Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dios Mabalos! by Lj Schroeder

(Pictures c/o Arleth G. Photography, unless otherwise stated)

Dios Mabalos!*
Lj Schroeder

In time for Thanksgiving, (although long overdue) here is my shout out and thumbs-up to the talented group of vendors/suppliers/contacts that we've had the privilege of working with when John and I tied the knot last Sept. 25.

I've accrued tons of lessons while preparing for our California garden wedding which I'm planning to share in another post. One of the many things I've realized is how ginormous the work, expense, time and hands (or heads) you need in order to make an average-sized traditional matrimony as less stressful yet memorable as possible. That's why these people/companies are heaven sent to me and John and we owe them a lot for helping make our day truly special.
Hooray to...
Denise and the rest of the Wingdingz company for the SUPERB job of re-creating jist of our love story through our caricatures, the highlight of our wedding invitation. Most of the people who saw our invites were amazed at how excellent Denise's team is! Funny, personal, unique, creative, cool were just some of the compliments we've heard from them. Before I left for the US, I was able to request Wingdingz to rush two copies of wedding posters and produce an on-line version of our wedding invite. That was very accommodating of them!

Ate Laila Papa Ramos and her company of hard-working sewers for the beautiful dresses I wore. She is the heart and hands behind my ivory wedding dress for the ceremony and my cream-colored evening dress for the reception. Her creations are flattering, comfortable and a work of art. She is willing to work within your budget without compromising your idea and deliver the products on time! One of the most generous and easy-to-work with woman that I know of. She not only did three of my gowns, but she had the time to make my Ma's dress, my veil and the rest of of our ceremonial stuff. Love you Ate Lai!

Puni Malolos for our give-aways and decors (sadly, I wasn't able to use the aisle decors because my Mom who was supposed to bring them to the US was denied of the US tourist visa). Anyhow, from the very start I've always wanted to incorporate parts of the Filipino culture to our wedding. Because one, I am proud of my heritage and two, I want to be a blessing to my country especially our small/medium enterprises. I decided to have a local product (butterfly ref magnet made from puni leaf) as our wedding give-away and a bird on a stick (also made from puni) as our aisle decors. Although I was satisfied with the quality, ease of transaction, price and time of delivery some of the butterflies' colors were a little off from the red/blue combination that I originally ordered. That said, I won't still have them any other way.

(pic c/o Puni Malolos)

Our wonderful photographers- wife and husband duo Arleth and Mario Guttierez (they're not Filipinos but Latinos.) I've always dreamt of having a pre-nup photo session and when John and I first met Arleth she was on my side. :) I knew then that they were meant to be our photographers! Having them was one of the best decisions we've made for our wedding vendor's list. They are a joy and a blessing to work with because they understand the stress and the process of long-distance planning and having a bi-racial wedding. Mario even volunteered to carry boxes of drinks and other stuff for us and Arleth gave us an irresistible deal. Muchas gracias chica!

Arleth's cousin Ally for my hair and make-up both for the pre-nup session and the wedding ceremony. She's a talented, hard-working, very flexible single-mom who has so much potential in this field. At first I was a bit worried that my eye-make-up for the pre-nup shoot was too heavy. But they looked amazing on the pics! How I wish I could have curly hair everyday (or maybe not). :)

Lastly, our floral supplier/arranger Carol's Secret Garden. I was contemplating on doing our flowers by myself, but my concerned in-laws and friends won't let me have more to-do things in my list. So I didn't really expect anything phenomenal from CSG for fear of being disappointed despite seeing some pictures of their previous works. The day of our wedding came, I was so relieved that they considered some of my ideas (twigs, succulents, berries, hydrangeas) in the arrangements.

The rest of our vendors either did a so-so job or a not-so-good job. :( That's another thing I've learned not just from our own wedding but from the dozens of weddings I've hosted/performed at/helped/coordinated/attended.

No wedding is free from imperfections/mishaps/drama (some planners or couples are just good at letting them slip away.) Instead of dwelling on the negative I'd rather choose to see and be grateful for the positive- the helpful people, affordable deals, the memories and the reason we're having a wedding in the first place... to spend the rest of our lives together, 'til death do us part. 

* God will repay you in Bicol dialect.