in your photographer, you might also need to decide if you need a set stylist/ fashion stylist/ coordinator (for out of town shoots)/ permit (public shoots), etc. While Paolo & I decided to bet on my fashion styles, I am a big fan of CukooCloudConcepts who are great when it comes to anything and everything related to weddings. I am specially drawn to their gorgeous wedding shoots and event styling.
3. Be prepared. Seems pretty simple yet Paolo and I completely forgot a bunch of things on the day of the shoot. For one, I was supposed to have my ring cleaned yet I wasn’t able to. Instead, I had to settle with toothpaste and a toothbrush as a last resort. Paolo also forgot to get his haircut and ended up rushing to the nearest barbershop. We also didn’t have a hairstyle in mind and Paolo was at a huge risk of ending up with a bad hair day. We also forgot to buy food & drinks for the team and ourselves and were rushing to find replenishments in between shoots. Luckily, everything worked out in the end and we have these wonderful photos to show for it!
4. Get comfortable. Trust me, if you want nice photos, today and your wedding day is not the time to be bashful. The whole point of a pre nup session is to show of your love for one another, give friends/ family a little glimpse of your relationship and have something nice to look back on when you’re older. TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THIS: there will be lots of having to smile, kiss, hug and etc. so if you’re not prepared- be prepared because ginusto nyo yan. I like to practice with a tripod and self-timer settings to practice on. It might come in handy for you, too!