Lifestyle Asia

ANG-MARTIREZ

The Purest, Simplest Form of Love

- Text SARA SIGUION-REYNA Photos FONS FAVIS, MOLLY MARTIREZ

Vince Ang and Anika Martirez met during a high school soiree. Vince was a student at Southridge, while Anika went to Woodrose, so their social circle had been the same, intact one while growing up. Both attending Ateneo de Manila University, Vince stayed for a semester before moving to Los Angeles to study architectu­re, while Anika stayed in Ateneo. "It wasn’t until the last year of my college life in ADMU that our whirlwind romance took place back in 2010," says Anika. On a casual hangout at a friend's house during one of Vince's visits from LA, mutual flirting ensued while their friends witnessed the spark between both of them. After that, they realized they wanted their friendship to go beyond friendship. Getting to know each other before Vince flew back, Anika says it was a literal whirlwind romance. "Looking back, those two weeks were some of the fondest memories we’ve had of our relationsh­ip in its early stage,” she says.

Dabbling in long-distance, Anika then moved to LA to study fashion at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandis­ing. "The first four years of our relationsh­ip were spent living and studying in LA. It was a refreshing change of scene living independen­tly," she says. When she moved back to the Philippine­s to focus on her career, they hit a rough patch, breaking up and were apart for nearly two years. Vince moved back home and they decided to get back together. "As with all relationsh­ips, we’ve had our share of highs and lows, and up to this day, I couldn’t imagine navigating through life in the past 10 years without his presence and influence. He’s shaped me to become who I am today—and continues to do so,” says Anika.

Vince planned to propose on a kayak during a trip to El Nido but due to a storm, the trip had to be canceled. A few weeks later, he woke up and spontaneou­sly decided to pop the question. "Casually, in one of our favorite restaurant­s, while holding my hand, he slipped a beautiful heirloom ring onto my finger and with half shock and excitement, I asked what was happening. He said his spiel, and of course, I said yes,” says Anika. “I had not seen it coming at all. My sister tried to get me to put on something more special but she couldn't get me to do so without being obvious. I was happy at least to be wearing one of my pieces.” Vince proposed with an intricatel­y designed, vintage heirloom piece from his paternal grandmothe­r, passed on to his mom and now to Anika.

Vince and Anika were supposed to get married later on in the year at Lagen Island, El Nido Resorts, Palawan. Due to the current situation, both of them had a shift in mindset and priorities. “It didn’t feel right to ask our guests to commit to this event when there may be a need to refocus time, effort, and resources on more pressing and urgent matters,” says Anika. They both decided to go ahead with an intimate ceremony, not wanting to put their lives on hold because of this inconvenie­nt roadblock. “The pandemic has proven to be a blessing in disguise because we would have gotten carried away with planning our dream island wedding, had it pushed through,” says Anika. “This uncertain time has reminded us that the sacrament of marriage is of course more important than a wedding celebratio­n. The celebratio­n can wait. We can always celebrate with friends and extended family one day—when it is safe to do so.”

Their intimate wedding was a smaller and more simplified setting (including both of them and their parents) based on the CBCP’s new guidelines for a Catholic ceremony, followed by an intimate dinner. With the help of her sister Molly, Anika was a one-woman show: “I was my wedding planner and coordinato­r, events stylist, DJ, photo set stylist—the list goes on. Didn't think it could be done but I made it happen!" she says. Anika also designed her wedding look (four throughout the day). “It was a strange and unique time to conduct bridal fittings as everything was done remotely. Due to the current situation, my patternmak­er and seamstress wanted to minimize contact as much as possible so I did the nipping and tucking of my dress myself, again with the help of my sister Molly,” she says. As a designer, her brand is known for its simple and minimalist designs with

an emphasis on neutrals. For her wedding, Anika wanted something fresh and different that evoked her personalit­y. Opting to look feminine with a burst of tasteful florals and vibrant color, the designs she wore throughout were still timeless and understate­d. “I could see myself passing these on to my future daughter or wearing these for years to come,” she says.

Following the IATF rules, everyone had to get swab tested before the date, and all attendees underwent a 14-day quarantine period before the day. Everyone wore masks and face shields (only removing them while eating, drinking, dancing, and picture taking). "We ensured safe social distancing as well. Our chairs during our dinner setup were spread out 1 meter apart—it was too far apart that I couldn't even hold Vince's hand during dinner,” says Anika.

Despite the smaller celebratio­n, Vince and Anika appreciate­d it all the same. “Everything was kept so raw, simple, and straightfo­rward— but there was no shortage of love that day. The events of that day flowed so naturally, which made every little detail all the more meaningful,” she says. “It went by in the blink of an eye and up until this day, we are still so overwhelme­d with emotions. A remarkable moment in our lives we will never forget.” Without the usual production that typically accompanie­s wedding celebratio­ns, Vince and Anika felt that they had a more comfortabl­e wedding. “What we lacked in frills, the number of guests, and the usual wedding fanfare, we made up for with a whole lot of love in its simplest, most real, most meaningful, and purest form.”

What they have both learned during their first few weeks as a married couple is that despite the many plans they make, at the end of the day, it is God’s plans that pull through. “His plans for us are always better than ours. We may not comprehend them at the moment but He always knows and wants what’s best for us. Life will always throw us curve balls so it’s up to us on how we handle them as a team. This time has provided us opportunit­ies to get to know each other more— and in turn, grow more in love,” says Anika.

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 ??  ?? The groom's barong and the bride's reception dress. The bride designed four looks for the day, each one a reflection of her personal style The bride getting ready at home before the ceremony A spontaneou­s shot with the bouquet
The groom minutes before the bride walked down the aisle
The groom's barong and the bride's reception dress. The bride designed four looks for the day, each one a reflection of her personal style The bride getting ready at home before the ceremony A spontaneou­s shot with the bouquet The groom minutes before the bride walked down the aisle
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 ??  ?? The veiling ceremony
One of the things the couple had to let go of was this gift from friends of a guest book that would have been used had their Lagen Island wedding pushed through. It would have been a coffee table book at their first home Boy and Marilu Martirez, the groom, the bride, Mags and
Randy Ang, Brenda and
Ricky Dagelet, Fons Favis,
Molly Martirez The groom walking to the altar
Focaccia bread, the couple’s choice of simple wedding giveaways to match the burst of florals and colors
The veiling ceremony One of the things the couple had to let go of was this gift from friends of a guest book that would have been used had their Lagen Island wedding pushed through. It would have been a coffee table book at their first home Boy and Marilu Martirez, the groom, the bride, Mags and Randy Ang, Brenda and Ricky Dagelet, Fons Favis, Molly Martirez The groom walking to the altar Focaccia bread, the couple’s choice of simple wedding giveaways to match the burst of florals and colors
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 ??  ?? Wedding Dresses ANIKA MARTIREZ Bridal Shoes JACQUEMUS Bridal Earrings ERICA CONCEPCION-REYES OF RIQUEZA JEWELLERY
Bridal Makeup SARI CAMPOS
Bridal Hair KIERLO VELASCO
Bridal Bouquet & Dinner Setting Florals INDY YCASIANO OF
SMITTEN FLORISTRY
Caterer BARCINO
Wedding Cake BUNGALOW CAFÉ & BAKERY Giveaways FOCACCIA MANILA
Wedding Dresses ANIKA MARTIREZ Bridal Shoes JACQUEMUS Bridal Earrings ERICA CONCEPCION-REYES OF RIQUEZA JEWELLERY Bridal Makeup SARI CAMPOS Bridal Hair KIERLO VELASCO Bridal Bouquet & Dinner Setting Florals INDY YCASIANO OF SMITTEN FLORISTRY Caterer BARCINO Wedding Cake BUNGALOW CAFÉ & BAKERY Giveaways FOCACCIA MANILA
 ??  ?? The dance floor—albeit bare and décor-free, was full of love and laughter.
After the impromptu speeches, the couple kicked off the drinking and dancing with their first dance, followed by the mother of the groom’s signature line dancing. A trio of wedding cakes in assorted flavors by Bungalow—pure hazelnut, pistachio sans rival, and carrot cake—covered in cream cheese buttercrea­m frosting and accented by a punch of food-safe florals by Smitten Floristry.
The couple opted for Barcino classics, including the star Cochinillo.
The dance floor—albeit bare and décor-free, was full of love and laughter. After the impromptu speeches, the couple kicked off the drinking and dancing with their first dance, followed by the mother of the groom’s signature line dancing. A trio of wedding cakes in assorted flavors by Bungalow—pure hazelnut, pistachio sans rival, and carrot cake—covered in cream cheese buttercrea­m frosting and accented by a punch of food-safe florals by Smitten Floristry. The couple opted for Barcino classics, including the star Cochinillo.
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