Once we got engaged, we immediately scouted for the best yet affordable wedding coordinator in the Philippine Wedding Industry and we were lucky we were able to book them for our “hot date“. Below is our supplier review for our OTD wedding coordinator — IMBITADO EVENTS and the team leader as our reception host, AYIE CONTRERAS-TUATES
- Supplier Rating: 4.75/5 (OTD Coordination) and 5/5 (Hosting)
- Mode of Communication: Email, FB Chat (consultations), Skype (online meeting)
- Contact Person: Ms. Ayie Contreras-Tuates (head)
Although we are on a limited budget, there’s this list of suppliers in our wedding checklist that we didn’t think twice in getting even if it would cost us more than what we expected them to be because for us their services would definitely make or break our wedding. And that includes getting a reputable, efficient and well-experienced Wedding Coordinator. Thankfully though, Imbitado Events is still available for our date.
I have known Imbitado Events even before I got engaged from my friends here in Kuwait who got married 2-3 years back. Although I wasn’t present in their weddings, I’ve heard a lot of good things about the team’s efficiency and that’s why they’ve been highly recommended by my friend who got married. So, even before Garry proposed to me (August 2015) but we were already having talks about marriage, I already inquired with Imbitado Events around March 2015 to know about their rates so I’ll personally have an idea. From that time on, I would always stalk their FB page to see their work and read feedback about them from their former clients. I wasn’t even really aware of WAW at that time so I still didn’t know that they were one of the Top Wedding Suppliers voted by the WAW community.
By September 2015, a few weeks after we were formally engaged and we started our wedding planning, I finally brought up the idea to Garry and together, we inquired about their rates. But to our disappointment, Ayie replied back by saying that they’re not available because of vacation. Instead, she referred me to one of her teammates, Anton Sarcia who would handle the event in case we would book her. Of course, we were taken aback because we wanted Imbitado Events and we wanted Ayie on it as well. At that time we thought, anong silbi kung wala si Ayie sa team? If we’re going to book Imbitado Events, of course, we want the whole package!
Because of what happened, we became undecided if we’re going to push through in getting them so we continued our research (why we came up with this listof Wedding Coordinator Rates HERE) to find other possible options to the point that we had a skype meeting with 4 other coordinators (see the whole story here at Our Supplier Online Interview Reviews HERE). During this time, we were actually intent on getting a Full Coordinator or either a Semi-Coordinator since we’re literally clueless about what are we going to do with our wedding planning. Even with a lot of researches, we’re still clueless how much should we budget for our wedding, the things that we need to do, what to book first etc. But after talking to a couple of wedding coordinators, we realized that since we can be hands-on with our preparations even were based overseas and that’s its practical as well, we only need to book an On-The-Day Coordinator. Right in the middle of our continuous research, we’re still actually hoping that Imbitado Events will be “really” available for us and by some sort of miracle, I received an email from Ayie saying that she and her husband talked about it and they will adjust their holiday so they can handle our account if we would be booking them. Of course, that was like a Christmas gift that we unexpectedly received in the middle of our preps! It was definitely an answered prayer! Within that week, we scheduled our skype meeting to get to know each other and to see if we would have a this-is-it-feeling with her. Just like how we conversed with the others, we felt that Ayie was the one that we were looking for. And because we also knew that Ayie was a professional host, we felt that she’d be the perfect one to do our reception program. So without a heartbeat, Garry and I made our deposit of 1K to secure our date via bank transfer (we forwarded her the photocopy of the receipt) since were based overseas).
From that time on, Ayie and I would constantly chat on Facebook whenever necessary with regards to our wedding planning and during this span of time, we would also always ask her for supplier recommendation since we wanted to know if she has previously worked with our shortlisted suppliers. For us, being our OTD coordinator and host, her input is always valuable whenever we would select our suppliers ranging from our chosen band, lights and sounds, etc. We would also ask her for supplier feedback about our existing suppliers like church, venue, caterer, hotel, videographer etc. to know about her and her team’s past working experiences with them. This necessary information has really helped us in knowing who we should consider from the long list of suppliers that we have researched so far. Since we do freelance event coordination work here in Kuwait, we knew that a coordinator’s input should be really regarded since sila naman yung parati nakaka work ng mga suppliers sa wedding industry. Naniniwala kasi kami na maliit lang ang mundo ng wedding industry sa Pilipinas and iba pa din yung makukuha namin na feedback na mismo manggagaling sa kapwa nila wedding supplier. We also preferred that our chosen suppliers has worked already with our OTD Coordinator to lessen any possible issues that would occur on our wedding day since they already know one another.
Breakdown of OTD Coordinator and Host Expenses
- Php 16,000 : total cost of the OTD Coordination package
- Php 3,000 : hosting
After booking them, Ayie emailed us Imbitado Event’s standard Wedding checklist and guide that contains all the necessary tips, guidelines, timeline, files, etc that we needed to do when booking our suppliers. We were also only able to meet with Ayie personally to do the detailing 3 weeks before the wedding when we arrived in Manila. During our meeting at Glorietta, our supposed 1-hour meeting turned into almost 2 hours of non-stop chatting and from that, we felt we shared the same sentiment of being organized with everything which of course was something that we initially expect from her.
Moreover, whenever we book a new supplier or change one (cue Photographer), we felt that it’s our responsibility to inform her so she’ll be aware with what’s going on with our wedding preparations. Just like what she said, which we both agreed indefinitely — small things count. Also around a month before our flight to Manila, she gave us in advanced our Final Turn-Over checklists which include the final list for the program details, supplier directory, mass participants, music planner, final RSVP list etc that is everything that the team needs to know prior our wedding. Since we have filled out and would always update the Initial checklists that she gave us after booking them, it was quite easy for us to do the Turn-Over files but only with the exception of the final RSVP list kasi madami kami bisita na bigla nag-inarte at nagpasabi na hindi na daw makakapunta sa kasal a week before wedding.
On our big day, the team arrived at exactly 11 AM as per schedule and my bridal assistant assigned to me was Ms. Varna who was a bubbly young woman. I actually initially requested for Anton since my friends who got the team had Anton as their bridal assistant before and I’ve been hearing great reviews from them but Ayie told me that he was already on holiday. Anyway as soon as they arrived, the team immediately went to work and while I was sitting in my HMUA’s chair, Ayie walked over to me and asked me about the turnovers. Even though she already has a copy of the turn-over files, I told her that all the items were in their boxes to make sure that everything’s organized. And because we are an OC couple we made sure that the turnovers would be “quite flawless“.
I informed her clearly that we already prepared the 2 huge plastic boxes for the turnovers and they were all properly labeled so to make things easier for them. Before the wedding, Ayie already has our soft copy for the Turn-Over list and we even gave her a hard copy as well. We even prepared our own “sewing kit” and “first-aid kit” just in case.
After that meeting inside my bridal preps room, it was Varna who would be asking me about things that needed to be sorted out like that bridal car problem, HMUA entourage payment issue, hotel room mishap etc. While I was standing outside and preparing for my bridal entrance, I remember that Nico, Garry’s groom’s assistant never left my side just like with Toni and his hairstylist in place of Varna’s who was left at the hotel to fix things. Also, I was only able to see Ayie again when I was inside the car while waiting for my bridal entrance, informing me that our request for a closed-door policy for the ceremony wasn’t approved by the church admins and when she was there standing at the back of the church smiling at me while motioning me to kick my feet higher at a 45 degrees angle so I won’t trip my gown while walking. As far as we can remember, the whole ceremony went really smooth since we’ve never heard any bad feedback from our guests, except that one of the bouquets for the bridesmaids went missing. We know that San Agustin Church has their own in-house coordinator, but we’re not sure if it’s Imbitado’s fault or the Church’s.
During our post-nup after the ceremony, it was Nico again who was still with us, assisting us in our needs while giving us both candies and water to drink. Up until we reached the reception venue, he never left our side. There, we finally saw Varna and informed me about what happened and I just told her that we’ll talk later after the event. From the look on the faces, they seemed to be under a lot of stress but somehow they both still look bubbly and would even crack jokes at times.
Now since Ayie was also our reception host, we were only able to see her again after our retouch when she called our names to do our couple’s entrance dance. When I saw her again, she seemed to transform herself from the plain looking Ayie to that dazzling Ayie who was definitely in-charged of the whole place! The crowd just seemed to love her and it was really obvious from the non-stop cheers and laughter that we kept on hearing since we arrived at the reception. Our family and friends would couldn’t help but commend her for her interesting and funny games that, as per their statement, is loaded with laughter and prizes! Of course, receiving this kind of compliment is really heartfelt for us especially since we have a couple of people on our guest lists who do “professional speaking” engagements for a living. Besides, Garry is known as a freelance events emcee himself so choosing who would host our wedding is already a big deal for us. Thankfully, we chose the right person to do that!
The whole reception went well and afterwards, Ayie went to talk to us para ibigay lahat ng turn-over items, files, gifts etc namin. She also assigned two of her staff para i double check lang ng turn-over items pabalik sa amin. The transaction was all smooth and all we received all the receipts for the payables on that day. With our experience working with Imbitado Events, even with the small unlikely issues that occurred, we now know why they won last year’s WAW Top Supplier’s Award! It was really a great experience working with the pros!
- We got their old rate and that was a plus for our limited budget. When we got Ayie in our package as a host, it was a decision we felt would be good since at least we would only coordinate with one team and being our OTD coordinate, she would very well know what to do during our reception program proper
- As a host, Ayie has good diction and she’s really a good speaker. She has a great program line up that she sent to us a few weeks before the wedding together with a couple’s questionnaire which she used as part of the program. The guests really enjoyed the program to the point that even after the wedding, we still receive praises about how she carries herself and how she delivered the program. Nakakatuwa lang pakinggan na maganda yung feedback, how she made our guests comfortable and how lively she made the whole atmosphere of the program during the reception in general since we have professional speakers who attended the wedding, plus Garry, himself was even known to do freelance hosting for events for the Filipino community in Kuwait. With this, we give Ayie 5/5 for her hosting skills!
- As a whole, Imbitado Events was really efficient and all of our guests were commenting how well coordinated they were from the time that they arrived in the church for the ceremony (even if there was an in-house church coordinator) up until they arrived at the venue and while they were waiting for us to appear, the team really took care of everything!
- We felt that they lack the appropriate manpower during our bridal preps since when there was an issue with the HMUA entourage, my bridal assistant became busy in dealing with them that most of the time I couldn’t seem to find her and my HMUA was the one who was assisting me in her place. This continued even until I left for the church when no one was helping me to carry my things (and long train) for that matter to the point that Myio and Brian (Vidlens) were assisting me during the pictorials and Ate Siony (hairstylist) even helped me when I said I wanted to go to the bathroom to pee. I was only informed later on when I was in the bridal car that my assigned bridal assistant was left at the hotel to fix another issue with the hotel’s reservations. At that time I felt that there should be 1 more person to take care of those things so that the bridal assistant can “really fully assist the bride”
- After the ceremony on our way to the reception venue, Garry kept asking me if I had a bridal assistant since his groom’s assistant arrived late and he was the only one inside his room the whole time, waiting for someone to tell him what he was supposed to do. We later found out that the groom’s assistant was doing some errand.
- We also found out after seeing the photo slideshow in the reception that Garry only had 4 of his groomsmen with him during his pictorial since those who came to the hotel (they were just seating in the lobby) for the pictorial weren’t informed that the shoot was on-going at the swimming pool area. After the wedding, we even asked the groomsmen what happened and they just told us na wala naman silang mahanap na coordinator sa hotel kaya nag-aantay lang sila doon. Nalaman na lang nila na tapos na nung nakita na nila si Garry papaalis papuntang church. That was really sad since majority of them were based overseas and really took the effort to file for leave just to be part of our wedding entourage pero hindi sila nakasama sa pictorial during Garry’s preps.
- Finish your Turn-Over List on time. Submit it to your OTD Coordinator on time. Huwag tamad at huwag mag pasaway unless you want your wedding to be a nightmare.
- BE SPECIFIC WITH YOUR INSTRUCTIONS! Hindi porket you paid for their services eh sila na bahala, of course it’s still your wedding at hindi naman nila malalaman lahat ng gusto niyo mangyari if hindi niyo sa kanila sasabihin.
- To lessen the confusion of your coordinator, be sure to label all your Turn-Over items properly and better to put them in 2 separate boxes (Ceremony and Reception). If you want more than 2 boxes of your turn-over items, no problem. This makes it easier to be distributed and would, of course, be of help to your OTD Coordinator. Just make sure your instructions are very clear!
Imbitado Events (Coordination) and Ms. Ayie Contreras-Tuates (Host)
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