'He would tell me that he'd marry me anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstance'
Charlyne Khristelle Tan has been to hundreds of weddings but when it was her turn to walk down the aisle towards Yvahn Ahana Sy, she felt “clueless of what was about to happen,” just like any other bride about to change her life. Of course its her experience as the bridal designer of Khristelle Tan Bridal Couture which has given Khristelle the insider’s knowledge on brides and weddings. And as such, a bridal designer getting married has a precise and detailed vision of her wedding, her gown, and her entourage wear. She already knew what her bridal gown would look like when she was just a teenager!
Perhaps it was also because it was in those years when Khristelle met Yvahn. “The first time my husband saw me, I was in my PE uniform, disheveled and full of sweat from volleyball,” she recalls. And as we know now, such a sight could lead to a lifetime of love as in the case of Yvahn, a graphic artist, and Khristelle, much like the romcoms and K-dramas we swoon over these days. On September 26, 2021, Yvahn and Khristelle had an intimate wedding at Christ the King church followed by a reception at Gloria Maris CCP.
Below, Khristelle shares in detail what it’s like for a wedding industry insider to get married (hint: she decided one dress was not enough for her wedding just days before the event) and how they handled the biggest curveball of their planning–their church announced it would have to undergo quarantine days before their wedding day because of a positive case. Read on to know more!
How did you meet and fall in love?
The first time my husband saw me, I was in my PE uniform, disheveled and full of sweat from volleyball, but in spite of the state I was in, he fell in love at first sight and waited a year to finally get an opportunity to introduce himself. He borrowed my phone to get my number, and after four months of courtship and dating, I said yes to being his girlfriend. We've been each other's best friend, and support ever since. He was my first ever boyfriend and although we had fights, there was never a time we gave up on each other, and even after being together almost everyday for nine years, we never seem to get tired of each other. The day before we got married was actually our ninth anniversary.
Did you have a theme or motif for your wedding?
I chose blue, white and gold colors for our wedding to keep everything soft and light. My wedding gown had a nude lining so it blended perfectly but still stood out from the entourage dresses, and because I made my own gown, I made sure I could fulfill all my wants and dreams!
Ever since my teen years, I've always dreamt of wearing a one-shoulder serpentine gown for my wedding. Something about it just seems so polished but delicate. My team and I took around six months to finish all the gowns, from the mother's dresses, entourage and flower girls. Every detail was carefully hand-sewn and beaded, even when I suddenly decided to make another gown for a second look just three days before the wedding! I finished my second dress and bridal robe just a day before the actual wedding. I wore the serpentine gown for the ceremony and an a-line dress for the reception.
Did you have to make adjustments to your wedding plans?
Our original guest list number was at 100pax but as the wedding drew closer and the Covid cases were at an all-time high, more and more of our guests had to tell us that they will not be able to come to our wedding. I also made flower girl dresses and prepared suits for our ring bearers but because of the circumstances, no kids were allowed in the church, and we also didn't want to risk the health of our niece and nephews, so we decided let the kids stay at home instead.
What were the challenges encountered during the wedding preparation?
As a gown designer, I felt so pressured when I was designing my own gown, the entourage dresses, and the overall look of the wedding. Yvahn had to calm me down and tell me to not think of what others would comment but to just focus on what I wanted.
The biggest challenge we had to go through was actually waiting for the announcement of COVID protocols and news from our church. Our church suddenly had to be quarantined because one of them was positive, and this was just days before our wedding date. It was hard not knowing if we should postpone the wedding already or if it was ok to push through. In fact, we already messaged all our suppliers that we would be postponing the wedding five days before the wedding. Thankfully the announcement came in time and we were able to go through with everything as planned. Our family played a big role helping us with the planning and preparations too! We only had the confidence to go through with the wedding when our parents assured us that everything would be okay.
Another challenge was looking for a preparation venue that would be safe and private for our family. Hotels and airbnbs weren't an option for us because we had babies and elderly in our households, so we actually had our preparations in my office since it was private, and we also asked for my sister and brother-in-law's permission to use their house as our prep venue too since it was just one floor above my office. Everything worked out perfectly fine in the end.
How did you handle the challenges?
I would say we handled it with love, patience and respect for each other. I am so thankful that my husband was so calm and collected throughout our wedding planning. He would tell me that he'd marry me anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstance and I would calm down for a while then bug him again with the same questions an hour later. Funny but that was our daily routine during wedding planning. Our entourage was also ready to help us with all our problems and worries so we really felt like we could handle anything that came our way.
How did you feel during the wedding?
It was surreal that after experiencing hundreds of wedding preparations from brides I've made dresses for, it was finally my own wedding happening! I felt nervous, giddy and emotional throughout the day, it was as if all my experience was wiped out and I was just a normal bride, clueless of everything that was about to happen on our wedding. It was a good experience because I now know how most brides feel during their wedding day and I feel like I would be able to help my future brides feel more at ease on their wedding.
What were your most memorable moments from your wedding?
It was such a perfect day! Every part of it was such a precious memory for us. According to my husband, it was when I was walking down the aisle because he realized that finally after nine years he gets to marry the girl of his dreams and start a new life with her. For me, it was when we were saying our vows to each other after our wedding ceremony. It was such a solemn and heartfelt moment for us because it was just the two of us in private, pouring out our love for each other.
Any advice for couples planning their intimate wedding?
Because of the pandemic and unpredictable circumstances, accept that there are things that you would be forced to change and let go of, but as long as you compromise and work it out together, things will fall into place. Communicate with your fiancé/fiancee about your worries and reservations, never suppress them because your fiancé needs to know what's happening for them to be able to help you.
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The Dream Team
Bridal gown, entourage and bridal robe by Khristelle Tan Bridal Couture | Videography by Digital Elements | Photography by Photography by Regina | Coordination by Kiss the Girl Events | Bridal hair and makeup by Lindsay Co-Alog | Entourage hair and makeup by Glam Hour by MJ Sazon | Reception styling and flowers by The Party Room | Invitations by Neonovelties | Bridal shoes by Waltz Manila | Jewelry by Diamonds with Love | Church: Christ the King Green Meadows | Reception: Gloria Maris CCP