Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m 30 years old, and currently running my own garment manufacturing business. I got married to my boyfriend of five years just this January 13, 2018. Because we were paying for our own wedding completely, we only opted for an on-the-day coordinator so the planning was all me! And I must admit—I didn’t hate it!
Where was your wedding held and what made you decide to choose the location?
Our church ceremony was held in Sanctuario de San Jose Parish while our reception was held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila. Yeah, I know—it was far! We booked the church mainly for the schedule and because we were pretty dead set on hotels and venues in the area. Later though, we found out that it was where Charles’ (my husband) parents got married, too! And it was pretty poetic because the officiating priest we were planning to get (and eventually got) was the priest who married my parents.
We were really close to booking another hotel for our reception. Before finalizing the booking, however, I decided to give Sofitel one last try because it was a place filled with good memories for us both. As kids, we both apparently would have staycations with our families there often. And the food being assuredly good was just a big plus!
There was originally another booking for our date, but on my final Hail Mary for Sofitel, our date opened up! We booked it that same week.
What’s the inspiration behind your wedding look?
In all honesty, I didn’t have one when I started out (that same time, I was wishing I had taken my secret wedding Pinterest more seriously)! And it didn’t help that I’m not a very creative person! So for me, it was very important that I had good suppliers because I relied on them a lot when it came to conceptualization. I had a general idea on what I preferred, and my suppliers and I worked from there.
Who designed your wedding gown, and how did you come up with the style? How long did it take to create or find the perfect wedding dress?
My dress was designed by Rosenthal Tee. A big part of why I was very confident in my suppliers was because Rosenthal is also a kabarkada and a bridesmaid! Planning a wedding is stressful enough, so I appreciated how she took care of everything on the gown front—besides my gown, she also made my mothers’ gown and my entourage’s gowns. I didn’t need to keep a timeline for this because it was her who did all the bugging to come in for fitting!
When it came to designing, the only thing I was very specific about was that it had to be long-sleeves, because I get cold easily. The rest was up to her—and no regrets about trusting her completely!
It didn’t take very long to design and create on my part. After I think three fittings, my perfect wedding dress was done.
How did you choose your hair and makeup artist? Did you have any hair and makeup pegs?
My makeup artist was Nicole Pastrano. Besides being a kabarkada of my sister’s, she was also my mom’s go-to makeup artist for events. I think a big plus is that since Nicole has known me for a very long time, she’s familiar with my face.
And since she’s known me for a while, too, she knew I just wanted something leaning more towards natural. I had pegs, but I knew Nicole would know best! During my trials, I also showed Nicole and her hair stylist, Aloja Carvajal, my dress and we all brainstormed about what we thought would look best.
“I think a big plus is that since Nicole has known me for a very long time, she’s familiar with my face.”
How about in terms of fitness? What did you do months before the wedding to stay in shape and make sure your wedding dress fit perfectly? Did you enroll in a gym or fitness center? What was your diet like?
The only thing I wasn’t too happy about was that my wedding was a week after New Year’s! While I started hitting the gym three times a week a few months before (this wasn’t anything too serious either; just did a lot of cardio to hit that calorie deficit for the day), it can’t be helped that I gained a little weight after the holidays. Right after the holidays, we had one final fitting and, while I really did gain weight, thankfully I still fit in my gown and didn’t need to have it widened (huge sigh of relief from Rosenthal Tee). Months before the wedding, I did lessen my carb intake and opted to eat veggies (usually raw lettuce or boiled pechay) as my “rice.” I also kept track of my calorie intake using My Fitness Pal and tried to keep it within my daily caloric goal. The veggies really helped with this! Though okay, weekends were no holds barred. Hahaha!
What lip color did you choose for the wedding day?
Honestly, I left this all to Nicole! She just picked something natural for the ceremony and pictorials, then something a little darker for the reception.
What was in your wedding day makeup kit/pouch?
Hate to say it, but I didn’t have any! Nicole also took care of this. After the ceremony and pictorials, right before the reception, she gave me a touch-up—something a little darker to be more appropriate for an evening reception.
What were the preparations you did for your skin prior to the wedding day? Did you go to a skincare center regularly? What kind of services did you have done? Is this something you would recommend to other brides-to-be?
I actually did go to a dermatologist a few months before. A friend who got married two months before me kept raving about wart removals—how after she had it done in time for her wedding, her face became so smooth. So that inspired me! When I got to the clinic though, the dermatologist said I didn’t really have a lot, so it would’ve been slightly useless to schedule a session. I asked her what she suggested I have done, and she mentioned something about plumping. It felt unnecessary (especially since I have a lot of other wedding expenses to prioritize) so I didn’t bother.
As soon as I got engaged though, I did increase my water intake and a few months before, I opted for sleeping a little earlier than usual. Since I have dry skin, I also seriously upped the moisturizing—I added that seven skin method that Koreans supposedly swear by into my nightly skin routine, and my skin did get a lot less dry! Haven’t had dry spots since!
What was the best beauty advice you received that helped you prepare for your wedding?
Everyone told me to keep hydrated for the skin—so that’s really all I did. I still do it now, actually!
Did you have your nails done? If so, where? Would you recommend this nail salon to others?
Yes, I did! When we booked the reception package with the hotel, it came with some vouchers for massages and nails at their in-house salon and spa. The day before my wedding, my Maid-of-Honor (which was my sister) and I took advantage of this! We had our nails done right there and then. She was also a lot more stressed than me (and she would be, too, on the day itself), so I gave her and her boyfriend the massage vouchers because she definitely deserved it.
And yes, I would definitely recommend using those hotel vouchers for your nails, whichever hotel you book!
What was your biggest takeaway from your wedding day? Do you have any beauty-related tips you’d like to share to upcoming brides?
I know everyone says this, but it’s because it’s true: your wedding will not go 100% perfectly, but just let go and have fun! Trust in your suppliers and your entourage to take care of it—they all only want you have to have the best day ever! Just sit back, watch, and appreciate how everything you’ve been planning for a year comes together and works itself out.
As for beauty tips, definitely visit your dermatologist—she’ll know what is best for you. And keep hydrated and sleep early!
“Just let go and have fun!”