After we have chosen our dream church, we then decided to scout for our reception venue with all the requirements on our checklist. Below is our supplier review for our chosen venue — LA CASTELLANA in Intramuros Manila.
- Supplier Rating: 4.50/5
- Mode of Communication: Email
- Contact Person: Mr Christian De Leon
At first, we prefer to have our reception venue to be held in Manila Hotel, since it fits our theme which is Spanish Vintage Glam. But, after receiving the quotation, we were so surprised at the current package that they offered to us. Consider the fact that it only includes basic styling and the hotel also charges tons of corkage fees if we would get outside suppliers. That alone, after we did our initial computation was 70% of our overall wedding budget! Suntok sa buwan if we would push through with it. So, we muster our courage to look for other events venues within the range of Manila (or near Intramuros area for that matter) since we prefer that all of our guests wouldn’t commute too far from the church considering the “Christmas traffic” that we’re expecting on our wedding day. We also want something that has a high ceiling where we can have drapes, with beautiful chandeliers (since I personally love them), white/neat-looking interiors, spacious for our 150 target guests and has a garden setting. Thankfully, we found La Castellana that was just located a block away from San Agustin Church.
We immediately contacted La Castellana through their email and their AE, Mr Christian was quick enough to reply back with their venue packages. Since we’re not keen on getting all-in-packages, we compared their rates versus if we’re going to get their venue-only rate. From that, we decided that if we’ll book the place, it will be their venue-only rate. But since it’s also difficult to check the current look of the venue, we asked my aunt and cousin to do an ocular of the area on our behalf. Fortunately, it so happened that one of our shortlisted caterers at that time, Josiah’s Catering Inc. was going to have their food tasting fair in the venue. So it’s like hitting 2-birds-with-1-stone kind of deal!
Their feedback was great after sending us photos of the place and the food served during the event. Garry and I then discussed it thoroughly and finally decided to do our reservation. It was, after all, the only “fitting” venue we’ve seen with our days of research online that can be a good alternative to our first option. Besides, La Castellan imbues a Spanish look that very well fits with what we want. It’s both an indoor-outdoor type of venue which is kind of refreshing. Also, it was nice that the AE gave us the old rate which automatically saved us a few thousand pesos! In behalf us, my aunt did the booking and from then on Christian and I would always exchange emails regarding our concerns about the venue’s corkage fees, rules, restrictions, recommended suppliers etc. One thing we liked about them was their promptness in replying with all our concerns and queries. This was a big deal for us since we’re both based abroad and we booked the place even if we haven’t seen it personally.
I was only able to see it during my December 2015 vacation and at that time, had a first-hand experience of how the place would look like if it’s filled with a 150++ guests. The venue was so dainty and neat looking with its all-white interiors, tall pillars, and Spanish-designed stained-glass windows. It also boasts of high chandeliers, mini-lotus garden, but with an interestingly odd-looking floor plan. La Castellana is actually a mixture of fancy elegance but with a twist of oddness because of its L-shaped floor plan which I don’t usually encounter with Event Venue structures. Christian informed me that the venue was an old mansion that was just converted to an events venue by its owners. We also considered getting an AC which is the only alternative option to the coolers and mist but would cost a minimum Php 8,000 per unit plus the corkage fees. Since the venue is quite big, a minimum of 10-15 AC units is needed in case this option would be considered.
On our wedding, everything ran smoothly. Christian only approached us to inform us about our payments after the wedding when all of the guests were gone which shows how Professional he was.
- They were very prompt with all the replies, requests and were really accommodating.
- The venue’s design is unique (L-shaped), it’s spacious for 150 guests capacity and is located at the heart of Intramuros, in between San Agustin Church and Manila Cathedral. Bottom line, walking distance lang siya from SAC.
- The staff was polite to the guests.
- They offer in house packages that is good for those who don’t want to stress themselves about wedding planning.
- They have a tie up with Manila Hotel, Diamond Hotel etc for bridal preps so when you book through them the photoshoot fee is already waived and the rate is also discounted
- They have too many restrictions and we we paid extra corkage fees for our event stylist since they’re not accredited with the venue. Our event stylist told us that they were very strict with 4 guards on the look out for the duration of their ingress setup.
- The ceiling was open and it looked like it came out of a basketball courtyard, so having curtains to cover them is a must. But they are very strict with ceiling drapes and prefers to have their in-house supplier to cover it. They allow outside suppliers for the ceiling drapes but would charge an additional corkage fee which is not practical anymore.
- There was no parking space (but this is manageable at least since they have park marshalls).
- Indoor fireworks are only allowed but you need to sign a waiver. Outdoor fireworks are not allowed due to restrictions from Intramuros Administration
- There was a deduction from our security deposit when days after our wedding they said that our hired event stylist did a little damage to one of the walls. We cross checked it with our stylist but they said they didn’t use paint on that day. We don’t know who’s telling the truth but this is still disappointing on our part.
**Tip!** If you will be hiring outside suppliers, ALWAYS ASK HOW MUCH WILL THE POSSIBLE CORKAGE FEES be para hindi kayo magkagulatan na lumobo na pala yung budget niyo.
**Tip!** If you will hire a separate Event Stylist na mag decorate during your ceremony/reception, alamin niyo if they will need extra ingress setup time. The usual setup time allowed for caterers is from 1.00 PM if dinner time gamitin yung venue. If they do, ask Christian or Bianca how much possible computation for this corkage fee and prepare it before hand so less worry na din.
**Tip!** Inform your hired Event Stylist to please be careful when doing the ingress and egress for your event’s setup dahil kahit ultimo maliit na gasgas, mababawasan ang security deposit niyo sa venue.
Christian De Leon or Bianca
FB: La Castellana