Wedding to-do’s
- Tingting Cojuangco () - November 20, 2005 - 12:00am
As a researcher and historian, I never throw away my notes, old publications and even letters that carry valuable information. How lucky was I then to have found an old wedding guide from my godchild Yvonne Dayrit Romualdez, which she sent me for Mikee’s wedding six years ago. It was a guide she used for her own wedding, and was in turn sent to her by Gigi Carlos.

Since June and December are the preferred months for weddings, Yvonne’s letter is very appropriate and I’ve added my own ideas to this guide.

So, here goes:

Begin with the wedding date. An auspicious day is any day after the new moon, with the day of the full moon as the most auspicious wedding day.

Decide what time of the day the wedding will be held, the priest who will be the officiating (and in some cases the concelebrating priests), as well as specific servers, lectors and readers. Select the choir or singers. Remember to arrange any needed security preparations.

It is very difficult to choose the bridal entourage, especially when you have many friends you want to please and are close to. Besides, you might be closer to your friends than your relatives, and this can cause some confusion.

Remember to have a photographer for your stills and video. The paper and printing for the wedding invitation must be kept simple; missalettes are optional. The printer should deliver the invitations at least 40 days before the wedding. If you are planning a wedding abroad, send "Save a Day" notices three months before the wedding day like my daughter Mai-Mai did. How will you send the invitations? By messenger or by hand? If you do not get RSVPs one week before the wedding, start calling your guests.

The venue of the reception, caterer, menu, wedding cake motif, and favors, as well as the bargaining to lessen the menu, only to add more food later on are other sources of migraine. And don’t forget the table assignments for guests.

Flowers are super expensive now. Try mixing flowers and greens for variety. How can you save in church decor, bridal entourage flowers, and the bridal car? At the reception, what will your motif design be? What about the wedding cake, buffet tables, centerpieces, chairs and your car?

Get a wedding gown designer who is reliable in delivering on time. He must know your complexion, your favorite color and budget. For the bride: What will your attire be? Makeup? Hairdo? Jewelry? Shoes? Bag? Hanky? Who in your bridal entourage will get dressed with you at home and use your stylists? What is the groom wearing? Who among his close friends will be the groom’s men?
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The date for the despedida de soltera is yours to decide, as well as where to hold it. Will you be getting a wedding coordinator, or will your mom handle all the preparations, like I did for my daughters’ weddings?

Shower parties are fun; who’ll record it then? Get a photographer for all events: the despedida de soltera, bride’s residence, bride’s family, groom’s residence, groom’s family, church, wedding ceremony, after-wedding ceremony and reception, of course.

As for the bridal car, make sure the engine and AC are working well. Will you have a uniformed driver? What time should it be at the bride’s home? How about the groom’s car? Also make the car assignments for the rest of the family and entourage, if necessary.

Arrangements for the church include the reservation and payment of registration fee, the submission of the baptismal and/or birth certificate, interview with the parish priest. Check the church’s cleanliness. Who is in charge of the rings and arrhae? Check the sound system. Does the church have a generator in case of a power failure? Should it be sprayed beforehand for mosquitoes? Who will bring the corsages, boutonnieres, and bouquets to church? Who will bring matches, pins, veil and cord? Who will bring extra hairpins, clips, sewing kits, petals for throwing on the bride and groom, and who will give instructions to the photographer?

At the reception, who will bring home the extra food or are you going to donate it to an orphanage or charity? Make provisions for plastic containers for leftovers, as well as vehicles to bring the food home. Will the flower arrangements be delivered to a designated place, either your home or the church?

For the reception, what’s the menu? Will it be a buffet or sit-down dinner? Who is in-charge of the gift’s table and guest book? You need champagne for toasts. Who will be the master of ceremony? Who will dust the dance floor with borax? Who will make arrangements for the bridal table, bridal entourage, principal sponsors, and the choir and photographer? You can color code everything.

Who will bake your wedding cake? What will the motif be? When will it be served to the guests? Who will bring it home? Are there baskets for giveaways? Is there a vehicle to bring the gifts home?

Other concerns include church rehearsals and whether there will be an overall coordinator or not. Of course, prayers for good weather should go to Santa Clara, the Pink Sisters, Carmelite Sisters, Sisters of St. Ann, St. Anthony, Servants of the Blessed Trinity, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.

How about your honeymoon? Tired as you are, re-check your reservations, passports, visas, luggage, clothes, lingerie, and toiletries.

Finally, here are other suggestions. Do a dry run between the bride’s and groom’s homes to the church to determine the approximate time from these points. Thank-you notes and tokens to those who participated in the wedding and helped out should be sent out. Finalize a guest list of foreign friends. Prepare lodgings and car arrangements for them, too.

For the bride:

Be reasonable and understand budgetary constraints. Do not strive to have a wedding that is too expensive for the groom to shoulder. A wedding is a formal celebration of a union. Whether it is small or grand, the effect is the same: it’s a vow made for eternity.

For the groom:

Tell your bride frankly the amount of money that you have set aside for the wedding, so that she can add to your budget if she wants a bigger celebration. And then you must both abide by this amount.

Expect to have fights and disagreements; it’s normal when drawing up a wedding plan. Good luck!

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