IN most of my media trips and if the itinerary is not too tight, we were usually given a much-needed free time to pretty much do whatever we want. It's actually something I particularly look forward to. During my last five-day sojourn in Boracay for that Nescafe 3-in-1 Soundskool coverage, I took that occasional free time to visit some friends, take my usual long walks and just marvel at the beauty of a place that is far from its usually crowded self during the summer and the holidays.
It also made me realize that I've been writing about Bora (as most people refer to it now) and several of its attractions since 2005, the first time I've been there. And one of my favorite pieces was actually an assignment for Wedding Essentials magazine, something about a couple of pre-school teachers who turned out to be the premier wedding planners in the island.
Yes, Amanda Tirol and her sister-in-law Nicole Guidotti are responsible for some of the best weddings in Boracay, including the celebrated nuptial of actress Giselle Toengi and her American husband, Tim Walters (pictured above). Here's a slightly revised version of that 2005 article that, well, never quite got old.
By EDWIN P. SALLAN
YOU already decided on realizing that dream wedding in Boracay. So what do you do next? Who should you call to help you get it done and get it done right?
Well, you’ll be surprised to know that since 2004, some of the best weddings in Boracay have been organized by a couple of former pre-school teachers. After successfully organizing her own Boracay wedding three years ago and get subsequent requests from friends to help them with their own nuptials, Amanda Guidotti Tirol got together with her cousin-in-law Nicole Hollander Guidotti and founded Boracay Weddings and Events, a wedding coordinator service that helps “make the planning and conceptualizing of each and every wedding as unique and cozy as possible for the bride and groom.”
With 10 weddings under their belt in 2004 and 11 more scheduled from November, 2005 all the way until 2006, Amanda and Nicole both take pride in being “pretty good” at what they do with their track record so far. And what exactly do they do? “We try to make your dream wedding in Boracay as worry-free as possible,” Amanda says. “We’re willing to work with your budget, be it big or small, and we give you a choice between our full and partial service packages.”
To be more specific and depending on the service package that you choose, Boracay Weddings can help you with just about all aspects of your wedding from airline reservation, land and boat transfer, church reservation, beach ceremony and reception set-up, fixing accommodations for wedding party and guests and assistance with all the wedding suppliers you’ll ever need from photographers, florists, couturier and entertainers.
And because they specialize in Boracay weddings, Amanda and Nicole are capable of making it as small and intimate as possible or also as big and festive as their clients would desire. They would also suggest unique little touches that will make the big day even more special including the hiring of non-traditional entertainers such as fire dancers, the use of a Golf Cart as wedding car and even sand sculptures to marvel at during the beach front reception.
“Where else will you see sand castles in the middle of the reception?” Nicole quips. “And where else can you exchange your I do’s against the backdrop of a beautiful sunset and on the surface of pristine white sand?”
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the family of Amanda’s husband are actually residents of Boracay and own several resorts there including White House where we held our interview, which also means that Amanda and Nicole stay frequently in the island and have become familiar with its ins and outs. One crucial aspect of the wedding planning is the choice of resort for the wedding rites itself and subsequent honeymoon. Well, that’s not at all a problem with Boracay Weddings.
“We give our clients a choice of resorts and we give them the pros and cons of each and that should give them an idea of which one is perfect for their big day,” Amanda says. “And because we’re from here and have worked with many of the resorts here, we can pass on the discounts that we get to our clients.”
Wedding suppliers from the area are also no big concern. “Most of the suppliers that we recommend to our clients come from Bacolod, Iloilo and Kalibo and they’re all very good,” Amanda notes. “There are particularly many good entertainers and bands from Bacolod and they have in fact played in some of the weddings that we’ve helped organize.”
As fun as it sounds, there is a lot of hard work involved in Boracay Weddings and while they only have about three staff members to assist them, Amanda and Nicole admits to doing most of the dirty work themselves.
“But we really enjoy it. We really love weddings so that says a lot about our personal commitment to doing this,” Nicole enthuses. “We really go out of our way to do the little things for our newly-wed clients including those that are already outside our scope of services. We’re proud of the fact that they are more than satisfied with the services that we provide to the extent that they actually thank us for it during their speeches and that means a lot to us. Both Amanda and I still get teary-eyed every time we watch a bride walk down the aisle.”
For more info, visit www.boracayweddings.com.ph and boracayweddings.multiply.com. The above images are taken from these websites.
And here's a video of Giselle Toengi's wedding to Tim Walters: