It's been ages since I lasted posted a wedding related entry. I guess there was just so much to talk about, that my reverse blogging had to be put on hold. Well, since I have time in my hands right now, I decided to talk about another very crucial decision to do. This is actually one of the first things we booked right away. It's our reception venue.
There was a big discussion on this, because my parents wanted it to be held at a restaurant, and H and I wanted an event venue or hotel. H and I had a vision of what and how we wanted it so we decided on the latter. So when H and I canvassed and computed, it showed that choosing to have the reception at an events place is cheaper than a hotel.
Blue Leaf was one of the first event venues we had in mind, but H and I were quite skeptic and scared of the price tag. We visited the place and it blew me away. Like what I said to H, I could already see my wedding reception there. The place was breath-taking as it is.
We went to Crowne Plaza to check on the rates if we were to have our reception there. We chose Crowne Plaza because that was where we will be checking in for our hotel preps. They were already booked for our date. What they were giving us was a function room and we didn't like it at all. So H told me to go for Blue Leaf. I was ecstatic!
One of the things I love most about Blue Leaf is its location. It's a hidden place in Fort. It's secluded and very intimate. Which was how our wedding was like. And with just minimal styling, it was very elegant. The place, the ambiance, the mood it exudes. I liked it that way and it also minimized our costs since we didn't have to spend for an event stylist aymore.
We chose the Banyan pavilion for it can hold about 300 guests. We were expecting more or less that number, so it was the perfect venue. It was the biggest of all three pavilions. Blue Leaf also has Silk, which has a capacity of 110 people and Jade which can hold 100 people. There's also an option to get both Banyan and Jade for 500 guests.
Did I mention one of my favorite things about it is the VIP Lounge? Both Banyan and Silk has its own lounge. I thought this would be very helpful so that we don't need to go back to the hotel before going to Blue Leaf. H and I can stay in the lounge area first. :) Which was what we did. We also were fed a bit of appetizers while we were in the lounge by our caterer. She said she knows we won't be able to eat properly when the program starts.
The pavilion was spacious. We requested for a small dance floor for our first dance and the program. And the rest we had round tables and two VIP long tables for our principal sponsors and parents, and of course the table for the newlyweds.
The venue inclusions are as follows:
- Five (5) hours use of venue
- Two (2) hours ingress
- One (1) hour egress
- Air-conditioning system
- Pavilion Projector and screen (2,400 lumens LCD projector, 8ft. x 8ft. screen)
- Pavilion sound system (Delta 6 speakers, 1 equalizer, 3 amplifiers, 1 mixer with 6 inputs, 2 microphones, 1 media player)
- Parking space
- Caterer's area
- Pavilion Lounge (adjacent to the pavilion)
- Security Staff support
- Engineering staff support
- Housekeeping staff support
I think the most important things to consider in choosing a reception venue are the following:
- Budget - Compute and recompute your budget. In our case, the hotel was more expensive than the event venue. And the food, we were pretty sure, won't be as good if we were to be strict with our budget.
- Location - It's best if the location of the reception is close to the church. Our wedding church was Santuario de San Jose in Greenhills. We allotted maximum of 30-45minutes travel time from the church to the reception, given that our wedding was a Sunday (not much traffic).
- Privacy - This is my personal opinion. I like my events private, no party crashers as much as possible. Intimate, with only the people you want there.
- Mood and ambiance- If you visit the venue and already sense the mood that you want for your wedding, it helps minimize styling costs.
- Parking - Ample parking is always crucial. There are other event venues in the Metro, but some don't have enough parking space. This, we find is very important, because we have elders who are coming to the reception. We didn't want them to walk too far, and hear negative comments about the event. And we also think of the convenience of our guests. Not everyone has their own drivers.
Blue Leaf passed all the criteria and we're very satisfied with the place. I have some other tips based on my experience if you want to book at Blue Leaf. These are the things we did.
- The place already has a sound system, so you can opt to get a live band and not rent another sound system anymore.
- We paid an additional P5000 to tap to the electricity of the pavilion because we had lights installed.
- We had drapes installed as well. Half draping is fine, given it already looks very romantic.
- Have a backup plan for your cocktails. Usually cocktails are done at the back. But if it rains, the alfresco area doesn't have tents.
- If you can pay the full amount right away, ask if they can give you any discount.
- Almost every year they increase the rates, so book early to get the running rate.
- We didn't hire an events stylist anymore. We just added lights, drapes, candles and flowers.
- Always go for an ocular inspection.
- If you're bringing additional microphones, test them before the day itself. Just to make sure that it works with their sound system. This also goes with your cds, laptops, etc.
- We had my sister make us 2 back up CDs so these were playing when our live band stops for their breaks.
I hope these things help. I know they're not much, but those are the things I found very crucial to know when choosing and deciding on a reception venue. After all, that is when you start to PARTY!
Here are the rates until December 31, 2010 if you have an event in mind:
Rates: (valid from January 1 to December 31, 2010)
|Banyan Pavilion||Silk Pavilion||Jade Pavilion||Banyan and Jade Pavilions|
|Capacity: 300 guests||Capacity: 250 guests||Capacity: 200 guests||Capacity: 500 guests|
|Php 120,000||Php 110,000||Php 100,000||Php 200,000|
|Whole day, Children's party and multiple pavilion rates are also available|
Blue Leaf Events Pavilion
100 Park Avenue, McKinley Hill Village, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
898BLUE / 8982583 / 8872175
*All photos from Blue Leaf's website.