If you want to hold your wedding away from the hustle and bustle of the city, plenty of provinces outside of Metro Manila have great options for weddings. Tagaytay, for example, is the wedding capital of the Philippines and offers churches and reception venues with stunning landscape and seascape views. Rizal is another option near Metro Manila that offers landscape and distant cityscape views, while Palawan and Boracay are also top choices for beach weddings.
But if you want to go north for your destination wedding, Baguio is arguably one of the most popular choices. If you’re interested in holding your wedding there, here are a few tips you might want to know to ensure smooth planning and a perfect wedding day.
Hire a Wedding Planner Who Knows the Area
Planning a wedding on your own is difficult enough, but It’s even more difficult to plan a wedding in a destination that is hours away from your own home. The best solution to this is to have a wedding planner that knows the area in Baguio and nearby areas and has a network of suppliers based in the city.
Just like in Metro Manila, there are plenty of wedding planners to choose from. One wedding planner I found is The Wedding Company, which handles weddings in Baguio, Metro Manila, and other North Luzon provinces. I like how they can accommodate weddings of all sizes and budgets, have wedding packages that can give me an estimate of how much I might have to spend, and a lot of venue recommendations. I’m not very familiar with the city, so having a shortlist of venues can help me narrow down my choices.
Here are a few other wedding planners who are either based in Baguio or are in Metro Manila and have experience planning Baguio weddings:
You Might Have to Make a Few Visits to Baguio Before the Wedding
You know how older adults discourage online shopping because you can’t personally see what the product looks like until you have it? The same thing applies to wedding venues. A venue may look really good on their website or on another bride and groom’s photos, but part of it is because of strategic photography and the work of venue stylists that you might not be working with. So, before booking a venue, it’s strongly recommended that you, your future spouse, and your wedding planner go on a trip to Baguio to do an ocular on some of your venues.
In a schedule of a regular wedding checklist, you should start planning your wedding at least one year in advance. And one of the first things you need to do is decide on your wedding ceremony and reception venue. So, as soon as you start planning, take a few days off to go to Baguio and see all the available locations.
Aside from doing oculars on the wedding venue, you may also have to go to Baguio to look at their local suppliers. You don’t have to go to Baguio every month before the wedding. But to make it more practical and reduce the number of times you’re going there for reasons like meeting with suppliers that are based there, you can opt to meet them at different times over the weekend you’re there.
Or if you want it to be more convenient, you can find suppliers based in Metro Manila who can to go to Baguio for your wedding. It’s more convenient during the planning stage as they’re closer to you, so you don’t have to take time off or travel for hours just to see them. However, expect that some suppliers will require you to pay out-of-town wedding fees and accommodations. The popular videographer Jason Magbanua, for example, charges an OOT fee of P25,000 and accommodations for 5 people.
Consider Your Guests’ Accommodations
Baguio is an almost four-hour drive to Quezon City, and that’s assuming there’s barely any traffic. So, if you’re having an evening reception that ends late at night, your guests will either have to drive all the way back to Metro Manila (which can be a road hazard especially if they’re sleepy or intoxicated) or find overnight accommodations.
Based on experience, weddings that are held this far away from Metro Manila means that your guests will need overnight accommodations. They may choose to stay for two nights so that they can get ready for your wedding in their hotel room with no rush, or they can wake up early the morning of your wedding, travel from Metro Manila to Baguio, check-in, get ready, and then head to your wedding. They’ll then spend the night in their hotel and leave for Metro Manila in the morning.
If you, your future spouse, or your families are willing to shoulder the transportation and overnight accommodations of all your guests, you can expect that a lot of them will be attending. However, if it’s clear that they’ll be responsible for finding their own transportation to Baguio and finding their own place to stay, except that a few may choose not to attend. Not everyone may have the time and the means to attend a destination wedding, and this is the risk you’re taking by hosting your wedding far from where everyone lives.
If you’re not going to shoulder their accommodations, one thing you can do to make it more affordable for your guests is to get discounts from hotels. Some hotel venues offer room discounts to wedding guests so that more guests will be more likely to book their overnight accommodations there rather in other nearby hotels. If this is the case, let your guests know about the invitation and how they can get that discount.
Remember: It Will Be Cold
Baguio is nestled among the Cordillera Mountains, which is why it is popular in the Philippines as one of the coolest places in the country. If you want you and your wedding to experience the cold air of Baguio, the best time to schedule your wedding is between October to February, which is the coolest time in the year with the lowest probability for rain.
For the sake of your guests, however, it’s important to plan accordingly with the weather in mind. If you’re having a garden wedding and are asking women to show up in summer dresses or cocktail dresses, the cold will be uncomfortable for them. It can also be uncomfortable if you’re a bride or a bridesmaid and have to wear something that isn’t very fitting for the weather. Having a place with heaters or covered venues can reduce how cold it will be in the party.