Are you tying the knot soon?

You should know that planning a wedding is not a small task. It can bring immense stress to the couple, family, friends and all those involved in this special event.

Do you want to walk down the aisle of a famous church in Baguio? The summer capital of the Philippines’ cold weather, picturesque views, and a beautiful church make it a dream wedding destination.

But the venue of your wedding is just one of the many things you need to prepare for. You have to arrange for the right place for the ceremonies and the reception, the catering service, the guest list, the entourage and their attire, and the tokens/giveaways, among others.

You should also have a Plan B (or even Plan C) if things go awry, which is expected in events such as a wedding. Be ready for last-minute changes in your schedule due to traffic, bad weather or uninvited guests attending anyway. You should also prepare for the possibility of adding tables to accommodate more people, kids running around and disrupting the program, and logistical issues that will only be apparent on the event itself.

Despite the many challenges of wedding planning, you can avoid hassles by planning well. Take a look at this guide on how to better prepare for your special day.

Go for an outdoor/destination wedding

Do you dream of a beach or an outdoor wedding? Or perhaps you can’t afford your dream church? Did you know that you can hold your wedding outside religious venues? Yes, imagine this: the sky will be your canopy, the sand at your feet, the sound of the waves or trees serenading you and your groom. Who wouldn’t want that?

Having an outdoor wedding can be more practical than paying expensive fees for your dream church. You can use that to set up some chairs, a red carpet, flower arrangements, and even a gazebo for your special day. Moreover, you can have it near your wedding reception to speed up the order of events and make it easier for your guests to move from one venue to another.

While some religions allow this, some could be a little bit stricter than others. For example, the Catholic Church doesn’t allow outdoor weddings because of its sacredness. But, there’s a solution for that. You can get married in the church with just the witnesses such as your parents and a handful of relatives. You’ll probably spend significantly less doing this since you wouldn’t need flower arrangements and all. Then you can spend the rest of your budget for your outdoor wedding.


Person Holding Blue Ballpoint Pen Writing in Notebook

Photo courtesy of Picjumbo via Pexels

Cut the guest list

Are you planning to invite everyone you know to witness your wedding? You might want to rethink that. One of the common horror stories at most weddings is that guests start to leave after they’ve eaten at the reception, leaving the venue an empty hall.

Another reason for an empty reception area is logistical. You can’t start the reception program because the guests haven’t arrived yet. You guessed it right, they are still finding a parking slot.

Traffic can also bring challenges on your wedding day. There are days when traffic is so bad that you question why you even bother. And just as you thought it could not get any worse, it starts raining really hard. Your guests may arrive very late or they might not arrive at all.

If your ceremony and reception will not be held in the same place, there is the possibility of a logistical nightmare. Sure, you might have drawn a map in the invitation but most guests forget to bring them and that time between the end of the wedding ceremony and getting to the reception can be very crucial.

But don’t fret. These problems are avoidable. Simply cut the guestlist and choose an accessible wedding and reception venue with enough parking slots.

Only include the people who truly love you and want to be a part of your marriage like your family and dearest friends. Limiting your guest list is also one way to make your wedding a little bit more affordable since you don’t have to spend so much for wedding invitations, favors, and catering.

But if your guest list can’t be cut, then you need to choose a bigger venue that can accommodate more people, like The Tent. It has three halls that can house 300, 500, and 1,000 pax at a time. All you have to do is make slight design and ambiance changes to make it a little bit more personal and keep the intimacy of your dream wedding reception.


Various Desserts on a Table covered with Baby Blue Cover

Photo courtesy of Fu Zhichao via Pexels

Have a brunch wedding

Another small and unique wedding idea is to hold a brunch wedding. It’s a little bit more casual than your usual wedding reception, which could mean better bonding with your relatives and friends. Think of it like a garden party. You can have this held at the stately Casa Real and its elegant garden, and then have the reception at the upper ground floor.
While some may think that you have less time for bonding, having a brunch wedding actually does the opposite if you have planned a post-reception party. The time between late afternoon and dusk will give you and your guests enough time to rest, freshen up, and get changed for a long night of partying. Who can say no to that?


Woman in White Wedding Dress Carrying Bouquet in Front of Black Car

Photo courtesy of Mario MB Photo via Pexels

Skip on the extras

Do you really need that luxury bridal car or to stay at a five-star hotel for your preparation? Why not save money by skipping on the extras? You can still have an intimate wedding and reception even if you don’t spend extra for those. Instead of renting a luxury vehicle for your bridal car, why not use your own (or your family’s) car? There are also cheaper alternatives to get such as a vintage Volkswagen Beetle, which still has an appeal until this day.

As for where you could prepare, instead of booking an expensive five-star hotel, why not rent a condo for a day? There are plenty of condominiums with event places available on DMCI Homes’ Leasing Services such as Casa Real in Taguig, which can seat around 70 to 80 people. It costs around Php17,000 to around Php28,000, depending on the package and season you book. It is, however, probably one of the best wedding reception venues in our book thanks to its stunning 1930s architectural design.

For your dream Baguio wedding, you can consider a lovely venue for your wedding with Outlook Ridge Residences. It has three halls to accommodate your preferences and budget: Banawe, Bontoc, and Sagada, where you can host events for 20 to 80 people.

You might want to make a draft of the guestlist destination wedding. One piece of advice is to reduce your guest list by 20% until you’re happy with your changes.

Before you think about the wedding reception’s program, you need to create the perfect seating arrangement for your guests so they can enjoy themselves throughout the celebration.

Seat people with their mutual friends to help you guests loosen up quicker. You may also assign seats based on their affiliations (family, friends, officemates), common interests, ages, and backgrounds. One practical tip to prevent confusion and general chaos with the seating arrangements is by making it easier for your guests to see the table cards.

Set up a table or two for the children. Provide them with age-appropriate toys and activities to entertain them. You can hire a professional babysitter to take care of the children too.


table and chair wedding setup

Photo courtesy of DMCI Homes

Go for the unconventional route or venue

One small wedding reception idea is to hold it at home. Well, that is if you have a rather spacious house. Instead of spending on booking a venue, you could allocate it on other more important stuff such as the catering or maybe your honeymoon. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to have it somewhere special?

While there are plenty of small intimate wedding venues in the Philippines, DMCI Homes Leasing Services has quite a handful of affordable wedding venues near Makati perfect for that. The Iris Observatory seems like a romantic place to have your reception or even a proposal (if you haven’t popped the question yet). Since it’s conveniently located at the top of Tivoli Garden Residences, you can dance under the stars or inside the room that can fit 50 to 60 people for just Php8,000 to Php10,000.

In case these venues are booked already or if you need a bigger party place, you can opt to have your reception at Heliconia Function Room. This place can accommodate 70 to

100 people with the same rate of the Iris Observatory, which is just Php8,000 to Php10,000.

After settling the venue for your special event and the guestlist, the things left on the wedding reception planning checklist is the menu and who will prepare the food.

Serve crowd-pleasing comfort food such as champorado, goto/lugaw, and hot chocolate/coffee. You can also serve traditional Pinoy snacks like fish balls and siomai if your theme is Filipino Fiesta. Don’t forget soup to warm up your guests for the main course. Be sure to ask your guests if they have food allergies and preferences before finalizing the menu with the caterer.

This can’t be a destination wedding reception guide if we don’t give tips on what to do during a wedding reception. It can be hectic with all the things happening around you. To make things easier, take a look at this checklist below:

  1. Guest arrival
  2. Introduce the entourage
  3. The entrance of the bride and groom
  4. Bless the gathering with a prayer (if you are religious)
  5. Eating time
  6. Party games
  7. Cutting of the cake
  8. Toasting
  9. Bride and groom’s first dance
  10. Special dances
  11. Bouquet and garter toss

With this list, it should be easier for you to have an idea on the timeline and make sure the program is within the given time constraints of the venue.

Key takeaways

Your wedding is a milestone in your life. It’s an event important to your family and friends, and the rites need to follow certain religious and country laws. . But don’t get overwhelmed with the importance of this special day. Stress and anxiety in wedding planning may be avoided by planning, executing your plan well.

  • Keep your guestlist short for practical and health reasons. Only invite close members of your family and chosen friends. This will keep the budget and logistics manageable, and help ensure that physical distancing is observed in this time of pandemic.
  • Choose a reception venue adjacent to the church of the place of ceremonies. Help your guests avoid the hassles of traffic and possible bad weather.
  • Create a do-to list for your wedding planning team, which indicates the timeline, the specific tasks and the budget for each item.

If you’re still having trouble searching Manila for an affordable wedding reception, it shouldn’t be hard to choose from DMCI Homes Leasing Services’ event venues. There’s a place that fits every kind of budget and for every kind of wedding theme. And with these small, intimate wedding ideas, you’re sure to find and have the perfect night with your loved ones.

For your event-related needs, contact DMCI Homes Leasing Services via or (632) 8555-7777 local 5155.