5 TIPS FOR DRESSING UP YOUR DREAM-WEDDING PRACTICALLY

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

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

Being a host, I always get my audience involved. I engage them with the program. They are the program and their opinions will build a bigger stage for me to play in. The better their participation, the smoother my program can run.

So here’s a little clincher that I need to get an outside perspective from.

I grow my facial hair for so many reasons…actually I only (really) have two:
1. People do not take me as seriously because they think I look young(er). This is flattering considering my real age but imagine the disadvantage when I’m in front of clients. If my eyes aren’t expressive enough and not bring much wisdom, then where do I stand? This also surprises some people and get them curious eventually asking me how old I am. when I tell them, imagine the “aha!” moment.

2. I simply have chubby cheeks. With my genetically gifted body (sense the sarcasm), one can only manage so much. When all the fats have gone, my face (the cheeks especially) will still be there. The facial hair distracts the people from looking directly at it noticing my chipmunk cheeks. I was fit 2 years ago and it lasted for about 8 months more and it sucks but what can a middle-aged man do?

I’m also quite torn. Whether performing, hosting, or speaking with clients, people say that it is “corporate” to be neat, same as some women say clean and neat is always good. Then there are some who find the scruffy look more appealing, that it adds character to a person. The term “fear the beard” is not only to put terror on other people but I believe this as a difference in presence. Then again, there are my parents and wife saying that the ‘stache gives my baby facial rashes, when I kiss them it’s “itchy” on the face. It looks cool on photos, makes me look manly and adds a little something extra for my overall look. These things make it hard to decide…Plus, I forgot that it is tremendously painful to shave every after 2 days. Women who shave armpits and crotches will know this, so do men with my same dilemma. It is also expensive on razors.

So here we are. I need to know and basically just want to hear your opinions and suggestions on which is better. Lately, the facial hair has gained back its popularity and I was one of the blessed ones to be able to grow it. It is just difficult to keep up. I am the type who feels that I need to do something different with my look after (maximum) of 2 months.

Is it better grown and groomed or clean and shaved?

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Affordable, discounted, free!

These are some of the words that make the rest of the world blur out when we see it. As a consumer, a client or a customer, we are always on our toes for the best deal to get our money’s worth.

Last night, something dawned on me, something I never thought would happen. I went out with my colleagues to my brother’s (Jc) burger joint, the Bad Boys of Burger- The Burgery. On the same night, our other friends came over to hangout with my brother. I, of course came over to say hi and chatted a bit. On one topic, one of our friends Rj Bautista, (RP bowling team champion) mentioned that he suggested me to their friends who were about to get married. He followed up with a side story – they researched about me, probably googled my name to checkout my credentials. I was not aware that since I put up this blog site (moxxthehost.wordpress.com), my street creds sky-rocketed. The last time I googled myself, I only came up with JC de Vera articles and photos. My Instagram account, facebook (private) profile, youtube web shows and other videos and photos were now available.

With all this, and maybe if they had discovered my affiliation with my brother, made me look unaffordable. I mean, I don’t even have a fancy website nor a following. How could I possibly be expensive to hire?

As a professional talent, we’d normally gauge our rate depending on the skill set needed and how in-demand we are. If I get double booked on the same day, I can dictate my rate as how we learned it in economics supply and demand. The more skills or talent or time required of us, we might need to charge extra. For the celebrities who use themselves as property ambassadors, anytime an entity will use their name, appearance, talent for profit gain can charge a good amount. Usually if there are record labels, network management, or sponsors involved. I do not (but I wish I did) take any part of that.

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To tell you all honestly, and this is not in any way selling myself short, I am affordable. I am not a seasoned emcee and I do not categorize myself as that yet. What I can tell you is I am not cheap either. Cheap and affordable are two different things. I mentioned in my earlier blog entry (see What Makes a Good Host / Emcee) that a talent is not an element you want to invest in last. Hiring someone cheap or asking a friend to do this for you have different results that hiring a professional. I am not well-known to charge so much but I’m not just someone who you grab out of a crowd and force to talk as a favor either.

I do my job passionately because I like being in the spotlight. It may not be my story but all eyes are on me for just about the time I have the microphone.

To some, a hosting job is just a way to earn money. When you do it so often and for too long, you forget the magic of the disappearing people beyond the spotlight.

At the end of the day, whether you’re an entrepreneur, employee or a freelancing professional, you should know your market value, your worth. This is how you work your way up the ladder unless you have no ambitions.

All productions have had booboos. If I haven’t repeatedly talked about the chaos in directing an event, well…there’s not much more I ccan say, it’s the reality of it. Speaking of booboos, I ran into mine last night. It’s nothing majorly embarassing but it’s definitely a story for the books.

In my years of hosting, I’m used to getting calls from random people at random times in the day (and wee hours), and sometimes with random requests. I would just qualify it normally with the price, length and the concept. Anything that violates my principles as a person and a professional, I would likely turn down.
So the story goes…

I was contacted by an event director who I’ve worked with before. She got me once as a host to my biggest crowd ever (1000 or more at Araneta Colesium) and have tested my hosting chops then, she’d also call me in sometimes for a voice-over job and most times I wouldn’t be able to do it to balance my day job with hosting which at the moment is still a weekend thing. Normally she’d ask me if I were free on the date to book me and gove me details later. Having to jug my weekday meetings and gig on the weekend, I totally forgot to ask the full details on her booking: when, where, what and how. So I shot a text asap and got the date, time and venue. After which I remembered to ask the attire. She said to come in business casual when I knew the venue was a big hotel. So I thought, maybe it’s a laid-back gig. So I assumed I’ll ne hosting guests at the hotel or something. Then I asked the titel of the show. It was for a major consumer children’s milk brand add guests were doctors, midwives and nurses. So I thought, what the heck…

IMG_0171The next day, I thought I’d dress up nice anyway since I had meetings that day. If I overdress, then I wouldn’t mind standing out because I will be on stage. So I suited up in the most casual way.
When I got called in at 3pm, I checked out the venue. It was big, it was cool and was not short of amazing. The director was busy with last minute rehearsals of the lights and sounds production so I patiently situated myself near the techbooth and waived to the team to let them know I’ve arrived. A few minutes after, one of the team approached me with a thick stack of stapled bond paper. I smiled back and read through it. It showed a lot of “AOB” and long speaking lines. While I tried to figure out which one my part was, I saw somewhere towards the half of the script saying “introduce host – Mr. Piolo Pascual”… And right on queue, someone handed me the mic…a wired one.

My brain hanged like pentium 4 on Windows 8. I wasn’t the host afterall.

So to cut the long story short, my lesson learned is to always ask questions when you are not sure. Never assume anything. As a professional Emcee, you have to be assertive. Even if you already are sure, it doesn’t hurt to reiterate.