Sunday, December 10, 2006

Some things never change

I like the fact that weddings seem to reinvent themselves over the years. The wedding gown and entourage fashion, the cake flavors, changing doves to butterflies, changing cords to crystals. It just speaks of how we can all make wedding celebrations personalized and more special depending on how adventurous the couple can be.

Who would've thought that flower girls can sprout angel or butterfly wings as they march down the aisle? That your cake's height could match your bridal gown train's length?

I like the idea that a lot of new designers, younger photographers and stylists are coming out of the woodwork. They incorporate a lot of new trends but still manage to stick to some classical pieces that won't make your grandchildren say "Lola, ang baduy naman ng pose niyo" when they come across your wedding pictures someday.

Here are some pics during my parents' wedding.
Still the same types of poses, right? Mother and maid of honor helping the bride in her preps, father taking bride to aisle. I do like the thought that photoshop can now make wedding albums more dramatic by manipulating colors, even focusing on details like the rings, flower petals, the shimmer of the arrhae and even beads on the bridal gown.

I know that most photographers have the usual shots but I admire more the photographers who are able to capture moments that are not staged. These are photographers who really "capture moments," unlike others who "shoot poses." These are the same photographers who work on what's available rather than moving heaven and earth (consequently barking orders and stressing everyone) to achieve the poses that they have in mind -- chances are, these are poses that they've seen other photographers do hoping that if they duplicate them, they'd be regarded as avant-garde or cool too. NOT.

Some of the wedding photographer sites I like looking at are the following: by Dino Lara by Mimi and Karl Abesamis

See for yourself the kind of photos that make you go "awwww..."

All that matters

Last night, hubby and I went to the wedding of our best man, JB. JB and his now wife, LZ were so excited like most couples, about this wedding. It was, after all, the culmination of their boyfriend-girlfriend relationship and the beginning of their life as husband and wife.

Since both are Christians, they decided to hold it late in the afternoon at the gardens of the Church of the Risen Lord in UP Campus, Diliman. The ceremony was supposed to start at 5pm but when we got there, all the tables and chairs and food stations were moved up to a cramped room beside the garden. We got word that the set-up was beautifully done by Batis Asul (good food by the way) by 4pm but then it started to rain. Since there were no provisions made for tents, everything had to be moved indoors and there was an hour or so delay to the ceremony.

By the time the ceremony started, it was already dark. I kept on thinking, what a waste of natural light -- the garden could've been perfect -- there were wild white lillies and hanging flowers perfect for the backdrop of the ceremony but they were not seen due to lack of lights. Since the main sound system was moved upstairs for the reception, we only had to settle for a karaoke machine that didn't give justice to the wonderful intro for the entourage and the live guitar music.

Would people consider the wedding a disaster? I personally think not.

It was because this intimate gathering was focused on the ceremony, the real reason for the event, not the frills of the celebration. I didn't see an agitated coordinator, a complaining or whining parent or flowergirl -- everyone was so composed, even the bride and groom. Everything and everyone that mattered most was there. All the guests were saying that the rainshowers should be thought of as a blessing, not a party pooper.

One of the reasons I enjoy going to weddings nowadays is because it reminds me of the reasons why my hubby Rahyan and I got married, why we should stay married, why we should continuously work on being married. Weddings remind me again of the symbols and the responsibilities of husband and wife, as God planned it to be.

The pastor also recounted one of the most celebrated unions in the 1980's -- that of Prince Charles and Lady Diana -- where millions all over the world watched as the royal couple pledged their love for each other. Who could forget the beautiful dress, the horse-drawn carriage, the hundreds of potted flowers, the smiles and waves on the balcony of the newlyweds. Well, we all know what happened to that pledge.

Seeing JB and LZ get married reminds all of us that even with all the preparations, sometimes , we still don't get the wedding of our dreams -- but I guess what is more important is to get the MARRIAGE of our dreams. After all, at the end of the day, that's what really matters.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Then again

Couldn't find wedding pics from my maternal grandparents' wedding. Some of my relatives said that they eloped -- it was during the war period and my mom became their firstborn in 1944. Then, my lola Amang and lola Daluz got married finally in church sometime in 1950 in Sta. Mesa. I still have to look for pics for the proof because I only have the scanned wedding contract and certificate.

I swear, weddings needed only a few witnesses and that was it. You were bound for life.

Nowadays, you need to go through so many people and documents to get married -- this is on top of the nice-to-haves that couples insist on having for their wedding day -- bubbles, fog machines, fireworks, etc. Couples nowadays need to compile their birth and baptismal certificates, some churches even require a CENOMAR (certificate of no marriage), pre-marriage seminars, dispensation (for mixed religion marriages), marriage license, some even opting for pre-nuptial agreements.

Traditionally in the Philippines, similar to other Asian countries, the groom's family pays for the wedding celebration. Modern brides opt to pay for their own wedding (split with her groom of course) to ensure that her wishes, wants and whines are granted (instead of the Mother-in-law's). :-)

I sometimes wonder how it is with our tribal countrymen -- is it easier? is there less hassle in getting married by a brook or on top of a mountain? does slaying a chicken mean a better marriage? Can't wait to witness different traditions in our different regions -- I hope I get invited to all types. hehe. I want to see the different wedding garments (chicken feathers perhaps?), ethnic wedding music, taste food apart from the usual breaded fish and steaks and fondant wedding cakes.

Hmmm. Will do some research on this and post them soon.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Then and then

Ah, finally found a smiling pic of my lolo and lola on their wedding day. They were happy after all. How could they not be? Even after the wedding, they were writing each other love letters. Imagine. Calling each other darling and honey in the 1940's. Gush.

Monday, November 13, 2006

10 things to do before your wedding

This is my paternal grandparents' wedding photo. I really don't know when this was taken (have to ask my dad for the exact wedding date). I've never even met my lola because she died of tuberculosis when my dad was only four years old.

Funny how sad they look in their wedding picture. Bawal ba talaga ngumiti nung 1930's? Well, I suppose this is the official/formal wedding picture that's why they were probably asked not to smile. I will never know the reason. My grandfather has been gone for a decade now and he was probably the only person who could've shed some light on this non-smiling photo.


In those days, this was the "in" thing probably. During my parents' wedding, it was mostly black and white. I'm not even sure how weddings were conducted then. But I'm pretty sure they didn't have AVPs or fireworks or bubble machines back then. Just probably a simple ceremony and celebration and a lifetime of togetherness. Gush.

They definitely never came across wedblogs and wedsites that had helpful hints (got this from a newlywed's site) for the soon-to-be newlyweds like:

1. Don't start your wedding planning without a budget. One of the most stressful elements to wedding planning usually is money. Make sure you decide up front how much your total wedding budget is going to be and who will be contributing and how much.

2. Don't spend more than your budget or what you can afford. Your wedding day is an important day, but it is only one day. You don't want to start your new life together by going into "serious" debt from your wedding expenses and being strapped with that debt for the next five years.

3. Don't rely upon oral agreements with vendors. Get everything in writing!

4. Don't try and do everything yourself. Planning a wedding can be a full time job in itself. So, don't try and take on such an enormous project alone, delegate as much as you can! When it comes to weddings, everyone loves to help, so let them!

5. Don't insist on having it your way all the time! Come to an agreement on the things that are less important.

6. Don't skimp on your photography. Your wedding day goes by so fast, and after it's over, all you'll have left is your memories and your pictures.

7. Don't get crazy over every detail. It can really take the pleasure out of the wedding planning process. I mean, will it really matter that the ribbons for the favors are baby blue instead of ice blue?

8. Don't forget to thank everyone involved in your wedding and those that gave you gifts. Also, don't let those thank you notes pile up. Send them out promptly after you receive a gift.

9. Don't overload yourself the day before your wedding. This is not the time to put together 200 favors. Try to do only one or two small tasks and leave the rest of the day to relax and pamper yourself.

10. Don't expect perfection for your wedding day. Expect a "terrific" day and set reasonable expectations. Never forget, the main goal is to get married.

I swear, love is beautiful. Eternal. But planning a wedding seems to get more complicated as the years go by. I wonder how weddings will be when I'm a grandmother?


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wedding love

I love weddings.

Real weddings. Weddings borne out of real love. Not those that are meant to solidify business relations of two families like common corporate mergers. To each his own but nothing beats a commitment ceremony and celebration ng dahil sa pag-ibig ( because of love). Those are weddings that make you giddy, sniffle and gush -- not necessarily in that order.

I have nothing against lavish weddings. If only for the couple's (or their parents') resources, the pomp and multimillion glamour that go into it, I love looking at the details. The flowers, the cake, music, the little delights that make a wedding celebration special -- smiles, father-of-the-bride tears, flickering candles. Sigh. Am really a romantic.

I love looking at wedding ceremony and reception pictures -- the set-up, how flowers are tastefully arranged, successfully executed themes (the ones that don't go overboard), how good photographers can play with light and textures to show wedding details, blushing brides and nervous grooms just before they take the matrimonial plunge. I appreciate photographers who take time to identify the venues they've covered in their websites and blogs. They enable me to gatecrash other couple's weddings.I applaud couples who go out of their way to personalize their weddings -- it just makes everything more special. It almost sort of gives you an idea how hands-on they will be in their married life, hopefully.

I like weddings so much that I've amassed a collection of wedding magazines and books. Whenever my mood dips, one look and I'm back to normal. It's my substitute for chocolate or a really good dessert. Going through wedding-related blogs and other sites really make my day.

But even if I like weddings, a coordinator I would rather not be. If I attend a wedding, I'd like to savor every minute of it -- not scurry up and about like I do in my day job. I want to appreciate the sights, scents, tastes, the sound of anticipated joy. A creative consultant, puede pa. Of course, I do not claim to be an expert on wedding things -- I'm contented in being just a spectator. Oh well, everyone's a critic.