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What People Remember (and Praised) about our Wedding

Most newlywed or engaged couples would advise that come wedding day everything that was prepared for should be entrusted to God — “to let go and let God”. However, our take on this is that we should not only trust God on “the day” itself. We can always start with God from Day 1 of everything. I believe the reason why my husband and I had a beautiful wedding is because we lift everything to God from the start. We wanted to give God the spotlight on our big day because that’s a wedding should be. A wedding is not just about the bride and groom but also God who binds the two. Thus, the verse used commonly referenced during weddings,

A cord of three strands cannot easily broken. –  Ecclesiastes 4:12

The three strands represent God, the bride, and the groom. Sadly, with all the wedding trends that we have these days, God is commonly taken out of the big picture. 😦

My husband and I can only plan the wedding well, but it cannot be executed without the generosity, prayers, and labor of love from our ministry, friends, and families and the grace of God.

We chose the best suppliers we can afford and compromised on the things that we can. We may not be millionaires to afford such a wedding, but we believe that we are children of God, thus we know (and acted) in faith that we can pull off such a lovely wedding.

The following are the 6 things that people remember most and praised about our wedding:

1. The PLACE

We had our wedding preparations, ceremony, cocktails, and reception all in one place. Since our wedding falls on a Monday, we chose a place that’s near and convenient to our friends and families coming mostly from Metro Manila.

We booked Farm Hills Garden in Tagaytay way back February 2018 when the place was not completely developed yet. We booked it at first sight. Why? Because it is naturally lovely! The pine trees, the interior designs, the greenery, every little thing and corner is IG-worthy in Farm Hills. Their villas are themed per room (Scandinavian, Rustic, Tropical, Industrial, etc.) We stayed in five of their 12 villas, and everyone just loved their stay in the place. As to the ceremony area, the garden is plain and simple but is more than enough. Simplicity is beauty, always. For the pavilion and its styling, it was simply classy.

After the wedding, friends who see the photos and videos of our wedding said that the place is beautiful and picturesque. Those present in the wedding praised us for choosing the place. Some friends even want to have their weddings there too. Days after our wedding, our AE, Geanne, informed us that there are inquiries and ocular visits already for their place from people connected to us.

 

 

2. The PAGKAIN (FOOD)

This is definitely one of the things that guests will remember about the wedding, that’s why we made sure that the guests will remember ours in a positive way, and thankfully they did. The place and the catering are a package from Farm Hills Garden. The in-house chef, Chef Ryan,cooks deliciously well that each of our guests praised us for the food that was served. Not only the food taste good but the serving was generous too. Guests said that we never made them hungry from the cocktails to the dinner. Months after the wedding, some of my friends still cannot get over the menu of the wedding; they are even considering Chef Ryan to cater to their future events.

We are truly grateful that God led us to Farm Hills Garden. Up to the moment of writing this, the memory of my then fiancé holding my hand as we pray while scouting for a venue is still fresh with me. Truly, God was there with us from the start.

3. The PHOTOS & VIDEOS

We acted in faith and wisdom in this matter. We needed wisdom in this because the photos and videos are non-negotiable and non-compromising elements for us, and we definitely acted in faith knowing that we needed a lot of money for this.

While celebrity weddings are covered by creative teams amounting to almost half a million pesos, we spent only a hundred thousand pesos for our photos and videos. We didn’t get the top names in the wedding industry but we chose those who are best in their crafts. The price we paid may still be expensive for others and cheap for some. But, the shoot and the output was all worth it! Everyone who watched our AVPs and SDEs praised the photos and video. Until now, the views on our SDE keep on increasing. I guess our SDE is so awesome to the point that it is being used now as an advertisement by Vidlens.

More importantly, our friends, families, and guests loved working with the photo and Video team. They were not just professionals but they also acted out as friends.

Photo team: Ram Marcelo Photography

Video team: Vidlens

Ram Marcelo PhotographyRam Marcelo Photography

4. The PEOPLE

We only had 100 guests! But, Julius did not want the photo and video teams to eat crew meals, so the 16 of them were counted as well for the buffet, thus making our guests count to 116. Nowadays, 100 guests are already considered intimate, so everyone praised us for still keeping an intimate one. Our guests praised the wedding for the kind and polite volunteer coordinators, the superb service from the staff of Farm Hills Garden, the ever-friendly photographers/videographers (this is a must, so choose your photo/videographers wisely), and our cooperative entourage.

Truly, we can say that our wedding is beautiful not because it was our own, but because it was a celebration of our lives and love with the people who chose to celebrate with us and helped us make it beautiful.

Co-planner & Coordinator: Dara Obog

Host: Jeff dela Cruz

5. The POETIC Vows and Songs

Our friends from the Music Ministry were volunteer musicians for our wedding.

“Wala na. Finish na!”, were their words when I told them what songs we would like them to play. The singer and the musicians all agreed that the line-up of Danao and Dancel was amazing. When I walked down the aisle with Ebe’s Bawat Daan, even the singer started to cry. Our theme song, Hanggang Wala ng Bukas was also played at the recessional. I also made sure that the songs played on the wedding will be the same songs on the SDEs. After the wedding, my friends from UP said that it was such an Ebe Dancel soundtrack wedding. The songs added all the feels.

Wedding Singer: Princess Royon

Musicians: Joseph, Aaron, and Archie

The poet in me was also unleashed in my wedding vow. After the wedding, our friends (specially brothers in Christ) said that the Tagalog vows were amazing and truly remarkable. I still receive compliments until now, and I like that most of them were able to memorize some of the lines. The most favorite was,

Mahal, hindi mo kailangang magpaka-bayani, dahil simula ngayon, ikaw na ang aking bayan; pagsisilbihan kita at ipaglalaban.

Ram Marcelo Photography

6. The PREACHING

Yes! You’ve read that right – the preaching on our wedding ceremony was praised by our guests. While some couples do not give much importance on what will be preached on their big day and some guests do not pay much attention to the ceremony at all, we made sure that God will be glorified in every event of our wedding. Amazingly, almost every guest said that they loved the preaching on our wedding ceremony. God’s Words were highlighted on our big day!

Officiating Minister: Pastor Ryan Gidor of Victory Christian Fellowship – Alabang

At the end of the celebration, we are forever thankful not only because we were blessed with a beautiful wedding but because we were able to give the glory to God – the One who deserves all the praises for our wedding.

Ram Marcelo Photography

Our wedding is not just about our union but a day that glorifies the Lord, the Author of our love story.

Tuesday Mornings and Sweet Dreams

One Tuesday morning, I woke up with the sound of waves kissing the shore. I went out to greet the morning sun as she rise, but she was not there; the rain and the dark clouds covered her. I, a stranger in this paradise, did found comfort in a book and a cup of coffee with my best friend seating in front of me, making me feel that I was not alone.

Suddenly, a man arrives with his black jacket and yellow board shorts holding a bag on his right and a surf board on his left. He walked past me, gave me a stare for a second, that made me heard my heart saying, Im beating fast.

The sun came out at noon, just in time for me to marvel and explore the entire island ‘til my body aimed for rest. I slept without even saying goodbye to the sun. I was about to call it a day in this lovely place, but it was not over yet.

From our window, I saw him holding his tablet reading an e-book with a cup of coffee. I shook my head and talked to myself, “Don’t be bothered with his presence. You dont even know him.” I grabbed a chair at the dining hall where he was seating, but I made sure he was far from me or he might hear the roaring sounds of “lub-dub inside my chest. He was sitting two tables behind me, facing the shore while I’m facing the opposite. For hours, I was not at ease, for I can feel a pair of eyes on me, so I look around and caught him staring at this bothered bookworm then he went to his room, and I guess, we both called it a day.

Another morning came, and the sun was still hiding in the mountains asking her spectators to wait with their shutters. I went to the shore alone, feeling the sand and the tiny waves on my toes. My bible was waiting for me in the terrace, so I went up to feed my soul. The wisest man wrote, A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. I hold this verse for a moment, but when I looked up, there was me, him, and the morning sunshine. I uttered a short prayer, asked God to take away the butterflies with this stranger.

My best friend arrived just in time. She walked with me on the sands – an escape to that moment of tension. My bible was still on my hand, as my heart begged for wisdom. The waves were threatening, so I went back to secure my bible, then I heard him said something from above the terrace or maybe it’s just my illusion though I pretended not to hear him or should I say I was just afraid to know what he’ll be saying. I ran from him, knowing that his eyes were still on me, running barefoot. I went back to the shore with my heart, trying to find where my skipped beats went.

I need a coffee that’s what my system says until I was calm when he walked past me again, this time with his board on hand. I’m not bothered as I saw him set forth to embrace the waves. The butterflies were gone, and my heart maintains its rhythm but my eyes were fixed on the shore among the surfers, searching for a particular one, as if looking for a pearl in a vast ocean.

“What was that?” my rational mind asked.

Science answered, “Law of Attraction maybe”.

Arts says, “It cannot be, for he looks like a mural painting, an artist’s masterpiece, which is the exact opposite of your favorite form of art – abstract, something that only your own eyes can appreciate. Many may fall for his beauty, but that does not include you.”

I agree with Arts, that physical attraction is not the reason of this strange feeling. What is it then? Infatuation? Negative. Love at first sight? I don’t believe on that.

 After much arguing in my head, I got ready to say my farewell to this paradise, so I went out for my last look on the waves, the sand, the mountains, and the Pacific Ocean then I saw him coming out of the shore, and I felt like there was something that stabbed my chest, as the thought that it was also the last sight of him sink in. I ran away as he took off his wet blue shirt and hang it in a chair to dry, for I can’t afford to have him noticed me staring at him.

All my bags were packed, and I was waiting for my best friend to get ready. I was sitting inside with our door open then the boy next door, a surfer boy, the man who stole some of my heart beats walked past me for the very last time. He gave me a stare and a shy smile then went towards the bay to get his board, that was it, the very last butterfly went away with him.

I bid the hall goodbye, saying to myself that what happened in that place will remain there like hidden carved names on a trunk of a tree. A part of me wanted to stay, to wait in the hall while he’s out in the shore. However, my rational mind says it’s time for me to go. I was not able to know his name. All I know is that I shared a night with him, reading books in a dining hall with our cups of coffee, exchanging glances.

Another morning came, but there was no sound of waves, no photographers waiting for the sun to show its picture-perfect rise, no sand beneath my tiny toes, no best friend to comfort me, and no man to hide from.  I was back in the city, and the paradise where I’d been is now a place where I discovered that I’m still a human; a woman capable to have this unexplainable feeling of elation and anxiety, and a child who runs away from what she thought as falling and hurting. Mornings must have come and go, but the butterflies still come with just a thought of the man who came on a gloomy morning, the man left in a paradise with a majestic morning sun.

I woke up today as fresh as it was that Tuesday morning when I opened my eyes feeling the sun, the waves, the shore, the sand, remembering the smile of the stranger with the morning bliss. My desk calendar says it is Tuesday today, my alarm clock then apologize saying, “Sorry if I have to wake you up from a deep sleep.”

I asked, What was this all about?

Reality answered, “It was all part of a very sweet dream.”