Wedding Essentials

GERARD TORRES & JENNIFER CALOS

We still do, 35 Years Later

- 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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