Wedding Essentials

WE DISCOVERIE­S

Intimately 36

- Photograph­s MARTIN SAN DIEGO Words JUDITH LOS BAÑOS

WE shine the spotlight on young and talented wedding suppliers who are poised to make their presence felt in the industry.

I didn’t have a dream wedding. Nor did I expect to get married. Until 2017 when I met Jonathan.

I was married to my career and was based overseas for the past 17 years. I got back home last 2015 and was still much absorbed by my profession. But meeting Jojo was a life-changing surprise. He got me off my feet over his many endearing ways. I just fell for his strong sense of compassion, respect, and his value for family and integrity. This is the man I am ready to spend my life with.

We got engaged after he proposed to me twice and that was the start of our devoted relationsh­ip that led us to the altar.

Now I have a dream wedding which we excitedly set ourselves into planning. Our plan included a pre-wedding dinner with my immediate family members. We truly wanted to keep the celebratio­n as intimate as possible.we were originally looking at a guest list of 20 until we finally settled with 36 family guests. So unlikely of the usual big and extravagan­t receptions planned for hundreds of friends, ours was arranged for 36 very special people in our lives. We chose to forgo a traditiona­l wedding party in favor of just only a few family members and friends in the ceremony.

Four of my siblings are overseas and with their uncompromi­sing schedules, arranging for all of us to gather for an evening of final preparatio­ns and fittings was one heck of a fun riot with everyone wanting to just catch up on one another. Turned out to be not just a pre-wedding dinner party but a grand family reunion. Considerin­g that the last time we all got together was four years ago when my mom celebrated her 80th birthday. It was indeed a timely reunion for an even grander reason–my wedding.

San Sebastian had to be the church for the wedding as this was where Jojo spent his prayer time during his college years on his way home. I never questioned the choice as this, too, became my prayer refuge ever since.

Our officiatin­g priest was a grade school classmate, Fr. Jboy from Ateneo de Davao. He prepared a special missalette that included our personal love story. Everyone easily related and participat­ed to what was being shared. It was a solemn ceremony filled with warm cheers of joy and blessings.

I love flowers and so for our theme, we chose to fill up the reception venue with a variety of blooms. Punctuated in every table setting and centerpiec­es, our florist made a flawless execution of the floral elements we wanted.

For our motif, we chose lilac-plum as it was 2018’s color of the year. Grey for the groom and groomsmen to complement and match. Renee Salud turned me to a princess with my gorgeous white lace gown standing out among the equally fabulous pastel shades of my bridesmaid­s ensemble.

After my dad passed away, my mom was the one left to walk me down the aisle. I requested my florist to place my dad’s photo in my bridal bouquet so I felt my father was also there to walk me on my special day. With her cane, my mom shared my walk and it was such a dramatic moment that was much talked about after.

Reception was held in a huge private dining room of China Blue. The small intimate setting of just two round tables saw our guests cozying up and enjoying side conversati­ons during the dinner and beyond.

Surprise performanc­es at the C Lounge during the afternoon tea made it even more memorable and fun. Our dear friend Ricci Jereza’s rendition of “I Choose You” prompted our unchoreogr­aphed first-dance. Then a video presentati­on of well-wishers by friends and family all over the world also added to the afternoon’s surprises.

The Conrad Hotel was our wedding venue for all the preparatio­ns. It was the hotel that stood witness to many of our firsts: first date, our engagement dinner, and our first anniversar­y as a couple. They offered a full-service event coordinati­on and a room overlookin­g the famous sunset of Manila Bay, making it the perfect host for a romantic evening.

Such was my dream wedding come true. Very cozy and intimately celebrated with 36 loving souls. Just the way we wanted it to be. Perfect.

“Very cozy and intimately celebrated with 36 loving souls. Just the way we wanted it to be. Perfect.”

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