W@W News Blog

July 17th, 2014

“Nagiging bridezilla na ata ako” is a common remark/concern of some future brides. You see these women get so wrapped up in their wedding preps that they go ballistic at certain points and turn into fire-breathing dragons. Now that you have that ring on your finger, when stress kicks in and wedding preparations get tough, turning into a beastly bride may not be too far out.

How would you know if you’re a bridezilla or not? By definition, a bridezilla is a woman whose behavior in planning her wedding is viewed as being highly obsessive or unbearably demanding. These real women share their own experiences.

“During the last 2 weeks of preps, the highlight of my “bridezilla” phase, he [groom] said na “ang kulit kulit ko” because we had to do errands separately due to time constraints which could really have been avoided. I had to follow up regularly on his to-do list. Haha! I learned to let go. I thought to myself, “Bahala na si Lord, major stuff are ok naman na. We will get married, that’s what’s important.” And I trusted our coordinator to take care of the other things I could not be OC about on our wedding day.” Madz Osana Nieves, W@wie

“When hubby said to me that the most important thing is for us to get married, I simply let it go. Nag-pray nalang ako, after all I believed I already exerted too much effort naman on it. Beauty and mind rest nalang a week before my wedding for I don’t want to look so stressed!” Pinky Tiña-Sevilla, W@wie

“I realized that not because it was our wedding everything should be the way we wanted it to be. Yes I strongly agree, major things should be decided between you and your groom but still you should give a room to some requests of your parents. Yes we are grown up; yes it is your wedding; but a little compromise, a small degree of giving in to your parents’ plea will definitely not rob you of your dream wedding.” Belinda Lomboy Panlilio-Teves, W@wie

“I think meron akong mini-bridezilla moments na di ko lang pansin, pero I embraced the Let Go and Let God mantra kasi na sikat sa W@W. So I just take a deep breath and then accept na nothing is really perfect. After all of the party, what matters is me and my husband finally being married.” May Mislang-Esteban, W@wie

For the sake of your loved ones and suppliers, to save tears and heartbreaks, fight the urge to be a bridezilla.

1. Delegate tasks: You do not have to do everything yourself. You have your husband-to-be, your friends, and family to help you along the way. If you hired a wedding coordinator, they’d also be of great help. Make use of your available resources; try not to stress yourself and delegate.

2. Blow off steam: Exercise, have a massage, travel, do some shopping, eat dinner with your loved ones, do things that would normally get you to relax. Though it is important to manage your to-do list, it is also important to manage yourself. Stressing yourself over wedding preparations may lead to disastrous outcomes.

3. Don’t forget your important person. “I’m sorry, sweetheart I can’t see you today because I have to meet our designer…I have to see our coordinator…” Sounds familiar? Remember that your fiancé is also part of your wedding.  Stop being too in control and don’t assume that your fiancé doesn’t want to help. Neglecting your significant other during your engagement sets a bad precedent for marriage.

4. Stop comparing. Brides tend to compare their weddings with others’ weddings. This is one of the worst pits to fall into, so do not obsess over things you see in wedding magazines and on TV.

5. Embrace the possibilities. Let’s face it, there is no such thing as a perfect wedding. No matter how much you prepare and how much you stress over it, one way or another there will be a mishap and things may not go as you specifically planned. Most importantly, always keep in perspective the reason why you are planning a wedding in the first place: it is to be with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Let go. It may be difficult and challenging but you need to let things be and try to relax. For as long as you’ve done your part and you did what needs to be done, just let go and let God. Breathe and enjoy the wedding preparations. As what we always say in W@W — “happy preps!”


(A proud W@wie & one half of the Otaku couple: Maan & Macky, finally hitched last 1.4.14!)

Solving Guest List Woes
July 14th, 2014

Almost all coordinators have had their share of guest list problems. Right now though, we have the privilege of writing about guest list do’s and don’t’s, and perhaps, lessening the guest list woes we and our colleagues will encounter in the future.


1. Prepare your guest list early and allot time for your RSVP rounds.

Here’s a good timeline to follow:

5 months before your big day - work on your guest list as well as your invitation layout (so you have time for all the possible mistakes and mishaps of creating an invitation and you have time to distribute them later on)

2 months before your big day - you should be printing names on envelopes, writing seat allotments on your RSVP cards, and distributing them already (especially to those who live far & whose invitations need to be couriered)

Tipid Tip: Having lots of leeway between the distribution date and the actual wedding date lessens your courier expense because you won’t need to mail and ask for expedited service. You can go with 2 weeks to even 1 month just so you don’t pay too much to mail the invitations.

1 month before your big day: Give your guest list with contact numbers to your coordinator. It helps to mark out if the guest is a relative, a friend, a boss, etc. It also helps to point out if said guest doesn’t know how to text; thus, must be given a call. If a certain guest’s presence can be confirmed through one person, point it out as well.

Use excel, have 5 columns with names, seat allotment, contact details, and the person’s relation to you as bride and groom. Color code the groupings.

Tipid Tip 2: Write exact names of invitees, so that you won’t be affected by relatives or friends who will reserve more seats than the given allotment. For instance, if Tita Joanne Dela Cruz said she will reserve for 6, and her allotment is for 2, the coordinator can ask her for the names. Sometimes, there are no names at all, the guest just wants to reserve for people she might bring. Other times, the names correspond with other names in the guest list so the coordinator gets instant confirmation already, i.e. it becomes a time saver.

2 to 3 weeks before your big day: Coordinators will initiate the sending of SMS. Usually, they do around 2 rounds before they end up calling those who are refusing to respond. Then they send you the report 1 week before your big day so you can give table assignments.

Tipid Tip 3: Have your coordinator do the RSVP calls and texts. It will save you money because guests are less likely to admit to the bride and groom that they aren’t going. The coordinator is a third party so they won’t feel as bad about sending their regrets. That way, you don’t need to add to your original allotment on your caterer’s contract simply because you have a realistic picture of who is coming.

2. When you get your RSVP report, please start grouping the guests into tables. It’s easy because you will just need to cut and paste rows as needed. This time you will also add another column for the table number.

Tip: Ask your caterer for the layout with tables as well as the seat allotment per table (especially if you have a mix of round and square tables) a month before the big day. That way, the layout is surely with you by the time you need to assign tables.

Your table numbers for the groups of guests should correspond with their positions in the layout. Example: if the front table is table 4, then you might want to assign your immediate family to table 4.

3. Give your guest list to your coordinator 3 days before the big day. He or she will have to print copies in 2 different formats — by table and alphabetized by surname. 

Yes, that’s the reason why you need a separate column for the surname and another one for the first name of the guest. They usually approach by family so it’s easier to give the whole group their table number/s if all first names are grouped according to the same surname. If there is a problem with the number of seats per table, it will be easy to spot this in the per table list. Also, there are guests who approach the registration area to know who else is seated on their tables, so it’s easier to deal with them if there is a per table list.

Steps on how to sort names in your guest list:

Step 1: Separate your surnames from your first names. (2 different columns)

Step 2: Select all the rows with names and details.

Step 3: Click {DATA}, then {SORT}.

Step 4: In the window box, choose the surnames column. Then you will notice that all the surnames will be arranged alphabetically. All the details beside the surnames will also follow the arrangement of the surnames so you won’t worry about having jumbled up first names and table numbers.   

Having separate columns will help you as well if you will print escort cards. They need to be arranged alphabetically on the registration table. If you will opt to have a calligrapher handle the escort cards, they will still need an alphabetized list so when they give you the cards, these won’t be jumbled up. 

Below is a picture of escort cards on an actual registration table. You will notice they are flat. Why? Because they are easier to read for guests who are standing up and looking downwards. Tent cards are harder to read for guests since the table is low and they are standing up when looking for their names. They still need to take a step back to locate their names.

Oh! And don’t forget the seat map for your VIPs. The caterer and coordinator need to know who should be seated on seat 1, 2, etc. They will use your seat map to arrange the place cards for those seated at the VIP tables. Below is a sample, but please check with your caterer regarding the seat allotment per side of the long table. Some have extra charges for those who go beyond 5 or 6 seats per side. 


Just as we have do’s, we also have don’ts’. Let’s focus on giving guests a warm welcome at the registration area. In order to do that, we should avoid practices that would give rise to having long waiting lines.

What practices should you shun?

1. Avoid giving your coordinator a handwritten guest list. It will be difficult to read and for sure it won’t be alphabetized. Guests will have to wait as your coords decipher the handwriting and as they meet up with guests who don’t speak clearly enough or who are impatient about giving their names.

Note: It’s easier to edit a guest list that has been typed up — just cut and paste versus rewriting every time a new name crops up or every time someone sends in “attending” or “regrets”.

2. Avoid sending the guest list the night before or a few hours before the call time of the coordinator. They will need time to format and print. A coordinator who lacks sleep will not be as efficient as the one who slept enough.

Moreover, not all coordinators bring printers on the day. Not all hotels/preps venues have printers as well. It will just cost you more if you will pay 50 or more per page as you print at a hotel rather than have your coordinator print for free in his/her own office.

3. Avoid giving a list of groups with no table numbers. Coordinators do not know your family dynamics. They won’t know who is supposed to be in front and who can be seated at the back without your assistance as bride and groom. Please write the table numbers on the layout and the guest list. That way, they will correspond in terms of positioning guests correctly.

4. Avoid sending lists with nicknames. Most guests will be formal and give their surnames and first names at the registration table because you asked them to dress formally.

5. Avoid assigning more names to a table than the actual number it can accommodate. If it’s a 10-seater, please assign 10 names, at most 11. But not more than that.

6. Avoid concluding that parents will be willing to make their kids sit on their laps — a kid who can sit on his/her own has to be given a seat with parents. Since parents are dressed formally, they also expect to be treated formally, ie they won’t wrinkle their gowns, suits, and barongs by having their 3, 4, or 5-year-old kids sit on them for 2 hours. The kiddie table might not be a good idea if the kids are too small or too young to be on their own. The parents will not want to leave them there so the parents will still ask for chairs at their tables.

7. Avoid asking the coordinators to write the names of everyone on escort cards on the day of the event — first, they may not have time for it because they have other tasks they need to do for your preps timeline and second, they may not have a member who can write super legibly. It is still better to print these ahead of time with extra blank cards for those who will RSVP late. It’s easy to write on 10 cards versus around 200 or 300 cards.

We cited all these points and steps with the goal of helping couples prepare better for their respective big days. Please don’t hesitate to ask your coordinators as well if you have questions. It is always better for all coordinators to be bombarded with questions prior to the big day than to be faced with a lot of surprise problems on the day.


Ayie Contreras - Tuates

(She married Troy and had her very own #zaviman in 2008; then she gave birth to yet another baby, Imbitado Events last 2010. A multi-tasker, she serves as lead coordinator and in-house emcee.)


(W@Wie in 2009; married Emman and forayed into the world of weddings in 2010, and has since been blessed with two W@W Top 10 stints — first, as wedding planner in 2010 and second, as event host in 2013)

DIY Corner: Kusudama Flowers
July 11th, 2014

Kusudama Flowers

After looking at these flowers, you will most likely think of any of these: “it seems hard”, “difficult”,  and “takes too much time to make”. But let me tell you, it’s simply easy to do. A little bit of effort is needed though, but I’m sure it will be worth the effort. Even some W@Wies who did not plan to make DIYs for their wedding have done it anyway. All we need is a little push, drive, and some W@W love.

Here’s a step by step illustration. Let’s do it together!


(She was the head of the decor committee of the 2013 W@W Grand EB — handling over 20+ W@Wies who created the backdrops and DIYs all by themselves.)

69 J. Lucas Reyes - W@W Chat (repost)
July 10th, 2014

FYI: W@W Chat, is our wedding podcast first airing was July 2011; it went on until Episode 79 last October 2013. Yes, we just might bring it back, but for now enjoy our past episodes. We are randomly posting past episodes weekly, we asked listeners/ reader/ W@Wies/ SupplierFriends to pick their fave and write an intro. This one is by Aileen Ariola. Let us know which is your fave! ~W@W Team


FAVE EPISODE – J Lucas Reyes

“Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.” - David Alan Harvey

I’ve read these words before and they just so rightly encapsulate what I wanted in a photographer, at the time we were looking for one. “Photographer” is a word so loosely used nowadays — that whoever owns a DSLR camera, captures one or two workable photos, and can manipulate Adobe Photoshop — can be called and is a photographer. But I digress. Photography is an art of viewing moments and capturing how they felt — so that in the end, we are left with images that recreate our histories from the heart.

I remember distinctly booking J Lucas Reyes after “interviewing” by phone some handpicked photographers. I loved his work, his passion for the art was remarkable, and I felt so much at ease discussing ideas with him over a 30-minute long distance phone call. As an overseas bride, there were only so many things I can do to replace the possibility of meeting up with suppliers. Thank God for online forums and support groups.

Days after booking him, I scoured the internet for reviews, and stumbled upon this podcast from Abet and Benz Rana, founders of Weddings@Work. Of course, I listened to it — twice. And I knew then that how J sounded on the phone was as real as can be. Again, his passion in perfecting his craft came through — that capturing moments was not enough, it had to be perfect — so that each image would communicate exactly how each moment felt.

(W@Wie Guest Blogger)

69 J Lucas Reyes - W@W Chat
posted May 15, 2013

You may listen to the episode by clicking (play) on the embedded audio player above. You may also right-click this link to save the MP3 and transfer it to your phone, ipod, tablet, and the like. If you’d like to download previous episodes of W@W Chat, please go to iTunes and look for W@W Chat or click on the links of previous episodes. :)

W@Wparazzi 06: “Connection”
July 9th, 2014

W@Wparazzi, Marie Chua-Francisco – she is a W@Wie (member of the W@W eGroup) and she is our resident spy. She will post interesting stuff shared by W@Wies in our YahooGroup and FB Group. ~W@W Team


Once in a while we encounter a heartfelt-video and all we could say is “awwwwwww” in this Save-the-date video it will make you feel mixed emotions due to its one of a kind idea.

How many times have you encountered a star-studded Save the Date Video?  For me its the first.

With this speed-dating set-up its really hard who to chose from, each and everyone has different qualities, and oh my everyone is just very tempting. 

But sometimes there is just one person that would be stucked in your head and deep inside you want to know more about this person and you both know you clicked, you will start to make it happen.

(click image to go to video page)

We interviewed Guj of RedSheep and asked how the vid came about and here is his quick reply.

Guj: In a nutshell:  First, Dom told me, as we were planning their save the date (STD) that he’s good friends with Sam, Piolo etc.
We began the thinking process with the concept of Piolo jogging, Sam playing the guitar — basically each one doing his own thing
– and then dropping everything because they’re going to Dom & Katrina’s wedding.
Then, I thought about an alternative concept for them, focusing on how I can give equal exposure to all the celebrities
and considering as well that Dom is shy and doesn’t want a lot of air time for himself.
We also had logistic limitations given all their schedules.
All those factors + watching plenty of inspirational movies led us to come up with the speed dating concept.
This isn’t just for Dom & Katrina; I believe everyone can relate to this as well: “May mas maganda/pogi/mayaman o kung ano pa ma’ng napakagaling na katangian ka’ng makikita sa iba’t bang tao, pero bakit ka nauwi sa iyong kabiyak?”
(In your lifetime, you will meet someone more good-looking, richer, or whatever other superlative you can think of, but why did you end up with your significant other?)
The answer? Love, of course, and in a practical sense, your personal connection.
It’s not about looking for a perfect match either, you can be total opposites but still have a one-of-a-kind connection. 

You, Have you met your connection?  




Marie Chua-Francisco

(W@Wie since 2011, Married to Nich and a lovely momma to Bubba.)

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    this blog by Abet Benz Rana
    husband & wife tag team behind WeddingsAtWork.com (W@W).
    friends since '91 • married in '98
    built W@W & turned parents by '99
    been blogging here since 2004
    stuck with each other forever! ;)
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