CAN’T ASK FOR MORE
As I stepped out of bed the morning of November 12, I received a text message from my dad saying he was up all night worrying that Typhoon Ulysses was going to destroy his roof. Soon came text messages, one after another, asking if the wedding was still on. Unmindful of the panic calls I have been receiving, I still went on and prepared for the wedding. There was no stopping us from getting married that day. Cancelling was not an option. I thought to myself we’d be like those couples who, against all odds, got married on their chosen day. We were going to have an outdoor Christian wedding where up to 200 of our family, friends and guests can be accommodated. The ceremony was supposed to be at a rooftop venue where we would be pronounced as husband and wife at sunset. The reception was going to be in this grand all-glass function hall. We had a clear vision of how that special day was going to look like. November 12 was going to be our big day. Then the pandemic hit the Philippines and all those plans had to be put on hold. Our budget for the wedding went to our future home and we decided to have a simple civil wedding instead. We booked a small function room for an intimate gathering of our families while still ensuring proper social distancing measures. To stick within the limited budget and time, we had to quickly decide what we could and could not have for the wedding. We chose to book a photographer and go without an event stylist, no videographer, no wedding cake and musician. My gown and my husband’s suit were both gifted to us by our coordinator who also happens to be my husband’s cousin. Souvenirs were limited to our godparents. At that point, what mattered to us was that we and our marriage get to be blessed by the Lord. As everyone were getting ready, the typhoon got stronger for the crew to even get to the venue as the streets of Manila were really heavily battered by the storm. We just had to make the difficult decision to postpone the wedding. Fortunately, the venue had an availability for two days later. We were thankful that our coordinator was quick and so efficient to handle the necessary arrangements in such very trying conditions. So on November 14 (which happens to be my birthday too!), we were set to have our simple civil wedding. Little did we know it was going to be a day full of amazing surprises! After I had my hair and make-up done, I was instructed to go to the pool area of the venue for my photoshoot. When I got there, I was surprised to see, not one but two photographers AND videographers! And just when I thought that was it, our coordinator handed me this gorgeous Lily of the Valley bouquet. We were actually not considering having bouquets anymore. We were settling on the simplest possible amenities for the wedding. After the shoot, I headed toward the function hall but I was escorted to the garden instead. As soon as I stepped out, I heard a violinist playing the song we wanted in the original wedding plan. I felt so grateful to God for the people who pulled everything off. We were so blessed, the rain stopped just in time for them to set up the garden for us. I walked down the aisle, toward the love of my life and on that wonderful day got married in front of the closest people to us. The garden ceremony, bouquet, the video and photography team were not the end of the series of surprises. Instead of the small function hall, our reception was held at a newly renovated ballroom with a Spanish interior and high ceiling - like one of the rooms in a palace. It looked more beautiful when our event stylist and his team decorated it with white and blue flowers, blue wine glasses, white and blue plates with gold plated utensils. The entire venue was lit with candles - it was so romantic. To top it all, we were surprised to have a wedding cake! We, together with our families, enjoyed dining while being serenaded by the violinist. His rendition of “Ikaw” by Sharon Cuneta was our first dance as a newly-wed couple. It made our night even more special and memorable. The pandemic and typhoon were such big reminders for us that sometimes things won’t go as planned - no matter how much you want it to be perfect. However, this just means better things are in store for us. We had been tested by these challenges and we just know that, together, we can surpass whatever storm comes our way. The people who worked hard to pull off all the surprises that made our wedding extra special will always have our thanks. What more can we ask for?