Behind the Scenes: Pre-Nup Shoot + Save the Date

It pays to have an Art Director friend during moments like this one. Here’s a video that my super talented and insanely creative friend did for us! Thank you, Markie Mark! 🙂

Photographer: Manny and April Photography

HMUA: Carisa Magno

Location: El Hogar, Manila


At A Glance: Our Pre-Nuptial Photos

I guess the planning paid off. Here are some of our favourite shots from our shoot with the incredible tandem of Manny and April Photography. They brought our concept to life! Not to mention that the location complemented it pretty well. Don’t you just love the stained glasses? The newspaper on the walls wasn’t really part of our plan but it was there when we got in. I think it added more texture on the photos. Love it!



Thanks to our awesome photographers, my equally awesome friends who became our production assistants without them knowing it and my hair and make-up artist friend, Carisa Magno. You guys rock!

Our A-Team

Our A-Team

Planning our Pre-Nup Shoot

Being an ad woman, shooting is a way of life for me. That’s why when I had to plan our pre-nuptial shoot last year with the awesome pair of Manny and April Photography, I was so excited! 🙂 I dubbed it as my biggest, most important project to date.

The account manager in me settled in. First things first, I had to do a pre-production organiser. True that it is an advertising thing but it was very helpful! It is the single source of truth that will make the actual production a breeze. To give you an idea, these are the important items on my Pre-Nup Pre-Production Organiser:

1. Concept: The Godfather

It’s very important to choose one since from it, everything else will follow. Often, it’s something that will suit your personality as a couple (like the girl and boy next door, rockstar lovers, etc), but you can also go a little creative and portray characters that you both like.

I’ve always wanted a black and white wedding. Although The Godfather isn’t necessarily black and white, I can associate the mafia and the mob with these colours. That’s why our pre-nup was peppered with the Corleone’s class, wine and guns. This was our peg.

Don Corleone approves of it!

Don Corleone approves of it!

2. Location: El Hogar, Manila 

Choose a location that will bring your concept to life. You’ll never know how much wonders a good location can do.

Such a beauty, this one.

Such a beauty, this one. Photo from:

As described in Wikimapia, it is a beautiful beaux-arts building, designed by architect Irrureta Goyena and set by the Pasig River on Muelle dela Industria in Binondo, was built as a wedding gift for the union of a Zobel daughter and a Peruvian count back in 1914. It housed the offices of the lending company El Hogar Filipino (hence its name) and the original headquarters of Ayala Life Insurance Company.

I loved the architecture and the character of this place. The beauty might not be well intact but it’s not yet gone. You can definitely hear it whispering beyond its empty corridors and ageing staircase. An Art Director friend recommended this place and I’ve also done a TV commercial shoot here so El Hogar it was for me!

3. Wardrobe: Old Hollywood

Plan what you’re going to wear. You don’t want to look like you’re just running out on errands, right? Make it special! It need not be expensive! Borrow, get a rental, go to a thrift shop, what you’ll find will surprise you.

You'll never go wrong with Old Hollywood. Holly Golightly, come on!

You’ll never go wrong with Old Hollywood. Holly Golightly, come on!

So for Gel, it was just a suit, a white polo, suspenders and a bow tie. Pretty much what he’s going to wear at our wedding haha! As for me, I just had to snag that little black dress. Easy peasy!

4. The Look

Envision how you want to look, hair, make-up and all. Although your hair and make-up artist can be talented beyond measure, the best person to judge if a certain look is good on her would be you. So feel free to search for a peg. This will also make it easier for both you and the HMUA. No surprises! Trust me, not on this one.

The World Wide Web is full of pegs, you just have to look.

The World Wide Web is full of pegs, you just have to look.

5. Props

Complete the whole ensemble with your props. Be resourceful! List down what you need and ask for help. I wasn’t shy when I “assigned” my friends to look for one. Hahahaha! What are friends for, right?

Yes, I am the crazy "Excel" lady

Yes, I am the crazy “Excel” lady

6. Budget

Do the math. You have to consider the cost of everything. See our actual expenses below in Philippine Peso:

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 10.27.09 pm

That’s it! Everything will come in handy after this.

In as much as I planned, a funny yet heart attack inducing thing happened during the day of the shoot, I asked my then fiancé to bring our clothes to the car. I was carrying so many things so that one time I asked his help. When we arrived at the location, we found out that he forgot to put the clothes in the car!!!

Oh no, you didn't.

Oh no, you didn’t.

Good thing my mom was home and brought us our clothes. Haaaay!

Anyway, on my next post, I’ll share with you some of the photos from the shoot. Teehee! 🙂

GelLovesEu: This is it!

A month after our wedding, the reality of marriage is sinking in. From the mundane things – sunog na tocino, 1st attempt at sinigang, plato shopping at Ikea dahil wala kaming pag-aari dito sa SG to the big things like decisions to be made about our future. But one thing’s for sure, it can only be great!  

From our family and friends, to our suppliers who have been nothing but awesome, ang galing niyong lahat!

Church: San Antonio De Padua
Officiating Priest: Father Elso Nalangan
Preparation and Reception: The Hills At Silang
Catering: Neil’s Kitchen
Photo, Video and Photo Booth: Mark de Guzman Wedding Photography and Films
Secondary Photography: Manny and April Photography
Couturier: Mitch Desunia Haute Couture
Hair and Make-Up: Jen Delica
Florist: Floral Artist by Joel Faller
Lights and Sounds: Jsminasoundsystem
On the Day Coordination: Events Plus c/o Rea Brolagda
Couple’s Area Styling: Scentacreations Eventstyling
Bridal Car: Laguna LoveDub Bridal Car
Invitation Layout and Copy: Mark Ngo and Denise Nicole Oyog
Monogram: Bleps Dapo
DIY Bouquet, Wrist Corsage and Boutonnieres: Geli P. Visenio
Ring and Coin Pillows: Partycraftessentials
Wedding Rings: Odhes Garcia
Guest Souvenirs: Catherine FabreoCarla Pineda and Becky Santos
Secondary Groom/Ever Reliable Driver, Taga-Buhat at Lahat na: Jondy Viray
Principal Sponsors and Entourage 
Reception Host: Joy Siy
Lector and Commentator: Sol Romero and Ani Hila
Pre-Wedding Meals and Lechon: Josie San Miguel and family
Band: Rhoderick Taino
Bridesmaids Kit: Katchacanvas
Save-the-Date Audio Recording: Butch Tayao
Honeymoon Accommodation: AYANA Resort and Spa Bali

So again, we want to thank you for joining us as we celebrate our relationship’s #tagumpay.  All we wanted was a light and fun wedding but you guys blew us away with your love and enthusiasm. Salamat sa pag-iyak at pag-tawa kasama namin  Of course, won’t be possible without God’s endless blessings!  

From the San Miguels,
Gel and Eunice

Domestikits 101

I don’t know how moms do it. To be so caring, so thoughtful, so quick to address the needs of others day in, day out for the rest of their lives? How?

Drum roll! A few days from now, I’ll be celebrating the monthsary of my short but sweet stint as a full-pledged housewife. Never thought it would be possible but I survived this seemingly daunting task of being a domestic diva.


Thank you to the world wide web. What will we do without you?

From the first time I got hold of that knife to cut vegetables and cook sinigang with a lot of help from the internet, the days that followed felt like a breeze. One dish led to another and now I feel like I can do anything! Haha! Kidding!

Of course sometimes sweeping the floor, doing the laundry can still be such a drag but you’ll be amazed how your system can cope up so fast that soon enough, chores become like clockwork.


My hatest chore: folding and sorting the clothes

There are days when I feel like WTF am I doing here? But definitely, the days when I am thankful to the Lord that I get to have this break outnumber those little bursts of boredom and insanity. Hmmm… If I think about it, I don’t really get bored haha! Still got my hands full and it’s not as if I just sit around the whole day ‘cause I have to make sure the house is clean and there’s food to feed the working husband.

Though it seems easy (and fun), I am still in awe how wives/mothers do it like it’s second nature to them. I only have Gel who’s a fully functional adult who I can ask to fry the spring rolls if I feel like it. I’m not even forced to wake up in the morning to prepare his breakfast because the night owl in me just won’t let me. Still a long way to go before I can be a Martha Stewart but I guess I’m off to a good start, right? 🙂

Preparing Your Wedding Requirements

Just when you thought all you need to get married is a groom and the Church, you realize that the road to forever is a work in progress. And it all starts with your wedding requirements – both legal and Catholic Church documents. I tell you, there are quite a lot! I have been in your shoes and I had to skim through various websites and call numerous hotlines just to help me get everything done. Apart from the checklist and the cost, be sure to note the validity of the documents because timing is really key.

Here’s my attempt to make it become more bearable for you, lovely bride. Good luck!

Oh, these crazy fools.

Oh, these crazy fools.

Legal Requirements:

1. Birth Certificate – Thank God for the Internet! Documents you needed to line up for before are now available with one click and will be delivered right at your doorstep. I think it’s more expensive to have it shipped but I would rather pay than go through the hassle of going to NSO since I live in the South.

For online application, go here.

For payment, go here.

You will receive your document 3-9 working days after payment, depending on your address

Cost is at P315 per copy.

2. Certificate of No Marriage Records (CENOMAR) – Another walk in the park if you have not been married in the past. For online application, payment and delivery, refer to the links above. Cost is at P415 per copy. Fees are inclusive of processing, delivery and government taxes. To be safe, get this 6 months prior your wedding.

3. Marriage License – A Marriage License is different from a Marriage Contract. (I wish I’d known that back then!) You apply for a Marriage License so you will be granted permission to get married while the Contract gets signed during the ceremony which will then be submitted to NSO for certification. Your Church will take care of your Marriage Contract. The Marriage License is valid for 120 days so make sure to get it 4 months prior your wedding date.

Where to get it:

Both you and your partner should be present. Go to you or your groom’s municipal hall and get an application form from the local registry office.


– NSO Certified Birth Certificate

– Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)

– Cedula

– 1×1 ID Picture for the groom and bride

There are instances when you still have to undergo a family planning seminar before you are granted a license. In our case, the city hall of Las Pinas honored our Pre-Cana Seminar Attendance Certificate in lieu of this. You will get your License after 10 working days.

Church Requirements (patterned from San Antonio De Padua, Silang Cavite):

1. Baptismal Certificate and Confirmation Certificate stamped as “For Marriage Purposes” – Certificates are valid for 6 months from the date of issue. These should be submitted to your Church 2 months prior the wedding.

2. Pre-Cana Seminar Certificate of Attendance – Ask your church if they will allow you to get a Pre-Cana Seminar elsewhere. There are a lot of parishes holding this seminar but I think the most famous is the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM) Discovery Weekend. It’s a 2-day seminar which costs P6,000/couple. I would’ve loved to try this out but since my husband-to-be is an OFW, time really is of the essence. Know more about CEFAM through their website.

We had our seminar in San Agustin, Manila. It costs P1,500 for a half-day session (8am-12nn) with snacks. 🙂

3. Canonical Interview – This will be done by the parish priest. These are questions on your values, plans as a couple and as future parents. It lasts for around 10 minutes only since most of the time, other couples are lining up as well.

4. Marriage Banns – The church where you’ll be getting married will give you forms which you need to give to your respective parish. Lucky for us, we lived in the same village so our marriage banns were posted in the same parish. The banns will be up for 3 consecutive Sundays. The banns serve as a community announcement to make sure that nobody comes unannounced at your wedding and ask the priest to stop the ceremony. Haha! 🙂 After this, you will get a certificate from your parish as proof that the banns have been posted. You need to give this to your wedding church after.

5. Certificate of Registration. Authority to Solemnize – This is applicable if you will bring your own priest to officiate your wedding ceremony. This basically grants the priest the authority to wed couples. Check its validity since this document has an expiration too.Make sure that it is beyond your wedding date.

6. Confession – To be done ideally a week before your wedding. Check with your Church if they allow you to get a confession elsewhere.

For requirements alone, the couple needs to shell out this much:

Birth Certificate (for groom and bride) 630.00
CENOMAR (for groom and bride) 830.00
Cedula 10.00
Marriage License Application Fee 100.00
Marriage License Fee 50.00
Baptismal and Confirmation Certificate (Bride) 100.00
Baptismal and Confirmation Certificate (Groom) 100.00
Pre-Cana Seminar 1,500.00
Marriage Banns 500.00
TOTAL 3,820.00

Now, you can get legally married! 🙂 Hooray!