Debut Decorum 101: How Guests Should Conduct Themselves in Four Ways

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“Maturity does not always come with age, in fact, it is deeper than age. It is about the way you see and understand things. The way you consider others. The way you communicate. The way you reach. The things you value. The things you entertain. The way you represent yourself and others as an adult. Everyone grows old, but not everyone is growing up” -Author Unknown

It is the moment every Filipino girl is waiting for, and it is something she has definitely dreamed of since attending her very first coming of age soiree. A Filipino’s eighteenth birthday or debut is indeed one very special occasion, it is not only a night wherein a girl gets to look and feel like a princess, but in a sense, it is like a rite of passage towards womanhood—in more ways than one. Apart from being allowed access to R-18 movies, getting a license to drive a car and finally be at a drinking age, a debut party marks the transition from a girl into a woman and in most cases, it is a girl’s grandest party in her life. In fact, the debutante’s parents would start planning and scouring for debut packages even months before the occasion is set to happen.

In several occasions, you would get invited to these parties and when you do, consider yourself as part of the exercise and practice proper decorum and embrace the etiquette. In order to conduct yourself properly as a guest, here are some of the things you must observe:

1.) Dress Right

Depending on the debutante’s theme, the invitation usually indicates the type of dress code guests is “encouraged” to wear. Though you need not exactly follow the dress code strictly, it would be the height of rudeness if a debutante invites you and you disregard the least of her wishes. Apart from adhering to the dress code suggested, it would be best if you do not try to dress in a way that would upstage the debutante in her own party. Remember, the night is all about her, and she would most likely want to feel the star of the show. Save your sultry dresses for another occasion or on your own debut party.

2.) Mingle

It might be a tad intimidating to mingle with the debutante’s friends—especially when they come in cliques, but a party is still a party. If you are not part of the debutante’s cliques or hardly know anyone in the party, take this as an opportunity to meet new people and engage in small chit-chat. You will never know, but this might be the night you will make new friends.

3.) Be patient and stay in your seat

Though a debut’s program can tend to get long winded especially after sitting through the eighteen roses, eighteen candles and eighteen treasures (and in some cases, even eighteen shots), sit through it and patient. While sitting through eighteen speeches and eighteen dances may not exactly be the most entertaining to the world, the debutante would appreciate it if you at least sat through until the end of it all. Consider that you were invited for a reason, make it a gift to the debutante instead to see through her debut and try to keep yourself awake and on your seat.

4.) Say goodbye properly

After sitting through a lengthy program and a series of dance numbers, it can be tempting to just make a quick exit when you are bored and sleepy. While you cannot wait until the program is over and leave, the least you can do is finish the program in its entirety and bid the debutante and her parents a proper farewell. It is only common courtesy after being invited after all.

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Five Things You Should Never Say to A Bride Before Her Wedding

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“Happy is the bride that the sun shines on” -Robert Herrick

Weeks prior to a wedding, there is no one more stressed than the bride herself. For someone who has been dreaming about walking the aisle ever since her husband-to-be proposed, she wants every aspect of her wedding to be perfect, and the way she envisioned it—anything less than stellar would be unacceptable. Considering how she has meticulously planned every detail of the big day, from scouring the best catering services in pasay (or wherever she might be) to the wedding souvenirs, it would be no surprise if some brides would be near breaking point days or even weeks before her wedding.

Knowing all this, it would be unwise for any of her guests to say something insensitive to her that would cause her to either get uncomfortable or riled up. Unfortunately, not all of her guests have enough tact to practice it, and some may be none the wiser. So, if you are attending a wedding anytime soon, here are some things that you should never say when you are conversing with the bride-to-be:

1.) “Why are you not inviting (name of your brother, a roommate of yours in college, a common friend, the bride’s ex)?”

It may sound like you are just curious, but for some brides-to-be, this can be a rather touchy and sensitive subject. Remember that everyone is accounted for during the wedding reception and more often than not, the couple pays per guest. Seeing as this would be the case, most couples would opt to invite only their closest family and friends to avoid exorbitant fees. Stay out of this, and just be thankful you even made it to their guest list instead.

2.) “You should be able to get whatever you want. It is your big day after all.”

While you probably mean well, the bride might not exactly feel that way. Consider that one of the most private and incredibly delicate matters of planning wedding is the budget, so it is best if you do not get involved. At all. Do not suggest something more expensive than what she has chosen as she likely has her reasons for choosing them (and you will only sound like an insensitive friend when you do). Besides, if she could afford them, she would probably be getting them.

3.) “When are you starting a family? Will you be having kids?”

Again, you may sound like you are naturally curious, but it may come off as if you are prying. This is none of your business. Comment about the wedding decorations or the food, but stay away from something personal to the bride and groom. Who knows? Even they have not even figured the answer to your question just yet.

4.) “Are you pregnant?”

No, just no. Of all the questions you should never ask the bride, this one has to be the most insensitive of them all and more often than not, you would be indirectly insulting the bride. You may have heard it from the other guests gossiping or so, but if the bride does not offer this information to you herself, do not ask confirmation from her.

5.) Do not mention anything about divorce

If you are a married guest, you may just want to shed some wisdom, and if you are unmarried, you may just want to offer a little insight. Regardless of what you are, however, you are going to sound resoundingly bitter to the bride, and it would seem like you are raining on her parade. Remember that this is her big day, so any gloomy talk about divorce, separations and general unhappiness should be avoided. Do not even try to joke about this if you do not want to be at the receiving end of the bride’s or her her other guests’ death glares.

 

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Four Ways to Make Your Weddings Look Luxe and Expensive on a Budget

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“This is your wedding day. Do what you love. Invite the people you want. Dance to the songs that bring you most joy. Eat the best food you will ever have. Be the king and queen of the rest of your life. Enjoy all moments. Share the photographs with your children and grandchildren. Most of all, spend the rest of your days with the person you love.” -Anonymous

“There are no perfect weddings, just beautiful ones” -Anonymous

 

Almost every woman in existence has dreamed about what her wedding would look like and some of them would even have most of the details nailed down by the time they reach their teens. Some may like it big, grand and dramatic while some would prefer and intimate but sophisticated setting yet regardless of what kind of wedding you want to take place, a budget is undoubtedly needed. However, brides-to-be nowadays are under the erroneous impression that throw a beautiful wedding, you would need a rather large-scale budget and that those with financial and budget constraints or inflexible budgets would have to settle for something substandard.

This is absolutely not the case as there are ways to stay in your budget and throw an elegant and luxurious wedding party sans breaking the bank. Keep in mind though that with limited funds, prioritization is key and knowing which elements of the wedding are most important to you will be crucial when it comes to planning and allocating funds appropriately. Your initial bet into the wedding planning phase should be looking for wedding packages that might suit your taste (there are a lot of wedding packages in the Philippines that would cater to your needs). From there, you can follow these tips:

 

1.) When in doubt, opt for simplicity

No matter how beautiful you want your wedding to be, if you go overboard with the wedding decors, you are going to end up with a clutter and there is nothing tackier than that. If you are working with a strict budget, keep your wedding decorations simple and streamlined. Make the details simple and do not go overboard by executing a lot of DIY details that are better handled by the professionals. Elegance does not mean overabundance, so decorate minimally and simply but beautifully.

2.) Plan your floral decor strategically

Without a doubt, flowers would be one of the most important decors of a wedding. They are essential in beautifying a reception hall and the church, but they are also one of the most expensive items you would need for a wedding. To make sure you do not run up your bill with the florist, be strategic as to how and where you would put your flowers and what kind of variety they will be. Be smart with your choices and do not go for expensive flowers where you can get more on cheaper flowers for roughly the same price.

3.) Try your hand at DIY

Though it is not advisable to go fully DIY on your wedding decors, there are some aspects where you can dabble in a bit of DIY. If you are unsure about this, then go for the simplest and safest wedding decor you can possibly do yourself: Paper items. Handle the making of menus, seating cards, invitations and ceremony programs by yourself. At least in this way, you would not only be saving yourself the extra money, you would also be giving your wedding decors an interesting quirk by having done it by hand which your guests will surely appreciate.

4.) Limit your guest list

There is a huge difference between planning an elegant wedding with the same budget for 150 guests and throwing a wedding party with 70 guests in an attendance–the latter is a lot more possible while the former would have to make do with whatever shortcuts and compromises they can make. More often than not, a lavish wedding coupled with a lengthy guest list and a shoestring budget is just hardly possible so it would be advisable to crop your guest list. Spreading your small budget over a large number of guests would constrain you to cut corners and forego the things you originally want just to accommodate more guests. Having a smaller guest list on a budget on the other hand, would give you an avenue for having an intimate yet unforgettable experience.

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Five Ways to Throw a Successful Kiddie Birthday Bash

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Throwing a birthday party for a kid is widely different than throwing a bash for an adult. In some cases, it may be even more stressful and time-consuming. Whereas teenagers and adults would be fairly satisfied with food and drinks, kids, on the other hand, are another story. There are so many aspects to consider such as how to entertain your young guests and keep them entertained. After all, kids do not possess the same attention span as adults do and could easily get bored after a while. However, fear not, children are fairly easy to please after all. So, if you are planning a birthday party or are hosting a kiddie birthday party anytime soon, here are some tried and tested tips to make it a successful bash:

1.) Have a theme in mind

Generally, in planning a kid’s birthday party, it is best to have a theme in mind so that you can base the rest of the party from that theme. This is so you that the rest of the party’s aspects such as the decorations, the entertainment, and the giveaways would have congruence. One such example is to have a ranch style party that you can hold in a local barn with a petting zoo. There are so many caterers that would offer you fun ranch party packages that are affordable as well as fun and entertaining for the kids.

2.) Consider the Food Issue

Most kids would be picky eaters and are unlikely to eat something they are unfamiliar with. In order to have a good workaround to this issue, look for a neutral menu that you are certain kids would love. An example would be a menu that consists of hamburgers, spaghetti, fries, pizza, and stews. These are all inexpensive to make and kids will love it. Additionally, make sure to have colorful utensils as kids are attracted to color and as much as possible, these should be plastic so that should accidents happen, you would not have much to clean up nor replace.

3.) Get creative

To curb costs, opt to do the decorations and the souvenirs yourself most especially if you have a creative streak. It might be time-consuming but the money you will save from making this than buying them ready-made would be very much worth it. Apart from the money you can potentially save, kiddie party decors are pretty straightforward and are not all that hard to make. You would only need small inexpensive packets of construction paper, craft foam, a pair of scissors and some tape or glue which you can then transform into banners and paper chains of any color combinations you want.

4.) Decide whether you want to use your home

An integral aspect of planning a kid’s birthday party is the venue. This is because if your home does not have an area where kids can freely roam around and would have a lot of fragile objects, you are putting those items at a risk when the kids would run amok or when they play. True enough, home parties can save you a great deal of money as you can leverage how much you would spend on food and decorations, but if you do not want to put that much effort in and you would not want to run the risk of broken house items, then choose a venue.

5.) Decide if you want to have the parents stay

Most parents would leave their kids at the party venue and would go on about their day until it is ready to pick them up. Other parents, however, would want to stay and keep a close watch on their kids. To make sure there is no miscommunication, indicate it on the invitation if the parents are invited to stay or not.

 

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Planning for an Event? Here’s Why You Should Go For Online Reservation

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Let’s get to the point. Planning for an event is a lot of hassle. You have to think about how you can effectively work out your plan to make it a success. Not to mention simple details that bring a significant impact to the said event. If you are an event planner or organizer, your tasks do not just end with the decorations and flow of the program. You also have to think about the food. However, if you think finding the perfect catering packages is simple, then you better think again. Whether you realize it or not, there are also a lot of things you need to consider before you hire a caterer.

For some event organizers, going for an online reservation would do the work since it has many advantages. In fact, organizers who do not have much time in dealing such has no problem since reserving or booking a caterer online is a hassle free. To give you an idea, we list down some reasons as to why you should go for online reservations.

Convenience

Who would want to make things difficult? No one, right? We all do want to make things easier and faster. Whatever we may do, we want some convenience. That is why booking a hotel online saves you some hassles and disappointments. You can even make the reservations through your smartphones and tables, with just a click away and you’re already booked. Gone are the day where you need for lengthy phone calls or visits to a catering shop just to book a place. Moreover, this can saves more time than booking it in person.

Customer reviews

Again, there are hundreds to thousands of websites that offers online reservations. And aside from shopping around for an affordable price, you can also shop around and see what website can provide you great and satisfying services. Yes, although there are lots of them, it doesn’t mean they can all give you the right services. There are also websites or caterers that leave their customers hanging without any work. That is why, before you decide and make the reservation, make sure you know what other previous customers can say about the agency and services that they give to them.

You can book anytime of the day

Of course, this! You don’t have to wait until they open their office. You can book anytime of the day and anywhere. Using of online booking systems are open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. So you don’t have any reasons as to why you didn’t get a place for you to stay.

Prices

One of the advantages, when you go for online reservations, is that you will know their price range. Of course, there are a lot of online booking websites where you can shop around and see what particular website offers the lowest prices. Most of the times, booking over the phone with the customer service representatives will give you some extra charges. However, when you do the bookings online, you can save some money on all those extra hidden charges. What you see on their website is the fixed price, which is lower than having it over the phone.

Changes and cancellations

Websites that offer online reservations are not that strict when it comes to that matter. If you think that there are some changes in your schedules, then you can re-scheduled your bookings or even cancel it. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about such things since they offer free online charges and cancellations within 24-hours of departure. Just make sure that you make some necessary changes ahead of time for as not to make the transaction void.

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Q&A: 5 Crucial Things to Consider Before Hiring a Catering Company

“I don’t like food that’s too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If I wanted a picture I’d buy a painting.” – Andy Rooney

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Planning an event is one of the most exciting yet overwhelming times one can experience. The success of the event is a reflection on how capable you are in organizing and coordinating things. When initiating an event, planners need to think about the flow of the program, theme, some people to attend,and don’t forget the food – it’s one thing most attendees are waiting for. While others would rather go for a snack, many event planners and organizers prefer hiring a catering company.

 
There will always be advantages when you hire a caterer. Most companies have catering packages that offer not just coordinating with the reception timeline and the flow of the dinner but, in most cases, they will also supply the needed tablewares. On top of your priorities, there’s no pressure when it comes to food. However, just because you decided to hire a catering company, that does not mean you’re done. There are crucial things to consider when choosing the right catering company for your event – this is to ensure that attendees would be satisfied with their services.

 
Below, we list down some questions to ask and consider before you choose and hire a catering company.

Who am I meeting with?

The basic question you need to ask – who you need to meet and talk with regards to the overall process. As a planner, you need to determine whether you are meeting with the owner of the company? A manager? A representative in the sales department? Do you know the owner of the company in person? Knowing these questions would give you an idea on how to approach such person to work with you for the entire event.

How will you run this event?

The next question you need to think about is what kind of event you are planning? Is it a formal event? A party style event? This will determine how the food will be served. Moreover, don’t forget to ask a similar question to the company. Although it is not your job to tell the caterer on what to do, at least you know how the catering staff will be operating during the event.

What other services do you offer?

Apart from the main course, a lot of catering companies offer desserts, some have licensed bar services, and there are even companies that offer you a venue where you could have a rehearsal dinner. Availing their deals or packages is not only convenient on your part, but you can also have it in a less expensive than purchasing other services from different companies.

Can you provide me with a broken-down cost estimate?

For most event organizers, unless if needed, spending too much is a no-no. As much as possible they would find a way or alternative on how they can pull things off in an affordable way. That means, when it comes to the cost, you need to be skeptical enough to make sure there will be no hidden cost. Know how much you need to pay for the labor, set-up/breakdown, and anything that involves you paying.

What is your leftover policy?

Some catering companies are strict when it comes to the leftovers. If a catering company does not allow you to take the leftovers, then you are only paying for what your guests ate. Moreover, make sure to ask whether you can wrap up the food for you to take home after the event.

 
As the event organizer or planner, it would take you some time to think about the crucial things to consider when hiring a catering company. You do not want to ruin a good event just because you’re not satisfied with the food and their services they offer. Again, the success of the event would determine how you manage and organize things.

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Personal Checklist in Choosing the Best Caterer for Your Grand Wedding!

Wedding is a once in a blue moon event. As such, it’s important to pay close attention to every detail necessary to make it successful.

One of the most important consideration when planning for one’s wedding is the catering menu. In any special event, the food can make or break the occasion’s impact so it’s crucial for couples and organizers to hire a caterer who is capable of providing certain menu at the right price.

If you’re currently stuck with the decision of who to call, then using the following checklist to narrow down your list could help.

Food and drink packages.

This is the most important part of the catering selection process. If you’re following a certain theme for your wedding, it’s only appropriate to choose foods that fit the motif. Different caterers have varied packages that contain predetermined menu selection so you’ll need to check what package fits your preference well.

Should you want to customize or create your own menu, it’s important to discuss it with the caterer in advance. Some may not be open to special requests, so giving them a heads-up saves more time.

Package cost.

As you go over the specific menu available, do take time to compare their pricing too. Needless to say, cross reference it with the packages offered by different caterers. This way, you’ll have an idea who gives the best-value prices for a specific package.

Granted that you’re working on a budget, knowing the price of the catering service is necessary to ensure that you don’t fall short of money on the other things that needs to be paid for your grand day.

Set-up and clean-up coverage

Will the company be in charge of setting up the foods for the venue? How about the clean-up? Choosing those who do will save you time and hassle before and after the event.

Some companies however require additional cost for this service so might as well include this in your considerations.

Utensil inclusions

There are caterers whose sole focus is the cooking of food and delivering them on your venue. Some doesn’t offer utensil such as plates, food warmers and linens to complete the entire setup.

Before agreeing on a deal, make sure you’re clear on this matter. For maximum convenience, it’s best to go for those who already include these tools in their service.

Beginning and end period of the service

Does the catering company offer an open-hour service? There are some who are strict with their services and only limit their service for specific hours.

Don’t forget to ask for this detail when canvassing for one. This way, you won’t have to worry about limiting your time in holding any program.

Clear details on deposits, insurance and cancellation terms

This is primarily concerned with the paperworks and payment for the service. In most cases, you will be asked to pay for a down payment before the event. Insurances are ideally part of the package too though some companies do not have this item on their inclusions.

Dealing with someone who have insurance details is an added protection that would hold the company liable in case there are issues with the food they serve.

Also, you may be presented with the terms of cancellation. This details the issues or grounds that are considered valid for you to cancel your request. It’s important that you understand its contents carefully to avoid wasted money just in case.

Choosing the right food for your grand wedding celebration is a crucial step. Factors such as the profile of your guests, their number, and theme of your event can potentially affect the type of package you must choose.

Work on completing your list with the thing we included in this post and start searching for the best catering service!