Wedding Food 101: Foods Your Guests Secretly Hate

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“Food is our common ground, a universal experience” -James Beard

 

A funny and somewhat hackneyed adage as regards wedding food once said that the most dangerous food to eat is a wedding quote. However, from a couple’s standpoint, it is far more dangerous to serve wedding food to their guests which they would secretly hate but pretend to love anyhow. It is no question that it is your big day and the occasion is all about you and your husband-to-be tying the knot, but the wedding food is a pivotal aspect of a wedding. In fact, in some rare cases, it dictates the success or failure of a particular event.

Serve too little and your guests would go hungry, serve them too much and you are likely to foot an exorbitant bill but serving them something they do not like altogether would spell a disaster for everyone. Not only will you and your guests have to stomach down the food served, but your wedding will be known as one of those events whose food did not make much of an impression. With this in mind, it would be imperative for you to gloss over the catering services in Pasay and see the types of the menu they offer. Otherwise, it might be helpful if you knew which wedding food items do not score high in most wedding guests’ scorecards.

1.) Appetizers that are hard to eat

It is no question that most modern weddings would now incorporate gimmicky things into their wedding—even if that means having food that is rather quirky and a bit hard to eat. Your guests are already having a hard time mingling with the other guests during the cocktail hour, do no make it even harder for them by giving them appetizers that are incredibly hard to eat and would likely cause them to make a mess. Have straightforward nibbles during cocktail hour—one which your guests can eat with one hand and balance a drink in their other hand.

2.) Weird signature cocktails

More often than not, these cocktails were engineered specifically for your wedding and are given monikers that would combine yours and your spouse’s or something cute like “Something Blue”. However, while the sentiment may be romantic (though a tad bit cheesy) to you, more often than not these concoctions do not taste as great as their name suggests. If they are too sickeningly sweet or are bland and watery, your guests would much rather have beer and wine than something that stimulates their gag reflex.

3.) Rubbery Chicken

Serving chicken at your wedding is a hit or miss thing. More often than not, it is the mode of preparation that contributes to how the dish will be received. However, considering that chicken is prepared hours before it is going to be served to your guests, that tender and juicy chicken your guests should have tasted will have been transformed into a piece of chewy rubber. And as unfortunate as it sounds, no one finds dried-out chicken marsala and cordon bleu appetizing to eat at all.

4.) Vegetable Bundles

While healthy options are always welcome, limp and soggy vegetables are not. Sure, the presentation looks superb as most of these vegetables are wrapped like little presents, but they would hardly add anything to the meal. Apart from the tasteless option, it would only make it obvious that you had obviously seriously overlooked the sides department. If you want a much more satisfactory option, buttery mashed potatoes, ravioli and pasta are great choices.

5.) Gluten-Free Everything

Even if you and your groom are on a special diet, make your big day your biggest cheat day. After all, just because you are on a restrictive diet, it does not mean that you should subject your wedding guests to the same limitations as well. While serving vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes are perfectly acceptable, overhauling the entire menu to make it all vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free is another story. Let your guests enjoy their meal and at least give them options that they are likely to find acceptable.

 

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Four Definitive (But Annoying) Signs You Are at A Filipino Wedding

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In the Philippines, a wedding would probably mark the biggest occasion of an individual’s life. They are traditionally big and festive events where a large group of people comes together—from the family to the relatives, friends down to the neighbors. Apart from being a grand and festive, Filipino weddings are predominantly influenced by religion—so much so that it is traditionally celebrated inside big churches situated all over the country. However, with the advent of modern weddings, a lot of wedding traditions have become lost as more and more weddings get wrapped up with the commercial or monetary value of the planning involved.

It is rather unfortunate that Filipino weddings are losing some of the aspects that made it distinctly Filipino—including some of the customs and traditions that made it one, however, there are still modern unions that do practice it today. While traditions such as setting a pair of doves free or pinning some bills on the bride’s dress in exchange for a dance have gone stale, there are a few practices that are still evident in almost every Filipino wedding you attend. From the elaborate wedding planning that includes wedding packages in the Philippines to other quirky and unique practices, here are some practices that make a wedding truly Filipino:

1.) Filipino Time

Regardless of the occasion, Filipinos are notorious for arriving late–so much so, that the concept of Filipino time was coined. It roughly means that if an event is to start around 7 PM, Filipinos do not get ready to leave until it is 6:45 PM. In weddings, this can be particularly stressful; guests would typically take longer than usual as they have to do their hair and makeup and primp themselves up. If your wedding invitation states that wedding is to start around 3:00 PM, you can expect a majority of the guests to arrive at around 3:30 PM to 4 PM. But the worst guests are those who skip the wedding ceremony altogether and just head to the reception in time for the buffet. To make sure this does not happen, announce that the wedding starts an hour early in your invitation. This would not ensure that all of your guests would arrive on time, but at least a significant number of them will arrive just in time.

2.) Delinquents

Even if your invitation has indicated that the dress code is strictly formal, you will undoubtedly find someone in a more casual outfit of jeans and slippers. Apart from that, you may have requested that guests give you monetary gifts as you would be moving out of the country, yet it seems like some of your guests have missed the memo. So, how do you deal? Check on everyone at least a couple of weeks before the wedding. Remind them of your dress code and if they do not have any available, see if you can help them borrow from someone else.

3.) There are several gimmicks

A reception is a combination of many different events, and it is more than just a simple wedding dinner. Though the wedding ceremony finished hours ago, you are not expected to eat until a series of presentations and speeches are over. For this reason, many couples have opted to include a cocktail buffet table that would serve guests finger food as well as something to drink to stave off hunger before dinner is to begin. Before a wedding reception, come prepared and eat a heavy meal before attending the wedding ceremony. This would not only prevent you from being hungry during one of the many speeches in the reception, but it would also help you avoid from hoarding food in the cocktail buffet table.

4.) Girls disappearing during the bouquet toss part of the program

In almost every Filipino wedding, women would readily make an excuse to go to the bathroom just in time for the bouquet toss segment of the program. It seems like women do not want to have the limelight on them during the couple’s special day. A good workaround to this problem is to introduce a crafty way to ensure that the ladies would be more receptive to joining. Apart from receiving the bouquet, consider giving a monetary prize to the woman who catches the bouquet.

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A Historic Wedding at La Castellana

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All of us wants our wedding to be as momentous as possible – the kind that lingers in the memories for many years. Having a memorable wedding takes more than just the attire and food, but also the venue. In fact, the venue can make or break any wedding. For a truly unforgettable wedding, La Castellana is the perfect wedding venue for you.

Dubbed as the melting pot of all celebrations, La Castellana is a Spanish-inspired al fresco site found inside Intramuros. The venue serves as the perfect backdrop for cultural weddings and religious matrimonial ceremonies. Aside from that, there are a lot of wedding package Philippines to choose from.

Guests are welcomed by the venue’s grand foyer adorned with equally grandiose amber crystal chandelier. Celebrations take place at the Salon de Joaquin Ballroom, a 400-seater covered courtyard built with an impressive cooling system. Salon de Joaquin is named after La Castellana’s patriarch.

Another courtyard is the El Jardin de la Luz, an outdoor sanctuary filled with swanky pocket gardens, spacious gazebo with mini waterfalls and elegant side arches. The courtyard features the Garden of Light, a cloverleaf-shaped fountain at its center. Hanging lamps made from crystal verinas embellished the courtyard, adding a cozier ambiance at night.

Further, the location has a luxurious bridal suite perfect for the bride-to-be called Sala de Gleceria. Glorifying the name of the owner’s matriarch, Sala de Gleceria is designed with the brides-to-be in mind. It’s like a sweet escape for the bride as she relaxes on the bridal oasis before wearing her gown, shoes and makeup. The best part is a string quartet serenades the bride and everyone in the suite all throughout the preparation.

Patio Domingo is the veranda overlooking Salon de Joaquin Ballroom. Named after the father of the La Castellana’s owner, the open-air veranda is the perfect location to view the breathtaking sunset while overlooking equally picturesque scenes such as Manila Cathedral’s dome.

La Castella has a very few elite partner caterers, one of which is Hizon’s Catering. The management is very scrupulous when it comes to on-site food preparation. Aside from the dedicated kitchen, there are shower rooms specifically built for the food attendants to ensure they are well-dressed when they serve the guests. They also get to relax in the crew lounge.

Other mention-worthy amenities are the vast parking spaces with ever-dedicated traffic marshals and well-lit comfort rooms with uniformed washroom attendants. There are also uniformed security officers. Finally, the location boasts of wheelchair accessible facilities.

Found inside the walled city of Intramuros, La Castellana can make any wedding a truly memorable one. To-be-weds will find facilities and amenities unique to the venue alone – those that majority of the venues in Intramuros lack. A one-event-at-a-time venue, couples, and their guests can have all of La Castellana to themselves and revel in the magnificence of the venue.Image source

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Weddings 101: Five Wedding Traditions and Their Surprising Origins

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Over the years, we may have attended many weddings and noticed a lot of universal elements that seem present in each and every one of them. In the magical glow of the wedding venue, we have seen the groom bestow a kiss on the bride, we have seen the bride joyously throw her bouquet to a gaggle of single ladies, we have seen wedding guests showing the newly wedded couple with rice or flowers–all these and more. But, have you ever wondered where all of these came from? Where did these wedding traditions originate and what do they signify?

Well, this article has compiled a list of the most common wedding traditions and their corresponding origins as well as meanings. Here are some of the most beloved and practiced wedding traditions all over the globe:

1.) Bachelor Party

Bachelor parties have always been a bane to a bride’s existence, and more often than not, brides-to-be see this as an event to dread. It seems that most bachelor parties have been associated with night’s of drunken orgies and hiring strippers for a party. However, before it became a night dedicated to pure debauchery, this was a night where Ancient Romans would gather in a feast they dubbed as a “Bachelor Dinner.” They would then toast their comrade and kidnap the bride after that.

2.) Bridal Shower

This wedding practice is said to have been stemmed from a tradition in Holland. It was said that there was a bride whose father did not approve of her husband and refused her any dowry. As a result, her friends would all collectively shower her with gifts of any kind so that the bride would have a necessary dowry and would be able to marry the man of her choosing. Then, the woman who was not bestowed dowry by her father would be given a shower by her friends. Regardless of whether this legend is true, a bridal shower seems to have stemmed from the idea of friends and neighbors showering the bride with gifts because her father did not approve of her husband-to-be or was too poor to afford any dowry.

3.) White Wedding Dress

Today, modern weddings have brides walking the aisle in a white gown of her choice but not too long ago; a bridal dress was simply just the best dress she has in her closet–regardless of whether it was white or not. However, it was not until Queen Victoria’s wedding in the 1840’s wherein the hue of the wedding dress was vastly preferred to be white did the wedding tradition began. It was her iconic white wedding dress that started it all. Although brides still wore bridal dresses of other colors, it was her decision that inspired many brides-to-be to do the same.

4.) Wearing a veil

In the Roman times, veils were worn by Roman brides to symbolize her virginity, purity, and modesty. Although the connotation of why the bride is required to wear a veil has been lost over the years, the tradition of donning one still continues. It is also interesting to note that the Roman veil would cover the bride from head to foot. Sometimes later, it would be used as a burial shroud.

5.) Something old, new, borrowed and blue

Although this practice is mainly out of superstition, this tradition dated back to the Victorian era and was said to bring the bride good luck. The old aspect of the superstition was meant to tie the bride to her past and her family while the new would represent her new life in her new family. Brides were supposed to borrow an item from a successfully married woman in hopes of bringing that woman’s success in marriage into her own. Lastly, blue was said to symbolize purity.

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Weddings 101: Five Truths Your Wedding Planner Will Never Tell You

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“No matter what happens, if at the end of your wedding day, you are married to the person you love, then it was a roaring success” – Quote from Hannah and Mat

 

Planning a wedding is no easy feat. It requires the harmony of various elements and aspects that would most often need the assistance of a professional. As such, this is the reason why so many brides-to-be would avail of the professional services of a wedding planner as they would help the bride realize her dream wedding and make it come into a fruition. In the wedding industry alone, you would know which wedding planners are the best as they offer the best deals for the bride’s available budget. After all, in the wedding business, everything can be negotiable if the couple knows how to compromise. This along with honesty are two of the best qualities an excellent wedding planner can have. Unfortunately, you cannot always count on your wedding planner to be a hundred percent frank–after all, there are some things that are best left a secret. But do not fear, today is your lucky day as this article allows you to be privy to some of the things your wedding planner would not dream of telling you:

 

1.) Your wedding taste may be tacky.

The theme you have chosen, the gowns you have selected, the engraved invitations–these things may look magnificent to you, but to a wedding planner who has seen and planned innumerable weddings, yours may fall short or pale in comparison. However, your wedding planner is not likely to tell you this, no matter how tacky your tastes may be and no matter how bad the wedding package in the Philippines you chose is. After all, if you are paying them a premium to do their jobs, they could not care less if you draped the wedding venue with paper flowers.

2.) You need to stop telling people you are getting married.

While you may want to bask in the excitement and euphoria, this is t exactly the most economic way to get wedding vendors or other aspects essential to the wedding. If you want to save on the wedding cake cost, do not ask for a tiered wedding cake from your chosen baker. Instead, just ask for the quote of an ordinary tiered cake and you would be surprised at the significant difference at the pricing.

3.) Bridesmaids dresses can still be glamorous while being affordable

A beautiful gown and an affordable gown does not have to be mutually exclusive–that is if you know where to have your gowns get done or if you know where to buy them. Instead of having a seamstress furnish you with every single member of the entourage’s entire formal ensemble, why not try visiting the prom section of a store. You will find great deals just under a couple of a thousand pesos–especially on off seasons where prom is long over.

4.) I know better than you do

Sure, this might be your dream wedding and while you might play a crucial role when it comes to wedding planning, do not make the rookie mistake of thinking you know better than your wedding planner. This might be the biggest day of your life, but it just so happens that this is the 200th wedding your planner has prepared for. So, whenever your planner offers a suggestion or would tell you that some aspects might not work, pay heed as they are doing exactly what you are paying them for. If you insist, you may end up with some botched aspects in the wedding.

5.) We want to work with you—even if you turn out to be a complete nightmare.

Pre-wedding stress is real. Complement that with planning stress syndrome and you have a recipe for disaster which most of the brides-to-be succumb to during the last few months of wedding planning. The truth is, even if you become rather hard to deal and work with, your wedding planner would still want to work with you. After all, you have bestowed the highest honor of entrusting to them the most special day of your life. That has to count for something and they would make sure they can deliver.

 

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Wedding Receptions: Four Types of Food Never to Serve At Your Wedding

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“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” -James Beard
A witty and catchy proverb about weddings has said that the most dangerous food is a wedding cake. Although it is meant to be funny and entertaining, the adage’s sentiment echoes a metaphor that you should be careful and at least meticulous about what you serve to your guests. You may have scoured countless of wedding packages in the Philippines, but your guests would hardly find any of the garlands of flowers, or splendid entourage ensembles memorable but giving them a hearty and savory dinner experience will certainly make an impressive impact. Without a doubt, most of your guests would be looking forward to what they will eat during your wedding reception and you ought not to disappoint and deliver. Indeed, one of the biggest decisions you will have to make when planning your wedding is the menu as well as the appropriate budget for it seeing as feeding a sizable guest list would not come in cheap.

To make the decision-making the process a bit easier and less complicated, know which types of food you should not include in your list and from there you can create a menu that will leave your guests with a lasting and memorable taste in their mouths.

1.) Food that requires an intricate setup

While it may look gorgeous by the buffet table and is an entertainment feat itself, the main attraction of your wedding reception should be you and your new spouse. Not the food prepared. Having your caterer prepare complicated setups for food stuff might sound like a great way to make an impact and impress your friends. In a sense, it would even set your wedding apart, but unless you are celebrating an intimate wedding, it would be challenging to get each dish made for each guest. Choose another way to dazzle your guests apart from making complicated food.

2. Anything Raw

While sushi and sashimi are excellent additions to the wedding banquet, serving other kinds of raw food items can be potentially risky. Steak tartare might sound sublime, but the two primary ingredients are raw meat and a runny egg. It might look elegant and grand, but in some cases, it would not do your or your guests’ stomachs any favors. Skip the uncooked fares and best be safe rather than sorry.

3.) An all meat (or anything) buffet

To any meat lovers out there, this sounds like the only way to throw a wedding banquet. Dishes upon dishes of various meats—a carnivorous treat if you may. While the array of different meat might sound like a succulent feast to you, your guests might not have the same enthusiasm. Regardless of what your favorite food might be, it is always best to introduce a little bit of variety. Similarly, cheese lovers, seafood lovers, and chocolate lovers should introduce dishes that are not all chocolate based, cheese based and the like. After all, there are only so many ways you can prepare dishes from a single ingredient.

4.) Mini versions of everything

Traditionally, it would be great to serve your guest’s tea sandwiches, mini-sized burgers, and even pocket-sized pizza during the cocktail hour while they are waiting for you to make your grand entrance. However, serving mini versions of everything is not a great idea if this is all you are serving. Your guests would need a little more substantial during the main course and believe or not, the cocktail drinks and finger foods are there only to keep their hunger at bay, not fully satiate it. Consider serving something a bit more filling than soup and salads.

 

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Filipino Weddings: Five Things to Expect and Guest Conduct

Brenda Chu and Alvin Raagas

“Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins.” -Lao Tzu

It is a known fact that weddings are big festive events, but in the Philippines, it is all the more festive and grand. Considering that the family is an integral part of the Filipino culture, family members, relatives and even friends from abroad would all take leave and come home to celebrate this momentous event in an individual’s life. As it is a rare time for everyone to be home at the same time, celebrations do not last just a day, but in some cases, it would last a week to a month depending on how long visitors from abroad intend to stay.

Apart from looking for an appropriate wedding package in the Philippines, a lot of preparation goes into a Filipino wedding. While there are some more elaborate weddings elsewhere, what makes a Filipino wedding truly unique is the emphasis and importance it puts on the family. For this reason, most primary sponsors would be the couple’s godparents who apart from standing with them during the ceremony, are expected to give them sagely advice as regards marital and familial life. In any case, if you are attending a Filipino wedding, here are things you should expect or do:

1.) Give a timely RSVP

Invitations to a couple’s big day usually arrive weeks or months before the scheduled wedding date. Although in some cases, the physical form of a letter may arrive later than usual, you should do your part as a guest by sending your RSVP in a timely fashion. Remember that most couples would have to account for all of their guests through a final headcount. Giving the couple a prompt notice as to whether you will be attending or not would make it more convenient for them to decide on a final number of guests and a seating arrangement.

2.) Despedida de Soltera (Bachelorette Party)

Bachelorette parties in the Philippines are different (although, wild hen parties do still happen it all depends on the bride’s wishes). Filipino tradition dictates that a party would be held in favor of the bride to highlight her last few days as a single woman. While some bachelorette parties would involve raucous night out, this is also an event that would serve as a formal introduction to both sides of the family before the couple is officially wedded. So, if you have been given the honor of being part of the couple’s wedding entourage, do take part and contribute whatever you can to make this event more memorable.

3.) Take note of the maid of honor duties

If you have been given the prestige and honor of being a bride’s maid of honor, know that it is not an easy task. You are primarily chosen because the bride regards you as her closest confidante and trusts you to carry out your duties well. Apart from putting a bachelorette party together, your task would also include to organize the entourage for the wedding ceremony and attend to the bride’s needs. Additionally, it is also your duty to welcome and assist guests during the wedding reception.

4.) Follow the dress code given

While you can wear formal suits to weddings, if you want a more patriotic approach and something that would indeed appeal to Filipino tradition, you can do so by wearing the Filipino costume known as the Barong Tagalog. Dress codes are almost always indicated in the invitation–in any case, whatever you choose to wear for the wedding, always respect the couple’s wishes as to what kind of garb you should wear. This is the least you can do for their wedding day as an invited guest.

5.) Participate in the wedding games

Traditionally, Filipino wedding receptions would have intervals wherein games directed at married and single individuals are held. If you are a guest, do not dampen the couple’s spirits by refusing to partcipate—most especially if they call out your name. Have a great time and join the bouquet toss or garter toss if you are single. If you are married, enter some of the couple games with your spouse and just generally have fun.

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