The NookWelcome to my little nook, a corner in Bride and Breakfast where we can talk (as in really talk!) about the other faces of weddings and things. From tips, ideas and the nitty gritty of the wedding world, it’s a place where I share my everyday musings, ramblings of what I am passionate about, the technicalities of blogging, bridal and vendor culture, and an occasional peek at my life in and out of B&B. – Janna

28
Nov

Guests at the Bride and Breakfast Garden Soiree

Posted by Janna Simpao

Here are some of the photos of the wonderful people who came and supported us. The event wouldn’t have been a success if it weren’t for them! It’s nice to see the wedding suppliers chilling, relaxing, and just bonding with each other. I hope everyone had a great time because I can’t wait for next year!!!

Make sure you see the crazy SLOWMOO video below!

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Photographer: Adrian Ardiente / Slow Motion Video: SLOWMOO

29
Jun

The Nook: The Hopeless Romantics

Posted by Janna Simpao

It’s no secret to me that we have readers who are not yet engaged or even some who are not in a relationship. Many of whom secretly stalk the site because it’s a place where they can luxuriously appreciate the beauty and whimsy of weddings. Some are a bit shy to even let their family and friends know that B&B is a guilty pleasure, since others might misinterpret their interest on the topic. It’s a valid concern of course, being that our culture is one that tends to mind other people’s business. I don’t even know why I got up this morning wanting to write this article. But let me just spill my thoughts–kindly excuse my scatterbrain writing since I haven’t had decent sleep lately!

Bride and Breakfast was created to help brides envision their perfect wedding, but as years went by, I realized it has also become a field where people (of any relationship status) can take joy in love. I don’t think it was ever God’s requirement that someone ought to be engaged before they acquire the right to go through a bridal blog without judgement. Truth be told, people in general like the thought of a beautiful nuptial because it reflects one of the best assets we have as human beings. It is the ability to love, and the gift of creativity, art and beauty. However, weddings have a way of bringing out our vulnerability–it’s that moment when most of us put down our walls, when it’s ok to shed a tear (even if you are a man) and for some, a moment when they forget that the world has left them jaded and scarred. But, hold on! The world forbid that we show any form of nostalgia and sensitivity toward this cheesy notion of a wedding, because it is a sign of being “weak” right? On the contrary, I think people who love weddings show so much strength and confidence in character. To love, to believe in it, to cherish it, and to aspire for it takes indescribable bravery, trust and courage.

At the end of the day, weddings remind us that love is amazing, love is art, and that God created it to be wonderful. Keeping tabs on beautiful celebrations is not just about wanting to be married, it’s about appreciating creativity, talent, and enjoying beauty. So if you are thinking that we require a ring on your finger for you to fully enjoy this blog, then you are sorely mistaken. If you love pretty things, and appreciate the wonders in details–seeing that each wedding is not just about a couple but every guest, every supplier, every element, that contributed to it being unbelievably breathtaking, then you are one of us. We’re proud to be the hopeless romantics, the advocates of weddings as a commitment, as well as an art form. As for those people who might think it odd that you follow our site, well they don’t know what they are missing… because love and style, well, is just awesome.


20
Feb

The Nook: A Wonderful Marriage

Posted by Janna Simpao

I’ve been married for three wonderful years to an amazing husband. And when I say wonderful, I don’t mean problem-free. And by amazing, I do not mean perfect. In fact, to be honest with you, I’m sure I’ve failed the best-wife-in-the-world description more than I’d care to admit and so has Ian (as a husband I mean). But that’s a whole new post that I’m pretty sure I’d be sharing sooner or later.

As I’ve shared before, I am equally passionate about family life as I am with weddings. That’s why when I read this article from RELEVANT Magazine, a Christian website that talks about faith, culture and intentional living, I couldn’t help but share. The three things Tyler Ward talks about are SOOO TRUUUEEE!!! He totally gets the whole picture. Fortunately these principles were also passed on to us early in our marriage by couples Ian and I consider as real life role models, those who’ve shown us the amazing design of God for marriage. Whether you are about to get married, or already are, or even if you’re still far from getting hitched, this article will really add so much wisdom and light on the richness and fullness of a wonderful married life.

Source: RELEVANT Magazine


12
Feb

The Nook: A Salty 2013 to All!

Posted by Janna Simpao

As 2012 came to a close, we could not help but be in awe of the many things that happened for Bride and Breakfast–a totally revamped site, our very first full editorial, and of course the countless beautiful wedding inspirations that we got to feature. Blessed by wonderful new friendships with suppliers and faithful readers, I felt that yes, this is home.

We wanted to give a small token of appreciation to the friends we’ve made in the industry–hopefully 2013 will triple that number! So the hunt for the perfect gift took place. I wanted it to symbolize something, something special. It may be cheesy, but then again, I live in a world of artists and hopeless romantics right?

Voila! We chanced upon Rocks Gourmet Salt, in truffle flavor. What used to be a condiment I could only find abroad, I was beyond thrilled that I found a local supplier! Plus, it was already tastefully packaged so I didn’t have to worry about gift wrapping anymore. Truffle salt is amazing with scrambled eggs or white sauce pasta. Yum!!!

Salt is one of the things that symbolize life, abundance, and flavor. Very appropriate for what we wish for all our partners in the industry… and for all our readers as well. I hope this 2013 will be a “salty” year of romance, creativity and beauty. I also love how they also put a Bible verse in the back. It really reminds me of how God was the one who blessed our blog from the beginning.

Note to self: I still need to send out some of the remaining gifts that are still with me… Ooops!

Gourmet Salt: Rocks Gourmet Salt

04
Feb

The Nook: Weddings and Meetings

Posted by Janna Simpao

It’s always such a treat to go to destination weddings since it means a quick holiday for me. A few days ago, my husband Ian and I celebrated our 3rd year anniversary. So flying to Cebu for my bestfriend’s wedding turned out to be an anniversary celebration as well.

A welcome basket surprised us when we got to the hotel and it was filled with the yummiest treats of Cebu. I really thought I wouldn’t be able to fit in my gown the next day. That’s my Julia, always thinking of ways to pamper people!

As usual, my darling husband was there to goof around! For those of you who don’t know, he’s the IT genius behind our simple blog. Don’t know what I’d do without him!

The first day was spent having a massage with the bride-to-be in CHI spa at Shangri-la Mactan. I didn’t get to take a photo since my phone ran out of battery. But wow! that massage was AMAZING! You even get your own villa (talk about VIP treatment!).

In the evening, we met up with a couple of up and coming Cebu suppliers, who we’re collaborating with (yup, it’s gonna be something really gorgeous!). I was thrilled to finally meet Marlon Capuyan, his wife Mildred, and Gizelle of Cuckoo Cloud Concepts. Our meeting took about 5 minutes since they knew exactly what I wanted for our project. So yeah, our ideas just clicked! I love when that happens. Afterwards they were so gracious enough to treat us in this ridiculously delicious Italian restaurant called Giuseppe’s. Their quattro formaggi pasta was heavenly. I gobbled it so fast I forgot to take a photo.

As for the wedding day, I’m pretty sure I’d be writing more about it when I get the official photos. But I absolutely loved my dress by Ito Curata so I decided to post a nice photo of the entourage. Loved the colors! My bestfriend Julia was beyond beautiful in his creation as well, everyone was talking about her gown! She is really one of the most beautiful brides I’ve seen, and I’m not just saying that cause we’re friends! She really looked breathtaking! It was certainly such a privilege to stand with her as her Matron of Honor and celebrate 20 years of wonderful friendship.

How time flies. Look at us here. Probably one of our not-so-breathtaking photos. Hilarious right?


13
Dec

The Nook: First Love Dream Team

Posted by Janna Simpao

I can’t believe that it finally happened! And it just didn’t “happen”, it happened with an amazing team. I decided to write a more extensive description of the partners we worked with, because I realize that many of our readers are curious about these suppliers. With a mix of seasoned and up-and-coming ones in this list, I cannot do anything but sing praises on how they made our shoot beautiful beyond words.

I also want to suggest to couples that instead of the usual engagement shoots that you do, having an editorial approach (such as the one in this shoot) can be one of the things that you can invest on. Interesting trivia–our two models, Niña and Peter, are actually a real couple.

Here’s some more background on our wonderful team for this shoot:

Nelwin Uy Photography: Nelwin brilliantly captured most of the shots in film, and I can’t stress how gifted he is in his craft. What I love about Nelwin is his unassuming approach to photography. It just makes everything very light and real.

Vatel Manila: Wow, oh wow, I am at a loss for words on the beautiful set up that Dylan of Vatel Manila created for us. Gorgeous furniture, exquisite accessories, beautiful props and elegantly-arranged flowers were the highlights of this shoot. If we’re talking tasteful, Vatel Manila lives and breathes it.

Joe San Antonio: Her beautiful dresses are fit for a princess. She’s young and has a keen sense of style. My goal for next year is to wear one of her creations, and I am sure a lot of brides will be wanting to do the same.

Stellar {Cakes by Hershey Tagulinao}: Stellar is certainly one of the rising stars in the cake industry. Hershey makes the most beautiful cakes and her craftmanship is impeccable. She’s also such a joy to work with because she’s so open to ideas and collaborations.

Box of Sweets by Punky Porca: I’ve always been a fan of dessert tables. Punky is your girl when it comes to have a pretty selection of treats! Those Macarons de Paris are love.

{etc} Handmade Goodness: No need for a long introduction for them. They are the pioneers of beautiful handmade accessories, in our case the boutonnières. They are so creative! Quality work and exceptional eye for detail.

Aira Franco: She’s only been in the craft for a short while and yet she’s becoming a household name when it comes to styling. I love her perkiness, ingenuity (especially in unexpected crisis, because yes, that happens in shoots) and her commitment to her cause: to style and to create beauty.

Fritz Mortel: Her work is crisp and clean. She did makeup retouch and hair beautifully despite the time pressure. We know we’ll be working with her again.

Arlene Sy of Bonnie Paperie: Hand-painted invitations? Need I say more? Those three words already make me gush with delight. I can totally see this trend becoming more and more popular for 2013.

The Mango Farm: I am totally smitten with this place! If you’re looking for a gorgeous venue with lots of greens, look no further. Best thing is that it’s so near the city!


18
Oct

The Nook: Oh My Stars!

Posted by Janna Simpao

When you’re a mom, you don’t really have a lot of time to spare. That plus the job of growing Bride and Breakfast has pretty much filled my schedule. So when the opportunity came to spend the weekend in Singapore with my best friends, I could not believe that everything just fell into place.

My friend Gaucha invited us (me and Leanne) to join her and her husband to see the ASAP show they are doing in Singapore. I don’t really watch a lot of TV but I was definitely excited for the whole experience, plus it was a chance for my girls and I to see each other again. So with two days to spare, we conquered Singapore.

Here we are in PS.Cafe in Dempsey Hill. I totally fell in love with the quaint and cozy feel of the restaurant plus the fact that it was surrounded by greens! Totally relaxing. We ordered their famous Ceasar Salad and some Truffle Oil Fries. We could have stayed here for hours!

Here I am with Gaucha in this really great Japanese restaurant. I forgot the name, but the steak was to die for! After that, the three of us went back to the Fullerton Bay Hotel for some drinks and for our tourist picture taking! This one was taken in Lantern, the rooftop bar and restaurant of the hotel (it was so gorgeous I didn’t wanna leave!).

The next day we got ready to see the show! But not before we took some photos. We must make the most out of our once-in-a-blue-moon trips together.

When we got to the show, they led us to the best seats in the house (right smack front and center)! The artists were literally only a couple of feet away. And though this was my first time to see the whole show, I must say it was such a one-of-a-kind experience. I also totally loved the idea that the cast of the show give so much joy to our fellow Filipinos who are working so hard in other countries.

In the evening we headed out to paint the town red and joined the cast for hors d’ouvres and drinks. It was a wonderful experience getting to know most of them. But even with such a star-studded evening, I really had the most fun with my friends–we laughed until tears rolled down our faces as we made our typical bloopers. I think we should make this a yearly thing!

Oh, and because it’s Christmas soon and this post really is somehow related to the stars, I thought of including the ABS-CBN Studio ID Video, which for me was very well-crafted.


17
Sep

The Nook: Building a World-Class Brand (For Wedding Suppliers)

Posted by Janna Simpao

If you have a job like mine, you tend to really spend hours and hours looking at websites and other resource materials to see the latest trends. As a blogger, I always try to put myself in the bride’s shoes. It’s important to know what couples nowadays want, what they gravitate to, and what catches their eye. In an industry such as weddings, here are some tips I think might elevate how wedding suppliers package themselves. I’ve heard countless conversations how suppliers wished that their couples would be less traditional… well here’s the thing–YOU can be a great influence to them in trying out new things.

  1. Look Personal but Professional – In this day and age of ubiquitous internet, it makes a whole lot of difference how you do your website. It is the first encounter your couples will have with you. It’s a reflection of who you are and how you perceive weddings. A charming website/logo needs to be well thought out. It needs to be romantic and inviting but at the same time polished and clean. Hire a really good team to do your brand. A team that knows the wedding trends not only here in the Philippines but the rest of the world as well.
  2. Go Pretty – We have our fair share of men in the industry (photographers and videographers especially) so there really is that tendency to have a logo with more masculine structures, fonts and colors. I am not saying that these logos are bad. However, weddings are all about romance, so it wouldn’t hurt if you brand yourself in this light. Adjectives that you might want to describe they way your logo looks like are romantic, charming, fun and inviting (vs. corporate, strong and sharp).
  3. Spring or Pastel Tones – Colors that would best appeal to people getting married are seldom big chunks of blacks, browns or grays. Unless you are going for an ultra minimalist look (clean and white), you can try using a mix of upbeat spring tones such as teal, coral, or mustard, nothing overwhelming. Another option is pastel–blush, lavender, peach, or powder blue, most of which you can pair with other neutral tones such as grays and beiges. These shades certainly gets one in the mood to daydream. For male vendors, a tip is to get a lady on board. Having someone with a feminine taste can help you in brainstorming a design for your website or logo! It’s still you but with a waft of charm. Remember, most of your clients are brides-to-be (and grooms that caught the love bug) so its all about the whimsy wedding planning brings.
  4. Tasteful vs. Tacky – Now since we are working in a creative industry, there is no magic formula or a million-dollar look. Each one of us will have different preferences. Some might go for classic elegance, some might want quirky charm. All of these are perfectly apt for weddings. It’s how you translate these words into images that count. I don’t claim to be the expert in branding, and my opinion is just based on the material I see coming out all over the world. The best way to see the latest trends is to expose yourselves to branding outside the Philippines. Filipinos are very creative! Don’t get stuck with the norm. Be experimental. Sadly, most wedding websites I see can be overly traditional, gloomy and tough looking.

The good news is I’ve really seen a number of wedding suppliers step up their game in branding their product. I commend them for seeing the benefit of having a brand that is competitive both locally and internationally.

A few months back, we at B&B took on the challenge to really be able to express who we are through our brand. In the past two plus years that B&B has existed, I’ve met with a number of website designers, I told them my style and how I envisioned the site to be, although all of them were very talented, I couldn’t seem to find THE ONE who could translate who we were.

Just this year, I met Fozzy Castro-Dayrit of The Fozzy Book. Fozzy is not really a website designer–in fact her forte is calligraphy and designing invitations. But because I love her style, I begged her to consider designing the new Bride and Breakfast. She excitedly took on the challenge! The first design she sent me hit home. With a couple of improvements here and there, we got it! It was pretty and romantic, subtle and soft. Many of our readers really loved it (and I catch myself staring at it with contentment)! I am smitten with the wood washed background and the watercolor header! The logo, is soooo B&B too don’t you think?

Another person I enlisted in coming up with backdrops for badges and buttons for Bride and Breakfast is Anna Cristobal. Anna, like Fozzy is also experienced in graphics and invitation design. The great thing about her is that I just describe to her in a few words how I want something to look and just let her take lead in coming up with the design. It amazes me how she gets my style instantly–I rarely even have to send her pegs. I loved her work so much that I hired her as the graphic designer of B&B on retainer basis. You will not go wrong with her! Here’s the B&B badge she designed for me.

Lastly, because these girls don’t have much experience on the technical side. I got Gian Aguilar, a website programmer and designer to do the backend of the blog, such as coding. Gian is particularly amazing to work with because he really gives input on how to make the site user friendly. Noticed how the new B&B is compatible and scales in size (responsive) whether you are using your laptop, iPad or iPhone? Well that’s all Gian! Polished and professional!

I share all these with you hoping that you too can be inspired to take it to the next level. Create a team that will really allow you to get that dream look of yours that is certainly within reach. As we fancy saying it here in B&B, loveliness is just around the corner!

 

Special thanks to:

The Fozzy Book
Anna Cristobal


13
Aug

The Nook: Well Done!

Posted by Janna Simpao

So once in a while I get to write about things outside weddings. With the growing number of followers of Bride and Breakfast, I am hoping The Nook will be a means for all of you to get to know me a little better.

God created all of us for a purpose–some singers, some doctors, some missionaries, some astronauts and yes, some bloggers too! Many of you might be at a crossroads and still figuring out what you wanna do in life. The journey is not always easy. It even took me years to get to this conclusion that I should be blogging. Yes, tears and laughter were definitely in the mix somewhere. But the thing with God is when he calls you to do something, He also equips you to get the job done. Today, I am just beyond amazed with how B&B has evolved. My desire has always been to appreciate Christ’s beauty, reflected in all of the wonderful weddings I get to write about. I am also ecstatic knowing how many people the blog has reached and helped. And what’s also amazing are the friendships that are built along the way.

Hopefully, at the end of this life, His light and truth has been magnified in B&B, and I would be able to hear two sweet words from my master and creator, “Well Done!”.

This song of Moriah Peters hits the spot!


03
Aug

The Nook: Ironman with my Ironman!

Posted by Janna Simpao

I am trilled that I will get to watch my husband race his first Ironman 70.3 here in Cebu. One of the things I learned from Ian is that it’s a choice to enjoy what your spouse enjoys. I actually see it on a daily basis with how he deals with the technical side of B&B. You see, the blog doesn’t just magically become the way it is. A lot of the back-end work really falls in the arms of my super tech-savvy hubby. He makes sure he fixes the glitches and that everything runs smoothly for myself and my readers. Despite my job being all about girly things, Ian is there for me 100%. He listens to all my ideas, reads all my posts, and yes, he even indulges me in style talk.

So today we’re in Cebu and the race fever is contagious. People from all around the world are also here to compete. Ian is walking on cloud nine and this weekend will be about what he enjoys. F.Y.I. I don’t like staying under the sun too much because I am not a big fan of the heat. But then again, I’m sure I can make an exception as I cheer for Ian to complete his 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run. At the end of the day, I am his no. 1 fan.

Happy weekend folks!

Hello Cebu!

Busy boy!

The cool thing is that when he’s busy doing triathlon socials, I get to work on B&B.
…and maybe take photos with celebrities.