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! 🙂

My Big Fat 2013

2013 was quite a year of many bold moves for me. Looking back, I feel that I’ve actually conquered a lot of fears. Let me tell you about it.

Enrolling in a Swim Class

Growing up, a lot of my really close friends didn’t know how to swim so I didn’t feel I was missing out anything. Come college and eventually the adult life, I was beginning to feel like a loser who couldn’t go way past the pool’s stairs. My fiancé, who is usually adamant to get things done, kept on volunteering to teach me whether be it in a public pool or tucked in an island far away. Being the proud person that I am, it was humiliating hahaha! Imagine the old fart that I am being asked to float by Gel in front of everyone to see? Que horror! So when I learned about the swimming lessons being held near our house, I knew I had to enrol.

Bert Lozada, here I come! It was a 10-day package for an hour every week. Since their classes already started, I had to do a 2-hour session for 5 days instead. The lessons cost P4,500, not bad if you want to learn from the Pros. So every Saturday morning, I had to bring my lazy bum to Elizabeth Seton’s pool to learn. Equipped with new gears — a Speedo one-piece bikini, swim cap, goggles and kick board, I was all so giddy to learn. The first day was all about proper breathing but it ended on a high note, us diving on a 6-feet pool. What the heck!

I finished all 10-sessions and mind you, it wasn’t easy. For one, my classmates were kids, as in toddlers from 4 to tweens. Good thing I look young so some kids asked If I were in high school. Hahaha! Also, there were a lot of parents, some whose age are probably already close to mine so yes, I was kind of shy. By the time the program ended, I knew how to breathe, do a few strokes (though I still can’t do a graceful freestyle) and the most important thing, to not be afraid of water. I still have a lot to learn but I guess this is a good start.

Driving on My Own

I always knew I can do it but I didn’t know it would be this year. Perhaps Gel being away made it happen. I had no choice but to do it myself. The first day I brought the car to the office, I actually hit the gutter in the parking lot. The second time that I did, the engine overheated. I drove frantically in EDSA on a weeknight rush hour just to get to a gas station and put water on my engine. After that, I felt I can conquer the world. The next thing I knew, I was going places. The expressway became a way of life, EDSA was point A to B and the one thing I feared most, Quezon City Circle was an achievement unlocked.

Driving is such an empowering experience! Once you start driving, you will never want to take public transportation again even if it is such a pain in the pocket, parking and gas combined! I didn’t like it the times when I felt sleepy or my legs got numb from the traffic but the times when it made life convenient were definitely more.

Mentoring a Blank Tablet

I’ve had numerous trainees assigned to me from my previous to current job. However, this is the first time when a fresh graduate will be under my tutelage for an actual job instead of an internship. The experience is quite a refreshing one! I’ve always been a firm believer that your first job is a very critical part of your career. It builds you and helps you become the person you will be a few years from now. Hence, it was a weight on my shoulder that I welcomed. I feel like I’ve always wanted to mentor someone. Good thing that 6 years in the industry was not a walk in the park. It taught me to be smart, snappy and tough and this is what I want to pass on. So when I learned from my trainee’s mom that her daughter feels I’m good with what I do, it was such a relief for a novice trainer that I am. Perhaps, I was born for this job? Let’s see what the future holds!

Setting Our Wedding Date

Since 2009, Gel and I have held a pact that we are in this relationship together for the long haul. Like what Queen B said, he put a ring on it. Sing with me! Although marriage has always been the long term goal, we have never pinned down the date until this year. I cannot remember the exact day, moment when we nodded in agreement to do this. The next thing I knew, we were attending a Wedding Fair already. Seems very apt for quite the unconventional couple that we are. One thing’s for sure, I’m going to be Mrs. San Miguel next year! WOAH.

Enduring a Long-Distance Relationship and Planning a Wedding on My Own

You know how everyone gets so excited with the thought of an overseas job opportunity? I confess that I was one of those but I never thought it was such a double-edged sword. My fiancé has always wanted to work in Singapore. I guess it’s the new “American Dream.” When he got the call last July about a job opportunity in SG, he was beyond ecstatic. This means so many positive things not only for him but for us. The bottom-line was a hefty pay check, after all, how hard can it be? Singapore’s just an hour of plane ride away.

As the days went by, we realised that it really was kind of tough. You’ll never know unless you’re there. No one prepared us on how to cope up with the lonely nights and the simple fact of having one steady companion around. It was hard on my part but I knew it was harder for Gel. Thank God for mobile data, we were able to keep tabs on each other through Whatsapp and FaceTime. If I think about it, this set-up actually made us appreciate and love each other more. Absence made our hearts grow fonder instead of being out of sight, out of mind.

Since it’s wedding planning season, I also had to do most of the work myself. I am not complaining since he’s probably going to pay haha! Before he left, we’ve already crossed out a lot of the big items like Church, Reception Venue, Catering and Photographers so I was left with just the details. I know I thrive on these little things, as they say, the devil is in the details. It would have been fun to scour on suppliers, go on meetings with my husband to be but I had to do what a girl’s gotta do. Thank heavens I learned how to drive. I can’t imagine going to Silang, Cavite, our wedding venue, via bus!

2013, you have been a great one. I am excited what 2014 holds for me!