Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What To Wear?

My wonderful sister-in-law Kim gave me a shout on the phone from NY today, asking if I could send pegs of what I wanted her and my other sisters to wear to the wedding. Figured I might as well share what I sent her with all the ladies!

Attire for the Chicas:
Printed, flowy, mid-length or maxi dresses in deep/dark reds, blues, purples, oranges + black/white
Sandals also highly recommended; the chapel is on a hill (i.e., lots of uphill steps), and the reception is in a garden, so high heels will be a hindrance (but what do I know? I only have one pair...). Hope this helps!

Feel free to ask any other questions! Also, just a reminder - the wedding is in Tagaytay, so for the non(winter)-seasoned New Yorker, it may get a little chilly. Shawls/cardigans suggested! ;)


Monday, December 29, 2008

Entry 4: Progress

1. The Rajo Laurel has finished designing my dress. It took about 34 seconds the first time, and after I changed my mind about material, 27 seconds the second time. The rest of the team? Hair and make up: Jing Monis. Portraits: Raymund Isaac. The benefits of partnering up with someone you've worked with for the last 12 years = ahhhh. So so priceless.

2. After we came to the realization that the big Manila wedding, and the whole Boracay thing was not what we wanted, Banj sat me down, and asked "What did you always dream of?". I told him a small, simple, but meaningful ceremony, and a laid back and fun reception. I kept saying "Mamma Mia minus the ABBA music". He asked me where I wanted it, and I told him there was this chapel in Tagaytay/Batangas called Caleruega, that I had my heart set on for years.

He said let's do it.
I was elated.
So I called.
March 3 was booked.


But I had showed him a reception venue online [Hacienda Isabella] which was in the same area, that he wanted to see in person. So we made the drive, with the intentions of looking for another church in the vicinity.

En route to Hacienda Isabella:

San Antonio de Padua Quasi Parish Church -
Cute, quaint, totally did not feel right.
I pretended to take pictures, but knew in my gut that if we did it there, I'd be forcing myself to justify why I liked it. At that point I realized that if I did it anywhere other than Caleruega, I'd probably feel the same way. I felt sick, but was determined to be optimistic. We got back in the car.

Instead of proceeding straight to Hacienda, Banj said "Let's stop by Caleruega anyway", which I retorted with a "Why, so you can see how perfect it is, and we can rub it in?".

He shrugged.
We drove.
We arrived.
It was beautiful.
And available on March 3.

Wow. Talk about stars aligning.
Yeeeeeeeeee boy ;)

[3:00PM - 03.03.09 - been civilly married for 3 years, Kaya's 3 years old, John Starks' number is 3, etc. etc.]

Made the down payment on the spot, and after a bit of childish running up and down the stairs, took a look at the view from part of the grounds, and for the first time, actually felt...well, bridal.

Reception venue - Hacienda Isabella:
Crossing my fingers that Banj would like it, we pulled up.
A little surprised to see an American kid named Jasper approach us. Nice ass dude. Went on to show us the grounds, and I already knew B was hooked.

How hooked?

We got back in the car:
"We can't just stay there one night."
"We should have everyone come spend the night Monday night, and stay until Wednesday night"
"Did you see that pool?"
"Wow. That place was dope."
"We really can't just stay one night."

3. We are still in the process of getting in touch with all our prospective Ninongs and Ninangs. There are 10 on our list. I've asked two of them. Let's keep score, shall we? Lol. S- 2, B - 0.

4. Sent in the text for the invitations yesterday. The people that did the Steak website are doing them. Interested to see what they come up with ;)

5. Have to drive to Sta. Clara de Montefalco in Pasay, and San Miguel in Malacanang to get original copies of my Baptismal and Confirmation Certificates. Thinking about making the trip worthwhile and going to my first ever Confession, which leads to my First Communion. Easier said than done.

6. Waiting for Erica to get back from Australia so we can round up Pam and Bea and do a brainstorming session on the bridesmaids dresses and hair/make up look.

7. "Wedding CE as of Dec 28.xls" and "Wedding Guest List.xlsb"
These are the two documents on my computer that I need to take a deep breath before I open. Dreams don't come cheap, and the balls to cut people off the invite list don't either.

8. On that note, we're doing a party at a club back in Manila on Thursday night, just so we can still celebrate with all the people that we couldn't squeeze into the 150 person cut off for the out of town reception.

9. Deliberating on when to start with the flowers/reception decor and set up/giveaway stuff. Whenever I get my act together (possibly after the meeting with Hacienda Isabella), I'll grab my Manila-present bridesmaids, along with Miss Tristan Fernandez-Cablay, Nats "Please Give Me Something To Do" Calinawan, and hopefully the Queen Bee, Ferdi Salvador, to head up to Hacienda for lunch and a brainstorming session.

10. Banj has no idea what he, or his groomsmen, are wearing. I'm deciding to not get involved on this one :)

11. Artstrong has lovingly obliged to provide dinner music for the reception. You don't even know how happy that makes us! If you haven't heard his solo keyboard old school R&B set, you're in for something truly special.

12. Still no DJ, simply because we want everyone to be able to enjoy the party. Meh. We'll figure this one out later :)

13. Church music? Keeping it in house, baby. Banjo's ultra-talented family, headed by Tita Vicky Villarino and her awesome vocals, will be singing the hymns at Caleruega. Does she know that yet? I hope so. Um, Banj?

14. Spoke to some of B's cousins in New York last night, who were figuring out their dates and flights for March. Ted goes, "Yeah, we just need to get everything sorted. It's like, 2 months away."

2 months away.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Wedding Color Palette

Entry 3: Please Press The Reset Button...

Wedding Planning Status:

St. Alphonsus - scrapped
Boracay - scrapped


We're headed to Tagaytay next week to (finally) pinpoint church and reception venues, and put a downpayment on them, just so WE don't change our minds anymore :)

Truth is, the wedding started growing into this huge, obnoxious event, and Banj and I realized it was getting farther and farther from what we wanted in the first place. So, we spent a good two hours painfully x-ing people off our guest list, and are still around 140 people over our target amount. Sucks being popular ;)


Seriously though, we're toying with the idea of throwing a party the next day, back in Manila, so that those we couldn't include on our actual wedding list, still have an opportunity to be part of the wedding celebration somehow. We'll see. As you can probably tell, decisions are being made impulsively and on the fly here, so I'm not trying to have my words carved in stone just yet.

In any case, the reception venue we're eyeing is available on March 3, but the church I wanted is only available at 9am or 6pm that date. Looking for other options, thus the drive up to Tagaytay on December 8. I'll keep you posted! Pictures and what not, to follow.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Entry 2: Snail E-Mail

Decided to forego the gym this morning (hoping Banj could work out enough for the both of us) with the intentions of setting up our e-mail account with one wondrous mass of a contact list, so updates could be sent at the click of a button. Unfortunately, setting up the address book, is in itself, one huge process...

...so I'm lagging.

In any case, please add banjoandsarah@gmail.com to your address books, so things don't shoot straight to junk mail when I finally get my system (ahem), "working".

[You know what, if you want to be super sweet, you could even e-mail me at that address, so I could just click "Add Sender to Address Book". But that's only if you're nice.]

Other updates:

- Just so you know how inefficient we are, the church is still not booked. That's on Banj's to-do-list though, so if we end up doing the ceremony in an indoor basketball court somewhere, you know...don't trip.
- Finally got the specs in to the lady handling local packages. Should get prices within the week.
- A shout out to my girls...please erase any intentions of getting a male stripper for any sort of pre-wedding celebrations...I promise you, I will never speak to you again if I end up tied to some chair with some poor awkward Filipino dude doing a body roll move in front of me, to some whack Bryan Adams song.
- On the contrary, please throw my husband the illest bachelor party ever. (Min Yoo - you have my permission to go to whatever lengths to make it 'legendary'.)
- Banj's cousin Tony has a Travel Agent he's suggesting for heads flying in from New York. Here's his post:

[For those who are interested, I'd like to refer CC's cousin (Hazel - she is a travel agent) for airline tix because her prices were about $100-200 cheaper than Travelocrappity and those other sites. They should contact her. Also, if there is a group of 10 or more, she can add a $25 discount per ticket. Our dates are Feb 27 returning on March 13 at $1110 each inclusive of taxes.

Let me know ASAP
apmendoza3@gmail.com / 917.678.3579]


- We also sat down with two of my favorite artists, Rex & Joyce of Inksurge, the other day to brainstorm about invitation designs. After 5 minutes of trying to describe what we wanted, Banj and I just looked them, laughed, and said "just do your thing". They're the masterminds behind our Steak website [www.steakproductions.com], as well as the cover for the urban music compilation album we produced [The Urban Discovery Project], so let's just say, we know what they're capable of.
- I'm so not excited to compile addresses for mailing. But am so excited to finally get the invitations to you.
- I'm going to go add Banj to the list of authors for this blog now, so you can hear from him as well :)

Check ya later....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Entry 1: "Sarah, they need to book their tickets..."

Good morning (afternoon/evening) everyone, and welcome to our impromptu wedding planning blog - constructed perhaps more so for our sanity, than yours. Nonetheless, we hope to make this the one stop shop for all things related to the Meier-Albano nuptials, scheduled and "ready" for your presence on the 3rd of March, 2009, in the beautiful island nation of the Philippines.

So, simply because half of our guests are flying in to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime event (well, twice in a lifetime for us, since we've been married civilly for a little over 3 years now [yay, fast fact for those that didn't know!]), we realize that tickets need to be booked, and plans need to be made. That is why we spent the majority of yesterday evening in the company of our dear friend, Stephen Ku, who has somewhat involuntarily become the official/unofficial Boracay wedding guru.

Wait, Boracay?!

I sense some raised eyebrows.

Well, here's the deal - we're celebrating the Church wedding as a morning affair, in Manila at our parish church in Magallanes; St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori. There will be a relatively informal brunch afterwards, which serves as our opportunity to mingle with our guests, as well as do the cake cutting, picture taking, and give our wonderful parents a chance to say some tear-jerking words about how fabulous their children are, what an incomparable union this is, how blessed everyone is to know us, yada yada yada (and possibly in my mother-in-law's case, a reminder for everyone to please...please eat!).

Then, for those that have it in them to continue on this epic adventure, the journey shifts into high gear, as we bid adieu to Manille, and jet off to Boracay, landing on the paradise island just in time for a wonderful, laid back, carefree, sunset party on the roof-deck of The Tides, Boracay.

That being said, yes, I know - you need to book your tickets.

Stephen is extending his mighty hand to guarantee the most seamless and friend-discounted (we are after all, Filipino) travel plan and packages possible for the Manila-Boracay leg of the trip, so very soon, expect updated information on what Seair and The Tides are able to prepare for us in terms of airfare and accommodation prices.

For our out of country guests, we'll also be coordinating with Manila-based hotels, apartments, etc. to give you an option of where to lay your head whilst in the city.

So, in the meantime, if there's anything in particular you need addressed, do not hesitate to type it away as a comment on this blog. We'll try our best to answer individual e-mails in the event that they come, but it would be lovely if all questions, comments, and violent reactions in relation to our wedding could be consolidated on this site, so we can respond once, and hopefully simultaneously quell multiple other people's concerns. Besides, what a wonderful way to start introducing yourself to everyone else attending the ceremony/party!

A few things we'd like to clarify/note:

1. Single? We are not (entirely) responsible for playing Cupid for the duration of this celebration. Should we, however, feel you need to meet someone in particular, we may rig the bouquet toss and garter shebang, just to give you a nice kick start.

2. Sneakers are allegedly allowed at our wedding. Complete guide to dress code suggestions to follow later in this blog.

3. If anyone can sponsor Father Jim or Lester's ticket from New York to Manila, and back (optional), we'd love you forever (not that we don't already). Father Jim is an awesome and inspirational speaker, and Lester gives Banj nice haircuts. Both are very important to us.


We'll check back in again soon!


Countdown: 119 days to the wedding!