Thursday, July 30, 2009

awesome invites and jeweled stuff

A Tasteful Tagaytay Wedding

Jonathan Pangilinan-Hannah Atotubo
Our Lady of Lourdes
Ville Sommet

The wedding of businessman Jonathan Pangilinan and nursing graduate Hannah Atotubo capped their two-year relationship. The day started rainy with close-to-zero visibility all over Tagaytay. Nevertheless, neither the rains nor the fog could dampen the event since the couple’s family members and closest friends were there to provide warmth throughout the day.

Using the palette of turquoise and brown to match the lush greenery of the reception site, the couple sent their 300 guests invitations in turquoise board featuring a customized paisley design which appeared on all the printed wedding paraphernalia—invitations, program cards, escort cards and the misalettes. First to arrive at Hotel Kimberly for the preparations was Aaron Lejarde of The Make Up Studio. Hannah’s hair was pulled up to create an illusion of height. An antique brooch was the core of the bride’s headpiece. The off white Mikado Silk wedding gown was another Parrish Espritu Carlos creation – Castillan wedding gown embroidered with paisley motif and encrusted with crystals and payettes. The gown has a peacock train featuring layers and layers of balloon ruffles complimented by an embroidered split train from the gown’s upper back. The wedding ensemble is finished off with 9 meters of double width illusion tulle embroidered in the same paisley motif. Hannah’s look was completed with a quaint bouquet of assorted flowers in white to match the bouquets handed to the members of the female entourage. The bridesmaids wore ethereal gowns in turquoise accentuated with a brown sash. This brown sash became the common, distinctive feature of the gowns individually designed for the female entourage.
The mothers of the bride and groom are of turquoise pure silk taffeta and gold embroidered tulle with organdy cutwork appliqués in various shades of royal blues to turquoise and aqua. In anticipation, all eyes turned toward the massive door of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in time for the bridal march. Hannah glided her way to meet her parents halfway down the aisle. Happy tears welled from the eyes of both the bride and groom for this was the moment they had waited for so long—being in a long-distance relationship during most of the time after they got engaged. The homily was done by the couple’s family friend, Rev. Fr. Gerry Fortunato. As the newlyweds left for the reception, guests tossed flower petals with gold coins to wish them a prosperous and bountiful married life.About one hour from Manila, Ville Sommet’s glass house, the focal point of the half-hectare gated property, was the venue of the wedding reception. While waiting for the bride and the groom, guests were served delectable appetizers. Tables covered with espresso brown linens and adorned with white calla lilies and roses were arranged surrounding the dance floor. The Tiffany chairs featured an antique gold sash to soften the look. Hannah and Jonathan made a grand entrance and took their first spin on the dance floor as a married couple to Stevie Wonder’s “You are the Sunshine of my Life.” The two didn’t have time to rehearse but Jonathan was a natural comedian especially at the point in the dance when he knelt before his lady love.
The slide show presentation featuring the pictures of master wedding photographer, Dino Lara, was much talked about while guests enjoyed the scrumptious dinner provided by Josiah’s Catering. Dino’s photojournalistic shots, portraits and product photos make him one of Manila’s premier photographers. (Click here to view Dino Lara’s Slideshow.)

Heartwarming speeches by Mr. Pelagio Pangilinan (father of the groom), Mrs. Marissa Atotubo (mother of the bride), Michael Labastida (best man) and Michelle Sanchez (maid of honor) ensued after the fun games for the single men and women. A surprise audio-visual presentation prepared by the brothers and sisters of Jonathan and Hannah was introduced by JP, the brother of the groom.
Jason Magbanua’s onsite avp was the highlight of the evening’s festivities. Using as background the instrumental music by Es Posthumus from their album Cartographer, the presentation was filled with touching scenes—an unabashedly emotional groom, tears of joy from family and friends during the bridal march, the unrehearsed yet entertaining first dance, and other unforgettable episodes. Indeed, Jason proved why he is the Philippine’s lone rockstar of wedding videography. (Click here to view Jason Magbanua’s On site AVP.)
To Jonathan and Hannah, thank you for making us a part of your most glorious day.

Some more pictures:

Parrish Carlos Espiritu, the bride’s uncle and designer, attaches an heirloom brooch at the back part of the gown. Escort cards using wrought iron shaped as chairs doubled as candle holders. Aaron does his magic once more. The paisley icon used in all the printed materials—invitations, misalettes and even on the embroidery found on the veil and the barong of the groom. Small details like matches, candles, bridal bouquet, etc. had touches of the wedding color.
The picturesque Our Lady of Lourdes Church provided a great backdrop for the couple’s portraits. The family of the groom – five brothers all in all. Who’s the handsomest of them all?
A quiet time for the bride and groom in their bridal suite.The chalets in Ville Sommet are simply beautiful.
The bride let her hair down for the reception.
The newlyweds with videographer Jason Magbanua, coordinator Ernest Pascual and photographer Dino Lara.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Real Weddings: It’s All in the Details

Gary Felix-Luzel Lapid
Nuestra Señora de Gracia
Conservatory, The Peninsula Manila

This may be too late of a post but we could not resist blogging about the wedding of Luzel and Gary.

Just like most of our clients, Luzel and Gary planned their wedding many miles away from the Philippines. Thanks to modern communication technology―e-mail, yahoo messenger and vonage (voip)―planning a wedding even if the parties are an ocean apart is a breeze.

The details of the wedding were impeccable―and beautifully captured by Mimi and Karl.

Where do I start?

Letterpressed invitations. Notice the depth of the letters on the invitations? The first time Luzel handed our copy, I could not help but get the “feel” of the invitations. I easily became a convert to letterpressed invitations. Too bad, no local stationer could create the wonderful letterpressed invitations done in the States. She also asked an artist to do a rendition of the map going to the church and the reception. A labor of love by the couple, the entire invitation suite―from lining the invitations, embossing the belly band with their initials, and doing the calligraphy of the guests’ names―was assembled by Luzel herself.

Pesonalized Chocolates. These personalized chocolates doubled as place cards which not only contained the names of the guests but also indicated the table they would be seated at. Since the couple opted to label the tables with the names of various places, they thought it logical to explain in brief write-ups why the places became significant to them. The wrappers were consistent with the brown and wine red motif of the wedding. Program Cards. These program cards didn’t keep the guests in the dark as to the featured numbers. Although we didn’t put all the program details, they were an effective way to keep the guests from leaving the party. Again, the fonts used in the invitations and other printed materials were present in these program cards.
Menu Cards. For the principal sponsors and other guests who were served, menu cards were given. These cards also contained the names of the persons seated at the presidential table. Another sheet contained the wedding program. The round corners for each card were noticeable. The gold belly band embossed with the couple’s initials tied everything together―similar to the wedding invitations. Bottled Water. Still consistent with the vintage look of the wedding, the label contained a portion of the graphic which was used in the main invitation.

Food Labels. Nothing was spared from the wedding details. Even the food labels on the buffet tables were personalized and stamped with the couple’s initials.

Souvenirs. A set of stainless steel measuring spoons with inscriptions like, “a heap of love,” “a spoonful of affection,” “a dash of tenderness,” and “a pinch of joy” served as apt, unique, and one-of-a-kind giveaway. To boot, the bride gingerly cut out strips of paper, punched decorative holes, and personally wrote the names of the guests on them.

Initials on the Entourage’s Bouquets. Luzel surprised her entourage members with pendants in antique gold finish which were used to decorate their hand-held bouquets.

Misalettes and Memorial Candles. A special prayer for the departed fathers of Luzel and Gary were integrated in the misalette. Lighting memorial candles for both dads during the ceremony made the ceremony more solemn and personal.

Locket for the Bride’s Bouquet. Since Luzel wanted her departed dad to be part of her wedding, she placed a picture of her dad inside the locket that accentuated her bouquet of blush pink peonies.

Rosary, Coin Holder and Pen. Keping with the vintage look, Luzel purchased thru various Internet sites like e-bay such rare finds as the antique pen and jewelry box which was used to hold the arrhae.

Flowers for the Reception. Festooned with red roses, The Conservatory’s clean lines and intimate set-up was perfect! The gold and bronze table overlays were complemented by antique gold Tiffany chairs. Alternating high and low arrangements of 19 dozens of red roses in full bloom graced each guest table. More than 50 dozens of red roses were lined up creating a lush yet clean take for the couple’s table. Jing Tanada of Palamuti styled the event. Take note of the table numbers which were also handcrafted by the bride.

Headpiece. A beautiful heirloom brooch embellished the bride’s hairstyle for the church. During the reception, the bride used her personalized fascinator by Kelly Sperbeck. Cake. Simply put, the cake tasted as good as it looked. Following the all-red rose theme, the cake was the focal point of the reception hall. Right after the cake-cutting ritual, guests enjoyed wonderful servings of apple walnut and walnut caramel cake.

Unity Candle and Matches. Being the creative bride, Luzel used the personalized embosser to decorate the unity candle. The matches were also decorated with small cutouts of gold and bronze papers.

Vintage Car. What’s a vintage inspired wedding, without a vintage car? The couple rode a vintage Jaguar Mark II―sleek, clean and spacious.

Hair and Make Up. Madge, Felicity and Joel did a simple hair and make-up for Luzel. The hairstyle was clean and highlighted by an antique brooch nestled at the back. Having been sick for days before the wedding, Luzel was subjected to Madge’s instant remedies for tired-looking eyes―tea bag, cold water and a silver spoon. And they really worked like magic.

Gown. The bridal gown featured a hand-embroidered top sprinkled with pearl beads for high drama. The back portion of the gown featured a train of ruffled piña pinned by intricate silk flowers. The trumpet silhouette flattered the bride. Indeed, Luzel’s gown was another work of art by Veluz Reyes.

Click here, here and here for more of Luzel's gown photographed by Kix Tavora, Luzel and Gary's second photographer.

Onsite AVP. Again, the audio-visual presentation was another Jason Magbanua masterpiece. Set to the music of Hans Zimmer, the onsite centered on the wedding vows of Gary and Luzel―the solemnity of the ceremony and the simple elegance of the reception. Highlights of the AVP included the dramatic bridal entrance, the cracking of the bride’s and groom’s voices during the exchange of vows, and the first kiss.

My Publisher Guestbook. Luzel designed their guestbook using their U.S. engagements photos ordered online. Luzel and Gary gifted their moms with photo albums of the latters’ respective trips with the couple ordered thru My Publisher as well.

Up to this day, I get a lot of inquiries using Gary and Luzel’s wedding as benchmark. Luzel, I’m still cursing and kicking myself for not having a decent picture with you and Gary on your wedding day. But then again, I would have my time when I visit you guys. (Hopefully, soon! (*wink!)

Thank you for making us a part of your wonderful wedding.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Playing Favorites (Part 2)

Here’s the second part of the “controversial” list of our favorites. =)

Jong Mesina and Ghia Pastoral of The Write Impression (Invitations). Business partners Jong and Ghia of The Write Impression attend to their clients with such passion and sincerity reflected in the wedding stationery they produce. Their impeccable taste, together with their unmatched personalized service, keeps everything on track during a tight schedule. Both Jong and Ghia are exceptionally talented, organized and professional. Being a graphic designer myself, the entire experience of working with them is always a pleasure.
Click here for our feature on TWI's unique invitations.

Pastry Bin (Cake). Penk Ching’s sugar confections are exquisite works of art—lovely to look at and delightful to the taste buds. She never fails to surprise everyone with her creations. Though her cakes have graced the halls of Malacañang and the parties of Manila’s well-heeled group, she remains humble and unassuming, with her feet firmly planted on the ground. Her cakes have also been shipped to various localities in the Philippines as well as Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore. She travels the world to find inspiration for her creations. Her published book, Caked in Sugar was a compendium of the best cakes she has done over the years.

Parrish Espiritu-Carlos (Couturier). A gem waiting to be discovered, this architect-turned-designer from the South designs and executes exquisite bridal gowns and clothes—variously chic, glamorous, sophisticated, or classic. His quaint and inviting boutique-home is a refreshing departure from the usually intimidating bridal salons. Using only the best fabrics available, Parrish infuses simple cuts with eye-catching details reflective of the wearer’s personality. Brides are in awe once they see their bridal gowns for the first time. Samples of his fine clothes are found here.

Veluz Reyes (Couturier). The name says it all. Veluz being awarded as the Weddings at Work’s Supplier of 2005 is more than well deserved. All my Veluz brides can attest to the perfect fit that she is known for. Matched with great personality, this fine lady is a real trooper at heart. Wedding suppliers should learn from Veluz what customer care truly is. Together with his right hand wo/man, Niko, she creates a bridal ensemble which is not only drool-worthy but something which fits the wearer to a tee.

Cristina “Tetta” Canada (Emcee). Cristina, more popularly known as “Tetta News” (now with 103.5 Max FM), is a fantastic host. With more than a hundred events under her belt—from weddings to corporate parties—Tetta does a marvelous job with her articulateness and elan. Since the reception takes up a large chunk of the wedding celebration, it is important to have a great host. Definitely, Tetta is one emcee who is bubbly but not loud. She injects witty one-liners without sounding offensive. Indeed, Tetta is a rare specimen in the hosting/emceeing profession. Click here for Tetta's wedding pictures captured by Mimi and Karl.

Gina Galang of Royal Flower Shoppe (Florist). Gina Galang and her creative team headed by Myke Mayores provide wonderful floralscapes which transport you to a different world. Using various local and imported flora and fauna, they create the perfect ambience for your once-in-a-lifetime event. Be prepared to be fascinated by a myriad of colors, forms and fragrances. Royal Flower Shoppe offers an affordable solution for avant-garde, beautiful and creative wedding flowers with designs tailored to match the clients’ personal taste and style.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Juicy at 32

32nd Birthday Party
Red Box, Greenbelt

Always the unsuspecting subject (or should I say victim?) of many covert plots in the past, I again fell “prey” to a surprise get-together recently. Specifically, the gathering was my birthday asalto organized by friends where I appeared emotionally vulnerable once more.

It all started when Madge Lejano asked me to drop by Red Box to pick her up as we were scheduled to watch a movie. Supposedly, she was in a pre-production meeting with a client and some friends from Davao who wanted to see what the place could offer. When the doors were opened, I heard shrieks of “Happy Birthday” from dear, familiar people. They were there to celebrate with me and I was touched deeply and became quickly teary-eyed.

The venue for my birthday asalto was exactly the place I wished for. Earlier, I told Madge about having my birthday party at Red Box with friends from the wedding industry. My plan was virtually realized. Everyone (well, almost everyone) was in pink. Madge’s angels reigned on the stage as they upstaged each other with their singing prowess—Jesy, Aaron, Joel, Felicity and Steve. Thank you, Maan, Dondon and Erron for joining in the celebration.

My staff from Events! Events!Brian, JB, Jona and Joy—were also present. Top photographer-friends Mimi Abesamis and Karl de Leon ma­de the night extra memorable. (Mimi, promise! I am touched. You know what I mean!). Jason Magbanua and Chinky Agregado came as well to enjoy the buffet and the bottomless drinks.

To Madge, my girlfriend, goes my heartfelt gratitude. Thank you very much for making me feel loved and important. I really had a blast!

Ernest with Madge and Mimi

Joelene, this one is for you! Dream Team: Mimi and Karl, Madge, Jason and myself

Ernest with Steve, Jona, Madge and Joy

Jason M. with Ernest, Jona and Joy of Events! Events!

The celebrant with Jason M. and Felicity. Jason, thank you for documenting the event =)

Ernest cutting the Mango Bravo Cake from Conti's

Ernest with Aaron, Steve and Joel (aka Ruby, Saphire and Emerald of "Pangarap na Bituin" fame)

The beauties of Punta Fuego wedding reunited: Jona, Ernest, Joy and Aaron

With Madge, Jesy, Karl and Mimi

Jona, Joy, Ernest with Madge

Joy and Chinky shared the limelight

Who's drunk? =)

JB and Brian of Events! Events! singing "Unwell"

With my girls - Joy and Madge

Madge + Steve and Jesy + Erron
Ric Segreto (este, Madge) belting it out.

Not to be outdone was Felicity.

Chinky, Mimi and Karl enjoying the night.

Alocholics unite! Having fun at the "performances"

The mastermind - Madge! Thank you, my dear friend!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Real Weddings: An Intimate Seaside Nuptials

Enzo Demarino-Yeng Rodriguez
Terrazas de Punta Fuego

With the sun shining, the flowers in place, and the sumptuous food ready, May 2 turned out to be the perfect day for Enzo and Yeng’s wedding in charming Terrazas de Punta Fuego. Attended by 60 of their closest friends and family members, the nuptials was intimate, yet full of joy and gaiety—the way the couple wanted it to be.

Yeng with her daughter Kezia, one of the matrons of honor

Yeng and Enzo with Kezia's husband, Erick and Kezia's daughter, Sabina

The wedding invitations provided a glimpse of what was in store for the guests. Initially, the couple planned to use a monogram for the invites and the stationery but they later saw an image of a shell, a perfect and unique icon for a wedding by the sea. The shell popped up on the misalettes, place cards, menu cards, favors, and of course, the invitations.

The invitation had an Italian wording (lower right) and an English version (upper left)

Although guests walked away with tons of goodies—light blue and crisp white progragrams, native anahaw fans, blue and white flip flops, white umbrellas—more than what their hands could hold, the newly weds’ favorite was the handpainted ceramic bells handcrafted by Enzo’s cousin and which they hand-carried on their trip from Italy to Manila.

Bright colored silk flowers adorned native anahaw fans to beat the summer heat.

Blue and White flipflops were part of the giveaways.

The wedding color was reflected in the female entourage members who were all stunning in their identical aqua blue cocktail dresses by Drezzee. The male entourage completed the beach theme by donning khaki pants and white linen shirts.

Italians know how to have a great time!

Enzo and Yeng wanted the ceremony to be solemn at best with the guests just gathered around the beach. A special banig carpeted the aisle where the entourage passed. Yeng was dolled up by Aaron Lejarde of The Make-up Studio. She exemplified the day’s simple elegance by wearing an unostentatious gown by Parrish Espirtu Carlos which featured intricate beadwork using Japanese beads and Swarovski crystals. An unassuming bouquet of white flowers accentuated by a star-shaped, crystal–encrusted trinket completed Yeng’s bridal look.

Yeng's sun kissed look courtesy of Aaron of The Make Up Studio.

Our gift for the bride: crystal-encrusted starfish to accentuate the bridal bouquet.

Yeng was a vision of grace and beauty.

The ceremony took place on the beach at sunset as crystal blue waves lapped in the background. After a brief meditation led by their officiant, Pastor Ruth Billena of Elinwood Church of Malate, the couple recited the simple vows they have written to each other.

After the ceremony, the guests were ushered into the cocktail area where they enjoyed both the beautiful sunset and the cocktails. Meantime, the bride and the groom had their portraits taken by Ghie Javelosa of Studio A Photography.

The program started with an audio-visual presentation highlighted by the couple’s engagement session in Intramuros. This was followed by their upbeat first dance which set the tone for the night’s party.

Personalized programme cards for the guests.

Everyone feasted on the food prepared by Chef Mikel of Punta Fuego. He whipped up a choice array of scrumptious treats: noodles salad with sautéed shiitake mushrooms and shrimps, mini-vegetable spring rolls, crostini with tuna mousse and anchovies, royal consommé with a hint of almond, salad bar, biryani rice, buttered Chateau potatoes, oven-roasted eggplant parmigiana with cheese, fish fillet with white wine sauce and black caviar, roasted pork loin with spring pears and grilled tenderloin with mustard sauce. Also a smash hit was the dessert bar which offered mango crepes, fudge brownies, yoghurt bavaroise with cherries, and assorted native delicacies.

Yeng and Enzo ceremoniously sliced a three-tier, fondant wedding cake accentuated with exquisite pastel-colored seashells made entirely of icing—another lovely creation of Janet Madlangbayan of Recipes and Magic.

Heartwarming messages were delivered by Rita Gallo, (mom of Enzo), Pepe Restraino (friend of Enzo), Suzette Haith (sister of Yeng) and Tatay Dudo (uncle of Yeng).

Ariba Band provided the entertainment fare for the night which lasted till past midnight.

To Enzo and Yeng, may you continue to inspire people with your love story.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Overseas Couples

The past three weeks have been very hectic. We have met with seven (yes, you read it right) engaged couples wherein either the prospective bride or prospective groom is, or both are based abroad.

Couple # 1 – Jonathan and Hannah. Jonathan is a businessman based in Pampanga while Hannah just finished nursing in the States. She is in the country in time for her wedding on May 18. We have already met with her caterer, and she had her trial make-up with Aaron Lejadre of The Make-up Studio followed by a prenuptial pictorial session with Dino Lara. We have also set up meetings for her custom-made shoes, band and fitting with her designer, Parrish Carlos. Since Hannah was in Manila late last year, she had done deals with her major suppliers. We are currently attending to minor details, and simply tying loose ends.

Couple # 2 – Enzo and Yeng. Both Enzo and Yeng are based in Italy. They will be getting married in Punta Fuego in May. We are done with the alteration of her wedding gown (done by Parrish Carlos), food tasting and prenuptial pictorial in Intramuros with Ghie Javelosa of Studio A Photography. More meetings have been set up—band, sound system, the pastor, the emcees and the florist. This fun couple expect their 60 guests (most of whom they have billeted in Punta Fuego) to stay longer to enjoy their wedding reception. Friends from Italy will arrive next week hence, it would be a very busy week for all us.

Couple # 3 – Louie and Rico. These IT professionals work in Singapore, and were here just over the weekend. Straight from the airport, we had a quick meeting over lunch and proceeded to The Make-up Studio for Louie’s trial make-up with Karen Reyes. We also met with Tasha of Hyatt Hotel, Josie of Elinwood Church in Malate and Gina Galang of Royal Flower Shoppe. The couple also booked Jontie Martiniez to do the bridal gown as well as the entourage gowns. Louie and Rico handed me their save-the-date card which featured their caricature (cute, indeed.) They came in prepared complete with pegs as they “walked me thru” the various phases/stages of the December wedding they envision. I look forward to seeing pegs from brides since this will enable me not only to get to know the couple better but also to come up with my own ideas that complement their plan.

Couple # 4 – Michael and Sabs. This couple is based in Dubai, Sabs has an uncanny resemblance to Ara Mina. She is here to decide on her wedding reception venue. She wanted The Peninsula but finds Manila Polo Club more practical. In the end, she decided on getting The Peninsula Manila. We have already booked Santuario de San Antonio, Pat Dy, Jason Magbanua and Madge Lejano for the event.

Couple # 5 – Ric and Elena. Ric is based in Singapore while Elena is an executive from Dole Philippines. We have already commissioned Mimi and Karl to take their wedding photos and Threelogy for video. It will be daunting for the couple to choose from among Balai Taal, Hacienda Isabella or Splendido for their wedding reception. They have booked the quaint San Antonio de Padua Quasi Church in Cavite for their ceremony venue. Rico and Elena treated me for dinner in fabulously stylish Sala along Makati Avenue to give me an idea of how they wanted their wedding to be—sleek, contemporary, minimalist. Both wine connoisseurs, they plan to have free- flowing drinks to match their impeccable menu selection. We even went to Classic Confections in Greenbelt 5 to try out Baba Ibazeta’s sinful desserts which we plan to have as part of the dessert buffet. I am excited to see how a modern romantic motif in white, cream and yellow would look for their wedding in January 2009.

Couple # 6 – Anthony and Sam. Sam works in a cruise ship based in Miami while Anthony is based in Isabela and only goes to Manila once a month. Everything was in a rush since Sam would be leaving for the States mid May and would only be in Manila a few months before her wedding in March 2009. A very young and good looking couple, Anthony and Sam listens to suggestions and are both open to ideas which would make their wedding more personalized and unique.

Couple # 7 – Mark and Elaine. Both Mark and Elaine are based in the States. We were referred to Elaine by our common friend, Alvin. Alvin and Elaine used to work together for a pharmaceutical company before Alvin was pirated by another company and before Elaine went to the States to work. We are scheduled for a food tasting with Mean of Edsa Shangri-la, prenuptial pictorial with Dino Lara, fitting with Frederick Peralta, trial make-up with Jesy Alto of The Make-up Studio, and a meeting with Nina Comsti of Sound Salad.

We have yet to meet more overseas couples—Maan (based in the US) and Rhys (based in Canada) for their January wedding; Chelle and Michael (both based in Chicago) for their August wedding in Subic; and Remar and Joelene (both based in California) for their January wedding in Bohol.

Organizing the weddings of couples based overseas is challenging yet very fulfilling. This is one of the major reasons why we enjoy our work—having two strangers who allow us to be their eyes and ears for their once-in-a lifetime event. The couple’s trust and confidence motivate and inspire us more than ever to outdo ourselves in every event we handle.