Thursday, January 06, 2011

Farm fresh love

This wedding is just absolutely overflowing with pretty details, I honestly don't know where to begin!

Much of the wedding aspects were lovingly designed and made by hand, and even if I were not there to witness it personally, the photos make the love and joy almost palpable.

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Most farmers and country folk would say that morning is the best time of the day for tending the garden, harvesting fruit and flowers and getting the best produce of the day. I believe that morning is also the best time for a wedding, when the sun slowly wakes every living thing with a gentle brush of light.

By now, the wedding world is buzzing about this refreshing (pun intended) orchard-themed wedding oozing with so much country romance. Mishi, the bride, who I met during a merienda cena I wrote about here, is a girl after my own heart. Creative, patient, flower-knowledgeable and sweet as sugar. It is no wonder that Filbert chose her to be his beloved.

Read on and be inspired by a wedding that is truly lovespun:

Filbert and Mishi's orchard themed invitations

From the almost country-cowboy-cowgirl invites, Mishi surprises us with the delicate, dainty choice of fabric for her wedding gown.

I've said it on Facebook and I'll say it again -- this picture is just too perfect! I can't decide which I love more -- the perfect pairing of lace and pleats, the eye-popping color palette of antique gold and tangerine or those rosy bags and shoes which are vying for my attention versus the posies. :-)

And just when I thought Dylan of Vatel Manila had no more surprises up his sleeve, he comes up with this bridal bouquet that makes saying "spectacular" an understatement! *Clap! Clap! Clap!*

Filbert and Mishi made sure that their day would have an abundance of citrus hues, from the paper lanterns, to the floral baskets with fresh oranges, to the parasols and fans they provided their guests.

What's the most adorable? The handmade ring pillow, the ring bearer with a garland of berries or the flower girl with her matching doll? Will somebody please help me decide? *biting fingernails*

Now, enough of my babbling. Let's here it straight from the bride herself:

What was your theme and motif and what are the reasons for you deciding on it? Any special memories attached to any of your wedding details?

My ultimate dream wedding is a garden wedding in Sedona, Arizona – Vibrant greens on a background of orange and red land formations illuminated by the golden rising sun. It became the source of inspiration for our color palette – Various shades of orange, green and brown.

Filbert and I both love anything country – rolling hills, country houses, rustic pieces, anything handmade and hand-painted, and (yes, although you may wince) country music. We love the vibrant yet laid-back, relaxed, carefree feel it gives. Orange fruit (of any variety) is Filbert’s favorite. We thought the fruit would be a perfect addition to our design elements since it also carries our color motif. And so, we came up with our Country Orchard theme.

My lace wedding gown was devotedly created by my 68-year old aunt Rosita Flores, in fulfillment of the promise she made during my teens. She has been making my dresses since childhood. My white gold dangling earrings with 4.7 grams citrine stones adorned with 54-piece diamonds was a loving, unexpected gift from my Mom.

What were your sources of inspiration? Were there constant changes during the planning process?

Though I have built a collection of wedding magazines and read countless blogs, we pulled out all the stops to make our wedding truly personalized and unique, even on a limited budget. I (for most parts) was responsible for the design concept of our wedding. As soon as we have finalized our theme, ideas came flowing effortlessly. We were determined and really poured out our efforts to stick to the theme and find the appropriate materials.

Lace has always been my favorite, and so I have decided to use the material on every entourage gown. We had to scour Divisoria through and through to find the perfect lace for my gown. Once we found “the one”, we came running again to find matching designs for my bridesmaids and moms in order to create a unified look. I designed all the gowns to reflect my love for classic cuts mingled with my favorite (and lovely) details – overlays, belts and pleats.

Decors were chosen to match the theme – country-inspired flower arrangements, baskets and weave patterns, rustic and native materials, oranges and other favorite fruits. We were highly detailed on how we want the concept and design carried out, and we are happy that we found awesome suppliers who truly valued our ideas. Since our ceremony was done outdoors under the splendid trees, we decided to bring the greenery into our indoor reception as well. We asked our caterer to create topiaries of leaves with oranges for the tables.

What elements were your non-negotiables?

We did not want to compromise first-rate and unique food, fine service and impeccable styling, and so k. by Cunanan Catering became our indispensable even during the early stage of the planning. We never got quotations or did food tasting elsewhere– that is how determined we were in acquiring the services of this supplier.

Since we found The Mango Farm, we felt sure that we have already found the perfect venue. It was ideal for our theme and needs, and it is perhaps the only true green venue in the city.

Unforgettable moment on the day itself?

The most unforgettable must be the heartfelt moment while I was walking down the aisle. The warmth we felt from the people surrounding us, the mixed emotions of my parents, the enormous love and excitement I saw through Filbert’s gaze, smile and tears were all priceless and unbeatable.

Unforgettable moment during the planning stage? Any roadblocks? Compromises made?

There were plenty of unforgettable moments, but on the top three of our list would be:

  1. Our frequent trips to the crowded and frenzied Divisoria which involved haggling, carrying several kilograms of loot, tripping upon road craters and murky puddles etc.
  2. Sleepless nights with our DIYs.
  3. The moments we devoted to prayer.

The entire planning stage was probably the most nerve-racking, tiresome phase in our relationship. Arriving at a mutual plan about the details of our wedding within ourselves and our parents was a struggle. Everything needed to be reasonable and convincing. I guess it is because here in the country, people tend to adhere to traditions. Weekday wedding date, themed wedding, a strict guest list, few entourage members, a non-all-white bridal apparel, sponsors carrying parasols for their march etc… etc. were distant and unappealing to them. We must admit we often felt uncertain about our preferences and tried to make way for other people’s thoughts so we could please them and avoid conflicts. In the end, we realized that we should uphold our precious ideas to save us from pain and regret.

Budget was also an issue, but we were determined to prove that we do not need to compromise quality whilst in a limited budget. We researched and balanced priorities and cost. We are happy and proud that we ended spending below the expected, and still had a wedding that we (and people, including our parents) loved.

How long did you plan your wedding from the moment you said “I will”?

Filbert proposed on November 12, 2008, in time for our third anniversary as a couple. We did not break the news right away. We prayed and patiently waited for the perfect time to get married. On January 2010, in a gathering of both our families which Filbert arranged, he formally asked for my hand in marriage in front of our loved ones. It signaled the beginning of our wedding preparations. The wedding came 10 months later (On our 5th anniversary).

What elements of the wedding did you decide to do D-I-Y?

  1. I have made little caricatures of oranges and orange tree to decorate our save the date cards, place card, table numbers and menu cards.
  2. Since I am very particular with the design and the look and feel of the fabrics, I have designed, then selected and purchased the materials for all the dresses with Filbert’s help.
  3. Since I have not been usually contented with ready-made, I have personally created and sewn the rosettes and the crystals on the bags and shoes of the bridesmaids.
  4. I did the embellishments of the flower girl’s dress and the matching dress for her doll to make sure they match.
  5. I made the ring pillow out of jute, bobbin lace and wooden flowers, since I cannot purchase it anywhere.
  6. To save bucks, we designed and printed our own ceremony program and guide.
  7. We did not want the usual guest book and sign frame. Filbert made a tree painting which served as the thumbprint and sign tree for guests.

If you could pick just 3 wedding details that you absolutely loved about your wedding, what would they be?

  1. My dress. It was the combination of my aunt’s love and dedication to her work, my vision, and our joint efforts as a couple made it even more beautiful. (This is what you call a dress with love in the stitches -- wedding enthusiast)
  2. The flowers. I have never seen such beautiful arrangements in my life. Dylan of Vatel Manila is such a genius. (I so agree! -- wedding enthusiast)
  3. Our cake. We did not want the usual layered tiers of fondant and sugar flowers. The cake was made for sharing, and the design was consistent with our theme - All-edible, 4-tier satellite cakes covered with whipped cream in basket-weave pattern, topped with the freshest fruits. The cartoon topper of a couple picking mangoes from a tree was Filbert’s idea. (The mango tree was the cutest part of the cake! -- wedding and mango enthusiast. haha.)

Any advice for those currently planning their wedding?

  • Be sure to cherish each moment of the planning and all that comes with it, including the stress, hassles and the draining expenses, since we pass this road only once.

  • Nurture your relationship and DO NOT neglect your partner. Keep in mind that the planning should help both of you grow, not break you.

  • Be diligent, patient and have enough drive to work/sacrifice for the things you want. If there is anything that needs to be done, act promptly. Do not procrastinate.

  • Set realistic and proportional goals, expectations and budget. There’s no room for mismatch here. Learn to let go, especially if you can no longer afford, or if a supplier could not meet your needs or deliver your expectations.

  • Be persistent and meticulous in your search for your suppliers. Get thorough information, seek advice and learn to distinguish reliable feedbacks.

  • Based on experience, all suppliers are important, but if you should list priorities, place the following on your top 3:
    1. Food – Since it is obviously (and will always be) what your guests will remember most.
    2. Photo/Video
    3. Coordinator - For a once in a lifetime event, you want someone to help you execute your precious ideas and plans and set everything straight, not ruin it.

  • Learn to explore and love Divisoria. It’s a haven for crafty brides.
You can read more about this wedding at and bridal

Congratulations Filbert and Mishi!

1 comment:

ingga said...

hi meleen! i love this entry! everything is perfect! thanks for sharing!