Teena Barretto, Jason Magbanua, and Pat Dy Talk About Planning Weddings During the Pandemic

Wedding planning has become uncertain and filled with anxiety these past few months. Couples have to make changes to their original plans and guests have to settle with attending weddings online. Though weddings may have to be scaled down, you can still throw the most meaningful event. Your wedding can still happen! How? In this B&B TV recap, let’s recall some of the pieces of advice Wedding Planner Teena Barretto, Videographer Jason Magbanua, and Photographer Pat Dy  shared with us.

Teena Barretto, Jason Magbanua, and Pat Dy Talk About Planning Weddings During the Pandemic

Safety is the priority
While we are still in the middle of a pandemic, we can’t compromise safety. Couples, guests, and suppliers must observe safety protocols such as the wearing of proper personal protective equipment like face masks and face shields. Social distancing measures must also be observed even if the number of guests has been trimmed down. Remember that all these precautions are for the welfare of your family, the people who will be helping out during your wedding day, and yourselves.

During the live talk on B&B TV, Teena Barretto discussed that members of the Live Events Coalition are working on a safety protocol manual which provides guidelines for everyone involved in the live events industry, and that includes weddings.

Part of that manual states that a buffet setup is no longer allowed at this time and cocktail hour where people mingle, drink, talk is going to be out of the topic at this time. It’s really just going to be a plated dinner. There’s also social distancing of 1.5 meters. A table for 10, if you follow social distancing, will now be reduced to a table for 2. But of course we are saying maybe we can make it a table for 4 because there’s enough space for everybody,” says Teena. “Those are things that are being worked on at the same time since there’s a limit on the number of people allowed to be inside. The count includes the number of suppliers. If there’s a photo team, video team, planner, audio guy, they’re all part of that count.”

The authors of this safety protocols manual include event producers, event directors, technical directors, production designers, as well as a group of epidemiologists and infectious disease experts. During the airing of the live talk, Teena mentioned that the manual was being reviewed by the Department of Health. Once the manual is approved by DOH, then it will be distributed to the other concerned agencies such as DOLE, DTI, and IATF. Afterwards, it will become a public document and its guidelines must be implemented across the board from concerts, weddings, conferences, and the like.


Changes to Wedding Day Timelines and Shortened Programs are Necessary
It’s also important for couples to consider lessening the amount of time everyone is exposed to groups of people, and being in enclosed spaces. There are also guidelines which hotels, restaurants, and other establishments put in place to ensure the safety of all employees and guests, such as a 50% venue capacity only or a one guest per room policy. Make sure to check in with your venue, because these safety measures would entail changes to preparation plans, pictorials, and reception programs.

“Programs will be shortened and how that affects me as a videographer is goodbye same day edit, and I’m perfectly okay with that. When I do small weddings, whether it’s here in Tagaytay, Europe, or US, if it’s somewhere under 100, I will always dissuade my couples. You don’t need an SDE. Yes, it’s nice. Yes, it’s going to be beautiful but you don’t need it, because these 75 or 50 people are so concentrated on the actual wedding ceremony. They know everything. They focus on you. This is not an 800 person reception where people need to see what happened because they didn’t see the ceremony,” says Jason Magbanua

Photographer Pat Dy recently shot an intimate wedding which was held at a private residence and he shared that his team did not stay for the reception anymore. “We didn’t stay for the reception anymore, but we did something to the program, we adjusted to the new norm. What we did was we started with cake cutting before the actual dinner started, so cake cutting, a bit of speeches. That’s it, then we said our goodbyes,” says Pat.

“It’s not going to be the same timeline as we used to have before where the photo and video team will arrive four hours before the ceremony, you do portraits and everything. It’s going to be so much different now, because we have to consider that there’s going to be a safety protocol implementation to protect everybody,” says Teena.


Suppliers are willing to Lend a helping hand
Suppliers are more than happy to accommodate your needs during this challenging time. There are suppliers who have created packages suitable for intimate weddings and have been giving offers that would help couples make wedding planning easier under these circumstances.

“There’s no harm in emailing, asking around. Go about it in a normal fashion. Ask about rates. Ask about whatever offers are being provided by the supplier. We’re very open to whatever you can propose and what we can offer. I’m sure there’s a mutual meeting ground we can agree on,” says Jason.

Jason also added that he is working on providing couples with a live streaming service so that guests who will not be able to attend the wedding can still view the event in real time.

“I’m into that right now, being able to stream events, for example ceremonies, into private pages, like a controlled private page of people who were supposed to be in the wedding but cannot be there because of quarantine. I’ve been practicing. I’ve been hammering down the details, getting the equipment I need, as well as infrastructure as far as internet connection goes. I’ve been trying to refine that and execute that within the next few months,” says Jason.

The advantage of having one supplier who will control the video streaming is that it will be organized and streamlined instead of having multiple guests holding their phones up to make video calls.

“Maybe on the other side of the screen you’ll have your singers, your hosts. This is actually an open channel for us to explore. We are all creative in this field, and I’m sure all the passionate individuals in the wedding industry can find a new platform on how to integrate these things,” says Teena.


Smaller weddings will allow you to focus on the essentials
Smaller, more intimate weddings will allow you to go back to the basics. You can pinpoint what really matters to you for your wedding whether that’s your rings, your photos as a couple, your family and the like.

“For me, I always live for the moments shared in a wedding. With big celebrations, there are too many frills. That’s just icing, that’s just cover. When you take all of those things out, the moment is there, it’s magical. When the heart is there and you feel the moment shared by the bride and groom during the bridal march, a father and daughter dance, that’s the heart. That’s the most important. Whether the wedding is big or intimate, you’re not going to lose that,” says Teena.


Grand or intimate, your wedding will still be beautiful
“The best advice I can give to them is that it’s still going to be beautiful no matter if it’s a small wedding or a big wedding. Everything will work out,” says Pat.

“The weddings right now, no matter how intimate it is, is doable. We all just really have to be aware of the safety protocols and the duty to care. It is our duty to care for our team, for our manpower, our guests, our stakeholders. For as long as you have that in mind, you’re good. We can proceed,” says Teena

“I have always loved intimate weddings. It’s not something new to me. It just so happens that there’s a social obligation of inviting the Ninongs, friends of the parents, or business associates. I’m not saying it’s wrong, that’s just the way it is. If couples are able to break away from this pressure, and people have done that successfully, these are really beautiful weddings and I’m all for that,” says Jason.

To all couples, the wedding industry is here to support you and help you make your wedding as beautiful as it can be. Just remember to read up on safety protocols and communicate with your suppliers about how your wedding can be best handled during this time.


Watch the full B&B TV episode here:

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