the big day: it’s all in the details (part 1)

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the Big Day

Warning: this is going to be a photo-heavy post. :)

A lot has happened since September 2012… I am finally a Mrs!

After poring over various wedding blogs and sites, going to bridal fairs both in Manila and London, exchanging countless emails with our planners/suppliers, painstakingly running on a treadmill Mon-Fri lunchtimes, agonizing over the guest list, and 20+ months of preparation, I was ready. Ready with a capital “R”.

I had my absolutely fun and xxx-rated hen night (a.k.a. bachelorette party) with a few girlfriends in Amsterdam in December and flew home in January slightly ahead of the Hubby, who could only fly in a week before the Big Day because of his post-grad classes.

Overall, our wedding day went beautifully. The Hubby and I couldn’t stop smiling. Everyone loved various different bits about it: the food, the reception venue, the church. I could feel the happy from each and every guest present, and I’m pretty sure the Hubby and I radiated happy back.

I’ll save my thoughts on our suppliers for another post. For today I’ll write about our details–which is essentially how we personalized “The Wedding” and made it our own. I won’t say details are essential to all weddings, regardless of what the stylemepretty-type blogs and pinterest boards say. All you really need for a memorable Big Day is you and your partner-to-be (and a judge!).

There is so much choice out there these days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. To focus our decision-making I thought it would be better for us to have a theme. We decided on a travel theme, which is our #1 absolute-top-favorite-thing-to-do-together. I like old postcards and the romantic vintage-y vibe, so I suggested a color scheme of chocolate brown and blush pink.

Initial Letter Blocks

I thought these wooden blocks would make a nice statement piece for close-up photos of our rings, etc. We managed to use them twice: during our prenuptial photoshoot and on the wedding day. I bought these from Bombus, a supplier on If you look closely you’ll see these are maps of Rome, London, and Manila–where we got engaged, where we now live, and where we’re originally from.

bridesdetails264The Invitations

The invitations from Printsonalities were printed on matte chocolate brown paper. The cover was thermograved with the names of cities we had been to.


Hubby’s brother made our compass monogram for us and we used it on practically everything. I thought the monogram tied the details together. Here it is thermograved on our invitations’ envelopes.

bridesdetails574The Arrhae

In Philippine tradition, during the wedding ceremony the groom gives the bride 13 gold coins called arrhae. This symbolizes his promise to provide for their family. Our arrhae box was shipped from Bulgaria, courtesy of the very nice Nazedha. You can visit her Etsy shop My House of Dreams here.


The box was handmade and has lovely map detail outside and within. We filled it with £1 coins.

bridesdetails506The Rings

We wanted platinum rings which we thought would be sturdier than the usual white gold. Due to price differences Hubby bought his from the US while I bought mine from the UK. A few people wondered why we were buying our rings separately, but we thought it didn’t really matter and what was important was we wore them. Heh.

Here they are, in our custom-made Paloma’s Nest ring bearer bowl.

bridesdetails472Hubby’s Cufflinks

I bought these custom-made map cufflinks from Posh Totty Designs, also a supplier on In the photo they’re placed on a vintage tray which also came from Nazedha’s shop.

bridesdetails407The Missalette

I guess missalettes aren’t really top of mind for brides when doing their wedding planning. I left my ordering to the last minute (not recommended!), and as a result my parents and I had to scour a few local bridal fairs for a printer who could work within a 2-week deadline. I loved the quality of the missalettes we eventually got from Kenneth Uy. They were printed quickly on smooth paper and were reasonably-priced. Kenneth was also really pleasant to deal with.

bridesdetails331Pens for Signing Docs and Stuff

Seriously. We never even thought of this until our planner pointed it out in his checklist. Off to National Bookstore we went. We had two Parker pens engraved with our names, and used this to sign our marriage contract.

bridesdetails580Bridal Bouquet and Entourage Boutonnières

Teddy Manuel, our florist-stylist, came up with the idea of using non-floral accents to my bouquet and the groom’s/male entourage boutonnières. Teddy made colorful paper map flowers with little flags. These looked cute against the guys’ dark suits…

bridesdetails211…and on my bouquet of pink cymbidium orchids and baby pink roses, punctuated with the brown from the dried cotton flowers.



Guest Favors

We wanted something travel-themed for our favors and eventually found cute luggage tins on Kate Aspen which we bought slightly cheaper from a reseller online. We decided to fill the tins with personalized M&Ms ordered from My M&Ms US. Hubby’s brother helped us format the thank-you sticker and we had it custom-made by Robee Stickers. My younger sister, mom, and I worked on putting the stickers on around 200+ tins–we were a regular factory line! It was worth it as we got so many compliments from guests on these cuties.

The tins already come with the little luggage tag which says “Thanks for making the trip.”


bridesdetails442The bridesmaids and female entourage received ‘Keep Calm Kits’ we filled with pink kikay stuff from a British skincare and cosmetics brand, Soap and Glory. We placed these in Hello World toiletry bags from Boots. The messages were printed out on brown kraft paper and tied to the bags’ zips with jute twine from Wedding In A Teacup.

bridesdetails164We gave our cute flower girl a small Hello Kitty lunch box with pink kikay stuff inside.

bridesdetails189The groomsmen and male entourage received different shades of brown socks which my mom and I bought from Bally in Landmark. I printed out the messages on brown kraft paper and sealed it with monogram stickers, which we also had made at Robee Stickers. I Google-d funny quotes about socks to put on each message.


bridesdetails415Silly me, I forgot to tell our photographer Nelwin Uy to take photos of the kraft bags we wrapped for our godparents. Several of our ninongs and ninangs later told us they loved the goodies though, and that’s what counts.

Here’s an Instagram snap of the godparents’ favors my sisters and I hand-carried all the way from London: a bottle of Carluccio’s Olio di Colline, made from Taggiasca olives; a vintage tin of Tartufi al Cacao, dark chocolate truffles with cocoa pieces, also from Carluccio’s; and a Carluccio’s neutral canvas bag. My mom added a small personalized magnet of the Caleruega Chapel which she spotted at Papemelroti.

Edited: I forgot to explain why Carluccio’s? Why Italian? Hubby and I wanted our favors to be as personal as possible. We got engaged in Rome and thought it would be a great way of sharing some amore to our godparents by giving them a little bit of Italy to take home. :)

Tip to brides: if you want something definitely photographed make sure to say so to your planner and set it aside ahead of time. You’ll find the day goes by very quickly and you’ll be too busy to remember!



the Carluccio's canvas bag in detail (c) Kiten Capili

the Carluccio’s canvas bag in detail (c) Kiten Capili

Pretty Pillow :)

My mom surprised me with this pillow which she had cross-stitched. I love how a lot of the details in our wedding have been DIY-ed by family and/or handcrafted.


The Shoes

I got mocha brown Miu Miu shoes from Westfield. I loved the girly bow and the fact it was only 3″ high, which is the maximum height I could withstand. Remember girls, it’s not practical to buy 4″ heels when you’ll be on your feet all day! By evening I had enough of tiis ganda (roughly translated to ‘suffering for beauty’–my planner’s term for it) and changed to my Fitflops.


My gown designer, Veluz, also has shoes that come with the dress package. The lace matched my dress, bag, and hair accessory.

bridesprep1693The Hubby’s shoes were custom-made from Thread and Butter Co in Marikina. Because Hubby and I were almost the same height and I was going to be wearing 3″ heels, Hubby needed a bit of ‘heel’ too. His heels were barely discernible, and we looked all right in photos, height-wise. :)


Something Blue

I didn’t want to do the usual blue shoes or traditional blue garter hidden up my leg. A hark back to my grade school days when I used to paint each of my nails a different color and was a big fan of Lisa Frank nail art, I bought blue flower nail stickers from Amazon and decided this was going to be my ‘something blue.’

The nice Ate at Dashing Diva Rockwell helped me apply the stickers.


The Scent

I wanted to use a perfume I hadn’t used before because each time I caught a whiff of it, I wanted to be reminded solely of my special day. I’m a fan of sweet scents and eventually chose Prada’s Candy perfume.

bridesprep131Coming up next: a few more wedding details during the church and reception. Post here :)


The Author

I am 100% Filipina. I've lived in Manila, Jakarta, and London. Right now, I'm firmly planted in the tiny island of Singapore! I caught the travel bug early on. I also love reading, dark chocolate, spur-of-the-moment food trips, Fridays, dachshunds, and lazy weekends with my family or the Hubby.


  1. Congrats on your lovely wedding and thank you for including your custom-made Ring Bearer Bowl here! Wishing you lots of joy ahead.
    Paloma’s Nest

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