Thursday, November 12, 2015

#JomarAndJulieBTS: Hair and Makeup

Looking for a makeup artist was supposed to be a no-brainer. After all, my checklist was simple:

1.      I need to look like myself, and I want my future grandkids to look at our wedding photos and see ME, not some hyper-made up and glamourized version of me, so severe contouring was definitely out of the question. It will be so weird if I hear them ask "Lola, who's that?" while thumbing through our wedding album. So goodbye, Hollywood-sanctioned straight nose and hollow cheeks! Not that I really want those hahaha :)
2.      My skin tans easily, which means I need someone who can perfectly match the makeup to my changing yellow-brown skin tone. I didn’t want to like a mumu (ghost) extra for Shake Rattle & Roll nor a bronzed Egyptian goddess (a staple look in Philippine magazine covers). The same goes for my bridal entourage's makeup, especially since their skin tone varies from morena to mestiza. 

3. If I can't find anyone, I will just do it myself. After all, how hard can it be, right? I've done my makeup dozens of times before, and surely I'll have enough time to practice before the big day. I seriously considered this until I realized how different professionally-applied makeup is from my amateur handiwork. Case in point:


Under professional light though, this would look so different. It'd most likely appear washed out, as if I didn't put anything on.

"Easy-peasy," I thought to myself, "I'll probably find someone soon!". But as I scrolled through pages and pages of too-pink lipstick, super thick brown eyebrows, and oddly-sculpted noses c/o the Kim K. School of Contouring, I began to lose hope. I slept quite late those nights, only to keep bumping into dead ends and ending up with bumps on my forehead (so future brides, stick to your schedule and always get some rest!). The makeup artists that I managed to track down were either very expensive to hire or never responded to my inquiries. Miracle of miracles, a mere TWO months before our wedding, I came across Kris Bacani among a thousand websites I surfed through that night. I noted that she was morena, so I thought to myself that she probably knows first hand the sad plight of being morena in a white-complexion obsessed country (sad, I know)? After all, this is the land where the once beautifully tan Jennilyn Mercado became porcelain-skinned after being tucked beneath Vicki Belo's wing, and Maxi Peel flew off the shelves after an endorsement by the lovely, naturally light-skinned Kristine Hermosa (who has most likely never needed to use those horrid chemicals!). Crazy trivia: I was messaging my cousin about updates, and casually mentioned that I was eyeing Kris for my makeup. She said that her parents were friends with Kris' parents and that they actually went to her (my cousin's) wedding! More crazy trivia to come soon :)
Image taken from
Kris working her magic on moi

I knew Kris was THE ONE for me. I quickly messaged her while uttering a quick prayer, and got a reply that she was free on our wedding day! Woohooooo! I added her on Facebook and soon after, we started on our back-and-forth about my hair and makeup inspirations. I told her I wanted the glowing, natural look of Jessica Alba and a curly braided updo like Cheryl Cole's (I originally was toying with the idea of a side swept curly half-pony but nixed it once I realized it would have been annoying since we would be dancing).

Jessica Alba photo by Michael Buckner on Getty Images
Cheryl Cole photo by Steve Granitz on Getty Images
She said she can do both and asked if I wanted traditional makeup or airbrush makeup. I've had former brides tell me to pick airbrush makeup since it has a more "flawless" look, and though I was a bit hesitant at first, I bit the bullet after seeing it on myself during my trial run. I met up with her and her partner-in-crime hairstylist, Alex Leyson, a few days before July 18. I won't show you my picture because I was getting a little hangry and it shows (imagine me, with full bridal makeup and hair, walking down a long distance with my Ma under the unforgiving noontime sun, just so we could get a cab since my brother's van broke down an hour after he dropped us off at Kris' studio) hahaha, but needless to say a lot of my stress flew out the window after they were done- I knew I was in good hands. Two more crazy/funny tidbits: the night before my trial run was my cousin's husband's birthday, which Kris attended! And one of my bridesmaids, a makeup junkie, told me that Kris used to go to her former school and that she knows Kris' work is "pulido" (flawless). All of these coincidences were maybe not coincidences anymore, I honestly believe that God listened to my many prayers and knew that hearing these newly-discovered connections and great feedback were what I needed to decrease my anxiety levels at the time.

Alex doing my hair

I LOVE the work our makeup team did on me and my wedding entourage. Along with Carmie Locsin and Cha Vicuna (my bridesmaids' makeup artist and hair stylist, respectively), they arrived on time, were highly professional, and with their expertise made our natural, God-given beauty shine! Ladies, please remember: keep the atmosphere light and fun, so that your hair and makeup stylists won't be stressed out. Yes, you are their client, but don't be the ├╝ber-demanding bridezilla that will be talked about behind closed doors. As long as you pick the right people who fit your need, tell them what you want ahead of time, and let them feel that you trust them, you and your bridal party will look absolutely gorgeous :) 

Mama's reaction when she saw me getting my makeup done <3

Makeup with natural light and awkward gaze lol (posing jitters)
Carmie Locsin in action

A lot of talking and laughing while they do our hair and makeup :)
Wherein I look like a supervisor lol

Alex doing Mary's hair
My husband and his beautiful mom and lovely sisters

My husband's lovely family

Makeup with flash photography

My pretty ladies/girl squad!
Gorgeous ladies! <3 <3 <3

Thank you so much, Kris, Alex, Carmie and Cha for making us look picture-perfect on my big day! <3
 Love lots,

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

#JomarAndJulieBTS: Handcrafted Hair Accessory and Wedding Cord

"It's all in the details" is one of my mottos, which is why I was so grateful and happy when my maid-of-honor Liz Mariano of gave me a set of her hair accessories to choose from! I had a tough time, but ended up picking this beautifully and lovingly handcrafted piece:


See how it wonderfully complemented the neckline of my dress? #dying #sopretty

She made this herself! Head over to her website for other gorgeous, intricate finds like this beaded headband:

My other "sponsored" accessory was the wedding cord that was a surprise gift from one of my mother's friends. Tita Julie asked my Mama what our wedding colors were and handmade this lovely Rosary Cord using real Rose Quartz. When I received it, it felt like I was holding a piece of treasure: it came in a pretty ribbon-covered box and inside, the cord was delicately wrapped in tissue paper. These pictures don't do the cord justice: in real life, the beads are a gorgeous shade of pink, and it's a bit weighty because of the real stones. The wedding cord symbolizes the couple's unity under the sacrament of matrimony - what better way to represent that unity than with a beautifully made cord that will literally last a lifetime? Tita Julie, we can never thank you enough for your gift!
(Message me on Facebook for her contact info, she can custom make yours in your wedding colors!)

I'm always amazed and inspired by the talents of people like Ate Liz and Tita Julie, who can create beautiful things with their own two hands. Cheers to artists who show us that a little creativity goes a long way!


Saturday, October 3, 2015

#JomarAndJulie BTS: Wedding Coordinator

I'll tell you a secret: I was very apprehensive of getting a wedding coordinator at first. I was thinking that if we already have all the details smoothed out, then we won't need someone to become the conductor on our wedding day. I'll just have my mom talk to the suppliers and everything will fall into place. Besides, they probably cost a lot, and I didn't want to scrimp on the caterer or makeup artists just to get a coordinator. Boy, was I wrong! I can't imagine how our wedding would have been like if we didn't hire the team behind Just Like Ours. Tears would have been shed, wrinkles on my forehead would have taken permanent residence. But thank God we gave in to our cousins' and friends' incessant cajoling of "Get Queen David! Promise, you won't regret it," bit the bullet, and booked them for our July 18th wedding.
Queen and David (their last name, but also Queen's husband's nickname) named their events management team "Just Like Ours" to let clients and potential clients know that that's how they treat the weddings that they handle - they put their energy into them and treat them as their own. How fitting, because everything did fall into place with their help. Take into account too that Jomar and I were already stressed from all the overseas planning that we did (heck, we had to come back for a short trip last April just so we can get our wedding license, which wasn't the case a few years ago when we could have gotten it from the Philippine Embassy in DC) that we were just so thankful that we got to sit back and relax on our wedding and just truly live in the moment. They were very professional and ninja-like (in that they're very organized yet stealthy) and made sure that we were cared for :) Here are other reasons why I really, really like them:
1. Even if we hired them as on-the-day coordinators, they still helped us with things that we hadn't thought of or forgotten about, such as providing lunch for everyone at the hotel, helping with props for our wedding games, etc.
2. They made sure we were fed and hydrated. It was a bit hot when we were doing our after-wedding shoot with our entourage, and they had bottles of water on hand for us. We also requested that we be given time to eat our dinner, and even if my taste buds went kaput (I couldn't taste anything!) at least I wasn't hungry during the reception :)
3. I wasn't able to get my nails done the day before, which elicited one of my mini-breakdowns the next morning. Calmly, kuya Jun (Pimentel, who's also a designer!) called the concierge, and after an hour or so, two manicurists from a nearby nail salon came up to my room and worked on my nails while Alex Layson did my 'do. Crisis averted!
4. If they were stressed, they did not show it lest we become stressed too :) Thus, their expert handling of mini disasters (like the wedding before ours that overlapped with our schedule) made us feel like everything was going according to plan.
5. They assign members of their team to stay with you at different points of the wedding. Kuya Jun was with me during the morning preps (hair and makeup) until before my walk down the aisle, while Charm assisted me during our shoot after the wedding.
6. They stayed up late with us. I was still exchanging emails with Queen until the night before our wedding because of some tasks that Jomar and I forgot to do. Sorry, Queen!
7. Etc., etc.
So if you're still looking for a wedding coordinator, get Just Like Ours. All the 5-star reviews and declarations of "I love Queen and David!" from past clients definitely live up to the hype.
Jomar and me with Queen David and Jun Pimentel
Here's an excerpt from an old blog post about the idea behind their name:
"Every event gives us something in return. It helps us cultivate friendships, it spices [up] our relationship, it makes us wonder and turn back to the time of our own wedding. It gives us an opportunity to grow and help others grow with us. It makes us believe that we can hold on to something more important than any form of success. It gives us a glimpse of a future we can never tell. It makes us human in this fast fast fast and quick quick quick world. It makes us one.

In return, we help them make it a celebration of love and life, because every wedding deserves to be. It is a union where my team members are not merely workers but a family. Where couples are more of PERSONS than brides and grooms who are shelling out some money from their pocket with minds filled with expectations.

We take it with equal passion, with equal focus, with equal belief. We dream with them, we spend sleepless nights with them, we pray with them.

We share their thoughts, their joys, their fears, their triumph. We help make their event something that would LINGER. Just Like Our own wedding, Just Like Our Lives, Just Like Ours."
Julie B.P.

Friday, October 2, 2015

#JomarAndJulie BTS: Wedding Photographer

Whoa, I can't believe it's been two and a half months since our whirlwind of a wedding! In between cooking and settling into our house, I've come to a point where I can finally post about our various wedding suppliers. First up is one of the most crucial elements to a wedding: the photographer.
Do you believe in kismet? Because I sincerely feel that that's how we found our photographer, Matt Lee (

Jomar and me with Matt Lee of Matt Lee Shoots

One of the things I had been stressed about during our wedding planning was finding the perfect photographer: he/she should be professional, easy to talk to, should deliver great results (after all, these photos will be cherished for a long time) and also has reasonably priced packages. I know for a fact that there are a lot of great photographers in the Philippines, we just had to wade through online forums and portfolios until we found one that fit our needs. After a lot of painstaking research and dead-end email exchanges, I was ready to give up when I remembered seeing a friend's (Cha's) beautiful pictures taken in NYC during a visit by her college friend, Matt. I was actually supposed to drive them around DC when he made a quick stop here, but alas my work schedule then did not allow me to do so. After a quick online search of his past work as one of Chestknot Studio's photogs, I hurriedly sent him an e-mail asking if he would be available on our wedding date. He promptly replied yes, and attached his portfolio which was filled with gorgeous photos. Jomar and I talked it over, and he also liked what he saw. After a couple of exchanges, we finally had a major supplier checked off our list!
Come the day of the wedding, we finally met Matt in person. He was very personable and energetic, and you can definitely tell that he harnessed this energy into the photos he took that day. Along with him were two fellow photographers, David Garmsen ( and Bardo Wu (Bardo Wu Photography). I could tell they knew their stuff, and they made it a point to make us feel at ease. Jomar, they said, was a natural in front of the camera, while I eventually overcame my jitters once I was done with my solo shots and had pictures taken with my Maid of Honor, ate Liz, and my family :)
Before we head to some sample pictures from our wedding, let me leave you with a few tips:
1. If you have a lot of DIYs, don't forget to point them out to your photographer so that you'll have a remembrance of your hard work :)
2. If you have specific shots in mind (or have seen photos on Pinterest that you like), don't be shy to ask your photographer if he/she can replicate them for you.
3. If you feel like smiling, DO NOT HOLD BACK! This is one of the most important pieces of advice I received prior to our wedding. Smile, smile, smile :)
4. Make a list of what you want your photographer to capture (or not capture). Tell him/her if you want a lot of candid shots of your guests and family, if you don't like your bare feet seen, etc.
Without further ado, these are some of the lovely, vibrant pictures that Matt and co. took during our wedding. I feel like after 40 years, I will still feel giddy whenever I look through our album :) Thank you for the awesome job, Matt, David and Bardo! <3






Julie P.