Digna and Conrado Agoncillo Jr., both 58, did not have any idea a small dream they imagined for their seven children almost a decade ago would eventually turn into a real business—especially during a pandemic.
“We were just joking about it. We had our silver anniversary in our backyard and we just thought about turning the vacant lot into a homey, intimate family wedding venue because, why not? Weddings are expensive and it’s just one day!” said Digna, proprietor of D’Conrads Events Place, a startup events venue in Balagtas, Bulacan, launched months before COVID-19 hit the country.
Conrado, an engineer, had been drawing sketches for a wedding venue—only for his three daughters and four sons.
Little by little, the couple kept making improvements. The design was ready, the idea was there but executing it took years until they had some savings to start it and most of their children had already finished college and were working.
“It’s a family collaboration. All my children, including two engineers, a hotel restaurant and management graduate, and my sixth son, an architectural student, helped in conceptualizing,” Conrado said.
On Dec. 25, 2019, a Facebook page was put up and a soft launch on Jan. 26, 2020 coincided with the couple’s 31st wedding anniversary.
When COVID-19 hit two months after, Digna thought it might not be a good investment especially when events were postponed. But when the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) protocols were relaxed, couples looking for an affordable and intimate wedding venue discovered the place.
Through word of mouth, the family-run business started welcoming family, friends and eventually clients—first on a trial and “friendly” basis.
“We didn’t have any professional events manager on board, but my two daughters and I enrolled in a free events management class at Tesda (Technical Education And Skills Development Authority),” Digna said. “We do everything from advertising, marketing, handling guests to entertaining queries, cleaning and maintaining the area.”
Now, D’ Conrads Events Place operates at full capacity and accommodates up to 250 guests since the lifting of the IATF restrictions. The two-story house and garden can be used as preparation area and venue for ceremonies. The golden carousel, lighted tunnel and garden, and paintings were all created by Conrado and his staff and relatives.
“We didn’t plan to have a business. But with God, there are no accidents. There are only perfect timings and God-ordained happenings,” Digna said.
D’Conrads Events Place is at Sta. Cruz Village, Balagtas, Bulacan; @dConradsEvents on Facebook, @dconradseventsplace on Instagram.