In 2004, Raul, my fiancé then, and I were looking for the perfect venue for our dream garden wedding. We searched many venues all around Metro Manila but couldn’t find one that felt right. I always dreamed of walking down a cobblestoned path, surrounded by greenery and blooming flowers. So Raul and I decided to have our garden wedding out of town, on the hills of Tagaytay. But while planning for the wedding, we realized it would be more costly and logistically difficult. The suppliers we wanted were charging about 30-50% more since our event would be out of town.

We would also have to spend more to pay for the hotel accommodations of our respective families. At the same time, we anticipated that many of our guests would have a hard time travelling so far. We were also afraid that if we forgot important items, then driving back home to pick up the item would be out of the question. This happened to a friend of ours who forgot his expensive designer made barong. We didn’t want this to happen to us but we also didn’t want to settle for a venue that wasn’t the garden we envisioned for our wedding.

The inspiration hit me one day while I was watching a TV show on cable. The program featured Hollywood celebrities like Barbara Streisand who had their wedding in their beautiful sprawling garden backyard. It looked exactly how we wanted our wedding to be.

At the same time, my friend emailed me a picture of her newly landscaped garden. Then I remembered my parents owned a 2,000 square meter lot very near our house with a slightly unfinished building. If we couldn’t find the perfect venue, then we’ll make a venue perfect for us! I excitedly told Raul about it. We surveyed the lot and started imagining what it could look like after we have it landscaped and made some adjustments. This made our wedding preparations even more exciting!

Little did we know, this would be the start for me and Raul’s love affair with gardens, landscaping and designing. The task of transforming the lot months before our wedding was tiring and stressful but totally worth it. Instead of getting a manicure, Raul and I finished putting cobblestones on the walkway the night before our wedding.

On January 2005, I walked down a cobblestoned path lined with blooming flowers and surrounded by greenery. It was everything we envisioned our garden wedding to be. We had the reception at the two storey building inside our lot. Later on, we decided to offer the venue to other couples and thus Blue Gardens was created. We added a transparent roof over the garden to protect it from rains and developed the hall and called it the Chateau.

One of the things Raul and I enjoy as a married couple, is that we both love to travel and we love visiting beautiful gardens. The most beautiful gardens in all the world for us are in France and England. They became our inspiration. We were excited to translate the French and English garden elements we saw into our venue. It became our passion to continually improve and beautify Blue Gardens and make it one of the most romantic gardens.

At present, we recently opened another garden venue adjacent to Blue Gardens and called it Jardin De L’amour. Like Blue Gardens, it has all the romantic elements and old world charm of the European gardens. Soon, we plan to open another garden venue in Tagaytay. But that’s another exciting story in the making.

by Camilla