How an LDR couple planned their intimate minimalist wedding
Despite being miles and timezones apart, Kevin Fernandez and Jamielee Princess Diamante was able to have their intimate wedding on August 21, 2021 at Caleruega Chapel of Transfiguration, Nasugbu, Batangas. It took almost two years from when they planned to marry, countless planning, postponements, and re-planning, and as Jamie says, “faith, courage, and willpower. We were adamant to push through with our wedding by hook or by crook.”
Jamie is an auditor-CPA based in UAE while Kevin is a business and technology integration consultant in the Philippines. Since they’ve been planning their wedding in 2019, Jamie calls herself “the brains” while Kevin is their runner. The travel ban was one of the biggest hurdles they had to get past. Thankfully once Jamie was able to book a flight home, Kevin and Jamie’s wedding would finally happen–even if it meant planning last minute details and legal requirements during her 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine.
Read below what they envisioned for their wedding and how this LDR couple pulled off wedding planning in a pandemic:
Did you have a theme for your wedding?
We have the same vision for our wedding. Since we are both low-key, we want our wedding to look classic, elegant and timeless—something that would still look beautiful when we look back on our golden anniversary. Our theme was minimalist greeneries and we opted for simple white flowers. We also want our attire to reflect our vision so he wore a tailored barong coat and I wore a minimalist terno. A must have for our wedding was the custom-made leather shoes for Kevin. It was a splurge but totally worth it—aside from our names and wedding date, it also had the inscription “Sa wakas” and “Hanggang Wakas” on the left and right shoe respectively.
What were the challenges encountered during the wedding preparation?
All the major suppliers were booked since March 2020 and we thought it was full steam ahead for our original January 2, 2021 wedding. But just a few days after booking them, WHO declared the COVID-19 as a global pandemic. We eventually decided to reschedule our wedding to August 21, 2021 with the hope that the pandemic will be under control by then.
The biggest challenge was getting stuck in UAE due to the travel ban imposed to travelers from UAE including returning Filipinos. I kept hopeful and adjusted my flight to July 17 but the travel ban kept getting extended. I was in a constant state of anxiety because the announcement of the travel ban comes every 15 days. When it was announced that the travel ban would include our wedding date, we gave up hope and messaged suppliers that our wedding date was indefinitely postponed.
Luckily, commercial flights for returning Filipinos were allowed again and I was able to book a flight but I was subjected to a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine. During the hotel quarantine, we were busy planning our wedding and booking minor suppliers and completing legal requirements.
How did you handle the challenges?
Love is a given but we needed these: faith, courage and willpower—we were adamant to push through with our wedding by hook or by crook because life is never assured so we needed to grab whatever chances are given to us. So even if we felt that some things were impossible, we just powered through it and prayed fervently. Eventually, everything aligned and we had the perfect wedding—perfect not because we planned it that way, but because it was the wedding God graciously blessed us with.
How did you feel during the wedding?
Kevin: We tried our best not to see each other–and each other’s attire–the night before the wedding. I even stayed at a different rental house to avoid seeing her so I was very excited and nervous while waiting for the ceremony to start. It did not help that Father Allen was late for a few minutes and the delay added to my nervous anticipation.
It was during the bridal march that I felt the funny tingly feeling creeping up from my toes to my chest. It was the first time I saw her in all her bridal glory. She was perfect–everything seemed perfect that time. The stress brought by all the challenges we faced melted away. Inevitably, I cried.
Jamie: Honestly, I felt calm the whole wedding day. Maybe because all the feelings and tears flowed before the wedding day—with the challenges and stress that we experienced, I was all cried out before the wedding. There was just an overwhelming gratitude in my heart to all the people involved, to the wedding suppliers, to the friends who were there from preparation to execution, to the families who gave their help and support, to my Kevin who was my perfect partner in all things, and most especially to God who really blessed us and made all things possible.
What were your most memorable moments from your wedding?
Jamie: The memorable moment for me was the ceremony itself. It was the culmination of all our planning and hoping and praying and we had a wonderfully personal ceremony and the homily really spoke to who we are as a couple and who we will be as husband and wife. Also, the moment when the church doors opened and I saw our families and friends, my mother and auntie, and Kevin was truly memorable. I savored that feeling and I made sure to look at each of them and commit to memory how they looked and how I felt at that particular moment. I gave a breath that was both of relief and thanksgiving and I said to myself, “this is it. Thank you, Lord.”
And finally, I will always remember our first dance. It was just Kevin and me in that moment and I loved getting lost in his eyes and feeling the song, the day and the moment.
Kevin: The most memorable for me would be the first time I saw her when the church doors opened. Being away with her the last night of preparations is really worth it. Next would be Father Allen’s homily and his own, unique addition to the usual Catholic Wedding ceremony.
What advice would you give other couples planning their wedding?
Jamie: “Laban lang, if God wills it, it will happen” This was my constant thought during the whole wedding preparation, specially during the last few weeks leading up to the wedding where we had the most roadblocks. During those days, it seemed that we had a new problem to face every day. Had we stumbled, doubted, and lost hope, certainly, there would not have been a wedding. So just remember that during the times when you struggle the most, just trust that God will lead you to the right people and proper solutions.
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The Dream Team:
Church: Caleruega Church - The Transfiguration Chapel | Catering and reception by Events by Sherwood Hills | Video by Cinemaraña Films | Photography by Ivy Palomares Photography | Makeup by Bela Maraña Makeup | Coordination by Party Manager Events | Bridal Gown and Robe by Atelier Lurenzo Rouiz | Groom’s attire by Almario’s | Earrings by Pagmaya PH | Bridal shoes by Betsey Johnson | Groom’s Shoes by GodFather Shoes Metro South | Flowers by Bong and Olive Flower Shop | Hosting by Anchie Rosas | Band: Manila Wedding Singers | Cake by Three Cakes Ph Bakeshop | Invitations by KN’s Invitation Corner | Crew meals by EG’s Diner and Events by Sherwood Hills | Preparation: Cedar Home Canyon Woods