31 March 2007.
the wedding preparations took over my life in the 1 1/2 months that we were in manila prior to the day, no matter how hard i tried to resist. i didn’t realise that a 1-day event can take so much work.
but until the day, i was praying hard that the years (yes, years!) of planning would not go to waste.
we wished for a simple wedding. a day that would speak about us – who we are. so we have done without the traditions. we would have 1 pair of principal sponsors, 3 bridesmaid, 3 groomsmen as entourage. there would be no program with bouquet throwing or games at the reception nor an AVP showing how we morphed from child to adult. it was going to be different. and we had so many people telling us that it might turn out to be a non-wedding like affair.
i had the suite to myself. i decided not to have friends or family around me. i had breakfast by myself. a few hours of stillness that had been invaluable to prepare me for the rest of the day.
early on, i was woken up by a text message from my bridesmaid letting me know that her flight from japan got delayed and would not make it to the ceremony at all. she was my only adult bridesmaid.
jessy and steve (madge lejano’s 2nd team) arrived first. instantly turning the living room area upside down. (that’s what they do, they need the space with natural light to set up their stuff.) i was surprised that they had so much stuff.
when the photo and video team arrived, it was just manic in that suite.
i was pretty relaxed that morning, even after i got the news about my bridesmaid. but problems with the transport that we hired ourselves made me panic. add to that the fact that we are running out of time. and that there wasn’t enough packed meals for the suppliers (i ordered 25!)….and that i have no time to lift a finger to do something. i was texting my brother apologising profusely that the van we hired can’t fetch them. his response almost made me cry — that i should not even worry about them and make sure that i remember that it’s my day.
it was my day. i was marrying the most wonderful man.
lito sy was making me do weird poses and at the same breath shouting at his staff. then the video crew would begin to pester me with some more poses. i wasn’t sure i liked my make up. i was so worried about things going wrong that i just wanted to shoo them away. i still have that much hated pose – bride looking out the window with matching hawi of the curtain, argghh! but i try to let go. i was helpless anyway at that point. and i was doing everything that was asked of me (pretty much everything). but i’m not saying i had fun posing as i am a camera-phobic.
al and i saw each other on the way out. then a thousand more poses at the stairwell and at the lobby.
i was slowly welling up in the car when i try to think of the things that could go wrong. i asked a friend to step in the car when i was waiting by the church door. i needed to talk about something else and that made me regain my composure.
church door closes. and i can hear the harp playing inside. niko (of veluz) kept repeating to me – walk slowly. the door felt like it wouldn’t open. that was the slowest minute of my life. i am not sure if the doors were fully opened then, but i started walking anyway. and a little faster than niko would have approved.
i saw the white carpet. the flowers on the aisle. holly playing gymnopedie no. 1 perfectly. there wasn’t as much people as i expected. but i saw the people that mattered most. i was happy. it was turning out to be the wedding of my dreams after all.
my parents were waiting in the middle of the aisle. and i was handed to al.
the priest was our good friend, marrying us. we had known each other for more than 20 years…and he forgot my name! even called me aileen! (which he denies). he skipped over some parts of the ceremony, including our personal vows! but it was a solemn ceremony and nobody else noticed. it was a meaningful celebration and i wouldn’t have wished for anybody else to marry us.
the photo sessions went by quite organised. just a few teething problems with the san agustin sound system. and we were off to the reception.
cocktails were served. and we were pretty much occupied with the photo and video crew. but i had a look at the reception setup by the coconut palace poolside. and my heart welled up. it was every bit what we imagined it to be. parasols and benches dotted around the pool, all white scheme with not much frou-frous, which didn’t turn out to be boring at all, no presidential tables, buffet tables which doesn’t look empty.
my shoes turned a shade of gray after running around by the bayside. and we were slighlty less than immaculate by the time dinner was served. we made our way to our table after we were welcomed. al’s sister led the prayers. and dinner started.
we did eat. not as much as we wanted to. but we were not going to be left famished.
our AVP was a mixture of photos and videos of our travels and adventures together (al on tiroline and us both skydiving!)
sonata strings was playing wonderful music in the background. and my aunt was all praises for them.
food was great, so everybody says. and people were coming back for seconds, even thirds.
we went around. not together. just to make sure that we talk to everybody.
then imacron played their on-site video. and i felt like i realised a dream. our friends were all awed. and we quietly made our exit.
i promised myself that i would get to see every detail of the wedding, but i didn’t. i couldn’t say i have enjoyed all the stresses leading up to the hour. i wasn’t a relaxd bride. and al wasn’t a calm groom either. but the minute i walked down that aisle, i see the big picture – that nothing else matters but al and i and what our life would be after that day.
today, still on our n-day/month honeymoon, we slowly ask friends and family what they thought of the wedding. most don’t remember anything but the food and how good it was. maybe that was the biggest compliment – that there was nothing to say. most people believe that everything is in the details. but you can spend so much on placecards that gets thrown away, and on souveniers that gathers dust in the shelves. but people don’t remember much than what they were there for – the food. and of course, to witness you get married.
i do not wish for people to remember our wedding day. i wish for them to remember us.