Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Casa Espanyol

A true pioneer in the wedding industry, Casa Espanyol, was one of the first if not the first exculsive garden wedding venues in Metro Manila. Located inside South Greenpark Village, along Mindanao Avenue, Casa Espanyol once was just the home of an enterprising couple who saw the potential in their mansion. About 3/4 the size of a football field Casa Espanyol's garden is by no means a big reception venue, in fact it maxes out at around 150 guests, and parking would be too much of a problem so really the practical value is much less than 150. Through time, it has remained as one of the most sought after venues because of the intimacy that it projects. The owners are also very helpful and are always glad to be of service. They make it a point to give real personal service which is awesome because this is also one of the cheapest venues out there and just looks amazing.

Link to Casa Espanyol Official Website
28 Francies Drive, South Greenpark Village, Mindanao Ave, QC
Landline: (632) 920-8535

Gazebo Royale

The first time I entered Gazebo Royale it was still under landscaping and it wasn't all completed yet, but even then, the place really feels like something different. The entrance to their venue is through a shop selling garden plants. Nice huge gates greet you at the entrance. There are two 'Gazebos' in Gazebo Royale, with one just slightly larger than the other. Both gazebos are surrounded by landscaped gardens with bridges, benches, waterfalls, ponds and very nice and exotic looking plants which offers the bride and grooms and their guests plenty of photo opportunities. Inside the gazebo, there is an almost constant natural breeze, plus the entire area is surrounded by misting fans (I don't really like these misting fans for weddings, I'll probably save this for another article). There is a small bridal suite where the bride can touch up on her make up or just for use as a secure storage area. There is also a choir loft overlooking the gazebo which also offers a great view of the beautiful chandeliers hanging from its ceiling. Parking is also not an issue as Gazebo Royale offers a good amount of parking space with security, on the down side though the parking area is a bit dark but I do think they are doing something about this already. While Gazebo Royale is not the cheapest garden venue, it is also a long way from being the most expensive, but other than a lack of air conditioning, (yes air conditioning is important even in garden situations, Fernwood Gardens realized this) replaced by a theme park based cooling system, Gazebo Royale is really a great place to hold a party or a reception.

Link to Gazebo Royale Official Site
29 Visayas Avenue Extension, Quezon City

Tel # +63 (2) 920-6503 to 05

Oasis Manila

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, emerges The Oasis Manila, located along Aurora Boulevard, makes it really very much in the middle of things. It is also located very near the church I attend mass in, Mt. Carmel Church. The Pavillion as they call it, is quite roomy, and looks a lot like an overgrown but very nice looking gazebo or clubhouse. The facility is cooled by misting fans spread along its perimeter, so those sitting near the perimeter should expect to get wet or at least moist. The Venue sports a very high ceiling lit by beautiful chandeliers and alternatively for a fee, they can also place drapes as well. For the bride to be there is a small bridal suite but as with most venues that do offer a bridal suite, use is limited to 3-4 hours only. The Venue does have ample parking space and is very secure. The Pavillion is surrounded by landscaped gardens with small koi ponds. There are lots of accredited caterers to choose from and some suppliers even use the Oasis Manila front office as a store front and they even have created budget wedding packages with these suppliers, so check it out, great value for money and a wide open and beautiful, albeit a slightly damp environment.

Link to The Oasis Manila Official Website
169 Aurora Blvd, San Juan, Metro Manila
7214585/7245016/468 9959

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Glass Garden

Strategically located within the boundaries of Quezon City, Pasig and Marikina, it is highly accessible and is just 10 minutes from White Plains and Valle Verde, and just across the street from SM Marikina, The Glass Garden is an excellent venue for those searching for a different type of wedding reception, birthday celebration or just about any other occasion at very reasonable prices. Surrounded by beautiful plants and breathtaking waterfalls in a 40-foot high dome of green and white glass, every corner is a picturesque landscape perfect for photos and videos. It is also fully air-conditioned even up to the lobby and the restrooms. A twelve foot waterfall with a winding stream welcomes you in the main lobby leading to two sound proof function areas that can accommodate 200-700 guests, each with an elegant fully-furnished suite, adorned with intricately designed spiral stairs and bridges.

The Glass Garden is also handicapped-friendly, while most venues choose to ignore the handicapped particularly those using wheelchairs, The Glass Garden has installed slip proof ramps to and from the lobby and the restrooms which I personally feel is an excellent touch. Also there are more than enough parking spaces and very good security as well. Also there is a tricycle station nearby so those guests that are commuters will find that this venue although a bit off the main road is still very accessible. Overall, The Glass Garden is one of the most well-rounded venues out there and it is definitely worth your while to take a look.

Link to The Glass Garden Official Website
257 Evangelista St. cor Pasco Avenue, Brgy. Santolan, Pasig City

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

C3 Events Place

Situated in the middle of the Metro in Greenhills, C3 Events Place is one place that is very conveniently located. But this excellent location might also be its downfall, as it is well known that it is very hard to find parking in Greenhills and surely the alloted 20 parking spaces for C3 will not suffice for most events. C3 Events place offers very sumptuous menus prepared by their chefs. The food is excellent and the ambiance is very modern as can easily be seen in their architecture. Also they prepare some of the best desert station around, so go on and try out C3 Events Place for your next event, the food is great, the ambiance is always sophisticated but for the parking and traffic, C3 is one of the most complete events places around.

18 Missouri St. Greenhills West, San Juan, Metro Manila
(2) 726.2712,

Paradiso Terrestre

Just past the edge of Daang Hari, which stretches from Alabang all the way to Bacoor, Cavite, a new wedding and events place has emerged. Upon entering the nice gates you will immediately notice the elegance and class that the place emits. With dozens of life sized sculptures and fountains all around its lush gardens, and yet behind the facade lies a family oriented resort with a swimming pool. Mainly an events place, Paradiso Terrestre has its own restaurant which employs a chef. To be honest looking at their package, it seems to be one of the most complete packages for weddings, even including a sound system, and duet singers. It's about a one hour drive from Metro Manila just past the famous Fernbrook Gardens. Not only are their packages cheap (cheaper than most other wedding venues in Manila at least) but the food is also very nice and tasty, this is because they also have a professional chef preparing the dishes. They can afford to do this because they also have a fine dining restaurant in one of the adjacent buildings near their Ballroom. If you live anywhere near Alabang and are searching for an alternative reception venue, Paradiso Terrestre is certainly worth a look.

Paradiso Terrestre Official Website
Lot 1 - A&B Pad - 04 170933, National Road, Molino Highway, Bacoor, Cavite
(02) 529-8875 / (046) 477-1097 / (02) 906-2506

The Greenery, Baliuag, Bulacan

Yesterday was we went to The Greenery in Baliuag, Bulacan for a pre-nuptial shoot. It's yet another outdoor/garden wedding venue that has made its roots near the Metro. It's about 1-1.5 hours drive away from Metro Manila, which make it about the same driving time as Tagaytay. It features 4 different venues, including a pavilion, a lighthouse, an open garden and an amphitheater. All the venues looked pretty good and spacious, although I have to say that there doesn't seem to be enough parking for guests. Anyway what sets the Greenery apart from other venues is its lighthouse which overlooks a small lagoon. There are lots of picturesque areas around and it is generally very breezy. There is a nearby church for those who are interested in getting married at the Greenery.

The Greenery Official Website
80 San Juan St., Rio Vista Subdivision, Sabang, Baliuag, Bulacan
Tel No: (044) 766-6325
Fax No: (044) 766-6326

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Creating a Budget

It is very easy to get carried away in spending for your wedding, you want the best and the most perfect things for your perfect day. But it is also important to remember that the best need not be the most expensive, you have to be creative and set your budget. Here's a list I've made which contains some expenses on a typical wedding.

1. Church. (10,000-20,000 pesos) Some air conditioned churches go up to about 25,000
2. Hotel Stay. (2,000-8,000 pesos/night) It is recommended that you stay in a hotel the night before your wedding so when you get your makeup done the room will be cool and you don't have to fix it after making a mess.
3. Reception Venue (15,000-150,000 pesos) This is for the rental of the place only, though some Venues will have pre-built packages with food, cake and most of the things you might want or need.
4. Hotel Reception (200,000-500,000 pesos) Hotels package their food, accommodation, Bridal car and lots more things to make them more attractive, recently we have seen some price cuts on hotel wedding packages this might be due to the emergence of a lot of new wedding reception venues springing all over the country.
5. Invitations (50-200 pesos/pc) From the plain to the outright spectacular invitations have gone a long way from being just a piece of paper you hand out to somebody. They say that how beautiful your invitation is, that's how expensive a gift you get. So, make sure your invites look really nice.
6. Catering. (250-1,200 pesos/head) If you get a reception venue and decide not to go with any of their packages you will need to find yourself a caterer that suites your style and tastes. Caterers are the ones responsible not only for the food but the way that all your tables will be decorated and what type of chairs will be used.
7. Wedding Planner. (15,000-50,000 pesos) A good wedding planner will be able to save you a lot of time and energy and in some great cases, money. For your wedding planning needs, please call Mrs. Tani at 0917-8162134.
8. Event Stylist. (50,000-100,000 pesos) Want a themed wedding, beautiful backdrops, elegant centerpieces? Hire an event stylist to transform even the most ordinary wedding venue into a most unique concept like a fairytale, beach or even bringing a garden (yes an entire garden) into your ballroom.
9. Makeup Artist. (7,000-15,000 pesos) It is important that you see eye to eye with your makeup artist, after all you will live with the pictures reminding you how good you looked during your wedding day for the rest of your life.
10. Wedding Gown. (15,000-100,000 pesos) The cost really depends on how well-known the designer is and what type of fabric and design you choose.
11. Entourage and Groom's clothes (20,000-80,000 pesos) Again the budget depends on the designer, the design and the materials.
12. Flowers. (15,000-30,000) Basically the same price all across different suppliers difference in arrangement and types of flowers to be used.
13. Giveaways. (25-50pesos/hd) There are tons of giveaway ideas out there, a quick trip to Divisoria is always good for this.
14. Entertainers. (8,000-30,000 pesos) This includes; singer/s, bands and a host.
15. Sound system. (10,000-25,000 pesos) Seriously a PA system is not good enough. A good sound system package would include 4-6 speakers, 2 monitor speakers, 4 wired mics, 2 wireless mics, a band setup, a couple of smart lights, a fog machine or a bubble machine, a spotlight and around 8 pars.
16. Photographer and Videographer. (30,000-90,000 pesos) Once the party has ended all you have are the memories, hire a photographer that you can trust, it is always good to hire a small company or individual photographer that can personally do the service for you, with large companies weddings are often sub-contracted to individuals who do not have anything to lose so quality suffers quite a lot. For your Wedding Photography needs please check out my site.

On Destination Weddings

How many of us have gone out to explore the beauty of our country have said 'this place would be perfect for my wedding'? From Batangas, Puerto Azul, Tagaytay to Boracay, Plantacion Bay, the Pearl Farm, El Nido etc.. we all would love to have a great destination wedding, one that everybody will remember because its so nice, so unique but also so expensive. So what can be done to make it a little bit more feasible? I've made a small list of tips for those aspiring to have a dream destination wedding.

1. Plan ahead. Everything from expenses and logistics, everything needs to be ironed out long before your wedding. Make sure to befriend you travel agent, the resort concierge or whoever can be a big help for you, get their personal numbers but don't hound them too much. Set up a joint bank account for all the wedding expenses.

2. Keep a tight budget. Settle on how much you can afford and stick to it. There will be some unexpected expenses for sure, like tips, toll, extra guests (sometimes). You don't want to start out your marriage with a debt.

3. Keep a very short guest list. This is not possible for all but it is the best way for you to save money. You may also choose to sponsor certain guests or just subsidize them, after all plane fare and lodging are very expensive. Try to avoid inviting little children as they will, especially in beach weddings, be very difficult to control once they see the inviting water.

4. Keep it simple. You have to, the surroundings are what you came there for anyway. Keep the bridal gown simple as having a destination wedding usually means outdoor and outdoor means strong winds and dust. Having a long entourage just keeps you and your guests in the sun much longer than you might want. Keep the program simple, often a simple program is the most entertaining. Guests will want to mingle and will tend to work themselves into little groups and into one of the cozy spots you loved about your destination wedding.

5. Don't forget to have fun. At the end of the day no matter how well prepared you are, things that can go wrong will go wrong, but its okay, you just got married in your dream location and the best part is, you're already at your honeymoon.

Fernwood Gardens

One of the pioneers in revolutionizing the wedding industry. Fernwood Gardens came into fame when some famous actors and actresses started holding their wedding receptions there. Aesthetically it easily lives up to its billing as a garden within the city. Nature is all around you as you dine. Around the venues there are small ponds in which ducks and swans roam freely. It looks like a huge greenhouse from the outside or one of those aviaries from the movies. It really feels as if you are stepping into a whole new world. For grand entrances, they offer a horse drawn carriage . In the time when most weddings were held inside fancy hotels, Fernwood Gardens sure did a lot to grab attention and revolutionize how soon to wed couples thought of wedding receptions. These days Fernwood Gardens still holds the mystique and the beauty which makes it such an attractive wedding venue.

Step into Fernwood Gardens and you are transported into a whole new world of nature's beauty.

Make a grand entrance on the horse drawn carriage.

Fernwood Gardens Official Website
69 Cenacle Drive, Sanville Subdivision, Quezon City
925-0020, 926-2493, 426-0968, 426-0633

Fernbrook Gardens

From the genius behind Fernwood Gardens comes the much larger garden wedding venue in the South, Fernbrook Gardens. From the outside it is such a massive structure, with beautiful glass panes, and glorious finishing all around, it definitely is one of the ultimate wedding venues in the Philippines. Inside there is a massive atrium that welcomes guests into 4 venues, though I wouldn't call the venues gardens exactly, becuase the floors are finished with indoor tiles and the only hints of greenery are sparsely spread on the sides. The ceiling is full of beautiful white drapes cascading down from the center, which sort of looks like a giant cozy matress, the entire place really is very easy on the eyes. For an extra fee a horse-drawn carriage is available for a more grand entrance and perhaps the most unique part is there is also a gondola, which can ferry newlyweds to their venue via the man-made canal which also divides the venues from the chapel. Now, obviously this sort of class does not come cheap, but if you can afford it, its well worth your hard-earned cash, you have to hurry though as getting a booking with them is really difficult and it is recommended that you make your reservation at least 18 months before your wedding.

The Large Atrium of Fernbrook Gardens provides great photo ops.
The ceiling is stuffed with very nice drapes.
Just one of the venues at Fernbrook Gardens.

Link to Fernbrook Garden
Portofino South, Daang Reyna, Las PiƱas
7108608, 7108545, 3873740, 3836865, 9278392

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Welcome to Philippine Weddings

Hi! Welcome to my blog. Here I will try to share my experiences in Philippine Weddings from planning, knowing what to expect, researching popular or exclusive venues and just about anything else related to Weddings in the Philippines. Please check from time to time for new postings. Thank you.

About Me

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FX_MEN is a professional wedding and portrait photographer in the Philippines. Loves to travel and going to the spa.