#LangGA2018 Venue Hunting

So here is my first post about my wedding preps. We’ve had a hard time looking for a garden venue with an enclosed space that is budget-friendly here in Quezon City. Also, my fiancé (George) is in Mindanao (he’ll come back to MLA April 14) so I’m the only one looking for a venue. Thank God for the internet, George can be with me virtually. Thanks to my parents, family, and friends who graciously gave their time and advice regarding wedding venues. We were planning to have the wedding on September 29, yet we only started looking for a venue last January. We had 4 options, but our final venue is not a part of our options.

Cornerstone Community Baptist Church

This was our first option because this is my home church. It is a church with a small garden. I’d love to be married in a place that is so dear to me. The Worship Hall is easy to decorate. Also, we can use the church for free. For outsiders, the church offers the worship hall at a very affordable price.

Setup during my Kuya’s wedding
Front setup
The building

Our only consideration was the stairs. George’s Papang have a hard time walking. We wanted a venue that does not have stairs (or not too much stairs). Mommy (my paternal grandmother) is also on a wheelchair and I’d love to have her witness my wedding. George and I prayed about getting a different venue, including the possible budget that it entails. We finally decided to look for another venue.

Gazebo Royale

I went venue hunting on the internet and saw Gazebo Royale. The pictures of wedding setups that I saw on Google are gorgeous! The budget was overboard, but I still wanted to take a look at it. I asked Mama to go with me to the venue. Gazebo Royale is located along Visayas Ave. Extension. They have 2 halls, the Phoenix Avenue (max. 200 pax) and Champagne Hall (max. 250 pax). Here are some of the pictures that I took when we went there.

Phoenix Avenue entrance
Inside Phoenix Avenue
Powder Room
Koi Pond
Walkway leading to the comfort rooms…also a great place to have a photo op!
Champagne Hall (too big for my liking)
Driveway
Designated parking for the bridal car
Guests’ parking area
Gate (sorry for the dark photo)

The prices made my jaw drop (think 300k for packages). I realized how commercialized weddings can be nowadays. Of course, if you opt to splurge on your wedding, go ahead. But for our pockets, it’s just too much. 😂

The place is beautiful, but it is not within our budget. So we had to let that go.

Blue Gardens

Blue Gardens is located a few miles away from JOCFER Building (Feria) along Commonwealth Ave. I also saw this venue on the internet. Incidentally, a childhood friend of mine just informed me that she will have her wedding there. So, Mama and I decided to go there after we visit Gazebo Royale. They have a Chateau Hall, an Upper Garden, and a Larger Garden (I forgot what it’s called). The place is magical even in daylight.

Chateau Hall with wedding reception setup by Hizons
Powder Room-Bedroom
Powder Room-leading to the bedroom
Larger Garden-fountain
Powder Room-receiving area
Larger Garden
Upper Garden-leading to the restrooms
Upper Garden with no setup
Chateau Hall
Chateau Hall-fairytale-like stairs
Large Garden with no setup

The packages were a tad cheaper than Gazebo Royale (around 250k, 300k with add-ons), but still way beyond our budget. So we let go of this one as well.

UP Church of the Risen Lord

This iconic Episcopal church in the heart of UP is within our budget. A churchmate of mine got married in this church 2 years ago, and they told me that they only paid 10k for the venue. I believe there is a discount for UP Staff and alumni. The church is already beautiful even without the decorations. There are also no stairs leading to the venue which is a great plus for us.

Inside UP CRL: https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcREiYUhEogW4jXZHZ5V_r6RRWW2w24ef2HAatA-r_4jGLUyPrwZ

However, I wanted an enclosed space for the reception. They have a reception space at the side of the church, but it is not covered. The stones also tend to be slippery especially when it’s raining. September is rainy season already. I don’t want to risk the health and safety of our guests.

UP Bonsai Garden

This venue was suggested by my Kuya. It’s a shame that an Iska like me know that there is a Bonsai Garden somewhere in UP but I don’t know where exactly it is located. 😂 It is somewhere in Area 1 where I usually eat during my undergraduate days. How come I didn’t notice it?

Anyway, their prices are within budget. The custodian was very easy to talk to. The bonsai are gorgeous! The largest tree located at the end of the bonsai aisle will look really good on pictures. There is a small enclosed space that you can rent separately for the buffet table. I was also impressed at their newly-renovated comfort rooms!

Bonsai Aisle leading to the gigantic tree
From the gate leading to the Garden
Cogon Hall
The gate-facing outside
Gigantic Tree
The gate

One concern of mine was that the bonsai plants are too large. I’m worried that the guests will not see the ceremony unless we are elevated in some way. Another concern was that there are no parking spaces for guests. The front part of the garden is also full of trash. I’m sure though that they will clean it for the event. Also, I thought that I’ll not get too picky with the venue since we’re on a budget. We decided that we’ll go with this venue.

Interestingly, after more than a month of fixing our eyes on Bonsai Garden, I still wasn’t able to book the venue!

Maybe the Lord knows our heart’s desires. We are willing to settle for this garden but this is not what we want. I admit, I kind of took matters in my own hands that I didn’t pray too hard about it. So we started to pray more for a venue that we will really love and still within budget.

Come March 28, I attended my childhood friend’s (Rubie Perez, now Mrs. Delos Reyes) wedding. Since I was a secondary sponsor, I was asked by the bride to come earlier to the hotel for the prenup photoshoot. When I arrived at the hotel, people are still having their makeup done, so I had time to relax. When the bride was finished with her makeup, I had the opportunity to chat with her. We talked about their wedding preps. She also gave me advices on how to prepare for the big day. I told her that I still don’t have a venue. She then said, “Try mo yung Don Jose Heights Clubhouse! Doon dapat ang venue namin kaso dumami na ang guests namin so we have to look for another venue.” My heart skipped a beat even though I have no idea what the place looks like.

Don Jose Heights Clubhouse

I found the FB page of the clubhouse. It made me so excited to see the venue personally. After our choir practice on Maundy Thursday, my parents and I along with family friends (Sofhia and Tita Mascle) went to the venue. As we parked, my heart pounded harder. My mind and heart told me that this is the place I will get married. I talked to the guard and asked for the rates. It is within our budget (25-30k)!

Front view of the hall
Wider front view of the hall
An insta-worthy short walkway
The back of the hall (which leads to the soccer field and the garden wedding venue…which I don’t have a picture of)
Soccer field
Double doors-main hall
Covered walkway at the side of the main hall

A week after, I called their office and asked if Sept. 29 is still available. Sadly, all the weekends for the year (even the first months of 2019) are already booked. I was broken-hearted. I talked to my fiancé, parents, and matron of honor (Ate Chai, my sister-in-law). They told me that they are still willing to push through with the wedding in that venue even with a different date. We then booked the nearest available date, which is on a weekday (I will not disclose the date yet in this post).

I was too anxious about finding the right venue for our wedding. I sought for it in my own terms. Yet, God has other plans for us, way higher and perfect than George and I can imagine. I am excited for what God has in store for us in the next months.

If you want prices and quotations, you can comment down below so I can take a picture and send it to you 😊

Peace and Love,

Ara Foronda

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