Supplier Ratings

July 27, 2011

More than a month after the wedding, I've finally found enough time to create our supplier ratings. Creating the supplier rating is a tradition for all w@w members. This is giving back to the online community that helped us enormously with the wedding preparations. Please understand that the ratings, feedback and opinions that I would be providing here are those that WE have experience during the course of wedding preparations and on the wedding day itself.

5 - Highest
1 - Lowest

Engagement Photographers: Lei and Randy Baytiong
Rating: 5
Price: FREE

It pays to have great and talented friends. Specially those who are more than willing to sharing their talents to you. :) We commission our friends to shoot our engagement photos last May 2010. Although we were only the 3rd couple that they've officially shoot, you won't be able to tell. And the great thing about friends shooting you is we're completely comfortable with them. The photos turned out great! You can check more photos here and here.

Church: Transfiguration Chapel of Caleruega
Rating: 5
Price: Php15,000 (inclusions: sound sytem, organ and sacristan)

The Transfiguration Chapel of Caleruega is one of the most sought-after church in the country. I've honestly been there only once before booking the church. Transactions with them are easy. As an overseas bride, I mainly rely on email correspondence when booking and inquiring for suppliers. The Caleruega girls reply to emails immediately, thus dealing with them is a breeze. They are lenient to overseas couples too, allowing us to complete our documents only days before the wedding. They were not strict with the bridal music, we were allowed to play any music that we wish to for the entourage and bridal march.

Although the chapel is quite small, it is perfect as I want it to be. It was filled with people that we wanted to be there for our wedding day. Come wedding day, they also allow the doors to be close for the dreamy close-door effect. Oooh, and they also allowed flower petals to fall on me before making my bridal march! :)

Officiating Priest: Fr. Allen De Guzman
Rating: 5+
Rate: Stipend Only

If you're having your wedding at Caleruega, you HAVE to get Fr.Allen as your officiating priest. We love him.  Although it took a while for us to confirmed his availability for our wedding, it was sooo worth the wait. We provided our love story to him prior to the church ceremony, and he used that information to customized the homily based on our love story! You would have thought that he personally knew us. The homily is soo beautiful and I can honestly remember it up to this day. He told us the ingredients of what makes a lasting marriage and that we are first and foremost husband and wife before father and mother. It is that love which creates a a happy and loving family. 

Church Choir: Our Lady of Lourdes Choir (OLLP Choir)
Rating: 3
Price: Php3,500 +1,300 transportation fee

I know what I already want for the entourage march and my bridal march. Instrumental songs of U2's All I Want is You and Beatle's Here, There and Everywhere, respectively. I know I am able to find those online, why makes is why church music is not a huge deal for me. They would only sing the liturgical songs and at the recessional. 

There had been some confusion getting on the correct contact person in our experience. My mother went to the OLLP church to inquire about the choir, one of the girls at their office gave us a contact name and a phone number. This person that we've inquired with (male, I forgot the name) is very pushy and kept on insisting that they cannot just perform for the church but we need to book them for the reception music as well! Which is rather peculiar! And I meant it when I said that they are pushy and insisting. Parang hindi taong simbahan! So what I did, I searched at w@w for previous brides who got OLLP choir for their church music. There I got Ms. Dories information and contact details. We inquired and this time it feels that the information that we're getting is the right one.

Our only communication with Ms. Dories is via email and sms. They provided us with a song list for our options which is rather few and an additional fee will be incurred for songs that was not on the list. Ms.Dories takes a long time to reply to emails and sms. You would have to call her most of the time to verify if she gets the information that we sent.

Come wedding day, I didn't get to pay much attention to them, so I would say their performance was ordinary. Good points for them, they are on-time.

Reception Venue: Moon Garden Tagaytay
Rating: 3
Price: Php40,000 + 2,000 for parking and bathroom attendants (inclusion: small sound system with mike, 1 overnight stay at one of the cottages, next day brunch)

Finding the reception venue had been quite a challenge for me. Being overseas, I can only rely on pictures and feedback on finding the right venue. After a couple of oculars by my parents, they're convinced that Moon Garden is the best place for the venue that I have in mind. We booked them March 2010 and I was able to personally visit the place Aug 2010. At both times, we were never told that there are changes that's gonna happen to the venue. I didn't know if the AE didn't knew this information at the time or they just chose to keep it from us. So imagine my disappointment when we went there last June 03 and the place was reduced to half of what it previously was. Apparently, some part of the garden was only leased and it was taken back by the owner. The previous parking lot and the garden leading to the pavilion was now closed and they had to create another entrance and parking space.

Another thing that irked me is the additional 2,000 that I've paid for. In the contract (if you can call a simple email a contract), it was optional. However, when we were paying the full amount (Php40,000) a month before the wedding, they said that the 2,000 needs to be paid!

Initially, we decided not to use the complimentary overnight stay on the night of the wedding and used it for another day. However, a few days before the wedding, we thought it would just be best to use the free accommodation on the wedding night. We texted the owner and the AE to inform them. Come wedding day after the church ceremony, I was informed by Ate Pia (one of the OTD member) that Moon Garden was declining to provide us with a room. They are claiming that I texted them that we won't be needing the it!!! It was Ms. Chi of OAB that was coordinating with them at the time. I guess they were able to straighten out the mess since we have a room when we arrived at Moon Garden.

And then the morning after the wedding, I asked the one of the waitress about brunch. Like what options do we have etc. She informed me that it's not complimentary! Good thing I have a copy of the contract in my email, I showed it to her and she went back to the office and I guess asked the owner. She came back and said that they'll provide us food anyway. Hayyyy. Just too much miscommunication between the owner and the people working there.

Also, I wish they informed us of the massive amount of gamo-gamo that are present at night. There were tons. I know they are better than mosquitoes but still. Good thing they didn't show on most photos.

Caterer: K by Cunanan
Rating: 4.5
Rate: Php 690/head + 10% service tax
Php250/head - kiddie meal
Php250/ head - supplier meal
Php15,000 - OTT fee

K by Cunanan is the only caterer that we've inquired with. After seeing their set-up photos and read food reviews from past brides, I'm sold. We first met Lace on our final food-tasting and I liked her immediately. She would answer all my questions tirelessly whenever I send her an email. :) 

Come wedding day, the guests love the food and of course the setup. I loved the setup too! It was simple yet stylish. All of the details that Lace and I have discussed were executed. We didn't get to finish our food though. It was only in the pictures that I was able to see the food that were served. They all looked mouth-watering. There were a lot of left-over food, they were packed properly and were given to both families.

A negative thing that I would have to point out, the package that we got initially have bread included, however when we were finalizing the menu, we were told that there would be a price increase if we'd still include the bread. An additional 20/head. With the appetizers and all the entree in mind, we skipped the bread, but still it would have been nice if it was all included on the initially discussed package.

Cake: Joy San Gabriel
Rating: 5
Price Range: Php 13,000 (inclusions: 6 inch fondant cutting cake, 60 miniature cakes and 4 pcs 6 inch cakes, silver boxes for mini cakes)
Php 3,800 OOT Fee
Php 5,000 Cake Stand deposit

We love our cake! My parents gave this to us as gifts. :) My mother was sold on them when they went for cake-tasting with Ms. Joy. It was my mother who dealt with her and she's all praises. Our cutting cake is very yummy and all the miniature cakes are divine. The guests who were able to get cakes as favors were soo happy. After the wedding, I even get messages asking me if we still cakes at home! They want more.

Ms. Joy also surprised us with a free 6" cake when my parents returned the cake stand at her place. That was really so nice of her. :)

Emcee: Sweet Casuyon
Rating: 5
Price Range: Php8,000-10,000 (inclusions: OOT fee)

Sweet is very much her namesake...sweet! :) I initially didn't want to splurge on an emcee but after getting the w@wies opinion, I realized that an emcee will play a crucial part on the reception. She will basically set the tone for the party and Sweet did not disappoint! She's very articulate, has good grammar and nice to guests! She's very down to earth as well. 

She and I met a couple of days before the wedding to go over the reception program. She gave me suggestions on the our grand entrance, first dance, games and etc. The songs that I've sent to her (via email) were followed for the grand entrance and first dance! We had a father-daughter and mother-son too! She have worked with the Lights and Sounds supplier that we've got before, and I think that's a big plus since she pretty much knows how to work with them. Oh, and she answers text and emails quick! :)

Lights and Sounds: Rejectkrew
Rating: 4.5
Price: Php6,000
Additional: Php6,000 OOT fee

Rejectkrew is w@w's supplier of the year, and in my opinion they deserve to be. Elmer is very very courteous. Be it via email or sms, magalang talaga. He's very honest too, he explained to me that the reason why the OOT fee is as much as the rate, they would need a truck to haul their equipment going to Tagaytay. He even advised me to look for local suppliers in Tagaytay, as that may be cheaper than what it would cost me to get them. And that itself made me book him.

Although it was his team B that was available on our day, everything is seamless. The lights are perfect and the sound/music is good. I would have given him a perfect 5 if not for the delay of his sms replies, but as a w@wie, I know how busy he is. I called him a couple of days before the wedding to remind him about our wedding. He actually remembered me! You see, I've never provided a down payment. I asked for his bank details before, but he said that we can just pay them on the wedding day itself. I was never worried about them not showing up, I know that he and his team will do great at the wedding and they did.

Projector: Metrotech
Rate: 5
Price Range: 2,500+

Our venue had a rectangular layout, and we needed two projectors to make sure that all guests will be able to watch the presentations. I didn't know the exact details and specifications (lumens etc.) of the ones that our coordinator ordered for us. When we booked our OTD, we can choose a freebie and we chose the projector. Since we needed two, I paid for the other one. I remember paying only Php2500 for it and it hat already includes the OOT fee. 

Photo: RAW (Really Awesome Weddings)
Rate: 5+
Price: Php20,000-25,000 (Service Only Package)
Additional: Php2,500 OOT fee

We booked RAW early 2010. I've been checking their online portfolio for some time and I love their shots. We wanted vibrant photos and that's what RAW is. All our transactions with them before the wedding are via email and sms, and they do answer questions quickly! 

Come wedding day, they are the first one that came after our OTD. They were at the hotel before 9am! Puy, Chie, Ed and AJ were really really nice! I love all the photos. What I love about them, specially Puy is that most of the shots are not posed. It's like candid shots although it's not! :) I felt very relaxed while they were shooting.

If you need proof on how awesome they are, all the photos I've posted here were from them except for the the engagement photos. :) Again, here is the link to our set from their website. Also, we got the DVDs of our photos less than 3 weeks after the wedding.

Rate: 4
Price: Php20,000-25,000 (SDE+ raw video)
Additional: Php3,500 OOT fee

Same with our photo team, all communications were done with them via email and sms. I'm contented enough with our SDE, which you can watch here. However, I was able to see quite a difference with the photo and video team. The video team is quite traditional with their shots. The poses that they asked as to do, I've seen countless times before. I haven't got our raw videos yet. I will have it edited to another team most probably.

Back-up Photographer: RJT Photography
Rate: 1
Price: Free

This supplier didn't show up. Granted that it was a free shoot for them, we should have at least been given a notification that they're not gonna show up. Back story: I was one of the brides that emailed this group when they offered free coverage for weddings/engagement shoots. They replied and accepted coverage for our wedding. Then I saw a post in w@w that said that they can only cover weddings until March 2011 since they may be migrating to the US. I verified this info, Thet said to email her again a few months before our wedding date so that we can confirm if they can still accommodate us or if they've already left for US.

To cut the story short, I emailed March 2011 and Thet said that she can still cover our wedding! Great! She then asked if we have suppliers coming in from Manila, to carpool with them. I asked my OTD about this, if they can pick her up somewhere along the way to Tagaytay. They agreed and I emailed Thet about the pic-up schedule. She never replied. I told my OTD about them, so that they can basically deal with them, contact RTJ through phone and email. Never got any reply either. I can only imagine my rage had I paid for their services and then they didn't show up!

Bridal Gown: Demetrios
Rate: 5
Price Range: $1,100

I bought my gown here in the US on a sample sale. I got it at 40% off. Had it not been for the sale, I would not be able to afford it. I love my dress because it fit my like a glove and I feel gorgeous wearing it. It literally made me smile the first time I tried it on. ;)

Groom's Suit: Kenneth Cole/Perry Ellis
Rate: 5
Price: $200

We got Topher's suit here in the US. This is the one item that we should have waited buying the last minute. Why? Because Topher lost weight and the suit doesn't fit him as it did before. It's a little loose than we preferred it to be. I would still give it a 5 since it's not the suit's fault that he lost weight. Haha

Entourage Couturier: Boy Kastner Santos
Rate: 5
Price: Php25,0000-30,000 (inclusions: MOB and MOG gowns, 2 Primary Sponsor gowns, MOH dress, 3 Secondary Sponsor dresses and 3 Flower Girl dresses)

We supplied the cloth for all the dresses except for the flower girls dresses. The main reason I pick Tito Boy for the entourage dresses is because of price and vicinity. I wanted a couturier near our place in Cavite because I know the number of trips it usually takes to finish an entourage dress. I wanted to spare my entourage the stress of commuting back and forth to Manila just for measurements and dress-fittings.

Tito Boy is a natural comedian. Any trip to his shop is a fun one. He sketched gowns for both MOB and MOG. And for our 2 principal sponsors too. I provided him pegs for the MOH, the 3 secondary sponsors and the flower girls. I have 2 entourage members that were overseas and Tito Boy would always remind me of those who haven't submitted their measurements yet. When everything is completed, all of them loved their dresses!

HMUA: Chichi Sotomil
Rate: 5+
Price: won at the w@w auction (inclusions bridal make-up, grooming for the groom and 2 heads)
Php4,000 - OOT fee
Php1,500/additional head

I booked a different supplier as my HMUA before winning the W@W Auction last Nov 2010. I am absolutely thankful that I've changed supplier. Ms. Chichi is soo nice work with. We didn't meet before for any trial make-up and yet she achieved the look that I wanted. I just told her that I want a fresh look with emphasis to the eyes! And she did it so well. She made all of us so pretty that day. She even stayed well after my church ceremony for my touch-up for the reception even though they were not technically paid for this gig, that's how nice she really is. I love her to bits!

I included a picture of my sister's make-up that day because I love her make-up too!

Entourage and Church Flowers: Yho-an's Flowershop
Rate: 5
Price: Php16,000-18,000
Inclusions: Entourage: bridal bouquet, 9 hand-tied bouquets for entourage, 3 pomanders for FGs,  10 boutonnieres for men
Church: 14 flowers in silver pails for pew, altar flowers, flowers for nuptial candles and unity candle, offertory flowers, bridal car flower, luminaries and flowers on the arch

I honestly didn't expect too much from Ate Yhoan. I've seen some of her works before, and it's not something that I would swoon over. She's not like one of the premier flower provider that you can just say, I want something like and do your magic on it. I have to provided her pegs of bouquets that I liked and asked her to used them as inspiration.

I love flowers like any other girl. I would have booked one of the go-to flower supplier for my bridal bouquet and the entourage but when I calculated the money that I would save if I would just get one supplier for both church and entourage, I faltered. I'd rather spend the difference on other things that we still need for the wedding. 

Ate Yhoan is very easy to talk. She's soft-spoken and very nice. We visited their house in Silang a few days before the wedding to discuss the details. I just explained to her the things that I wanted to see on the bouquets and on the church flowers. Our church is already pretty as it is, and I just want to accent it with simple flowers. I chose flowers on pails so that we can use them  over the reception venue too. And I am so pleased with the finished products! Which is why I'm giving her a perfect 5! :)

Coordinator: Once a Bride Weddings
Rating: 5+
Price: Php15,000

Once a Bride is headed by Chi Abarquez. She was a fellow w@wie before and still relatively new to the business when I booked them. By the time of our wedding, they already pros! Chi is very helpful, I remember a time when I haven't even booked her services, and yet she helped me in lowering down a rate of a prospective supplier. That made me decide that they are the team for me.

During the course of wedding preparations, I would always email Chi with wedding concerns  and she would always have an answer for me by end of the day. We would set online chats/conferences with the wedding planning, more frequently as the wedding day approaches. About a week before the wedding, we met at the reception venue since it will be their first wedding at Moon Garden. 

Come wedding day, I would say that they have meet my expectations as wedding coordinators. Although Chi is not physically there at our wedding (she was advised to bed rest by her OB), it didn't feel like she's not there. The whole team know their part and they've done it well. They were so dedicated with their tasks that I would always have to ask if they eat already. Special mention to Ate Pia, she was the one assigned to help throughout the day. As far as I'm concerned, Ate Pia did a wonderful job. She's there all the time and made me feel relaxed on timed when I'm freaking out. 

There was an incident about one of the SS dresses which they've helped without being told. They offered to fix it immediately. I'm all praises for this team. Even my guests and family are very happy and satisfied with their performance. Ang galing-galing daw!

Photobooth: Partypics
Rating: 5
Price: Php7,000 (3 hours Standard Package)
Additional: Php2,000 OOT fee

I was not planning on getting a photo booth initially, but when I saw posts from w@w about an ongoing promo from Partypics, I can't help but grab the opportunity. Ms. Nadia is very easy to deal with, transactions with them are really smooth. A few weeks before the wedding, I send her an email about the layout and the backdrop. Asked them what materials they needed. They responded immediately and gave good instructions on what materials they needed etc. About 3 days after I submitted all the information/materials, they replied with 3 layout options! It was that easy.
On our wedding day, I would say that getting the photo booth had been a good idea. It kept the guests busy while waiting for us to arrive. They had tons on fun with it. The kuyas manning the booth was also very courteous and they stayed after the party, making sure that me and Topher get have pictures on the booth. The rest of the photos can be viewed here.

Hotel Preps: Taal Vista Hotel
Rating: 4.5
Price: Php16,000 ( 1 executive suite and 1 deluxe bedroom)

Taal Vista is expensive! We almost didn't book our rooms here because of their rate. However, this is the hotel nearest to Caleruega with the best amenities around the area. We were suppose to just get 2 deluxe room but my OTD advised me against getting a deluxe room, knowing how many people will be there come wedding day for the preparations.

The rooms are big, and I love our bathroom at the executive suite! Services are prompt and the people at the concierge are kind enough to give us discounts on the published rates! Also they allowed us to bring in food and they've extended the check-out time for us until 2pm the following day. :) The only reason why I didn't give them a perfect score, for the rate of the executive suite, the complimentary buffet breakfast should be for more than 2 persons. It's a shame that only Topher and I enjoyed the sumptuous breakfast and our families settled for McDonalds. 

Coffee: Starbucks Tagaytay
Rating: 5
Price: Php14,000 (Doppio package: 80 cups frappe and 40 cups brewed coffee)

Again, this is a gift from my parents! :) With regards to the package, I think it would have been better if we just got the package with the frappe coffee and got the brewed coffee from our caterer. We requested them to use the glasses  from our caterer to extend the number of frappe to not just 80 and they agreed. They are really easy to talk and deal with. Our guests loved this! 

DIY Projects
Rating: 5++
Price: time, effort, sweat and tears

As most of you may have known, we have a couple of DIY projects for our wedding. Starting with our STD, to our Star-ry Invitations, wedding cord, monograms, escort cards, misalette and candles. The escort cards, misalette and candles were finished the last few days before the wedding day. Talk about cramming!

Wedding paraphernalia and accessories
Ring Bearer Bowls from Paloma's Nest: $58 including shipping
Wooden Chest: bought from Divisoria
Unity Coins: won from the w@w auction Php1,100
Bible: Php200-300 

Earrings: something borrowed
Shoes: Nine West
Bangle: something borrowed
Rings: Zales

Shoes: Calvin Klein
Suit: Kenneth Cole/Perry Ellis
Belt: Perry Ellis
Socks: Banana Rep
Watch: Tommy Hilfiger

Wedding Realizations

Although we've allotted more than 18 months for wedding preparations, there are times that it's still not enough to complete everything specially all the DIY projects that we''ve planned. And then I have one word before booking any suppliers: RESEARCH. I've been lucky that I've been a member of w@w (lurker mode) before booking any suppliers. All the posts and ratings helped a lot!

Make sure that you love your photo and video team. And that they jive with what you wanted. I love our photo team. LOVE them. However, had I been given the chance to do it all over, maybe I would have chosen a different video team. Not that they didn't do great, they did. It's just that their style is really not in sync with what I have in mind. If you can't afford the photo album and the edited video, get the services package for now. You would have tons of time after the wedding to pick and choose on how to do your album and video. The important thing is the quality of the pics and videos that you would be receiving after the wedding.

If you've booked your wedding on the month of June onwards, expect rain and be ready for it. We're sooo lucky that it didn't rain on our wedding day, if it did, it would sure mess a lot of things. God is really good to us. Always have a back-up plan if Plan A didn't work. 

Expect the unexpected. I remember reading about a bride that walked going to church in Tagaytay a few months ago. They didn't expect ala tour de france type of event on their wedding day. Almost the same thing happened to us. There were road constructions on the very day of our wedding. DPWH closed one lane of the street and traffic was stop and go. Traffic was unbelievable! If we didn't asserted ourselves and counter-flowed the traffic, maybe I would be walking all the way to the church too.

Believe and have faith in your suppliers. They are professionals at what they do. There's a reason why you hired them. The wedding day itself is not even 24 hours, it will be over before you know it. Enjoy every moment, smile and be happy. It will show in the pictures, I promise.

Last but the least, don't stress over the guest list. This is one piece of advice I could have used before the wedding. Our guest list caused me the greatest stress! With the guest list comes that seat assignment and escort card. Pray that your seat assignment will be followed and that invited guests will come when they said they will. If not, let go. Your OTD can handle it for you.

Thank you for reading this rather long post! ;) Enjoy the preps. 


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