GER­ARD TOR­RES & JEN­NIFER CALOS

We still do, 35 Years Later

Wedding Essentials - - REAL WEDDINGS - Pho­to­graphs PAT DY Words GERARDO IG­NA­CIO TOR­RES

June 11, 1983 was the day I of­fi­cially be­came a hus­band to my very beau­ti­ful wife, Jen­nifer. There were only three other peo­ple at our wed­ding: the judge who of­fi­ci­ated our civil mar­riage, his wife who was our only ni­nang and my dad. De­spite the small crowd, the event was spe­cial just the same.

We were both 19 then. Jenny was wear­ing a green ma­ter­nity dress (she was preg­nant with our first child) and I was wear­ing a plain blue polo shirt and rub­ber shoes. We cel­e­brated with chicken sand­wiches and “sopas” and called it a day. It was all we could af­ford then. Even at that point, I wished that some­day I would be able to give my wife a wed­ding she de­serves. In the mean­time, I know I would have to work hard and face many chal­lenges.

Even­tu­ally, we were able to run a suc­cess­ful busi­ness. Our sav­ings can pretty much cover a de­cent church wed­ding. So, on our 25th an­niver­sary, I asked Jenny if she wanted to have a more for­mal wed­ding this time. To my dis­ap­point­ment, she opted to have a trip out of the coun­try with the kids in­stead. But that’s what makes my wife, my wife. So we did.

Ten years after, I de­cided to have a proper wed­ding cer­e­mony. This 2018 is our 35th year to­gether. Do­ing it this year just felt so right. Tar­get date was June 11. We only had 11 weeks to pre­pare for the dream wed­ding. How­ever, churches and re­cep­tion venues were all booked so we de­cided to moved the date to the 24th. This turned out to be a bless­ing in dis­guise be­cause after two weeks of bad weather, the rains stopped and the sun shone on June 24, a bright blessed day for a wed­ding.

My wish was fi­nally hap­pen­ing. Noth­ing could have made it more per­fect. All the mem­o­ries from the past 35 years came flash­ing back as I watched my beau­ti­ful wife walk down the aisle. Be­cause she can’t re­ally walk in heels, Jenny wore white sneak­ers with white lace socks and it went re­ally well with her wed­ding gown–off­beat and yes uniquely Jenny. Her slow-paced steps to­wards me, to the tune of “Kahit Ma­puti Na Ang Buhok Ko,” was truly a de­light to every one who cel­e­brated with us that day.

I hon­estly could not re­mem­ber every sin­gle de­tail but one par­tic­u­lar mem­ory that stands out is when Jenny and I first went in­side the ho­tel ball­room for the pic­to­rial while ev­ery­one was wait­ing out­side. She sud­denly started jump­ing for joy, shout­ing how happy she was and how much she liked the ar­range­ment for the re­cep­tion. I looked at her then and told her “This is for you, this is what we have been wait­ing for the past 35 years.”

From the “chicken sand­wich and soup” to a ho­tel ball­room re­cep­tion, from a table of three guests to a room full of fam­ily and friends–take all these, plus sur­prises of video recorded mes­sages from our chil­dren and I be­lieve I have ful­filled the prom­ise of a wed­ding she well de­served.

One thing about my wife is that she loves cap­tur­ing mem­o­ries and fram­ing pic­tures she has taken. So we thought that a framed photo of our wed­ding would be our best give away. But for me re­new­ing our vows of 35 years and see­ing Jenny’s lov­ing smile that day was the per­fect mo­ment and truly the per­fect pic­ture.

Yes, we still do 35 years later and yes we still will 35 years and more.

“I looked at her then and told her ‘This is for you, this is what we have been wait­ing for the past 35 years’.”

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