ISAAC LINATOC & EDLYN GUTIERREZ
ISAAC LINATOC & EDLYN GUTIERREZ “A day to celebrate a new chapter in our life with people we want to share it with” - this was our dream. When we got engaged in October 2018, in front of the beach at sunset, we envisioned a classic, timeless and enjoyable wedding where we can spend time and celebrate with our families and friends. We planned early and went through the typical process of visiting wedding expos, going through food tastings, filling in our excel spreadsheets, saving Pinterest pegs and all the works. Even the Taal eruption early January couldn’t stop our April 2020 wedding - as we were lucky to have our Church, Venue and suppliers unaffected. Everything was almost ready, but one month before the wedding, the global pandemic crisis hit and Metro Manila was put on lockdown. It felt like everything stopped. We were supposed to enjoy our new life together as husband and wife, but because of quarantine restrictions, we were not even able to see each other on our intended wedding date. While on lockdown, we decided to move the wedding by early 2021 hoping that things will get better. Chapel on the Hill was available on January 11, 11 AM, and by some miracle, all our suppliers were also available. We finalized the new schedule and moved forward by focusing on setting up our new home. The wedding was the last thing on our minds as it felt like an elephant in the room that we didn’t even want to talk about. By mid-november 2020, we had to resume the preparations as time was already running out. Since the COVID-19 guidelines did not ease out, we had to shift from our originally planned standard wedding to a more intimate one. We opted for a minimalist style for the ceremony and garden reception. Our guests were decreased from 150 to 32 pax, and were not able to include kids and most of our uncles and aunts who are senior citizens. Our entourage had to be revised and we only had one pair of principal sponsors. Our invitations were reprinted to reflect the changes and new wedding date. We had to retrieve our wedding rings custom-made from jewelries that were gifted by Edlyn’s parents, which were sitting in the shop since the lockdown started. By the last minute, we opted for a caterer who is a close friend of ours, who made it feel homey and much more intimate. We took note of the safety protocols and prepared hygiene care kits for each guest complete with masks, alcohol and face shields. We already knew that planning for a wedding is hard. But planning the wedding the second time around was much more stressful that we can ever imagine! During the Christmas season, there were talks of increasing quarantine measures and possibility of another lockdown which is adding up to our worries. It didn’t also help that the weather forecast in Alfonso on the wedding day was more than 60% chance of rain! We were firm in not wanting a tent as we wanted the guests to enjoy the open air and the garden, and there was no option of an indoor reception at the venue. Also, 3 days before the wedding, we found out that one of the first suppliers that we booked in 2018 has closed its branch nearest to our venue - it was a popcorn cart and was Edlyn’s favorite! Anxiety and tension was really building up as we have been waiting for 27 months! It would have been heartbreaking to not have the wedding we planned for or worse, postpone the wedding for the second time. During these most stressful days, as future husband and wife, we claimed that whatever happens, we will get married on the 11th of January 2021, and it will be perfect. We really just had to have faith. On our wedding day, we were happily surprised. The sky was clear and the weather was perfect, everyone was fascinated by how beautiful the venue and the church were, the guests were delighted with the food, as well as with the music and all of them enjoyed the simple program! The day was light, everyone had fun and everything felt right. Even the popcorn was surprisingly delivered! We found both of us smiling the whole day - from preparations, ceremony to reception - until late night, as we realized that we are indeed celebrating this milestone with the people we want to share these moments with. After all the wait and all the challenges, the day we originally dreamed of 27 months ago, really did come true.