Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wedding Expenses: Our own Personalized Summary of Wedding Needs and Wants

In the hopes of helping all would-be brides out there, I will be documenting and reviewing our wedding suppliers and other related-items in my blog.  We've been in the same boat as you and your fiancee, and blogs with reviews similar to this one, proved to be our saviour dozens of times.  Here's to paying it forward...  J

When the ex-bf (now hubby) and I first got engaged, topmost on our minds were budgets.  We kept on seeing peso signs flutter away, man!

Kidding aside though, financially, we were ok.  Both of us have stable careers and sufficient savings to have a modest wedding celebration.  But despite all of these, we were fully aware of the pitfalls of the wedding planning phrase (going so over budget, crazy ideas, etc.) which we heard from relatives, friends, and from chat community sites.  All we really wanted was to have a memorable wedding without the usual hair-pulling inducing hassles and fuss.

We decided early on that we would not start off our married life with huge debts.  As the saying goes, it's the marriage that is important, not the wedding celebration.  However, we still wanted one that we could look back on with very fond memories.

So we pooled our resources, sat down and decided on a workable budget acceptable to both of us.  After a few compromises and a lot of considerations, we finally decided that P300K was a good enough number for a wedding celebration with 150 guests. 

In the end though, we did go a little over budget, but I am very happy to say that we had an excess of over P23K only.  How we did it was a result of compromises and knowing exactly what we wanted early on in the planning phrase. 

Here are just a few of the tips we stuck to til the end:

1. Do intensive research.  We canvassed and compared not only prices, but also quality.  We attended as many wedding fairs as possible, asked for referrals from friends who were also in the same boat as we were or who got married recently, and joined online chat communities like GirlTalk.  We also visited a lot of  personal blogs and whatnot getting their suggestions on this and that supplier. 

Quality, not just quantity, was also a main concern for us.  Yes, we were on a budget but we didn't want anything that looked tacky. Something that was still aesthetically pleasuring but would not break the bank.

2. Prepare a list of needs and wants.  The problem with doing your own wedding preparations is weeding out the needs from the nice-to-haves.  I've been talking to a lot of bride-to-bes recently and they all mention the same problem: what is necessary and what can we do without?

Early on determine what is really needed and what is a luxury.  Consult coordinators, ask newly married couples and make a list.  Fiancee and I jotted down our haves and the nice-to-haves early on in the process.  Because of this list, we were able to prioritize and later on splurge on some items on our nice-to-haves list after completing the necessities.

3. Know yourselves thoroughly.  Knowing yourselves fully and sticking with your set plan helps you from being sales talked into purchasing luxuries that you would otherwise not have preferred to have on your wedding day.  Come on!  Do you really need a gigantic fireworks display or a gaudy Lady Gaga-esque wedding gown?

Mia Barlaan, my wedding gown designer, initially included all the church wedding paraphernalia in a package along with my gown.  If I decided to avail that, I would have paid an additional P5,000 for both the bearer's pillows, arrhae, cord, second veil and garter.  I declined.  Instead I sourced for all those same items in Divisioria and in the end spent only P522.75!  The garter I did buy in Landmark though but still it was a huge saving as compared to if I decided to get the same items from Mia.

Also, do not be a push-over.  I've heard of complaints from couples who initially set their wedding guestlist to 100 which suddenly ballooned to 500 because mom wanted to invite her mahjong kumare or dad wanted to include his 5th cousin twice removed to the celebrations.  Now unless your parents are planning to shell out moolah to help you and fiancee out, then I suggest you be firm and calmly mention that you could not afford the extra people.  Yes, I know this is better said than done, but believe me it will be worth it in the end.  If they love you, then they will understand.  Besides, wouldn't you prefer seeing people you know in your wedding pictures than someone who you won't even remember the day after the wedding?

4. Splurge but think about it dozens of times.  Yes, we were on a budget but we didn't want anything that looked tacky. Something that was still aesthetically pleasuring but would not break the bank.  We always thought of items twice before deciding on signing contracts with suppliers.

5. Try to avail of packages with freebies/book suppliers during wedding fairs.  Avail of caterer's freebies, combined packages, etc.  Our caterer, Eloquente, included the cake, wine, sound system and some other items with our food package.  Great Image, our photo and video supplier, included the use of a bridal car with our package.  All these made our lives so much easier. 

Booking suppliers during wedding fairs can also be a big help.  Suppliers offer discounts during these events.  Enough said.  Hehehe!

5. Do not be afraid to ask for help.  Our On-the-Day (OTD) coordinator, Myra of Merriment, was the biggest help of all.  She made sure we had all the necessities, were always on schedule and even located some of our suppliers for us, always within our set budget.  If I could do it all over again, I would have ensured that I booked the OTD coordinator first.  =)

Entourage members would also understand if you request them that they pay for their own gowns or barongs.  You can tell them that it could be their wedding gifts to you.  In our case, however, we decided to include entourage dresses in the budget na lang.  Same with the groomsmen's barongs. 

For the ninongs, we politely requested them if they could just wear their old barongs.  For our ninangs, one declined our offer to buy her a dress since she already had one and was comfortable wearing that instead.  Our other ninang was an old family friend of ours who is also a nun.  Since we were working on a budget, we decided to look in Divisoria first before we decided to buy in any of the major malls.  Ninang was able to find one in Tabora that she really loved and which also fit her well enough.  Win-win situation!  =)


That being said, we were able to trim down our wedding expenses, as listed below (NOTE: Please bear in mind that these are/were their rates as of January 2010.  Names and company details indicated in bold type are linked to my reviews about them.  Please click on the links for my full report.)

Church (San Agustin Church, Intramuros, Manila) - P23,000.00
Reception venue (Casa Manila Patio, Intramuros, Manila) - P12,000.00
Photo and Video (Great Image) - P48,420.00
Caterer (Eloquente Catering Services) - P89,700.00 for 150 guests
Souvenirs (Photobot Manila) - P6,000.00
On-the-day Coordination/Emcee (Merriment Event Planner and Wedding Coordinator) - P9,100.00
Strings Trio (Libante Strings) - P8,500.00
Invitations (DYI - DisTINctly me) - P3,000.05 for 80 pieces (shameless plug:  I did our invites by sourcing for materials in NSB and Divisoria)
Hair and make-up (Teddy Ramirez) - P5,000.00
Wedding bouquet and entourage flowers (Glenn Bitara) - P15,000.00
Wedding rings (Love & Co.) - SGD 1,050.00 (Fiancee and I had to buy our wedding rings in Singapore where he is currently based)
Wedding gowns (Mia Barlaan) - P10,000.00
Wedding gown accesories (wedding shoes, necklace, hair accessories, etc. sourced from various suppliers) - P6,279.00
Groom's barong and camisa chino (Onesimus) - P2,697.97
Hotel (Sofitel) - USD 398.00 (we booked 2 standard rooms for a night and retained 1 standard room for us after the wedding proper.)

Entourage clothes:
Mother of the bride's gown (Mia Barlaan) - P5,000.00
Father of the bride's barong (Onesimus) - P2,429.77
1 Pincipal Sponsor's dress (Shaira's Bridal Shop in Tabora St., Divisoria) - P700.00
3 Groomsmen barongs (Kultura) - P7,398.25
2 Bridesmaid dresses (Iha) - P3,600.00
2 Flower girl dresses (Iha) - P2,400.00
Ring and Coin bearer barongs (sourced in Baclaran) - P510.00

Wedding Essentials:
Ring and coin bearer pillows (sourced in Tabora, Divisoria) - P85.00
2nd veil (sourced in Tabora, Divisoria) - P65.00
Cord (sourced in Tabora, Divisoria) - P145.00
Arrhae, coins not included (sourced in Tabora, Divisoria) - P28.00
Garter (Landmark) - P199.75
Matches (Wedding Library) - P105.00

Entourage gifts (sourced from various suppliers) - P2,653.75

Catholic Church Requirements:
CENOMAR (NSO) - P860.00 for the both of us
Baptismal certificate from Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Pasay City for me (hubby is not Catholic) - P100.00
Bride's Confirmation certificate from Paco Church - P50.00
Marriage License obtained in Pasay City hall - P210.00
Pre-Cana Seminar in San Agustin Church - P500.00
Mixed Marriage form - P150.00

Other Miscellaneous Items:
Pre-nup photoshoot entrace fees (various places in Intramuros) - P450.00
Trial HMU (Teddy Ramirez) - P600.00
Pampering for Bride and MOB (CANDS and David's Salon) - P2,160.00
Overtime use of Bridal car (Great Image) - P2,000.00
Use of Body form for the wedding gown (Mia Barlaan); deposit to be refunded upon return of the form - P2,500
Party poppers (Divisoria) - P320.00

All in all, we spent:
SGD 1,050.00 (rings)
USD 398.00 (hotel)

Convert everything to peso, we spent P322,926.49.  Not bad eh.  =)

I will be posting entries about our other suppliers in the following days to come.  I'm sorry pero mahina po kalaban.  I can only post 1 entry a day.  Heheheh!

Please visit my blog's Wedding category for more detailed reviews of our wedding suppliers.  =)

Hubby and me

1 comment:

  1. hi i saw something you wrote here in this blog that had a huge effect on me. I found your email in your facebook fan account and i now sent you an email. I decided not to post it here kasi mejo delicate yung question ko. I would really appreciate it if you would reply thanks very much --glets


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