Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Weddings 101: Where to say "I do" (part 1)

(Just a little note though, you may or may not agree on what is written here, but this was our experience, this was how we saw things and our preparation was basically treading on the practical side of everything).
You agreed on the date, and to keep the ball rolling, you should also agree on the place: the church, plus the reception venue.

Even before we become engaged, Lyn and I already agreed on having a simple yet elegant and intimate wedding. We want a small church/chapel, a reception venue near the church and a hotel near to both. Hitting three, not just two, birds with one stone. And we hit them, bull's eye! Why on such goals? Two words: Convenience. Practicality.

The choice of the church all depends on what the couple wants (especially the bride; the groom can only say yes or honey, it's up to you hehehe, joke). Some want it to be grand (the likes of Manila Cathedral) with a long aisle that can echo a very dramatic entrance for the bride. The long walk to the altar may be dreamy and one can float to the ooh's and aah's as she made her entrance, but, what if the church is empty? I mean, what if it's too grand for the number of guests that you had and/or too big for those who actually came to the church ceremony? Knowing how we Pinoys think and do, most of us will only show to the reception venue especially if the venue is faaar from the church. Trust me, the last thing that you would want on your church wedding (and on your wedding pictures) is a huge space of unoccupied seats. We prefer a small wedding, right? So the grandness is out of the picture and we're more than happy to see the smiling faces of people close to us than the mighty architecture or popularity of a certain church.

Some couple would want a church on location (Calaruega, anyone?), most of them are intimate and quite romantic actually AND, well, more expensive. I can say this here that out-of-town weddings (meaning outside of Manila) entail additional costs, let's say, at least 15% more on each wedding supplier that you have (especially if all of them are Manila-based) to cover for the obvious additional costs (some would even asked you to shoulder their accomodation, whoa!). Aside from the more expensive tag, it can also be a possible bottleneck of complications, from the guests accomodations to their transportation to everything! So we just roll our eyes on this as we do not dream of holding our cellphone during the wedding to check on everyone. (That's just one way of saying "we cannot afford this" hehehe).

When you already decided on which church suited you best, call, or better yet, visit the parish office at once to check its availability and ask for their list of wedding requirements. Now, this is getting more exciting. The basic requirements for the couple are:

1. Baptismal Certificate
2. Confirmation Certificate
3. Marriage License (To get this, you need an authenticated NSO-released birth certificate, Certificate of No Marriage or CENOMAR, also from the NSO and a trip to your neighborhood municipal hall. I'll make a separate post on this)
4. Canonical Interview (with a priest)
5. Seminar
6. A certain church document/certification (I forgot how's this being called but it's the one wherein names of the marrying couples will be read and/or posted on the parish church/es where the couple resides).

There are more documents needed for those who came from an annulled marriage, those who'll marry a foreigner, for those who married first in a civil ceremony, and others, but the above are the basic. Depending also on the parish, there maybe more requirements (like a mandatory three-sundays seminar, a list and/or a certain number of principal sponsors, a priest-approved misalette, etc.) so do asked them.

And of course, it's not for free. ho-hum.

A one-hour church ceremony is now ranging from a low of P5,000 to a high of P25,000.00 or even more, depending on the church and "upgrades". So, if you're thinking that getting married will dig a hole on your pocket, well, this is where the digging officially starts. :) I am not going to comment further on this (as I may end up ranting hehe), let's just say, they also need some money for the church maintenance and operational costs. :) The parish office will usually ask for a non-refundable deposit and the balance to be paid before the wedding (in our case, we paid the balance during the canonical interview which was done two weeks before our wedding).

St. Pancratius Chapel.
Our chapel of choice: dome-shaped, small, with an aisle of not more than 15 meters, exquisite surrounding with its outside stonewalls covered by moss and the simple interior can hold about 80-100 guests, located in Paco Park that was once a cemetery where Jose Rizal and GOMBURZA were buried, with a guarded park ground surrounded by trees and flowering plants that can accomodate about 300 seated guests, with at least two hotels nearby, enough parking space and a romantic ambiance when night falls...what more can we ask for? :)

Photos taken by Nice Print Photo

(To be continued...)


the donG said...

what a coincidence. i was actually planning to go to paco park anytime next week but i was about to change my mind. this post confirmed that i really need to go there.

jho said...

mahal na pala talaga ang magpasakal. este, magpakasal ngayon.

ganda nun place.

atticus said...

anak ng. grabe sa rekititos.

pag may naloko na akong lalaki, ayaw ko niyan. hahatakin ko agad siya sa judge, at kakain kami sa karinderya sa labas ng city hall. tapos.

kaya naman ako nagmamadali kasi baka magbago pa ng isip. hehehe.

but seriously, it's good you and lyn had experience arranging weddings. otherwise, asows. stressful pala talaga.

zherwin said...

the donG, the park maybe small but it has a lot of historical significance and it's a nice place for relaxation kasi tahimik dun. go there, P5 lang naman ang entrance. :)

zherwin said...

jho, mahal is an understatement, hehehe. but every cents that we spent were worth it naman. pero yun lang, mahal pa rin hehehe.

zherwin said...

atticus, kapag me nabingwit ka na, wag mo ipakita ang blog ko at baka nga magbago isip hehehe. kapag pumunta ka rin bigla sa judge, hahanapan pa rin kayo ng authenticated birth certificate at CENOMAR, baka sedula rin hehehe.

na-experience na namin ng maraming beses ang mag-arrange ng kasal ng iba, pero iba pa rin talaga ang level of stress kapag sariling kasal ang inaayos, kahit sabihing organisado kaming dalawa, me stress pa rin!!!

atticus said...

nagkaroon rin ba ng drama gaya sa movies na may umaayaw na? nagtatampo nang sobra? gusto nang mag-walk out?

a friend of mine went through the "discovery weekend" thing. iyon ang talagang pamatay ng stress. takot na takot siyang baka umayaw ang bride. ang dami raw kasing di na nagtutuloy after that seminar. ayaw namang sabihin later kung ano ang nangyari at pinag-usapan sa weekend seminar na iyon.

IA said...

buti na lang kasal na ako at di ako sa pinas nagpakasal! dapat yata may warning dyan sa taas ng entry, the single wanna-be-married soon might get scared off by all that echebureche one has to go through to get married. not to mention all the 'digging' involved ;D

Galing nyo naman to have found the place just right for you guys!

Belle said...

it is good that i am married already. can't afford the wedding cost.

wow! what a beautiful dress! do u have a site where we can view the wedding album?

dodong flores said...

hi, zherwin. I should come back here often to read more of your wedding posts...

Gina said...

That is a very beautiful and 'sacred' place to wed. That must have been one , if not perfect, almost perfect wedding.

Happy New Year Zherwin & Lynn!

Mokong said...

Nice post... its soooo expensive to plan & to have an expensive wedding like that... i was actually planning a church wedding with my wife...civil wedding lang kasi kami, mas matibay pero unlike church wedding mas romatic at mas memorable ang dating... thanks for that post... nagka-idea ako at magiging guide ko yang post na yan!!!

Julong said...

Its good informative and nice blog.I will followed your blog.

Mokong said...

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

For God so lo"V"ed the world,
That He g"A"ve
His on"L"y
"T"hat whosoever
Believeth "I"n Him
Should "N"ot perish,
But have "E"verlasting life."

Toe said...

Paco Church is a great venue. And it is very convenient. Congratulations and best wishes to the two of you Zherwin! :)

Pareho tayo... we also wanted a small intimate wedding... if that's at all possible if you're a Filipino. :)

Panaderos said...

Paco Church was a very good choice. I have a few relatives who had their weddings there. I like the place because of the quiet and solemn setting even if you're in the heart of Manila.

Small intimate weddings are far more meaningful and enjoyable as far as I'm concerned. Congratulations once again!

zherwin said...

atticus, hindi kami sumailalim sa "discovery weekend" thingy na yan kasi wala naman sya sa requirements hehehe.

sa awa ng Diyos, na-maintain namin ni lyn ang coolness kahit naha-harass na kami, naka-ilang buntong hininga siguro kami hehehe.

zherwin said...

IA, now that our youngest will also be getting married later this year, i am giving him all the help that i could kasi mahirap, magulo, mabusisi talagang magpakasal ngayon.

zherwin said...

hi belle, wedding nowadays is being treated as a business kaya ang mahal-mahal na!

i have some pictures posted on my multiply site:

zherwin said...

dodong, and i think i have to post double time para me mabasa hehehe. :)

zherwin said...

gina, thank you. though ours was not a perfect wedding, it was smooth and organized just like we wanted. :)

zherwin said...

mokong, bro, pasensya na kung di agad ako makapag-post pero hihimayin ko ang experience namin sa mga susunod na post, and i hope to make it sooner hehehe.

zherwin said...

julong, thanks for the visit and do come back. :)

zherwin said...

toe, a small and intimate wedding is possible sa ating mga pilipino, "political will" lang ang kailangan hehehe.

zherwin said...

panaderos, that's one consideration why we also choose Paco Park, it's on the 'quiet' side of manila, accessible pa sa lahat.

Rudy said...

Hey I know that park! Araw-araw kong dinadaanan yan nung corporate slave pa ako, hehe. I also know of a few couples who decided to have their weddings there, and the venue for their reception was the old Swiss Inn Steakhouse and restaurant.

ysrael said...

Kinasal ka na pala Sorry pare, I didn't greet you on time cause I was busy for the past 3 months na halos forget ko na ang blogging activities ko. Anyway goodluck to both of you. Ang mahal ng charge ng mga simbahan ano. Mahirap talang maging katoliko mula sa pagsilang hanggang kamatayan may bayad sa simbahan. Iglesia Ni Cristo member kasi ako and we have all the most beautiful chapel and cathedral in the country and the best part of it was completely free. Oy, may nagpunta bang mga blogger sa kasal mo?

zherwin said...

rudy, alam mo kinonsider din namin ang old swiss inn as standby reception venue in case merong bagyo hehehe. buti na lang maganda ang panahon kaya happy happy. :)

zherwin said...

Ysrael, salamat.


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