But I have become too preoccupied with life, a toddler, the baby, breastfeeding, and being a wife to ever have time to sit down and chatter away. I find that sad though as writing used to be such an outlet for me. And not being able to write could be a sign of a tired and weary soul. Or maybe just pure laziness or whatever.
It's a bonus factor too that I can easily just look back and read my entry and be reminded of how lovely the day was. And that is what March 10, 2013 was all about. Love. Love overflowing.
Let me tell you about the day through pictures. Also, I'll try to be as detailed as I can to help out mommies out there trying to research about the suppliers below.
1) Newborn Photography: Nice Print
Got this via ensogo deal. Package I think is originally 4k but only paid about 1.5k. It includes numerous prints. There was even one large print with frame. They also gave us all the soft copies on the spot and the edited pictures three days later. Eli our first born had his newborn pictures taken by Stork Studio. I can tell you now that there's a difference given that newborn photography naman talaga ang specialty ng Stork Studio. Truly, there's a reason why almost triple the price ang Stork Studio. So for me, to compare Nice Print sa Stork Studio would be unfair. Ibang league sila e. Although, I am fairly satisfied naman with Nice Print. I did not expect ng sobrang bongga and I got what I paid for. Plus, cute naman si baby so carry na. Haha! So advice lang, if gusto nyo talaga ng truly bongga and willing naman mag shell out ng extra bucks go for Stork Studio. However, if you just want a simple picture, no frills, with decent editing and prints okay na ang Nice Print.
2) Baptismal Ceremony Venue: Sta. Clara de Montefalco
Initially I was having reservations if I will book this church because they do not offer special baptism. I tried and tried to convince the persons on the booking department to allow us to have a special baptism but di gumana ang aking convincing powers. I really wanted to have the baptism at this church because this is our parish church, this is where we hear mass every Sunday, plus it's only 5 minutes away from our condo's clubhouse where we will have our reception. So goodbye na sa kaartehan and we decided to just book to have our baptismal rites here. The seminar started at around 10:10am and ended an hour after. It was held sa basement ng simbahan. Super init! So make sure you bring pamaypay, or electric fan kung carry nyo haha. After that, the baptismal rites were held na at the actual church. Although there were 19 babies na bibinyagan (ang dami!), the entire service did not last very long. The cost is just very minimal (sorry I forgot na how much) and I liked that there was a free white over garment na and candles for the parents and godparents. The candles are huge ha. So overall I am quite happy we decided to have the ceremony here instead. For one, di na kami lumayo and the church was lovely. See below.
3) Reception Venue: Riverfront Residences Clubhouse Function Hall
No brainer ang decision na ito because for one we live here hehe. It was so convenient for us to choose this as our venue. I decided against this being our venue for Eli's rockstar party because I figured it is hard to dress up the venue to suit the theme. However now, since it is just a baptism party theres not much tweaking needed for the venue. The function hall is quite spacious, has a lot of natural light, and cozy enough to make our guests feel comfortable. Super sakto lang sya for the occasion and our number of guests (about 120). Anything more than 150 siguro would be masikip na. There might be a different cost if you are not a resident. If you are considering this to be your venue, just call our PMO to inquire. I did not even dress up the venue anymore but overall it still looked great. :)
3) Catering: Verleo
One's food provider will make or break an event. That's why super na OC ako sa paghahanap ng caterer with good feedback but is still affordable. There were many positive feedbacks kay Verleo so I decided to give them a try. I had my menu custom made: Japanese fried rice, Korean chapchae, ox tongue steak, fish fillet with asparagus & XO sauce, mixed vegetables, sushi bar, and a halo halo station. For the kids: baked spaghetti, chicken lollipops, and plain rice. I shall not reveal the price however, I can tell you now that it was very, very reasonable. Tasted the food myself (liked the rice, chapchae, and baked spag the most) and also based sa feedback ng guests they told me that the food was great. Although for me the mixed vegetables was a bit bland so I suggest get another viand for your veggies instead. We also bought additional food: laing and lechon. There was no corkage fee. The waiters (especially the head waiter) were very attentive to the guests needs. Also ang galing nila ha, imagine I only paid for 100 heads and more than 130 guests came (wala ng nag a-R-SVP iilan lang! okay, moving on. happy naman talaga ako that many people came) plus the crew pa of my other suppliers and everyone was still able to eat. There were some leftovers pa which they packed. They rightfully deserve the positive buzz they are getting. Kudos Verleo! (Tip lang: wag mag rely sa RSVP, in our case kahit in the end may leftovers pa medyo stress parin na baka maubusan ng food. In my opinion, mas okay na sobra kesa kulang. Buti nalang we had jumbo lechon and laing. If not for those baka nagkulang na food. You can also bring extra 1.5 softdrinks which they will serve on top of the ones that is included sa package. Bumili kme ng extra cases of variety of softdrinks kaso we forgot ibaba sa kotse. Fail. Amp! Hehe.)
4) Souvenirs for godparents: St. Paul's
I decided to buy simple trinklets for the godparents. I gave crystal rosaries for ninangs, and 3D Mother Mary frame for the ninongs. Just a little something to let them know that we truly appreciate them for being part of our lives. The wrapping was lovingly made by yours truly. #andamingoras :D
5) Souvenirs for guests: Flowers of Hope for Jewelyn
I decided to get my souvenir from tatay Rolando after reading mommy Neva's blog post. This made the souvenirs extra special in my opinion. Read up about Jewelyn and I hope her story will inspire you as well.
6) Mobile Studio: Picture!
Ayan masyadong direct to the point ang kanilang company name: Picture! Mobile Studio. Hehe. We originally booked another supplier for our photobooth. However, we attended a friend's wedding last Feb 09. Kakaiba ang set up may kama at higa higa factor. Also we liked the quality of the printed pictures (walang pores!). After much consideration (and me pleading to the husband na pumayag sya), I decided to blow off the deposit I originally made for another photobooth and book these guys instead. I made the right call! :D Effort naman talaga, imagine they brought so many props (bed, crib, a granny chair plus many more). And in fairness it was something fairly new. Every party I've been to has photobooth na (medyo may umay factor na ng slight: sorry no offense meant). I'm sure mauuso na rin itong mobile studio eventually so I'm happy our guests got to experience it while medyo bago-bago pa sya. I highly recommend them super for a different kind of experience. Charina is very professional and easy to talk to. She's very receptive of my ideas and suggestions while giving also her expert opinion. They really captured the look I was going for based on the peg that I sent them. Good job to this team!
7) Candy Buffet: SweetyKs
Tita Kate made Sam's candy buffet. It was so lovingly made. The details were quite awesome. She followed my color scheme to a T. Everyone kept coming back for the sweet stuff. Kate is just starting with her business but I am sure she will go a long way judging by how great she delivered during Sam's baptism.
8) Sound System: Bluehive Lights and Sounds
I realized I had no picture of these guys. Very reasonable price. Equipments and song selections were up to date. Jason was a little bit missing in action the day before as he failed to reply to my texts. Understandable naman because they had an event pala the night before. Medyo makulit lang talaga ako when it comes to reminding my suppliers. I suggest there's no harm in triple checking your suppliers (it pays to be OC and makulit).
9) Cake: Estrel's Caramel Cakes
This cake was ninong Keith and tita Cookie's gift to Sammy. Estrel's happens to be one of my favorite cakes in the whole wide world. It's not so sweet. For me eto ang parang J.Co ng cakes hehe. Yun nga lang they only do pre-order and pick up. During holidays (Christmas, Mother's Day, etc.) I suggest order at least a week or two in advance. Sometimes they don't accept orders na pag sobrang dami na ang naka order plus always busy ang kanilang phonelines (sila na ang mabenta). Notice nyo rin sa ASAP tuwing meron artistang may birthday sure yun meron Estrel's. Tee hee. Sila na! :)
9) 2nd Cake: 16th Heaven
Our second cake is also a gift, this time from tita Yeda. She makes delicious, beautiful, and most importantly affordable theme cakes. Check out her FB site.
10) Invitations and Thank You Card: Storybook.ph
Initially I contacted SirioPrints because they were the ones that printed Eli's invitations before. It is so easy to transact with them. When I texted the number of SirioPrints I have, they said na Storybook.Ph na sila. Eto subok ko na talaga to. Even though, they are a bit more expensive than other suppliers I canvassed I decided to go for them kasi konti lang naman difference plus sure ko na di glossy yung paper na gagamitin nila. The paper is sturdy. Printing quality is great also. All communication was done via email lang, so very convenient.
11) Co-organizers, ushers, hosts, etc.: Team Sammy
To get rid of my initial post partum blues, I immersed myself in planning Sam's baptismal party. I gave birth Dec 29 and by 2nd week of January I have booked almost all my suppliers already (excited much). Last minute into the preparation, I realized I wanted it to be more organized as in with seating arrangement, programs, the works. Everything would not be as smooth if not for my friend Dianne, Kate, and the friends of my sister (they call themselves Magic4, artista ata sila. chos). Ninong Keith and tita Cookie were the hosts. Ethel was in charge of our reception. Tin and Cha were the ushers, and they were also in charge of the mobile studio and buffet queuing. Kate, aside from supplying the candy buffet, was also overseeing the set up. Dianne was in charge of the overall program and the details that I might have overlooked. Love ko sila, they really helped a lot.
Tip: It really pays to be OC. Hire trusted suppliers. Read up feedback from blogs, forums, etc. Be very clear what you want out of your suppliers. I decided to print coloring pages for the kids so they have something to do as it could get pretty boring for them. Kahit masakit sa ulo it pays to have a general seating arrangement so that hindi magulo for the guests. Lastly and most importantly, be nice to your providers especially the waiters. If you asikaso them they will asikaso your guests back. I ordered Jollibee breakfast for them since 7:30am pang nag se-set up na sila for our lunch reception. Make sure you have extra water/beverages for them. Give them tips if they did a good job.
I am happy with how everything turned out. We are super touched by everyone who came. Until now more than a week after I can't help but still smile when I look back.
Welcome to the Christian world to our dear Sammy! We love you very very much our sweet sweet baby. :)