This couple reallocated their budget and instead, got more than what they hoped for and imagined!
Mark Allan Aviso and Dana Marie Rosadiño got the intimate wedding of their dreams and more, one that was way beyond their imagination and expectation. But their budget and plans were for a simple civil wedding, because they reallocated their wedding budget to home renovations when the pandemic hit and wedding planning became a big challenge. On February 18, 2021, Mark and Dana were married at St. John Marie Vianney Parish in Cavite, a church they stumbled upon when they were planning their civil wedding and received as an affirmdation from God for their marriage. Their reception was held at the Aquila Crystal Palace Tagaytay Events Place.
What changed in Mark and Dana’s plans and how did they manage to enjoy a grand intimate wedding reception? Just a month before their intimate wedding date, the couple won the grand prize of Themes & Motifs’ raffle, and all-in wedding package from the coveted Aquila Crystal Palace. “We were overwhelmed at how grand the package was. We couldn't believe it,” Dana recalls.
Below, Dana shares how they saw God’s hand move despite the twists and turns of wedding planning amid a pandemic and their tips for planning on a budget.
Tell us about your wedding planning experience during these times. What is it like to plan for a pandemic wedding?
Before the pandemic hit, we were supposed to have our church wedding in Baliuag, Bulacan, my home town on January 30, 2021. At that time we were active in participating in bridal fairs, including Themes & Motifs’ Bridal Fairs, we did some food tasting and met some suppliers. Also, we already made downpayments.
It wasn’t easy anymore to move around due to lockdown. And because we were both working in BGC and renting in the Metro, it was difficult to prepare for our wedding needs. Plus the fact that there’s a limit to people we can invite. We also considered the safety precautions we now need to take. Because of these, we both decided to cancel our church wedding and spend the budget we had for our wedding for the renovation of the house we will soon be moving into. Whatever budget we have left, we decided to use this for a civil wedding.
Fortunately for us, whilst preparing for a civil wedding we found a church in Cavite which we could afford. This led us to pursue a very intimate church wedding for 50 pax. We were happy because at that time, though the budget was tight, we felt that God led us to find this church. Maybe it was his way of saying, “You both can do this. You both can still pursue a church wedding.” We set our wedding date to January 14, 2021, which was also our third anniversary.
On December 12, 2020, we received the greatest news of our lives. Mark and I were picked via raffle draw by Themes & Motifs as its Grand Winner for an All-in Wedding package at Aquila Crystal Palace Tagaytay Events Place, sponsored by the CEO himself, Mr. Tei Endencia. We were very thrilled and in awe of the news. We were overwhelmed at how grand the package was. We couldn't believe it until we received the letter from Themes & Motifs and met Mr. Endencia in person at Aquila Crystal Palace Tagaytay Events Place to set our wedding.
We moved our date to February 18, 2021 to allow more time to prepare for the beautiful change in our wedding plans which God gave us through the help of these wonderful people. We were even more fortunate because the church and the reception were both available on our chosen date.
What were the inclusions in the package?
The venue, Aquila Crystal Palace Tagaytay Events Place, with styling by Mr. Tei Endencia, 2 nights accommodation for 20pax at its Antinous Penthouse, lights & sounds, host, 3-layered cake, catering for 100 pax
On our wedding day, Mr. Tei was even more generous. He added an LED wall, upgraded our cake to cake mapping, and fireworks.
Not just that, before the program ended he gifted us with 300k worth of Baptismal Certificate at Aquila Crystal Palace! Wow! Can you believe that? We were overwhelmed with joy. It was all a dream come true. God is really great! Who would have thought that out of nowhere, He would send these lovely people to give a simple couple like us with this huge blessing. We will be forever grateful!
What were the challenges encountered during the wedding preparation?
First, I was 4 months pregnant. So it wasn't easy to move around to meet people especially with the pandemic. Second, the budget. The budget was still tight and because there are other things we need to prepare and settle like the church, flowers, photographers, our clothes, makeup, etc. Third, our transportation since we didn't have our own car.
How did the you handle the challenges?
FIrst things first. We always asked God's guidance in whatever we did. You will be surprised by how smooth your wedding planning can be despite the changes you might encounter. Keep your focus on your goal. Despite the pandemic, you can still push through with your wedding plans.
Third, stick to your budget. Even if your budget is tight there will be good suppliers who can meet your wedding needs with what you can afford. You may also ask help from your friends or relatives because they might know somebody who can help or probably offer a discount.
How did you feel during the wedding?
Dana: It was a mix of emotions. We were happy, we feel very blessed, overwhelmed, excited. We all couldn't even sleep the night before our wedding day.
Mark: We felt very grateful, most especially when Mr. Tei gave us never ending surprises. Naramdaman namin na para kaming artista/VIP during that night. We felt that day really was meant for us.
What were the important things that you’ve learned when planning for your wedding?
Be smart when planning your wedding most especially with your expenses if you are on a budget. Before you spend, think if it's necessary or not. They always say that your marriage is more important than your wedding day.
Don't rush things. Plan ahead. Have a checklist and tracker of your expense. Maximize the time you have in looking for good suppliers and completing your wedding needs.
Advice for other couples who are planning to get married or will be getting in the time of a pandemic.
Do not be dismayed or frustrated with what's happening around you. Focus on your goal as a couple. It might be quite of a challenge but there will always be a way. Just always seek God in whatever you both do and everything will fall into place.
Always be patient in terms of looking for suppliers especially when your budget is tight, join Facebook groups for wedding suppliers, join bridal fairs like what we did when we joined Themes and Motifs kasi meron at meron diyang mga suppliers na mami-meet 'yung budget niyo and malay niyo manalo rin kayo sa raffle like us.
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The Dream Team:
Church: St. John Marie Vianney | Venue: Aquila Crystal Palace | Events Planner: Moments by Ruffa | Couturier: Jessa’s Bridal Gown | Photographer and videographer: Carera Pro Studios | Caterer: Spices & Herbs | Host: Randy Balaguer | Bridal car: El Momento Bridal Car | Hair and makeup: Touched by Jen | Entourage flowers: Edcille’s Flowers and Gifts | Venue Styling: Aquila Crystal Palace | Reception lights and sounds: RM Audio | Cake: Mapping and Cakes – MAC | Wedding rings: Oro Jewelry | Grazing Table: Victuals