‘Ang sarap pala talaga ikasal’
Chrisalina Sonia M. Bartolome and BJ Anthony C. Laqui made their almost one decade of love official together with their daughter Catarina, on July 14, 2021 at Casa Cuenco Manila. “We wanted the focus to be on the three of us as we finally sign off on this next step in our lives,” says Crizza. The Laquis made this evident especially through their wardrobe, as both BJ and Catarina made sure to match Crizza’s “non-traditional” Mel Orlina gown.
Crizza confesses that although she initially thought that their wedding would just be a formality, she was still caught up in all the emotion of the wedding day. “Ang sarap pala talaga ikasal.”
Below, Crizza shares their love story and how they planned their big day for their part of three.
Tell us about your love story!
We met each other at a workmate's out of town get-together. It was "intrigue" at first sight. I was the intimidating project manager/product owner aspirant and he was the newbie systems analyst. I couldn't believe that someone took the leap of trying to get to know me. I usually scare them away.
He would invite me to go out in the pretense of a group date but he would find a way to "cancel" on all our other friends and it would end up with just the two of us. By the third date, I knew something was up. We were both idealistic then, childish even; we lived together and was blessed with our daughter, Catarina. I really saw how much we have grown, both as people and in our lines of work.
We decided to live together early on and he proposed to me mid 2014. We were planning our wedding for May 14, 2015, and I also became pregnant. It was like we created a prototype of family life so soon. We often joked that as IT professionals, we gambled with our own MVP (minimum viable product). Now that we are married, we’ve pushed to Production Launch.
So a year and a half of being in a relationship, a proposal, a baby, continued living together, fast forward to six and a half years later, poof! Hello married life!
We saw our relationship as our one big project that we have to somehow ‘perfect'–you know, the right balance of everything. It was a long and bumpy road together trying to hone everything together. We had labor pains (I had the literal ones, together we had the figurative), syncing and coordinating our goals, making sure our criteria was met, compromises made, all the gory and glory of delivering our life project.
Being the project manager, I took care of the budget, scope, and timeline. BJ being the Technical Manager (or solution architect), he took care of our framework. I did not know that our careers would actually help us in our personal lives. I have a spreadsheet for our financials, a gantt chart. He has a mind map app tying things together. Funny, but it works wonders for us.
Did you have a theme for your wedding?
We wanted something simple yet special (a sense of grandeur from our own world), fresh and light colors, so we leaned towards greens, whites, and touches of blush / deep reds. I wanted to feel like a bride and with that I invested in my gown from Mel Orlina. I opted for the dusty pink/nude champagne hues as I felt (my own opinion), non-traditional. He wanted a suit to match my gown plus we matched our daughter’s dress to our clothes us as well. We wanted the focus to be on the three of us as we finally sign off on this next step in our lives. Just that... and flowers! I wanted to see flowers.
BJ and I are pretty much introverts (bordering nerdy) so our original plan was just 30 guests at Neil's Kitchen, Alabang. But, with the pandemic, we wanted to be considerate of people and so we decided to just have my family and his family to celebrate our day. For us, getting married is just really being sincerely ready and happy to take this next step regardless of the guest list.
What were the challenges encountered during the wedding preparation?
No unusual challenge encountered, just the keen coordination needed when we moved from Neil's Kitchen Alabang to Casa Cuenco Manila. I had to be very transparent with the AirBnB owner of my plans on design of the place and of course, head count.
How did you handle the challenges?
My project manager skills kicked in here–coordination, communication, scheduling, and having an on-the-day coordinator! I have to surrender the wedding details to the experts and Calibre Events surely delivered. I may be a project manager but the events industry is not something I have keen knowledge of, so we left it to the professionals.
How did you feel during the wedding?
Surprisingly, it felt surreal. I assumed since we have been living together, it will be just like a "formality" of what we have initially been aiming for. I was surprised that on the day when I walked down the mini aisle, listened to Rev. Rey and said and heard our vows. Ang sarap pala talaga ikasal.
What were your most memorable moments from your wedding?
The prep for starters; I enjoyed being glammed up and being the center of attention for once. And the way my daughter just ate up all the attention as well. She was treated like a mini-bride. I love how her eyes lit up. I wanted her to learn that if someone is really committed to you, they will make the effort to be bounded to you via marriage. A non-expiring contract. The other memorable moment was when we were pronounced as Mr. and Mrs. Laqui! Overall, everything. I wouldn't have it any other way. Well maybe... do it all again?
What are your tips for other couples planning their wedding?
Focus on the two of you, or if you have children like us, focus on your unit. What would really make you feel happy and special? Make sure you are both ready. As I've said, this is entering into a non-expiring contract. Project delivery for life.
And during this pandemic, let's try to be open minded and considerate of who will be with us during our celebration. We want to celebrate and stay safe still, right? Exercise precaution and the mandated protocols (I had alcohol everywhere, foot covers for suppliers entering the house, masks, etc.)
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Venue: CASA Cuenco Manila | On the Day Coordination by Calibre Events Co. | Photography by Ivy Palomares Photography | Hair and makeup by Makeup by Gail Cinco | Officiant: Emmanuel Rey P. Moreno | Florist and Event Styling by Bezalel’s Floral Designs | Bridal Gown by Mel Orlina Couture | Groom’s Suit by Gardini Fashion Center | Flower Girl’s Dress by Spinkiewear | Bridal Hair Accessories by Bride and Sparkle | Invitations by KN’s Invitation Corner | Wedding and engagement rings by Lux Jewelry PH | Bridal and flower girl jewelry: SidestorePH | Wedding cake and cupcakes by Ola Cupcakes | Catering by Neil’s Kitchen | Meals for the Day by Delicious Gabe | Tent and string light rentals by The Tent City | Backdrop by DC Paper Flowers Manila