Wednesday, November 14, 2018

5 tips on who to include in your wedding guest list

Some time ago—I can't remember if it was last year or two years ago—my three little boys were looking at our wedding photo album. They said it was beautiful, everyone looked great, but "Where am I, Mama? Why didn't you invite me to your wedding?" Each boy asked this and no matter how I tried to explain that they weren't born yet when the wedding happened, they just couldn't grasp the terrible fact that their own parents didn't invite them to our wedding.

It's so adorable and hilarious!

You know, a guest list is really such a stressful part of the wedding planning. Our initial guest list only had 80 people (30 for my family, 30 for Vince's family, 10 each for his friends and mine). That was all we could afford. So Vince's parents said they'll foot the reception bill so we could invite 250 people. And we did! 

Well, only 160 showed up. I guess only 160 people really cared for us haha. No hard feelings! But that definitely changed how I related to many people, especially those who said they didn't show up because they had work. #AlamNaThis

Anyway, if you recently got engaged or are already in the thick of sorting out your guest list, here are a few tips based on my own wedding planning 11 years ago.

1. Talk to your partner first and foremost.

You spent so much of your life being single that it may be hard to understand that your separate worlds are now becoming one. That means talking about who in your barkadas, office, communities, and families will be invited. Don't promise invitations to the entire barangay if your groom is planning an intimate wedding. 

So talk it over first. The venue is a huge factor—a cathedral can fit hundreds, for example, while a chapel can accommodate maybe 30. Budget is another thing to consider. You may be dreaming of a 3-day feast for all your friends from preschool to present day but if your budget is only P100,000, then that dream will remain a dream. This is also a good time to talk about who you don't want to see at the wedding (exes, people from work, certain relatives, etc).

2. Talk to your family.

Now that you've both agreed on the important matters regarding your guest list, you need to talk with your immediate family next. Tell them what you and your groom talked about so that they won't get carried away with their own guest lists. Or, like in my case with the budget constraints, maybe they can offer to help out. Your parents will make sure you don’t miss any beloved relatives and key members of your community (if that kind of thing is important to them). 

Your parents' opinion - especially if they're footing the bill - matters a big deal!

3. Evaluate your groups.

Now that the families are happy with your guest list, you have to think of your friends. You might feel pressured to invite everyone in your prayer group, the whole department at work, and every single person in your college org because you fear for those who might feel left out. But what you really need to decide is who has been there for you through thick and thin. Think of the people who you know are going to be around for the long haul. Those are the ones you invite.

4. What’s the rule on other halves?

Nowadays guests often expect to have a plus one included with their invite, but that simply shouldn’t be the case. You can never guarantee that boyfriend-girlfriend (BF-BF, GF-GF) relationships are going to last so why spend on the plate of someone you don't know or may probably not be around for your friend by next year? Okay, hard to judge anyone's love life so the one and only rule on other halves is this: If they're married, invite the spouse, too. Some people also invite their guest's fiancé/fiancée. But if it's just a BF/GF, no need to invite them. 

5. It's okay to have 2 guest lists.

How does this happen??? Well, some couples get married abroad. Some couples have a civil ceremony. Some couples have their heart set on a tiny chapel. Some couples, like me and Vince, have different religions and quite a lot of my Born Again guests refused to attend a Catholic service (another story for another day). In those cases, you can have a ceremony guest list and an evening guest list

Vince thanking our 160 guests who made our wedding such a wonderful memory.

Now that you've trimmed your guest list, you can spend more on your luxury wedding invitations. I think a beautiful wedding invitation sets the tone for your wedding and gives your guests an idea on how big/casual/formal/fun/serious it's going to be. So don't go cheap on the invites! 

Your wedding is going to be one of the most special days of your life, so you want to celebrate with the people that truly mean the world to you. Don’t rush the creation of your guest list. Take your time and make sure you are completely happy before sending out those all important invites.

P.S. Anyone getting married soon? Can my littlest boy be part of the entourage??? He's the only one who's not been a page boy and I'm getting desperate haha

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Monday, November 12, 2018

"Always an adventure with Mama!"

My husband tells my kids when we get home later than usual, "Did you have another adventure with Mama?" And my kids will yell, "Yes!" Then they'll tell him where we went and what we did, and while Vince is amused, I know he's also a bit worried that sometimes I take his kids unexpectedly to unexpected places.

My kids' favorite adventure? Jeepney rides. 

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They also like the bus, but only when it's not crowded. They like the MRT. And tricycles. And they like walks.

So why do we go on "adventures," as Vince and the kids call them? It's never intentional, to be honest. Most of the time, we can't book a Grab so I haul them to the bus stop and commute. Sometimes, one kid gets hungry so we check out restaurants near the school.

Sometimes the weather's not friendly (too hot or a downpour happens), so I pull them into a building and we explore whatever's there—an art gallery with weird paintings one time (they were not pleased), a quiet garden with a pond full of curious tortoises another time (they were thrilled).

Sometimes I notice they need a haircut and so they get a sudden buzz. Sometimes I remember they need new shoes so we go shopping. Sometimes we just squat on our haunches on the sidewalk and peer at the shrubbery. Sometimes a kitten is discovered and we feed it. Flowers are picked and offered to me. Caterpillars and cockroaches are pointed out (yes, we found caterpillars along our city roads). Graffiti is studied. And always always strangers become friends. 

People ask me all the time how I can commute with 3 little kids and their huge school bags. I do so because strangers are kind to us. Every day, people help me carry their bags, lift the boys on and off buses, hold a child's hand when crossing the street, share an umbrella when it suddenly rains, hail a taxi (and even give up a taxi) for us.

So we come home from our adventures tired, hot, and smelling of sweat and smog, but we always discover beauty in this ugly city and my kids learn the kindness of strangers. And that is definitely the best kind of adventure!

Friday, November 09, 2018

You can now buy mobile load and data on Shopee!

Lahat talaga mabibili na online! I just found out that we can buy mobile load and data from Shopee. Lahat covered—Globe, Sun, Smart, and TNT networks!

I don't know if I still have any of my really OG blog readers still around but I got a lot of readers around 10 or 12 years ago because I loved blogging about my online shopping. My readers were always asking me, "How do you choose what fits? How do you pay? Paano yung shipping? Paano yung taxes [kasi I bought a lot from online shops based abroad]? What if you don't like what you bought?" I think all my online shopping was what made my blog's stats shoot up before haha And I always hoped back then na magkaroon ng strong e-commerce ang Pilipinas.

A decade after my wish, here we are! Everything from diapers to load mabibili na! Using our phones pa! 

Anyway, just so you know, postpaid ang Smart plan ko since 2013. But around summer time, I was thinking of separating my business use from my personal use, for tax purposes. So I tried prepaid. Does anyone else do this or am I needlessly complicating my life by having 2 phones???

Guys, prepaid sucks. Sobrang hassle when I was booking a Grab para makauwi na ako from an event tapos biglang nawalan ako ng load. And then wala akong mabilhan ng load anywhere! So I quickly learned to load my prepaid before I leave the house.  

And now I can buy load on Shopee! 

BIG NEWS! Shopee is having a flash sale plus mobile phone giveaway when you buy load on November 11, Sunday. Let me break it down for you, mamas:

Special introductory offer: 11% on all prepaid load and data on 11.11. Get P100 prepaid load for only P89!

FLASH SALE: Up to 40% on all prepaid load & data on 11.11 from 12nn to 4pm only.

PRIZE GIVEAWAY: Get a chance to win an Honor 7x when you buy prepaid load and data on 11.11!!!

Here's how to buy load and data on Shopee:

Abangan sa Sunday, 11.11, ang big debut ng mobile load and data shopping on Shopee! 

*This post was brought to you by Shopee.