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The Candy Girl's Guide to Debuts: Venue, Styling, and Souvenirs

Now that you've got a dress, what's next?
ART Clare Magno

Now that you've got The Dress sorted out, what's next? It's time to decide where you're going to celebrate, how you're going to decorate it, and what you plan on giving your guests to remember the night by!

Venue

Whether you're doing an outdoor function or an intimate indoor setup, it's important to choose a setting that's not just comfortable for you but also for your guests.

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If you're considering an out-of-town location for your debut, we spoke with The Veranda at Bella Rosa Farm in Silang, Cavite to inquire about their packages. The published rates on their website should work for debuts, too, but they can make adjustments based on what you require.

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Having a destination debut sounds like a lot of work, but when you think about it, it also sounds like a dreamy escape for you and your guests! But before you decide, consider factors like travel time, transportation constraints, and weather conditions. 

When you've booked a venue, check the package you've chosen for any inclusions like styling, pre-debut pictorials, and accommodations. Also check to see for any additional charges for stuff like guests over the limit, and customizations for seating/chairs.

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It helps when the venue you book already has a package that includes catering and styling. But if you have a preferred restaurant or supplier to take care of your menu, make sure that the venue you are booking allows non-accredited caterers!

For inquiries and booking details, log on to www.theverandaph.com.

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Styling

We spoke with the talented duo behind Flora and Fern Styling Co., Jamie Espadilla-Mapagu and Love Ocampo to get tips on how to make your debut stand out from the rest!

Like having your dress made in advance, booking an appointment with your event stylist should be made at least 6 months prior to your big event. Jamie and Love share that this is "so you could set a budget and funds properly for the venue, decorations, food, clothes, and activities."

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If you want a stage setup that can double as a backdrop for photos, it'll set you back for P25000. "The cost of our stage design starts at P25,000 which includes a backdrop with themed decors, couch and coffee table," they explained. As for centerpieces, a floral arrangement with themed decor can cost at least P1500.

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It's understandable if you're on a budget and don't really want to spend a large amount of money on styling, but we asked for Jamie and Love's advice on one major design element a debutante should definitely invest in.

"We would recommend they spend on the stage design since it would be the focal point during the entire event. It is also where the guests would spend most of their time taking pictures with the debutante." —Flora and Fern Styling Co.

And while everyone these days are obsessed with making everything "Instagram-ready," Jamie and Love actually don't make it a priority when styling events. Instead, "when Flora and Fern styles, we always make it a point to style the venue so the guests feel inspired by what they see from the design, ambience and lighting."

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But before you meet up with your event stylists, here are 5 important things you should prepare so that your meeting will be fruitful and productive!

  1. Vision and ideas such as the theme and color. "When we usually meet with clients, we are flattered when they request to have the Flora and Fern look, which are tables and backdrops filled with foliage, having a rustic but romantic feel, and finally touches of gold elements. We do also entertain clients who request ideas that add to the Flora and Fern signature look, like adding geometric shapes or even Bohemian prints."

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  2. Budget. "When we present to the clients, we already show them a presentation of each area that will go with their budget based from the pictures they sent us. This allows them to visualize how their debut would look without overspending."

  3. Event details (when and where the event will be held, number of guests). "We visit the location of the event so we can check how everything would fit into the space, as well as how we can install our designs, for example swags or chandeliers on the ceiling, hanging foliage by the entrance or even how the backdrops will be secured."

  4. The program. "We always ask what will happen during the event so we know for example, if the cake stand would be on stage or if it would be brought out, if there should be space for a dance floor, if we need a stage or just a photo booth area, and if there would be a buffet table we need to style or the food would be served. It’s important to know these details ahead of time to avoid problems and will produce a smoother event flow."

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  5. The look of the gown. "We prefer that the design and color of the event will not clash with the debutante's gown. We feel that the debutante should always be the star of the night."

For event styling inquiries, contact Flora and Fern Styling Co. at floraandfernph@gmail.com.

Dessert Bar + Souvenirs

If you want an added touch of whimsy to your celebration, include a dessert bar in your setup.

Mrs. Graham's Macaron Cafe offers options for a macaron tower: 3 layers - 29 macarons, 4 layers - 47 macarons with price depending on the flavors chosen. For 5 layers - 69 macarons (P3,450), 6 layers - 95 macarons (P4,750) 7 layers - 125 macarons (P6,250), with a flat rate of P50 per macaron. Anna Graham (yes, Mrs. Graham herself!) says that the number of macarons per may layer may change because some of their macarons are fatter depending on the flavors chosen (i.e. S'mores, Pancake, French toast, Bibingka, Ensaymada, Cheetos, etc.) Macarons needed per layer may be less, decreasing the total price.

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If you want Macaron bar, 50 pcs and above would have a P50 flat rate per macaron while 150 pcs and abovewould have a P45 flat rate per macaron. The cafe also does dessert table styling as well, and the fee will depend on theme and decoration needed. They can also do a dessert spread and have other cakes and pastries available upon request. Customized packages can be made according to the client's budget and theme.

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Giving away edible souvenirs for your debut can also be a sweet option! Mrs. Graham's Macaron Cafe offers this service as well and you can choose to customize your packaging, too! You can pick the flavors as well as how many pieces to give each guest.

To know more about their macaron tower and party services, you can contact them through 02-351-5115 and 0915-812-2662.

Are you all set for your 18th birthday party? What else do you need help with? Hit us up with your debut dilemmas in the comments down below and we'll try our best to help!

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About the author
Macy Alcaraz
Former Editor in Chief, candymag.com
When she's not busy online, she's in the kitchen on a mission to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
VIEW OTHER ARTICLES FROM Macy

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A community page where you can share your feels and show your skills! Learn more here

"Today, I Won"

I always caught feelings for someone, and hoped so much that one day there could a thing between the two of us. I'm usually the one that makes the effort to buy and/or make cute gifts, chats them every other day, and stays up all night with him.

When I was 16, my childhood crush suddenly came back into my life. We'd constantly send updates to each other, recommend favorite songs and talk even the most random things. He'd even text me as early as 6 to just greet me good morning almost everyday. I hoped so much that when I confessed, he suddenly stopped talking to me.

For short, he ghosted me. Those 6 months I spent talking to him, allotting my time for him, and staying up until 3 am for him - all gone in a simple confession. Although I had a few crushes before him, he's the only one that got me in real pain. It was the kind of pain that I never thought I'd experience. It was the kind of pain that I couldn't believe.

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After 7 years (it happened back in 2017), I thought he came back into my life to stay, but I guess he's just one of the guys who distanced. I felt a complete loser that time. But during this quarantine, everything was different. I caught feelings for someone else, but he treated me with the best kindness yet.

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It happened at 2 am, May 30, 2020, when I impulsively confessed my feelings through messaging him. After saying my feelings, he responded with genuine and kind words. We both even complimented each other. Although the feelings didn't reciprocate, I still found a connection that can't be replaced with any guy.

To my 16 year old self, here I am, 18 and happy. You may have felt that time was the biggest regret and loss, but I'm here to tell you, we won. Today, I won.

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Juliana Rebong 7 hours ago

Why our high school barkada is the best?

Remembering our high school years entails quite a lot reminiscing of the things we all been through when we were younger. You’ve experience a lot of new things during those 4 wonderful years and did most of them with the few people you consider your barkada. And through a series of all the lunch breaks you had together, the walks you took on the way home, and taking the same classes, you never thought you’d survive, you have made your life’s greatest friends.

Here are some of the reasons why your high school barkada is the best:

1. You figured out early teenage life together. The transition one have undergone from being a kid to a teenager wasn’t easy. For a moment you are not sure whether you should have played with your friends during recess or you should have just sat down and ate your food because you were too old for games. But whatever it is you chose to do, having friends who were as clueless as you make everything feel easier because you know, deep down, you’d figure things out eventually. You just need good company.

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2. They were with you during your “jeje“ days. I bet you have pictures taken with Camera360 and Retrica. You also have pictures edited using Pizap with embarrassing captions and you somehow kept some of them so you could have something to post online during their birthdays.

3. They know all your exes. They will never EVER forget the name of an ex-boyfriend, an ex-fling, an ex-crush, and an almost you had. They will remind you of your every questionable love decision but you’ll just laugh anyway while saying “Past is past”.

4. They never judge you. They have welcomed you to their lives when you thought jelly shoes and checkered polos were the bomb! They were quick to have told your teachers that you were not feeling well so you could go home when you really just needed to poop. You tell them every embarrassing story you have and were fine with it.

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5. You can always count on them. From the moment you first fell in love and the moment you first had your heart broken, they were with you. They were with you the moment you lost a parent and at moments when you thought you had nothing. Through every break-up and breakthrough, they were there to be your support system.

6. They are your family. Your high school friend’s family is your own family’s extension. Their parents are like your own. Don’t you feel a little kilig whenever your friend’s parents call you “anak”? And then eventually calling them mama and papa became so natural? I felt that, all the time.

7. They will always be your home. They are your place of refuge and security, the place who offers you their hands when you feel lost and the place you run to when you need saving. No matter how much time and distance separate you, they will be the one’s that you always long for and they are the one’s that you will always return to.

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