Do It Yourself

Many brides, especially those on a budget, want to save money by making things for their weddings themselves. Here is a list of feasible things you can do yourself, and what you should call in the experts for.

DIY It: Wedding tasks you can do yourself

· Wedding Favors and Giveaways

· Invitations

· Themed Decors,Simple Floral and Candle Centerpieces

· Cupcakes (instead of a wedding cake)

· Ring and Bible Pillow

· Container for the Arras/Arrae

· Wedding Cord

· Flower Girl Basket

· Bridal Hair and Makeup

· Headpieces

· Save the Date Cards, Programs, Menu Cards and Seating Cards

· A decorated guest book, missalette, card box, photo album, or other keepsake

For the Pros: Wedding tasks that should be left to the professionals

· Large Flower Arrangements and Centerpieces

· Bridal and Bridesmaid bouquets

· Your Wedding Dress

· A Wedding Cake

· Catering

· Photography

· Videography

If your aim is to save money on your wedding, start out by making a budget for each DIY project. You will be surprised to find that some projects are cheaper for the experts to do, and others can be either extremely inexpensive or breaking the bank, depending on the materials you use. Try it!

Categories: EVENT

Sakirani-Ibni An-Nikah

The wedding of Sajid and Fhat is one of the Islamic Weddings I did this year. They were endorsed by Lolita Ngo – manager of  Marcian Garden Hotel after doing the wedding of her daughter Lynette.

The wedding day or “Nikah” took place a day before the wedding party or “Walimah” attended by nearly 700 guests at Marcian Garden  Convention Center last summer. It was a festive and colorful day. The venue was draped with fabrics in shades of pink, lavender, lilac, and matte gold over cream panels of cloth  that took us several hours to install, and with an ambient lighting provided by a good friend – Via Joven of Wildbluez Mobile System.

It was a densely populated wedding that placed my logistic associates and the hotel into trouble. They run out of important things like tables, chairs, plates, drinking glasses, spoon and forks due to unexpected number of guests who arrived at the reception venue. The place though big enough cannot accommodate such number of guests. Indeed, there is no such thing as perfect wedding.

That circumstance made me extra careful with the number of guests who will be attending the wedding of my clients regardless of wedding traditions. Although guests attending an Islamic Wedding is uncertain, I remind my clients at all times that they should book their wedding in hotels that has function area than can accommodate 1000 guests to avoid any spatial problems. This is a big consideration for an Islamic Wedding.

But despite of that circumstance, the wedding ended with gratitude from the couple and their parents. The reception program ran smoothly, everything in cue. Guests were amused with the SDE using “Biradalli”– a popular Tausug song by Den Besa as musical score, and Onsite Photography presentations made possible by Seed Interactive Multimedia Productions. Guests were also entertained by “Pangalay” – a tausug/sama dance in the tune of “lolai liyangkit” and “pangalay kulintangan”, and Tausug songs accompanied by native instruments like “gabbang” and “biyula” performed by noted native musicians in Sulu.

Although rare for an Islamic Wedding Tradition, the couple had their dance in the tune of “So Close” by Jon McLauglin, and the bride had bouquet throw.

The couple had an outdoor pictorial right after the Walimah.

(photos courtesy of Seed Interactive Multimedia Productions)

Event Management : Joe Harris Kari Events and Event Styling

Event Styling : Joe Harris Kari Events and Event Styling

Floral Design : Buds and Blooms by Melanie Lim

Bouquet : Flowers by Grassele

Hair/MUA : Vanging

Couture : Tita’s Dress Shop

Event Photography : Seed Interactive Multimedia Productions

Event Videography : Seed Interactive Multimedia Productions

AVP : Seed Interactive Multimedia Productions

Invitation : Print and Papers Specialist

Cake : LIMTEL Collections

Lights and Sounds : Wildbluez Mobile System

Categories: EVENT

The GREEN Life

Green Weddings won over my interest. It took me several hours over and over again reading about  green weddings online that gave more helpful  ideas and tips. In fact i started doing a guest seat card using dried star apple foliage.I am thinking of table numbers out of recycled papers and lots of things that makes my weddings green.Check this links below for more green ideas.Enjoy!

Categories: EVENT


Joseph and Annamarie posed for the environment for prenuptial photography.Location: Abong-abong Ecological Park,Zamboanga City. Wedding Gown: Nilo Lacson Coat: Joe Harris Kari. Hair/MUA: Pio Hilario. Bouquet: Joe Harris Kari. Stylist and Creative Director: Joe Harris Kari (photo courtesy of Seed Interactive Multimedia Productions)

You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children: that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the son of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. Native American Wisdom

I was reading an article about the “Philosophy of Green” – an advocacy that is environmentally sensitive that can be also applied in weddings. To have a verdant or green wedding then, doesn’t mean a green motif or a green key color for a wedding. Green Wedding holds importance in details and in diverse ways. It is all about reducing the carbon footprint during the celebration, protecting or conserving energy, and somehow educating your guests about protection and saving the Mother Earth.

Local flowers as centerpiece i arranged for Jumdain-Gengos Nuptials using Malaysian mums and gerbera daisy with orchid roots arranged inside a giant clam shell (photo courtesy of Seed Interactive Multimedia Productions)

Here are some tips in having a green wedding.

  • Expose the beauty of nature and exhibit things that showcase protection and saving the environment through prenuptial photography. Pose for environment.(eg.tree planting, nature appreciation, picking up garbage, and other pro-environment activities)
  • For an intimate wedding of 100 guests, try having it in a small capacity venue or venue such as lush garden or beach to reduce energy consumption due to air-conditioning and complex lighting.
  • Indoor venues with state-of-the art natural lighting and ventilation for a large number of guests.
  • Pick a unique local spot such as gallery that holds environmental exhibits, farm, organic restaurants, green hotel or university garden, or places with natural wonders wherein your guests will appreciate the beauty of nature.
  • For the church ceremony, you can support UNESCO supported churches (eg.San Agustin Church, Manila & Sto.Tomas Church,Miag-ao,Ilo-ilo City) to expose your guest to the beauty of these historical churches and also give financial support for its maintenance.
  • Have the ceremony venue closer to the reception venue, or have them in the same area if possible.

Indoor venue with natural lighting and ventilation (Delos Santos-Bahandi Civil Wedding at Bamboo Pavillon, Lantaka Hotel by the Sea)

  • Use a low-carbon mover such as calesa and rickshaw.
  • Plan out a carpool to reduce the fuel costs for the transportation
  • Recycle wedding gown. Have the wedding gown of your mother or grandmother reworked. Vintage is the in-thing nowadays.
  • Make sure the gowns of your entourage can be used again for other functions.
  • Use sustainable materials such as hemp, bamboo, organic cotton, and pina cloth.
  • Expose your guest to the sounds and music of environment advocates (eg.Rey Ayala & Grace Nono)
  • Use natural and locally grown flowers.
  • Use baskets and decors out of dried weeds and sub-materials of local produce.
  • Use decors that are available without purchase. Have reworked decors.
  • Try endemic products for the food. Consider vegetarian dishes or cruelty-free viands and fat-free foods.

Outdoor venue for a wedding ceremony - Tongawan - Cubico Nuptials at Bora de Lantaka, Lantaka Hotel by the Sea (photo courtesy of Seed Interactive Multimedia Productions)

  • Introduce an educative AVP’s (eg.growing-up slideshows,3D Montage) that gives clear understanding about environmental issues- its protection and preservation. Having it animated will further entice the guests especially children.
  • Make invitations, menu and thank you cards, thank tags, guest seat card a D-I-Y job for the couple or use recycled papers for your stationery (eg.home-made fossilized paper,or papers out of processed durian shell).Be creative in making gewgaws using recycled materials like dried leaves with names on it as guest seat card.
  • Seedlings or ornamental plants or flowers in recycled containers as centerpieces for the tables. It also serves as souvenir.(eg.potted orchids)
  • Seedlings of fruit-bearing trees wherein they can plant it, or fruit seeds in special packaging.
  • Processed seasonal produce as souvenir.(eg.pickles,atchara,guava jelly)

Bonnie and Julyn posed for the environment for prenuptial photography. Location:Abong-abong Ecological Park, Zamboanga City Dress: Arnold dela Cruz. Styling/Hair/MUA: Goyang Francisco. Creative Director: Joe Harris Kari (photo courtesy of Seed Interactive Multimedia Productions)

  • Reading materials that talk about environmental issues as giveaways and souvenir for your guests. Environmental story book for the children that advocates ecology and sustainability.
  • Show environmental documentary during dinner.
  • Include environmental issues to the program script and thank-you message of couple and other presentations.
  • Have fun-games that has environmental approach (eg.quizz bee about environmental issues)
  • Do away firework displays.
  • Ask donations for different charities in lieu of tangible gifts like appliances. Donations that supports  green projects like tree planting, seedling production, fingerling dispersal and rehabilitation of a river or a creek.

What you reap is what you sow. Going green in your own little way and contributing to the survival of the earth will make your future married life much brighter.

Joseph and Annamarie posed for the environment for prenuptial photography.Location: Mangrove swamp in Sta.Cruz Island,Zamboanga City. Dress: Joe Harris Kari. Hair/MUA: Pio Hilario. (photo courtesy of Joe-Art Productions)

TRIVIA : PHILOSOPHY OF GREEN. The concept has been around since 1980s, as the translation of the German Grun, coined by die Gruenen, which was the successful green organization. The movement was never exactly born, but rather, a product of several movements that advocate ecology and sustainability. In general, sustainability pertains to meeting the needs of the present, while keeping in mind the emerging needs of the future generation. We all need water, but we must harvest it in such a way that our children’s children will also be able to access water in the years to come. While it would not be difficult to embrace the movement, the greater challenge lies in proper implementation.

Right now the movement for green is gaining momentum, with the increased interest in global warming, and talks about carbon footprint, which measures the environmental impact of human activities in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced. Companies now claim to have-carbon reduced products, a far cry from the “100% recycled” and “organic” come-ons a decade ago. With people a more comprehensive concept of green, the movement not rest only in the fields such as design transportation, manufacturing, and even fashion.(For the Beauty of the Earth. An Introduction to Green Weddings. Text by Geolette Esguerra. Wedding Essentials Volume 5 Issue 1 January 2009-June 2009)

Categories: EVENT


The Couple with the Members of the Wedding Entourage at St.Joseph Church. (photo courtesy of Bigmike Muin)

I have been reminding the bride not be tense and worried during the process of planning their wedding for everything would just fall into place. As what have expected, the 10.20.10 wedding of Sugar and Dave was a success.

Their love story started over a couple of years ago, but they have known each since college through common friends. They became very good friends and eventually evolved into a very special relationship, they became lovers.

The bride and I had a special bonding even in short span of time planning her big day. We share the same birthday, and of the same year –July 16, 1982, and shares the same likes and dislikes, and certain attitudes. I also did the wedding of her classmate and closest friend in college.

She requested the ceremony should be solemn, and the reception should be amusing, relaxed and unforgettable. The couple chose St. Joseph Parish Church for the wedding ceremony for its beautiful interiors- that was beautifully decorated with white roses atop the huge glass containers that day by the floral designer we hired,  and Astoria Plaza, Grand Astoria Hotel for easy accessibility- just few minutes from the church.

The key colors were personal choice of the bride – purple, violet, lavender, fuschia pink, and silver that combined beautifully. Her wedding gown was customized in Divisoria, Manila and I did the gowns for her entourage. Their wedding cake was customized by LIMTEL Collections inspired from the Cirque Du Soleil – a tiered cake adorned with glittery artificial flower accents.

Their first dance as a couple was personally choreographed by Sugar in the tune of “Moon River” played live by La Vocce Rytmus. That was an applauded performance. I prepared humored fun games that elated their 200 guests.

We ended the program with an Onsite Photography AVP in the tune of “ Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars made by Vista de Lente Lifestyle and Event Photography- our official event photographers, and a thank-you speech from the couple.

It was a memorable day for them. It was just perfect.

The couple with Joe Harris Kari (wedding planner),Elvin Sagun and Gerry Abierra (logistic associates) and other male members of the wedding entourage

Event Management : Joe Harris Kari Events and Event Styling

Event Styling : Joe Harris Kari Events and Event Styling

Event Photography : Vista de Lente Lifestyle and Event Photography

Event Videography : TreborZ Audio Visuals

AVP : Vista de Lente Lifestyle and Event Photography

Souvenir : Vista de Lente Lifestyle and Event Photography (funbooth)

Floral Design : Pattimae Flower Shop

Hair/MUA : Gregorio Fernandez

Wedding Singers : La Vocce Rtymus

Cake : LIMTEL Collections

Invitations : Print and Papers Specialist

Sounds and Lights : Sure Audio Mobile

Categories: EVENT

Dave and Sugar

The Jail Officer and the Nurse

Dave and Sugar had two separate Sundays for their prenuptial photography. Dave works in BJMP- elite group based in Pagadian City though he travels in Zamboanga City once a week, Sunday is the only time available to do shoot with his presence. On the other hand, sugar worked in the Middle East as a nurse for sometime and now stays at home waiting for the approval of her papers for job abroad.

They hired Vista de Lente Lifestyle and Event Photography as their event photographers. We were not formally acquainted not until we met in a café to discuss about the prenuptial shoot. That was my first time to work with them, so I had to leave a good impression. And the initial project with them was a pleasurable experience and turned out to be just right. Jengko (logistic associate) and I brought them to the ruins of the burnt City Theater right at the Pueblo Zamboanga in the morning. Garbed in a white wedding dress provided by Donald Green Lim, and a dark blue Americana by Angking Francisco – Bigmike Muin was thrilled to do more. The couple were like periodic ghosts posed in front of us. Gregorio Francisco or Goyang did the hair and make-up.

Our shoot ended at Astoria Regency Convention Center in formal wears provided by Angking Francisco. Then we proceeded at the roof top of the hotel for the third concept during which they had to wear their own uniforms of their profession to add more story to their prenuptial photo shoot- Sugar as a nurse and Dave as a jail officer . Their photos turned out to be like advertising material for a prime time soap. The photographs were taken by Rey Fortuna and Raymond Ledesma.

Our second day of the shoot came about during the onset of Fiesta Pilar days before their big day. The location was at the casted off Zamboanga Convention Center in Pasonanca. The concept was a fiery GUESS Ad Campain. It took us a couple of hours to do it. That was cool.

During the reception program on the day of their wedding, these photographs were shown through a Prenuptial Photography AVP.

Foyer of Astoria Regency Convention Center (photo courtesy of Vista de Lente Events and Lifestyle Photography)

Suit by Joe Harris Kari.Gown by Angking Francisco (photo courtesy of Vista de Lente Events and Lifestyle Photography)

(photo courtesy of Bigmike Muin)

(photo courtesy of Bigmike Muin)

Gregorio Francisco(Hair/MUA), Joe Harris Kari(Stylist/Creative Director), Sugar and Dave, Musang (asst.Hair/MUA) Location: Ruins of Burnt City Theater

Categories: EVENT


I became an instant host during Sedano-Boleng Nuptials on the latter part of the reception program banquet they held at Astoria Plaza, Grand Astoria Hotel on October 20,2010. I was reading the mechanics of the game. (photo courtesy of Bigmike Muin)

I was browsing the bridal magazine that i bought recently looking for a template of a checklist needed for my future weddings.As i searched for the checklist and read some of the articles featured in the issue, wedding host caught my attention.It’s a long topic, its about four pages.I learned a lot from it and i wish to share it to the couples and all the wedding hosts or emcee.

I did event hostings before i got into events.And I hosted some of my events in the past whenever my emcee had to instantly cancel the job for emergency reasons, or if i find the emcee boring especially during games or sometimes accompany them in doing so.I enjoy it because i know my script better.

Sometimes couples task their relatives and friends, or classmates and even officemates (in most cases no experience in event hosting at all) to host their events for the reason of budget constraint , not considering the importance of a very good host in any event.It affects my productions sometimes, the program becomes dragging or boring and makes me freak out.

The host is the life of the event program along with the music and some audio visual presentations.They are responsible for the smooth flow of the program along with the program director.

So i require and recommend you to have a very good host for your event.Below is the highlight of the article.

WEDDING HOST. Feature. LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU.Atom Ungson on Wedding Hosting. Text by Chinggay Labrador. (Wedding Essentials Volume 6 Issue 2 July 2010 – December 2010 p.107) Weddings are a marriage of solemnity and festivity. The church ceremony is all earnestness in that it’s the part that formally unites bride and groom, while the reception typically takes on an air of celebration, where friends and families get together to toast the couple and their future together. And although receptions by and large are big ”parties”, they aren’t all about winning and dining, mingling and picture taking. Planning, organizing and sequencing plays a large role in creating a smooth-flowing wedding reception; and much of the behind scenes work is taken care of by the wedding host.” Every reception needs someone to synergize everything,” says professional wedding host Atom Ungson, who credits his five-year career to the late Paulo Clemente, an industry stalwart. “ You want to make sure that the program is in order – that everything is ready before the next part is announced, that the guest are having fun and the program isn’t boring.” Whether you enlist a professional to do the job, or get a friend or relative to take care of being emcee, the duties of a wedding host don’t change. They come up with a program of events to keep the show going, and work closely with coordinators, videographers, the waitstaff, photographers, and the couple and their families, to come up with a program that livens up the reception.

Categories: EVENT