Picking up from where I left off, here’s the second installment of my wedding suppliers’ review. It took me a while to finish this post (been on draft since early Feb!) because I want to be as thorough as much as possible.
Just in case you missed the first part, you can check it out over here.
Hair and Make Up Artist: Eds Go
I remember being told once that one of the things I should invest into, for the wedding, is make-up. Why? Not because I have lots of blemishes to cover but because a good make-up artist will enhance your face, not transform you into another person.
It’s hard to pick the right one especially if you look at the artists’ portfolio and found that there’s no way they could go wrong. So, I ended up making a list of criteria on what to look for a certain HMUA – (1) excellent eyebrow grooming, (2) nails the no-make-up look, (3) perfects nose bridge contouring [coz I have a flat nose bridge lol] and (4) quite judgmental, I admit, but he/she should be able to make him/herself look good. In all four of these, Eds Go fits the job!
Overall rating: 9.5/10
- Relatively affordable –Eds Go isn’t really budget-friendly so I suggest you watch out for her promo. But for the quality you get, she’s relatively affordable. She has a couple of packages to choose from, if you’re really not keen on splurging on a professional makeup artist. Most of the brides’ stories I’ve encountered, they take Eds’ services for their selves (bride) and let another HMUA take charge of the rest of the entourage.
- Rapport – When I inquired with her, she answered very briefly in emails that it frustrated me coz I couldn’t get all the answers I need. And then she asked me to be Facebook friends which I found weird, TBH. Turns out, she responds faster in FB. All my concerns have been addressed and my doubts were made clear. I’m a happy bride! We first met her during the prenup shoot and I got to learn how fun and witty she is (actually, everyone in her team!). She cares a lot for the bride (and groom), gave tips, shared stories and most of all, she made us look our best. She has an architecture background, too, so I’m assured I’m in good hands (I am biased with arki grads, sorry :s). Come wedding day, she delivered fabulously as expected. I didn’t look like I lack hourssss of sleep! She has a nice team, too – very friendly and easy to work with.
- Quality of work – I was dolled up before 4AM but my makeup’s perfectly fine until after the ceremony (11AM). For the reception, she put my hair down and changed my lipstick shade for a different look. And again, the quality lasted until wee hours of the night!
- Professionalism –Since it’s a morning wedding, our call time was set at 4 in the morning. And despite having makeup gigs everyday (December is a peak season for weddings), Eds and her team arrived early at the preps venue. In fact, they arrived just a few minutes after I woke up! Her team works wonderfully fast! In a matter of hour, they finished working on 3 heads. Very efficient!
Bridal Car: Royal Carriages
A bridal car is something pretty to have but not necessarily on top of our list. But of course, we still wanted a nice ride so we inquired with suppliers that lease vintage cars. We got in touch with Royal Carriages who, luckily for us, has an ongoing promotion at that time. They have limited selection of cars so it wasn’t that hard to pick.
The deal we had has been great but I wished we have used it more on the shoot. It was raining after the ceremony so there was no chance to roam around in it.
Overall rating: 9/10
- Car rental fee – There’s an extra 4k for out-of-town weddings. The fee includes 5 hours of use (promo), driver, toll fees and gasoline.
- Service – We had the 1961 Jaguar Mark II and it’s in great condition during the wedding day. The car is quite small but luckily, the train of my gown fitted perfectly. The driver assigned to me was nice; he even helped me get out of the car, lol.
Musician: Velvet Mood
The vibe we wanted for the wedding is relaxing and yet, still classy. That’s how we got the idea of hiring a jazz band. But it was pretty difficult to find one that is both good and affordable. In short, we settled with a musician who can perform any genre.
We hired Velvet Mood for the good raves we’ve read online. Sir Edwin was really nice to talk to and he seemed to accommodate almost all our requests.
Overall rating: 7/10
- Talent fee – We got them to play for both the ceremony and reception. Velvet Mood has a separate price list for Tagaytay weddings, which are generally about 3500 to 5500 extra, depending on the number of musicians requested.
- Quintet (plus one, so make that a sextet) – We met with Sir Edwin once to discuss our plans for the program. He seemed very accommodating to our song requests and preferred instruments (violin and sax). He even told us that he “might” bring an extra guy to play for free. On the day of the wedding, we didn’t manage to check whether they are a quintet (or sextet as promised).
- Performance – I sort of couldn’t agree fully to what they say that ‘on the day of the wedding, you wouldn’t notice tiny details’ because I actually did. Some of them though, not all. One of those things that I actually noticed was music. During the ceremony, Velvet Mood performed quite more than what we expected. They managed to give the bridal march song, “Never Seen Anything Quite Like You” by The Script, a justice. Though come reception time, despite handing them a set list (most of these songs were picked from their playlist prior to the wedding day, of course), they played songs that aren’t part of our set. And the genre wasn’t jazzy at all. Kinda upsetting. Add to that the fact that in the middle of the reception, our coordinator approached us because Velvet Mood wanted to leave the venue early! We managed to have them stay a little, but as far as I remember, they were missing for the 50% part of the program. This is disappointing, since prior to booking them, we were told that they will play until the reception ends.
Lights and Sounds: Artuz 101
Prior to wedding planning, I didn’t know that lights & sounds would cost an arm and a leg. It reminded me the feeling of hate I used to have towards minor subjects (back in college) whose requirements are far more complicated than major subjects. THAT EXACT FEELING. But seriously, why would it cost a whopping amount?
I thought we won’t be needing “lights” since ours is a morning wedding. Add to that, our venue offers perfect natural lighting. But truth be told, they are still needed (though not as many as in evening receptions). Mood lighting creates depth and sets the ambiance. Sounds, on the other hand, is another thing. It’s vital especially if you have live musicians on board (and if your hired musicians disappear in the middle of the reception, hmm…) However, the bulk of the lights and sounds cost was the LED wall (we didn’t realize the need for this at the beginning). Receptions in broad daylight call for one, unless you don’t have AVPs and same-day-edit to show during the reception.
Needless to say, we booked Artuz 101 for the good raves we found online. The fact that they have already worked in Tagaytay Highlands and with our coordinator and that they’re Cavite-based are all big, big plus points. And they “sort of” fit the budget, though still painful in the pocket.
Overall rating: 8.5/10
- Fees – The lights and sounds package wasn’t so bad, only the LED screen costs a lot. They don’t ask for out-of-town fees. We managed to score a little discount from Mr. Nelson, so it’s a win-win.
- Service – To be honest, we didn’t notice the lighting they did in the reception until we get to see the photos. They looked nice and not overpowering. Although, I’m still not a fan of the magenta-colored lights. And the smoke machine. One more thing, the LED screen’s display is too saturated, we looked very tanned (think orange-y skin!) in the photos projected. About the sounds, we loved how they were right on cue for music and there were no technical failures whatsoever.
Gowns and Groom’s Suit: Emil Ocampo
For a dress that I will only get to wear once, the idea of spending for it was definitely a no-no for me. We thought of hiring up-and-coming designers but it turned out not really a good idea. They aren’t always affordable as I thought. We were quoted with something that hurts the pocket and my (then future) mother-in-law wasn’t impressed with the fitting of the dress. So, 7 months before the wedding, panicky and all, I searched the internet looking for prospect designers, sent them an inquiry right away and picked the ones that replied in the next 48 hours. Then, I compared.
One of the fast responses I received was from Emil Ocampo. He has an impressive portfolio, wonderful reviews and he quoted my gown for an unbelievably low price! After meeting 2 other designers via Skype, I was convinced to get Emil. We also took his service for the groom’s suit, the mothers’ and the bridesmaids’/secondary sponsors’ gowns.
Overall rating: 7.5/10
- Fee – The total amount we paid Emil for my gown, the groom’s suit, the mothers’ gowns, 6 entourage long gowns and on-the-day assistance (with out-of-town fee) is almost the same amount one designer is quoting me for my gown alone. Emil is definitely one of the most budget-friendly couturiers in town.
- Design Process – I already have a gown design in mind so it was pretty easy when Emil and I brainstormed about my dress. I like how he quickly sent revised sketches and we did all the discussions via email. He seemed to always agree with what I want (which is both good and bad), but if asked for his opinion, he gives suggestions fast. For the groom’s suit, he asked us to pick between two standard suit designs he have. The slacks, long sleeve polo and bow tie were all part of the groom’s suit package.
Regarding the entourage’s gowns, they were all called to visit Emil’s shop in Sta. Cruz, Manila for the sketching of their dress, measurement taking and selection of gown colors. Prior to their meeting, I sent the gown pegs to everyone so they all have an idea on what I wanted to achieve. Unfortunately, Emil has limited color swatches, making it hard to pull off the kind of color palette I was aiming for.
- Service – As days went by, Emil became harder to get in touch with. He’s almost always busy and away from his shop. And for some reason it got us feeling worried especially when we hit the –ber month and my measurements weren’t taken yet. We agreed to meet in September for the measurements and four days later, I returned to his shop for my first fitting. We’re impressed with how fast they prepared the gown’s base. I wished he was the one to look after me during the first fitting (and the succeeding ones). Had that happened, maybe, during the final fitting, my dress will fit properly. Good thing they were able to alter the gown a few days before the wedding day.
- Delivery – We’re a little disappointed when just a few days before the wedding, some of the gowns were not yet ready. The other bridal accessories such as pillows, arrhae and matches were not available, too, at the agreed date and time of pick-up. We were anxious about him promising us to deliver the rest of the gowns and accessories on the wedding day itself. Luckily, two days before the wedding, we were able to get the gowns. The rest of the wedding paraphernalia were brought by Emil on the wedding day. It was stressing.
- Quality – After all the highs and lows, come wedding day, I’m glad I didn’t say to myself “you get what you paid for” because our gowns looked nice. My simple gown fit wonderfully on me. Our mothers were all happy with theirs and my ladies looked fabulous in their mismatched gowns.
Yey, part two done! Hope that will help you decide the perfect wedding vendors. Next up, I will be reviewing our stylist/florist, photobooth, invitation (printer) and cake suppliers.