Celebrity Event Designer Gideon Hermosa shares about his recent experience with top wedding experts from around the world
When it comes to mounting the grandest of events, Gideon Hermosa is no stranger to many. A favorite of celebrities for designing their OTT weddings or milestone celebrations, Gideon’s clients and fans consist of a creamy crop of low-key personalities, top celebrities, the high society, and influencers. He is known for his superlative flair and dramatic style. This maximalist magnifies his signature style in multiples creating ripples of festooned dreams. Nowadays, micro is the new macro. Downsized venues and private homes are #Gideonized (an adjective that the celeb stylist coined). The magic and transformation he brings to a room or a table are not compromised by the size. Smaller and more luxurious focal points are created, drawing the eye to finer details.
Client turned good friend, celebrity stylist Boop Yap shares how Gideon is ‘able to make seemingly impossible ideas come to life. He is so passionate about what he does, gives his 100% dedication to his events, and makes sure that each one is unique and different from the last.’ She turns to the House of Hermosa to help her achieve a better version of her exacting vision. They recently did a Megan Hess’ Claris the Mouse-themed set for the photoshoot for her daughter’s first birthday. Incredibly layered three-dimensional details brought the book’s pages to life.
Another recent event took place in Daniel Padilla’s home, where Hermosa transformed it for an intimate Halloween party co-hosted by Kathryn Bernardo. The “it” celebrity couple has worked with the event stylist a couple of times and are avid fans of his work.
Being one of the Philippines’ most prolific wedding creatives, Hermosa was recently invited by Go Turkey!, the tourism office of Turkey, with KM Events to a week-long familiarization trip composed of top celebrity wedding experts to experience Istanbul and Cappadocia as potential wedding destinations for their future events. Together with nine other celebrity wedding experts from the USA, Italy, France, Malta, Brazil, Lebanon, Peru, Pakistan, and Turkey, Hermosa was the only Asian, and the youngest among the international wedding experts invited. This select group was treated to red carpet Turkish hospitality as they sampled the different wedding showcases and offerings in both cities. Hermosa is also featured in the current Turkish edition of celebrity news magazine Hello! The magazine dedicated six pages to Hermosa, his experience in Turkey, and his work in the Philippines and worldwide as a celebrity event designer. He takes time to share with OneMega.com about the insights gained from his trip.
Marbee: Where in Turkey did you go, and what impressed you the most on the trip?
Gideon: We went to 2 places in Turkey—Istanbul and Cappadoccia. For Istanbul, it was my second time to go there. The first time I went, we had to rush everything. We arrived at night then the next day, we toured around the sites. I didn’t get to see it properly, because we had a very tight schedule. But this time, I really got to see the country. I experienced the beauty of both the Asian and European sides of Istanbul. We also cruised around the Bosphorus.
What I realized with Istanbul is that you don’t need to go to Europe to experience castles or palaces or venues with beautiful views, grand and opulent hotel ballrooms because Turkey has it all. Sobrang laking potential for destination weddings. Kilala siya as a destination for culture but not for weddings. But this trip made me realize, ang bongga niya for weddings kasi ilang hours lang yung flight, and you experience so much grandness in one place.
One of the highlights of our Istanbul tour is our stay at Hotel Kempinski. An old castle they repurposed as a modern hotel, I was so amazed by the interiors, which was mostly in white. All the balusters are made of glass. It was my first time to see balusters made of glass, so I was so thrilled! I’m used to seeing normal balusters made of ceramic or stone. I thought only European cities had it. But in Turkey, it’s even made of glass, making it extra special. It was also there at Hotel Kempinski that we danced in one room because prior to that, everyone got tested so safe lahat. The organizers said even the waiters, everyone had a swab test before the event. We had a gala dinner there, then may veranda siya na overlooking the Bosphorus river. The experience was very much like the ENGAGE! SUMMITS events. (ENGAGE! SUMMITS is an annual gathering of luxury wedding creatives worldwide)
Another highlight is our visit to the Six Senses Hotel overlooking the Bosphorus. Everything we ate was organic and from their own farm, straight to our table. It was delicious, and at the same time, it made us feel good and safe because we knew what we ate. I was also impressed that the big hotel brands I know are in Turkey. They have the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, etc. The Four Seasons nila, dalawapa. I love kasi beautiful hotels. When I travel, I love staying in beautiful hotels kahit one night lang, just to experience it. So every time I travel, I really check saan maganda magstay. Here in Istanbul, we got to experience different hotels also. Pagdating namin, we stayed at the Shangri-La. The property is along the Bosphorus, and the service is wonderful! We also went to do an ocular at the Four Seasons, and the property is so beautiful. The hotels have their own brand of hospitality like Raffles, iba din. Each of the hotels we went to has its own safety protocols, so we felt really safe. And once we entered the lobby, they all served us champagne.
Marbee: From your experience in Turkey, what do they do there that can inspire us to aspire for here?
Gideon: What really impressed me in Turkey is how old castles or palaces are acquired by the big hotel brands then turn it into a luxury hotel. For example, imagine our National Library—if, for example, it can be acquired by an international brand and turned into a hotel. How historic and majestic that would be. Because of the COVID-19 protocols in Turkey right now, they currently don’t allow big weddings (But 300 guests for them is a small wedding). Now they only allow ceremonies. If gusto moikasal this time, then it will just be a ceremony lang then uwian na. What others do, is they divide the guests into different restaurants, so safety protocols are followed, and the celebration continues. Because just like in the Philippines, what is a wedding without a celebration over a good, albeit simple meal? This is something we can also do here at home.
Another thing that left a big mark on me—is how beautiful their local flowers are. They rarely import flowers because they have so many local flowers. We also have good local flowers, but it’s not enough variety for us to do events, that’s why we need to import from overseas. I hope sanama-develop yung local flower supply and varieties natin, especially now when importation is more difficult.
At the Four Seasons also, they have a structured tent out in the patio, which they can open and close, depending on the weather. Kapag umuulan iko-close lang nila yun. If not, the structure is just there. It would be nice if our venues can also have that.
Gideon on Cappadoccia
I love Cappadoccia! Feeling ko parang nasa ibang mundo ako. It has the charm of Iceland, a bit of the nature feels of Arizona—t’s so unique! There are hotels on top of the mountains and quite a few other unique boutique hotels. Ang ganda ng landscape and weather! It was 12 degrees at that time we were there, and it was so perfect for an outdoor celebration. We weren’t able to do the hot air balloon activity because of the weather, but that’s a good reason to go back next time. Cappadoccia is perfect for intimate weddings, about 10-15 pax. The place is so chill. I imagine how nice it is to have a morning wedding in a garden here, then ang backdrop is the hot air balloons. Cappadoccia also has a lot of interesting and unique venues for intimate celebrations like wine cellars, old cathedrals, and this one that we went to na parang cave, angganda!
It’s perfect also for prenup shoots, my suggestion is when you go to Cappadoccia, stay for 3 full days. One day to walk around and to explore and experience your hotel. On the second day, wake up early and take photos of the hot air balloons on-ground. And on the third, to go up on a hot air balloon.
How nice it would be if we had unique venues with spectacular views here also. I’m thinking, maybe in Atok (Mountain Province), someone can develop a small hotel in the midst of a flower field or vegetable garden, then the food served would be vegetables or ingredients from the garden. How nice that would be! They do that in Sonya’s Garden in Tagaytay pero iba yung maganda na may outdoor na ang ganda ng view. Feeling ko this would be perfect in Atok.
There was also a museum we went to then may caves siya na may parang sinag ng araw,may eight rays meeting at the center. I can’t wait to do an event na parang ganyan. The couple will be in the middle, then their few guests will be standing on each ray. It will have a lot of candles. I was so inspired there, and I’m hoping magawa ko siya in the future. I was also inspired by their patterns—mga ceramic plates with patterns. I want to use those patterns on the plates in my future events. I got inspired also by their beautiful chandeliers and candelabras. The one at Shangri-La was massive, then at Hagia Sophia, so delicate because they were made from blown glass.
Perhaps it is still premature to make travel or destination wedding plans, but this is the best time to dream, plan, and nourish our souls with inspirational ideas and experiences.
Marbee Shing-Go is a curator of wedding ideas for the past 18 years and has collaborated with top international brands in producing content and projects for both the wedding market and industry. She is also the editor of MEGA Weddings, the country’s only coffee table book on wedding tablescapes and was the showrunner of She Said Yes! A wedding show created by FOXlife Philippines.
OneMega.com is your all-in-one access pass to exclusive content from a wide variety of lifestyle experts, thought leaders, influencers and leading content creators here in the Philippines and around the world. OneMega.com is a prestige media brand of One Mega Group, Inc.
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