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!
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 .
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”
Weddings won’t be complete without flowers and decorations for both the ceremony and reception. They are one of the things that make the event — stunning and luscious to the eyes. Looking at gorgeous bridal bouquets and beautifully arranged ceremonial aisle where the bride will walk to meet her groom and inspiring well-decorated venues for the party afterward is one of the things that soon-to-wed-couples give a good amount of consideration lately. With the trend of theme weddings, couples are more than happy to search for the best of the best in Manila’s wedding industry. Unfortunately, event styling has become too pricey due to the recent demand and glamour that it adds to weddings. For those who are on a tight budget like us — this could probably be a dream to get unless a miracle would happen! 🙂
Below is a list of reliable and in-demand florists and event stylists in the country that we have come into contact with and their initial price range for a Manila-based December 2016 wedding.
UPDATED SOME RATES AS OF MARCH 2018
Their rates, however, varies depending on your wedding date, number of guests, size of venue, flowers (local, imported or mixed) and decors to be used, if reception only or with ceremony or with bridal bouquet/entourage flowers, OOT fees (if applicable), corkages (if not accredited by the venue and caterer), number of crew meals and reputation (mid-range or high end supplier). It is highly advisable to contact them directly for your specific event quotation.