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Monday, February 11, 2008

Planning a Wedding

Over the weekend, Jojo and I spent some time with my sister's fiancé and his mom looking around for a wedding reception site. We visited a couple of places in and around the Torrance area. I gathered all the wedding packets and brochures each place had to offer while Jojo and Mark snapped pictures of the venues. When we got home, I emailed the quotations, descriptions and pictures to my sister and the rest of my family back in Manila. Planning this wedding has becomes a team effort since we are spread out across three locations - the bride and her parents are based in Manila, the groom and his family live in Redlands (about 2 hours from LA), and the wedding site and the "wedding coordinator" (that would be me) are here in Torrance.

Planning a wedding is always exciting. Even if I was never the "typical" bride who spends years thinking, planning and dreaming of the perfect wedding, I did have fun coordinating Jojo's and my wedding back in 2004. I wasn't one of those bridezillas who obsessed about every little detail and who insited on only the best of everything for that one day. I was a very hands-on but also a very practical bride. I wanted it to be special since it was a one-time event but not so much so that we would go into debt for a one-time celebration. And honestly, it's not my personality to go for anything too elaborate, fancy or formal. I wanted it to be much more subdued, intimate and special.

Part of me is glad that I got married here in the States. Of course the largest trade off was not being able to share it with most of my family and my close friends back in Manila. My biggest disappointment was not having my grandparents (especially my guama on that special day). But in the end, the people that really mattered made it - my whole family and most of Jojo's were here, most of our godparents made it too, some of our cousins, aunts, uncles and and my best friends all flew in too. From our acquaintances here, we chose only those we were very close to and decided against inviting people just for the sake of filling up the church and later the hotel ballroom. We had about 80 people at our wedding (a far cry from the weddings with 300-500 guests back home). But it was a happy one where we got to really enjoy ourselves (we actually got to eat and dance!). We were able to sit with the rest of our guests and listen to my dad's touching wedding toast and watch a video presentation that our sibblings had put together. Best of all, we got to spend a little time with each and every one of our guests.

My mom, sisters, mother-in-law and girlfriends helped out with some details from Manila - like the entourages' dresses, the wedding invitations and the souveniers. And when my mom finally flew over she helped me pick out my wedding gown and make suggestions to our reception menu. But since the wedding was here, Jojo and I handled most of the details ourselves. It was really nice having Jojo with me as we chose the venue, the music, the flowers, the cake. We met with vendors and visited bridal fairs. We worked on the seating arrangements, our wedding website, and mailing invitations together. I really liked how the wedding was a little bit of what I wanted, a little bit of what he wanted and a whole lot of things we both liked. I hardly think it's fair for the bride to call all the shots and then have the groom foot the bill! Or for the bride to do everything (including pay for the event) and just have the groom show up. In our case, since we had worked on most of the wedding details together, everything was pretty much done our way and that made us both more relaxed and happy. Of course, not every thing went absolutely perfect (I don't think they ever do!) but it was all about us and finding a compromise.

Looking back, I don't really think I would do anything different for our wedding. Yes, I could have lost some more weight (probably not!), or I could have found a another hairdresser (one who would not insist on giving me a look with lopsided bangs), or I could have asked around for a better photographer that was less expensive and who would do a better job. But looking back, those things hardly really matter. I married my best friend, had my family and friends present on our special day, shared a wonderful wedding and reception with everyone, had the event go according to our plan and our budget, and got great presents and an awesome honeymoon ... I can't really think of anything worth complaining about. And yes, if I had to marry Jojo all over again, I definitely would, and I wouldn't have our wedding any other way!

4 comments:

jol said...

Your sister is definitely lucky to have you as wedding coordinator and gracious emcee at her wedding reception. Your experience and personal touch will make this affair a truly memorable one. Thanks too for involving all of us!

jml said...

Yours was a trully lovely wedding made possible through mainly your and Jojo's planning, work and participation. It will always be among my most treasured memories. With your help, I know that jenny can expect no less.

leslie Ty said...

i agree....your wedding is one of my all time fave event =) i had sooo much fun with you and your family...

i'm sure jenny's wedding will be equally fun, intimate and special... =) can't wait for the pics and the kwentos of jenny's special day =)

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