Weddings

Up Close and Personal with Some of Manila’s Most Sought-After Wedding Planners

We talk to discerning event planners whom couples get to make their big day extra special.
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Weddings have long been beautiful, once-in-a-lifetime affairs, and even more so nowadays with couples getting quite creative with their vision. From big decisions like choosing the church or reception venue to little details like place cards and cocktail menus which can add that extra oomph, wedding planning indeed takes a lot of work that may overwhelm many brides and grooms.

This is why many couples choose to hire wedding coordinators, professionals whose main task is to make sure that their big day goes off without a hitch. Having a wedding planner as a right-hand person can make even the most ambitious soirees a walk in the park. 

Here, we get to know more about some of Manila’s top wedding planners, whose stylish touches have been seen on many of the city’s most memorable events.

Celebrations Event Specialists

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Who They Are: Nenita Zagala and Ruby Ines are the women behind this successful event planning outfit, which they started 18 years ago after stints in the corporate world. Known for mounting classic and elegant affairs, they value quality over quantity and purposely limit the number of events they take on to provide clients with hands-on service and unparalleled attention to detail. Having such dedicated and caring planners is truly an asset to any bride, and with their years of experience, they are able help clients pull off beautiful weddings even if hiccups come their way.

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“The wedding planner wears so many hats, but I think the most important role we have is to ensure that the client’s wishes are fulfilled and implemented flawlessly. We want our couples to just relax and be confident that we’ve got things covered so they can enjoy their wedding,” says Zagala.

It’s a sentiment echoed by one of her brides, and incidentally Town & Country’s managing editor, Nicole Limos Morales. “I knew Nenita was planning other events alongside our wedding, but I always felt we were the focus. Not only was she there for us every step of the way, but she possessed a tsunami of wedding planning knowledge and experience that allowed her to be many steps ahead of everyone else. She's had many experiences with different suppliers so she knows which ones would deliver and which ones would be difficult. I was an absolute bridechilla because of her,” says Morales.

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Wedding Mantra: “Simple, elegant, and personal are notions that I gravitate toward. In this day and age when people are so focused on how things will look on social media, it’s nice to just remind couples to go back to the basics with clean and crisp weddings where the focus is on the couple rather than other elements of the wedding celebration," says Zagala.

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How to find them: For inquiries, message Nenita Zagala at 0917.847.8408 or Ruby Ines at 0917.535.6069. For more information, visit celebrations-event.com or their Facebook page at facebook.com/CelebrationsEventSpecialists/ 

Christine Ong Te Events (COTE)  

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Who They Are:  One of Manila’s most sought-after planners, Christine Ong Te is the woman behind many of the city’s most high-profile weddings. From gigantic guest lists and out of town parties to ambitious themes , nothing is too much for the COTE team whose years of experience, quick thinking, and multi-tasking savvy have made a difference in pulling off these splendid celebrations. Headed by Ong Te and backed by a bevy of highly-trained young professionals, the COTE team stands out for their attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile to make sure these celebrations of love are pulled off without a hitch.

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Valerie Lim, who enlisted the help of Ong Te and her team when she got married, had only nice things to say about this seasoned planner. “I love her. She was very nice and saw to it that everything was meticulously done from the whole planning process to the day of the wedding. I had no worries at all.” It’s a sentiment echoed by many brides who’ve worked with the COTE team, which is what keeps them in high demand.

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Wedding Mantra: “Nothing is impossible. Through the years, we have had clients whose requests were seen as challenges. As their planner, we do our best to accommodate every request as long as it is within reason and logic. When our couples are happy, we are happy too. If we can make them smile, make them remember that we have given them their best days, then we have accomplished our mission,” says Ong Te.

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How to Find Them: For inquiries, e-mail [email protected]. For more information, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/ChristineOngTeEvents/

La Belle Fete

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Who They Are: The couple behind La Belle, Fete Ycoy and Jeff Sitchon, see themselves and their team as orchestrators of unique and experiential events, delivering weddings of decadence and magical grandeur. Concocting themes based on every couple’s unique personalities and love stories and a desire to go beyond cookie cutter looks result in soirees that are truly a feast for the senses, and are enjoyable for both the couple and their guests.

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La Belle Fete’s bold aesthetic sensibilities have made it a favorite of couples looking to create memorable occasions, with its signature dramatic touch present in every element of the party. Celebrity couples have likewise enlisted the group for its unique vision, and ability to pull off amazing weddings that look great in smallest of details, as well as under the spotlight.

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Wedding Mantra: According to managing director Ycoy Sitchon, the key words for La Belle Fete are versatility, novelty, and professionalism. “We dream up the event from the start of the wedding preparations to the end of the program. In this ever-evolving industry, our mission is to thrive with so much passion, compassion, class, and style.”

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How to Find Them: For inquiries, e-mail [email protected] or message 0917.385.2483. For more information, visit labellefeteweddings.com 

Rita Neri Event Planners

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Who They Are:  A pioneer in the wedding planning industry, Rita Neri and her team have tons of society and celebrity weddings under their belt. Their expertise is so highly regarded that they even hold event planning seminars for emerging industry professionals, and have likewise authored multiple books on the subject. Their elegant and thoughtful touches to planning have turned many of their bridal couples into friends, and then into family, with them being commissioned to plan subsequent events, like baptisms, children’s parties, debuts, and even wedding anniversaries. 

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Aside from being one of the most desired coordinators in Manila, couples from all around the world have also relied on their expertise to plan their special day. Never one to shy from a challenge, destination weddings are also a favorite of Neri and her team. Andrea Mago, whose Baguio wedding was planned by Neri says,  “She had it all figured out. Everything we discussed, she made sure would happen. She was such a doer and proactive organizer. I also like that she made sure everything was on time, managing the pacing of everything. She also had a quick solution to everything and not one request of mine was pushed down.”

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Wedding Mantra: “Our mantra has always been being professional in our approach and execution for any event,” says Neri. “As we celebrate 26 years in the business, we continue to grow, improve, and progress to doing our work. Experience can’t be rushed; one must focus and persevere to be better.”

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How to Find Them: For inquiries, e-mail [email protected]. For more information, visit www.ritanerieventplanners.com or their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/rnepevents/

The Wedding Company  

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Who They Are:

From serenely elegant fetes to lavish wedding receptions, brides love the tasteful touch of Jenny Lim of the Wedding Company. She counts Heart Evangelista and fashion stylist Kimi Yap as her wedding clients, among many other elegant unions. Despite not having tons of pictures touting her work on social media, she’s beloved by couples who are quick to recommend her to future brides. “With my kind of job, people just remember you because of the happiness you made them experience during their wedding,” says Lim.

"The wedding planner is the right-hand person of the bride, like the director of the wedding,” says Lim. Former brides rave about her efficiency as a coordinator, and how her attention to detail and wedding-specific expertise made their big days smooth sailing. Being easy to talk to and extremely attentive to her bride’s feelings have endeared Lim to her clients even more.

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Wedding Mantra: “Every wedding is special and we treat each wedding as our own,” says Lim. Despite the hard work and dedication the team puts into every event, Lim says "the fulfillment comes when we touch the hearts of the bride, the groom and their families.”

How to Find Them: For inquiries, e-mail Jenny Lim at [email protected] 

Wedding Treasures

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Who They Are: Sisters Eugene Oda, Vangie Go, and Evelyn Lim set up Wedding Treasures in 1997 and recall that at first, it was hard to convince couples to enlist the services of a wedding coordinator. But 22 years later, and with so many satisfied clients under their belt, the trio is ecstatic about their job and the people they meet along the way.

Go notes that as wedding coordinators, she believes their job isn’t to tell couples what the hottest trends are. Instead, she says, it’s “about listening to them, learning what they want, and guiding them toward achieving their ideal wedding, while making sure they enjoy the process as well. Understanding their problems, worries, and insecurities and turning all this into something more positive.”

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Their caring but efficient approach to planning has earned them the ardor of their brides who are happy to reminisce about how Wedding Treasures made their big days happy and fuss-free.

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Wedding Mantra: As planners, the girls of Wedding Treasures believe in two things. First, do not make it more complicated than it needs to be. Second, if at first plans don’t work, change the plan but not the goal. 

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How to Find Them: For inquiries, e-mail [email protected] or  message 0917.525.1187 or 0917.834.6701. For more information, visit https://www.weddingtreasuresph.com or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/eventsbyweddingtreasures

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Mariane Perez
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