By Moxx de Vera

“Magical,” the only word that brides wish to happen on their special day, the day that they will be one with the love of their life. That one day where everyone’s attention is on them, beautiful and in white.

Photo grabbed from Dave Sandoval’s Facebook account. 
Styling by Dave Sandoval
Photo by NicePrint Photography

Are you reading this because you are already planning your dream wedding? If so, I’ll hand it to you nice and straight, you are getting married for the first time, everyone is. Unless this is your second wedding, I don’t suppose you’ll be putting too much thought and research about it because it rarely happens that a bride gets married twice with the same extravagance. So let me paint you a picture, but just before I do, I want you to know that I am writing from a man’s point of view and probably have a slightly different priority when it comes to wedding reception planning, nonetheless, I’ve seen a good spectrum of styling to the simplest of events to big and elegant ones, some have made it difficult to work with and others enhanced the overall effect positively, so for what it’s worth, I just really want to send you some things to consider.  

From a producer’s viewpoint,meaning, YOU, the bride, or anyone who is producing or funding an event just simply want to have your money’s worth. You want things in order, seamless and organized. Aside from trying to be the highlight of the event, you want your guests to enjoy and remember that day. There are hundreds of factors to a successful event but today, I want you to take notice on your layout and styling.

Event stylists are very talented. They wouldn’t be in the business if they weren’t. They have the capacity to turn their visions into reality by executing details you wouldn’t probably have even thought of. The likes of the best local talents such as Dave Sandoval, Michael Ruiz, Teddy Manuel, Ralph Copacio, Tei Endencia, and a whole lot more I haven’t personally met, or exchange words have blown me away with the level of fantasy-like masterpieces in events. I take photos of the event styling and post it on Instagram because it’s note-worthy. You get instant good impressions from an event with excellent styling. So, what makes it great?

1. Make it thematic.

Styled by Dave Sandoval

Events come in themes. If you want it to be appealing, you have to make it consistent with a concept. Go with something that is either up to trend or close to your personality, why? So you can feel comfortable. Imagine creating a sophisticated setup and you’re the simplest person everyone knows. It will feel like you don’t fit in your own event. For some other types of events, understand the objective and work from there. Pick the theme you want and make it consistent. Choose the least colors possible unless your theme is rainbow or psychedelic. Don’t combine elements from different themes JUST BECAUSE.

2. Go all-in.

Arthur Solinap & Rochelle Pangilinan’s wedding
(photo grabbed from web-search)

There’s no room for half-baked concepts in events. It’s either you make it simple or you go all-in. There’s nothing wrong with a simple set up. You’ll know when an event is trying hard to pull something off because of the consistency. You can make it simple through the elements, centerpieces and other table ornaments, draping, color-combination.For a wedding couple on a budget, be realistic with the design. Don’t ask for the moon when you can’t build a rocket ship. Event stylist will be very forward with what you can get with your budget. Don’t be an internet meme of budget vs.reality.

3. Consider venue conditions.

A big venue can accommodate massive styling, or you can concentrate a spot to focus your styling if the venue is too big. You can’t cramp a small venue with too much styling. I’ve seen wedding receptions sacrifice the space for styling where guests can’t stand up at the same time because the tables are too cramped because of other elements. It’s either you have chosen a small venue, or you have too much event elements, pick one that is of more priority.

Air flow and air conditioning is another thing to consider. For venues in cold climates like Tagaytay or Baguio where it’s usually open air or garden weddings, it’s easy to style with drapes and other elements but for enclosed areas where air conditioning is high, drapes will restrict air flow, combining it with the event lights will make the place warm once people start coming in. If the A/C system is just near head-level,then drapes and other hanging items will be good, but consider it if it’s really necessary.

Stages are also considerable fora couple of reasons, to centralize event viewing where things happen and of course to highlight your main objective. Be reasonable with your stage.Professionals would know how big or how high your stage should be depending on the number of guests you’ll have as well as other venue conditions. If you have a big crowd, consider having a higher stage or live feed with a big-enough screen for videos. Sometimes you might need an extra screen for the other half of your guests (again, depending on the size). Be mindful of where you put it as well.If the venue is rectangular, you might want to consider placing a stage in the middle wall of the venue rather than the end.

Columns in the venue are something you can’t change but be considerate as well of guests you will be placing near a column. Will they be able to see around it? Will they be able to participate? Consider monitors or speakers for them.

4. Table designs.

(photo grabbed from web-search)

Here is where it gets critical. Beautifying your event styling is a priority but be sure that it’s aesthetic as well. I’ve encountered a lot of events with tall table centerpieces where guests can’t even see the person across the table. Sure, it’s elegant but if you’re a guest seated all the way at the back and you really want to participate but can’t see a thing beyond those ginormous centerpieces, you’ll probably speak up. I personally have had a lot of trouble connecting to guests who can’t even see me when I’m hosting, all because the vases and candle holders were blocking the guests’ view of the stage or dance floor.

Crowded tables are also unappreciated. From a stylist’s point of view, their work speaks for them and they table design elements are justifiable, but up to what point is it really justifiable? As a guest, I would like to be able to sit on a table for 8-10 people and maybe still able to put a plate or two in front of my spot.Sometimes other dishes are placed on the table for sharing and this cramps up the space. If aesthetics is not your priority, then you may skip this but it’s just something else to consider.

5. Fabrication

Sometimes, a bride is totally hands-on with her vision for her wedding that she wants something in particular. Be aware that not all items may be provided by the stylist and sometimes they will have to purchase this. Depending on your agreement, you may take a “particular” home for yourself if you made this fabricated or the stylist may own it if they could reuse it. You are the boss but unless it’s totally necessary, then go for it.

In the end, your stylist will beat your will when you have the budget to work with. No supplier in the right mind will commit to something that can’t be done. If they do, these are the suppliers who’ll later on give you a headache in payments or execution, so never risk it. Choose the stylist that fit your budget and your vision. What clients have to understand is that we, your suppliers were chosen. Choose us not just because of the trend or the budget. We want to work with you too because we want you to have what you deserve, and you deserve our best work because that’s what we do. This article is not intended to discredit any event stylist, these are just my observations from my point of view. Feel free to disagree or add to my opinions.

A couple more tips to make the best out of your deals. “Set your expectations, early on.” Do tell your suppliers what you envision so they can discern what can be done or not. Don’task for things last minute especially if it’s a heavy task. We are prepared for back up plans but only with enough time and budget. Consider your suppliers as talented individuals, not your assistants for hire. We are here for you, and if you built a good relationship with us, we MIGHT even go the extra mile, so it’s up to you how you treat us.

For more tips and consultation, you may contact me on my website www.moxxthehost.com, email me at moxxthehost@gmail.com and my Facebook Page www.facebook.com/moxxdeverapro

By Moxx de Vera, Professional Host and Speaking Coach


Standing in front of people, in a crowd of a dozen to as big as stadium can be totally nerve wracking and 7 out of 10 people will say that it is not their thing. Not everyone was born to speak in public and definitely not everyone was bred to do this professionally.

Public speaking is a skill developed over achievements, failures and a variety of experience. While others just see someone speaking in front to deliver a message, the speaker finds it a whole lot different on the other side. Preparation, confidence and the ability to connect will always be key to say what is needed to be said in the best possible manner.

I have been a professional speaker as a live event host for 7 years now. I started as a radio jock and have gone over a wide variety of experience in different types of media. I grew into this role not having been able to learn this formally because there’s not much avenue to explore it with. There is no formal schooling for this skill. In the last 2 years, I realized that there’s a need to inform and educate the younger generation on how to do this. Gone were the days where everything was read in books and individuals would sit, listen and learn about something. Everything is online, on video, on blogs. So this is my attempt to reach that market, to educate and teach this as quick and as thorough as possible.

Main questions raised on starting to learn public speaking is, of course “how?”

To give you an idea on “how to,” this means you’re highly interested but have no clue, and that’s why you are reading this. Don’t worry, I am going to share with you some simple trade secrets that you are surely just ashamed to ask because you don’t want people to know you have no clue and you don’t know who to actually – ask.

  1. How do you prepare for public speaking?

Preparation is a very underrated method to succeed. This is the practice of the best and the most famous people and the newbies can’t wait to get from point A to C and forget to pass point B. Preparation can mean a whole planet of things: getting enough sleep, reading and researching for your topic, picking the right clothes, mapping out your notes, and more. Getting ahead a few days before will also do a lot for you.
Confidence starts by being self-assured. If you know what you’re going to say, what to answer, how to look and do things before people even think it, you are on your way to the top, actually doing those successfully means you have achieved it. Lawyers don’t come into a courtroom without a strategy, a game plan and a retort to every counter-defense the opposing team may have on them. Boxers prepare physically and mentally before every fight. They try to simulate the opponents condition, fight pattern and strategy and make sure to be better than their opponent with every strand of their being. With this, you have nothing more to fear.


So how do you prepare for a specific engagement? You go through your objectives and think of how you can tie them together with your goals. If it’s a speech, you can create a script, practice in front of a mirror. For key note speaking, rehearse your slides and prepare notes on an index card. If it’s hosting an event, research about who you’re doing it for, get to know the people involved, the crowd. If it’s a presentation, flip over your material back and forth and ask someone to listen to you if you can get the message across.


  1. How do you avoid nervousness and tension?

The body and brain works together to make a fine-tuned machine work. You think and your brain does. Nervousness is caused by lack of confidence because you lack preparation. This causes chemical reactions to your body which causes you to breathe lightly, causing your muscles to tense up, sweat builds up, your heart pounds and realizing that your body has reacted like this makes you even more nervous knowing you are already nervous.


You must know that muscles need blood to maintain vigor. Healthy blood needs oxygen and oxygen comes from relaxed deep breaths. Do this and your whole body and mind reacts positively. You’ll think more clear and you’ll be more confident.


  1. How do you connect to your audience?

In sales, they will have to teach you a few things to succeed. Profiling, probing and finding the common ground are few of the things a powerful salesman are good at.

Profiling – knowing your audience increases your chances to connect to them. Be relatable, be empathetic. It is rare that you’ll speak in front of a random crowd so just in case you don’t know your DEMOGRAPHICS, SOCIAL CLASS and their influences. For example, age groups between 18-21 are most likely college students. They definitely have shorter attention than adults so you have to be quick, entertaining and insightful in the first 5 minutes. Social class C-D won’t be able to relate to luxurious and glamorous ideas. A group of doctors will not have time listen to non-medical talks.

Probing – this simply means asking the right questions and zoning in to get to your goal and using the information you gathered to make your ideas stronger. Free speech also enables you to engage your audience and connect it to your point making it more impressive.

Common ground – is simply making the audience think you are one with them. That you can relate to their interests or what they do. For example, if you’re speech is about Public Clean-up Initiatives, you ask questions about what makes the audience feel uneasy when they are outside. What can make them act, what incentives? Even if they don’t answer verbally, they have something in mind which will make them itch to respond, then you’ve done your job.

Body Language – there are a lot to throw around on this topic so I’ll leave you to research on this (reading is good practice for public speaking) but best ones I teach in my workshops are:

  • Point your toes towards the person you are talking to
  • Avoid crossing (or any of your) arms from your body
  • Never point a finger, use open palm
  • Eye contact and smiling
  • Big movements mean tension
  • Avoid touching your face (this implicates lying or tension)

This last bit may not have been pointed out earlier but here are also some topics to avoid, and I strictly go by this because this will definitely cause reactions you would not want. Stay clear of topics touching on RELIGION, POLITICS, RACE, and SEXUAL ORIENTATIONS and other taboo topics that you can come up with. Again, it’s best to research on what may offend particular groups.

  1. How do you improve Public Speaking?

Organize your thoughts, topics and your message. Coming up with a game plan and a digestible flow of ideas will make your audience understand you more. Jumping from one topic to something not related will trigger your audience to change mind-set, and then you’ll have to gain momentum. Be concise with your ideas and stop beating around the bush. Start with an impactful statement and end with an impactful question/challenge to keep their thoughts on your topic.


Speaking isn’t all about charisma and your material. If you have poor diction, everything else will not be attractive. If you speak softly, people will fall asleep or become restless. If you talk slow or too fast, it causes them to loose attention. Speaking clearly, enunciating, articulating, emphasis, proper volume and tone all play a dynamic role in winning a crowd. Being an English-speaking country, we have the capacity to connect and impress on a certain level of expectation. Being able to speak the universal language gives you an edge, being able to speak it on an advanced level impresses a lot of people. Couple this with awesomely prepared and rehearsed material and you are golden. Imagine a stand up comedian who’s got bad diction, may it be your local dialect or language, if it’s not clear, your audience will not laugh.


These are just a few of the best elaborate tips. If you want to learn more public speaking or live event hosting, I offer a workshop that can help you become your best self.

Like me on Facebook – www.facebook.com/moxxdeverapro and send me a message. Maybe you’d also like to engage me in intelligent conversations, drop me a message and I’d be delighted to respond.

Visit my website www.moxxthehost.com for more information about me and I’ll see you around!

This is another idea created for you soon-to-be wedded couples.

Truth is, there are a lot of people getting married. I know, I host most of them in a year. If you were in my position going to different weddings for different people, you’ll see the contrast between each and every one of it. It’s practically the same, I just make it different so that I also enjoy the event. It’s called a celebration anyway.

So here’s another tip for you love birds, something for your garter retrieval or maybe something to do to keep your guests entertained. Hard fact of the matter is, unless you give your participants incentive or a reason to play this game, they will not play so best if you prepare prizes, or if you use this as your garter retrieval game for the single men or as replacement of the bouquet toss for the women, you got yourself a fun game.

The game is called PROPS! as the title suggests. The participants are split into pairs (or may be done individually), each given a different unusual prop. The pairs alternate at the prompting of the host’s buzzer, giving short scenes using their prop in a unique way. The game typically results in a series rapid-fire one- or two-liners, especially in later playings. Another way to run this is to hand out one prop at a time and use for each contestant. The contestant who can’t think of anything in a snap is considered out. The winner or the last man/woman standing gets to choose among the rest of the non-winning players who will take the garter from the lovely single woman.

To get what I’m talking about…

For more wedding ideas, games and anything related to hosting, please feel to check out my blog and links on my blogsite: https://moxxthehost.wordpress.com

We have gone over a lot of wedding stuff, and if you’re preparing for your own, I’m sure you’ve heard and seen the parts of a program but do you really know what’s going on? Do you know the meaning of what you’re doing? I’m sure you’ll give me a 50% nod and still have no idea what it’s for.

Through this blog entry, I’ll try to explain some of the wedding programs’ symbolism (as cliché as it is) and give you some fresh ideas on what you can do to make it exciting or at least as memorable.

WC-Cutting-300x234One of the most common part of wedding receptions is the ceremonial cutting of the cake. The bride cuts the first piece together with the groom. It has come to symbolize the first task in the couple’s life together. Originally, the guests would take part of this to but as cakes became grander and guest lists get bigger, the task became quite unnerving. After cutting the cake, the bride and groom feed each other the first slice which symbolizes the mutual commitment to share and provide for each other. Two people as one facing life’s journey together. Wedding is a commitment to share whatever path life takes you on, with love and devotion, and the shared cutting of the first slice represents this commitment. Sharing of the cake to each other symbolizes your vows which means to love, honor and respect one another.

Lately, I have had requests from couples that I host to leave out the traditional symbolism spiels for the cake cutting and wine toast just because they find it senseless. I kind of agree that this spiel is just a waste of breath as no one intently listens to it and remembers so, I devised a way to spruce up this portion and make it more meaningful, to sum it up:

  • It is the first task in the couple’s life together
  • Commitment to each other
  • Sharing and providing for each other
  • Love and devotion
  • Sometimes, they even say that whomever eats the bigger slice in one bite rules the house.

So my suggestion here is to narrate to the crowd a simple mini-vow coming from the couple while they are doing the ceremonial cake cutting. A simple 1-minute testimonial for each other (bride and groom) telling each other how they plan to do this in their most simple, sincerest way. They may even get their cheesiest lines from their original vows (I would ask this from the couple but this means they would have to give me a copy of their vows which might be somewhat out of the way for them). This is good for the video and is cheesier (or generally saying, sweeter) way of pulling off the segment.

30University-Club-Chicago-Wedding-Sweetchic-Events-Second-Print-Productions.-Bride-and-Groom.-Wine-Toast.-Cheers.-680x453Next is the ceremonial toast. Again, it’s a tradition that almost all couples go through during a wedding reception unless they can get away with it. Basically, the wine represents two individual lives, and the intertwining arms while drinking it combines them into one single life. It also symbolizes passion and to some, fertility for each other coming into a married life.

It’s a day where we set aside whatever we find is corny and cheesy and overdone. It’s your day, you are licensed to be a cheese-ball and no one will care. So what we do instead is to tweak it to make it less traditional-ish. We do the same for the wine toast, another narrative of each other’s’ promise (such as in the vows) expression how they plan to keep each other passionately interested, how they see themselves in 50 years, what type of family scale do they wish, how do they envision their future to be, those things. It is to epitomize what they aspire to become as one unit.

I see these wedding reception segments from three point of views: the organizers’, the couples’ and the guests. To most, these are overused and traditionally pointless for our modernistic taste, but if we look deeper into its roots, the history of why we do this is very special yet then again, the basis is nothing but ritualistic. Every wedding that I go to whether I host or as a guest has their own take, their own style and treatment but at the end of the day, it all boils down to the two people (eventually as one) celebrating it. It doesn’t matter what the program is as long as it is done tastefully and in order, that’s the essence of preparing for the whole thing. The rest is just for documentation and memory.

How many gigs can you have in a day?

In a professional talent’s life, it’s inevitable to get double, or sometimes even triple-booked in one day. I had my first just this weekend. I have hosted not one, but TWO wedding receptions. It was awesome. I knew it was going to be a challenge physically and mentally but when I finally got home, I felt a sense of accomplishment.

Gig 1: Mr. & Mrs. Jed and Nori Labastida

Jed and NoriIt was a slow morning at Legend Villas. I was asked to be there by 10am. I got caught in traffic and was afraid to have my first late entrance for a gig (as a professional, I never want to be late). So to set everyone’s expectations, I communicated with the coordinator that I am running late. I knew they can’t do anything about it but at least I want to set their expectations if ever I arrive late, though I don’t want that to happen. When I finally got out of the jam, it was a breeze from Magallanes to Mandaluyong. When I got to The Legend Villas, my first venue, I was surprised that I made it before the guests. Apparently, they all started a bit late and got into some traffic situation themselves. So I was totally safe. So the program went on…Jed and Nori, the couple had invited relatives from Masbate which made the afternoon special sharing it with relatives that made a worthwhile trip to celebrate this wonderful day.

It was a small crowd, an intimate, loving one. You can easily feel the closeness of their guests with the bride and groom. Every moment that passed by meant the world to Jed and Nori. There was nothing less of that reception. What it lacked in numbers were filled with happiness for the bride and groom. Jed and Nori was made for each other from the start. You can see it all over. This wedding may have been due for a long time but in their hearts, you can tell that they’ve always been married to each other.

To Jed and Nori, congratulations. When we met when I helped you with your wedding reception program, I felt this deep appreciation that giving you my insights weren’t just that. When I realized what it meant to you guys, it meant more to me.

No one really knows where they’re headed when preparing for a wedding. Wedding planners might have an idea, but they know it from the outside. I-myself may be used to a program but the real emotions you get during your own wedding is just magical. . .

Gig #2: Mr.&Mrs. Paolo and Kim Mendoza

The earlier crowd was intimate. I was not quite ready with what came next. When I met the Kim and Paolo, I forgot that they mentioned they were expecting about 400 guests. It did not register then in my head how big that was until I saw the venue myself at Enderun College tent.

From the garden wedding that happened with the sunset effect, I knew I was in for a good fight. It’s like a boxing match finding out your opponent is 5 feet taller than you. When the guests started pouring in, I can barely see faces from halfway onto the reception venue.

Addressing a wedding crowd is challenging. You are faced with people coming from different personalities, culture, expectations, level of society and intellect. I was like Eminem getting ready for battle on his move 8 Mile. So when it was time to hit the stage, I knew I had to kick it into high gear. I kept my energy up as I was running on reserved energy (c/o a can of Monster Energy Drink), while wondering how long I can keep this up. It was a fairly tough crowd. For one, I’m pretty sure people all the way at the back can barely see or hear me so I’m guessing they didn’t bother to listen. I threw everything I got, questions, jokes, I was almost at a point where I was going to threaten them just to react (hehe kidding). Luckily, God was at my side and I got their attention before dinner was announced.


I was always sure I can get the crowd once I worked the games, and that I did. It was really hard to see the reaction of each of 400 guests but I get some smiles and laughter every now and then. That was enough to motivate me and move forward. The show must go on.

Moving along, I was surprised how I eventually warmed up to the crowd and breezed through the program. I closed the program with good enough applause working like tips on a subway busker but I would not gauge my performance because of that. I knew 400 guests won’t easily listen but even so, I know I brought the house down. At the very least, the bride and groom enjoyed it. Client’s satisfaction is most important.

When I host, I always say… all weddings are the same. It has a ceremony, a reception, the entourage, traditions, speeches. What makes it special to each newlyweds are their stories and the people they share it with. No matter how big or small a wedding is, the people who make you happy are all in one place, that’s all that should matter. At the end of the day, it’s just going to be the bride and groom in their own little world.

Congrats to Jed & Nori and Paolo and Kim. Your love stories trancends you both. Keep each other as husband and wife as you have done since early in you relationships.


We’ve all been to weddings and me, some more. When you step into my shoes, you’d think you’ve seen it all. A beautiful bride’s teary eyes walking down the aisle , a dashing groom’s too-wide smile, the bridesmaids holding each others’ hands smitten, the proud parents, the works.

From an emcee’s point of view, it seems all the same. It’s another wedding day. I got surprised that my reaction to this was different. I shared this moment with the celebrants, it was overwhelming. That blessed Saturday, i was not #thehost but a #weddingguest.

If you know what a host goes through during events, the chaos, the backstage clutter, the fast-pacing organizers, a never-ending backstage moment, you kind of lose-touch of what a wedding day feels like. On a normal day, I would accept a hosting job in a heartbeat, I love my role as an emcee but that Saturday, I wanted to be in the backseat for once. I have repeatedly called in the entourage, and of course the bride and groom but I never thought I’d be as excited being part of it, now that I’ve delved into the world of weddings and nuptials and however you may call it.

I’ve known most of my best friend Jr’s history and seeing him through this day made that extra special. And just as special, I’ve only met Hannah on that day because our schedules never met, nonetheless, I am very glad to know how happy they make each other. On a side note, being in an 4 all-men click, we weren’t really as fond of taking our photos together unless it’s a very special occasion. It made me/ us realize how much time we’ve lost and all the best memories of moments that passed that we never got to record we’ll never recover…

So going back to this wedding…

You know those same-day edit videos that they show during the reception? I always thought the smiles on the takes are just fabricated by the photographer/director. I was (and glad to be) very wrong. The smiles that come out may have been induced by the photographers but what comes out are real moments, real emotions, and shared happiness that radiates toward the viewers. I can’t explain it either but you can only understand it once you’re there. You can just be that happy for your friends about to get married.

IMG_0082There were 4 tomcats, Francis, Cuki, Jr (the recent groom) and myself. We’re now down to Francis and I and we can’t wait for the next big event that will bring us together as men and wives.

IMG_0087To Hannah, you are wonderful. Your energy is beautiful. You have good, loving and supportive friends and family which is always the best to feel like home when you start a good family. We may have spoken very few times and have seen each other only once but I can get a person during their best and worst times. I’ve seen the best (and happiest) and I do not wish to know the worst. To Jr, “tsong”…you’ve been around when I needed you guys and you’re always ready to support. You may not know how to dance but you’ve done it for your bride so I’m guessing it’s a win-win for everyone. Do not let your fear of feathery friends come between you and your wife, it just takes some thick clothing and probably a stick to get rid of them. You’ve proven to do your best when you put your mind into it so I’m sure you’ll make a great husband and father. Always hold your head up high…why…no comment on that.

An Emcees role is to lead everyone to the program. Let God be your Emcee and let Him lead the way. I totally enjoyed being in your entourage as much as I do hosting on other days. Congratulations and I’m always here for you both.

I would have loved being your host but why ruin an already perfect wedding? No regrets there.

. Congratulations and I’m always here for you both. p.s. I would have loved to be your host but why ruin an already perfect wedding? No regrets there.

JR and Hannah by Nicolai Melicor