Rebellious Wedding Idea: How to Plan a Cost-Efficient Batanes Wedding

Photography by Jayson and Joanne Arquiza unless labeled otherwise 
Brace yourself for the most detailed Batanes Wedding Guide you'll read yet! When my husband and I went to Batanes last month, I was asked by a friend who is a soon-to-be-Batanes-bride to research for her on how she can efficiently plan her wedding. And because I'm just proactively dorky by nature, I took to heart my mission and even conceptualized an itinerary and budget for her (maybe it just feels natural since we've been doing The Wedding Agency Service for almost 2 years now).

We constantly get questions about Batanes weddings, so I decided to share here in the blog what I conceptualized for my friend (but with a few minor tweaks). Think of this as a free Wedding Agency consultancy write-up! To visualize this imaginary Batanes wedding, I'll be including here some of our Instagram photos from our own trip but we'd also like to feature a beautiful Batanes wedding as photographed by Jayson & Joanne Arquiza  because it's probably the most incredible Batanes wedding we've seen to date. 

John & Joyce

So are you toying with the idea of having a Batanes wedding? Let's do a quick PROs and CONs first, shall we? 

What are the PROs? Well....need we say more? 1) Batanes is one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines--it's so beautiful, you won't believe it's still part of our country!, 2) Locals are few, tourists are limited, weddings all the more rare--so if you are a stickler for privacy and the feeling of exclusivity then this is really the place for you!, 3) Being in Batanes is like being in a whole other world. And if you were the type to dream of getting married in a stone chapel on a hill, this is where you can fulfill that dream. 

What are the CONs? 1) The flights are expensive. As in roughly P17,000 per head during peak and around P11,000 per head during off-peak (via AirPhil), 2) It's also a remote location. You cannot create a big, lavish wedding here--so if that's what you want, maybe Batanes is not the venue for you. Batanes is more for an intimate wedding, with natural details. The ideal number of guests is only around 50, and note that guests will have to shoulder their airfares and hotels so it can get pretty expensive for everyone (unless you are willing to shoulder everyone's expenses, that's definitely not going to be budget-friendly anymore), 3) They say that Batanes weather is super unpredictable so it can get tricky to choose the perfect month. But we personally didn't experience this ourselves. I'm actually beginning to think that this is a misconception owing to my own experience and owing to what the Ivatans have told us. I say, wherever you go the weather can get tricky--even in Manila and even in Boracay. So just attract positivity and pray for good weather (pray to St. Medard, the patron saint of good weather!)

So how can you conceptualize a cost-efficient Batanes wedding? First of all, when we say cost-efficient we don't mean to say that you are totally going to scrimp on the wedding elements. For a budget of around P500,000 this is our concept for you--and it's a perfect balance between having the beautiful wedding details that you could possibly have given the remote location and given a reasonable budget. We also say that this is a reasonable budget because we know of previous Batanes weddings that costed millions to mount. So for this to be in the 500k range, is pretty amazing. So let's start!


Ceremony at Tukon , 10:00AM – 11:00AM
The Tukon Chapel (Chapel on a Hill) has got to be one of the most beautiful churches I have seen in my life. It's quaint, it's made of stone, and there are wonderful frescoes on the ceiling and in the middle of the altar. The view here is breathtaking, it's the dreamiest possible wedding ceremony location made to come alive. 
Photos taken from my Blackberry

Pictorials after the Ceremony at Tukon & Fundacion, 11:00AM to 12:00NN, Lunch Reception at Fundacion, 12:00nn to 2:00PM

From my Instagram Account @rebelliousbridekai
Imagine having pictorials with this as your backdrop! Fundacion Pacita du Tukon is the best place to stay in Batanes, and it is also the best place to have your lunch reception. Why is it the best besides the fact that it is the only high-end lodging option in the island? Well, it is situated on a hill where it has a view of all the best landmarks of Batanes--including Rakuh aka Marlboro Country and the Lighthouse. It also has an open view of the Pacific Ocean. 

We recommend lunch just because that's when the views are absolutely gorgeous. You won't be able to take in the view in the evening so we have another suggestion for that later. The Fundacion is already very beautiful on its own. It has its own eclectic vibe contributing to the fact that it is home to the works of National Artist Pacita Abad, and also serves as a quasi workshop/school for Ivatan Artists. There really is literally no reason for you to style it any further.

Couple’s Pictorials at Boulder Bay, Marlboro Country, & Rolling Hills *Option for guests to join for tour & pictorials or option for guests to rest, 2:30PM to 4:30PM

Batanes has heavenly views, making it the most picture-prefect place to have your couple's photos. But since you are going to be busy with the wedding day, plus you need to save up your energy, and not to mention you are in your wedding outfits, you'll have to carefully select and limit the locations for your shoots. The Boulder Bay, The Marlboro Country (Rakuh) and the Rolling Hills will be your best options. 
From my Instagram account @rebelliousbridekai

Seafood Cocktail Party at the Lighthouse/Bunker *Sunset party, 5:00PM – onwards

Now this is why we moved cocktails/dinner to another venue besides Fundacion. Fundacion is perfect for lunch because the views there are perfect for daytime. Now to get the most breathtaking sunset and star-gazing experience in the island, we recommend heading on over the Lighthouse/Bunker.

From my Instagram @rebelliousbridekai


So now maybe you're wondering, what kind of food exactly is available in Batanes? Why, Ivatan food of course! And it's one of my absolute favorite foodie experiences (I miss it badly!). Ivatan food is naturally organic--all meats are free range and all the ingredients are incredibly fresh. It's a haven for food lovers! You cannot even begin to imagine how simple the food is but then every dish is just bursting with flavor! Here's our proposed menus:

Fundacion Lunch, Family Style (good for up to 80 servings)

Appetizer: Paco Salad served with Ivatan Kamote (40 orders per dish, for sharing) 
Main Courses: Lunis and Grilled Sirloin Steak w/ Rice (40 orders per dish, for sharing) 
--- Believe me when I say that this is a very heavy lunch and it's sooooooo good. I miss it already! Drinks & Desserts are quite limited, so you might have to bring. 
Total for Lunch Reception w/o Drinks & Desserts  + 5% Service Charge and 12% VAT = P49,842 **No other charges apply

Bunker Seafood Cocktails (good for up to 80 servings)

Dish 1: Tanigue Steak with Mango & Wasabi Mayo Sauce (40 orders, for sharing)
Dish 2: Milk Crab Dish (40 orders, for sharing)
Dish 3: Turon w/ Special Sauce (40 orders, for sharing) 
*Orders are inclusive of 1 round of soup & iced tea
*Serve Spanish Wine & Specialty Beers (you'll have to bring)
Total for Food  + 5% Service Charge and 12% VAT = P20,214

P70,056 ***No other charges apply, no venue fees, etc.

From my Instagram @rebelliousbridekai


Here’s a suggested supplier list that can give you the perfect balance of being cost-efficient but without compromising beautiful wedding elements. Again, we are not aiming to give you a low-cost wedding--which you can do if you take out some elements we've included here. But we are aiming for a beautiful balance. After all, it's still a once-in-a-lifetime wedding and you still deserve to work with some of the best in the industry. 

1. Reception (Food for Lunch at Fundacion, Seafood Cocktail Dinner at the Bunker)
2. Ceremony at the Tukon inclusive of Fees + Priest
3. Beverage Budget: Assuming Rene Barbier Spanish Wines, Katipunan Craft Beers, and   
    Bayani Brews Iced Tea (you'll have to ship this in advance)
4. Dessert Budget/Cake: Assuming Joy San Gabriel (you'll have to bring it with you)
5. Gown: Assuming Clayton of the Cecilio Abad Design Team

TIP! Batanes is a remote location and there's very limited dessert option. Consider commissioning Joy San Gabriel to create cupcakes and miniature cakes for your wedding. Just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you have to scrimp on desserts! / Get Vidal Clayton of the Cecilio Abad Design Team. Hyds Cecilio is donning a gorgeous bohemian-inspired wedding gown that has just the right hint of drama. (Photo by Jayjay Lucas)

6. Suit: Assuming Boy Kastner Santos or Linea Italia
7. Non-floral props: Assuming {etc} Handmade Goodness
8. Makeup Artist: Assuming The Makeup of Mica (Bride Only + Inclusive of Out-Town-Fee)
9. Wedding Coordinator: There's no need --
     Just get Fundacion or a local coordinator/project manager to help you for OTD.
10. Singer/Host: Just get friends to do it
11. Entourage Gowns: Just allow them to wear their own

TIP! Batanes is abundant with natural styling, including freshly picked flowers. But find the perfect balance between what's available in the island and what you can add to create personalized stylish details. Commission {etc} Handmade Goodness to create a non-floral bouquet for you. Add other props based on your personality such as: thumbprint guestbooks, ring pillow, flower girl basket, etc. etc. (Photo lifted from {etc}'s FB page) /Most Batanes brides have opted to do their own makeup since it's expensive to fly-in so many suppliers. But in case you have zero makeup know-how, consider getting RB Mica's team, The Makeup of Mica because we can always work out a flexible rate for you! (Photo by Pat Dy)

12. Hotel Accommodations for couple + suppliers for 2 nights  
       *Assuming you are staying in Fundacion Pacita du Tukon on an OFF-PEAK SEASON
13.  Airfare for couple + suppliers: Assuming via AirPhil  on an OFF-PEAK SEASON
       (for 8 pax only--note that suppliers have a full team but try to negotiate not having a     
        full team given the circumstances. It's an intimate wedding anyway so your 8 pax 
        consists of the couple + 6 heads from your wedding team)
14. Basic Basco Tour for 8 pax (for couple’s pictorial with wedding team) 
15. Photography: Assuming Jayson & Joanne Arquiza (Service Only Fee)
16. Videographer: Assuming Sequence by Sequence
17. Wedding Bands: Assuming Tungsten Carbide Rings
18. E-invite & Monogram Illustration: Assuming The Fozzy Book 
      (Go Green! No to paper invitations!)  
19. Miscellaneous Fees 

*Detailed budget breakdown is reserved for Wedding Agency Clients Only

Other expenses in case you want to add or in case you have extra budget to spare:
1. Souvenirs (Preferably local goodies that you can give to your guests)
2. Upgrade Videography with: Jason Magbanua (As my husband once said: "Every place in the world needs a Jason Magbanua video")


If you don't necessarily need to be married in a church, there are tons of picturesque backdrops to choose from in Batanes! Can you imagine saying your vows, professing your love in marriage at the Marlboro Country? Or how about in the Lighthouse? It might be difficult to mount though so consider just having a basic, simple ceremony--after all, what's the point of styling the place when you are already in Batanes?


1. Fundacion Pacita du Tukon does not have wedding packages, nor do they charge venue fees. They basically plan everything for you if your reception is going to be there. They can also help organize your wedding ceremony at Tukon (because they own this chapel). And if you stay there,  they can even be the one to organize your cocktails at Bunker and give you free shuttle services. Here’s the contact details: Proto (manager’s name) 09399016353 / 09382520942

2.  We don’t see a reason to pay for your guest’s tours and you are not required to do so anyway. We suggest for you to just think of a good souvenir for everyone. But if you really want to provide a tour, contact Dwight at 0908254321

3. Try to adjust your wedding date based on when you can get good airfare deals. Monitor airfares from AirPhil and Sky Jet. Peak seasons are from December to May. But consider the following off-peak months instead: Not a lot of people know this but the first week of June is still Summer, October is called "Little Summer" because it gets pretty hot before winter, November is actually the start of winter---

SPEAKING of winter, how amazingly odd is it that you can actually have a winter wedding in the Philippines? Sounds unheard of right? But you actually can in Batanes! Because it is closer to Taiwan and because of its location, it is the only place in the Philippines that has winter. It doesn't snow but the temperature goes below zero so Fall or Winter Wedding Ideas are actually doable in Batanes! Here are some pegs from my uber fave blog, Green Wedding Shoes! :) Photography by Gabe McConick
Deciding to have a Batanes wedding is definitely not for the faint of heart--just because the venue itself kind of forces you to accept non-traditional wedding rules. But we are finding it quite refreshing to know that more and more brides are exploring this option and that's why we thought of creating this special feature for you. May you find this useful! Batanes may be quite on the difficult and pricey side--but it's worth it. Very, very worth it. 

"Javid sawen, nu Vatan!" 
(So beautiful, our Batanes!)

Follow us on Twitter! @RebelliousBride


  1. -via twitter-

    Naman!!! Lupet ng wedding guide. Tenkyu Kai, napakatamis na writeup at feature. Asteeeeeeg. Balik tayo Batanes!

  2. -via gmail-


    You made me cry...
    I have been waiting to get married in church for 14 years...Now that we are finally planning it, I was excited for a while but felt stressed with all the details needed & most especially the financial aspect. That is the main reason we have not gotten married in church yet...The wedding we wanted is not just for the reason of finally getting blessed by God but should also be a celebration with the people who matter to us especially the ones who have been witnesses to our married life...

    Thank you so much for your generosity in putting time to reply
    & for sharing me your wonderful ideas...


    Discovering RB's website by accident is truly a blessing! Because of it we are considering other options aside from our 1st choice (Batanes)...Sonia's Garden or Casa Roces perhaps...hoping some spiritual intervention will lead us to the right & perfect choice...ha ha ha

  3. thanks for this RB! you guys are so insightful that's why I love your blog more. it's not just pretty photos. there's substance and you are really helping all kinds of brides, especially those with tight budgets like me pero classy pa din. more power!

  4. If this article was published in the past, we will have a Batanes wedding, no doubt! it's actually our 2nd destination choice during our wedding planning :) a very nice article! :)

  5. Whilst we can't have a wedding in Batanes, I'm definitely adding it to the list of places I want to visit when I take my fiance to visit the Philippines for the first time. What a beautiful place! And LOVE that it gets below zero degrees - I'm a winter girl :D