The major expense of all our wedding expeses is the Reception Venue.
This is something that we honestly weren’t able to consider when we booked the church.
Subic in the world of weddings only means one thing: Expensive. It is somehow considered a destination wedding since it will be held in a famous tourist place. Though there are lots of hotels in the area, it was still hard for us to find a venue with a reasonable price.
Here’s our criteria in finding the perfect reception venue:
- It has to be big enough to accommodate our guests.
- It has to be near the church.
- The food should be satisfying in all aspect or we should be allowed to bring our own caterer.
- It has to be a classy high ceiling and carpeted function room.
- And, the inclusions should meet most of our needs.
So again, being an OFW couple, we will not be able to conduct ocular visits right away. So, family’s suggestion and Google helped us a lot.
My brother suggested Traveler’s Hotel as it is known for its high ceiling and good food. So, I immediately put that on the list and googled it.
After googling for sometime, I already completed my list.
- Traveler’s Hotel
- Segara Villas
- Lighthouse Marina Resort
- Vista Marina Hotel and Resort
- Subic Bay Yacht Club
- White Rock Beach Resort
- Mansion Garden Hotel
I sent an inquiry to all of them but only 4 responded.
- Traveler’s Hotel and Event Center – Since this is our top choice, we were very enthusiastic to receive their response but the energy slowly died down after seeing their rate. haha! Their initial offer was 390,000 Php for 200 pax. Their inclusions are very good though.
– Complimentary use of 1 Function Room
– Two nights stay in 1 Executive Room
– Delectable Managed Buffet Menu
– Bottomless Iced Tea
– Welcome Drinks with Hors d’oeuvres
– One crispy lechon
– Bridal Shower Party
– Fondant Wedding cake with cupcakes
– Champagne for the Bridal Toast
– Doves for ceremony
– Luxurious Bridal Car (Lomousine)
– Personalized Guest Book with Pen
– Photo Booth for 3 hours
– Backdrop with Floral Arrangement
– Centerpiece for Tables and Buffet Table
– Food tasting for chosen menu
– Lights and sounds with LCD Projector
– Wedding Party Host
– Welcome Streamer at the Hotel entrance
– 50% discount on Room accommodation for guestsBut still, it’s still way beyond our budget. 🙁
- Segara Villas – Their rate was 299,800 Php for 200 pax. Their inclusions are almost the same as Traveler’s except that theirs include a massage for two the day after the wedding, and a complimentary room for the groom. However, they only offer a 20% discount for the guests’ room. Technically, their offer is a lot cheaper and has extra perks. We can also do our pre-nuptial photoshoot in their establishment for free.
- Lighthouse Marina Resort – Their rate is way way way more expensive. It starts from 437,800 Php to 520,350 Php for 150 guests. So, this is obviously off the list since it doesn’t meet our requirements and they only offer an outdoor reception.
- Mansion Garden Hotel – They offered us 280,000 Php for 200 pax. However, their offer has a lot of restrictions. Rooms are not sound proof so loud music or live bands can only play until 9:00 PM. You cannot use a smoke machine. You cannot bring any extra dish even if you pay a corkage fee. And there is an additional fee for almost everything; LED Wall will be charged for 5,000 Php. Red Carpet will be charged for 2,000 Php. Photobooth for an extra charge of 500 Php. I believe we will spend more in paying these extra charges so this is definitely a no-no. Also, decorations are not provided by the hotel and They have an additional 5% service charge.
After all the search, we are only left with two options; Traveler’s Hotel and Segara Villas. I immediately asked my family to visit the places and get back to me. I am so thankful that my family are always ready to help us out.
After visiting, they made their vote. Though both facilities has their own advantages, they still voted for Traveler’s because it has more class. We tried to make their offer a little bit more friendly by negotiating and by excluding some of the package inclusions. We were able to get a 40,000 Php discount. The new offer was 350,000 Php. We think it’s still pricey so I just decided to wait until I go home so I can personally negotiate and visit the hotel. We haven’t heard from the agent since we last inquired so there is no clear deal.
I went home last January 2019. I rested for two days then drove to Subic to scout for the perfect venue. Though I am only torn between Traveler’s Hotel and Segara Villas, I still decided to visit different hotels.
My grandmother insisted that we visit ACEA Waterpark. She said she has been there and it’s a beautiful place for a wedding since it is near the beach. It’s a 20 minute drive from the church. When we got there, sure we were amazed because it has a good view and a good hall. But, there’s no available marketing staff to deal with our queries. Considering the hassle that our guests will go through just to get to the hotel from the church, we just crossed it out.
Then, we immediately went to Segara Villas. We were greeted by friendly staff and welcome drinks. We had a sit down meeting with Ms. Joy. After discussing all the requirements, she toured us around the area. Segara Villas is inspired by the Indonesian Culture. I see a lot of Bali inspired decorations. Their Villas are also Bali inspired. It’s beautiful and picturesque. Their suite is perfect for honeymooners. It is so private and it has a nice bath tub. I love it. Then, we checked out their function room. Their function hall is a deal breaker. It is a large open space with a lot of unnecessary pillars in the middle. It is not carpeted and it lacks class. The main entrance of the hall is on the side. This really made me sad because I badly wanted to stay in one of their villas. Ms. Joy promised to send their proposal but she didn’t. I didn’t bother following up because I didn’t like their function hall.
We passed by the Best Western Hotel so we just decided to give it a look. Their function hall would have been good if it is bigger. It can only accommodate 100 guests, 150 max but it would be too jampacked. Their function hall is adjacent to a resto-bar and they proposed to open up the bar for our extra guests. But, we don’t want that set up.
Obviously, we are only left with Traveler’s Hotel. On the way there, I was just praying that we get a good deal because that’s our only option. When we got to the hotel, we requested for a new marketing officer to deal with since the first one is very unresponsive. They gave us Ms. Joan who is very accommodating and soft spoken. We also found out that we are from the same place; Bataan. She toured us around the hotel. First, she showed us the way to the function hall. The guests can take a grand staircase going to the function hall on the second floor. She suggested to decorate that area to put a nice entry way. We can also put cocktail tables so the guests can have something to eat while waiting for the program to start. For convenience, guests can also use the elevator. She helped us picture out the possible set up of the reception. There’s an alloted photobooth space at the lobby. Then before entering the hall, there’s an aisle where we can put a tunnel entrance. When we got inside the function hall, I was surprised because it looks bigger than in pictures.
She presented us the new package. It was still too pricey at first but when we excluded the styling, flower arrangement, and the lechon; she gave us a final quotation that somehow suits our budget for 200 guests. A 50% downpayment is needed upon contract signing but Ms. Joan is generous enough to help us out. She agreed that we can pay the 50% on a monthly basis and other half to be paid days prior to the event. This is a good deal for us. We wouldn’t have to stress ourselves in paying the half all at once.
After our ocular visit, I immediately discussed it with the fiance so we can make a decision. It wasn’t a hard decision since the answer is very obvious. Days after, I found myself together with my family and the fiance’s family in the hotel to pay for the 20,000 reservation fee. We finally closed the deal and we couldn’t be happier to see our plans becoming a reality. Ms. Joan toured us again and gave us tips on how to style the venue; where to place the photobooth, the buffet table, etc. Planning is so much more exciting now that we can picture out the church and venue. I must say that on my recent visit to the venue, I had that “this is it” feeling. I can imagine how beautiful our wedding party would be. The place where our family and friends will unite for our union. I am just so excited to see the people we both love together in one room.
We just really thank God for leading us to the right place and people. Everything is going smoothly so far. We are just months away from our big day. <3