Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Supplier Ratings - Part I

Sent to Weddings@Work on 05 February 2005:

Here's the first installment of our supplier ratings. I made the ones for our hair and make-up, stylist and attire and first since I noticed that a lot of w@wies are currently looking for these suppliers.

I will be rating them from 1-10, based on professionalism, creativity and output. (Hay, mahirap talaga kung ang bride and groom ay parehong brats, may pagka-obsessive-compulsive sa mga detalye at FEELING creative.)

This is rather long, kasi may kasamang kwento.


We first met Eddie Bruan at a bridal fair. By that time, we already got quotations from Toto Bagasmad and Leony Diaz (gusto ko kasi nung una, barely there bridal make-up.) But we found their rates too expensive (meaning: above 10T. lumalabas na ang pagiging chipips namin! heehee.) Eddie showed us his album - we were impressed with his work. Meron siya doong mga before-and-after pics and talaga namang ang
laki ng ginanda ng mga brides! We also found out that he did the bridal make-up for my friend, K. Since love ni Rey yung make-up ni K during her wedding, and his rates were really reasonable (8T, kasama na buong family ko), we gave a downpayment to Eddie.

Eddie wrote the package that we negotiated at the back of his calling card, then signed his name. That would serve as our contract. After he received our downpayment, nagulat kami when Eddie suddenly offered to give me a free trial make-up right then at their booth! Sayang, we were in a hurry so we had to pass.

I had the opportunity to have a free trial make-up with Eddie during the W@W5. It took Eddie an hour to put on my make-up. When Rey saw me, he loved what he saw - sobrang bagay daw nung make-up sa akin. At sobrang sulit daw ang paghihintay niya. After that, I knew that Eddie would make me look pretty on our wedding day. Our photos taken during the W@W5 are posted at:


Eddie and his staff are very professional. A few days before the wedding, one of his staff members called me up to confirm the call time and the venue for the bridal preps. Our wedding was at 6pm and they suggested that we start at 1pm. I found that too early and requested that we start at 2pm. We compromised at 1:30pm.

On the day of the wedding, Eddie and his team arrived at 1:15. They set-up their equipment (yup, he has those "artista" mirrors and the lights that videographers use). We started at exactly 1:30pm. Eddie was so nice. Hindi siya nagreklamo when I told him na I no longer want the barely-there make-up that we previously agreed on - gusto ko na kasi ng glamorous look (sorry, ilusyonada talaga ako. heehee!) He was
also very gentle when putting on my make-up and combing my hair. He also didn't mind that I had to stand up a few times to do some stuff, answer calls, eat a pastry and drink. He was also able to work kahit ang iingay at ang gugulo naming magkakapatid. (Kwentuhan kasi kami ng kwentuhan.) After he finished doing my make-up, I loved what I saw in the mirror. With his make-up, I really felt so glamorous!

While we were having dinner, our guests kept on saying that I looked beautiful daw (naks! umakyat yata yung taba ng peking duck sa head nila!!!) May nag-comment pa nga na mukha daw akong artista (Naisip ko lang, artista din naman sina Whitney Tyson and Aiai de las Alas. Hmmm. Sino kaya sa kanila ang kamukha ko?) And weeks after the wedding, my officemates where asking for the contact number of Eddie B kasi ang
galing daw talaga ng pagka-make-up sa akin.

So my rating for Eddie B for the bridal make-up:

professionalism - 10
creativity - 10 (kahit ano'ng look, pwede!)
output - 10
FINAL SCORE: 10 (Highly recommended for bridal make-up)

For the entourage naman, si Norman ang gumawa. It is really difficult to find the right shade of foundation for our family kasi we're in different shades of yellow. Si, Eddie B., nagtagumpay sa akin. Unfortunately, medyo sablay si Norman sa sisters ko. While the eye make-up is ok, di ko feel yung pagka-blend ng foundation sa sisters ko (ok sa shots ng photogs pero mukhang kabuki sa non-pro cameras) pero sobrang okay naman yung ginamit nila for my nanay (ang yaya naming lahat) and for my 9-year old niece, Nikki. Sobrang nagmukhang prinsesa si Nikki! I guess, bagay-bagay lang talaga when it comes to make-up.

So my rating for Eddie B (more particularly, si Norman) for the make-up of the entourage:

professionalism - 10
creativity - 8
output - 8
FINAL SCORE: 8.6 (recommended pa rin)


I found Balay Kandila thru W@W. Ayaw kasi ni Rey mag-spend ng thousands for flowers so we decided to have alternative decors. We thought of decorating our venues with paper cranes. But everything has to be done well - our wedding ceremony, reception and cocktails were to be held in small functions rooms and we wanted our guests to forget that fact (otherwise, they'd expect to get free black pencils and small hotel stationery as souvenirs.)

I sent an e-mail to several suppliers about our ideas for our wedding. Not one of them responded.

Clarice, another w@wie, suggested that I give them a call. I did and I was able to schedule an appointment with Ronald. When I discussed our ideas with Ronald, I was so impressed with how he improved on my ideas (he suggested that we mix paper cranes with glass bubbles). I told him that our budget was limited since we were paying for the whole wedding. He agreed to work within our budget! I was so happy! On our
second meeting, Rey was with me. After our discussions with Ronald,Rey suggested that we give Balay Kandila an additional 5T (kasi para naman daw naming ninanakawan sina Ronald if we stick to our original budget.)

We met with Ronald a few more times to give him our paper cranes and to discuss our new ideas with him. (Kami na siguro ang pinakamakulit nilang client!) They also had a meeting with our account executive in Mandarin. Ronald never ran out of great ideas for our wedding. And when we came up with our own crazy ideas (paper cranes inside his pillar vases with the roses) he didn't budge and even said that he'd think of ways to make it happen.

And he did make it happen. On our wedding day, everyone was awed with how the function rooms were set-up. Fontaine room literally had hundreds of hanging cranes and glass bubbles and on the stage, the hanging candles proved to be a magnificent backdrop to our 2 pillar vases. On the otherhand, the centerpieces in Nash room were equally breath-taking. Everyone kept on asking us who our stylist was!

After dinner, I was surprised at how Ronald transformed the ceremony venue into a cocktail venue. Since our cocktail food was to be passed around and only the chips and chichacorn were to be placed on the cocktail tables, we didn't discuss how these would be decorated. So I was really surprised when Balay Kandila dressed them up! They were so lovely. (John Aguas took great shots of the tables.)

professionalism - 9 (A day before the wedding, one of his staff asked me for 50 more additional cranes. Hello? At kelan ko naman 'yon i-fo-fold?! Habang nagpapa-manicure?!!! I was irritated and immediately called up Ronald. He told me not to worry about it and that he'd have one of his staff fold the cranes.)
creativity - 11 (hee.)
output - 10
FINAL SCORE: 10 (Highly recommended)


For much less than 50t, Ding Marquez and his partner, Tani, made my bridal gown, my dressing gown, the princess-type gowns of our 2 flower girls, the gowns for my 2 sisters and nanay (my nanny when i was a kid).

He was the only designer who told me that I didn't have to go on a diet and that he'll take care of my problem area (I have a waist so thick that people think i'm pregnant) and he did - he managed to create a waist for me! Ding designed all the gowns and he really knows what type of cut would work on our imperfect figures. His
drawings were pretty but the gowns were even more beautiful! The dressing gown that he made for me not only gave me a waist, it also felt comfortable and it photographed beautifully! The bridal gown was even more beautiful. It was too extravagant for a civil wedding - just the way I wanted it. It had a full skirt, a bustle, and a diagonal detail that made the gown sparkle. And it was silver and shimmery and
it used really soft cloths (the outer layer was organdy.) For the dinner, we removed the bustle to allow me to move around. I could have removed the petticoat, too, but I was too lazy to do so.

People also raved about the gowns of the flower girls and that of my sisters. The gowns of the flower girls were really fluffy! The floral details that ran from the right side of the gown to the middle of the back was exquisite. On the other hand, my sisters' gowns emphasized their assets and effectively hid their problem areas. The gowns were problem-free and the materials used were heavy duty (I was so impressed with the zippers that they used.) I also loved the designs!

Tani was also an angel during the preps. He made sure that all the gowns fit well. When my bouquets arrived, we found that none of them suit the bridal gown. (The one with the stargazers did but the smell was too strong I couldn't stand to hold them for more than a minute.) When I mentioned that I had a crystal bouquet but I didn't like the way it was made, he looked for it (I forgot where I placed it) wrapped
a silver pouch around it, fixed the ribbon, made a few stitches and made the crystal bouquet beautiful in just a few minutes.

They also gave me a really long veil, but when I told Tani that I was having difficulty walking with it, he cut it off and made me a short one. He was such a darling! He made me cry when he refused to accept my tip. I was so touched by his kindness!

professionalism - 10
creativity - 10 (ang galing magtago ng hidden wealth!)
output - 10
FINAL SCORE: 10 (highly recommended)


Ever since I was a kid, lahat na ng barong and formal pants ng family namin are sewn by Daneche. They made all the barong and pants for the wedding of my 2 sisters and my brother. So we didn't hesitate to have Rey's and my father's attire to be made by Daneche.

Fatherlily was the first one to get measured (nagpapapayat pa kasi ang groom) so he was able to get his attire ahead of Rey. The barong and the pants, as expected, fitted him well.

Unfortunately, when it was Rey's turn to claim his barong, we realized too late that:

1) The material for his barong was the raya type - so it had embroidery all over. it was nice but it didn't fit the Rey's personality.

2) The material was in pure pina. Even if it was first class pina and was actually several shades lighter than most pina cloths that i've seen, the yellow tinge made Rey look a little darker.

3) The material was for large people. The barong was too long because the cutters couldn't make it any shorter as it would ruin the embroidery. In addition to this, the pants were a bit too baggy, so Rey appeared smaller. On the same afternoon, we looked for new material for his barong.

professionalism - 7 (they could have informed us before they cut the material that it was too large for Rey)
creativity - 5 (When Rey fitted the pants, we pointed out that the pants were too baggy. The cutter told us that "uso" daw and baggy)
output - 7 (Fatherlily's barong and pants were nice.)
FINAL SCORE: 6.33 (pwede pa rin for those who are lean and tall like fatherlily, or those who like their pants baggy)


I love the designs of Njork but I found their bridal gowns too expensive for something that I would wear only once in my life. So, I decided to have a reception gown made. I never regretted my decision.

After a minor hiccup (I was made to wait for 45 minutes), everything went on smoothly with Njork. Aside from my reception gown, I had them make me a cocktail dress for the wedding that I attended a week before the wedding (December 20.) 5 days before that, Rey realized that he had nothing to wear for that wedding. Since he went with me to Njork for my fitting, and we had cloths for barong with us, we asked Njork if they can sew him a barong in 5 days. They honestly told us that since it was a busy month, their schedule was be pretty tight and the barong would only be finished on the morning of the 20th. Since we were desperate, we agreed.

On the 20th, I met Rey at Njork's shop. At that time, I was already wearing the beautiful cocktail dress that they made for me. Rey's barong just arrived and Rey was about to put it on. The fit was perfect. The lines were so clean and the workmanship was excellent. They even made a camiso for Rey. The camiso was so nice! Rey said that
it felt really soft and smooth (para daw siyang naka-pajama). And the cut and fit was so perfect that you can't see any bare skin between the collar and the camiso. Nagsisi nga si Rey na di niya sa Njork pinatahi yung barong niya for the wedding. Yun nga lang, Rey was wearing the pants that Daneche and he thought that the pants destroyed the clean lines of his Njork barong. He said this aloud and Miguel and
Francis had to agree. When we asked them if they can repair it, they said that it would be easier to make a new one. We asked them if they can sew one for Rey. At first they didn't want to agree (they were closing their shop for the holidays on the 23rd and will only open on the 27th) but we were able to persuade them. Since we didn't have any cloth with us, they agreed to provide the material for the pants.

My sister picked up Rey's pants on our wedding day. The pants fit him perfectly and he claims that the material is also soft and smooth. The cut of the pants also made him look a little taller.

As for my fuschia reception gown, it was so beautiful. It hid all my bulges and it made me feel really sexy. Everyone loved it! And it looked really nice in the pictures. It was so pretty that even if it was not white, everyone still knew that I was the bride.

professionalism - 10
creativity - 10 (they even designed the shoes and the earrings that
matched my fuschia gown perfectly!)
output - 10


When Rey told his dad about the Daneche barong that didn't fit, his dad told him to go to Kingsmen, Ortigas where he is a regular customer. So Rey brought his pina jusi to Kingsmen. When I accompanied him to have his studs measured, I didn't like the way that the bald man at the store treated us - he was looking at us down his nose!
Admittedly, we were shabbily dressed (which is how we usually look when we're not working) but we were customers and I think that we should be treated like their other customers (that or may pagka-prima donna lang talaga ako. hee.)

Anyway, we were supposed to claim his barong on the 23rd. But when we went there, we found the sleeves too long. We asked them to shorten the sleeves by half an inch by the 26th since the barong will be used on the 27th. Hindi daw pwede. First they said that talaga daw mahaba ang sleeves ng barong. When we disagreed, they said that they couldn't adjust the sleeves as their mananahi will not be working until the 27th. They suggested that Rey wear the barong on the 27th and they'll just adjust the sleeves afterwards. When we said that the barong is for our wedding and that Rey's not planning to wear it again, some good-hearted employee agreed to have the sleeves adjusted. Mang Al, our driver, picked up the barong on the 26th. Thankfully, the barong fit perfectly on our wedding day.

professionalism - 5 (the staff in Makati are nicer.)
creativity - 9.9 (the barong was really nice but they suggested that Rey wear a normal camiso. Rey wore the camiso that Njork made for him)
output - 10
FINAL SCORE: 8.3 (mas gusto ko talaga yung Kingsmen sa Makati!)

Our pictures are posted at:

Designs of Fidel Marquez: http://community.webshots.com/album/131832272lOcpxz

Wedding pictures by Eddieboy Escudero:

Wedding pictures by John Aguas and Carlo Villonco:


Iris said...

Hi i have been desperately trying to find ding and tani. They did my wedding gown 9 years ago.
A friend from the US wants to meet them for her own gown before she flies to the US in a couple of days. Do you know how to get in touch with them. It means the world to me if you can give me their contact details. Please email me.

abieco said...

Hi, Iris.

Here are their contact numbers:

Landline: 63 2 412 3157
Cell: 63 916 702 5998

Their shop is located near the Betty Go Station of LRT 2

me said...

ding is still very accommodating though tani is a bit offensive. when my friend and i went to him for our second visit where we expected to see their designs based on what we said we wanted during the first visit, he was so insulting - wanting to shoo us away and just go to divisoria because of our small budget. when we asked about what they can provide given our budget, he lectured about planning for a wedding! as if we do not know that yet!

abieco said...

hi, me.

i'm so sorry to hear about what you felt was a bad experience with tani. he's always been very frank with me. if my budget for the dress i want is too low, he also tells me to go have the dress done in divi. i don't think he means to insult you as i really don't think he's insulting me when he says that. as for the lecture on wedding preparations, he was probably just trying to be helpful. i suppose that he thinks he has something to share considering that they've made so many bridal gowns while a bride usually plans for a wedding only once in her life.

and speaking about budgets and prices, when i was practicing law and was negotiating our hourly rates with a client, i actually felt insulted when he tried to bargain for lower rates. the rates he wanted were not absurdly low, it was probably enough for other law firms. but it wasn't enough for us - we knew what we can do, we were confident of our skills, and we felt that we deserved the rates that we gave them. if they wanted a bargain, then they're welcome to get other firms who would agree to their price. i guess this is the same with tani (although i still think that their rates are reasonable).

it's been 5 years since i first met ding and tani, and they still create beautiful gowns for me. I've recently had a gown made and my friends kept raving about it. i'll post pictures when i have the time.

me said...


yup. i agree with you. however, i still feel that tani could have shared his inputs in a better manner. at this point in looking for a couture, i have been able to inquire from about 5 designers already but it's only tani who had an attitude. the other designers, especially merlene marcelo, were also honest about pricing but they were able to explain objectively and respectfully. they were giving facts such as the price per yard of the material that i want which made me understand their position better.

i also mentioned that i asked tani about what he can make out of my budget or what budget (at the minimum) is required for what i want but he did his littany about buying from divisoria instead. as for the other designers, they were able to give me an answer to my question rather than give an unsolicited advice. For example, one said that she can only make the bridal gown out of my budget, it is not possible to make it for the whole entourage. Another suggested that it can be done but with a less gorgeous (yes, this was the term used) material or no more beadworks for the other gowns.

i know that i may not know too well about preparing for a wedding as this is the first time that im getting married (which i hope to happen again after 25 and 50 years) but i certainly know when someone is being rude or being helpful. tani was definitely being rude because he did not give intelligible options. he wanted an easy way out. if he was really trying to help, he could have been more patient and provided other suggestions apart from going to divisoria. and just for your information, the budget that he wanted from me was really high, about an average of plus 15K compared to the other designers' offers to think that the other designers are more established.