Lovers in Japan

I know I have yet to blog about my own wedding before I show our post-nuptial video but I’m dying to share this with everyone. From the beginning we were decided on getting a post-nup photo session instead of the usual pre-nup pictorial. We had a couple of reasons why we wanted to do it this way. One was that we didn’t want a video overload in our wedding. We limited the videos to our wedding slideshow and on-site video to have the rest of the time for a very relaxed program. Another reason was that we couldn’t pick the perfect spot in Manila to shoot it. So instead of stressing about it before the wedding day, I just resolved to the fact that I will just think about it after the wedding.

Ian and I planned to have our honeymoon in Japan. Francis Perez, one of our photographers at the wedding candidly joked about having our post-nup in Japan instead. We laughed at the idea at first. But as the days passed by we started to think about how cool it will actually be to shoot at a foreign country with all the beautiful unexplored sights. So Japan it was! And Francis was in for the ride!

Our photo shoot was indeed a memorable one. Even with all the preparations, weather research and organized planning we were in for an unexpected surprise. We woke up early and met at Starbucks, each of us excited for what was in store for this Japanese adventure. I nervously told Francis that I was just going to try out some random Japanese salon for my make up. I knew I was either going to hate it or love it! Fortunately, we found a really nice salon with the kindest staff. The Japanese are known to be meticulous with their art, hence my curls was as perfect as perfect can be. Not a strand out of its right position and I felt like one of those girls in a Japanese ads I saw in the subway.

Now we’re ready! We shot a few pictures at the salon and my make-up artist ran to get her camera and started shooting along with Francis. Wow, I felt like a movie star! But this was not a happy foreshadowing of what was ahead. As the afternoon drew near and we were at our first location in Nara, it started raining. Goodbye perfect curls, hello freezing weather. It was probably 5°C and I was in a gown wearing only a light jacket. But the show must go on! If my husband and photographer weren’t complaining, I sure wasn’t gonna start. Looking back I can’t help but laugh. Although the weather wasn’t ideal, we had such great memories of our shoot that made it worth it. My favorite is when we were shooting at the busy subway. Francis says “Janna, when I say sit, just sit on the floor, don’t mind the people walking, just pose. We only have seconds to capture this shot.” I had to stop myself from laughing because after a few seconds when we started posing, four or five passers by pulled out cameras and cellphones to take our pictures. Thank you Francis for another Hollywood moment. Our shoot ended a little before midnight and I was too tired to think.

All in all, I walked away just hoping I looked decent in a few shots. Besides, we were not pressured to show it to anyone.

After rain comes a rainbow. Here’s ours…

Special thanks to:

  • God – For making Japan such a beautiful place, and for the rain that actually made our shoot look very wintery and cozy.
  • My husband Ian – For being such a dashing subject and making it easy for me to act in-love.
  • Super photographer Francis Perez – For being the brain behind the camera and for the art you brought to life.
  • Japanese salon – For my ultra Japanese look and the perfect curls that lasted an hour.

Good Wedding, Good Food, Good Time!

One of the things guests usually look forward to in weddings is the food. I remember my mom (and a number of people) telling me, “Scrimp on anything but the food!”. They have a point. Being raised in a food-loving nation, our celebrations always have the good-food factor. So what are some things we need to remember for the wedding menu?

There are a few things that come to mind. First of all, make sure you have a good caterer, one that is reliable and serves good food. Most caterers will have different packages that will suit your budget. Call and inquire for packages then see what catches your eye. If your venue would be at a hotel, they carry set menus. Make sure that the menu you will choose will also suit the profile of your guests. A good strategy is to have a beef and fish option. Usually the younger crowd or male guests go for the meat while older people go for the fish. Take note, although the type of meat you serve matters, what is more important is that it tastes good. Ask for a food-tasting session as early as possible so that when you don’t like something from the menu, you can request for an alternative. Another tip would be to ask a trusted family member or friend whom you know has very good standards with food. In my case it was my brother—I made sure he was there during the food tasting and he was definitely able to share his two cents on our food choices.

My food tasting experience was indeed an excellent one. I knew from the start that food was a top priority. This is one of the reasons I chose Antonio’s in Tagaytay. Aside from the excellent ambiance, the food is top-notch. During the food tasting session, they served the dishes as it would be served in the wedding so I got to comment on the portions, presentation, and taste.

Lets start with the cocktails. Cocktails are so important because everyone most likely will be hungry after your long ceremony. Discuss with your coordinator what time the cocktails should be served. My aunt had this brilliant idea of serving cocktails before the ceremony. Many of our guests endured a two-hour ride from Manila to get to our wedding in Tagaytay. We wanted to welcome them with a light snack and make sure they were full during the ceremony. While waiting for the other guests to arrive, everyone got to eat, mingle and relax. Another perk was our guests were not too full from the cocktails when dinner was served. In many cases, guests are so hungry after the ceremony  they end up overeating during cocktails. Again, there is no rule set on stone for cocktails. Whether it’s before or after the ceremony, your guests will definitely enjoy a light snack.

Check out our appetizers that were simply divine:

Chicken Risotto Balls with Mozzarella

Prawn Skewers

Scallops w/ Mango Orange Sauce and Lumpfish Caviar  (See photo).

A guest from Hong Kong candidly enjoys the cocktails.

Our dinner menu was also a hit with our guests. Family and friends kept raving about it weeks and months after the wedding. That really proves that the guests really do remember the food! Here’s a sample of our menu.

Salad: Fresh Mesclun Salad from the garden, Bleu d’ Auvergne Crumble, Glazed Walnuts, Dried Currants, Dried Cranberries w/ Raspberry Vinaigrette

Soup: Oven Roasted Cream of Tomato and Capsicum Bisque

First Main Course: Grilled Pink Peppered Chilean Sea Bass  on Tomato Risotto, Saffron – Kaffir Sauce

Lemon-lime Sorbet

Second Main Course:  Grilled Beef Fillet, Gratinated w/ Wild Mushroom on Mashed Potato

Dessert: Tartufo Nero w/ Grand Marnier

Freshly Squeezed Dalandan Juice

Coffee or Tea

After-Party Snacks: Cheese Platter


Although as the bride, expect that you won’t get to taste half of what’s in your menu during your big day. So I will leave you with one word you should take to heart: CRACKERS.

Andre and Pia

Its rare to see weddings that show so much creativity and spunk in the Philippines. I think partly because we are a very traditional and culture-focused nation. Many weddings choose to stick to the mold and follow the rules we’ve grown accustomed to. However, more and more couples today are being more experimental and daring in planning their big day. It’s so great to see that weddings are starting to really reflect the couple’s character and style.

One gorgeous wedding I saw was Andre and Pia’s wedding. Pure loveliness indeed.



How breathtaking is this bouquet?

This cake has charm written all over it.

As you can see in the photos, the wedding was so cozy and personal. So I asked Pia why their wedding was so “them”.

I guess because we planned the wedding based on everything we like but we still gave considerations to certain traditions and cultures. For example, no more releasing of doves but we released balloons instead. We didn’t have the games anymore but we didn’t skip on the cake cutting and the drinking of wine as they have more meaning (for us).

We talked about having a simple but charming wedding, so our wedding has the old world charm feel which we both like.

We personally chose the flowers/plants for table setting, we made the playlist for the entire wedding from the church down to cocktails and dinner!

We were very hands on which is why we don’t regret anything about the wedding. We just followed our hearts’ desires! I think when you plan something from the heart, your self will truly show.

We (Andre and I) made our props (mustaches) for our Baicapture photobooth. it’s a nice touch to make things more personal since we know that photobooths are everywhere nowadays. I also asked an artist friend to do our backdrop instead of the selection templates of Baicapture. We used this backdrop design for our thank you cards as well.

To Andre and Pia, cheers to your beautiful wedding!

Church: Our Lady of Lourdes / Reception: Hacienda Isabella / Suit: JC Buendia / Dress: Jojie Lloren / Entourage: Newyorker / Cake: Estrel’s / Cake Topper: Etsy / Caterer: Cibo Di M / Florist: Tropical Blooms / Photographer: MangoRed / Videographer: Bob Nicolas / Coordinator: Just Like Ours / Band: Brass Munkeys / Invite: Printed Matter

Beauty and the Best

Almost every girl I know dreams of the fairytale wedding we so often see in movies or the pages of a bridal magazine. While some may have the luxury of splurging on their big day, others simply have to work within a budget. But do not fret, the beauty of a wedding is not really directly related to how much you spend for it. Aside from the priceless emotions of love and laughter, the trick really is in the style details. And that’s where B&B comes in.

Being a lover of all things beautiful, I hope to share with you my own wedding experience, the creme de la creme weddings and super gorgeous wedding-related things that can inspire you to get your style to the aisle. Whether you need to keep tabs on the expenses or it’s sky’s the limit for your big day, if it’s fresh, unique and pretty, it’s here!

But first things first! Let me introduce myself. I’m Janna and I love pretty things. Ever since I started planning my wedding, I simply got hooked on the beauty and creativity it requires. I constantly seek for inspiration in books, blogs and anything in between. I am blessed to be totally in love with my husband who is also my best friend. And a mom to our first little darling Matti who adds so much color to my life. I am passionate about style, wedding fashion, and anything artsy and elegant. I love to write, I love to daydream, and I love to be girly. As a wedding curator, I constantly strive to get ideas to innovate and better my eye for detail. As a blogger, I try to filter out the best of what this industry has to offer hoping that I would be able to help and inspire all of you.

So with that, I say cheers to you, yes you… the beauty of this story. You deserve the best groom, the best wedding and the best memories of one of the grandest days of your life!