Vendor Feature: Vatel Manila

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Aside from the bridal dress and the veil, a bridal bouquet is certainly a must have accessory to any bride. It represents how blooming the bride is and also compliments the femininity of...well...the wedding day. But the trends today are definitely changing with some brides opting for a non-traditional, non-floral bouquets. Luckily, Vatel Manila is here to save the day! Hand in hand with {etc} Handmade Goodness for those custom-made trinkets. So I am more than excited that we have (one of my biggest idol in the wedding industry *ears clapping*) Dylan Gozum from Vatel Manila to tell us more about flowers and ultimately about their flower power!

Photo by J Lucas Reyes

Hi Dylan! Welcome to Ruffles & Bells! Can you tell us something about Vatel Manila?

VM: Vatel Manila was something we started in 2005. We first made garden wedding setups at our home base, The Mango Farm, but we shifted to making entourage flowers only in 2009 just when the Philippine wedding industry was on the upswing. From the very beginning, we took to blogging and networking with established and up-&-coming industry players, mostly photographers, as a way to market our services. By blogging our work as seen through the lenses of photographers & videographers, we ended up promoting their work as well. I think it was an arrangement that really worked well for us and our friends.

{Photo by Daniel Lei Studio}

Since 2009, our work volume has grown by at least 20% annually and by 2012, we were already working on no less than 200 weddings a year. In 2011, thanks to sheer gut feel, we opened a craft subsidiary called {etc} Handmade Goodness which focused on making customized non-floral items like bouquets, boutonnieres, and ring / coin pillows. I can honestly say that this venture, unique as it was, has been a wonderful success. I credit all these to being a good observer & listener. By this, we've been able to be at the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time.

I know you're very good with flowers, but what do you think makes a bridal bouquet unique? 

{Top to bottom: by J Lucas Reyes, by Mark Cantalejo, by Toto Villaruel}

I think what makes a bridal bouquet unique depends so much on the intelligent and careful combination of the right kind of flowers. Florists usually follow two schools of thought on this: those that use more elegant & restrained whites, and the group that takes advantage of the motif to bring life and color to a wedding. Either way, it's really how the whole thing comes together. A lot have been said about flowers reflecting the personality of the bride and yes, the bridal bouquet is truly an expression of how a bride feels on her very special day - be it interpreted in classic white or in a riot of colors.  

Just for fun, what do you think is the best flower that would best represent you and why? 

Wow, this is very difficult as we love lots of kinds of flowers but my very close friends know that the white Phalaenopsis is very special to me. I really don't know how that came to be, but I always get that as a gift (mostly when I get hospitalized, ha ha!). I guess when you look at this particular orchid, you can really see the quiet & restrained elegance that it represents, be it on its own or when mixed with other flowers. There is something that is both sturdy and delicate about it, and that probably explains why it remains to be one of the most requested orchids during wedding receptions & garden ceremonies.     

Do you have any tips for brides-to-be on how to choose the best flowers for their big day?

Most brides have very limited knowledge about the variety of flowers available in the market, while others already have specific flowers in mind. I think the most sensible way of looking for the right flowers is to do an internet search. Google photos of bouquets or browse through wedding websites and pick out those that appeal to you the most. You can show these pegs to your florist and discuss availability, pricing, and talk about what exactly works best to achieve your wedding's overall look and feel. Remember that the idea is not to copy the pegs, but only get the 'feel' and 'look'. If the flowers you like are not available or not in season, brides should be open to discussing options and alternatives. This way, it allows their florist to be more creative in giving them a product that is as close as possible to how they wanted their floral arrangements to look like.  

{Top to bottom: by Nelwin Uy, by Jaja Samaniego, by Toto Villaruel}

I can look at all these flowers forever! There's so many more, this post is not enough to feature all their work. And the good news, they're not just servicing the Philippines!

There you go lovelies! Hope you've picked up a tip or two to help you look for those perfect blooms to express your big day.

For more photos of Vatel Manila's work, you can visit them at:

You can also check out {etc} Handmade Goodness at:

Now, off to pick some fresh blooms myself!

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