Visions from Vatel Manila

Back to bouquets.

Now this is the truth and nothing but the truth so help me God: I almost, almost ditched Dangwa for this florist. Who wouldn’t be tempted by the fact that Vatel Manila NEVER does the same bouquet twice — and they’ve been doing weddings for five years! But I did a not-so-quick math and realized I had already spent my extra on a surprise gift for our guests, so there goes my NFF (new favorite florist)  and there goes bride to old reliable Dangwa.

That doesn’t mean though that I can’t share some beauty with you from my NFF, right? I mean, if you can’t have them, drool over them. So I asked Dylan Gozum of Vatel Manila to send me his favorite bouquets to date. And here are MY favorites from his favorites:

Top 1: How stunning is this black and red bouquet? A.K.A. the bouquet that made the florist cry, God knows why, but if those tears can produce this kind of output, then cry me a river.

Top 2: An autumn-themed bouquet. If I could choose only one season to last the whole year, it would be autumn. In fact, if only people in this country didn’t have a hard time pronouncing it, I’d name a daughter Autumn. But this is about bouquets. From Dylan:

We had to wait for three hours as (the flowers) cleared customs at the NAIA and were finally delivered to Dangwa. This bouquet was particularly huge and heavy because of the many things that went into making it: two-toned Holland tulips (red/yellow), Molucella (a.k.a bells of Ireland), Leucandendron, Leucospermum (both endemic to South Africa & Zimbabwe), mokara orchids from Bangkok, and red Hypericum berries. Hands down, this bouquet must have had the highest carbon footprint of them all!

Top 3:  I like succulents! They dare to be different (like they have any choice. LOL). For this, Vatel Manila used Echeveria elegans (common name for us common people: rose cactus), Haworthia attenuata & Craspedia, which according to Dylan himself, is “terribly expensive, given their diminutive size.” So be forewarned. But hey, you get what you pay for.

Top 4: Ah, million stars (scientific name for scientific people: Gypsophila). This is the closest you will get to holding the stars in your hand… I want one, I do, I do! (I wonder when the flower-cum-coffee shop idea birthed by a dialogue between florists — one of whom is the mother of the groom — open?)

Top 5: And I’m suddenly a fan of roses…

Dylan explains how the ordinary can become extraordinarily beautiful, and I can only say, Amen!:

For this bouquet, we used all-white roses interspersed with white rice flowers, rendering what otherwise could have been a very simple arrangement into something airy and feminine. Bear in mind that there are grand events that call for the simplest of arrangements (the bride’s gown was already heavily ornamented); no need to break the bank to acquire the feel that you want. It’s how the whole look is pulled together that counts.

Top 6: Another white; in fact four great whites as Dylan calls it: Lilac, snapdragon, matthiola and tulips. Love, love, love how the bouquet looks with the gown, too! Some things just go together PERFECTLY.

Top 7: I am NOT a fan of orange (reminds me of my previous company’s tacky jacket. LOL), but you have to hand it to this one. NOT irritating at all…

A sound advice from Dylan:

Orange or tangerine is a particularly tricky color especially in a tropical setting where there’s too much sun/light. Orange, if used heavily, can actually border on the tacky. It has to be tempered by another dark color (in this case, yellow) and another light (in this case, white). Here’s a really pretty & robust-looking bouquet in rust and canary yellow with lots and lots of wax flowers in between. Hypericum berries, eucalyptus leaves, a brooch and a wisp of ostrich feather completed the look.

So, there… sigh… why can’t I have everything??! Anyway, for more lovely bouquets, head over here. Just don’t forget to wipe that bridal drool off your face.

Block letters from Simple Joys

I am O-V-E-R-J-O-Y-E-D.

I have been charmed by these initials decor since I stumbled upon them on Martha Stewart Weddings a few months back (it helped that they were OUR initials), but I never really thought of looking for such big, bold block letters here.

Well, I was browsing through Regalong Pambahay, one of my ultra favorite local stores, for gift ideas for principal sponsors when I saw this lovely little thing way up there on their display shelf:

and this:

I immediately asked the saleslady if the letters were for sale. “Yes ma’am, they’re right in front,” and she directed me to what I can only presume is their sister shop, Simple Joys, and now I, happy beaming bride, am the proud owner of these:

And did I mention that they’re actually photo holders? And that they are on sale until April from P325 per letter to P250 (about $5 each).

Sigh… some things just find their way into your life, er, wedding 8 )

Our precious

I don’t usually get too personal here, as I do have my wedding blog, but choosing our wedding rings was so… educational… and freaking tedious that there must be someone apart from us who will benefit from it. 8 )

See, my groom and I have completely different tastes in jewelry and the search for the bands was marked by a lot of negotiations and arguments. How very… “marriage.” LOL. He wanted a plain and functional titanium ring; I wanted a vintage white gold or glitzy diamond ring. At first we agreed to disagree and go noir et rouge: he would get a black titanium, I would get a red gold vintage vine.

But alas, the pair just didn’t look right to me so I told him I’d agree to wear titanium if and only if he could find a VERY cool one with diamond. Well, what do you know, he did. Here’s what he got me:

And this is what I found for him:

So what is the point of all this? Titanium rocks! Because…

  • it’s seven times stronger than platinum but probably as many times cheaper
  • it’s super light, you barely know it’s there, so perfect for active people
  • it’s neutral and won’t irritate even the most sensitive skin
  • it will NEVER rust or tarnish and could barely be scratched; also heat-resistant
  • it’s used to replace human heart valves (I just had to relate it to hearts! LOL)
  • it’s the metal of choice in the aerospace industry and is used to build space capsules and supersonic airliners
  • it comes in black, which makes for a rare wedding ring and a cool conversation piece

Oh, in case you’re interested, we got our rings from here which carries pieces from Edward Mirell, who owns the patent to black titanium (they developed the technology to create black-ti. Coolness).

P.S. To reward myself for being such a nice, compromising bride, I got me this from the Zales Prestige Collection:

…a GIA-certified G-H, VS1-VS2 diamond seven stone band in 14K white gold. End of discussion. 8 )

Vintage wedding rings

Some people have trouble finding the perfect dress (others the perfect man, but hey, we’re past that. LOL). Now I, on the other hand, have trouble finding the perfect rings — that I can afford at least. I have no desire for the usual bands, no offense to those who like them. But I really don’t want to wear something everyone else is wearing. I want my wedding ring to have a lot of diamonds. Either that, or a lot of character. And well, since a lot of diamonds equals a lot of months’  wages, I looked around for rings with character instead… and found these from the Antique Jewelry Mall and the Marlene Harris Collection, both based in the U.S.

The wedding band collection from these two stores — all antique, vintage and estate-inspired — are just unbelievable. Left me wishing I had 10 ring fingers to put those wedding rings on. But you know, we will have a lot of anniversaries… Wink, wink. 8P

If I had another dress…

… this would be it.

This sampaguita-inspired dress by young designer Alodia Cecilia Sales was part of her Urban Royalty collection at the Philippine Fashion Week in 2008. Two years old and it still rocks, in my book.

Check out the back:

Actually, what really made this whole look stand out was that cape jewelry of rice (freshwater) pearls, snakeskin, Swarovski crystals and silver — also handmade by Alodia (and also desired by me,  LOL). That gorgeous piece of jewelry costs P45,000. The organza tube dress sold for P7,000.

Sigh… I want! Both! LOL.

Fingerprinted wedding rings

So you want a really personalized wedding ring? Take your fingerprints and send them to Brent and Jessica Williams of Fabuluster, a jewelry shop I stumbled upon on Etsy in one of my hours-long foray into the world of online window-shopping.

This is what they can come up with — in 18K white gold (and it’s really growing on me…) :

Or this pair in sterling silver:

Or this pair with text:

How does this happen? Well, they send you their Impression Kit which you will use to get your and/or your fiance’s fingerprints separately. You mail the packet back to them in Maine and they will use it to make a wax form from the impression material. And with the “ancient lost wax casting process” those impressions, mixed with gold or silver, turn into these unique little things:

How much more personalized can you get?