On Wedding Planners

In the not so distant past, wedding planners were unheard of. When people get married, it was usually just their immediate families who help out with the arrangements and actual event. But now-a-days probably because of the busyness of life, wedding coordinators or event planners as some would like to be called are the norm rather than the exception. It has become big business and some become very successful ones. But what is a good wedding planner? For the last 2 consecutive years I have attended at least 7 weddings either as principal sponsor or guest and most of which had wedding coordinators taking charge of the whole event. Two of those weddings had Clay Tan, one each for Dennis Ochoa, Vivienne Villanueva and Carmela Arlocas-Gamboa. Carmela (I was principal sponsor too in her wedding years ago) is more of an event organizer/producer but this is one wedding she could not refuse as it was of her husband's first cousin (thus, family) and for an initial foray into weddings, she did quite well with a few understandable glitches. But the biggest disappointment of all were with the ones done by Clay Tan. Why? Because she was well-known, more experienced and had marketing savvy. The two weddings (in 2010) which were about a month apart from each other were both a bit cluttered (for want of a better term), although the first one was better than the second. She and her staff were all over the place that they distracted me. I think wedding coordinators, planners, whenever possible should not be very visible or at least try to keep their presence as unobtrusive as possible. This goes the same for videographers and photographers. I was told that Clay was doing more weddings than she could handle thus the quality of her work was suffering. Well, that's what happens if you have 2-3 weddings going on at the same time...that's really beyond anyone's capacity to perform well. The worst wedding coordinator I have seen however, was the one who "took charge" of my cousin's wedding last February...thank God I was only a guest this time. Their team was disorganized and did not look professional at all. I thought some of them were helpers by the way they dressed and spoke. When I asked my cousin where she found her wedding coordinator, she said that she was referred by some friends and had a Facebook page. Well, from what I know of Vivienne Villanueva is that she is a good decorator and event stylist. I did not know that she coordinated/facilitated weddings too. I did see her assistant (who...uhmm, looked quite colorful) right in front of the altar when the wedding march was starting. He even made our uncle stop singing the entrance march. I believe the glitches stemmed from the fact that since Vivienne was based in Manila, she was not able to coordinate with the family regarding specific details. But a good wedding planner/coordinator should always be prepared with last minute changes and adjustments. I don't know what happened but let me just say, this was one of the more uncoordinated weddings I have attended. The most impressive of them all was the wedding in Iloilo last December 2011 coordinated by Dennis Ochoa. From the church to the reception, everything was impeccable. The decoration was beautiful, understated and elegant. His staff looked very professional with their light blue striped shirt and beige pants, hair in a ponytail and black pumps. I only saw 2 of them, but everything was very orderly and well-managed. The videographers and photographers were many but they moved quietly and did not distract me which is important, since I get annoyed with people running around taking pictures during the mass. And so, to Mr. Dennis Ochoa and his team...great job!

For those of you planning a wedding...here is my unsolicited ranking :)

A. Wedding Planner/ Coordinator / Stylist
  1. Dennis Ochoa -10/10
  2. Clay Tan - 6/10 (one of the weddings was okay)
  3. Vivienne Villanueva - 4/10
B. Photographer 
  1. Pat Dy -10/10 (the best I've seen so far and probably the most expensive)
  2. Tronco -8/10 stars
  3. Tm Malones - 8/10
  4. Gerard Dacles- 8/10 stars
  5. LeoVision- 8/10

C. Video
  1. Mayad - 9/10
  2. LeoVision - 8/10
  3. Tronco - 8/10
  4. SKT - 7/10

Mike and Tata Uy/video by Mayad


  1. Thank You,
    The information you shared is very informative.
    Wedding Planner India

  2. Wedding planners should be crisis managers as everybody wants their wedding to be perfect.

  3. Thanks for the info! Very helpful.. For my future need. Hehe. I remember one of my cousin whose wedding coordinator run away with their money! That was so terrible I don't think they were able to find him again. Sometimes we really need to research first and ask for referrals.

  4. You must be busy attending wedding events. For two consecutive years and you've attended 7 weddings -- that's really something. Planning an event like this is not easy. I could see it too in my brother's wedding haha. The planner was really busy.

  5. I think wedding planners are a must for any weddings. These people know the ins and outs of the wedding (and you can always blame someone for things not turning out the way you want it... coz if you organize your own wedding and it failed, it could be a great reason for your first fight as a married couple) But be sure to choose wisely, look for someone who is compassionate and understanding. And take your time to get to know the coordinators before signing a contract. Make sure they know what you want and how you want them to deal with your wedding.. it is one of the greatest events in your life... and yes it is okay to be a bit picky and strict on planning it and making it perfect!

  6. I can relate on this one during our younger sister's wedding last March.

  7. It's really hard to look for wedding planners that are reliable. Sometimes you really need referrals. I had a wedding planner during my wedding but it was still a disaster.
    ~OnlineBiz and Resources

  8. wedding planner is must for any wedding....It's the greatests events in your life....Great post keep it up.


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