From a script-worthy love story to a cinematic wedding
A long and winding road from friendship to courtship meant a relatively short dating and engagement period just made sense for John Arvin Bautista and Katherine Joanne Cua. Their cultural differences stood in the way for many years, but eventually the uphill climb turned around and “We knew God was moving,” Arvin recalls. Less than a year after that fateful day, Arvin proposed to Kathy and they began to plan their intimate wedding.
The Bautistas were married on 17 January 2021 at Villa Milagros with just 40 of their family and friends physically present. The couple initially wanted to get married in a venue with a view but because it might be too much trouble for their guests, they chose one where their ceremony and reception could be held at the same property.
Arvin and Kathy share below how hiring professionals experienced in pandemic weddings and the power of technology made their wedding magical.
Did you encounter challenges when planning your wedding?
Our first challenge was to get our Marriage License during a pandemic. The number of appointments for marriage license processing was very limited–the earliest availability for us was in a month. Fortunately, the City of Taguig granted our plea for immediate booking a week after writing to them a Letter of Request for Appointment. We were very fortunate to be scheduled on our preferred date and our Marriage License was released a few days after that.
Next was identifying the the guest list. There have been suggestions from family members on who we should invite; and we have also friends and relatives whom we’d love to celebrate with us on our big day. But the risk of government restrictions shifting at any time caused us to decide on the number of guests that we are comfortable with. We also invested in a live-stream supplier in order for us to still share the joy with our loved ones in spite of the distance. This, we could say, is one of the best decisions we made for our wedding! Our friends and relatives–both in the Philippines and abroad–were able to celebrate with us! And the cinematic live stream video provided for us by Treehouse Story was so clear and well put together as if they themselves were with us during the wedding!
Third was balancing wedding planning with preparing our new home which we moved into right after our wedding.
What’s your advice for couples planning their intimate wedding?
- When building your guest list, keep it to the most essential people that you would want to witness your wedding. Don’t feel pressured to invite everyone in your family or circle of friends. With venue limitations, and the uncertainty that comes with the pandemic, the safety of everyone in your wedding should come first. With technology, there are ways to celebrate with them!
- Have the mindset to be flexible in case your venue needs to change, a supplier becomes unavailable, or a guest backs out last minute. There will be adjustments that you and your partner will have navigate, the most important thing is that you and your partner face it together.
- Choose suppliers who are experienced and trust that they know how to follow the right safety protocols. This lifted a lot of burden from us knowing that we hired professionals who have navigated through weddings during a pandemic. On top of the detailing, have conversations with them about their safety protocols and allow them to execute.
- Most of all–Enjoy! Enjoy the preparation, and enjoy your big day!
The Dream Team
Photography by Randolf Evan | Videography and livestream by Treehouse Story | Venue: Villa Milagros | Bridal Gown and Groom’s Suit by Christine Lam | Catering by Madriaga Catering | Coordinator and bridal bouquet: One Love Events MNL | Host: i-Host Events | Engagement ring by Radical Jewelry by CF Ramirez | Wedding Bands by Karat Gold | Hair and makeup by Faces by Kathreen Diane | Invitation printing by Lucia Artisañia, layout and design by the bride and her sister