Doy and I wanted a simple and beautiful wedding, together with our closest family and friends. I searched, asked and consulted several people about the essential elements in a Catholic wedding. We've somehow modeled our wedding to the simple and beautiful weddings we've attended. We did not hire a wedding coordinator and did almost everything ourselves. Planning our wedding wasn’t easy, but it was a wonderful experience for us.
Doy designed our wedding invitation. It was like a magazine cover, with a photo of the chapel. It had a title “New Beginnings”. At the back of the magazine cover is a Q&A about the wedding, and a staff box that has our names, the names of our parents, best man, maid of honor and principal sponsors. We had our invitations printed at UP Diliman Shopping Center, and were placed in document envelopes.
We bought linen cloth and satin as material for our wedding attire. Mine was a short white dress while Doy’s was a polo with ¾ sleeves. We just found a supplier, Mr. Elmer Zamora, to sew the dress and the polo.
For my shoes I made sure I have a comfortable pair so I bought a white wedge shoes.
On our way to Polilio Island we found a chapel facing the Pacific Ocean. The name of the chapel is Nuestra Senora dela Asuncion located in Barangay Tignoan, Real, Quezon. Real, Quezon is a 2 and a half hour zigzaggy but breathtaking ride from Quezon City. One can see the view of the mountains and Laguna de Bay.
For us the chapel was the perfect place to get married! We inquired at the parish church that supervises the chapel, St. Raphael the Archangel, at the town proper. Thankfully we got permission from the parish priest to get married there. We also had to secure permission from our parishes to get married in Real, as no one of us is from that place. Doy is from Manila and I am from Quezon City. We had a bit of difficulty as we had to travel there from time to time to submit requirements, to attend the pre-cana seminar and to touch base with potential suppliers.
Ceremony and Presider
We did not have an entourage. No bridesmaids, ring and coin bearers and flower girls. We just assigned our friends to be secondary sponsors, and asked our best man to carry the wedding rings and arrhae. Before the ceremony started, our parents, ninong and ninang (we had only a pair), and our secondary sponsors were just told to sit at their designated places in the chapel. I did not even plan to walk down the aisle, because I think the aisle is too short. So when the people saw me walk fast at the altar they were surprised! Then they requested me to walk, which I obliged. Everyone thought that was funny, maybe the funniest moment during the wedding :)
The wedding ceremony was held within a Eucharistic celebration/mass, presided by a good friend, Fr. Raymond Arre, parish priest of the Parish of Holy Sacrifice in UP Diliman. He delivered a beautiful homily. What I also liked about the celebration was when the guests approached us during the sign of peace, and when Doy and I gave communion to each other.
I asked Kuya Jun Tariga, one of my former choir mates to sing and play solo during the ceremony, and picked regular mass songs so that everyone can sing.
Our guests loved the view of the ocean from the chapel windows and the feel of the ocean breeze.
Flowers and Church Decor
We bought flowers from Dangwa and drapes from Divisoria and brought them the day before our wedding. The flowers had a simple arrangement done by the church workers. While the church workers were cleaning the chapel, setting up the fixtures and arranging the flowers, we were putting up the drapes.
We had our reception at The Pacific Recreation Kamp (The PaRK), a resort just right beside the chapel. The PaRK is a popular surfing camp in Real, Quezon. The resort has a wide and beautiful garden there was no need for decorations. The venue rental covered parking as well as entrance fees for the guests. After the reception, some of our guests went swimming, snorkelling and learned how to surf (there are surf instructors and boards for rent).
Since our reception venue is a garden, we had to rent a tent. We rented the tent from Bells and Doves. We got them because they were the fast to respond to our inquiries via email and SMS. Since the supplier is from Sucat they charged us for out of town fee, which was quite reasonable. However, we were disappointed because the supplier charged us with early set up fee for our request to set up the tent the day before our wedding. We were told before that the early set up was already covered by the out of town fee, so we were surprised by this additional charge. We were also disappointed that they were not able to deliver the side wall for one of the small tents that we rented, which was already paid. We gave a partial payment for the early set up fee, and gave the remaining balance a few days after the wedding.
Catering and Food
We had a difficult time finding a caterer for our wedding. There were caterers in the nearby areas (Real and Infanta), but they could not provide tables and chairs, which means we’d have to rent them separately. I contacted many caterers in Metro Manila/Rizal areas. Some of them did not respond, others told me that they couldn’t cater in Real, some were already booked, and some can cater but their out of town fees cost an arm and a leg. We’re glad to have found a good caterer that was willing to provide catering services for a reasonable price in Gerry’s Grill Blue Wave/Marquinton. We liked their menu packages because their offer is only for food and drinks, no fancy stuff that we don’t need unlike the wedding packages of other caterers. The account officer and manager of Gerry’s Grill were very nice and they really made an effort to fulfill our requirements. Their menu was perfect for a beach wedding. We had grilled chicken and fish, sisig, kare-kare, pinakbet, rice, leche flan and bottomless iced tea. The table centerpieces were Malaysian mums and shells that I bought in Cebu.
Instead of having a cake, we bought cupcakes from Mom and Tina’s. The chocolate cupcakes were a hit! We also bought Hardy’s chardonnay for the wine toast.
We gave away canvas bags that we designed and asked our friend, Hanna Fernando-Pacua, to produce.
Instead of hiring a wedding photographer we asked our photographer friends to take photos of our wedding. They are Jops Josef, Aly Yap and Pio Fortuno. Jops is a good friend of mine who is a hobbyist. Aly is Doy's friend, sports photographer. Pio Fortuno is one of our biker friends, a professional photographer. We’re very glad that they rendered their time and talent for free on our special day. Many of the wedding photos are beautifully candid, and we love them!
We opted not to hire a videographer for our wedding because we feel that sometimes videos can be disruptive, makes guests more conscious/unnatural. We feel that our photos captured enough memories of our beautiful wedding. We still had some videos though, shot by our family and friends.
Overall, we can say that the wedding that Doy and I had planned and wanted truly happened. Our wedding also proved that you need not spend so much to have a beautiful and memorable wedding. Our guests were saying that our wedding was one of the most relaxed and cool wedding they have attended. As one of our good friends said in her blog “Everything was brief but sweet, making it definitely a wedding to remember!”.