SoleMates: Your Shoe’s Best Friend

Have you ever attended an outdoor wedding or event and got frustrated with how your expensive footwear seemed to just sink lower and lower into the grass? How painful it is to have those brand new stiletto heels stained with soil. What more if they were satin or some delicate material that can easily get scratched or smeared?

This was one of my main dilemmas when I decided to have a garden wedding. I knew it would be a challenge and I didn’t  want to trip or be conscious when my heels started to sink. One day, I stumbled upon one of the greatest inventions that will end the ongoing feud between my stilettos and the green grass. SoleMates is a company that sells heel plugs to prevent your gorgeous shoes from puncturing holes in the grass. It also is good for preventing your heels getting stuck in between cobblestone, wooden decks and metal grates. Shoes are not cheap and having these plugs will also protect them from immediate wear and tear. The even greater thing about this product is that you can actually use them everyday too!

I still have around 7 brand-new pairs left from my wedding and I’m selling them for PHP650 each. Maybe that’s a small price to pay for what it will save you from shoe damage.

Check out the SoleMates site to discover how crazy genius this product is!

Mark and Tina

Mark and Tina’s vintage extravaganza surely is one wedding full of creative details. For those who are into themed weddings, this one makes a statement. It is both bold and beautiful and definitely speaks of the love and romance the couple shares with each other. The photographer Nelwin Uy is one of my favorite wedding photographers. The pictures reflect the fun and candidness of the celebration alongside the cozy and caring atmosphere surrounding Mark and Tina. Enjoy this eye candy and read through as the couple shares some of their wedding experiences.

A few words from the couple:

Why is the wedding so “Mark and Tina”?

Mark: Our theme was the ’40s. For a start, Tina, my bride is an “old soul”—she likes listening to old jazz music and adores the fashion in that era. And for me, I like vintage stuff. I own a not-so-vintage vespa and I like the details of old stuff. We both are hopeless romantics too. So we went for that theme.

What was your favorite part about the wedding?

Tina: The preparation! Making sure that even the small details would look perfect with our theme.

Mark: I love the ceremony part which was in the seawall garden of Sofitel. God gave us a beautiful sunset.

Did you have DIY projects in your wedding?

Tina: Yup! I took over making our centerpieces, lace umbrellas for the guests during the ceremony, dedication envelopes, pens w/ feathers & pearls, picnic set up at the ceremony, and did the gowns of the entourage, as I am a designer.

Mark: It was my idea to make the invitation a newspaper, and supervised the layout and feel of the invite and envelope. I also conceptualized the real living room set up of the photobooth. I shot our prenup as well.

Photographer: Nelwin Uy / Videographer: Mayad / Flowers: Flowers & Foliage / Band: Aileen Balon / Venue: Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila Seawall and Grand Ballroom / Make up: Leo Posadas / Hair: Nelson Cruz / Grooming: Mich Lim-Reyes / Bride’s first gown: Dodjie Batu / Bride’s second gown: Cristina Palermo

Jette and Jojo

The word FRESH came to mind when I saw Jette and Jojo’s wedding.

I didn’t know the couple personally and I accidentally stumbled on their wedding pictures via a common friend. Upon seeing the photos I thought to myself “this has to go on my blog”. So I sent Jojo a message, hoping she wouldn’t think it was weird that I suddenly took an interest in her wedding. Thankfully, she liked Bride and Breakfast and gleefully agreed to be featured! I got to chat with her once and wow, what a sweet and kind woman! The beauty of the wedding indeed reflected who she was. I asked her a few questions that would also allow you to explore this truly romantic union.

Why is the wedding so “Jette and Jojo”?

My husband and I love being outdoors. Naturally, we wanted to hold our special day in a place where people can enjoy their surroundings, and at the same time, feel the solemnity of the event. The courtyard of Hacienda Isabella played the perfect setting for what was to be the wedding of our dreams. It provides you with the fresh air of the countryside, a beautiful garden with lushful greens and flowers, and an intimate feel that made the gathering very personal. All the songs we chose—from the ceremony to the reception—depict the life and love we have for each other. But more than the food, the decor, the gowns and everything else, we wanted the love of God to be felt that day. Thus, the wedding turned out as we hoped it would—simple, yet full of love.

I love the flower girl dresses!!!

What do you love about your wedding?

I love the flowers and styling. From the very beginning, I knew I wanted an all-white theme for the flowers. A lot of people said that it might look too bland or dull. But Henry Pascual did such a wonderful job! He was able to capture everything I imagined perfectly. I especially love the birdcages, candles and crystals he hung on the tree where we had our pictures taken with our guests. I also love the surprise number we did. We danced to the tune of “Down” by Jay Sean. Everybody went wild! Now, whenever our friends and family hear this song, they immediately think of us.

Another thing I totally adore is Jojo’s second dress! This was the dress she used for their dance number! It’s so pretty and whimsical.

Congratulations Jette and Jojo! This will truly be a day to remember.

Event Stylist: Henry Pascual / Photographer and Videographer: Lito Sy / Bridal Gown: Dressform by Sassa Jimenez / Tuxedo: Bergamo / Lights and Sounds: Sensitivity Lights and Sounds / Quartet: Dacapo / Band: Powerhouse / Tent: All Premium Tents / Coordinator: Getting Married Philippines (Kutchie Zaldarriaga) / Venue and Food: Hacienda Isabella / Additional Food: Pick a Chef, Pick a Cuisine / Chairs and Chargers: Likha

The Look



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.