Jeanette Lim Macasieb, executive vice president of Ibarra’s Party Venues & Catering asked me as we toured the events company’s latest and largest offering, Casa Ibarra.
We were at the venue’s balcony where a tropical wedding set-up had been arranged, a refreshing sight against the surrounding buildings in the Mall of Asia complex.
I told her I didn’t have anything in mind yet (cue my parents’ collective sigh of relief).
She probed, “But doesn’t every girl have their dream wedding?”
Indeed, in my circle of friends, a number of women—and in fact, men—already have their weddings planned out, sometimes even before they meet the loves of their lives. One friend even has his own Pinterest board for pegs and the number of guests he plans to invite.
So, in the spirit of nurturing that idea of a dream wedding, I allowed Macasieb to give me a glimpse of what such a dream, made real, can look like. Her recommendation: consider Casa Ibarra.
Stylish function rooms hold their own
Constructed along Coral Way at the MOA Complex in Pasay City, Casa Ibarra brings a local and traditional touch to the urban hub.
With a white exterior, a sizeable balcony, large windows, and a roof made of orange Spanish tile, the venue’s design expertly mixes classic and contemporary styles.
Wood, raffia and textile prints found in entrances, walls and light fixtures accent the interiors’ clean lines.
For a first look, the function rooms were a floral wonderland decorated in pink, white and gold, boasting the in-house designers’ capabilities.
But even without extravagant designs, the rooms can stand on their own as they are already impeccably designed.
On the first floor, the Alegria and Hermosa function rooms can be used either as one large venue for 280 guests, or divided with a partition to accommodate a smaller party of 140.
For even more lavish settings, the grand ballroom called Sala de Amor can welcome 350 guests. A year and a half in the making, the venue is exquisitely designed with chandeliers made of 20,000 capiz shells each. Onyx pillars line the walls and provide ambient light.
Both rooms have stairways with steps that light up as a celebrant makes his or her grand entrance.
It isn’t magic, I asked: someone in a technical booth coordinates the lights as the person walks down, but it’s nonetheless impressive.
The balcony provides an option for an outdoor event which can fit 80 guests.
According to Macasieb, couples have also chosen it as a venue for engagement photo shoots. One reason is that a daily fireworks show from Mall of Asia makes for an epic backdrop.
All-in-one packages make for hassle-free planning
Since its inception, Ibarra’s model has been to provide all-in-one packages: clients can source all their planning needs from catering to styling in one place with the company’s partner suppliers. Given how discerning clients can be, they are also welcome to bring in their own selections.
The only thing that is strictly in-house is catering. With a variety of cuisines such as Japanese, Italian, Mediterranean and Filipino, there’s something for everyone.
Tell your guests to leave room for dessert. Some of the decadent options were a sugar-glazed apple-shaped sweet which cracked open to a filling of cream and pralines in caramel, green tea and lemon grass flavors.
For all the flak that millennials receive for spending too much on consumer goods, I know some have already started saving for their weddings (one I know has, even at the age of 21). Accordingly, Ibarra’s has always had the modern working woman in mind, and so a key to success has been “reasonable packages” and “value for money”, says operations manager Grizelle Lim.
A complete package which already includes the venue, food and beverage, sound system, venue styling and amenities can go as low as P133,000.
Quality service is also a strength. According to the company, servers are trained twice a year while a banquet sales associate helps coordinate event preparations.
A new venue for the next generation
As much as it pains me to say that it’s a sign of my age, wedding fever has begun among my peers, with 2017 ringing in a handful of marriage proposals. On my end, I’m excited for the free food and drinks that will come along with all the celebrations.
And thanks to the Internet, people I know aim to make their events more personalized and unique. Color schemes, photo shoots, and even hashtags are all planned.
Ibarra’s has always ensured that the importance of an occasion isn’t lost in the details. With its new venue and continued service towards clients’ needs, Casa Ibarra looks prepared to welcome the next generation of milestones. JB