Nearly three years since the pandemic practically vanished the bridal industry, grand weddings are joyous here again!
Gone are the family-only affairs that pushed through during what seemed like the strict and never-ending social distancing period for couples who couldn't rebook their special days or — understandably — would rather not wait back then.
But at this hopeful crossroads, ballrooms and events places are done dusting their well-appointed venues, suppliers are restaffing and restocking on bridal necessities and trinkets, string quartets are practicing, designers are designing — the point being — everyone is raring and ready to be part of a bride and groom's new beginning.
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The Sunday Times Magazine, therefore, rejoices with the incomparable Philippine Bridal Industry on its rebirth, bringing readers today – especially those in love and engaged--a complete report on the enchantingly successful bridal fairs that marched in and around the metro since that retched coronavirus wreaked havoc around the world.
Las Bodas en Las Casas
Heritage property Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar-Quezon City mounted a first when its "Las Bodas en Las Casas" bridal fair wonderfully unfolded on July 2 and 3.
On both days, guests enjoyed a variety of entertainment and raffle prizes while spotting good deals and special rates for on-the-spot booking for their wedding day.
"With discounts as high as P100,000, we already received bookings over the event with millions [of pesos] in value," Joren Estipona, Las Casas Quezon City operations manager, said exuberantly to The Sunday Times Magazine.
"We did not expect this reception since it's our first time holding such an event. But it turned out to be just wow!"
This heritage haven is tucked away somewhere along Roosevelt Avenue. Though still within Metro Manila, the property allows guests to unleash their inner wanderlust once there, as if they were transported to the 18th century.
With its rustic yet authentic charm, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar-Quezon City is perfect for intimate, classic, themed weddings. And yet, a couple needn't spend so much on décor because the place is enchanting as it is.
"This generation appreciates anything traditional, especially antique or timeless places and pieces. What we notice is that when they visit Las Casas in search of a wedding venue, they instantly feel something magical as we transport them to the Spanish era," Estipona related.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar-Quezon City has several event spaces couples can consider for their wedding. These are St. Joseph Chapel, Casa Juico's main function hall, The Plaza or The Garden.
"We're proud to say that here in Las Bodas, we are the only establishment that offers the complete wedding package — from the bachelor's party or despedida de soltera the night before the wedding, the wedding itself, the reception and the after-wedding party," the executive enthused.
"If you need a church, we have a licensed church here. So we really have everything here compared to any other venue."
Different menus at very affordable rates are available for reception depending on budget and guest size. The Intimate Wedding Package starts at P215,000 for 30 guests; the Classic Wedding Package at P475,000 for 100 guests; the Signature Wedding Package at P1.2 million for 150 guests; and the Grand Wedding Package starts at P3 million for 300 guests.
"At Las Casas Quezon City, we are delighted to create seamless celebrations that our future brides, grooms, and even their guests, can truly enjoy. Our team of experts is more than ready to assist couples bring their dream wedding to life.
"Each wedding celebrates a unique love story, and we want to provide them with a bespoke experience that will last a lifetime," Estipona finally said.
Marry Me at Marriott times 8
After a three-year hiatus, Marriott Hotel Manila's sought-after signature event, "Marry Me at Marriott," officially returned for its eighth edition.
Aptly titled "Infinite Moments," Cluster Director of Marketing Communications Archie Nicasio poignantly shared how the hotel is looking forward to add to the many happy brides and grooms the bridal fair has yielded through its first seven years.
"We are happy with the continued success of our annual wedding event--despite its unexpected break – and with this eighth edition comes our promise to make every Marry Me at Marriott even more exciting, with more innovations and fresh ideas on how our guests can celebrate their milestone with us," he said at the opening.
Presented by the award-winning travel program Marriott Bonvoy, 2022's Marry Me at Marriott naturally revolved around its trademark bridal fashion show. The designers spotlighted were Albert Andrada, Andrea Tetangco, Debbie Co, Happy Andrada, Jazel Sy, Joe San Antonio, Julianne Syjuco and Randy Ortiz, each sending out showstopping gowns on the runway.
Making the show more stunning, Marriot introduced a first by inviting six prominent event stylists to collaborate on a truly one-of-a-kind bridal fashion presentation. Besides coloring the runway with the color of the year, Very Peri, the blooms and other magical touches were courtesy of Flower House by Gary Dacanay Weddings and Events, Amantefleurs Event Styling by Julius Villamante, Blooms 2110 Event Styling by Allen and JP, Sabrosas Events and Talent Management by Elizabeth Palomares and Henry Reyes, Amelia Blossoms by Marinell Marcelo, and Jacqs Florals by Jacqueline Wong showcased their artistry and prowess in their own milestone booths.
Meanwhile, the hotel's celebrated culinary arts team, Meik "The Big Chef" Brammer and his team were excited to showcase their gastronomic expertise with dishes fit for all occasions. For couples who are into anniversary parties and gatherings, Chef Meik's Vol au vent of Pacific Salmon, Spinach and Roquefort, Roasted Beetroot, Turkish Feta Cheese and Candied Walnuts, Shrimp Al Aljillo on Spanish Toast with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Garlic with Pepper Relish. The highlight of the feast was the Lechon de Leche.
Ting Hun's Chinese dishes were likewise exquisite, with Vegetable Dumplings with Black Truffle and Wok Fry Tiger Prawns Station and desserts like Lychee Cremeux and Mandarin Orange Fruit among the spread.
More traditional menus were also up for savoring, such as US Angus Striploin Coated in Herb Crust with Mustard, Creamy horseradish, Pink Peppercorn, Sweet Corn hash, and Goose Liver Croquette.
For a sweet ending, a display of six towering intricately designed themed wedding cakes pulled every magical moment together, as only Marry Me at Marriot can.
It's 'Ever After' again at Hilton
Hilton Manila, a sophisticated urban oasis within Newport City, unveiled "Ever After, A Wedding Spectacle," featuring some of the country's foremost wedding professionals, stylists and suppliers. As a sidelight, it launched its "Pet-friendly Events" package along with the two-day fair on June 25 and 26.
"We are delighted to welcome all couples to the much-awaited return of 'Ever After,' where we have partnered with some of the wedding industry's best and brightest names. They don't just provide the services, but they provide a real opportunity for the customers to really relax and be able to make sure that they are professionals looking after their special day for them," enthused John Lucas, hotel general manager, in an interview.
"We also offer a unique 'pet-friendly' package that allows you to bring your furry friend on your most special day. That's really quite unique. The whole idea is an acknowledgment that pets are part of everyone's day-to-day life.
"Many people have pets. Sometimes they are treated like children, so how lovely to be able to have your pet featured in the event as well – maybe as a ring bearer, coming up on stage and just being involved in the event," he added.
In partnership with Kiss The Girl Events, Ever After featured: Open House: Weddings and Wedding Preparations Tour, the launch of "Pet-friendly Events Spaces" with Pet Photoshoot, Food Tasting, and the "Search for Hilton Manila's Pet Ambassadors."
New Executive Chef Ryan Hong also presented a mouth-watering selection of Western and Chinese Banquet Menus.
Among the leading and promising names from the country's bridal industry participating were Kutchie Zaldarriaga of Getting Married Philippines, Dave Sandoval, Amady Manila, Pose and Print, Team Benitez Photo, Manila Craft, Hearts and Bells, Cupcakes Bakery, Frigora Acoustic, Jo Rubio, and Boy Kastner Santos, among others.
Hilton Manila features a 545 sqm. pillarless ballroom with a six-meter crystal-encrusted, high ceiling that serves as an ideal backdrop to weddings, debuts and other milestone celebrations. The hotel also houses versatile indoor spaces with natural daylight and is fully equipped with the latest audiovisual innovations for more intimate gatherings.
The general manager made it a point to inform guests that even as the hotel is ready to make dreams come true for brides and grooms from hereon, they continue to observe stringent health and safety measures in line with local government guidelines and Hilton's own CleanStay initiative and holds the Department of Tourism "Safety Seal."