Weddings That Inspire

Ryan and Bea's Tokyo-Inspired Wedding

By Marielle Ong

Photography by Silvermoon Studios

After getting engaged in Japan with a view of Mt. Fuji during the cherry blossom season, Vann Ryan Calimbahin and Bea Carla Redoblado were inspired to transport that magical spring feeling to their Manila wedding to share with their loved ones. To achieve this, the pair opted for a sakura theme, with a color palette primarily composed of lavender and pink. Their love, like the cherry blossoms, is meant to be celebrated in full bloom.

The Dream Team

Event Planner: PLA Events by Pinky Antonio | Flowers: Spruce Floral Designs | Event Stylist: Jo Claravall | Gowns: Francis Libiran, Randy Ortiz, Carla Guiao-Yuson | Cake: Naked Patisserie | RV Mitra Photography | Hair and makeup: Albert Kurniawan | Music: Manila Philharmonic Orchestra | Host: Sam YG | Venues: Sanctuario de San Antonio and Grand Hyatt

Photographers by: Silvermoon Studio
Weddings That Inspire

Chard and Wendy's Rustic Garden Wedding

Photography and videography by Gabatan Digital Gallery

Richard Ivan Nicolas and Fredizwinda Perez wanted their sweet celebration to be a mix of solemnity and relaxation. After all, love stays true through the serious moments and the calm ones. The sweethearts’ garden wedding achieved its ideal serenity with easy-on-the-eyes blush tones. The soft shades added a warmth to the occasion that emphasized the warm fuzzies of the bride and groom’s amour. —Marielle Ong

Venue: El Jardin de Zaida | Hair and makeup: The Pink Brush Make Up Artistry by Leah Lim | Robe: With love, Miriam | Coordinator: SGM Events Planning & Coordination | Lights and Sounds: PINE Audio & Lights - Special Effects - Confetti | Acoustic Band: BreakfastClub | Invitation: KnR Prints

Send this blog to a couple planning their garden wedding!


Photo & Video Company by: GDGFilm ( Videography & Photography Services)
Weddings That Inspire

Matt and Lyn - Snatched From the Start

'A wedding is not just about our love for each other but God's love for both of us'

By Misha Fabian

June 27, 2020 marked the beginning of a new chapter in Lyn Dela Luna and Matt Imbong’s life together as they celebrated their very intimate wedding ceremony at St. John Bosco Church, Makati. A reception was then held at Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati.

The Love Story

The couple first met at a three-day single’s retreat in Tagaytay. They were unable to talk at first since there were around a hundred people in their group. Matt recounts the journey of their relationship.

“One day, on one of our batch activities, she was all flustered and worried… she apparently got her phone snatched from her on the way to our meeting place. So there I was trying to console her and was doing what I could to help her out. A week after the incident she was able to get a new device. I thought of sending her a message and asked how she was doing, we started chatting which then led to us talking over the phone,” Matt says.

It is truly incredible how such an inspiring romance can bloom from one unfortunate event. To put it succinctly, “God will give you what you ask for when you are ready to receive it,” Matt says.

“During our conversations, I came to realize that I really liked talking to her and I felt that we had a deep connection, so after talking for hours on end every day I decided to ask her out. A few months of dating passed, I finally asked the question, she said yes and we became a couple!” says Matt.

The Wedding

Originally, the couple planned for 150 guests in St. John Bosco Church and an Elegant Chic themed reception at Dusit Thani to be held on June 20. But, with the implementation of quarantine guidelines, they had to make significant changes to their preparations.

“Except for the groom's suit, the wedding gown, attire for the entourage, and for those of our parents were also on its way to completion. We even had our rings made with our names and date already engraved. With the restrictions during quarantine though, we had to let go of some of our suppliers even though we already placed reservation fees for them,” Matt says.

With their parents being away from Manila coupled with the strict travel restrictions, it would have been impossible for their loved ones to attend their ceremony. They were torn whether to push through with starting their lives together or to wait it out.

Related: Raymond and Jhoanna: From Rome to Back Home

Matt says, “When the ECQ was lifted in June and we got our marriage license, we prayed for guidance. After carefully thinking it over, and with our parents' blessings, we decided to go ahead and push through a week after the originally scheduled date. We renegotiated new terms with the venue and with the floral arrangements in consideration of the new setup we were having.”

Pushing Through with Plans

When asked how the couple handled the challenges that came with planning a wedding during a pandemic, here’s what they had to say:

Matt: Aside from our original photo/video service, we opted to set up a live-streaming video service for our parents, relatives, and friends who wanted to witness the event live but could not attend for safety reasons and imposed limitations at that time. For the actual reception, we had to move to a smaller function room just enough to fit 15-20 people. We gave out face masks & eyeshields. Social distancing was imposed in both church and the hotel so as to keep everyone safe.

Lyn: I was supposed to have my pampering session before the wedding but since that was not possible, my sister instead bought me a multi massager & she had my nails & hair done. My friends from the Legion of Mary organization in St. John Bosco volunteered to help in setting up the legion altar, wedding signage, and other errands in the church since we didn't proceed with hiring a wedding coordinator.

Although their wedding turned out differently than what they had planned pre-COVID, the newlyweds still felt blessed and found that the celebration exceeded their expectations.

“As what our officiating priest told us a wedding is not just about our love for each other but God's love for both of us. Just when I thought that things couldn't get any better, our dinner turned out to be a night full of love as everyone put their hearts out as they shared their personal experiences with us. We ended the night with our hearts full of love,” the couple says.

The Imbongs are also planning to arrange another celebration with their closest friends and relatives since many, including their parents, were unable to attend.

Just a simple celebration and gathering with our loved ones. Unfortunately, Lyn's dad passed away just 2 months after the wedding while working abroad. Though we were deeply saddened by this news. We were somehow consoled by the thought that we made the right decision to push through with the wedding. At least he was able to witness his daughter tie the knot before his passing on,” Matt says.

Related: Should You Still Do the Pamanhikan?

“When you are faced with difficult decisions and emotional distress, go in prayer, and ask for guidance before you get into a discussion. This pandemic has revealed our differences but it also made us patient and understanding of each other,” says the couple.

They also stress the importance of communication and letting others know of your challenges, especially during these trying times.

“It would also help if you can share your challenges with your family and closest friends as they will do everything to make your day easier and stress-free. Talk and negotiate with your suppliers, you will not know how flexible they just might be to help you out,” he says.

Share this blog with a couple planning their wedding and reception!

The Dream Team

Church: St. John Bosco | Reception: Dusit Thani Hotel | Photo & Video: Honeycomb PhotoCinema | Livestreaming: Red Panda Philippines | Florist: WeddingsnMotifs | HMUA: Redefining Beauty by Rhaiza | Bridal Gown: Leslie's Bridal | Bridal Robe: Sewn with Love by Yvonne Camay | Wedding Rings: J's Diamond

Weddings That Inspire

Raymond and Jhoanna - From Rome to Back Home

'Let go of the mindset that you have to have a big wedding celebration to make it special'

Photographs by Nice Print Photography

Raymond Galano and Jhoanna Vasquez planned to get married in Rome on May 2020 but in March, they knew that their dream wedding and a year’s worth of planning would no longer be a possibility. The couple instead created Plan B, an intimate wedding on August 8, 2020 at St. James the Great Parish in Ayala Alabang with only a handful of guests. The reception was help in a private residence. Now Mr. and Mrs. Galano, Raymond and Jhoanna share their journey to the altar and what got them through. “...because of prayer, we never lost hope,” Jhoanna says.

Scroll down to see their wedding photos and to read their account.

What were your wedding plans?

Raymond Galano (RG): I proposed to Jhoanna in Hong Kong Disneyland in June 2019. We started planning our wedding and decided we want to hold it in Rome, Italy on May 2020. Nearing the date, the pandemic struck. We had no choice but to abandon the original plan. Given the government regulations at the time, we held an intimate celebration with only a handful of guests. Despite this, we have beaten the odds. Thus, I can confidently say, when you are with the right one, love always prevails.

Jhoanna Vasquez-Galano (JVG): We planned to wed in Italy because that's where Raymond's parents renewed their vows. Our guest list was at 50. Despite the overseas arrangement, we had no issues planning the wedding since my in laws have contacts in Italy which helped a great deal. When the pandemic struck, it was apparent that we had to postpone. We were both very emotional. Anxiety kicked in. But because of prayer, we never lost hope.

When the pandemic was declared, what did you do?

JVG: We realized that the current global situation will not permit us to push through with a wedding in Italy. That's when we decided to have it here in our home country. Because of social distancing, we trimmed down our guest list from 50 to 15. I could no longer wear my ballgown wedding dress. Instead, I opted for a lace mini dress, which suited our intimate wedding. We couldn't book a hotel for the wedding reception. We rented a private residence that has the capacity to hold a reception for 15 guests instead.

Related: Wedding Gown Inspos for Your Intimate Wedding

How did you feel during your wedding?

JVG: We realized that we don't need an extravagant wedding. Ultimately, what we need is each other and the people who matter to us. During the celebration, we felt very comfortable and relaxed around each other and our guests. It was an emotional event. There were tears of joy. There was laughter in the air. And so, with much love and gratitude, we can both say, we finally made it.

Are you still planning for another wedding?

JVG: We still want to celebrate in Italy once the pandemic is over, but since we're already married, it will be a renewal of vows instead. It will also double as a family reunion, and it's also an opportunity to share the love with our friends and family who were not able to attend the wedding. For now, we are thankful and blessed to say, finally, we are one.

What’s your advice for couples planning their wedding?

JVG: Plan for a simple wedding--as simple as possible. Always remember that everyone's health and safety comes first. As hard as it may be, let go of the mindset that you have to have a big wedding celebration to make it special. Focus on what matters, and realize that what makes a wedding special is your love for each other and the people who truly matter to you.

Related: Kris and Jaymee: Accepting the New Plan

Photos courtesy of Raymond and Jhoanna Galano

Share this with a couple who had to postpone their wedding plans!

Photo & Video Company by: Nice Print Photography
Weddings That Inspire

Iñigo and Sheena: Love Knows No Bounds

“Be positive and grateful, and keep on looking forward”

By Misha Fabian

Iñigo Ramos and Sheena Que seem to have run in the same circles all their lives. Iñigo had gone to PAREF Southridge for grade school, while Sheena went to PAREF Woodrose. However, it wasn't until they were in college that they met--when they joined the same carpool. They instantly became friends and soon found themselves belonging to the same barkada. They were both even part of the same closer inner circle. The two were good friends throughout college and stayed in touch even after graduation.

Romance only blossomed between them seven years later. Sheena was a practicing tax attorney at Reyes, Tacandong, and Co., while Iñigo was starting his own trading business following his stint at Deutsche Bank Malaysia. Iñigo requested Sheena to prepare and notarize a legal document for his business and when he came to pick it up, he noticed what a beautiful, professional woman she’d become. That was when sparks began to fly.

Their feelings heightened when they both attended a common friend’s wedding in Baguio. After all those years of being "just friends", Iñigo finally asked Sheena out. They decided to give their relationship a try, and the rest is history! The pair dated for four years.

The key to their rock-solid relationship? Friendship! Both Iñigo and Sheena take pride in their solid friendship, which they believe was the foundation of their amazing relationship. It also helped that they were well-loved by each other’s families. Finally, Iñigo proposed last November 2019.

The Wedding

The couple had originally planned to have an intimate ceremony on the July 11, 2020, at Don Bosco Chapel on the Hill, followed by a reception at Antonio's Tagaytay. They wanted to celebrate at Antonio’s because it was the place where they celebrated many of their milestones as a couple. However, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in their plans and they had to improvise.

Related: Dex and Joy: Tinghun and Wedding in One Day

The couple still tied the knot on their initially planned date, and it was an intimate celebration in which they made the most of the situation. Iñigo’s parents and siblings were unable to fly in from the US and Singapore because of the travel restrictions. They attended the ceremony and reception virtually. 

Despite the challenges they faced, Iñigo and Sheena were both very excited to get married despite these trying and unpredictable times. They still followed wedding traditions--they did not see each other the day before the wedding, had something new, something borrowed, and something blue!

While the couple is saddened that Iñigo's parents and siblings could not physically be with them on their special day, they made the most of their situation and did their best to include Iñigo’s family in the planning and preparation of their wedding.

So, what was their biggest challenge in planning their wedding? Ensuring everyone’s safety. They needed to develop and devise a system that would allow for the least amount of physical contact possible, while still allowing the guests have a great time celebrating their union. To overcome their hurdle, the couple researched all the ways they could reduce contact. They distributed masks, face shields, and bottles of alcohol to every single attendee.

Related: Promise Wedding: Marry Now, Party Later

The couple wants to have a grander wedding celebration in the future to renew their vows, and they hope to have all their loved ones with them when they do. The celebration would also be a thanksgiving party of sorts to express their gratitude for having been kept safe, healthy, and comfortable amid the pandemic.

Love truly knows no bounds. Sheena and Iñigo were determined to get married, and with their love for each other, they were able to overcome the obstacles thrown their way by the pandemic.

This is their advice to couples who are planning to get married or are getting married during these trying times: “Be positive and grateful, and keep on looking forward.” While they were unable to have the “wedding of their dreams” and execute it as they had initially planned, they are still ecstatic that they were able to get married and have a beautiful and meaningful ceremony. 

Share this blog with a couple planning their intimate wedding!

The Dream Team

Caterer: Cibo di Marghi | Bride's Dress: Perez Rubio Bridal | Groom's Suit: Exclusively His Tailoring | Photographer: JC Tee | Hairstylist and makeup artist: Hanna Pechon | Flowers & Event Stylist: Henry Pascual Event Stylist | Fascinator: Mich Dulce | Event Coordinator: Metro Promo Concepts Corp. | Church: National Shrine of Sacred Heart | Giftboxes: The Side Project | Wedding Souvenir: Geppetto | Wedding Cake: Corner Street Cakes

The Ramoses share a kiss.
The newlyweds with the groom's family.
Apertifs on a personalized wooden board.
Catering by Cibo di Marghi, styling by Henry Pascual Event Stylist
The couples' gift box for their guests.
Bride Sheena Que-Ramos is all smiles.
Sheena, head pastry chef of Corner Street Cakes, made her own wedding cake.
The bride, Sheena Que, poses for a portrait with her parents.
Weddings That Inspire

Dex and Joy: Tinghun and Wedding in One Day

This couple managed to honor traditions and tie the knot safely after adjusting their wedding plans four times

For Dex Ong and Joy Co, almost a year's worth of planning was thrown off course. But it was two big events that they needed to figure out: their tinghun ceremony and their wedding day. Traditionally, these two celebrations should not be set on the same day. But because these are different times, their families thought it best and wise that the couple schedule it in one day to lessen everyone's exposure.

Interestingly it was Dex who was on top of readjusting their plans--especially when the couple was forced into plan D so to speak. "It was like preparing for three weddings!" he jokes. After all the couples rescheduling and rebooking, the Ongs look back at their two-in-one day with pride. "A grand wedding of course is the dream wedding but it is not necessarily a perfect wedding. We’re proud to say that our wedding was a perfect intimate wedding."

Scroll down to see more of Dex and Joy's tinghun ceremony and wedding, and find out how they managed to pull both events of beautifully in their own words.

Photos courtesy of Joy Co-Ong and by Toto Villaruel

The Dream Team:

Makeup artist: Lindsay Co-Alog | Grooming: Iya Gueco | Gown: Vee Tan |
Suit: Bianca Cordero | Bride’s Shoes: Shoepatos by Doreen Odvina | Groom’s Shoes: Bristol Shoes | Photographer: Toto Villaruel | Videographer: Project Mayo 7 | Styling: Majic Touch Event | Bouquet: Gary Dacanay | Coordinator: Dex Ong, Tris with Love, and Christine Ong Te Events

Do you know a couple planning their tinghun ceremony and wedding? Send them this story!

Related: Fourth and Grizelle: We Just Can't Wait!

Our original plan was to get married in June 2020. We also had a separate tinghun ceremony which was supposed to be held on March 2020. But then, the pandemic happened and there was a wave of ECQs which were announced every fifteen days. We initially moved our tinghun to May, however, the ECQ got extended, so we decided to go with a two-in-one ceremony on 27 June 2020. Again, things did not go according to plan because our documents were still not ready, so we finally settled with 8 August 2020. It was all set to be held at China Blue, Conrad Hotel so we were actually quite excited when President Duterte initially announced that Metro Manila will be under GCQ for August 1-15, 2020. But then, on the evening of 2 August 2020, the President announced that Metro Manila will revert back to MECQ from August 4-18. We were crushed. Good thing Dex stepped up his game. We decided to push through with August 8 moving the whole event in his house.
Our main objective was to execute both events as safely as possible. Since we had to follow some traditions, we asked for a little leeway from our parents. Usually, a tinghun and a wedding should not be celebrated in one day. However, we had to adjust so that our exposure will be minimized. Luckily, our parents agreed to the idea of celebrating the two events in one day.
There were quite a number of pros in having a 2-in-1 celebration. The most important part of course was our safety. Instead of going out twice, our exposure was cut down to just one day. Second, it was definitely cheaper. We just had to handle one set of suppliers instead of two. Third, since we had to cut down on the number of people present, the events were really intimate and more personal, something that a grand wedding usually lacks. As for the cons, the only con that we can think of was we weren’t able to share this milestone with our relatives and friends. However, Dex was able to arrange a livestream with some of our relatives and close friends on Zoom and Facebook.
Dex: It was like preparing for 3 weddings! Before the pandemic came, we started preparing for our March 2020 tinghun and June 2020 wedding last July 2019. We had the luxury of time to prepare for everything so we didn’t really had a hard time coming up with concepts and ideas. When the first ECQ was announced, we were still quite hopeful that the June wedding will still push through and that the tinghun could still push through by May. However, when it was announced that the ECQ/MECQ would be extended until end of May, we had no choice but to postpone both tinghun and wedding alike.
We had an extra hard time in moving the events because we had to consult a feng shui master whether the next date would be auspicious. Moreover, we also weren’t sure whether all our booked suppliers would be available on the next date. This was actually the hardest part of rescheduling both celebrations. Luckily, all our suppliers were available on our next chosen date.
I only had 5 days to prepare everything again. Luckily, I know quite a number of friends who do catering and so I was able to pick one for our date. Fortunately, all our suppliers were still willing to push through despite the MECQ. Since it was all moved to our place already, we just had to do some extra sanitation procedures (wearing of face masks and shields, using UV light and air purifier to disinfect the whole house) to be sure that the venue is safe for everyone.
We followed all the traditions being done in a tinghun. Giving out juice and candies, bride walking backwards, exchanging of gifts, etc were all done. It was all prepared by our tinghun coordinator, Tinghun Tris, who incidentally is also Dex’s friend. The only thing we didn’t follow was to invite elders since seniors were not allowed to go out. We were only 10, consisting of our immediate family as “guests” for both celebrations.
We had a civil wedding at home. The documents were prepared last June when NCR was placed under GCQ. Our original coordinator, Christine Ong Te Events, helped us in securing the necessary documents.
As for the day flow of the events on the said date, Dex was the one who designed everything. Dex was in cahoots with Joy’s best friend who told her that she won’t able to come but surprised her with her attendance. The setup of the wedding was also a surprise for Joy since she only knew that we will “recycle” the backdrop of the tinghun ceremony. Joy didn’t know about the livestream either. She was surprised when someone Dex hired, approached her and mentioned that her colleagues and close friends were watching over Zoom and Facebook. Lastly, Dex was able to have one of their favorite aritists, Moira dela Torre, sing a few lines from Ikaw at Ako as the couple danced to their first dance as a married couple.
Joy: My best friend suddenly arrived out of nowhere while the videographer was filming my preparations was memorable. I cried my heart out because I really wanted her to be present on my wedding day. The exchanging of vows was also memorable because we cried at every sentence we uttered.
Dex: The exchanging of vows was really memorable for me. The content was really moving and we cried continuously for maybe 10 minutes. Of course, I was really content knowing that she really liked my surprises.
Just stick with the basics. We can’t emphasize this enough. A grand wedding of course is the dream wedding but it is not necessarily a perfect wedding. We’re proud to say that our wedding was a perfect intimate wedding. We actually recommend having an intimate wedding because it is more personal and practical. In all honesty, the presence of your partner, respective families, and closest friends are enough.
There is no need for an extravagant wedding. What you need to prepare for is the marriage. The wedding is just one day while the marriage is for the rest of your lives. There will be disagreements about preparations because there are expectations from both families and friends, but what’s important is the decision of the couple. Set aside what other people will think, because you can’t please everyone. Just focus on each other’s feelings. Your love for each other is the most important thing and it should always prevail.
Weddings That Inspire

Fourth and Grizelle: We Just Can't Wait!

"Listening to Fourth's vow melted my heart" --Grizelle

Fourth Solomon and Grizelle Gratela spent only two months to put together their Pinterest-worthy city wedding in lieu of the Boracay wedding. The couple decided that being together as soon as possible was what they wanted more than the big celebration--that can wait. Starting married life ASAP? The Solomons just could not wait!

Scroll down to see the Solomon's gorgeous wedding photos and how they planned their stylish intimate city wedding as told by Grizelle.

What was your initial wedding plan?

Our plan was a Boracay wedding on March 2021 but the pandemic happened and we're not sure how long this will be so we instead planned for a city wedding in two months. We realized that we can't wait much longer for everything to get better, so we put together a simple intimate wedding with our closest loved ones. We were supposed to get married on our anniversary on August 13 but Metro Manila was suddenly put on Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) so we had to reschedule and the nearest available date for everyone was August 27.

How did you come to the decision to plan your wedding in this way?

We will still push through with our Christian wedding in Boracay, maybe in 2022 or when everything is settled. Our city wedding was a civil wedding with 30 guest. I really wanted to make it memorable since it's going to be our first official wedding and I wanted everything to be Pinterest-worthy, so that when we take photos it will be memorable and not just something plain.

What were some of the things you made sure to have for your wedding

We already booked Nice Print Photography for our Boracay wedding and we're happy they were available on our civil wedding. We're so happy with how our photos turned out! I also want to acknowledge Ginger Event Styling, my events stylist for really bringing my mood pegs into life! She gave me more than I expected and she really made the wedding breathtaking!

What are some of your favorite moments of the day?

When I heard Fourth's vow, and listening to how much he loves and appreciates me just melted my heart. 

What was your and your outlook on having a quarantine wedding? How were you able to make it a positive and memorable experience?

Most of the people might get scared to really celebrate during pandemic, I personally was scared so I did not invite my parents who are senior citizens because they are high risk. It's sad but we have to put safety and precautionary protocols first. For everyone who attended our wedding, we made sure that they were really careful, that they follow all the safety guidelines, and that they are not sick. I'm happy that Las Casas Quezon City and my coordinator Maxine Covar really made sure the wedding was safe, they made everyone more at ease and happy during the wedding. 

What are your tips for planning a pandemic wedding?

There are a lot of things to consider but my advise is to think of what will make you happy and then decide from there. Some people will be happier if they celebrate with big groups so they wait until everything will be settled. But if you can't wait like me, you can plan a simple intimate wedding now. Just make sure you follow all the safety guidelines, talk about this with your venue and with your coordinator on how you can make your wedding safe so you'll be worry-free on your wedding day.

Photos by Nice Print Photography and courtesy of Grizelle Gratela-Solomon

The Dream Team:

Venue and catering: Las Casas Quezon City | Event Styling: Ginger Event Styling | Event Coordinator: Maxine Covar Events | Photography and videography: Nice Print Photography | Cake: Chef Jay Patisserie | Hair and makeup: R.M.E. Salon | Wedding dress: Hey Helena | Nails: Hello Lovely Salon | Lights and Sounds: JCM Lights and Sound | Invitations : Lucia Artisania | Giveaways: Samting PH and Wear a Damn Mask | Bridal Robe: Dream Luxe | Wedding ring: Paul Syjuco | Band: Frequency Band 

Photo & Video Company by: Nice Print Photography
Weddings That Inspire

Kris and Jaymee: Accepting The New Plan

Kristofferson Austria and Jaymee Manrique didn't realize right away that their dream wedding in May hardly had a chance of pushing through. It was only when a month was left before their original wedding date, May 1, when the couple understood that they needed to adjust their plans.

Jaymee, who's very close to her family says she wasn't excited to walk down the aisle without her immediate family, a reality she needed to come to terms with because of the mass gathering guidelines. "I wasn't really excited to walk down the aisle without my parents beside me and my siblings not inside the church to witness it. I am very close to my family and I just couldn't imagine my wedding without them," she says. But when more lax guidelines were announced in July, Kris and Jaymee saw their chance to have a bit more people at their wedding ceremony.

"With all of the things stripped down to the basics because of the limitations, the actual wedding rites stood out for us. Receiving God's blessings and saying our vows at the altar is what's important after all," Jaymee says. 

She adds, "Once we accepted that this was something beyond our control already and we opened our hearts to God's plan, it made it easier to adjust."

Scroll down to see more of Kris and Jaymee's wedding photos and to read what their journey to the altar was like, in Jaymee's own words.

Photos by and courtesy of GDG Film

The Dream Team: 

Church: St. John Bosco Parish Church | Reception: Bloom Café + Bar | Gown: Jeannette Roxas | Suit: JML Tailoring | Hair and makeup: The Touch of Hazel | Face Masks: Crafted By Rache | Flowers: Dangwa Florist | Wedding Cake: Jengbakes | Wines: | Brownies and Chocovron: Big Oven | Photos and Video: GDGFilm | Audio and Livestream: PARAMINT

Related: Kevin and Bea: Just the Essentials

Share this blog with a couple adjusting their wedding plans!

Our original plan was an italian-rustic themed wedding with 170 guests at St. John Bosco with reception at Manila Polo club. We wanted to get married on May 1 so that our wedding anniversary will be on a holiday. When the lockdown happened last March, we didn't think it would last long and didn't make any adjustments. Reality sank in by April and the situation wasn't getting any better so we decided to go for a simple church wedding still on May 1 and move the grand celebration to September.
From that point on, we were always checking on IATF guidelines on weddings and gatherings and we always ended up anxious and uncertain if our dream celebration is still feasible by September. Especially our May 1 wedding. It didn't push thru because City Hall was closed and we couldn't get our marriage license. They only opened around end of May.
By May, Kris and I realized that it wasn't safe and feasible to hold a grand celebration any time this year. Our coordinator also advised to postpone the celebration to next year. But we didn't want to wait until 2021 to start our lives together. So we agreed that a simple church wedding ceremony will do as long as we got married this year--and the sooner, the better.
However, with the limit of 10 people only inside the church, I wasn't really excited to walk down the aisle without my parents beside me and my siblings not inside the church to witness it. I am very close to my family and I just couldn't imagine my wedding without them. (Our immediate family members including us were a total of 11 people.) The July announcement that religious gatherings were allowed 10% capacity was an answered prayer! Our church could hold 300 people inside so we were allowed up to 30 people inside! We knew this was our chance and we had to take action before the government decides to impose stricter regulations by August.
We used our gown and suit because they were already finished last April. We also still had hair and makeup, and photo and video team, and an audio team to handle the live zoom call. Because even if it was going to be a simple wedding, we wanted it to be documented and viewed by our families and friends in their homes. We chose to hold a simple dinner reception at Bloom Cafe and Bar at Greenbelt 3 since our original reception venue was still closed. I didn't want our parents to be troubled with dinner preparations at home.
We had uniform face masks with our logos designed by our friend. Our families and friends had to practice social distancing, except for me and my husband during the ceremony at the church. My husband prepared a surprise song number during dinner. He sang “I'm Always Gonna Love You” by Jon MacLaughlin and I was so kilig! Our guests at home participated in our games online via Kahoot and Poll Everywhere. We requested for some of our friends to give speeches and well wishes via Zoom.
Our favorite moments were the ceremony rituals and “kiss the bride” moment. With all of the things stripped down to the basics because of the limitations, the actual wedding rites stood out for us. Receiving God's blessings and saying our vows at the altar is what's important after all.
The sooner you accept that it's going to be a lot different from your original plan, the better. Once we accepted that this was something beyond our control already and we opened our hearts to God's plan, it made it easier to adjust. It allowed us to focus on the essentials. In the end, we were both happy and content that we didn't feel the need to have a big celebration next year. In the future, we'll fondly look back at this day and share the story of our wedding during a pandemic to our grandchildren.
Choose your non-negotiables so you can focus on what's important to you. If you both feel like having that grand dream wedding with all of your guests, then you have to accept that you need to postpone it to a much later date. But if you are like us and want to start spending your lives together, you really have to adjust. The sooner you are able to accept that your wedding will be different from what you originally planned, the more you will be at peace and be happy with it.
Also, don't be afraid to negotiate with your suppliers. They'll be happy to help you adjust. If you are working on a limited allowable headcount, maximize it. You can delegate tasks and assign a member of the family or friend to do the event coordination, hosting, or whatever tasks they can help you with. Although I wasn't able to book my coordinator during my wedding, I feel their presence would have been a big help--that is if you can squeeze them in your headcount.
Lastly, pray a lot! I firmly believe that God has greater plans for us than we do. Let Him lead you and surprise you to your dream wedding.
Florist & Event Stylist by: Dangwa Florist - The Arleen Blossom & Balloons
Photo & Video Company by: GDGFilm ( Videography & Photography Services)
Weddings That Inspire

Kevin and Bea: Just the Essentials

John Kevin Mejia Tud and Maria Beatriz Fojas were married in August 17, 2020 at the Manila Cathedral after three failed attempts at booking a reception venue and forfeited reservation fees. However through their year-long journey to the altar, Kevin and Bea realized what was truly essential for starting their married life. "We were reminded about the most important things. In your life, there are people who will love and support you always, no matter the situation."

Because Bea's family is based in Cavite, the couple was able to hold their wedding preps by the sea. They took family photos before heading off to Manila for their ceremony sans most of their immediate family as only a limited number is allowed inside the church. Kevin and Bea walked around Intramuros for their potraits and though they had no reception planned anymore, their workmates surprised them with a simple celebration at the office. Kevin says, "My best man, our ninong and ninang, and my brothers really made us understand that it wasn't about the guests or anything superficial, it was about celebrating our love in front of God."

Scroll below to see more of Kevin and Bea's wedding photos and what they have to say about their big day in their own words!

The Dream Team 

Photographer: Dominic Ureta, LK Doble and Wedgie Baluyot of Nikko Ureta | Rings: Anza Studios | Food: Casa Ibarra (Post Wedding) & Jolly's (wedding preps) | Makeup: Jesse Lloyd | Hairstylist: Michael Mia of Glamformation by Jesse | Bridal robe, wedding dress, and groom's suit: Tatah Galias | Location: Preps: La Playa Beach Resort | Ceremony: The Manila Cathedral | Supplier of Moral Support: Runt Collective

Related: Dress Up Your Bridesmaids For Your Zoom Wedding

Send this blog to a couple planning their quarantine wedding!

Photos courtesy of Nikko Ureta and Bea Tud

"We originally planned to have the wedding and reception with 150 to 200 guests at La Castella in Intramuros Manila. Along with our dream caterer and dream mobile bar, K by Cunanan and Rue Bourbon. Planning began on August 17 of last year, which was our engagement day. We were in the middle of a planning session with our previous coordinator last May 2020 when the Archdiocese of Manila announced that there would be no grand weddings for the entire year. At that time, instead of becoming upset, Kevin and I actually felt relief since we've been planning this for an entire year. With changes due to the pandemic, it was very stressful that we were not at peace anymore. We were so busy planning trivial stuff like what forks we should use, or what kind of chairs we should have for the venue. Although we knew how important the decors were, we forgot the true essence of why we started planning in the first place."
"We thought our new wedding plan would be more practical. Bea's staying in Cavite and we couldn't find a hotel for her and her parents to stay at in Metro Manila. We couldn't book an airbnb that time since the protocols were really strict. We didn't have enough time to process it and we didn't want to spend more money for the required rapid tests."
"Since we didn't need anything too extravagant for the wedding, we decided to cancel our original set of suppliers. We made sure that we got only what we thought was necessary; our rings, the white dress and the suit, the food for suppliers and wedding preps, and photographers to document the event."
"The intimacy of our wedding made it special, because in a normal situation, the Manila Cathedral would usually be full of tourists and locals. Sometimes there are three to four weddings scheduled in a day. While your wedding is on-going, the guests of the next couple are already preparing at the back. So we really felt that our wedding was special since we were able to celebrate it with our immediate family and closest friends in a more serene setting."
"Since it was impossible to celebrate with our families after the ceremony, we didn't plan any reception. We just wanted to spend some time at our place of work, Runt Collective, afterwards. The office gave us a surprise by preparing a small celebration. They decorated the place and hung pictures and balloons, baked a cake and even did a short program for us."
"It was raining heavily the night until early morning before the ceremony. We had to adjust at least 30 mins to an hour for our schedule. We were growing anxious because of the weather and it might take a turn for the worst. However, we were affirmed that this day is really for us because as soon as we started our preps, the rain stopped, and the sunlight was beautiful until the end of the ceremony. The following day, it rained hard again. We felt that God had really given that amazing day to us."
"Given the situation, it was difficult for us to have a positive mindset at first. It was really stressful changing the reception venue thrice, and we ended up not having one. We spent a lot of reservation fees for nothing since we wouldn't be able to use them anymore. But my Best Man, our ninong and ninang, and my brothers really made us understand that it wasn't about the guests or anything superficial; it was about celebrating our love in front of God. I think that was the main factor that gave us a better perspective of our quarantine wedding."
"It may not be the wedding that you planned or dreamt of, but what matters is that you're marrying the love of your life. Always take time to remember what the real essence of your wedding is."
"We were reminded about the most important things. In your life, there are people who will love and support you always, no matter the situation."
Weddings That Inspire

Jose and Angie: Zoom, Charcuterie, and a Yacht

They sent food to 160 homes as part of their zoom party

Plans for Jose and Angie Tuazon’s silver wedding anniversary began in 2019 and much like most wedding and grand celebrations of 2020, theirs took quite a turn. But two hiccups didn’t stop the couple and their three children, Djoshua Gian Jairus,  Seidji Gianthoni, and Djoanne Giannelli from putting together a memorable event that included a photoshoot at Angie’s alma mater where their love story began, sending food to 160 guests and having them join a zoom party while the Tuazons enjoyed dinner at a yacht. 

“Choose to be happy and safe,” Angie says about their celebration. Read below her tips on throwing a livestreamed celebration.

Was this your original renewal of vows plan before the pandemic? What did you have to adjust? And why did you decide to push through—some might not have done so because “it’s just a renewal” and not a weeding?
Angeli Tuazon (AT): Originally, we planned to have our renewal of vows in Jerusalem and have a wedding at Cana with our children and friends as witnesses. We wanted to show and inspire our children that marriage with love is resilient and filled with constant happiness. However, due to Israel's situation, it was no longer feasible to travel there. So, our family made plans to celebrate locally by reserving a venue where we could host at least 35 tables of friends and families to witness their renewal of vows. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, we had to cancel all the plans we’ve made since 2019. 

It was harrowing for us to have global events get in the way of our celebration twice. Despite all this, we kept our faith in God and were blessed. General Community Quarantine gave us a shot at being able to create a simple but memorable 25th anniversary celebration. 

How did you make your zoom party special for your guests?
AT: Since large gatherings are not allowed during GCQ, only our immediate family was with us. We made a virtual party for some of family and closest friends. To make it more special, we wanted them to wine and dine with us even in a simple way. So we thought of a Spanish concept with grazing gourmandise and wine sent to their homes. We added empanadas and cupcakes from our wedding cake delivered to all 160 guests and their families. The logistics was very complicated since we have to get the help of several delivery and logistics teams in vans and motorcycles who distributed the delicate food in time for the Zoom party at 6pm. 

Our party was hosted by my youngest sister, Kathie Sobremonte, who has the most livestreaming experience hosting parties and webinars as a CPA. Without Kathie, we would have had trouble handling the zoom session and recording the details of the party. 

The program was simple, showing the wedding, photoshoot in UST, lunch at Las Casas Filipinas Acuzar and another photoshoot in the same venue. We had games for the guests with cash prizes sent via GCash, greetings from guests were shown, chat messages amongst friends in the party were also going on. There was a kiss and a toast by the couple and they ate the food delivered to them together virtually with our family having a four-course dinner and Terry's Bistro food and wine in the lantern-lit yacht. The same day edit video was shown the same night through Facebook for all friends to see.

Related: Zoom Wedding: Quick Tips

What were some of your favorite and most memorable moments of your anniversary celebration?
AT: The solemn Renewal of Vows inside the church was the most memorable moment. Putting on our new rings blessed by Fr. Jeff Aytona was truly unforgettable as we sealed the moment with a kiss.

What is your advice for couples or celebrants planning weddings and events amid the pandemic?

Choose to be happy, wise, and safe in selecting suppliers and be content with however you choose to celebrate. Work with a budget and ask for help when needed, surround yourselves with important people who would be truly happy and support you in whatever you do. There will always be smart choices to make in planning and throwing a celebration with substitutes to your original pick. 

One of the most important things is to make sure to get a good photo-videographer to capture precious moments and a great host for the party. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we want it to be, but we have to learn to accept the changes and move forward with a positive mindset to succeed. Make sure to trust reputable suppliers that would take the stress away from you when you do not have a party coordinator.

We chose Las Casas Quezon City because the food there is delicious and their beautiful interior and exterior spanish decor is perfect for a photoshoot after the wedding and eating lunch. They ensured our safety with their implemented social distancing and hygiene protocols, which allowed for the family to celebrate without a worry.  

This is the new norm on having a memorable event via virtual parties with friends and family amidst the pandemic and strict safety protocols. 

The Dream Team: 

Church: Santissimo Rosario Parish in University of Santo Tomas | Officiating Priest: Rev. Fr. Christopher Jeffrey Aytona, O.P. | Hair & make up: Japeth Mike Purog and Bianca Vergara | Bridal gown: Adriana Papell | Groom & groomsmen suits: Onesimus | Maid of Honor dress: Helina | Wedding Rings: Mayfair Goldsmith | Photo-Video: Jervy Santiago Photography | Food and wine sent for the virtual guests: Grazing Gourmandise and Wine from Terry's Bistro, Sugarelli for cupcakes, Verleo Catering Services for spanish empanadas  | Customized Souvenirs and Logo Printing: Mitsui Trading Phils. Ltd. Co. | Logistics: Mitsui Trading Phils. Ltd. Co. & Lalamove | Sunset Cruise and Dinner: Gallo Yacht Charters | Flowers: Nene's Flower Shop | Virtual Party Host: Kathie Sobremonte | Wedding Cake: Sugarelli by Janelle Dy and Bethany Dream Cakes | Lunch Reception: Las Casas Quezon City

All photos courtesy of Angeli Tuazon

Guests of the Tuazons enjoying their charcuterie while attending the zoom party.
Sending food to all your guests is a big feat, but it can be done with proper coordination.