Joyful Weddings: Five Things You Should Never Include in Your Wedding Toast

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“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person”-Mignon Mclaughlin

 

One of the best things about attending a wedding reception is getting to hear various wedding guests—especially those closest to the couple—regale the hall with tales and anecdotes of the couple’s adventures (or even misadventures). At times, a lot of pressure is put on the wedding speech giver to ensure that what he or she will deliver would not only be perfect but memorable and a fun one as well.

However, remember that for the most part, the wedding speech you are giving is mostly for the couple and would only serve as entertainment to those listening in. In that regard, you would not want to include personal matters that only you and the couple are privy to in your speech. While you might want to entertain the wedding guests, you would also not want to disclose stories that are either too personal or embarrassing for the couple. Keep it light, fun and entertaining without being over the top. Remember, there is a variety of ways to keep your speech from being boring without resorting to spilling the sordid details of what your friend did way back in college. More importantly, it is imperative to keep in mind that with a captive audience of both the bride and groom’s family and friends, what you leave out of your speech or toast is just as important as what you put in. So, what should be left out then? Here are some of the things that should never be included in wedding toasts and speeches for comedic effect or whatever reason:

 

Your errant misadventures with your friend

Regardless of how small, funny or insignificant an infraction might be it should never make it into a wedding speech when it involves getting in trouble with the law. Sure, you and your friend might have found the time wherein you got busted for underage drinking funny but your friend certainly would not appreciate you sharing that fact to all of his or her friends and relatives. Reminiscing about old times might bring in the nostalgia but it is inappropriate to share with someone’s in-laws, colleagues and grandparents in the room. Save those stories for bachelor and bachelorette parties but for your wedding toast or speech, offer a fond memory that speaks highly of the couple’s characters.

 

Bringing up any trouble in paradise

If you happen to be privy about the couple’s private lives such as knowing whether or not the family approves of him or that one time they fought about their finances, know that they made you a confidante for a reason. With that said, your wedding toast is definitely not the best place to bring that up—even if the couple did manage to reconcile or patch things up. Leave any mention of internal family drama or conflict out of your toast as you might potentially spell trouble for them.

 

Any of the couple’s exes

A wedding is neither the time nor the place to bring up any of the couples’ exes. Remember, the wedding is about the couple who just tied the knot and are about to start a future together. In this regard, you should not bring up anything—or anyone for that matter—from their pasts as it would only succeed in making them feel uncomfortable. More importantly, it would be sure to make their wedding guests ill at ease as well. In lieu of bringing up their exes, regale the audience with a story of how the couple met instead.

 

What transpired in the respective bachelor and bachelorette parties

Your wedding toast is not an avenue for you to expose your friend’s shenanigans and wild side. Keep in mind that what happens on the respective parties should only stay there. Remind yourself of why you and your friend have been with each other for the longest time and have had each other’s backs through the good times and the bad. Do not include any unflattering stories about your friend or the couple in your toast and instead, use it as an opportunity to tell the audience what you love about the couple and why you value their friendship.

 

An inside joke

An inside joke is called an inside joke for a reason. In this regard, it should only stay between you and your friend. Remember, you want everyone to be able to relate to your speech about the couple. So, if you recall a time that only you and your friend would know about, you will undoubtedly have some of the audience members scratching their heads. As a result, the audience will feel left out and no one would understand why your story is actually funny. Remember, the guests want to know more about the couple and their relationship. So, try to steer your focus towards that instead of regaling them with inside joke only you would probably find funny.

 

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Prepping for Your Big Day: Reasons Every Bride Should Have a Bridal Session

 

 

 

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“Perspective: without a doubt, it is the most important thing that every bride should hold on to with both hands” –Author Unknown

 

One of the biggest and most momentous events in a woman’s life is her wedding day. In this regard, couples would want to immortalize that moment forever in the form of photographs and videos. With this in mind, brides should consider having bridal photography sessions or bridal sessions for short. Most engaged couples would already know about engagement sessions but have limited to absolutely no idea of what a bridal session is. While bridal photography sessions are mostly a Western tradition, they are worth incorporating to our local ones and would make excellent mementos of your soon-to-be big day.

What is a bridal photography session?

In sum, a bridal photography session is one wherein a bride would get dressed up in her bridal attire at any other time other than the wedding day. More often than not, bridal sessions are scheduled a month or two before the wedding. Unfortunately, even though this is a feature included in most wedding packages in the Philippines, not many brides would avail of it owing to the antiquated belief that a bride should never be seen in her wedding dress other than on her wedding day. However, to address this superstition, brides can opt to have a different wedding gown for the photo op session and a different one during the wedding itself. Having a bridal photography session allows brides to display their bridal photos at the wedding reception where they can choose to display a grand one or a series of small photos. Your options are limitless and it makes for a charming personalized décor in your wedding reception area. In any case, here are some of the reasons why you might want a bridal session:

 

The perfect trial run

In a sense, a bridal session is pretty much like a sneak peek of what your wedding photos will look like unless you opt to have a different dress for the wedding itself. Most brides would be excited to see how their dress would look on them with their bridal makeup, hair, accessories and shoes on. Your bridal session can be a trial run that gives you an insight to these things that you would have otherwise seen only on your wedding day. More importantly, it gives you a chance to iron out any details you might want to ahead of the wedding. As it gives you a preview of what to expect, you can make the necessary changes such as the hairstyle you choose or the makeup you go with which gives you a better leverage of your overall look during your big day. It saves you from decisions that you would soon regret the moment you see what your wedding photos will look like.

 

It calms your nerves

Having the pre-wedding jitters is inevitable. After all, you are making a significant and momentous life decision, so being a little anxious is normal. A bridal session would help you address these jitters and have you feeling more relaxed in your wedding attire. You can twirl around in your dress, feel like a beautiful bride and get you psyched up about your upcoming big day. More importantly, you can picture out the kind of photos you will make when your bridal session photos will get delivered. Looking through them will get you pumped up about your wedding day and allay any nervous feelings you may be having.

 

Take full advantage of your wedding dress

Unless you opted to go with another wedding dress for your wedding day, a bridal session allows you to make the most and take full advantage of your wedding dress. After all, you have pretty much paid quite the sum for that white gown, so why not utilize it to the extent by taking every opportunity to wear it and show it off? Select a location that is a different from where you are holding your wedding and the reception as it allows you to have a variety of photos that are diversely styled. Moreover, it gives you a preview of what your dress would look like in different milieus which would resultantly make your dress purchase more economic rather than expensive. Besides, you will realistically wear your wedding attire only once, why not psyche yourself up for the big day by modeling it out for your bridal photo shoot?

 

It is a special time for bonding

A bridal photo session allows you to bond with people closest to your heart such as your mother, sister or best friend—or even all of them! While you do not need an army for this photo shoot, it would certainly be nice to have most of the closest ladies in your life in attendance. Not only would they be able to assist you, but they would certainly make you feel special and excited about your upcoming day.

 

More photos

Simply said, a bridal session will give you more photos. More importantly, it allows you to choose which photos choose for your wedding day itself. As you have more photos to choose from, you can choose the best shots for a framed portrait and the appropriate ones as souvenirs to gift your parents and grandparents. Additionally, it frees some time on your wedding day wherein you do not have to spend a couple of hours just taking up wedding day portraits and allows you to bond with your wedding guests earlier.

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Big Days and Big Moments: The Top Five Things a Bride Forgets Before her Big Day

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“Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction” –Antoine De Saint Exupery

No doubt, a bride’s wedding day would probably be the most significant day in her life she would look forward to.

In this regard, preparations would be made to ensure that everything goes up to speed and meticulous attention is given to every detail leading up to the event. However, as a bride is usually overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the event and the inundation of things to consider, they are bound to forget a myriad of things on the day of their wedding itself. It does not matter how organized a bride thinks she is, how organized they seem or how many spreadsheets they have prepared, they would inevitably forget a thing or two during the big day. After all, the couple of weeks leading up to your wedding are the most crucial and there will be a minefield of easily forgotten details. Sure, you have penned the details of the wedding ceremony down to the last detail and have hired a professional to take care of the various aspects in your wedding but oftentimes, what you forget are easily the most commonly overlooked things you should do the day before your wedding. To address this, it is best to add what these commonly neglected wedding tasks are and add them to your checklist so that come wedding day, you are as prepared as you can be.

Here are some of the most commonly forgotten wedding tasks a bride neglects to do the night or days before her big day:

 

Give your sparkler a shine

Of course, by the time you put the wedding ring on your finger, you would be showing it off far more than your engagement ring. However, as they will be located in the same finger, it would be worth your while to have your engagement ring cleaned and shined a day or two before your big day. Let it sparkle and take the center stage as well. After all, it would probably be featured in a myriad of shots in your SDE videos and photos.

 

Prepare your touch up bag

While your professional makeup artist would be there to take care of your make up and touch ups throughout the day, there are moments wherein they might not be able to attend to you right away. In this regard, it is imperative to have your own touch up bag and prepare it in advance. Have your handy compact powder, mirror and lipstick with you and pack all the basic essentials you would need to keep yourself looking fresh all day.

 

Get your bridal party gifts together

Modern weddings today traditionally include bridal party gifts which the bride would present to her bridal party or squad as a way of saying thank you. You can get these ready days leading up to the wedding and have it ready the morning of the big day. If you have gone out of your way of choosing something personal and special for each of them, be sure not to forget the gifts.

 

Prepare a playlist

On the morning of your wedding day when you and your bridal squad are getting ready, it would be best to have a list of jams which you could then play. After all, no morning getting-ready session would be complete without your favorite tunes and tracks and of course, a few glasses of your favorite drinks. You can ask one of your bridesmaids to do this. Have them compile a fun playlist that would keep everyone in the mood as they await their turn for hair and makeup.

 

Prepare comfy shoes

While it might seem like an extra thing to pack, you will never regret bringing along some comfy flat shoes for you to wear in case your feet get sore. Sure, you might have convinced yourself that you can strut the night away in your gorgeous wedding heels, but once you have had way too many to drink and would wish to dance, you will be glad you do not have to walk around barefoot in your wedding dress. At some point during the night, you might wish to take your heels off, so a pair of comfy sandals, slippers or shoes will surely save the day.

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Tying the Knot: What to Keep in Mind When Creating a Wedding Guest List

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It has been said that the guaranteed bulletproof way to create a guest list for your wedding is to imagine that person drunk, dancing and wild. If it is not funny nor does it suit to your liking, you should erase their name.

Unfortunately, wedding receptions in the Philippines have traditionally been so inclusive with more and more couples opting for a more expansive guest list than what their budgets would allow. This can be attributed to the couple’s wish to make everyone happy and ensure no one gets left behind lest they get offended. Unfortunately, including everyone you know from the top of your head can easily balloon your expenses. This would be all well and good if you have a limitless financial resource for your wedding but if you are operating on a budget, you might want to scale down on inviting so many people to your big day. Indeed, the prospect of drafting your first guest list can be daunting–especially if you are looking at an intimate celebration. However, drafting and cutting it bit by bit would help you arrive at a workable one that makes you happy. To ensure that your guest list drafting goes smoothly, here are some of the things you can keep in mind:

 

1.) Decide how you would divide the list before you accept any monetary help

Making a guest list can get complicated–especially if you have everyone else contributing to who should be invited–and even more so if both sets of parents are contributing to your big day financially. In this regard, it is best to be clear about your expectations from the get go. Know what you can afford before you even consider accepting financial help from them. If you have decided to pay for your wedding entirely by yourselves, get the families together and talk about your plans for the guest list to mitigate the likelihood of surprises. Remember, once you start accepting financial help, your family would feel pretty much entitled to invite anyone they want.

2.) Have a collaborative guest list

There is a myriad of ways to come up with a guest list but ideally, you should use one that is collaborative so that either one of you who has inputs can make edits in real time and see an updated version. In fact, it is best if you had a digital spreadsheet for your wedding guest list so that when a guest RSVP’s, you can immediately make changes to it. More importantly, this very same sheet would help you send out your thank you cards after your wedding.

3.) Design a dream list

In the initial stages of your guest list planning, note down the names you can imagine attending your big day. This list can be as inclusive as you wish it to be–even going as far to including your friends from grade school to that one classmates you had in art class. For this part alone, you can disregard your budget and venue for the meantime. After all, this is your base and you are going to do some trimming as you go. You might think why this is so important. Well, the answer is, this list would help you realistically think if someone should be in your wedding should you want to add any more persons to your final list soon. If they never made it to this list, do you even want them to attend your wedding at all?

4.) Be realistic about the number of guests to avoid stress

Crunching numbers and condensing your list is not exactly something engaged couples would want to do. Unfortunately, there is a figure you really cannot avoid: your guest list count. Your budget and your venue’s size determines how many guests you can realistically invite. Remember, each guest you have would add to the number of plates the caterer would prepare. Not only that, it would add to the favors, chair rental as well as the food. Choose a number that is realistic and be sure that this is a number that would fit your chosen venue. Remember, it is no fun to be squeezed like sardines.

5.)  Make cutting rules

Trimming your list is a crucial part of guest list planning until you reach a final number. Come up with a set of rules as to who to cut and stick to them. Rules are personal to the couple and can range from who you have not spoken or met ever to having no kids in your wedding reception. A bonus tip is to remove anyone who is on the list just because you feel guilty about not inviting them. It might be that they invited you to their wedding and you feel obligated to return the favor.

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4 Signs You Shouldn’t Be in A Wedding

Other people enjoy weddings. They marvel at the magic of the wedding vows and the solemnity of the affair. The feminine touches of the decorations and the well-coordinated theme are something that people look forward to seeing.

Unfortunately, not all people have a romantic bone in their body. These are the people who secretly hate other people just because they exist. They are not exactly the life of the party. But they are going to the wedding because of their love for the couple.

If you find yourself connecting to five of these signs, then you definitely shouldn’t be at a wedding.

  1. You judge everyone’s clothes.

It’s human nature to judge and comment on other’s people attire and sense of fashion. But if you’re endlessly doing it to entertain and keep yourself from sleeping, then you shouldn’t be there in the first place. The long speeches absolutely bore you to death. The corny jokes also make you wish the ground would swallow you alive.

  1. You would rather spend the day at the mall.

There are so many things you would rather do than witness the “first” kiss of the couple. You prefer to walk around the mall at Vertis North. You feel happier spending your hard-earned cash shopping for new clothes than wearing a drabby suit or ugly wedding dress. Heck, you would prefer snuggling with your furry friend rather than giving air kisses to the people that aren’t even your friends.

  1. You aren’t a fan of people, dancing, and well-wishes.

Just thinking of the people you have to meet annoys you especially if it’s your job to greet and usher them to their seats. It doesn’t help when there are rude guests or people with an attitude are difficult to handle. Then, there’s the dancing you need to prepare. People will call you a party pooper when you’re the only person seated once the DJ starts playing the tunes.

Most of all, there are speeches and well-wishes. Mothers, bridesmaids and a bunch of highly-sensitive people start to cry during the wedding vows and the long speeches. People need to chill out. It’s justs words.

  1. You hate photo ops.

Besides the shots from the official photographer, there are groufies and selfies to take. Isn’t one photo enough? Your face is aching from all the smiling and laughing. Moreover, your feet are tired. Some of your muscles are aching from bending so the camera can get a better angle. Lastly, you need to put makeup or fix your hair so you won’t look out of place.

  1. You always go for seconds, or you go to a drive-thru to get your fill.

Attending a wedding means free food, but that doesn’t mean you can get a full tank. Since the couple has to budget and make sure everyone gets their fill, the meals are controlled. They can be plated for you, or some servers will place the food on your plate. Besides the small portions, the menu may be composed of food unfamiliar to you or aren’t your cup of tea. Hence, you end up ordering a fast food meal right after the party.

Even without these signs, you would rather let the occasion pass than sit and watch the spectacle. You would rather sit one out for the team than be in front of the action. But after all these things, you would still be around to support a family member, friend and loved one on their special day.

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Weddings Sins That Will Make Your Lola Gasp

It’s 2017, and it seems we forgot our values and traditions of weddings. Millenials have embraced the liberated culture of the West and have forgotten local traditions that are unique to Filipino culture. Thus, you may be guilty of committing wedding sins even when you aren’t aware. 

Read on to find which of the forgotten traditions will save your Lola from the heartache even if you are getting married in Intramuros – Casa Manila style.

 

Placing The Groom’s Name Before the Bride in Invitations

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The bride and her parents’ name should be written first. They are the host and share a large portion of the expenses. 

Your Lola and titas will agree to this because they’ve been through it. They definitely understand the delegation of responsibilities. Therefore it is tradition to have hers before the groom’s and his parents’ name on the invitations.

Thank you letters should print the groom’s name and his family before the bride’s name to show their support and acceptance to the ceremony and its proceedings.

 

The Bride Coming Before the Groom

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Ladies come first, but this isn’t one of those times. It’s bad luck for the groom to arrive after the bride. This is a grave sin for both couples, so be wary on your big day. 

Coordinate with each party and find a way to communicate if your partner is on his or her way. Be mindful of the time during preparation. Oversee any hindrance that may come along the way, be it traffic jam, a car breaking down, weather changes, broken zipper, lost pair of shoe or worse, a lost wedding ring.

 

 

The Bride Wearing a Pearl Jewelry

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It’s not pearl but look at what happened to Ariel because of the necklace.

As much as possible, pearl fanatics are discouraged from donning their prized accessories. Pearls resemble teardrops, and it is said that wearing pearl accessories will bring you tears. Unfortunately, they aren’t tears of joy.

Avoid wearing a string of pearls or pearl earrings on your wedding day. Doing so will bring sorrow and tears to your married life. Spare yourself and your future family from despair by following the tradition. Don’t come running to abuela, we warned you.

Like all events, there’s proper etiquette for guests. This case, the proper decorum also stems from our culture and traditions. Read this in case you get invited to someone’s big day.

 

Giving Sharp Objects as Gifts

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Give appropriate gifts. Remember when she thought forks were used for combing hair?

It may be tempting to give a set of knives to your BFF chef getting hitched this weekend, but doing so will bring bad luck. 

Sharp objects like scissors and gardening tools are home essentials, but there are other home necessities like appliances, pieces of furniture and home décor that are better given as presents to the newlyweds. They will greatly appreciate the gesture even if it’s not in the registry.

Giving a set of knives is also creepy, don’t you think?

 

Dress Code

The bride should be the most beautiful woman on her day. The groom is the most handsome man in the room. Not you nor your date

A wedding is a formal event, so dress accordingly. Some weddings have a theme indicated on the invite. Hence, respect the couple’s wishes what attire should be worn.

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Avoid stealing the spotlight and earning an eyeful from the elders by wearing skimpy dresses. Opt for modest clothing options. Don’t wear revealing, skin-tight dresses or short-sleeved casual attire. Polish your black shoes and style your hair to look clean and presentable. The guests’ appearance reflects the bride’s or the groom’s personality and any undesirable traits will reflect negatively to the in-laws.

 

Party Pooping

A wedding is also a celebration – feast of life, love, and unity. Don’t be a spoil sport by refusing to partake in the games and festivities. You’ll be putting down the energy and the mood of the couple. The goal is to attract positive and boundless energy for them. Do not be the cause to negate them.

These are some of the customs and traditions that are not observed by couples during their matrimonial rites. Guests also have to look out for these practices and make sure they follow the practices when gracing the event with their presence. If you want a refresher on other practices that are a must, head on to Casa Manila Museum. It features the lifestyle of elite Filipinos, who were conscious of social etiquettes and graces. It’s great place be purified and instill the traditions in yourself. Lola will be so proud.

Weddings 101: Five Things Your Wedding Guests Don’t Care About

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“A gloomy guest fits not a wedding feast” –Friedrich Schiller
Wedding planning can be incredibly stressful—there are just a lot of things to take into consideration. A good wedding package in the Philippines, the wedding venue, the catering, the wedding decorations—these are just a fraction of what wedding planning truly is in its entirety. Another thing that would add to the list of what you have to consider is how receptive your guests will be to some aspects in your wedding. While this is an excellent mindset for couples who want to commemorate a joyous event with their guests’ best interests at heart, you would be surprised to find that there are a lot of things that guests do not really care about. Perhaps if you knew what these things were, you would not be as keen and meticulous in executing them well and devote more of your time to planning the other aspects of your wedding. Furthermore, if you worried less about this stuff, then you can take away a bit of what is stressing you out.

Here are just a few things your guests do not care about and you probably should not spend a lot of time fussing over:

  1. Wedding Invitations

In this digital age, more and more couples are opting to go paperless when it comes to their wedding invitations. Not only is it nature-friendly and green, but it is economic and practical as well and yet, a lot of couples have this staunch belief that their invitations should be an elaborate presentation of what their wedding guests can expect. While it might be a brief prelude and introduction of what your guests can expect, it barely makes an impression and would likely end up in the waste bin after your wedding.

  1. The Guest Book

Most guests cannot really be bothered to just jot down their names on a huge guest book just to confirm they have indeed attended your wedding. So, instead of having them sign something that is akin to a roll call once they are done, incorporate a little creativity on what would have been a dull book. Plaster your photo on a large piece of paper and have guests write their wedding wishes for you on it. You can then have it framed after the wedding and you and your spouse can have a grand time reading about what your guests wish for you.

  1. The Flowers

Flowers are an important aspect and beautiful floral arrangements are always a welcome addition to your chosen wedding venue. Flowers are also a way of incorporating your personal style into a space. However, there is such a thing as floral arrangements being too extravagant. Those exorbitantly priced golden roses might look stunning, but it is hardly practical and not one of your guests would probably look back on your wedding day and remember the ostentatious display of floral wreaths. Your guests will appreciate the floral arrangements you have chosen—regardless of how much you have spent for them.

  1. The Dress

While this is more for yourself than your guests, there is really no practical reason to blow your bridal budget on a fancy dress that you are going to wear just once and never again. You can look just as stunning in a more affordable gown provided you know how to carry yourself in it. After all, it is not always about the price of the gown but rather how you bring yourself confidently in it. So, even if your wedding gown is sans the designer label, your guests are still sure to think you are a beautiful bride.

  1. The Cake

Wedding cakes are excellent, but apart from using it for the cake-slicing portion of the program there is really not much use for it as most couples opt to serve a different cake to their guests. While towering and meticulously detailed wedding cakes make for a great addition to your wedding reception, your guests would not miss it. Instead, you can opt to have a cake that is within your budget and which tastes great as well—and one you can serve to your guests as well.

 

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