Tuesday, April 26

The Kasalang Batagueño-Ilocana Suppliers Rating (Our Blessed Wedding Coordinator)

This would be our contribution to the group. As much as possible, we won’t be using the word OC (since it has been overused here already) and we would detail our rating so it could serve you as a guide. Our verdict is based on how we coordinated with them (from start to finish) and it shouldn’t be a sole basis whether you book this certain supplier or not (different strokes for different folks). Here is how we would be rating our wedding team. Sorry for the very long delay XD.

All pictures were taken by Ariel Javelosa, Joey Boquiren, and Weddings are Blessings.  

5 and Up: Oh Yeah! Swabeng-Swabeh!!! (Book them while still available)
4 - 4.99: Swabeng-Swabeh!!! (Very Good)
3 – 3.99: Swabeh!!! (Quite Ok)
2 – 2.99: Swabeh Lang!!! (Needs Improvement)
0 – 1.99: Hindi Swabeh!!! (Now you know)

By Ariel Javelosa

Address: 25-D Scout Ybardolaza Street, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Contact: Ms. Jo-Anne A. Co
Cost: Php 25,000 (OTD with Emcee; 2009 Rate)
Inclusions: On the Day Coordination plus Emcee (From the original Wedding Package)
Verdict: Ratings will be divided as follows
Before Booking: Swabeng-Swabeh!!!
Responding to E-Mails: Swabeh Lang!!!
Customer Experience (prior to meetings): Swabeh Lang!!!
During Meetings: Swabeng-Swabeh!!!
On The Day: Oh Yeah! Swabeng-Swabeh!!!
After Reception: Oh Yeah! Swabeng-Swabeh!!!

Wedding Kwento: When we started our wedding preparations, we were considering having our reception at a hotel but its way too expensive plus we only had a year to save-up for our budget. With that we started to look for wedding packages so that we won’t worry too much. We considered Blue Gardens to be our solution for the wedding package. But the problem is my wife wanted to get married in Manila, hence we had to look for other options. One night I stumbled upon another site that offers affordable wedding packages by Weddings are Blessings. I informed my wife about it and she inquired about the packages. She told us that she would be available at a wedding fair at Edsa Shangrila so we went to our very first bridal fair and meet the one responsible for Weddings are Blessings in person. Ms Jo-Anne Co (The Owner/Events Manager) was accommodating to our concerns and gave us an idea what she can offer. She even told us that she handles only 3 events in a month to give full attention to the couple on their day. That gives us the initial impression that she takes good care of her clients with utmost detail.

We haven’t booked our church and reception venue when we were in contact with them already since November 2008. When I discovered w@w and tried to look for reviews, I only found one for her team (a very good one) unlike other w@w favorites that they really rave how they were well taken care of. It took Jo-Anne a while before she quoted us for a wedding package for 100 people. And after reminding her constantly, she was able to send an updated quote for us. It took us a while this time to decide whether to book her or not. What made us book her was during the time we were in a dilemma on our reception venue. We told her that Ramon Magsaysay Center was booked and asked her for other options. We didn’t know that she had already reserved the venue for us and even paid the reservation back then. She even texted her before that there is another couple inquiring (for a December 7 wedding date) if were still interested in getting her services.

Sometimes, it takes a while for her to respond to emails and SMS that makes me and my wife feel a little bit uneasy (probably she was on a meeting with another couple or coordinating for another wedding). That could be because our wedding day was months away so I told my wife not to worry because when time comes, she would be bugging you.

After having this dilemma (I and my wife argued about this several times), we informed Jo-Anne not to pursue with the wedding package anymore and instead look for other suppliers because of a mishap that we would rather not disclose and we believe we deserve more. We were very much worried since there was a possibility that she used most of our down payment to pay her suppliers but thank God she was able to keep our down payment. She just informed us that she won’t be able to get back Php 5,000 from the caterer she booked for us. She even gave us a shortlist of her recommended suppliers so that we won’t be having a hard time deciding. But, their costs were quite high so I took time to review and compare costs and inclusions before we gave her our feedback.

As I browse through the pages of w@w, Coordinators usually start meeting the couple at least two months (even earlier). In our case, Jo-Anne should have started the follow-up as early as October but in our case, she hasn’t called my wife yet to schedule our meeting. I remembered the last time she texted my wife was either last July or August saying that inform her if we have other concerns. Probably, my wife was busy with work then and she even mentioned that she will call us back for meetings. Our official meeting was supposed to be on the 5th of November but it was moved to the 6th due to unknown reasons.

We had our 1st meeting at Gateway. It was a good learning experience since she was able to share us her experience working with our suppliers even before. Probably she has worked with almost all of our suppliers and she informed us their strengths and weaknesses as well. She gave us an idea on her scope of work and the good thing is that she offered to return the excess Php 5,000 we gave when we paid her initially.  

On our 2nd meeting, I wasn’t able to meet Jo-Anne since I was more than an hour lat but she was able to talk to my wife.

On our 3rd meeting with her, both of us were late for more than an hour but she waited for us patiently at Eloquente’s office during our final detailing with Jun Garcia.

On our 4th and Final meeting, all of us were on time and we were she was able to remind us some last-minute activities 2 days before our wedding.

Wedding day I think is when and where you will see the true worth and character of your OTD coordinator. And Jo-Anne together with her team executed very well on our day. She was able to take-charge of our day and everything went smoothly. Though a lot of glitches happened, it didn’t affect the outcome of the entire wedding so we were still OK with that. Instead of the 6 coordinators (including Jo-Anne) as stated in the contract, there were 8 or 9 of them during the day. After the reception, we asked her why sending 8 coordinators and she said since were their first clients during for December so she send out probably her entire team. My wife’s boss, as well as my mom told me that our wedding was VERY ORGANIZED and neither guest nor relative was stressed during the event. Our wedding wont be successful without them. 

By Ariel Javelosa

By Joey Boquiren

By Weddings are Blessings

Realization: Regardless of the packages they provide (Be it full, partial or on the day), the wedding day itself would still be the only basis of a Wedding Coordinator's true character and how they deal with enormous amounts of pressure. This would really determine how organized they are and composed on every situation as they handle hundreds of people that they would only see once in their lives. 

Before booking your preferred Wedding Planner/Coordinator, make sure you jive with each other.

Recommended for: Overseas Couple, Couples who have enough budget for OTD, and Couples who will have a Christian Wedding.

Other Suppliers Considered (Given the same amount of time for preparations): An Event by Clarisse, DNDC, Just like Ours, F@b Occasions, Classics Unlimited, Bride’s Diary, Luciole Events, A Magical Event,

If we started our preparations last Dec 2007, we could have gotten: Either Events by Clarisse or Just like Ours,

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