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title pic Qualities of a Wedding Photographer

Posted by admin on July 10, 2012

This is a fact that every couple must realize.  Every young couple will be compelled to shell out a great sum of money to acquire the services of the best photographer for your wedding day.

One is assured of quality products to capture those lovable moments to be treasured in the years to come.  These are treasures to be seen especially by your children and grandchildren.  This is but one of the benefits of hiring an expert.  But there are a lot of benefits to think of in getting their services.

With a professional, one can expect clarity in your photos.  On such an occasion one cannot just leave it to relatives or friends who have taken photography as a hobby.  Never take chances and this is not meant to offend them.

The primary factor in choosing the service of a wedding photographer is their identity in the wedding photography industry.  Not all photographers may be good at taking shots for wedding photos.

There are photographers whose sole line of business is taking wedding photos.  And there are some who may be diversified be it graduations, birthdays or other occasions.   I recommend taking in this kind of photographer whose focus is only taking shots on weddings events.

This implies that they have received and have undergone a lot of training so their photos can be considered to be of the higher grade and quality.    This also means that a photographer has perfected its craft.

Further, a job of a wedding photographer is in a sense a job that is repetitive.   So bear in mind that every wedding where their service is required is a challenge in their profession.   And they try most of the time to bring out the creative juice to make a difference for every couples wedding day.

To every couple, the end result of every wedding photo should be an overwhelming stylishly beautiful and elegant product.  The photos must be able to speak to you like they are being written in a book…engaging, amiable and joyful for pleasant viewing.

Couples can search for profiles through advanced search options on the website.

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title pic Unsolicited Advice worth Taking

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The following are but some unsolicited advice on the budget and venue in the event that couple’s will encounter such thorny and sensitive issue.  What matters most at the end of the day are that issues are resolved with both parties satisfaction in mind.  It is both a win-win solution at hand.

Paying for a wedding

Question: “When confronted by the bride’s family regarding the expenses in the wedding arrangement, must the groom give its consent to pay all the bills incurred?”

Not too long ago, it is the groom and his family who shoulders almost all the expenses in a wedding arrangement.  Unless the groom is financially rich, to give his consent in covering all the expenses in the wedding arrangement may be okay.

To be realistic, given the economics of the times, who pays the bill is a matter of previous agreement among the parties concerned.  The present, the bride and the groom divide the expenses between themselves.  The young generations of today are now financially capable and are financially independent as to their resources.  They now take pains in the planning, implementing and paying for their own wedding.

The key to pulling off your dream wedding and starting a married life on the right foot is to set a realistic budget.  And definitely not a budget based on borrowed money.  Starting a married life in debt is not the best way to kick off.  If you need to borrow money be sure there is a plan in place on how you will pay it back.  Even though you have a credit card to charge it with, still keep track of your expenses in order for you to pay the bank.   When it comes to wedding, budget is the most important element to consider.

Picking a Venue

Question: “Your future father –in- law wants to have the wedding ceremony and the reception in your bride’s locale.  Must you consent to what he wishes for?”

This is a very sensitive matter that must be discussed with your partner to avoid any conflict in the end with your in-laws.  The ideal spot for both families is to pick a location that is centrally located where the ceremonies and the reception can be undertaken.  Focus the search on finding the venue that can accommodate comfortably all your guests and will match your wedding style.  Once a decision has been made that fits your requirement, stick to it.  Definitely this will come out to be a win- win situation to both sides as the site will not favor anyone as to the site’s proximity from one’s place of residence. A recommended spot is the St Pancratius Chapel or locally known as the Paco Park.  It has both the chapel for your ceremony and a wide and spacious park for your reception.  Just hope and pray that it’s a fair weather on your wedding day.  As a tip, give a dozen eggs to the contemplative nuns of the Monasterio de Santa Clara in Quezon City and write to them a prayer request for a fair weather.  It usually always works. ;)

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title pic Yourself as the Wedding Planner

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A question I would like to raise is, “Is there really a need to get the services of a professional wedding coordinator?”   The answer is it depends whether you want it regardless of the budget.

The only positive side that I see in a wedding planner is that they serve to take care of the creative side of the wedding ceremony and reception.  They serve as a temporary alter ego though not on the personal note, to remove the tension on the part of the couple towards their altar date.

Though you may not be an expert and a professional in the creative side of things, I believe everyone is gifted so the best judgment will be one’s personal intuition and artistry.   It may just appear too simplistic or unattractive to one’s guest and visitor, what matters is that it has a personal touch to it.   The ceremony must suit your personality and so the details one has listed can be followed in accordance to your requirements.

So what does one do at this point?  Since planning a wedding should be scheduled months ahead with enough time at your hands, do some research.  Surf the internet and look or browse into several books.  These could assist and give some information and ideas regarding a wedding activity.

Being your own planner, couples can save a lot on the budget.  One need not worry about paying a professional fee.    Also, you can determine some alternatives in the event some things come up to be costly to affect your budget.

The following are some useful tips to organize and plan which can be adapted and amended to suit your needs.

Label every folder with the following details;

  • Budget – keep a budget sheet with assumed prices vs. actual prices and who shall take care of the payment

title pic On Music: Wedding band or a DJ

Posted by admin on July 9, 2012

Music sets up the mood and it dictates the environment of the event. In weddings, even though the crowd may be hypnotized with the romantic vibe, it is still best to have someone playing a little music to spice up the party.

There are two options to choose from when it comes to wedding reception music. One is to hire a DJ and the other one is to get a wedding band. Either of the two is alright but it really depends on many factors like the size of the wedding reception venue and budget, among others.

Hiring a DJ may be the best for couples on a strict budget. They would cost less and would have thousands of songs available. The newly-weds or the guests can even request for a song and most likely, the DJ has it on his list. Another great thing with DJs is that the music never stops and would continuously be playing all throughout the night. The only problem is when the couple gets to hire an autopilot DJ; a DJ that works in routines and thus, can get a bit boring.

Hiring a wedding band on the other hand, can be a great option too, most especially with Filipinos who love live music and sing along. A band almost never fails to entertain a crowd big or small and the sound quality always beats that of a DJ. The band can also fit a theme of the event and even change their tempo every now and then. The downside however, is that a band would be too loud most especially if the venue is small, the band would also need to rest every once in a while, and lastly, a band can cost a small fortune that should be considered when planning out the wedding budget.

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title pic How to Pick the Host of the Wedding Reception

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All the wedding preparation and the actual wedding can be a lot to handle and that is why having a great time at the reception is not just an option, it’s a must! And to keep the party started (and moving) a great host is what any wedding reception needs. The question lies is how to choose the right one to make sure everything would be great as the day unfolds.

First of all, get a host or emcee with a wedding experience. Keep in mind that a wedding reception will be filled with many mature guests (parents and grandparents) and not all of them may be liberated. A wedding host should know how to be entertaining for all ages. It is one thing to be funny; it’s another to be respectful.

Make sure the host knows the program flow. If the couple gets an experienced wedding host, it’s more likely that the host knows how a usual wedding reception flows. But if the couple wants to add segments which doesn’t normally done in weddings, then make sure the host has a copy of the program flow, the script (if the host wouldn’t do his/her own) and the important names (with photos, preferably) to remember. How disastrous will it be if the host refers to your “ate” (older sister) as the mother, now that would be ugly!

Although not really mandatory, but it’s best to hire a host who has a knack for singing too. A singing host can do wonders like make dull moments entertaining through singing along with the guests. If the couple chooses to hire a DJ, instead of a band, a singing host can really help a lot when it comes to entertaining the guests. A DJ can only do great with coming up with the best playlist for the night, but Filipinos like to sing and to sing it live. Having a host that can sing along with the crowd keeps the ball rolling.

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title pic How to have a Wedding on a Budget

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Life in the Philippines isn’t as easy as before and a wise couple would really put a strict budget on their weddings and just put the rest of the extra money on savings. But keeping it simple and affordable doesn’t mean a couple should settle for less. The couple would just need to be more active on the preparation and crossing out on hiring a wedding coordinator, for one and just do the work on their own.

Most decent weddings in the country could cost on an average of Php 250,000.00 but if a couple is really good with balancing and maintaining a budget, they can spend as little as a Php 100,000.00. But in order to do this, it requires a lot of work, some elbow grease and the help of others (maintaining a good relationship and a strong network could be helpful in this situations).

One key in lowering the costs of the wedding is to keep it simple. Go with the saying: simplicity is beauty. After all, the wedding should be solemn and not the tamed version of the Mardi Gras. So as much as the couple can, it is wiser to book simple reception venues and put a limit as well on the number of guests to invite.

Cutting down on the professional fees could also help a lot in minimizing the expenses. Instead of hiring a celebrated photographer, just assign your best buddy who has a knack for taking photos (who also happen to own a nice SLR). How about not hiring a caterer and just rent out the catering equipment and supplies and just assign the couple’s moms and aunts to cook for the wedding?  Sometimes, the perfect chefs are the one already there in the kitchen as the couple was growing up. It might be a little extreme, but it can be a good option to consider.

Then there goes the wedding gown and suit. Of course, most brides would want the 100 meter veil flowing down the aisle as she walks to the altar. But let’s face it, not everyone is born a royalty. Instead of having the gown made by a wedding dress designer, just purchase a ready-made dress and try to accentuate it with accessories.

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title pic Top 3 Out-of-Town Wedding Spots Near Manila

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Couples who live in Manila may be dreaming of the out-of-town weddings but doesn’t have the luxury of time to go too far, it might be because of work, guests or they just don’t want the hassle of long trips. The good thing about Manila is its perfect geographical placement, where most people can get to great destinations in just a little less than three hours by land.

One of the best places to get married is in Antipolo in the province of Rizal. How romantic is it to get wed under the thick blanket of stars over-looking the night lights of the crowded Manila. Not only is it just a few hours away from Manila, Antipolo also offers a great selection of venues for the wedding reception. As for the church, Antipolo is also home to many churches that a couple can easily visit for an ocular, but it may also be good to include as an option that famous garden wedding of Antipolo.

Going south, Tagaytay is another fine option which prides itself with the magnificent view of the Taal Volcano, a usual tourist destination. The cool breeze of the overlooking reception halls and churches gives a romantic vibe to the occasion. It’s also the best place to have a solemn and peaceful wedding usually best at noon with the famous volcano as the backdrop.

For the couple who cannot seem to get enough of sun, then drive a little further and they will reach Batangas. Batangas is famous for their fine sands and breathtaking beaches. Couples can decide to have a beach wedding or get wed to the famous and historical Caleruega Church. It can also be the best spot for an intimate honeymoon, not only will the couple save a lot of time (since they are already there), they can also save money on the travel expenses since Batangas is just a three-hour drive.

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title pic Pamamanhikan: Between Engagements and Weddings

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In the western culture, when a guy pops up the “will you marry me?” question and the girl says “yes”, wedding plans soon rolls out. But in the Philippines where people have strong family ties and great respect for the family’s opinions, before even reaching the step one of planning the wedding, the guy almost usually need to seek the approval of the girl’s family first thus the “pamamanhikan”.

Pamamanhikan is nothing like the “meet the parents” set-up since most Filipino women introduces the guys they are dating even before they officially become a couple. The Filipino family is very strict and protective of the girls in the family that’s why from the start; they expect the guys courting to have the courage and respect to introduce themselves and their intentions towards the girl.

Pamamanhikan is when the guy together with his family (parents and siblings) visits the home of the girl, to formally announce his intention to marry the girl in front of his family. Sometimes, the pamamanhikan affair may also be done outside like in a reserved venue or restaurant. The guy would invite the rest of the important family members and make the announcement there. Once the family accepts, the wedding’s important details are settled at this point and become a family decision instead of the couple’s alone. These are common situations seen in Filipino weddings or any other important events in one’s life: any preparation and decision always becomes a family affair.

Another traditional practice is the gift giving. The guy’s family usually brings something for the girl’s family as a gift in exchange of their approval. The practice is almost similar to the dowry practice in some cultures.

At this point, a guy’s great relationship with the girl’s family prior to the announcement would come in handy. Since it would be a great foundation for a smooth sailing wedding preparation and married life.

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title pic Philippine Wedding Money Dance

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Filipinos can be very traditional and during weddings, Pinoys become overly traditional as well. One custom that are practiced is the money dance. Although, lesser and lesser couples perform such tradition, it wouldn’t hurt to do it because it might be a great way to receive cash as gifts.

Traditionally, the money dance works by having the couple dance separately with other guests. Guests line up to dance with either the bride or the groom, but before they can dance with one of the couple, the guest should pin money on the bride/groom’s clothes.

The money dance can also be like the couple’s first dance at western weddings, the difference is while the couple dances, guests would pin any amount of cash on their clothes, on their aprons (or any garment the couple may wear for the guests to pin their money) or sometimes, the couple carries a basket where the guests can drop in their gifts.

It is believed that the money raised by the couple is lucky therefore it must only be used as a couple’s start-up fund. Whether the couple spend it on home furniture or a car, as long as it is for the betterment of the couple’s life then the money would bring in good luck. But if the money is used on something that is not for the marriage like clothes, liquor, among others then the money will bring bad luck to the marriage. And for Filipinos who can be quite superstitious, this is not a good way to go.

Some couples like to save the money and keep it in a jar. Most of them place it on the altar so that it can be blessed by God. Filipinos are also religious people and doing so, once they offer their start-up fund to God, God can also bless them with good and lasting marriage.

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title pic How to Ask for Cash instead of Gifts on Weddings

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Some start-up couples love the idea of getting gifts on their wedding day, most especially those that they need at home like toasters, blenders, vacuums and even comforters. But there are couples who got all the necessities at home and all they really need is cash. But putting it bluntly on the wedding invitation is inappropriate and too demanding. Always keep in mind that giving of gifts (or in this case, cash) is optional and it all depends on the guest’s liking. That’s why couples need to get a little more creative when it comes to asking for money.

One way to clue in the guests is to sign up with an online registry that gives guests an option to just give cash. A sure way to get the cash donation is to offer little options with the items or the couple can be trickier and register pricey items so the guests would opt to choose the cash option, since it is more flexible for their pockets.

There are couples who like put up their own wedding website where their guests can view the entourage, the details of the wedding and some background on the couple. But aside from the usual stuff, a couple can also put up a page where they can announce what they prefer to receive on the special day. But do not be overly blunt about it; instead be creative like writing a poem or sharing a story on what the couple needs to save up for. Just give in clues here and there than saying it straightforwardly.

Or just inform the parents. This is the easiest way to get the message across. Parents are the people guests ask for when it comes to the wedding details. And frankly, it is the best people to ask especially with Filipinos because weddings for Pinoys are a family-effort thus parents are always on the loop of what’s going on with the wedding preparation. By informing the parents of the couple’s needs and desire for cash, the news would probably reach the guests even before the wedding invitations.

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