Behind the Scenes of a Wedding | Weddings at Work

A wedding happens only once in a lifetime. That being said, the amount of time spent in planning and preparing for one day seems unimaginable. But not a lot of people know how everything falls into place. Even me, a wedding photographer, haven’t really seen what really happens behind a wedding and that is one of the reasons why I accepted this project.

Weddings at Work or simply called W@W, is the country’s top resource for couples preparing for their wedding. This is their first ever assignment and I was tasked to capture photos behind the scenes of a wedding. I was excited about this because it was a totally different perspective plus it’s something few photographers have captured. The places and events few cameras have seen are featured here.

So far, this is the longest shoot I’ve done. Nearing the 24 hour mark, I watched, took photos, and was in awe on how the wedding was put together. This project tested me in a lot of ways and it pushed myself beyond boundaries. But thankfully, I managed to collect an awesome series of images that tells the stories that took place to make one wedding, in one day, a perfect event to remember. This is Benjie Tiongco for W@W Assignment: Wedding Behind the Scenes.

P.S. Kindly take note of the captions. They will help tell the story better. It’s a per 30-minute account of what’s happening.

P.P.S There’s more than 100 images here. Sorry but I can’t pack 24 hours in less than 50 photos. :]


11:30 PM: 1Esplanade is a ghost venue. No one is here but me and the guard.

This is how the place looks like. Without the drapes, lights, and all the bling.

12:30 AM: Sensitivity, a lights and sounds supplier, arrives to setup the drapes.

Standing on an almost two storey scaffolding, this man dangerously puts together the drapes.

01:30 AM: Coming from a Tagaytay wedding, the team of Teena Barretto/Hitched Weddings arrives
to check on the suppliers. They talk about how the venue will be set up.

Taking photos of Sofitel from the bay area, I wonder if the bride and groom are sleeping soundly.

Souvenirs and other details are carried to the holding room of 1Esplanade.

02:00 AM: Francis and Diana work on the souvenirs and some details for the reception.

02:30 AM: The gallery was prepared. They check on the guest list and label the souvenirs.

03:00 AM: Also coming from a wedding, the team of K by Cunanan unloads
all the tables, chairs, and arranges the kitchen.

Weddings are seriously tiring. Taking even a few minutes of rest before working again is a must.

03:30 AM: Set up of tables and other details for the buffet section are placed outside.

04:00 AM: The sounds team of Sensitivity arrives
and brings down the speakers and other equipment.

Thanks to Teena, we have a little breakfast. After this, we take a break and wait for dawn.

08:30 AM: I was in the bride’s room. Just in time for the arrival of the flowers by Vatel Manila.

09:00 AM: Dylan Gozum of Vatel teaches the bride on how to properly carry the bouquet.

10:00 AM: I’m in the reception venue again. Surprised to see how much has changed.

10:30 AM: The team of K by Cunanan and Sensitivity continue preparing the venue.

I’m kind of thinking it will rain but the sun goes up and it’s beautiful.

11:00 AM: I was back at Sofitel and I see the other suppliers have arrived.

11:30 AM: Madge Landrito and Steve Pagsanjan take care of making everyone look beautiful.

12:00 NN: While the bride takes her turn to be made up.
On the other side of the room, Ian Cruz takes a shot of the bouquet.

12:30 PM: The gown designer, Cecilio Abad, arrives to help the bride dress up.

01:00 PM: A team of videographers and photographers take some snaps of the groom.
In this picture is Puy Talde of RAW.

It’s 1:11 PM here. How can I forget this nice supplier goodie bag prepared by the bride.

01:30 PM: Chestknots Studio and John Marvi de Guzman
take photos and videos of the bride before she dresses up.

02:00 PM: Dressed up and all pretty, the team captures her donning an awesome wedding gown.

While everyone’s on their way to the church,
I run back to the reception venue to check out what’s happening.

02:30 PM: By this time, Macy Dy of K by Cunanan works on more table details.

In the kitchen, a ton of food are cooked and prepared. I kind of wanted to snatch some. :]

03:00 PM: Joy San Gabriel, bringing layers of cake, puts together her masterpiece.

Setting up the cake looks easy but it’s not. Joy meticulously pieces the whole thing together
and confirms if each one is in the perfect position. Everything she does manually too.

Meanwhile, Macy continues to arrange more details for the tables.

04:00 PM: I arrive at the Manila Cathedral,
not much is happening here since the setup is done by the church.

04:30 PM: The ceremony is made even more beautiful by
the sound of the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra.

05:00 PM: By the end of the church ceremony, Chestknots Studios takes the group photos.

06:00 PM: It’s dusk and the guests start coming in. They crowd at the cocktail area
where they’re treated to a variety of cheese.

While the guests arrive, people in the kitchen put some finishing touches on the food

Candles are lit. On the other hand, this guy sets up some cables for the videographer’s lights.

So this is how it looks like. These small boxes pack some serious Dragon firepower.

06:30 PM: The couple arrives from their portrait session. They eat a bit
while Madge and Steve retouches the bride’s hair and make-up.

07:00 PM: Chico and Delamar, the hosts, go over the program schedule
while the team of Hitched prepare for the grand entrance.

From the holding room, they assist the couple to the photo booth before their entrance.

The hosts introduce the couple while the bride peeks excitedly outside.

Here’s Teena giving some instructions to one of her coordinators.

07:30 PM: Usually, after the grand entrance is dinner time. Macy watches over to
be sure that everything goes smoothly and as planned.

08:30 PM: The program flows without any problem.
The team of Sensitivity double checks the music to be played.

A very useful tool, their radios serve as a line of communication.
Meanwhile, in the holding room, Jayjay Lucas prepares his onsite slideshow.

09:20 PM: The events at the reception are almost done.
The guests and the couple go outside for a fireworks display.

09:30 PM: On the other side of the bay, I position my camera to capture an amazing display
provided by Dragon Fireworks. My vantage point was a perfect spot for this.

Got some cute candids too. Look at how the people at the right are clasping their hands.

10:00 PM: The party continues as DJ McCoy provides some great music.

This is also the time when the guests have more of their photos taken with the couple.

Later on that night, everyone leaves and the place is cleaned up.
Ready again for yet another wedding.