Wedding Essentials - - WE DISCOVERIES - Words LOREN DIMAANO Pro­file pho­tog­ra­phy MANNY LLANES Pho­tos cour­tesy of MY BRIDES­MADE

When you step into a wed­ding re­cep­tion, there will be a num­ber of things that will catch your eye, aside from the happy cou­ple of course. It could be the well-crafted cen­ter­piece, dan­gling adorn­ments from the ceil­ing, or an end­less ar­ray of ar­ranged flow­ers. What­ever it may be, best be­lieve that ev­ery de­tail, nook and cranny, has been cov­ered. If you’re won­der­ing though, who would pos­si­bly have the tal­ent and time to spruce up an en­tire hall, My Brides­made could be your cul­prit.

One of the few firsts in the coun­try, my­brides­ is an e-com­merce site filled with over a thou­sand of wed­ding fa­vors and dé­cor, for just about any wed­ding theme. Founder Deb­bie Wong took in­spi­ra­tion from the fast-paced e-com­merce busi­ness boom­ing in the United States back in 2011. It took her a few years to un­der­stand the tech­ni­cal side of run­ning an on­line busi­ness, un­til fi­nally on Fe­bru­ary 14, 2018, the site made its de­but.

With this rev­o­lu­tion­ary ef­fort, gone are the days of com­ing home with the pop­u­lar fig­urine or can­dle sou­venir. But Deb­bie as­sures, her in­no­va­tive busi­ness isn’t about to break tra­di­tion, but ac­tu­ally serves as an ode to it. She be­lieves that sou­venirs and fa­vors are a bona fide Filipino tra­di­tion dur­ing gath­er­ings. How­ever, her pur­pose in start­ing this site is all about con­ve­nience and per­son­al­ized fa­vors, and is adamant that more than ever, now is the per­fect time to in­tro­duce the dig­i­tal way of wed­ding-fa­vor-shop­ping, “We’re still in the very early days of e-com­merce in the Philip­pines and the coun­try is just wak­ing up to the world of con­ve­nience be­ing of­fered by In­ter­net shop­ping, but I be­lieve My Brides­made has just in­tro­duced it­self at the right time. The site prom­ises a so­lu­tion for the mod­ern mil­len­nial bride: no traf­fic jams, no crowds or long queues at the wed­ding expo and a plat­form that un­der­stands their wed­ding should re­flect their own per­son­al­ity.”

Aside from the site’s con­ve­nient and or­ga­nized sys­tem, hav­ing cat­e­go­rized its items not just by what’s new, trend­ing or the top picks, My Brides­made made it even sim­pler by iden­ti­fy­ing themes that their party fa­vors and decors are pat­terned af­ter. Deb­bie shares, “Our in­ter­ac­tive database does not only al­low brides to fil­ter our col­lec­tion based on their theme col­ors, but it can also be cat­e­go­rized in 7 themed col­lec­tions – Flo­ral to please the ro­man­tic brides, Vin­tage for a time­less and el­e­gant look, Rus­tic for a warm and laid-

back theme, Trop­i­cal for the lover of beaches, Clas­sic for a tra­di­tional cel­e­bra­tion, Mod­ern for the con­tem­po­rary bride and Whim­si­cal for a play­ful and quirky wed­ding.”

As Deb­bie has ob­served, more and more brides are turn­ing to the DIY leaf and want­ing to con­trol and be hands-on with all the de­tails first­hand, which is why My Brides­made is still open for re­quests or cus­tom­ized sug­ges­tions since they’ve es­tab­lished their sys­tem­atic process. She points out, “Fa­vors have evolved from the era of “fig­urines” and “can­dles” that you nor­mally see dur­ing your aunt’s wed­ding in the 90s, into some­thing more re­fined and func­tional. Brides are opt­ing for fa­vors that are use­ful, unique and some­thing their guest would def­i­nitely re­mem­ber for a long time.” Pre­cisely why aside from the plethora of choices—such as the trendy Mini Gum­ball Ma­chines, whim­si­cal Vin­tage Typewriter Fa­vor Box, or cre­ative Minia­ture Lug­gage Trol­ley—for party fa­vors, her team is wel­come to en­ter­tain spec­i­fied re­quests or ideas. They’ve even got wed­ding dec­o­ra­tions cov­ered too, of­fer­ing choices from lanterns, pa­per plates, down to ta­ble nap­kins.

At­ten­tion to de­tail has cer­tainly been a craft that My Brides­made has mas­tered, not just in spruc­ing up a space but adding on to the ex­pe­ri­ence. Deb­bie puts it sim­ply, “I think cou­ples to­day are choos­ing to pri­or­i­tize cer­tain as­pects of their wed­ding that re­flect their per­son­al­ity, and fa­vors play a spe­cial part in that cel­e­bra­tion. It does not only give the bride and groom a chance to thank their guests but it also adds an­other layer of depth into the over­all aes­thetic of the event.” With a busi­ness gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity, My Brides­made’s chal­lenges sur­round mostly on its de­sire to con­tinue to up­grade it­self, not just in the items they of­fer but as well as their on­line cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. Stand­ing as a tes­ta­ment that it really is the small things that makes all the dif­fer­ence.

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