I Do Duties: Everything You Need to Know When Planning a Church Wedding in Cebu

I would like to think that this has got to be my most useful and informative post to date!

Upon the start of my wedding planning, the one thing I wish I had more info on was how to go about with all the requirements. And I mean ALL. The church hunting was a fun task, but doing the paper work wasn’t.

I honestly debated on whether or not I will be having a church wedding, because a civil wedding would have been just as good. We put a lot of thought into it and eventually decided on a Catholic church wedding. We were wed at St. Therese Church. It was beautiful, peaceful, and strategically located. We had the preparation at Waterfront Hotel and the reception in Circa 1900, all three are in Lahug.

Here, I share a list I wish someone had given me six months ago. This is based on our experience so I may not be able to cover everything. But I truly hope this helps!


Photo by Bianca Villares


  1. Tentative date/dates. First of all, you need to decide on a target day. It’s easier to inquire for church availability when you already have dates in mind.

2. Budget. A no-brainer. Decide together how much you are willing to spend on the church. More than the merriment, the venue where you will have the sacred ceremony that will make everything binding is vital. Among the churches we’ve checked out were the following:

St. Therese Parish > 10000 (non-parishioner)
> 5000 (parishioner)
Redemptorist Church > 12000
Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod (SRP) > 40000
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral > 15,000.00 (non-aircon)
> 50,000.00 (with air-con)
Archbishop’s Palace > 8,500 (with aircon)
Shrine of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus > 8,500 (weekdays)
> 10,000 (Saturday)
> 25,000 (Sunday)
> 25,000 (aircon add-on)
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish > 5,000.00

4. Size of the area. Do you want to walk down a long aisle? Or do you want to see all the guests at one glance? Consider how intimate or big you want your church to be.

3. Consider your parish church. If you like that pretty church near your area, then better opt to have your ceremony there. It would save you a lot of cash and effort, being a parishioner.

5. Distance from the reception. Some people believe it’s wiser to book the church first and then the reception venue. I say, choose first whichever your heart desires! No really. We actually booked our reception venue first because we got married at a wedding season and it felt harder to find the perfect venue than the church. So once you have Continue reading

5 Reasons Why I’m Keeping My Wedding Intimate


Engagement Shoot | Photo by Clarence Nartates

As our country celebrates the promise of a new presidency, I find myself anxious about something else entirely: our wedding guest list! Two months away and DM and I still cannot say that we’ve finalized the list—yes, even after sending out a few Save the Date‘s.  And that’s got to be blamed on this small wedding reverie of mine.

But what’s bothering me more is the fact that some people still cannot comprehend the concept of keeping a wedding intimate. In the past months of planning, I’ve come across a good number of acquaintances and wedding vendors who talk about the rising popularity of small weddings in Cebu. Seems like more and more young couples have decided to stray away from the tradition. Our wedding coordinator shared that she had at least three recent events that only had about fifty guests. And I cannot help but be completely jealous. How did these couples manage to orchestrate that?!

I have always wanted to have an intimate wedding and I have been very vocal about it. I learned a lot of things about weddings through Friends and it was also through Rachel Green that I first got an idea of how magical a private wedding could be! Remember her made-up story on how she and Ross got married on a cliff during sunset? Swooning!

Whenever I think about the possibility of tripping over while I walk down the aisle, I’m comforted by the thought that, should it happen, the witnesses are all close enough to me that we can just laugh it off together.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, I don’t know yet) for me, the intimate wedding I’m planning right now is not as intimate as Continue reading

DIY Pirate Birthday Party for the Little Captain

Nothing expensive, nothing lavish, just a lovingly prepped up first birthday celebration for the little man that made a big change in my life.

I couldn’t emphasize it more and I’ve finally turned into one of those people who just couldn’t stop saying how time flies so fast! Indeed, it feels only yesterday when I first announced that we were expecting, got comfortable with the whole pregnancy thing, received so much love at my baby shower, did the obligatory belly-flaunting shoot amid a threatening storm, finally gave birth, and welcomed our new addition into the Christian world.

DM and I have successfully conquered 365 days of being pooped on, peed on, paranoia, and arguments on whose style is better. And to brace ourselves for the rest of our parenting journey, we made it a point to celebrate with dear friends and family.

If it were up to DM, an intimate gathering with good food would have been enough. But of course, being the DIY mom that I am, I got overly excited on the little details. We decided to have a pirate theme party on the basis that Baby D gets so attentive whenever we read him Jake and the Never Land Pirates during bedtime. So he must likes pirates, right?!


The event was held at home so it was quite challenging to eliminate Continue reading

On The Wheels of Love: DIY Wedding Car Project

I’ve been kept busy these past weeks but I’ve been happy-busy! You know, that state of being crazy busy but you’re actually enjoying it? One of the reasons for such was the wedding of a dear friend!

Weddings, though stressful, will always be one of my favorite things. And to be involved (ehem, as legal witness sort of involved) in her big day was just amazing.

She decided on having a DIY wedding, all the way. And so being the DIY apostle that I am, I was itching for her to assign me to do something. So imagine my glee when she asked if they could use our car as their wedding/getaway car!

Our car is far from being fancy but I was honored to transform it into a romantic ride if only for a while. My very own fiancé willingly agreed. His only condition was not to leave any adhesive marks (I think he meant girly traces). Props to his sincere effort in making it look sparkly on the day!

Since I was in no way capable of picking flowers and keeping them alive, I opted to Continue reading

Baptism Celebration With A Dash of DIY

Perhaps one of the things I was rushing to do once our baby was properly settled at home was to have him baptized. Baptism months after birth has always been mandatory for both mine and my partner’s family. But aside from this fact, it was an important step to take if we wanted (and needed) to take our little champ to places. I’m not that religious nor am I superstitious, but there’s this belief that it’s bad luck to travel with an unbaptized child and as I always see it, there really is nothing to lose if you allowed yourself to give in to these kinds of conformity every now and then.

With less than a month’s notice, it must have been the quickest party planning I’ve ever done (aside from a spontaneous one last year) and having my baby literally in my arms 80% of the day didn’t help with the necessary preparations I wanted to do with the tiny decor details. The biggest challenge was that I couldn’t be at the reception venue to do or oversee the set-up since I needed to be at the church for the actual baptismal rites. Thankfully, I got help from my supportive sisters who flew in from Hanoi and Manila, and my dear cousins, one of whom was a professional interior designer whose creativity I trusted when it came to executing what I wanted. With a detailed “how-to and what-to” guide and a bag of knick-knacks I managed to prepare at 1 am before the big day, we were able to pull off the celebration just fine!

10991046_1033647033315411_697250878661470573_n copy copyThree huge images of the celebrant welcomed the guests! The banner was especially designed by the

Continue reading

My Bestfriend’s Wedding… Giveaways!

Wedding bells have been gleefully ringing these past months when one of my oldest, dearest friends announced that she’s getting married. Instantly, me and the girls were simply thrilled, helping her plan and visualize how her big day would look like. She wanted to go for simple, intimate, and DIYish feel and I couldn’t be more excited since my sister and I are getting ready to launch our new project: an online craft supply shop. My friend asked me to do the giveaways and I finally got to prepare samples a few weeks ago when my sister came home to bring the supplies and help keep the creative juices flowing.

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After several visual samples, the bride-to -be decided to have it in a candy jar.  The Krafty Team came up with these three designs for her to choose from

The color motif is teal and to give an idea of how a teal content would look like inside the jar, I painted these pebbles with platinum blue nail Continue reading

Overnight DIY Birthday Preps

A couple of weeks ago, I challenged the boyf to a silly game I knew I would win. While our laziness and lack of enthusiasm took a toll on what’s supposed to be a fun way of testing our familiarity with each other (we only lasted until the 11th trivia), I ultimately emerged victorious as planned (*evil laugh). The game was intended to culminate on his birthday but since it was doomed from the start, the victory came from me whipping a spontaneous surprise party.

Okay, it wasn’t that surprising. For a change, he wanted to celebrate his birthday this year at his hometown, Carcar, Cebu, a town that’s about an hour and  half drive from the city. So with his amazing aunt and mom pledging to take care of the food, there really wasn’t much for me to do. At least that’s what I thought for weeks! But 24 hours before he turned 29, I realized I could at least do the decors.

I’ve always enjoyed planning parties and getting into small details like invitations and random tags. But I could only do so much with very little time and a swamped day at work. So with mostly recycled materials and a little help from Pinterest, I managed to come up with some pieces that I never thought would become a big hit during the party.

The whole set-up! Quite simple, really. A bit of blunder there. I never thought no one in his family called him by this nickname that most of his friends and colleagues use. The whole set-up! Quite simple, really. A bit of blunder there. Continue reading