Saturday, December 4, 2010

Supplier spotlight: Santuario de San Jose

Yesterday, Mr. J and I booked our church.  Yes, we now have a church.. and it's Santuario de San Jose Parish (SSJ as it's sometimes referred to).  It's a quaint church that is located inside a posh subdivision in Metro Manila.

It was only my second time to visit the place.  The only other time was for my cousin's wedding last year.  I knew then that I had found IT (our church, that is).  When I told Mr. J about it, he also said he liked the church from what he remembers (their family used to attend Sunday mass there when he was a kid).  And so this year, when we got engaged, I had been calling the parish office since July to inquire when they would be accepting reservations for 2012 weddings.  By late October/early November (I can't remember if it was before Halloween or after it), the woman who answered my call said that they would be accepting bookings for 2012 on the first week of December.  Woohoo!  I was super excited that I immediately informed my boss that I would be taking a one day vacation leave on Dec. 3.  Yes, I was that excited.  And I also wanted to make sure that Mr. J and I would be able to secure the date and time that we wanted.  I even sent Mr. J a text message to inform him that he too would should take a leave of absence on that day.

So why do I love the place so much so that I made sure we reserve it the minute the 2012 wedding book is open?
  1. I have never been a fan of long aisles.  SSJ is the perfect church for this.  It definitely is spacious enough for 150 guests but not too big that it will have too long of an aisle and show too many empty church seats for the number of guests we had in mind.
  2. It's inside a gated subdivision.  I liked how the surrounding area itself is not busy and noisy.  There are no lurking street vendors outside the church.  And most importantly, it's not super accessible (it being inside a gated community) to the public which would mean not too many outsiders come our wedding day.
  3. They are not too strict with the wedding dress code.  There's a dress code alright but at least, compared to some churches, they allow strapless neckline.
  4. They will allow non-religious/love songs for the bridal march, recessional, and picture-taking.  This was another one of those other considerations that gave me a "this is IT" feeling.  I have no beef with "only religous songs in the ceremony" rule but for my bridal march, I only have one song in mind.. and that song is not religious music.
  5. Price is just right.  They say that P25,000 is expensive for a church fee.  I say it's just right (but I wouldn't complain if it's lesser, of course).  The parish church, after all, is taken care of nicely, the fee comes with air conditioning (P18,000 if without aircon), simple floral arrangements (though, I might get a separate florist as I have a thing against the typical calla lily arrangement.. and definitely no mums for me), a soloist and organist (I think I'd prefer a string quartet), and red carpet.  You've got the basics to make a wedding happen.
Our wedding is at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.  The Saturday wedding schedule is also something that I like: 9 and 11 (AM), 2 and 4 (PM).  For me, the interval between the weddings (you have one and a half hour) and that there are only two weddings in the afternoon promises a solemn church affair and not have the need-to-get-this-done-and-over-with-so-next-couple-can-wed feeling.

After all, I want to be able to savor that moment: first kiss as husband and wife, exchanging of vows and walking down the aisle like it's my own runway.

PS.  We also now have a wedding gown designer (or make that, I now have a wedding gown maker).  I have been a fan of her works for the longest time and will definitely be blogging about the experience of meeting and booking her.


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