Hubby and I have a nifty picture in today’s issue of my blogging column in the Manila Bulletin. I’ve come back to writing it after an absence of three weeks!! Good thing my editor forgives me. The caption reads:
” A love that was Made in the Internet, and a wedding that was made possible by the Wonders of the Internet.” 😀
I thought this was apt for my article entitled Planning a Wedding Online which is what happens when you can’t be physically present in a given place every single frickin’ time. In this digital age, this is the easiest way to do it.
Complete text follows:
A wedding can be a very stressful occasion to prepare, most especially if it’s your own.I found out that accomplishing paperwork is crucial, as much as canvassing suppliers that will comprise your Dream Team.
For someone like me who was based in Manila, preparing for the big day meant making the computer our best friend. It helped us save time doing errands, wasting it on traffic and gasoline money. In the case of my then-fiance, doing things online simply made the impossible possible for him, as he tried to find documents in two countries. Luckily, some state agencies, and even the Catholic Church, now have websites to make it easier for the public to gather documents, even while away.
In the United States, hubby availed of the services of Vitalchek, a service provider for official US government certificates related to birth, marriage and divorce. You can place your order online and they can get it to you in as little as two or three business days with express delivery.
In the Philippines, I called the 737-1111 hotline of NSO. In truth, their website at ecensus.com.ph looks good enough. It allows you to order your documents online, verify status, and pay online or through their accredited banks and credit cards. I hope to make use of this service next time when ordering my family’s certificates.
The Archdiocese of Manila official website at http://rcam.org was also helpful. They have a section on documents needed for marriage by the Chancery. It makes you compile things even before you go to the actual office. Useful if you get married in any of the parishes in Manila (other cities also have their chanceries).
I found out that only a few churches have an online presence, and understandably so. I received, at the last-minute, my Sacrament of Confirmation at the Quiapo Church and found out that they still write on the logbooks by long-hand. Whew! We should expect more churches to go the digital route soon though, if they are to keep up communicating with their modern-day parishioners.
When it comes to wedding suppliers, the internet is a haven of good finds, if you know where to look. Weddings@Work is a popular resource, and I enlisted in its Yahoogroup to get intimate, inside stories from brides and would-be brides.The exchange of emails from the members proved to be too many and overwhelming, but I totally liked the honesty of the reactions. Members posted Suppliers’ Ratings after the wedding and it truly helped us what to look for and what to avoid.
I was able to find our official wedding photographer, RedSheep, via the W@W Yahoogroup. Same with the person who made our invites, Handcrafted Expressions. I couldn’t help but admire Airees who conducted her handmade paper business from the comforts of her own home. Our wedding cake maker , Joy San Gabriel, is also popular with the online community of brides, and I got her because the gallery of cakes in her blog looked delicious indeed.
I also tried to make our wedding website via Wedding Announcer. It allows you to add photos, videos, music and has ready made tabs for listing your bridal entourage, and such. The user interface isn’t so friendly, but at least our relatives and closest friends had something to look at, even if the official invites weren’t out yet.
I’ve heard that there are couples who plan their Philippine wedding from abroad. The good news is that the selection of good finds in the internet has just made it easier for them to get married. You just have to do your research and be in the right support group. Good luck!
Catholic Churches with an online presence:
Add your church to this list!