When Mr. P and I decided to get married, we knew that we want to do it in Tagaytay. It has the perfect climate, perfect view, and perfect distance from Manila. This is also where we celebrated our first anniversary so it really seems perfect to have our wedding here.
We were imagining how everything will be like in our wedding when reality struck us: Wedding venues in Tagaytay are freakin’, indecent expensive!
Let me rant on this part first: I don’t know how much to maintain a nice wedding venue but the prices are ghastly! It’s almost like normal people with normal salary don’t have the right to get married in Tagaytay. I’ve read somewhere that wedding venues and the whole wedding industry are confident to give skyrocket prices because people are inclined to spend generously on their weddings.
We almost gave up on getting married in Tagaytay and considered Batangas and Antipolo. But upon research, we decided to stretch our budget a little and go back to Tagaytay. We’ll get married only once anyway.
Thanks to our dear friend Google, we came across some value-for-money wedding places. We did an ocular last December when I came home for Christmas.
Here’s our shortlisted venues:
1. Rosemont Gardens
Rosemont Gardens is a private residential estate with a good view of Taal. It has a small multi-tiered lovely garden perfect for intimate weddings. This was really our first choice. The whole place costs 50,000 PHP for 24 hours. I was planning to stay here with my family the night before the wedding. Then we’d also do all the preparations, ceremony and reception here. They don’t have any corkage fees so we’ll be saving a lot.
We almost booked this place but we were also hesitant because of space considerations. We don’t have a lot of guests and I’m sure everybody can fit in the garden but I really want wide spaces. I can imagine how suffocated I’d feel if the place will be filled with guests. We also thought that there’s not enough room for everybody if it rains. Fate directed us not to book this place because it wasn’t available on our day.
If only this place doesn’t have an exclusive caterer, we would have our wedding here. Their function rooms ranges from 15,000 to 25,000 PHP for 4 hours. They have a good view of Taal and the place is very private. You can roll and run around the country club for all the space you need. But as I’ve said, there’s the exclusive caterer which costs 950/ person for the most basic services. We gave up on this place.
3. Terrace Hill Cafe
If you want to really to save, this place is perfect. The whole venue costs 60,000 PHP for 24 hours. About 40 people can stay in their clean and spacious suites. It has a pool area where you can have a lovely ceremony. The garden is big enough to hold 100 guests. There’s a covered area for the buffet and can serve as a back-up in case it rains. The owner is very warm and friendly. We didn’t book this place because it has no view. Mr. P insisted to get married in a place with a view.
4. Casa de Carlo
The only reason we shortlisted this place is because of the price. For less than 100,000 PHP, Casa de Carlo already offers catering and the whole venue. Their place can fit more than 30 guests for overnight accommodation. It sounds a really good deal except that their suites are rundown and old. Even just for an overnight stay,I wouldn’t recommend this place. The garden venue looks bare with plants. I hope the management can improve on this place because it has a lot of potential.
We almost didn’t visit this place. It was already past 8 pm and we’re ready to go home. We also missed it twice. But we’re glad we still tried to find it. It was past 9 pm when we arrived. It was already closed but the staff were kind enough to show the lower dining hall and the overlooking garden area. Even in the dark, Mr. P loved the place. He could see the shadows of Taal or maybe he’s just using his imagination.
There was no “This is it!” feeling for me about Taalena. The dining hall was Filipiniana in design and the garden doesn’t have as much plants as I want. The rental cost for the dining hall and the garden is 60,000 PHP. The upper dining hall is also open to the public so we wouldn’t have that much privacy. I pointed all these to Mr. P so he did not pursue on Taalena.
However, I think we were meant to wed in this place. Our chosen caterer strongly recommended the place. We can also get the venue at a discounted rate thru our caterer- 48,000 PHP. The place is available on the date we wanted. Then upon further thinking, I can see the practicality of this place. The garden area has the space that I wanted. Mr. P will also get the view that he so wants. The lower dining hall actually fits our backyard spring wedding theme. We also don’t need to rent tents in case of rain. All came together for this place.
One lesson I’ve learned during this search is to be willing to tweak plans. We don’t have to totally give up on what we want but we don’t have to go to unnecessary lengths just to have what we want. In my perfect world, I’d get married in one of the more expensive venues in Tagaytay. But I’m not in my perfect world so I’ll do what is reasonable and within our means. A wedding is more than the venue anyway.
PS: I hope the local government of Tagaytay will develop an affordable functional space in the Picnic Grove or Palace in the Sky for weddings and other celebrations. Both of these places have an amazing view of Taal Lake. It could be a great source of income. Just a suggestion.