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October 30, 2009

Buckling Under the Pressure. I’m here, i’m finally in this phase!! A few months ago I already got my wedding date.  🙂 🙂 And boy, I’ve never been happier!

Even before that, i’ve already messed around in divisoria and at some wedding fairs trying to find the best deals on prospective suppliers.  I already have a couple in mind but s.o.p. dictates I should look around for comparisons anyway.  Now i’m on my wits’ end trying to decide where my venues should be. The very first things you should handle are venues, but now I can’t even assert on a church and reception.  So far my choices are these:

My in-laws’ choice.  Though Sta. Ana – Taguig is a fine church (which also reminds me of my childhood church, Sta Ana Church – Manila), this combination means a 20k difference compared to my other choices.  The fact that there’s no major road near the venues is gonna give my non-Taguig guests difficulty reaching it; that bothers me the most.
Large parking space, near my h2b’s residence, photo op spots beside the church
Cons: 20k price difference, traffic possibilities on way to church, church and reception locations tricky to find for non-locale, going from church to reception a hassle to those with no private transport

archdiocesan shrine of santa ana - taguig

archdiocesan shrine of santa ana - taguig (gilbert and lorna)

I was never really considering this option since Great Eastern has earned quite a reputation, but when I started canvassing, I found that they ARE the cheapest option, even cheaper than catering. And the food IS good, no problem with that.  It is not the handsomest of hotels, of course, but with a tight budget, I’m tempted.  And like other hotel wedding packages, you get free hotel stay, bridal car, and venue included in the package. Lots of fees I overlooked though.
Our Lady of Guadalupe on the other hand, is my 90% choice a couple of months ago.  Aside from ventilation, this venue is perfect enough for me.  A block or two away from EDSA.

Pros: The cheapest option: you can have a 100pax reception with venue for give or take 40k, plus car and prep venue. Very accessible to any party; near Ayala, Mandaluyong, EDSA, Buendia.
Cons: Floral and table setup too simple. Extra 8k for extra floral setup, 3.5k or so for decent sound system, function room dependent on your budget, corkage fees for cake, sound, photovid, etc.  Shoot…

baluyot mansion ain't a bad choice (feat handsome groom sir dick)

baluyot mansion ain't a bad choice (feat handsome groom sir dick)


For the first time, me and my noril have found a consensus!! He finds this setup acceptable.  Though Mater Dolorosa has zero percent outdoor photo-op, the fact that it’s a midway venue between Taguig and Makati is a plus. An airconditioned church is of course a plus for a groom who wishes to don a coat and tie. Makati Park is a steal and I can’t find the heart to let go of it.  Best of all, it’s a bit easy to find being near the intersection of C5, JP Rizal, Kalayaan. Some guests can even ride a PUJ to and from the church.
Pros: Accessible to both parties.  Easy ride to many guests.  Makati Park lots of parking space and security. Mater Dolorosa very comfortable if airconditioned.
Cons: Our 2nd most expensive option (urgghhh aircon aircon!!); no photo ops outside church, limited parking space at Mater Dolorosa, might be forced to pay 2 timeslots at Makati park if reception is after lunch. (Catering will allowed into the pavilion at 1pm.)

Urggh… any tips?? I’m dying to get them!! Will keep you guys posted. 🙂 Ciao!

Mater Dolorosa Parish – Makati (Review)

September 23, 2009

If you’re a bride or groom residing around Makati-Pateros area, or if you’re looking for more church options near Makati Parks & Garden, then Mater Dolorosa is a good choice. 🙂  Especially if you’re planning to get married on the summer, since Mater Dolorosa has an aircon option, yaay!

mater dolorsa parish - facade

If Nuestra Señora de Gracia or Guadalupe Parish is too hot to your liking, you might as well check this one out for size. Located along JP Rizal Extension, a few minutes away from Makati Park, and a few blocks away from C5 Road – Kalayaan extension, it isn’t too hard to access.  Parking can be an issue, there’s just enough parking space for about 5 cars maybe, the rest will have to park on the road. For the same reason, no facade pictorials possible either, sorry. But like I said, you can overlook these if you want yourself and your guests totally at ease at the comfort of a fully airconditioned church.  If the groom plans to wear a suit instead of a barong, and you’re planning to get wed amidst a summer heat, this is definitely a plus.

Ceremony rates are pretty reasonable also. As of August 2009, rates are as follows:  For 5k, ceremony, carpet, artificial flowers on the aisle are included. For 7.5k, package includes carpet, flowers, choir, candle, and use of electricity. You can also have all these with airconditioning for 12,000.  Not too bad in my opinion!

horaayy for aircon weddings weheheh :P

Mater Dolorosa has a wide but not too long marching aisle, no choir loft, and a moderately-sized interior.  What it can boast of, though, is its glass-stained doors, which creates a wonderful atmosphere to the place.  You can ask them to open the main glass-stained door for a more dramatic bridal entrance 🙂

glass-stained doors of mater dolorosa parish

How about photo shoots of the bride & groom , you might ask. Well, let’s hope you have a good prep or reception venue for that, coz you won’t get too much here.  Mater Dolorosa doesn’t have a large parking space or garden for outdoor shots.  You can however, get interior shots; you can have some good ones with those colorful glass doors 😛


Overall, this is a good choice for a ceremony venue.  It’s reasonably-priced, quite accessible, and aircon option definitely makes it a thumbs up!

Click here to see a sample of a Mater Dolorosa Parish wedding

Contact details:
19th Ave., East Rembo, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines,
Telephone No: (632) 757-5704

Budget Factor:  Bang for your buck!  Rates range from 5k to 12k

Shutter Factor/Atmosphere:  Moderately-sized church, with well-lit interior, beautiful glass-stained doors.  Not conducive for outdoor photo shoots

Possible Prep Venues:
Baluyot Mansion
Villa Monica Pateros
Grand Villa Clubhouse – Pateros

Possible Reception Venues:
Makati Park
Marigold Pavilion
Villa Monica Pateros

Note: I only included proximal and affordable venues here; posh establishments not included.

–For bride & grooms on a budget looking for  very affordable photo-vid packages, visit www.litzv.comPackages starting at 17k, photo-vid service only at 10k. 🙂 thanks for visiting my shutterbride blog! —


September 1, 2009

A year ago I thought that since I am in the wedding business, I would save a lot of dough since I know the works, the sulit suppliers, I can do and print my own layouts on invites, tarp, avp, guestbook, blah blah…  I thought I got the edge darn it!!  My wedding wouldn’t cost na-da!! But when I started doing the computations, the cheapest arrangement would cost me 130k, and 105 for civil??? what the heeck??!!

Okay laugh at me, I know the usual spending budget for weddings today are 150-180k, but a stingy spinster like me have other priorities 😛 When my h2b finally dropped the bomb on his parents, I was struck again to kingdom come.  Of course they would find spending a 100k just for a day highly impractical.  Improbable… So here I am on the quest of the below 100k wedding budget 🙂  The way things are going, I guess I might as well give up my dream church wedding and settle on a civil ceremony after all.

But until the time I succeed in splicing my budget, it wouldn’t hurt to dream 🙂 Cutting this short, here are some shutterbride tips on choosing your church which can help you cut down on your budget and enable you to relish your I do’s on the altar.

+ Neighborhood churches are cheaper. Yes, we are all aiming for Manila Cathedral and San Agustin, but even I have to give up my Nuestra Señora in Guadalupe because nowadays the extra 6k I can save can go a long way.  If you have a neighborhood church that is easily accesible and is not too far from your preferred reception area, then good for you.

+ Aim for the ceremony package with flowers and choir included. Never mind if the aisle flowers are plastic, most won’t notice.  Strings are delightful but if you can’t afford it, the good ol’ church choir will do.

+ Churches with reception areas will save on transpo fees for your guests as well as travel time. Some of these churches are Mount Carmel Church with adjoining Father Horan Hall, Nuestra Señora de Gracia with Garden de Monasterio, San Ildefonso with Rizzato Hall, Our Lady of Consolation Church in QC with its Bulwagang Recoletos, Christ the King QC with its Function Hall, St. Pancratius and the greens of Paco Park (or Old Swiss Garden if you prefer it cheaper), to name some.

+ Choose a nearby prep and reception area. Leave the hotel very early or choose a nearby hotel to prepare.

Our Lady Of Nations Chapel (Joen and Rommelyn)

+ If possible,  choose a church with good ambient light (and many open doors for better ventilation).  Best churches I’ve seen with good ambient light are Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary (beeauutiful glass stained windows) in Parañaque and Our Lady of Consolation in Mira-Nila Subdivision, QC.   Iba pa rin ang maraming ambient light, it keeps your guests awake, provides a better atmosphere and photos come out more beautiful. 🙂

+ If you can afford it, choose a church with the aircon option. Believe me, it’s worth it.  Unless you hold it on Nature’s Church Las Piñas or an afternoon wedding in St. Michael in Fort Boni, the airconditioning is manna from heaven for the couple and the guests.  No, it’s not a luxury.  If you’re a March to May couple, I need not explain myself.  If you don’t have a makeup artist to touch you up in church, and if your groom aims to wear a suit and not a barong, go for it.  And yes, August – September weddings can get hot.  A wedding gown is way hotter than it looks I was told.  A few that have this option is St. Pancratius Chapel, Christ the King QC, and Mater Dolorosa in Pembo.

+ Find out the rules of the church before booking them. If they have a choir loft, make sure they’ll let you use it on the wedding day for top shots.  All churches set guidelines which is completely fine, it’s a holy event after all and not a movie, but some churches might be too strict for decent photo ops.  You pay the church and you pay the lens guys so it’s just right that the church people should let them do what they were paid for.

+ Find out first how your officiating minister gives sermons. I shot a church wedding once somewhere in Manila and lo and behold, it was a long-haired priest who was, let’s just say a bit overzealous in his homily.  He slipped out a few swear words and told us how a mother of the bride once walked out because of his speech.  I looked at the guests and a lot were as shocked as I was.  hehe.  The bride told me ganun daw talaga yun at at home na sila.

+ Book early, at least 8months to a year before. If you’re a December bride, never procrastinate on booking ALL your suppliers, esp on your church and reception.  The less in-demand months are June – August, but the rains could give you the hassle.

Most of these are obvious but I’m here to remind you again 🙂  Strange that these are tips from someone who hasn’t even chosen her own church yet haha, but hey, they can make or break your big day.  So happy hunting, and good luck to all us!

–For bride & grooms on a budget looking for  very affordable photo-vid packages, visit www.litzv.comPackages starting at 17k, photo-vid service only at 10k. :) thanks for visiting my shutterbride blog! –

Makati Park and Garden: Review

August 7, 2009

Makati Parks and Garden (or Makati Park, if you consider it a mouthful), is one of the places you go to unwind without spending if you’re tired of malls.  Located along JP Rizal Extension in West Rembo, across University of Makati, many consider it one of Mayor Binay’s best projects.  The grounds are massive, well-lit, and peaceful.  And the best part is you get one more choice for a reception venue.

makati park

makati park

If you’re (1) a Makati resident and (2) a bride or groom on a budget, then I’m sure this venue is in your reception shortlist;  if not, it definitely should.  Why? For a LOT of reasons. Let me explain each one:

Rate – P6000.  Need I say more? Beat that.. (then again, if you’re a non-Makati resident, they raise it to 12k, brrrr). 🙂


Right along JP Rizal Ext., Makati Park is a few minutes away from EDSA and an easy access from Pateros, Taguig, Mandaluyong, and some parts of Manila.  You can have your pick of nearby churches such as Nuestra Señora de Gracia in Guadalupe, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Mater Dolorosa, St. John of the Cross Makati, Saint Michael Chapel, etc.  You can have preps at EDSA Horizon Hotel, Baluyot Mansion or if you prefer, some hotels in Ayala or those along Makati Avenue – Burgos.


For its price, this is absolutely a great deal.
Artist Pavilion – Although the left and right wing structures might give some of your guests a limited view of the presidential table and would be less engaging than those closer to you, you are at no disadvantage here.  The airconditioning is quite cool, you have ample space for the buffet setup and the catering staff, plus the large grounds outside the venue would give any wedding couple complete satisfaction 🙂 in my view at least hehe..
(You can have another option holding a garden wedding on the other side of the park but I don’t know much info about this yet.)


Definetely no problem here, you get a huge parking lot for all your guests and much much room to spare for children to run around.  May security guard pa on the entrance 🙂


You have the whole park for photo opportunities here. Though of course, this is a public park and some park visitors might stare a bit, but who cares!! It’s your big day!

shot taken outside the artist pavilion - makati park

shot taken outside the artist pavilion - makati park

If you have extra cash for a more expensive hotel venue, then good for you!!   But if you’re choosing on saving that extra money for the days, years after your big day, then go ahead and make the most of your being a Makateño!


Click here or here to see a sample of  a Makati Park Wedding.

Contact details:
Makati Parks & Garden
JP Rizal Avenue, West Rembo, Makati City
Phone: +63(02)899-8915

Budget Factor:  Five stars! 6k for a Makati resident, 12k for a non-Makati resident

Shutter Factor:  No problem with this, lots of shooting opportunities.

Atmosphere:  Breezy, peaceful

Possible Church Venues:
Saints Peter and Paul Parish
Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine
Nuestra Señora de Gracia (Guad)
Mater Dolorosa Parish
Saint Michael Chapel
St. John of the Cross Parish

Possible Prep Venues:
Edsa Horizon Hotel
Great Eastern Hotel
Baluyot Mansion

Note: I only included proximal venues here

–For bride & grooms on a budget looking for  very affordable photo-vid packages, visit www.litzv.comPackages starting at 17k, photo-vid service only at 10k. :) thanks for visiting my shutterbride blog! –

Storybook: Saint John Bosco Parish – Makati Park

August 7, 2009

Joel & Len
Ceremony: Saint John Bosco Parish, Pasay Road, Makati City
Reception: Makati Parks & Garden, Makati City
Photos & Layout by: Litz V Photo-Video Studio

Click here to read my review of the Makati Park & Garden.

–For bride & grooms on a budget looking for  very affordable photo-vid packages, visit www.litzv.comPackages starting at 17k, photo-vid service only at 10k. 🙂 thanks for visiting my shutterbride blog! —

Storybook: Mater Dolorosa – Makati Park

August 7, 2009

Nonoy & Veron
Gimoro-Grajo Nuptials
Prep: Baluyot Mansion
Ceremony: Mater Dolorosa Parish, East Rembo, Makati
Reception: West Rembo, Makati
Photos & Layout by: Litz V Photo-Video Studio

Click here to read my review of Makati Parks & Garden.

–For bride & grooms on a budget looking for  very affordable photo-vid packages, visit www.litzv.comPackages starting at 17k, photo-vid service only at 10k. 🙂 thanks for visiting my shutterbride blog! —

4th Philippine Wedding Congress 2009

July 17, 2009

Come and attend the WC09, the only bridal convention in the Philippines on July 24-26, 2009, Friday – Sunday, at Megatrade Hall 2, SM Megamall.

Admission is free when you register online. Click here to register.

Happy canvassing!