Sunday, April 15, 2012

How to Plan a 150K Wedding

Nope it's not mine, I just helped my friend Marion of Bella Blue plan her wedding last December. And that's right, she just spent a mere 150,000 Pesos for a beautiful Modern- Vintage DIY Intimate wedding. Here's a short interview on how she did it. Complete with her wedding suppliers and some beautiful photos on how her wedding went.

Marion: My cousin Suzette, who is a designer and I had talked years ago. We were talking about weddings. I thought we had the same ideals back then, that spending big money for a "one day" celebration was not practical at all. She also reminded me that if ever I have to splurge, it's not with the dresses nor the venue, instead spend money in PHOTOGRAPHY (something for us newlyweds) and the FOOD (to satisfy our guests). Since then, that thought never left my mind. 

Mark and I had been on for 9 years. Our engagement happened last April, 2011. Plans about the wedding were arranged. I knew at that time that I wanted it to be intimate (with just us with our closest friends and our immediate family members). Lucky groom! Hours of talking and convincing were made to our families, especially to my parents, not letting them think "na tinitipid ang anak nila", but rather that it was my idea.

Though there were a lot of changes from our original plans, like the place and date,  we are certain on one thing - that we will pay for this wedding from our own pockets (from budget to preparation ) , and so we decided to have a very simple and intimate church wedding. 

1. Choose a stunning Church in Marion and Mark's case they chose San Sebastian Church. Who wouldn't love this all steel basilica with its Gothic architecture?

Marion: After disregarding a civil ceremony from our options. I thought of an Elopement wedding (hay, kung ano ano naiisip). At first, this is what I considered doing, only the two of us with the priest celebrant, but we cannot. Filipinos will always be Filipinos, family comes first. 

When I inquired with the parish office if they would allow a small wedding like that, the parish secretary, told me to submit a letter of request to the parish priest, and so I did, and it was granted. I was reminded though, that simple means,  no entourage and with 30 or so guests only. We just then told our families of both sides to wear something blue for our motif.

Supplier: Basilica de San Sebastian
              Office hours: Tuesdays - Saturdays - 8am -12nn, 2pm-5pm
                                  Sundays - 8am -12nn only
                                  Closed on Mondays
              Telephone No.: (02)734-8908
Price: A special rate for a "very simple" wedding

This photo gave me goosebumps :) The church's interior was really beautiful
2. For Hotel Preps, they went with Pearl Manila, it didn't have to be a 4 or five star hotel; you would just need a decent place for your wedding preps; just make sure that its near the place where you're to hold the ceremony.

Marion: Distance was my main consideration when I chose our hotel for the preparation. My two nearest options were The Pearl Manila and The Grand Opera Hotel. After reading a couple of reviews and since we were looking for a bigger room to accommodate us both in our preparations, plus the photographers, we decided to book a Junior suite at The Pearl Manila.

Supplier:  Junior Suite w/ Breakfast, Php 3, 6++, The Pearl Manila, booked via Agoda

3. For Hair & Make up, consider doing it yourself! :) find photos for your inspiration, watch videos and collect the best smudge proof make up months before your wedding, you'll be surprised on how much you'll be saving. You'll be gaining skills too!

Marion: Since the time we decided that it will be a simple wedding; I started to buy little by little; make up that  flatters my skin tone. Doing my trial make up look months, weeks and days before the important day helped me in distinguishing the look that I wanted for the big day! If you're not sure about doing your own hair(especially!) and make up, don't risk it. I started preparing 2 hours before the photographer's arrival; 1 1/2 hours of curling and teasing turned out into a simple bun (hehe, told you!) and of course , 30 mins for the make up.

Marion:  What you would need are: A Primer, BB Cream, Liquid Foundation, Powder, Eyeliner(pencil and liquid), Eyeshadows, Bronzer, nice lipstick, set of make up brushes(important), false eyelashes + glue, contact lens ;), blower, flat iron, hair mousse, hair spray, lots of hairpins (again, let somebody do your hair! If you can't do it yourself, there I said it. hehe)

Price: Invest on these things, 'coz you can still use it after the wedding.

4. Try an off- the- rack shoe and make your own. My friend Marion here chose Primadonna for her bridal shoes; an peep toe pump with an off white crocheted overlay and then... added her own touch to make it her "something blue". She probably saved a few pesos instead of buying a customized one.

Marion:  I turned my plain crocheted shoes into something elegant with a pair of pearl earrings and some blue swarovski crystals and pearl beads

Supplier: Primadonna shoes (Php 1, 200), Landmark
              Crystals and pearl beads  (can be bought in strings,  around Php 150-200),



5.  Yes, you wished of wearing that designer dress, but it costs a fortune, why not find your neighborhood "mananahi" and let her help you make your dream dress a reality. Good thing we've met with Tita Wilma Guarin. :) Ms. Marion here had a design in mind and wanted to get more bang out of her dress by making it convertible, to make it a shorter dress for the reception; that's having 2 dresses for the price of one.

Marion: Tin introduced me to Tita Wilma, I printed the dress that I had on my mind and gave it to Tita Wilma. It was just a simple wedding ceremony and we're only going to have the reception at a resto, I can't imagine dragging myself into the buffet table in a long gown, that's why I thought of having a convertible dress. 

Tip: Heavy laces are far more cheaper in Divisoria, it is half the price of the ones sold in malls.

Supplier:   Heavy Lace, Php 1000/yard (I consumed 1.5 yards), Fabric warehouse, Glorietta 5
                Soft Chiffon, 140/yard (6 yards)
                Pearl Beads
                Wilma Guarin

Price: Php 7,000


Here's her vintage inspired lace dress with cap sleeves and detachable chiffon train.
6. For her wedding rings they had it customized by a friend :) a pair of pretty white gold rings.

Supplier: Prestige Maker
              Abigail Maximo
              Mobile no. 09272288592/ 09328440900

Price:     Customized  ring, White gold , 9-10 grams, Php 24, 000
              Lifetime cleaning
              Free resizing
              Free arrhae
              Free delivery

6.  Bridal Brooch Bouquet and cord DIY- consists of 50-60 brooches mixed with fresh flowers and her cord made out of pearls and marbled beads in her motif; showed her creativity under pressure.

Marion: I've been eyeing Brooch bouquets online since forever, I know that it will go well with the heavy lace on my dress and to create that classy, vintage look that I have on my mind. Your bouquet will be more valuable, if you'll put your old brooches, earrings, rings, the ones gifted by friends, or your grandma & your mom in it. In my case, I crammed and bought the pins and materials just weeks before the wedding.

Est. Project Cost:  Php 2, 000- 4, 000

raw bouquet (composed of brooches, earrings, and rings)
And yes, I admit it, I splurged too much on this bouquet.
Of all the accessories, this one is the one I've finished doing first. Made up of pearl beads in baby blue and white, then accentuated it with a darker shade of blue beads. "The blings" included our initials, the Holy Family and the Crucifix.
7 . We stumbled upon Rico Ignacio with the help our our head nurse Ms. Ruth, she told us that her husband always had his suit done at Kamuning Market. We then googled it and Voila! Rico Ignacio. Labor for a tuxedo including pants costs 5,000 pesos and standard suit including pants 4,500 pesos. Just visit him at Kamuning public Market or call him at 422-5188 or 0918- 213 2538.

Marion: Mark really liked  how the suit fitted him. I did too.

Supplier: Rico Ignacio
Price: 100% Wool Fabric for the coat and trousers, Php4,000
          Cotton Fabric for the inside polo, Php 400
          Labor, Php 4500

          Tie - 250, The Landmark
          Shoes - 3500, Bristol, SM Department Store

8. Buttonieres- DIY

Marion: I made a total of 8 buttonieres for my groom, my family, and my in-laws, all in blue, gray and white crystals. The buttonnieres were made to match my bouquet ;) It's just made of some ribbons and just need to decide what you want for the details.

Estimated Project Cost: < Php 200

9. Birdcage Veil- DIY

Marion: I bought some french net, then made the fabric flowers myself. I made these for my 2 sisters, my niece Micah, and Mark's two sisters too. Then for the mothers and ninangs, I made each of  them a corsage (too bad was not able to take pictures), then fabric flower hair pins for the little girls.

Estimated Project Cost: < 500

I just borrowed this birdcage from my sister for the post nup. 

Mine is this white long soft flowing tulle which I managed to attached in an ornamental comb and adorned with big white pearls.

10. Photography- I have blogged about Ruffa and Mike a couple of months ago (during the contract signing) Always remember to prioritize your wedding photographer, a simple wedding such as this,with very minimal detail would be just as stunning when you get a great photographer. High end photographers costs as much as 100k! you can save a lot by researching for up and coming talents such as Ruffa and Mike, that are as great as the pricier ones but costs a lot less. You'll have great looking professional photos that you'd be proud of sharing to your future kids in the years to come.

Marion: The couple were so cool, that's why even if they're making as do poses with great effort (of course, we're not models), okay lang. I kept on assuring Mark while we are doing hard poses at the Ayala bridge, with the hot sun directly towering over far di naman ako napahiya kay hubby. 

For more of our photos please click this LINK.

Supplier: Ruffa and Mike
Price: 13,000 (a discounted rate for a simple wedding, this was based on their old rates)

Here are some of my favorite shots :)
just as she was about to make her grand entrance
I just love the photo's contemporary look :) who knew that posing on a bridge would look this romantic

Bridal beauty
11. Reception- the newlyweds then had the reception at Dad's, the venue still had that vintage Filipiniana theme going on, but it still housed their 30++ guests perfectly. They kept the guests tummies satisfied by taking them to an eat- all- you- can buffet and still managed to get everything within their budget.

Marion: Since our party was not that big, we chose to have the reception at Dads. Aside from the interior that made our reception more vintage,  I guess we made our families satisfied with wide variety of cuisine to choose from. I just thought of incorporating a little more of our motif to the venue, so days before, I made these blue paper pompoms hanging in ribbons and asked the manager to hang it in our function room.

Supplier: DADS
       Price: 26K

Check out her wedding dress with the train detached :) so chic!

And since we did not plan having the usual traditions like the bouquet and garter throwing, we instead prepared little games for our guests. Thanks to my sister who thought about the games.

12. Souvenirs- these DIY Robin's nest necklace symbolizes the couple beginning their married life together, doing DIYs might save you a lot of money but it will take time too, if you're planning to give out your labor of love to your guests, DIY souvenirs are the way to go.

Marion: We just want something different to give to our guests.  Not even part of the plan to give souvenirs, so I did these necklaces a week before the wedding.

Est. Project Cost:

Got the template of the giftbox from the internet.

For the matches(above)and candles(below), I just printed a black damask pattern in a sticker paper to be their design and cover, then outlined it with blue ribbons.

13. Invitations

Marion: We just needed a few invites for our Principal sponsors plus the hubby needs one to show his bosses when he asks them for a vacation leave. This one is so plain and I am a little bit disappointed on how it turned out, but instead of stressing myself, I went on and got my glue gun, and added ribbons and pearl beads to customize it.

Php 35.00 per piece,minimum of 50 pcs.. 1, 750 for the 50pcs ,  Recto

14. Honeymoon

Marion: Yes, believe it or not..our Coron getaway is already included in our 150k budget technically it shouldn't be, because our honeymoon was a gift from one of our ninangs. W e stayed at the Majika Island Resort in Coron which I found at; being the number 2 resort in Coron. The resort is an island far from the town, it's a little pricey though, compared to the town's rate,  but its like you're having your own island, so quiet, bagay sa mga honeymooners. :) 

Supplier: Majika Island Resort, Coron Palawan
Cost: 25,000 including the roundtrip airfare, accomodation for 4days, 3nights, full board meals, island tours, 2 dives for us both at 2 shipwreck locations.

we went to a 10 min. hiking at the peak of the island to see the beautiful sunrise of coron

14.Other Expenses-
       a.) Plane ticket: San Jose - Mla- San Jose
                                Two-way ticket of the Groom's parents - Php 4,250
                                Two-way ticket of the Bride's parents -  Php  4, 250
       b.) Giveaways for our Ninong and Ninangs
                                Wine( Php 500), SM
                                 Shawls (Php 800), Landmark
       c.) Cake (Php 1, 750), Estrels
       d.) Certificate of No Marriage(php 415 each), Application for a marriage contract at Manila
            City Hall - php 120.00

FOR A GRAND TOTAL OF (tantararan!!!!) less than 150K!

O diba?! Its possible to have a simple but beautiful wedding even if you have a tight budget. After all these wedding preparations never forget to have fun! :)

                                                                              my family


My loving mother, giving us a message.
We would then like to take this opportunity to dedicate this post to Marion's mom who joined our creator just two months after her wedding.

Marion: I owed this all to my Mama, If it weren't for her, we could have chosen to have a civil ceremony instead. During the "pamamanhikan", my parents didn't even ask my fiance for an extravagant wedding for their youngest daughter, they only wanted one thing, a UNION made by God. I don't have any regret of not turning them down for I walked down the aisle with my Mama and my Papa. My Mama was complaining  of a severe pain on her left arm days before and during the wedding. A week later we discovered in her bone scan that the pain is caused by a metastasis of  Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. She passed away just 2 months after the wedding.

Thank you Lord for the blessing, a big blessing indeed to have my mother still beside me when I waved goodbye to my single life. I love you Ma! 

Love, Marion


  1. San Sebastian Church is just so beautiful. It's one of the most beautiful ones in Manila! <3 This is such a wonderful wedding! The bride's gown is so beautiful and the pictures are so lovely! <3 I keep saying the word beautiful, but it really is! Congratulations to the new couple!

  2. thanks Carla! It really was a beautiful wedding :) Oh how I love planning weddings, they're always full of love! :)

  3. OMG! This is just so cool! I'm so inspired by how beautiful the wedding turned out to be...

  4. such a beautiful wedding!!! and i must agree. we need not to spend that much just to have a memorable wedding! ;)

    1. I could not agree more Katrina, what matters most is what happens AFTER the wedding. A beautiful union in front of GOD is priceless, especially if you have your family and a few key people there to witness your once in a lifetime event :)

  5. Thanks Tin for making this wonderful blog bout my simple and intimate wedding, hope this will inspire a lot of brides out there..

  6. this is nice! congrats. been dreaming of a simple wedding too. thanks for posting this. i love it!

  7. my goodness just happen to read this now and my I want a wedding like this too! simple, intimate, vintage, chic, and grand but still on a budget! Galing! you actually don't need to spend a million for a grand wedding! this is the proof! thank you so much for sharing this! :)

    1. You can actually pull this off Denise :) if need any help just send me a PM! :) we're very happy a lot of you girls were inspired.

  8. This is great. I'm planning a 100k wedding. Will just edit this list out and hopefully I can make it within the budget. Will PM you once we start with planning :)

    1. That's great Rae! I would love to see how you'll pull it off :) Happy Preps and I'll be waiting for your PM soon! :)

  9. I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Google. You have made my day! Thanks again.
    Austin Wedding Planners

  10. thanks so much for that wonderful information about your wedding plan. Sa totoo lang, gustong gusto ko na pakasalan girlfriend ko kaya lang sa budgeting olats ako. thanks.

    1. Naku Badongski! pakasalan na si Girlfriend! :) what matters is a union with God :) basta you both have to set a budget, identify your wants and needs and prioritize! :) kayang kaya naman mag DIY. This post just states na doable magpakasal ng maganda sa church for less :) hope to hear from you soon! :)

  11. Very good post! I read there were 30++ guests but please give a more specific number. Thank you!

  12. Thanks for this, i am also planning to have this kind of wedding.. How to contact you? I have some questions.. :) thanks in advance

  13. this is very helpful.. as i am looking forward on a vintage themed wedding next year too. and the church, i so like it,, thank you very much for sharing this with us.

  14. I am glad to find this resource of information. Thank you for the tips. These ideas can really help a lot to those who are getting married soon. :)


  15. Hi can you give the contact number of Ms Wilma, the one who made the gown pls.

  16. Hi can you give the contact number of Ms Wilma, the one who made the gown pls.

  17. wow. nice entry. but di siya applicable samin. 30 guests sa kanila vs samin na kulang pa ang 1000. *cry*

  18. These are truly brilliant tips for planning a wedding on budget. It’s quite hard to plan weddings on budget these days but by doing good research for wedding vendors, you can save loads of money. I just made a list of best venues in Los Angeles and would book the most suitable among them for my big day.

  19. Very romantic!
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  21. Cute wedding but for me 150k wedding is really expensive. To plan a budget wedding visit affordable wedding reception venues in manila