This Five-Star Luxury Hotel's Wedding Fair Is Back And Bigger Than Ever

The upcoming two-day event will have an extensive line-up of some of the Philippines’ finest fashion designers and wedding suppliers, and is being organized by a renowned events planner.

With things slowly returning to some semblance of normalcy, many couples have been planning and executing their dream weddings. Whether they intend to take their time planning or wish to celebrate their special day as soon as possible, future spouses often appreciate a good wedding fair—an event that brings great suppliers together to help couples better plan for their once-in-a-lifetime occasion. 

That’s exactly why and how The Peninsula Manila’s annual fair, titled “Weddings at The Peninsula and More” came to be. Its iterations in previous years have met great success; last year’s fair not only featured some of the country’s most reputable suppliers and brands—such as Zenas Pineda, Dave Sandoval, Jo Claravall, Jimmy Choo, Mel Diamonds, and Cake Concept, to name a few—but also started incorporating a fashion parade of bridal wear from skilled designers like Steph Tan and Vin Orias, with help from the Metro Manila Fashion Festival (MFF). 

Photo via Instagram @thepeninsulamanila
The official poster for this year’s “Weddings at The Peninsula and More”/Photo from The Peninsula Manila’s official Facebook page

This year, the five-star hotel has entrusted their 2023 edition of the event to none other than the esteemed events planner, Christine Ong Te, founder of COTE Events. Te has been in the events industry for 23 years, and with an extensive portfolio of impressive projects under her name, the choice was one that The Peninsula’s leadership was completely confident about. 

“We’ve seen her work. We trust her work. We don’t just align or ally ourselves with any brand; it has to be an apples to apples brand. She brings to the table a Peninsula-level of service and clientele. And same with us,” shared Mariano Garchitorena, the director of public relations at The Peninsula. “So I think there’s a lot of respect involved, that’s why the relationship with all our partners has always been one based on trust. They know our brand, and we know their brand.”

The Peninsula Manila general manager Masahisa Oba (center) with Christine Ong-Te (center right) and other partners of the Peninsula Manila bridal fair

Bringing Something New to the Table

It’s Ong-Te’s first time working alongside The Peninsula for their wedding fair, an experience that makes her feel “excited” yet “nervous.” In an exclusive interview with Lifestyle Asia, the planner shared: “I am so happy. There are so many planners out there, but you know, they [The Peninsula] trust me that much to be able to pull this through. I hope that this will be a success because my name is on it; the expectations are really high.” 

The leadership skills that Ong-Te possesses was honed through her past experience as a choreographer and dance coach. She was also a professional singer and host; this frequent exposure to social events gave her a good idea of what makes an event successful. Afterwards, Ong-Te took a career in banking, where she held a managerial position. 

Seasoned and well-respected events planner, Christine Ong-Te/Photo courtesy of Christine Ong-Te

In those early days, the concept of wedding planners and designers was a new one; the events industry was only beginning to take root in the Philippines. After watching The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez, Ong-Te was inspired to answer the budding need for wedding professionals within the country. So, she started offering event planning services while she was still in banking, before eventually shifting to the business full-time. 

One of Ong-Te’s most recent projects was the dreamy wedding of famous cosplayer and online personality, Alodia Gosiengfao, with her husband and president of Novellino Christopher Quimbo/Photo by Metrophoto, courtesy of Christine Ong-Te
The happy couple with Christine Ong-Te and her team/Photo courtesy of Christine Ong-Te

“I believe that, you know, this is my passion. I would be successful, as long as I’m passionate about what I’m doing. […] When I left the bank, I even took a short course in [De] La Salle [University] for event management, just to equip myself in terms of terminology or knowledge,” explained Ong-Te. 

The experienced planner believes that everything she’s worked on and cultivated in the past has led to this moment. It’s a particularly touching sentiment, considering the trajectory of Ong-Te’s career and the love she holds for it. “Everything that I planted 23 years ago has grown already. I’m starting to harvest [it all],” she told Lifestyle Asia

A Grand Occasion 

The Peninsula will retain many of the well-loved elements from previous iterations of the wedding event, including the elegant bridal gown parade with MFF featuring works from highly-lauded designers. However, this year’s fair will be bigger than it’s ever been, as it will be utilizing even more of the hotel’s venues like its famous lobby, Conservatory, and Rigodon Ballroom. 

Ong-Te has also added a great deal of new touches to the event, ones that showcase her own unique flair as a planner. Overall, she wanted to ensure that the fair would provide attendees with a more immersive experience. She hopes that couples will get a clearer picture of how their wedding would feel like through the event’s capacious exhibits. 

A picturesque photo area for The Peninsula’s upcoming wedding fair, lined with real and colorful blooms/Photo via Instagram @thepeninsulamanila

“They’ll really feel like they’re getting married,” shared the events planner. In fact, this year will be the first time The Peninsula Manila’s Rigodon Courtyard Garden will be used as part of the fair’s exhibition. Attendees can expect to cross through the garden’s sophisticated ceremony setup—created by talented events designer Teddy Manuel—before entering the fair. 

Ong-Te also coordinated with a number of other designers to come out with a lush backdrop within The Peninsula’s Garcia Villa Balmori Balagtas function rooms. She also asked for the hotel’s recognizable and custom-built jeepney to be brought into the lobby and decorated with fragrant blooms. 

The Peninsula’s signature custom-built jeepney has been decorated with lush flowers and brought inside the lobby just for the fair/Photo via Instagram @thepeninsulamanila
A close-up of the jeepney’s stunning decor/Photo via Instagram @thepeninsulamanila

As for this year’s roster of exhibitors, Ong-Te went through a careful selection process, taking care to choose the best suppliers that she’s worked with. “I’m very happy with their craftsmanship; they’re very credible,” she explained to Lifestyle Asia

As part of The Peninsula’s efforts to provide a “one-stop shop” for soon-to-be newlyweds, attendees can also expect to find good same-day sign up deals from the fair’s many exhibitors.

What’s more, the fair’s bridal fashion show will feature a larger number of pieces and designers. Mariano Garchitorena shared: “Last year, we had three designers. This year, we have 27—that’s a lot. We’ve got a total of 60 outfits.” 

While the show will have its share of famous and seasoned designers—like Rajo Laurel, Joey Samson, and Jojie Lloren—this year’s event will also include the works of emerging talents who are scholars from the school FAB Creatives.

“We want to support new talent also,” Garchitorena stated. “I mean, it’s turning out to be different and exciting.”

“Weddings at The Peninsula and More: The Art of Celebration” will be held on April 22 to 23 (Saturday and Sunday), from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm at The Peninsula Manila. For more information and updates, you may visit The Peninsula’s official Facebook, Instagram, and website.

Banner Photo courtesy of Christine Ong-Te.

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