ENRIQUE LUIS C. BALUYUT & LOUISE Marie V. Bongao
ENRIQUE LUIS C. BALUYUT & LOUISE Marie V. Bongao My dream wedding was just to be with the presence of my family, close friends and of course the love of my life. But I didn’t know that it was going to be hard. We originally planned for our wedding last September 2020 at an event’s place, but the pandemic happened. King got laid off from his work being a chef at a cruise ship. I was a front-liner as a nurse working in the US. We had no choice but to postpone the event. All my wedding dreams were suddenly a blur. I couldn’t go home because of the lockdown. I hate to think that I would walk down the aisle without my parents beside me. Since I am the youngest in the family, I have a lot of nieces and nephews already, I was already picturing in my head how they will all beautifully look as my bearers. But the safety protocol of the pandemic had really changed how we do events. Most of the suppliers have been booked already. I was also thinking of the possible financial losses in postponing the wedding. I was in denial of everything for some time, but the safety of everyone is still the top priority. That entire time, I and my fiancé were already in a long distance relationship for 2 years, which added to the struggle of not having a support system nearby. King and I agreed that we would wait for the time to celebrate our big day with our family, and with God’s grace I eventually had accepted the situation. With acceptance, everything fell into place. We were all back on our feet and now excited planning for an intimate wedding instead. Preparing for a wedding when you’re distant is difficult, all meetings were done online, and knowing myself, I couldn’t really have a high opinion on something I don’t see actually. I never got the chance to look for a venue with King, nor did we do food tasting together. First week of January 2021, the government had announced the 14-days mandatory quarantine, which crushed me again, as I was only given a short vacation leave. We still have church and city hall requirements that requires days, ahead of application which we couldn’t start unless I’m physically present. King had tried to ask city halls to allow us to apply for the marriage license, with me on a video call since I was still abroad, but nobody was allowing that. I was downhearted and thinking we wouldn’t be able to finish it in time for our March 5 wedding. King had then reassured me “Kapit lang tayo Ga, ang mahalaga ay ikaw at ako. If we could get through this, we could get through anything”. By God’s miracle, my employer had allowed me a week earlier vacation, and that gave us enough time to finish all the requirements. All is set. I was just waiting for my vacation leave, when a month before our wedding the government had implemented stricter guidelines for quarantine hotels about holding events, which gave us no choice but to cancel our now 2nd booking . I just told myself “simple lang naman gusto ko, ang ikasal ng matiwasay.”, but why do we have to undergo all these trials first. We had to find a new venue again for the 3rd time and realign with all the suppliers. Where will we find a place who can accommodate us in a short period of time. With all the stress of wedding preparations and me still being away, adds up to the frustrations inside my heart. But God never abandoned me, and have paved a way for us to book to another restaurant in a different hotel. All our suppliers have really been God’s gift to us. After I arrived and finished the quarantine, it was crunch time to polish everything. I never met my couturier and only had 2 gown fittings, but on the big day, everything was perfect. Something in the past had to be present on my wedding day. I placed a picture of my late daughter on my bouquet, and I was just reminded that I had an angel watching over me and praying for me and her future dad. We only had 44 guests of whom were close friends and our family. When the curtains opened and as I walked down the aisle, I didn’t actually hear our song, I didn’t notice the flowers I chose for the church, I didn’t see if all our guests were complete, all I had in my mind at that time was “ikaw at ako” my then groom waiting for me at the altar. Though our wedding journey didn’t turned out how we had first planned it to be, with all the mishaps, going through Plan A, B, C, it was all worth it and turned out to be more beautiful at the end. Just like how our wedding priest had said “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!”, it was really indeed a day to be grateful for and had reminded me of what’s really important and essential in life, after all we’ve gone through the preparations and most specially during this pandemic, are not anything of this world, but that still of the simplicity of joy, love and hope in our hearts. Ang mahalaga ay ikaw at ako.