6 months before:
- plan a budget with your parents
- decide on the number of guests you want to have and make a prelim guest list
- decide on your color motif and theme
- look for designers, choreographer, a mobile, florists, photographers and videographers. Look at their portfolios and sample work.
- list the members of your cotillion and warn them that rehearsals may fall on weekends. Ask them about their schedules so you both know what kind of commitment to expect.
- once you have confirmed your venue and cotillion members, have your invitation printed as early as possible. Order additional envelopes just in case errors are made while addressing them.
4 months before:
- finalize your guest list
- select the menu based on your budget
- decide on what type of cake you like. There are some bakers who can do very intricate designs, and there are others who can make simpler cakes on a budget
- book your vendors and make down payments: the florist, photographer, videographer, baker and band/mobile. Make sure that you have a written contract with all of them.
- discuss the type of cotillion you want with your choreographer, and make a schedule of rehearsals.
- finalize with your gown designs.
3 months before:
- schedule measurements and fittings of your gowns (with the cotillion members).
- start taping interviews with your family and friends for the video presentation
- finalize your menu and make the necessary down payments
- start having trial make-up sessions with different artists. Have your picture taken after each trial so that you can remember how each one made you up. There are times when how you look in person differs from your face in the photograph.
- begin rehearsals for the cotillion and other special programs
- decide on the souvenirs.
2 months before:
- book the make-up artist of your choice
- send your invitation envelopes to your calligrapher of printer
- conceptualize the décor and set-up with the florist or the hotel
1 month before:
- send out your invitations
- buy your accessories: shoes, bag, hosiery, jewelry, undergarments.
- go for final fittings and rehearsals with the cotillion members.
- finalize the layout and logistics of the reception venue.
- if you hired a coordinator, tie-up all the loose ends and discuss the flow of the events and program. Otherwise, assign someone who can take care of wrapping up and settling the bill for you after the function.
2 weeks before:
- discuss the program with the hose
- give the final head count to the Banquet Officer of the hotel or your caterer. Don’t forget to add the coordinators, photographers, videographer, etc. to the headcount.
- reconfirm all your reservations with the florist, photographer, videographer, baker, band/mobile, make-up artist, etc.
- buy a token gift for your parents to thank them for giving you a wonderful debut
1 week before:
- arrange your souvenirs and guest book.
- do one last cotillion rehearsal
- relax for the rest of the week.
the day before
the day itself
kick up your heels and have fun!!
after the debut
- have your gown professionally dry cleaned
- make thank you cards for all the gifts you received
( Source: Seventeen Philippines, July 2001 )
[Article by Charley Antonio and Hazel Villonco of the Bridal Cortege]