How can I plan my wedding when there are just so many factors to consider? Wedding Planner Christine Ong-Te has answers
Wedding Planner and Coordinator Christine Ong-Te knows how you feel--dejected, confused, sad--she's seen it all especially in her own couples who were set to wed but thrown off by the pandemic. But she says at Themes & Motifs and Inspiration.ph's Love Wins Forum: Quarantine and New Normal Wedding Celebrations last June 20, "don't lose hope." She even goes so far as to say that the pandemic may have given couples a silver lining. Find out exactly what that is by reading her thoughts below.
I don’t want to plan my wedding anymore! It’s too hard!
Christine Ong-Te (COT): Since ECQ I’ve been saying the same thing to my couples—there’s a silver lining to all this because it’s given the couples a time to pause or more time to prepare. Rather than thinking of canceling or lose hope on getting married, I told my couples, maybe you’ve just been given more time to prepare, more ways to save money in terms of spending.
For me, there’s so many ways to do it. The suppliers are all covid-ready when it comes to planning—as long as we are following the safety protocols, we can still deliver the same elements of meaning, the emotions, though the sad part is if you’re planning to get married during GCQ, you’re only allowed to be 10 [in attendance]. But that doesn’t limit you. The suppliers are very versatile in terms of creativity. Right now we’re all into zoom, so your guests can still watch. But it doesn’t end there because you can still push for the main celebration next year. There are couples who want to push for it because their documents are already around and they don’t want to go back—mahirap kasi yun e.
What do you think about a small wedding now and a big wedding next year?
COT: Minsan sinasabi ko sa couple, masaya rin. Na-experience mo siya not once but twice. Lagi kong sinasabi sa mga couple ko, para siyang dinner rehearsal per se, na may kasamang kasal na. Kung kaya mong i-push yung wedding to next year and okay lang sayo that the reception is next year, because I understand tayong mga Filipino--of course the Chinese-Filipino clients I have would love to have their family around them and would love to have their friends around them, then push it to next year. Suppliers are very flexible in terms of their contract so you can have the ceremony now [if you prefer].
I had my heart set on a big celebration! And that’s what my family wants too.
COT: Mali kasi yung notion na ikakasal ka dahil sa dami ng tao, hindi ganun yun eh. The idea of getting married is between the bride and the groom, that’s about it. It doesn’t matter kung dalawa kayo, kung lima, anim, pito, o sampu. Before this pandemic happened, I’ve had my own set of weddings na 16 lang sila. I’ve even had five or 10 lang sila. Masaya pa rin sila. Again it’s really up to the couple, in terms of how they want to get married during this time.
My suggestion is if you don’t want to go through the process of getting the documents, then go, get married. And think about having a bigger reception next year. Kumbaga mag-p-pause ka, you will just park your big wedding and pick it up next year.
I can’t wait for next year because we have other plans that’s relying on our wedding. We should just push through with it?
COT: If you are in a position that I haven’t processed my documents, then you can push it to next year. There are so many reasons, there are some couples who are waiting for petitions, they’re waiting for personal matters and they need to get married, or tinatawag na magkakasunod yung magkakapatid so sukob kasi—my suggestion is have your wedding this year then have your reception next year. Hindi na sukob yun kasi kasal ka naman na this year.
This year is my year! That’s our feng shui!
COT: Being a coordinator for most of my clients are Chinese, so if your feng shui is for this year not next year, then I suggest push it to this year. Have a small wedding. I have weddings that are just going to be in the homes.
So pwede ba ikasal—yes! Paano? That’s where your coordinator enters the picture. My motto in life is nothing is impossible, everything is possible. The pandemic is just there, but God will provide us with lots of windows to look into. Naniniwala ako na kahit small wedding lang yan, the meaning of the wedding itself, mas mararamdaman mo kasi kayo kayo nalang yan eh.
Should I still book suppliers?
COT: Grab the opportunity. Ito ang silver lining ng wedding planning natin, kasi you guys get to book the suppliers at their most discounted rate and the most reasonable rate they can give! These discounts and promos are also because we want to give back because we know our clients are also affected somehow. This is the time to book your suppliers na hindi ka na-t-traffic, hindi ka nagagastusan na kumain sa restaurant. Do not lose hope! Continue planning.
Book your wedding suppliers now at The Bridal Marketplace (Online Bridal Fair), open until June 30. Discounts and freebies await all soon-to-wed couples! Send this blog to a bride who needs to read this!