Tuesday, November 22, 2016

How to Have The Best Wedding Ever

Whenever a bride talks about their wedding preparation, usually you will hear that she's exhausted, she can't wait for it to be over and the worst, the soon to be bride and groom are fighting.

I am very blessed with my husband. He participated and took control of the things that I don't really enjoy such as making a list, negotiating with prices and requesting other people's help. I will share a few helpful ways that made our wedding planning fun and somehow easy.

1. Make use of Google Docs

My husband and I didn't have the time to actually sit down, talk and compare notes and ideas. What we did was we made a joint google account and used google docs. This way, whenever we have time we just checked the files, added comments and shared the links and pictures through it.

2. List your priorities and start planning using that list

a. Choosing a church and the Reception Venue

CHURCH - Our number one priority was finding a church that would marry us in the afternoon so that our reception will be in the evening and it should be just 20-30 minutes away from our possible reception venue.

After we finalized our church location, we listed all the venues that are approximately 30 minutes away from our church.

We had our wedding at St. Mary's Nativity Church and our reception at Chateau Briand Caterers.

If you are catholic, finding a church here in New York can be a challenge because some churches won't marry you unless the bride or groom is a resident of that neighborhood. It could also be frustrating because sometimes you also want to get married in a church with a good looking interior aside from the fact that sometimes your church might not be convenient in terms of location and parking space.

What you can do if you choose to get married in a different church is talk to your parish priest to contact the church that you like and just hope that they will say yes. 

Chateau Briand, outdoor cocktail hour 
RECEPTION - It was also important for us to have an amazing wedding but won't put us in debt for the rest of our lives. 

After listing all the venues in the area, we visited our top 3 venues base on pictures and site reviews.

Have a date in mind but do not make it a set date. Ask for the quote of your chosen date and then ask for the dates that are cheaper than you "preferred date".

I wanted to have a 5 or 8 on our date. Guess what? May 8 for a 5pm-10pm at Chateau Briand was available. The only thing that we really didn't like was the date fell on a Sunday. May 28, which is a Saturday, was about $50/head more than May 8. No way that we are going to pay that much just because we wanted a Saturday...

Chateau Briand, indoor cocktail hour

After getting the quote for our final date, husband negotiated with 2 more other caterers. Chateau Briand didn't adjust their rate but gave us additional food and stations for our cocktail hour, plus we both fell in love with their cocktail hour room. It was amazing!

We had the indoor and the outdoor garden for our cocktail hour. 

3. Make a spreadsheet to compare wedding vendors

I made fun of my husband when he did this but it was honestly very helpful. He listed all the vendors and compared their services, prices, how many reviews they have and rating


We chose Shutter and Sounds Films for our video. They were expensive but we had 2 videographers and 2 highlight wedding videos. The videographers were so patient and the editors were so understanding and accommodating when we wanted to make some changes on our second highlight. Check out our 1st wedding highlight!


We had 2 photographers from Le Image to take pictures for 10 hours. You would think that 10 hours should be enough, but no..you need at most 15 hours of coverage. 
The additional hours from Le Image was very expensive so we decided to ask our friend Redford Mancio to take getting ready pictures. He also took pictures from a different angle than our official photographers during the wedding and the pictures came out beautiful. Please check him out.


We chose Stylish Events to make our reception centerpiece and the rest of the flowers for Chateau Briand. It was the last detail that we had to discuss. We wanted to make our own manzanita centerpiece but I thought it would be tedious and it would require us to pay somebody to arrange it and to clean up. Husband and I took extra work just so we can afford the centerpiece and I am so glad that we did. The flowers were beautiful.
For the bouquets, I decided to use Silk Flowers from Lily of Angeles because nobody is actually going to remember what kind of flowers we are going to hold. As long as it looks good on pictures, it's good enough for me.
My girls were holding silk flowers and my bouquet had Real Touch Flowers. Real touch flowers are more expensive than silk but still cheaper than having a real flower bouquet.
I went to a cheap flower shop that makes altar decorations for regular masses and saved a lot by doing so.

Tutu Dress for the Flower Girls


Our entourage paid for their own dresses except for the flower girls. I made the flower girl tutu dresses because it is cheaper that way.
For the wedding gown.. please save for it! My dress was close to $2000 and I thought that was it. The store had to order my size and then alter it so that it would fit me perfectly. I ended up paying over $3000 in total. 

Maggie Sottero, Zendaya

4. Stick to your budget and prepare/save for it

Getting married, especially in New York is really expensive but we had a fixed budget for our wedding and worked around with that amount.

We didn't anticipate the cost of the photographers, videographers and flowers plus the CASH TIPS. We chose a very beautiful reception venue, we got an amazing DJ, MC plus Percussionist for the reception dinner and thought it would all just go to waste if we don't get good quality pictures and videos. So definitely prepare for it and talk about it as a couple and do not spend much for little things. Prioritize! 

Also, be aware that most of the vendors will only accept cash or money order. We were not able to use our credit cards which was really a bummer because we were hoping to collect miles from the wedding expenses.

5. What matters most is how you perceive your own wedding

It is only for one night. People are going to forget about your wedding. The most important thing is your own perception of your wedding. When you look back, you will not remember the details but you will definitely remember how you feel from the planning to the actual wedding.
Make sure you are having fun and try no to stress out with every detail. Don't pay attention to the small things but rather look at your wedding as a whole. It is a celebration of love and union.

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