Friday, June 8, 2012

The Search for My Dream Wedding Reception Venue

I have dreamed of having my wedding reception in a sprawling garden under the canopy of stars for quite a while but when I was already engaged, I realized that for that dream to come true, I need to have my wedding in a cool place and that my wedding should take place in the summer when the possibility of rain is either nil or small.  Thinking about it further, I realized that if I want to stick to that kind of wedding reception, then my wedding ceremony should also be near that reception venue.  But where do I find cool gardens?  Antipolo, Tagaytay or Baguio?  That would mean a destination wedding.  Is that what I really want?  How about getting married in the church of my dreams with a shimmery purple wall behind the altar?  Will it be practical?  Can my future bridegroom and I afford it?  These thoughts were in my mind many times even before I had a boyfriend.  But I did not really think of them seriously until I got engaged in 2006.

When I finally got engaged, I’ve decided that fulfilling my dream of having my wedding in a church with  shimmery purple walls was more important to me than the reception venue of my dreams.  So bye-bye destination wedding.

As soon as George and I were able to reserve the church for our wedding and the wedding date has been finalized, the search was on for the venue of our wedding reception.  What are our musts for our wedding venue?  First, it must be aligned with the theme of our wedding, which is Disney Princess and it must be garden-inspired.  Second, it must be accessible and near the church where the wedding ceremony would be held.  Third, it should be elegant but not be too costly because we want to have enough money to purchase and furnish our first home.  Fourth, it should be big enough for our guests and still have room for a stage or dance area for the program.  And lastly, it should have plenty of parking space for our guests.  Initially, I wanted to have the reception to be in a garden underneath the stars but with the concerns on climate change and the unreliability of weather forecasts sometimes, I’ve decided eventually to have the reception indoors but outside the wedding venue should be a beautiful garden.  I also decided that I want an air conditioned reception venue because I don’t want my face to be oily because of sweat.  Decembers are not as cold as they used to be. 

We made a shortlist of all the garden-inspired venues near our chosen church and scheduled a visit.  Since the church where our wedding ceremony would be held is in Tandang Sora, Quezon City, these were the venues we considered.

1. Fernwood Gardens is located at 69 Cenacle Drive, Sanville Subdivision, Quezon City.  I’ve been there several times when I attended the wedding of some of my friends and when I accompanied some friends who were preparing for their weddings.  So when I went there with George, I was quite familiar already with the venue.  It was still as beautiful as when I first saw it.  Some of the things I noticed however that made me think twice about having our wedding reception there are the following: first, it was not air conditioned; second, I felt that there were too many trees in the venue such that there are trees sometimes between tables; third, the rate for use of the venue was expensive; and fourth, there are events held simultaneously although at other venues within the compound.  It was towards evening when we visited the place but it was still hot so I worried about my make-up on the day of my wedding.  I was perspiring and I could not feel much breeze.  So, I thought that I would feel warmer on my wedding day when I would be wearing a gown.  Then, as we went around the venues in their compound, we noticed that the speakers are loud enough to be heard in other parts of the compound.  This made George apprehensive.  Plus, we were not comfortable to be spending a very big sum of money for our wedding reception venue alone.  We thought of the things we could use the money for if we choose not to have our reception there.  We could already use the equivalent amount as reservation or part of the downpayment for our first home or use it to buy pieces of furniture and appliances for our future home.  So, we continued our search.

2. Gazebo Royale is located at Rona’s Garden compound, 29 Visayas Avenue extension, Quezon City.  We went to Gazebo Royale twice if I’m not mistaken.  The first time was when we inquired about their packages and checked out the place.  The first thing I noticed was that the venue was not air conditioned.  I also felt that the plants were not as plentiful as I expected from venues that claim to be a garden venue.  George and I even joked about how we felt that there were too many trees and plants at Fernwood Gardens and how too few in our perspective the foliage were at Gazebo Royale.  We wondered if we can find the garden venue that we want.  Anyway, we still went back to see the place again when there was an event scheduled to see how the venue looked at night and when it has been decorated to experience its ambiance.  It looked better at night with the lights on but we still felt that their garden was not big enough for us and our guests to wander around in and the parking area is too small.  We left the place dissatisfied.  

3. The Oasis is located at 169 Aurora Boulevard, San Juan Metro Manila.  When we went to see the party venue Oasis, their Pavilion was not yet air conditioned.  I was perspiring a lot.  We also felt that their Pavilion was too big for the number of guests in our wedding.  Our target number of guests was between 150 to 200 only.  The Pavilion’s capacity is up to 450 guests.  We also did not find their garden inviting enough.  They had other venues within their compound other than the Pavilion but I was not satisfied when I saw them and the pictures they showed when these venues were dressed up for weddings.  We went there I think at least twice to view the venue (Pavilion) while there was a wedding going on so we can see how it would actually look if decorated.  Both of us however were not impressed.

4. Grand Terraces is along Commonwealth Avenue.  It’s located at 5 Villanueva Drive corner Commonwealth Avenue to be exact.  Again, just like Gazebo Royale, we felt that there wasn’t enough garden in this venue to enjoy.  The grass was not real inside the supposed garden venue.  In short, we felt that it was simply another event venue where both a few real and synthetic plants were added.  It was not still the garden venue that we are searching for.
By the fountain in front of the entrance doors
to the chateau.
5. Blue Gardens is located at 28 Samonte street via Zuzuaregui Road, Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City.  We were first introduced to this venue through a wedding fair we attended at Megamall.  I fell in love with the venue as soon as I saw it.  It fit perfectly with the theme I have chosen.  It has a beautiful English garden filled with flowers of different colors and has a cobblestone path.  It has a white gazebo inspired by Castle Versailles of France and an arch filled with flowering vines.  It is big enough to be used for an outdoor ceremony and/or reception. 

But if one prefers an air conditioned indoor venue, they also have a European-inspired Chateau with white interiors, a glass chandelier, Greek pillars with silk flowering vines going around them, and large French windows enabling guests to see the garden outside. 

The elevated stage and couple's table and
glass windows with panoramic view of the garden.
The main hall at the second floor has an elevated stage as well with a panoramic view of the English garden outside. It was perfect for my Disney Princess theme. It looked like the hall of a castle in my fairy tale books and there’s a beautiful and romantic garden outside with a bubbling fountain adorned by purple flowers. Just like in the other venues we visited, they have air conditioned rooms for the bride and for the groom respectively. They also have enough parking space for our wedding guests. One of the things that we love about Blue Gardens is that given its elegance, it was not pricey. They also do not allow simultaneous events, which gives whoever is having the event exclusivity. The wedding packages they have are affordable and they also have good caterers affiliated with them. Another thing I liked that is part of their package is that they give away flowering plants as souvenirs for guests, very apt for the garden theme. We went there again a second time to see it decorated for an event then we reserved the venue and scheduled our taste test with one of their caterers. Their staff who assisted us in preparing and coordinating for our wedding was also very accommodating and helpful.   

Here are some pictures to give you a glimpse of this beautiful venue. Most of the pictures were taken during our actual wedding.

The presidential table.

Enjoying our wedding.
And we danced happily at the party.
At the Chateau entrance doors.

Garden pictorial with my prince charming.

I highly recommend Blue Gardens to any future bride who wants a princess-themed wedding or a garden wedding ceremony or reception. 

You can reach them at the following contact numbers. 
Telephone: (632) 430 5982

Telefax: (632) 931 1628

Their email address is
Their office hours are from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10am-5pm only and Sundays, 11am-5pm only.

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  1. Thanks for providing information on wedding venue as it is the best way for making your wedding more memorable. While searching I also found malibu wedding venue as they are best in their region.

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  2. Choosing a perfect venue for party depends on the kind of party you want to throw and the guests you plan on inviting. A birthday party generally fits well with a night club venue, since the venue is already set up for dancing and drinking, while a retirement party or awards ceremony, might be better off at a museum, which has an elegant appeal. Thanks a lot.

    The Glass Garden @ Hizons

  3. nice blog, very helpful, was wondering if you happen to know any other churches near/nearest to blue garden? thank you.

    1. Thank you. Yes, there are a number of nearby Catholic churches to choose from. Among them are Holy Sacrifice Parish inside UP Diliman Campus, St. Peter Cathedral in Commonwealth near Ever Gotesco mall, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in UP Village, St. Benedict Church inside Don Antonio Heights Subd. across Ever Gotesco mall, Sta. Maria dela Strada Church in Katipunan, Our Lady of the Annunciation in Mindanao avenue, San Nicolas de Tolentino in Congressional avenue, San Isidro Labrador Parish and San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish which are both in Tandang Sora. For more details on these churches and for a longer list of choices even for non-Catholic churches you may click this link:

  4. A wedding is an occasion that needs much preparation and planning. Select your wedding venues with great care to make it grant event.

  5. Searching good blog is not an easy task because number of blogs with exaggeration is available but the information on this blog is completely based on research.

  6. helpful information indeed. thanx for your sharing with all of us. continue your great job, and always gain my support! If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.
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  7. I have recently found my dream wedding venue in LA but don't know how to pay such big expense of hiring this. Help me!

  8. Thanks for providing these info, you can also check these best wedding venues in Manila.

  9. This place is great for your events like wedding, birthdays, etc. Price is quite high but the place is perfect for big events. They have accredited caterings to offer like Hizon's Catering :)