From the end of 2015 when we got engaged until our wedding month in December 2016, the weeks just went by so fast! 2016 was a year full of hope while we were both busily preparing for our dream wedding, trying to make everything perfectly organized and carefully deciding on different things. And then just right before Christmas, December 23 came and in a couple of hours, our wedding was done! 15 long months of preparation and in just a blink of an eye, our most awaited day finally came to an end. Just like what they say, it wasn’t really the end but the beginning of our new journey, now as Mr. and Mrs. Nochefranca!
During our wedding preps, everything was on a tight budget. From our major suppliers until down to the very smallest detail, everything was accounted for. And like any other couple, we, of course wanted everyone to be reminded of our special day but not to the extent of printing save the date cards and sending them out to our guests. They’re good, no offense, but for us it’s pretty much redundant already since we already planned to give out our official formal wedding invites. Plus, the printing and shipping would cost us a few thousand that we felt would be better off with our invites or some other important wedding supplier. Besides, we don’t want to jump on the bandwagon. We wanted to be unique. We wanted to showcase who we are as a couple. So..what better way to present it was through our passion — photography and videography!
“Brides lang ba dapat ang kikilos to prepare for the wedding?”
I have been asked about this a few times and kahit OC bride ako, the answer is NO. Here’s my take based from personal experience.
If you have the means, no problem with budget, hire the best possible Full Coordinator and let them do everything for you. You can just say yes and no at ganun din si fiancé mo. Kumbaga let your money work for you.
But, if you’re a budgeted bride like me, overseas based ka man or not, you need your fiancé to help you with everything.
We are Garry and Aiki, a newly-married Filipino couple based in Kuwait. We created this blog to document our own wedding planning journey after we got engaged last August 2015.
For 15 months, we carefully planned Our Budget Dream Wedding while we are both based overseas as OFWs where we heavily relied on the resources that we found online through various wedding magazines, blogs, Facebook groups, forums and Pinterest for our source of wedding inspiration. Since we weren’t able to go home to meet up with our shortlisted wedding suppliers, we used Email, Facebook chat, Viber, Skype and Instagram to communicate with them. It was quite challenging on our part because we only relied on our supplier client reviews/feedback and their output that was posted online.
How did we survive our wedding planning since we are based overseas? Simple.
Everything was done online – from research, communication, reservations/booking and even payments.
Is that a bit scary since you’re like gambling kasi hindi mo naman personally nakita yung mga supplier mo? Well, truth is… Suntok sa buwan talaga ang ginawa namin dahil buong loob kami na nag-tiwala sa Suppliers na kinuha namin na hindi nila kami lolokohin lalu na at nagkalat ang mga scammers! It’s all about “trust” talaga and doing your own “research” thoroughly. To be sure, get a reputable supplier na kilala na pero siyempre afford pa rin ng budget! And in our case, thankfully, everything went well. (Though except for a few minor flaws, of course.. and that’s another story to tell which you can read through our Wedding Supplier Reviews.)
Also throughout this wedding planning journey, we also came to realize na kulang yung information for couples who are planning to get married in the Philippines especially for OFWs like us and who are on a tight wedding budget! And initially, this blog is only intended for us to document everything, but because of this realization and the need to help other couples like us who are really confused with what they’re supposed to do, we decided to make all the information in our wedding blog publicly available and hopefully it would help others in their own wedding preps journey.
Overall, the journey was a rollercoaster ride of emotions filled with excitement, frustration, and bliss.. but it was a journey definitely worth remembering! This is #OurLoveStoReal and this is #OurBudgetDreamWedding .
Yes you read that right. The title just says what this post is all about. I’m venting out here and I think it’s just normal right? Anyway we’re going to talk about the
daily struggles of Wedding Preparations especially for Overseas couples like us. First off, it’s exactly 6 months from now for our big day! Time has flown so fast we barely managed to keep track of all the tiny-gritty-details of wedding planning, but thankfully though as we get to read all the posts that we did when this blog was created, we have at least a good documentation of how we have barely managed so far. For the last 10 months since we got engaged and thus the start of wedding planning, we have overcome (and is still struggling for some) a few issues that came along the way.
Weddings would always entail spending to book the best possible suppliers that you and your fiancé can afford. But it doesn’t mean that you guys need to splurge on everything because it would still depend on your budget. DIYs or do-it-yourself has become a trend lately especially for budget-conscious couples. Instead of booking wedding vendors to do items like invitations, save the date invites, decorations, ceremonial accessories, bouquets, boutonnieres, etc. couples would opt to do it by themselves using their own resources to personalize and customize such items cost effectively. But as an overseas based couple, it is quite difficult for us to DIY things since not all materials were easily available and if they do, the items doesn’t come cheap. Here in Kuwait, we don’t have a Divisoria-style marketplace where all the raw materials can be haggled and bought in a low price. But since we are capable of something, we, instead decided to DIY what we can.
Below is our very own 100% DIY Save the Date video or which my fiancé fondly calls it Lock the Date for some reason that we did last December 2015 while playing with our Nikon D5100 camera. Continue reading “DIY: Save the Date video”
The bride’s gown has been (and always will be) the centerpiece of a wedding event. Whether the ceremony is well decorated, the reception has the best food being served, the groom looked dashing or the flowers are just magical. Nothing still beats the attention that the bride will receive on her wedding day. And yes, all eyes will be on what she’ wearing. Cliche as it may seem, all girls have their dream wedding gown made by their dream wedding designer or Couturier. Unfortunately, not all couturiers are affordable. Unless the couple wanted to go all out and is willing to spend Php 500k +++ for a one-day-gown then it’s no big deal! It’s not difficult to choose THE dream designers since names like Vera Wang, Michael Cinco, Elie Saab, Krikor Jabotian, Monique Lhuillier, Ezra, Berta, Zuhair Murad etc were all over the place.
But for budget weddings like us, practicality would always be top priority. Practicality doesn’t mean we can’t afford them, but we just decided to keep things within our range.. besides there are other great wedding couturiers in the Philippines who can produce the same great quality but on a lower price scale. Personally, I don’t want my dress to only look gorgeous but I want it to be remembered as the most important gown that I will be wearing for the rest of my life!
Below is a list of awesome Philippine-based designers that we have researched so far and their starting price range only as of October 2015 and will definitely change without prior notice.
Bridal Gown rates normally include the veil, cord, pillows etc. Prices also vary depending on the following: the reputation of the designer, the fabric to be used, gown style if 1 way or 2-way, pegs, embellishments (pearls, Swarovski etc), accessories, and the degree of difficulty to be done. These designers can be researched easily since the majority have websites and FB pages with their portfolios (past and recent designs). One thing we noticed though, once a designer features a celebrity, automatically their price range would increase by 10%++ aside from that fact that they do increase on a quarterly or semi-annual basis! So if you find what you think would fit your budget, better book an appointment with them now! Happy preps 🙂
SOME RATES ARE UPDATED AS OF SEPTEMBER 2018
BETTER TO INQUIRE DIRECTLY TO KNOW ANY RATE/PRICE CHANGES