DIY Wedding: Venue

When my fiancé and I eliminated Batanes as our wedding destination, I asked him for his second choice. I love the beach, but I didn’t feel like I wanted a beach wedding. It was then a choice between Metro Manila, or somewhere out of town. We have also decided on the date, which fell on a Tuesday. So that definitely was something to consider, given that it’s school season, and adult family members are mostly employed.

Without batting an eye, he replied with, “Out of town, definitely.”

“Where?” I asked.

“Tagaytay?”

After that conversation, I spent a couple of hours pondering and narrowed down our ideas and preferences:

  • On the night before the wedding, we’d book a house to stay in because we’d like our guests relaxed the following day, and not arrive stressed out from trying to beat the workday traffic in Manila.
  • If possible, we want both our families to be there, but we’ll schedule the wedding in the afternoon of Tuesday, in case some cannot take two days off work/school.
  • Wedding venue could be a restaurant within 10-15mins driving distance from the house, or somewhere near the house.
  • Venue need not be decorated; it should be beautiful as it is.
  • Book two nights at the house so that they don’t kick us out at 12nn of Tuesday. And so that we have the option to stay one more night in case our family is tired, or if the whether is unforgiving. (Note: Wedding was in August, so storms were frequent.)

So here were our choices:

Option 1: Airbnb house + Bag of Beans Twin Lakes – We thought of booking a house (roughly P10k per night), and drive to Bag of Beans Twin Lakes. They could allot the lower level for our wedding, as Tuesday afternoons have low foot traffic. The lower level was rustic themed, with pastel colors, and with windows overlooking Taal. Since ours would be a very quick, simple ceremony, the manager was offering the space for no additional fees, apart from the food we would consume. (Would come up to about P1000 per head.)

  • Estimate: P40,000-50,000 for accommodation, venue and dinner reception.
  • Pros: No additional fees for events, no worries about service, food, chairs and tables. Great refreshing view, very Tagaytay.
  • Cons: We wanted the upper level (white interiors) over the rustic-themed lower level, which cannot be closed off for private functions.
  • Recommended for: Rustic theme Tagaytay simple & small weddings

Option 2: Antonio’s + Airbnb house

  • Estimate: P80,000 for food and ceremony fee + accommodation of about P20,000
  • Pros: Superb food
  • Cons: Additional fee for ceremonies held in Antonio’s (min. P30,000), regardless if you just want to stand in the garden sans decor, sound system, etc. Might be a bit too fancy for the comfortable family dinner we were aiming for.
  • Recommended for: Formal events

Option 3: Airbnb house with sufficient space & beautiful surroundings – Most people like Tagaytay for the outdoors / garden feel, so we scoured Airbnb for a vacation house. I personally like pine trees because it transports me back to good memories of my family’s annual Baguio vacation. We found a house in Woodsborough Loghomes that seemed to be popular for wedding preps, and a bit of pre-wedding pictorial. The host does not charge a fee for events of less than 35 people, perfect for our 20-person headcount.

  • Estimate: P25,000 + dinner food
  • Pros: Value for money for booking a beautiful, comfortable house AND be the wedding venue, too. Feel-at-home vibe and five bedrooms that can sleep up to 20 people comfortably.
  • Cons: Need to prepare your own food.
  • Deciding factor: That beautiful house and its big garden where we had our ceremony! 🙂

Okay, so if you’ve never tried Airbnb before and wondering why I keep saying Airbnb like it’s some cult: Airbnb is basically a website where property owners (and agents) can list their property for short/long-term rent. Gone are the days when only hotel rooms could have a booking engine.

This accommodation option, in lieu of several hotel rooms, is especially cost efficient for large groups. Search using your destination, filter your searches well to view those with facilities and amenities you need, or check out the map for approximate location. For groups, having a kitchen means you can cook your own food = more savings! If you’d like to sign up, you can use my referral link to get a discount on your first Airbnb booking: click here to sign up on Airbnb.

If you’ve signed up, here’s a link to the houses we considered:

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