When A Wedding Planner Plans Her Wedding
I was 19 years old when I first started planning for my wedding. My best friend and I would spend every weekend in my house, going through all the bridal magazines we could afford. It was funny, because we wanted to buy a lot of magazines that we opted to buy cheap back issues from decades ago when puff sleeves were still acceptable. That time, it didn’t really matter that we didn’t have fiancés (or boyfriends) yet. We were set to plan our weddings, regardless of whom we will marry. We would fantasize about wedding proposals; cry while listening to vows of same day edit videos, and dream about that perfect guy. And soon enough, my passion for weddings began.
the 80s puff sleeve trend. lol :D
Because of my endless research, I happened to stumble upon one of the top wedding caterers in the Philippines – K by Cunanan Catering. The company is the pioneer caterer that included styling in their packages. Seven years ago, when my mentor Kaye Cunanan took over their business, she incorporated elegant styling by using fresh local flowers that are not commonly used for weddings. This set her apart from all the competition. So for years I have been a fan, waiting every month for their new feature on bridal magazines. I would fervently pray to God to give me either an amazing job or a really hardworking fiancé so I could someday, save enough money, and book them for my wedding. Little did I know, God was already working on giving me both.
K by Cunanan Catering sample styling
K by Cunanan Catering sample styling
to be continued..
When the opportunity of working for K by Cunanan as an events associate/stylist came, I did not hesitate for a second and took it. I imagined all the wedding suppliers I will get to meet, working behind the scenes, helping other brides plan their weddings, and having to pursue my passion as a career, it was too good to pass up. Prior knowledge withstanding, it was a tough job. Your patience and understanding will be pushed to its limit. The hard work and pressure that goes through every preparation is inexplicable. The bridezillas are real; they walk among us, and could come from the most unexpected person. But then again, there are those moments that take your breath away. When you see a bride walk down the aisle and the groom, teary-eyed, sees her for the first time. When your staff pushes through with preparations literally, through the rain. When a bride gives you a big hug after her wedding. I’m telling you, it changed my life forever.
What I learned from my experience working in the wedding industry is invaluable. I will always be indebted to my mentor for allowing me to grow and learn on my own. With her guidance, I would like to think I have honed talents that I would have never known I had. Having to plan and style hundreds of weddings in my time has given me so much knowledge with the ins and outs of planning a wedding.
Now that it’s my time to plan MY wedding, I figured it is time for me to give back. As I write about my plans, and face concerns and hurdles (hopefully not so much) in planning my wedding, feel free to give suggestions, ask questions or give a virtual hug when times get tough.
For all the would be brides out there who are having a hard time not knowing where to start, allow me to guide you in planning your dream wedding. Whether you are a bride who is working on a budget, or someone willing to splurge for a grandiose wedding, I will be writing about tips and tricks I learned on how to get more bang for your buck. I am looking forward to hearing from you all. :)
In 1986, specifically May 25, a mother was about to go to labor and give birth to her second child. She knew it was going to be a girl, no mystery there. For months she fantasized on what her baby would look like, she was certain this child would be charming as hell. It has always been her dream to have a baby girl that she can raise to become a classy, graceful and effervescent young lady – just like her. So moments before she gave birth, her doctor asked her what the name of the baby would be, “Katrina Charmaine” she said. Crossing her fingers, in hopes that the charm on her name would rub off to the baby.
So I guess introductions are in order. I am Katrina Charmaine. My nickname is KC but having lazy friends, they managed to shorten a two-letter initial into “Case”. Contrary to what my mother had hoped, the charm in my name didn’t quite rub off as planned. And even though I have grown up to be a sharp-witted, ill-tempered young lady, my mother loves me just the same.
I was brought up to be an idealist. Watching all those Disney love stories made me a hopeful romantic (hopeless doesn’t sound very optimistic). So at the early age of 13, I have already fantasized about finding my happily ever after. I’ve watched all kinds of chick flicks, teen flicks that included makeovers, proms and the promise of true love.
As time went by, countless suitors (countless because there wasn’t any to count. haha), and failed young relationships later, my idealistic/romantic bubble sort of popped. Faced with the reality of relationships, you can say, I pretty much learned the hard way that a kiss will not make everything all right. And a flying carpet ride is scientifically impossible.
I was 19 when I first had my serious relationship. It was dealt with immaturity and so much naivety, that even though we tried for 8 long years, the relationship did not last. I have officially given up on love. Have you ever had a time when you thought you’d never be able to find the one? For a time there, I kinda did.
Until one day, I met Jarl.
Three years ago, on one rainy afternoon, my best friend from culinary school asked me if I could go meet her at Starbucks to catch up. It was right beside her place of work and was about to finish her shift, and we haven’t seen in each other in a while. So I grabbed my denim jacket, took a cab and ordered a venti cup of caramel macchiato when I arrived.
I texted her “I’m here”, and she immediately went out and greeted me with a hug. We talked about work, vacations, and our flailing relationships with our then significant others. Several minutes into the conversation a couple of chefs she worked with, came out to have a smoke. They approached our table to bum a light. “Case, this is Alex and Jarl”, my friend said. I gave a smug smile, handed my lighter and went on with our conversation.
If I were writing fiction I would definitely say there were fireworks. I will romanticize it with a little bit slow motion, and tell you that my heart had premature ventricular contractions. But honestly, it wasn’t like that at all. Don’t get me wrong I thought he was cute. Apparently, he thought I was too. But for at least a month or two, it ended there. A conversation from two strangers, that’s all.
Fast forward to several weeks later, when my boss was interviewing chefs. I came through the doors of our office and there he was, sitting at a corner waiting for his turn to be called. I waved; he smiled, and I went on about my day. Little did I know, it would be the beginning and end of everything.
Jarl and I started out as friends. We see each other everyday at work and would go out with friends after our shifts. I was at a very complicated place at that time when it comes to my love life, and he took the time to get to know me. With him, I have always been myself. Coming to work early without any make up on, being my silly self in front of our staff. I’d like to think that out of all the guys I have dated, he liked for who I really am, flaws and all.
Until one day, he told me he was falling for me. I told him I wasn’t ready yet. I just came out of a long-term relationship and I didn’t want to drag him into my messy life. But while I was secretly hoping that my ex and I would get back together (because I haven’t come to terms that I have wasted a quarter of my life with him), he sat me down and talked to me:
“If you think there is still chance that you and your ex would get back together, by all means, talk to him. Tell him how much you love him. If he still loves you then you’ll be together. If not, at least you did everything you could.”
“..either way, I will be here. Always. Because I love you.”
It was the most self-less thing any guy has ever done for me. That in spite of his happy-go-lucky attitude and bad boy façade, he was willing to give up his happiness, so I could have mine. And I realized that all those Disney movies and love stories that taught us of unconditional love, it was real. All of a sudden, I was back at the time before my romantic/idealistic bubble popped. He made me believe again. It was the most amazing feeling, way better than that flying carpet ride.