The Essentials in a Wedding:
Invitations - well, if you've decided on the church, the time, the date, the reception, you'll need invitations to send out to your selected guests. Again, I emphasize creating your guestlists in the "by family" category and placing a column for expected guests from that family so you can make a tally sheet. Usually, same number of invitations and souvenirs unless, you want to give souvenirs by person, then you have to make a headcount.
Church - well, that depends on your religious denomination. I'm speaking for Roman Catholics, there are some requirements that you have to attend to, like wedding banns, seminars and special guides on getting an approval from the Vatican if you so desire.
Rings - if you're to be married, you'll need 2 rings. 1 for you and 1 for him. Find a local jeweler. If you've got gold stashed away somewhere, have it melted and made into a ring. Loose stones from other gems can also help into cost-cutting the price of your ring.
Flowers/Florist - basic stuff will work unless you want to stand out. Dangwa is the cheapest place where you can find Flowers for Manila-based brides. From Luzon? Head on out to La Trinidad, Benguet. Uber cheap flowers and beautiful too.
Gowns/Barongs - outfits for the entourage. I went to a local couture. Famous for her gowns in proms and weddings. There are a lot of bridal shops out there. Others, even offer packages. Negotiate. The keyword when you go into any supplier's office is negotiate. Ask for package deals. Be sure that when you go and decide on a couture that you have the number of your entourage members finalized and listed. From the simple to elaborate...find a gown that fits your personality, something that you can wear in the future for your renewal of vows or something you'd like to pass on, if you'll keep it. For cost-cutting purposes, I went with keeping me and my hubby's clothes, the rest of the entourage got first-use on gowns that I picked the colors of.
Photo & Video Coverage - Canvass. These guys usually hang around churches during weddings. It's actually your choice whether you save up here and spend it on something else or splurge. You hopefully only get married once and you'd want to keep memories of this special event for posterity. Some prices are just too astronomical for me. Do you have a freelance photographer as a relative? Ask him/her to take the pictures. Low on budget? Others just opt for the photos. Or again, ask for their package prices.
Hair & Makeup - these don't go hand-in-hand with Gowns. ASK for TRIAL Makeup, Always! To save on money, when you have your trial makeup done, do your pre-nuptial photos as well, these are the photos placed on tarps and on display on your wedding. That's hitting 2 birds with one stone, right? The purpose of the trial makeup is for the hmu artist to get a feel of what your skin tone looks like under makeup and how best to fix you up for the big day.
Reception/Caterer - depends on where you want to hold it. In a hotel? A local restaurant? At home? Having a reception somewhere other than your home is less worry and less tasks for you. Having it at home? You need to source for reliable caterers. Rent chairs, tents, skirting for the tables and chairs plus create an ambiance suitable for a wedding. Besides all that, you have to clean your house, your garden, your backyard and everything in sight and not in sight. Again, ask for the package rates. There usually is. Serve good food. If there is anything I've learned in attending weddings and parties, people rarely remember the gowns, how the ceremony went, everyone praises or complains about the food. If you want to splurge on something, I suggest and emphasize on FOOD.But that's the glutton in me.
Cake - personally, I don't think the cake needs to be over the top. I was happy to have cupcakes in tiers as a wedding cake but they hadn't heard of it yet when I was about to get married. Instead, I settled for satellite cakes which worked for me, since after the wedding I got to send out the cakes to other relatives. One whole layer to Tuguegarao, another to Manila, another to Baguio, and so on. If your reception is a hotel/restaurant, they usually have tie-ups with bakers or they bake their own cake. It's your choice again. Be practical about it. Cake is just cake.
Souvenirs/Tokens - all depends on your budget. Best place to scout for these is Divisoria. You'll be dizzy with all the wonderful stuff they can offer. Invitation makers also offer souvenir items usually. Again, ask for package, be ready with your estimated number of guests. When you go to Divi, go early, start your bid in half the asking price, tell them you'll buy in bulk so that they'll give you the items in wholesale price.
Marriage License - essential. Grab one from the civil registry. There's a seminar from POPCOM that you have to attend as well. If I remember correctly.
Little Things you need:
- pillows for rings, Bible and coins.
- Pins for rings, corsages, and others.
- Candles, matches, veil,cord, Bible, 'aras' or coins.
- Guestbook if not included in the photo/video package, songs for the ceremony and the reception.
- Hair pins for hair, scotch tape for simple repairs.
- Shoes!!! - I almost forgot this.
- I can't seem to think of anything else to add. Got any ideas? Comment on this post.