Street but Sweet


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Say a little prayer

Today, as we settled into our chairs for dinner, my husband and I said a short prayer.

While we do normally thank the Lord for the grub before every meal, this time, we realized we had so much to be thankful for. While we were about to partake of a meal of homemade lasagna (a tag-team effort) and a bottle of Chardonnay from the Land of Oz, the rain was just ending its epic run. Elsewhere in Metro Manila, people were stranded on their roofs, some had lost everything--their homes submerged in two-storey-high water, others had lost perhaps the most important person in their lives. Typhoon Ondoy came, saw, and unleashed a record downpour that submerged the metropolis. And here we were, dry, warm, safe.

We still have no TV and no radio, and thus were completely oblivious to what was going on in the outside world--that is, until, we received calls and text messages from concerned friends and family, and updates online. We were grateful, but we were also concerned. We thanked God for being oh so very good to us, but we also said a special prayer for those who were unfortunately in Ondoy's path of destruction. Please, spare a minute after reading this and say a little prayer for them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oh, happy day!

I still don't have our official photos, so for now I'm posting stolen photos from Miguel, Gladys, Claud, Czar, and Dylan.

Deliriously happy!

I am forever bungisngis--even walking down the aisle (at Nuestra Senora de los Desamparados, aka Our Lady of the Abandoned! Haha), I had such a big, big smile on my face, and was giggling a bit as I nervously tried to keep from tripping over my train. Above is a pic of me and my groom, exiting the church. I was so surprised to see a packed church when I looked back in the middle of mass--that place is really big (with a reeeaaally long aisle), so to see it full was really overwhelming! That showstopper of a bouquet is by Gwyn Guanzon--it had green flowers, black ribbons, green and black crystals, and peacock and ostrich feathers! Can you say "fabulous"?

Our motif was sage green with black and white accents--as inspired by a kitchen from domino mag. So the idea was that the entourage would be in green and would carry white flowers with black ribbons, while I would be the lone girl in white (with black beadwork), carrying a green bouquet. As for being the lone girl in white...a couple of other girls actually wore white to my wedding. Oh well. What are you gonna do, right?

After the wedding, we headed to The Mango Farm. God was nice enough to let the rain stop for a bit, so we could push through with cocktails outdoors. When I stepped out of the car, I actually got goosebumps--the farm was just breathtaking! The earlier rain added this magical mist to the place. H remarked that it looked like Middle Earth!

Cocktail hour was utterly enchanting! I so wanted to just stay outdoors!

A lot of people told us that it was such a beautiful place, and they wondered how we found it. I had a shoot there a couple of years ago, and was just smitten. One of the things I love about it is that it isn't so mainstream, at least not yet--there are all these other typical wedding venues that everybody knows about. This is still kind of a lovely secret.

As much as I wanted to mingle during cocktails, our super-efficient on-the-day coordinator Addie Kalalo (who took on all the stress in my place. I love you, Addie!) insisted that we stay in the room, lest we be mobbed. I couldn't resist taking a few peeks out of the window though, just to check out the action.

Striking a pose. I don't know whose head that is. Haha.

I also snuck out for a bit to listen as Fafa Fel sang and played some acoustic songs, but was promptly ordered back up. Boo. At least I got to have some of our appetizers, and our yummy yummy signature drink! It was a dalandan mojito--a green drink with a black straw, to go with our theme!

After cocktail hour, guests were herded towards the glass pavilion, which was set up so elegantly by K. by Cunanan catering. The wonderful thing about Kaye is she doesn't do run-of-the-mill centerpieces. She really listens to her brides and tries her best to make their vision a reality.

Long tables

In this case, she gave me the low centerpieces that I wanted. I am not a big fan of towering floral arrangements which block the guests' view. I want my guests to be able to see across the table and have a decent conversation! She had a lovely mix of white flowers. The green came by way of table napkins.

Purty flowers. I'm told that they were roses, button mums, carnations, and elder flowers.

She also spray-painted plastic doilies so that the vases would have a pretty black surface to rest on. The black belts around the tables also set off the setup nicely.

Kaye's DIY doily

Plus, the food was delish!

H and I wanted a short program, but we also wanted to honor our ninongs and ninangs. We thus had accordion frames in the middle of the table, with black and white photos (some from their own weddings!) and descriptions of our sponsors. This way, there wasn't a long introduction during the program--no one really pays attention anyway! The frames also held the table number.

Ninongs, ninangs, and table numbers in one!

We had travel-themed giveaways--each guest got a luggage tag (the kids got goodie bags with toys, coloring books, kiddie magazines, and candy to distract them). We gave our sponsors a National Geographic travel book (which I wanted for myself), our bridesmaids travel kikay kits (black and white, wrapped in damask-printed green wrappers tied with black ribbons), and our secondary sponsors got green travel slippers they could easily roll up and tuck in their carry-on (two of our three girls had long flights back to the US ahead of them).

The thank-you note read, "Thank you for being with us as we start on our journey together!"

I borrowed a pair of elegant black lamps from Gwyn to decorate the bride and groom's area. Dylan, the Farm's operations manager, felt that the setup was a bit lacking, so he was kind enough to add a dried-up calamansi tree and some white lanterns.

Dem dried-up twigs really made the setup.

We opted to get the free cake from Cakeworks. I asked for a plain white cake--Martha Stewart Weddings editor Tata and caterer Kaye recommended that I get black ribbons to decorate the cake with. I got yards and yards of eyelet-like ribbon and some black fabric flowers from Carolina's. Dylan tacked them on himself. People thought it was icing!

More DIY touches

At church, my hair was up in a "messy-chic" bun. Hairstylist Jerry Javier gave in to my request to make it easy for me to put my hair down for the reception. He didn't intend for me to let my bangs loose, but I asked uber stylist Pam Quinones to help me with my hair. Armed with nothing but two velcro rollers, Pam was able to style my bangs! Instant party hair!

Hair bling courtesy of my designer, Enan

My dearest friends were there for my big day--one of them, Marnie Manicad (below, in black, holding a red bag), worked on our intro video.

My high school barkada

The video began with photos of me growing up, with my family, with my friends, interspersed with videos of me playing disc (a very tamad day though--none of my dives, points, or blocks were caught! Sigh). Then it moved on to H. Then on screen, "December 6, 2000" flashed, followed by a video of the night H and I got together! Yup, we have an actual video of the harana--converted from VHS! At the end of it, it said "September 5, 2009." Our hosts, kumareng Queenie and H's friend Gian then introduced us, and we entered, dancing to Pitbull's Calle Ocho!

It was a prelude to the rest of the evening which turned into a big, big par-tey! We had tanggera Jacq acting as our "starter" giving everyone (including my dad) shots of Patron. She wouldn't give me a single drop though, still traumatized from my last allergy attack! Her new nickname: Dangerous Girl--when Akon's Dangerous was played, the crowd all pointed towards her during the chorus!

"That girl is so dangerous..."

There were touching speeches (my mother made me cry by playing a video of Slipping Through My Fingers from Mamma Mia!) and lots and lots of love and laughs. One of my fave photos:

You can even see my gorgeous (and very affordable) Indian-inspired shoes! I didn't want to spend a bundle (hello, other brides spend, like, five grand on shoes alone. I wasn't about to do that!).

My male teammates carrying me! There's also a pic of my girl teammates carrying H but I haven't seen it yet!

We spent the rest of the night getting people drunk, feeding them with pizza (10 boxes, wiped out!), and dancing!

Doing H's "cholo" dance

I don't know if I'm just biased, but I thought that was a pretty rockin' wedding! Probably the most fun I've had at a wedding in this country!

And now for my Oscar moment! I would like to thank...

Enan Almando (my soul sistah), who did my fabulous gown. So many people remarked that it was so unique. And that I was probably the only one who could pull it off. Yehesss. It was rather loose, but it was extremely comfortable! I went on my fitting three days before the wedding and it was already loose. They tightened it already, but it was still loose by Saturday!

Omar Ermita for my gorgeous makeup. I looove that he didn't really use foundation. The makeup felt so light. He didn't use mascara either because I told him I was a crier. Instead, he put mini-falsies on me, and they fell one by one onto my veil while H and were kneeling in church. It was hilarious! He kept pocketing the lashes while I kept asking him if my eyes were still pantay!

Carlo Vergara, who designed our one-of-a-kind invitation (printed by Ever Engraving).

(From top) The first invitation card; the back of the envelope; the front of the envelope--both our last names begin with "A" so Carl made us an emblem

Louie, our calligrapher.

Tata and Marie, who helped me plan the Big Day!

Ocs Alvarez, At Maculangan, and Pat Martires--my ever-dependable photogs! I have yet to see the photos they took but I'm sure they rock!

Rory Rebustes, Dondi Gonzales, and their team for covering the wedding.

Quezon City Hall, for the funniest family planning seminar EVER!

DJ Jed Labao, for the bangin' hiphop beats that went on all night.

My mother. Where do I even begin?

All those who joined us in church, at the reception, and at the after-party! And thank you for giving such thoughtful, generous gifts! We appreciated each and every one of them!

MY HUSBAND! I am the luckiest, happiest girl in the world!


Friday, September 04, 2009

Last night as a single girl

I'll miss...

...the house I grew up in.
...that heavy-ass sliding door I try to quietly open whenever I come home at an ungodly hour.
...Winnie, who knows where everything is, and who knows exactly what I mean when I ask her to pack stuff.
...having a trusty driver.
...the security I feel when my dad's home.
...sleeping beside my mom. name.

But I'll love...

...the new house, albeit rented, that we have yet to decorate.
...hearing the door when my husband comes home.
...having someone I can totally trust and depend on.
...the security I'll feel, with my husband's arms around me.
...waking up beside the love of my life. new name, my new life, this big adventure.

Tisha Alvarez, signing off.

But I will be Tish the Dish for life!