News, Promos & Ideas

A Ball Gown for Your Intimate Wedding? We Say Yes!

Go ahead, choose the wedding gown that makes your heart skip a beat

By Ronna Capili Bonifacio

Photographs by Nicolai Melicor and Kith and Kindle

Jewelry by J’s Diamond | Makeup by Bene Javier | Hairstyle by Strawberry Diaz | Gown by Bonaobra Couture | Flowers by Clint Carl Flowershop | Models: Christi McGarry and Eduardo Lara for Empire Mercator | Cake by Angelyn's Cakes | Shot on location at Museo de Padilla | Shoot assistants: Anna Isleta and Patricia Valiente

If you've always dreamt of walking down the aisle in a wedding gown fit for a princess, don't let a leaner guest list keep you from doing so. Now that intimate weddings are the norm and will likely be for a while, does it mean you'll have to give up on your pegs of a grand train? We at think not.

Your intimate wedding can still be the wedding of your dreams. If the details you've always dreamt of are unrelated to safety protocols–such as a ballgown, who's to say you must compromise it? Go ahead, choose the wedding gown that makes your heart skip a beat!

Related: 2020 Wedding Trend - Dried Flowers

One of the changes we love seeing in covid weddings is the relaxed vibe couples are enjoying because the event is now intimate. Couples are able to take time with their wedding portraits and they skip worrying about pulling off an elaborate reception program. However in spite the shorter guest list in pandemic weddings, hiring a wedding coordinator is still the way you can fully enjoy your relaxed intimate wedding. Know more about why a wedding planner or coordinator is a must for intimate weddings here.

Scroll below to see this bridal editorial and add it to your mood board!

Get great discounts at the 11.11 Grand Year End Online Bridal Sale. No bogus, no virus! You can book legitimate wedding suppliers at the comforts of your home. The fair runs until December 12, 2020.

Jewelry by J’s Diamond
Jewelry by J’s Diamond
Jewelry by J’s Diamond
Florist & Event Stylist by: Dangwa Flowers by Clint Carl
Hair & Make Up Artists by: Bene Javier Makeup Artistry & Hairstyling
Wedding & Engagement Ring by: J's Diamond Jewellery
News, Promos & Ideas

5 Expert Tips for Livestreaming Your Wedding

It's not as simple as having a camera phone, LTE connection, and tapping the "Live" button

There’s a new supplier that’s fast becoming a must for couples getting married in this pandemic and for most, it’s a new idea. Livestreaming one’s wedding can sound straight forward, but it takes much more thought, effort, and equipment than simply pointing a camera phone at a couple and hitting the “Live” button.

First things first, livestreaming your wedding is a completely different task and deliverable from your photographer’s and videographer’s. A photographer covers the events of the day in photos while a videographer does the same in video format. This is why hiring a livestream supplier, or a separate team of people from your documentation is important. Their task is to shoot the events of the day and make sure your guests who are safe at home can watch it and be part of your big day. There is a whole other technical aspect that your documentation team cannot do anymore. Of course, this is unless your videographer now also offers livestream services.

Kim Torres of Kim Torres Events and Live by KTE, who also offers livestream services apart from wedding planning, shares her five expert tips below. Read on!

1. “Never ever underestimate the logistics of livestreaming: Audio, connection, camera shot or angle, troubleshooting, tech support who can assist your virtual guests, and correct or proper livestreaming platform for your wedding.”

2. “Make sure to engage with your guests as much as possible. It can be via comments for them. Make them feel they are part of your wedding, too!” It might be too confusing to have them turn their mics on and interact with you. But it’s likely not impossible if you wanted a speech from one of your guests!

3. “Share as much info as possible, make sure your guests know what to expect,” says Kim. Are you only streaming the ceremony but not the reception? Are you streaming both? What is the schedule for the ceremony and what time does the reception start? You can give your guests these info via a private Facebook group or your wedding website. And there’s no harm in communicating it again via a text message the day before!

Related: Love Wins: Live Forum - The New Normal Wedding Checklist

4. “Don't multi-task make sure you to hire a professional, who knows the service,” says Kim. As mentioned, livestreaming your wedding memorably requires more than just a camera phone and LTE. Livestream suppliers elevate the experience such as zooming in on the groom’s face as the doors open and he first sees his bride. Your supplier can even do a split screen of this exact moment, something even we can’t see as guests if we were present at the wedding!

5. “Make sure to have a good wifi connection, it is the backbone of the overall livestreaming.”

Kim Torres Events is part of the 11.11 Grand Year-End Online Bridal Sale, which runs until December 12, 2020.

Was this helpful? Share this article with a couple who’s planning to livestream their wedding!

All photos courtesy of Kim Torres Events Facebook Page.

Photo courtesy of Kim Torres
Photo courtesy of Kim Torres
Photo courtesy of Kim Torres
Photo courtesy of Kim Torres
News, Promos & Ideas

Charles and Gellie - Can't Stop Us

We may be uncertain of this situation, but we are certain that we want to spend the rest of our lives together

Though their wedding was initially set for October 2020, Charles Jason Merced and Gellie Rose Fernandez opted to move up their wedding date to September 26, given the new circumstances. Instead of postponing, they were wed with only their closest family and friends present at Transfiguration of Christ Parish followed by a reception at Fernwood Gardens Antipolo. The Merceds hosted another celebration in their hometown Bulacan late October.

While they downsized their guest list, the couple’s joy was not any less. The Merceds taught us that what’s ultimately important is to get started in one’s marriage journey. "We may be uncertain of this situation, but we are certain that we want to spend the rest of our lives together."

Planning your intimate wedding? Share this article with someone planning their pandemic wedding!

The Dream Team

Photography by Green Tomato Productions | Catering: Richgold Weddings | Hair and makeup: Patricia Aquino | Coordinator: Ms. Melody Event Coordinator | Bouquet: LA Flowershop at Dangwa by Jenny Cruz | Entourage Flowers: Edmar Gabila | Bridal Car: Drivee Pinas | Venue: Fernwood Garden Antipolo | Church: Transfiguration of Christ Parish | Preps: Velada Estate

Caterer by: RichGold Weddings
Photo & Video Company by: Greentomato Productions
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11.11 Grand Yearend Online Bridal Sale Ed's Picks

Themes & Motifs’ last bridal fair for 2020, the 11.11 Grand Yearend Online Bridal Sale kicked off last November 11 with an opening ceremony online. With over 60 wedding suppliers joining, it can be overwhelming to pick and choose! Luckily, you have a month to look at all the deals and promos as the fair is a month long sale-abration. Here are some of’s picks to help you get started, from catering, to makeup, artist, to jewelry!

1. Richgold Weddings – A gorgeous setup and delicious food? Look no further than Richgold Weddings. This Filipiniana spread the caterer created featured Filipino elements of capiz and solihiya married with the dried flower trend. The star of this show was a Slow Roast Lechon Belly. Photograph by Ronan Capili.
2. Bela Maraña Makeup - “Bridal makeup shouldn’t mean altering the appearance. It should just enhance what’s already there,” makeup artist Bela says. For an all natural glow check out Bela Maraña’s works with Photo by GDGFilm.
3. Diana Kwong Make-up Design – Want a light hand? We also love Diana’s makeup style. She gives just the right amount of color that bring out your “I’m-getting-married” radiance! Photo by Jamie Mapagu.
4. GDGFilm – Simplify your wedding planning with GDGFilm–they can cover your intimate wedding’s photography and videography needs with ease! If you’re (or your fiance!) not used to posing for the camera, you’ll feel at ease with GDGFilm. Photo by GDGFilm.
Photo by GDGFilm
5. Silvermoon Studio – If you’ve been bit by the K-Drama bug hard, you’ll want to check out Silvermoon Studio especially for your pre-nup shoot. It’s the only photography company that has ready concepts in its studio, you won’t have to worry about conceptualizing!
Photo by Silvermoon Studio
6. Weddings At Splendido : Ladera Catering – Book your wedding at this venue favored by many couples. You get a great view, delicious food, and the much-coveted open-air setup. Available packages make it easy to cross off things from your list of wedding to-do’s! Photo by Studio One Photography.
7. Goldenhills Jewelry – For jewelry that dazzles on your big day, check out Goldenhills Jewelry! Goldenhills Jewelry is also giving away an arrhae that doubles as a bracelet post-wedding to a lucky couple who registers at the 11.11 Grand Yearend Online Bridal Sale. Photo by Mau Aguasin.
8. J’s Diamond Jewelry – A favorite of today’s young celebs, J’s Diamond offers gorgeous pieces that can be worn on special days and for every day. You may also avail of its online consultation to help you shop safely. Photo by Sheila Catilo
News, Promos & Ideas

Channel Anne Curtis' Wedding Style on a Budget

It’s been three years since Anne Curtis married Erwan Heussaff in New Zealand but we’re still looking at her wedding style as we plan our intimate weddings. And why not? Now that weddings are gaining a more casual vibe, her romantic boho look (black chunky boots with a lace Monique Lhuillier gown and a full tulle veil? Yes please!) is a great look to take inspiration from.

When the clock struck 12 midnight earlier today, BLK Cosmetics launched its latest collection entitled “Love Story”. It celebrates Anne and Erwan’s third wedding anniversary, their first wedding anniversary as a family of three as they welcomed their daughter Dahlia Amelie earlier this year.

Anne says, “I know, nowadays, weddings are not quite how we used to celebrate them. These days, it’s more intimate, but nonetheless, special. We want brides or, actually, everyone to feel their prettiest and happiest no matter the situation, and hope this collection that’s super close to my heart would make them feel that.”

Related: You Can DIY These Celeb-Inspired Bridal Hairstyles

The makeup collection includes eight items, including two sets (P1,536 each) we imagine would be perfect gifts to bridesmaids or brides-to-be! The two lipsticks are re-issued shades, blk Bridal All Day Intense Matte Lipstick in I Do (P379), a nude pink, and Mon Amour (P379), a rosy red. Mon Amour in particular was sought after by women, both brides and non-brides alike after Anne wore it to her own wedding.

The new blk Love Story collection is available at all blk boutiques, Watsons, and The SM Store Beauty Section outlets. It is also available at, and Shopee.

You can shop the collection on Lazada, BeautyMNL, and Zalora starting October 19, 2020.

Watch the video of Anne Curtis and Erwan Heussaff’s wedding, as told by their wedding photographer Pat Dy here and Jason Magbanua’s wedding video here.

Photos courtesy of blk cosmetics.

From (L-R) Bridal Sparkle Gloss in Diamond, P379; Bridal Eyeshadow Palette in Blush, P449; Mini Creamy All Over Paint in Flush, P329; Bridal Sparkle Gloss in Lace, P379; All Day Intense Matte Lipstick in Mon Amour and I Do, P379 each; Mini Creamy All Over Paint in Glow, P329; Bridal Eyeshadow Palette, P449 in Nude.
Mon Amour Set, P1,536, available at
I Do Set, P1,536, available at
Mini Creamy All Over Paint in Flush and Glow, P329 each, available at
News, Promos & Ideas

2020 Wedding Trend - Dried Flowers

Your altar flower arrangement easily doubles as your backdrop for portraits

By Ronna Capili Bonifacio

Photographs by Nicolai Melicor and Kith and Kindle

Makeup by Bene Javier | Hairstyle by Strawberry Diaz | Gown by Marsha Berbon | Jewelry by J’s Diamond | Flowers by Clint Carl Flowershop | Models: Christi McGarry and Eduardo Lara for Empire Mercator | Shot on location at Museo de Padilla | Shoot assistants: Anna Isleta and Patricia Valiente

There are two trends we’ve been seeing these past months—one brought about by the pandemic while the other won’t be stopped by it. The first is couples are choosing to do intimate wedding celebrations in their homes. The second is the trend of dried flowers, both for weddings and home décor.

Here’s an event stylist’s tip, especially when dressing up your homes: Have a beautiful backdrop you can use for your portraits. Ask your florist to create a setup that can be moved around so you can maximize it for both your ceremony setup and post-nup photo session. If your home or chosen venue has space, moving around your flowers to different areas will give you great mileage.

Scroll down to see more photos of dried flower wedding backdrops!

Dried floral arrangements can have a bit of color, too!
Tip: Don't like the idea of a veil? Try a cape instead.
Relaxed wedding schedules allow for more time to take couple portraits!
Intimate doesn't have to mean simple. For drama, look at different fabrics instead of voluminous silhouettes.
Bride & Groom's Wear by: Marsha Berbon Weddings
Florist & Event Stylist by: Dangwa Flowers by Clint Carl
Wedding & Engagement Ring by: J's Diamond Jewellery
News, Promos & Ideas

Should You Still Do the Pamanhikan?

Here's how you can setup your family's formal meet and greet

By Marielle Ong

Our culture has always been known for being deeply family-oriented. Even in the quest to start a new family, we put a lot of effort into making it an inclusive experience for all our loved ones. As soon as the question is popped, some version of a pamanhikan automatically becomes part of the soon-to-weds’ schedule, whether or not you consider it a formal affair. But in these changing times where each generation becomes more assertive of personal independence and gender equality, is there still a place for this practice? Let’s explore the evolution of the pamanhikan.

The Tradition

I’ve seen my fair share of 80’s and 90’s movies that featured the practice in all its romanticized glory. And, yes, it does look a little something like that. Once the besotted couple’s courtship is ready to progress to the next level, the sweethearts get engaged (either verbally or with an engagement ring). Then they plan the pamanhikan. The bride-to-be’s family prepares their home (and their kitchen) for the future groom and his family. In turn, the man and his side of the family arrive at his love’s home bearing gifts, typically of the edible nature.

Family members are introduced, and the couple announces their intention to enter marriage and how they have planned to go about it. With both parents’ blessings, conditions, and advice, the discussion turns to the nitty gritty of the wedding and family life planning. All this happens through the course of a meal. The practice basically serves as a formal introduction and it gets the ball rolling on plotting out the big day’s major details. There’s also the matter of asking for permission to tie the knot.

Related: Dex and Joy: Ting Hun and Wedding in One Day

The Meaning

Originally, the pamanhikan stemmed from a sense of filial piety. It was a sign of respect to get the blessings of both families in order to move forward with the marriage as planned. This often involved the man discussing with his future in-laws his plans on how to provide for his future family. But this was also a time when gender roles were more strictly defined. There was a clear expectation for the man to provide for his wife, and for the wife to manage the affairs of the household. Couples were generally younger in age and were legally required to get their parents to sign off on their plans.

These days, it’s more of a dual-income household agreement that can be expected from the engaged pair. A dating couple can already arrange casual get-togethers that involve both families, even without the context of an impending engagement. Couples often choose to wed well after their 21st birthdays have passed, so their parents technically don’t even have to be present at the wedding for it to proceed.

Needless to say, the purpose of the modern day pamanhikan has shifted over the years. It now focuses on the families bonding and being on the same page with the wedding planning. And that’s no small feat, considering how a disagreement in wedding details amongst the future in-laws can significantly affect the couple’s budget (and sanity).

The Modern Twist

Enter today’s version of the pamanhikan. It is now quite common to see newly engaged couples hosting the gathering themselves. Where it was once the SOP to have a nighttime event, the pamanhikan can now be a lunch, dinner, or merienda meeting. For the sake of convenience and practicality, a restaurant usually serves as the perfect venue for everyone to get familiar minus the effort of preparing a meal. Of course, both parties can still bring food for everyone to share. It’s an appreciated gesture, but not strictly required. If the families haven’t met previously, it can still be a little awkward. But at least the casual setup and neutral grounds might help ease the tension.

Should a home visit be agreed-upon, then perhaps getting a caterer or ordering food will still keep the meeting a hassle-free event. Now that dining out is not well-advised, holding the pamanhikan at home might be a better option. There’s also the option of doing one virtually, in order to follow safety protocols and in the event that some immediate family members are part of the vulnerable. Your best bet might be to order food trays have them delivered to both homes.

Related: Fourth and Grizelle: We Just Can’t Wait!

The Verdict

With the new interpretation of the pamanhikan being put into practice, there seems to be no harm in arranging an informal get-together of the families—if only to figure out who’s who before the big day. It might also be wise to bring together both families soon after the engagement even just to celebrate privately, as the wedding will most likely be the first of many occasions in the future newlywed’s life where both families will be present at the same time.

It’s also helpful to sit down with both families separately to get their perspectives on wedding traditions, in case one party or another is on the conservative side and expects there to be a pamanhikan. That way, expectations can be managed. Ultimately, as with any other wedding tradition, it is at the discretion of the engaged couple if they find it plausible or practical.

Would you still plan a pamanhikan? Share this article with a couple planning their pamanhikan!

News, Promos & Ideas

Lei and Nat are Brooklyn Baes

While in the midst of planning their wedding, the travel-loving duo of Mark Leilan Tanglao and Natalie Jane Bacares decided to celebrate Nat’s birthday abroad and schedule a winter love themed destination prenup shoot while enjoying their time away on holiday. The sweethearts booked a New York photographer and hit up the famed Brooklyn borough for a taste of the concrete jungle. Lei and Nat were wed early 2020. –Marielle Ong

Photos courtesy of Leilan and Natalie Tanglao

News, Promos & Ideas

Low-key Glam: Relaxed Bridal Beauty Inspos

K-Drama glow, ponytails, and natural curls

By Ronna Capili Bonifacio
Photography by Mark Vitasa Photography
Makeup by Nybie Ng
Hairstyle by Pao La Ramirez
Gowns by Marsha Berbon and Susie Bonaobra
Jewelry by Goldenhills Jewelry 
Model: Yaofa of Empire/Mercator Talent Agency
Shot on location at City of Dreams, Asean Avenue corner Roxas Boulevard Entertainment City Manila, Parañaque
Shoot Assistants Patricia Valiente and Anna Isleta

Now that intimate weddings are the way to go, bridal beauty and fashion are adjusting in trends too. Brides are opting for slightly less formal gowns with a touch of whimsy. But classic designs continue to be the choice to keep things from looking dated when forever begins to roll in.

Related: Bridal Bliss: Beauty Looks for an Intimate Wedding

Scroll down to see the latest trends with a classic reinterpretation--from the K-Drama glow to au naturel hair full of movement. For your intimate wedding, try these gorgeous relaxed beauty looks you won't have to worry about keeping together!

Related: Wedding Gown Inspos for Your Intimate Wedding

Share this blog with another bride or makeup artist!

Ask your makeup artist for that K-Drama inspired glow and pair it with glossy lips. Bring on the shine! | Gown by Susie Bonaobra | Jewelry by Goldenhills Jewelry
Tip: Yes you can wear a ponytail to your wedding, especially if that suits your personality best. It can be both playful and romantic, especially if you curl the ends of your hair. | Gown by Marsha Berbon | Jewelry by Goldenhills Jewelry
Wear your natural curls on your big day! | Gown by Marsha Berbon | Jewelry by Goldenhills Jewelry
Request for golden or champagne highlights instead of frosty silver or whites especially if your skin tone is tan. It will appear more like a glow from within. | Gown by Marsha Berbon | Jewelry by Goldenhills Jewelry
Bride & Groom's Wear by: Marsha Berbon Weddings
Hair & Make Up Artists by: Nybie Ng Make Up Artistry
Hotel by: City of Dreams Manila
Photographers by: Mark Vitasa Photography
Wedding & Engagement Ring by: Goldenhills Jewelry
News, Promos & Ideas

Jerwin and Gem: Spread Love, Not the Virus

"Decide on what is important for both of you and your families"

By Misha Fabian

Having a wedding amid a pandemic is no easy feat. However, true love conquers all. That’s precisely what Jerwin Binwag and Gem Adriano proved when they had their wedding on the July 12, 2020. They held their ceremony at the Iglesia ni Cristo church in Baguio City and had their reception at the Pine Breeze Cottages. Amid all the uncertainty, one thing kept them going: their love for one another.

Their love story dates back to 2013. They met in the very same church where they tied the knot. According to Gem, she looked up to Jerwin as a kuya, but Jerwin was already smitten with Gem. They were not close friends--only ever exchanging occasional short messages over Facebook, with Jerwin usually being left on “seen”. However, things changed when they both graduated from college.

Gem recalls finally replying to Jerwin and going out with him on friendly dates. They officially became a couple in 2019, with the certainty in each others’ hearts and minds that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. They decided to get married the following year--even building a fund together to achieve their dream wedding.

Their wedding was not what they had initially planned. They needed to cut down the guest list and move the date of their wedding. Some of their relatives, Jerwin’s parents included, could not even travel to Baguio City to take part in the ceremony. They had no program at the reception and no professional wedding coordinators to help them plan. Gem even opted out of using her original wedding gown because she thought that it was such an extravagant dress for such an intimate celebration. Nearly everything about the reception was DIY. However, despite all the setbacks and compromises that they had to make, the couple said that their wedding day felt even more special. To them, it was perfect.

So, what kept the couple strong amidst all the challenges? Gem notes that they found comfort in each other whenever things got a little too overwhelming. Accepting the situation was vital in moving forward and figuring out their alternatives. Since Jerwin’s family could not be around during their wedding day, the couple plans to have a bigger wedding on their first anniversary as a married couple. They hung on to the hope that the future would be brighter and better, and that no matter what happened, they have each other.

This is the piece of advice they have for other couples who are planning to get married during this pandemic: communicate. Communicate to your partner how you want your wedding to happen and figure out the non-negotiables. Don’t forget to take into consideration all of the safety protocols and restrictions implemented by the quarantine. And, above all, don’t forget to pray.

Jerwin and Gem’s story is the classic tale of love conquering all obstacles. Despite the pandemic and all of the compromises they had to make for the happiest day of their lives, they powered through fueled by their love for each other. Now, the two are happily married and are excitedly looking toward the future for the time that they would be able to celebrate with all of their loved ones once more.

The Dream Team:

Hair and makeup: Elaine Yap | Photographers: Two Hearts Collide | Videographers: Crafted by Dreams | Florist: Shawie Ranchez | Church: Iglesia ni Cristo Locale of Baguio City | Reception Venue: Pine Breeze Cottages | Caterer: Ben & Bong Restaurant | Principal Sponsors' Favors: That Pie Dough | Groom's Suit: Baldera's Tailoring

Photos courtesy of Gem Binwag

Share this blog to a couple planning their pandemic wedding!