'Your wedding will be beautiful no matter what happens because it’s about your love for each other'
Mark Benedict Feliciano and Karen Kimberly Lunar met at a party where Marbie, a business analyst, was called “Kuya” by his future bride, Karen. They reconnected months after the party and their relationship turned into romance. “We both love to travel, to eat out, to drink and hang out with our friends. We’re partners in everything,” says Karen, a marketing manager. “Seven years of being together, we had our ups and downs. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies there are rainy days, storms but we know that as long as we’re together everything will be alright. Our love is much stronger than any challenges.”
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After rescheduling their wedding twice, Marbie and Karen finally tied the knot in a intimate wedding on October 23, 2021 at Tent Chapel at Caleruega, followed by a reception at Ville Sommet. Below, Karen shares their experience of planning their wedding and facing the challenges of rescheduling their intimate garden wedding:
Did you have a theme or motif for your wedding?
I always dreamed of having a garden wedding but because we are Catholics, and we both know that it’s not allowed to have a garden Catholic wedding we opted to choose a chapel with a stunning view of luscious greens, pine trees. That’s why we decided to have a modern rustic theme because we just wanted to have a simple, natural, wooden accent and greenery with a modern touch kind of wedding. We made sure that every detail from the ceremony and reception was aligned to our theme. We even did a lot of DIY because we were very hands-on with the planning. Our non-negotiable suppliers were catering, photographer, and videographer.
Did you have to adjust anything in your wedding planning?
The original plan was to be held at Chapel on the Hill in Don Bosco Batulao but because we moved our wedding date twice, they are no longer available on our final date so we had to let them go since most of our suppliers were available with our final date. Luckily we found Caleruega Tent Chapel which is also in the same area. Our original guest count was 220 but because of the restrictions and guidelines we had to cut it down to 80 pax with our close family and friends.
What were the challenges you encountered during the wedding preparation?
Our first ever challenge during the preparation was rescheduling our wedding to a later date. Three months before our original date, which was June 2020, the first ECQ happened and we don’t have any idea what will happen next and how long it would last. It was very hard to announce on our event page and writing it down really breaks my heart. We rescheduled it for December 2020 but we felt that it’s not safe yet so after careful discussions we decided to move it to October 2021. Come 2021, there’s Delta virus and restrictions have been stricter. But we said to ourselves and to our families that whatever happens, we will push through with our wedding because what matters most is our union and the blessing of the sacrament.
How did you handle the challenges?
We are a very chill couple, we just made sure that we are up to date to all the guidelines. We would check three LGU guidelines from time to time. It is very important that you communicate with each other, you have the same goal. Be open to all possibilities and make sure to support each other’s decision.
It’s also important that you communicate well with your suppliers and ask them for their professional advice. We were very lucky to have talented and understanding suppliers, they really assisted us in every step of the way.
How did you feel during your wedding day?
Happy, excited with a little bit of anxiety. It was a rollercoaster kind of emotions all throughout the day. A lot of happy tears because after all the delays, the long wait is over. We are finally getting married.
What were your most memorable moments from your wedding?
Our whole wedding day was indeed a memorable one. We love that we pushed through with an intimate ceremony, we really felt the love and support of our closest friends and family. It rained on our wedding day, at first I was a bit worried because it’s a garden-type outdoor ceremony, and the original plan was to walk from the arc outside the chapel but because of the rain, it did not go as planned. But during my bridal walk I just enjoyed and cherished every moment of it and for me the rain was a shower of blessings.
The ceremony was really my favorite because it’s where we express our vows in the eyes of God and our loved ones. And I was surprised because during our personal vows, Marbie surprised me and everyone else by singing My Universe by Coldplay featuring BTS during the last part of his vow. I didn’t see it coming because the day before our wedding day, he kept on telling me that he hasn’t prepared his vow yet.
Do you have advice for other couple planning their intimate wedding?
Enjoy and cherish every part of the planning up until your wedding day. Things may not go as planned but always remember that marriage is about the two of you. Always pray and trust God’s will. I always keep this Bible verse in my heart and my mind, “When the time is right, I the Lord will make it happen” (Isaiah 60:22). Your wedding will be beautiful no matter what happens because it’s about your love for each other. Have fun but don’t compromise the safety of everyone. Always have a back up plan. Allot a budget for Covid testing, we know it’s another cost, but you won’t regret it. Everyone can enjoy your day, especially the after party with peace of mind.
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The Dream Team
Prep area: Escala Hotel Tagaytay | Ceremony: Caleruega Tent Chapel | Reception: Ville Sommet | Photography by Colove Studios | Videography by Forevermine Wedding Films | On the day coordination by Eventist Manila | Catering by Passion Cooks | Makeup by Nicole Ceballos | Hairstyling by Arci Barcenas | Bridal gown by Khristelle Tan Bridal Couture | Groom’s suit by Arvox Tailoring | Wedding Bands by Sep Vergara Fine Jewelry | Bridal earrings by Jacatel | Bridesmaid and Mother of the Bride Gowns by Desino Dulce | Entourage hair and makeup by Shy San Diego | Grazing Table by Blessings from God | Host: Marco Borromeo | Invitations by Cumbidado | Flowers by Arlene Calditaran Ayen Designs | Entourage mask and neckties by Queen Mia Ribbonhouse | Band: String Colours Ensemble Wedding Musicians | Lights and sounds: Artuz 101 Professional Lights and Sounds