We Filipinos love to gather as a family; not even the pandemic or the IATF restrictions can stop us from celebrating special occasions with our loved ones.
Amid the strict rules on mass gatherings and social distancing, fun-loving Pinoys are redefining happy times like birthdays, debuts, and even weddings in the comforts of their home.
For event stylist Maya Padiernos of PartyConcepts, the challenge of turning a small garage into a wedding venue is a welcome development. During the first quarter of 2020, events were non-existent. Gatherings were prohibited and event stylists like Maya had to contend with organizing Zoom events for clients.
But as the government restrictions began to ease up, her company started receiving inquiries for party supply rentals. Clients were interested in her backdrops, ceiling drapes, and other party decorations that could make an event “Instagrammable”.
“I started in the business with a party supply and rental shop. We rented out party tables, chairs, and party decors,” Padiernos recalled.
An interior design graduate, from party supplies she branched out into full event styling for debuts and weddings. She has been running PartyConcepts in Dasmariñas Cavite for four years.
When GCQ was declared, clients expressed interest in her styling services for birthdays, baptism, and weddings. When she asked about the venue, the usual reply was, “pwede ba sa house?(can we do it at home?)”
“Bawal pa ang big events, bawal din lumabas ang kids and seniors. Best option talaga ang house parties,” Padiernos said.
Maya and her team have created every possible event theme for her clients. “Parang lahat nagawa na namin – Bohemian, rustic, Greek mythology, Hollywood, may template na kami for all themes,” she said.
But while her past events were in public venues that could be easily dressed up, house parties require more creativity and technical know-how because of space constraints.
For instance, a couple inquired about a backdrop for a house wedding. The groom was scheduled to leave the country immediately and so the wedding needed to happen at once. During the discussion, Padiernos found out that the wedding had been rescheduled four times because of the pandemic. They lost a lot money because initial payments to the venue and suppliers were forfeited.
“Parang nag-give up na sila, and their attitude was ‘sige na, sa bahay na lang, para matapos na,’ she related. Padiernos also found out that the bride had a beautiful wedding gown made. “Sayang naman kung hindi nila itutuloy.”
The team created the couple’s “dream wedding” in their home. The kitchen was transformed into a wedding chapel. “The walls were red, ang sakit sa mata, we had to cover everything with white drapes.” Padiernos even created a small foyer so that the bride could have a dramatic reveal. After the ceremony, the guests were led to the open area outside the house which was styled like an enchanted forest. The couple was very happy with the outcome.
Before the pandemic, Padiernos and her team were often overwhelmed by big events. “Padamihan ng guests, palakihan ng venue,” she said. Now, most of the projects involve transforming a townhouse garage into a rustic-themed wedding venue, or assembling a Coachella backdrop inside a condominium unit.
With the current limitations, house weddings are definitely a practical option. With the right styling, the bride can still have her dream wedding and the debutant can have her Instagrammable party. A more elaborate design would cost more. But venue cost is almost zero and with just a few guests, food cost is lower. Those who are unable to attend can always join online.
PartyConcepts has found a way of holding memorable events in the new normal. Check out their house party themes and intimate event packages on their Facebook page. The company is based in Cavite, but they can style any kind of event at any location. “There is no direct contact with client and guests, during ingress and egress, it’s very safe,” Padiernos assured.
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