So, I got my chance, when last Friday, February 17, my husband and I took a whole day vacation leave to attend our good friends’, Giovanni and Faith, wedding. (Wedding number 2 for us this year, though, I felt bad we didn’t stay the whole dinner reception program.)
WARNING : This is yet my longest post as of present.
These two have been together like forever!! I distinctly remembered we have the same “official coupledom year”, ours on September 2003 and theirs, on December 18, 2003.
A little back story.
We have been friends with the couple, close to a decade now! Gio and I were college schoolmates. He was an Electrical Engineering student one year ahead of me, whilst I, studied ECE (Electronics and Communications Engineering). I didn’t know him then, only when we worked for the same company (that I now officially worked for 9 years, last Sunday! Feb. 19) and we especially got close when we have the chance to work together in a Mazda program last 2005 in Hiroshima, Japan. He was our big brother, our kick-ass Systems Engineer, our guide, and our cook. We so look forward to weekends then, because it means we get to eat real delicious food courtesy of our dear Giovanni, as opposed to the microwaveable ready-to-eat stuff we buy at a store near Hiroshima post office and train station which for the love of everything pleasant, the name escapes me!
Faith, I get to know by association :). She is beautiful and surprisingly simple! She is also one of Mikaela’s godmother. Gio and Faith never fails to greet Michael and me every year for 6 years now on our wedding anniversary. They truly are good friends.
We were very happy to hear that they finally have a wedding date! Not surprisingly, we were enlisted as secondary sponsors (veil) and Mikaela one of the cute flower girls. Since the Philippines is predominantly a Roman Catholic country, this is going to be a Roman Catholic wedding too, meaning, there is going to be a nuptial mass and the wedding rites is incorporated into the mass. On a side note, most of the Roman Catholic churches have very strict church dress code. Backless, tubes, sleeveless dresses, blouses, clothes are frowned upon on some of the strictest churches, some are a bit lenient, I brought a shawl with me, just in case.
Here’s an interesting read on Marriage and Wedding Customs in the Philippines. While some observed these customs diligently, some have abbreviated some practices too.
Now, Filipinos, though not all, but mostly, have this very bad habit of being late. When you say 2pm, the average Filipino will arrive between 2pm & 3pm. So, I was not surprised when we arrived on the church 2:15pm and was informed by the event coordinator that the wedding is actually @ 3:30 when the wedding invites said the wedding is at 3pm. It is very understandable.
Since, we have a role in the wedding rites, I have to wear a gown. Well, for secondary sponsors, it is not a must really, but if you are one of the principal sponsors it is but polite to wear your best dress and make an effort to look good too. I’ve decided to wear a long gown and instead of buying one, which would mean shop hunting for the perfect dress, I decided to just rent one. And of course, I, typically have to rent a long gown that is way longer than my highest/tallest shoe heels. So lesson number one : When renting a long gown, you have to estimate as closely as possible your heels height, that is, if you wouldn’t want to be lifting your dress all the time.
We also weren’t able to get Mikaela’s dress beforehand so it was decided to just change her clothes on the church. She was really excited and psyched to be wearing a flowing nice dress when she saw my gown. She can’t wait to see and wear her own dress for the wedding. So when we arrived, Gio the nervous groom is already at the church and gave us or rather his trusted assistant, Mikaela’s dress.
My daughter fell in love with her dress. She insisted I put some lipstick on her. I put on some pressed powder and a light blush on her too. Yeah, I also didn’t have time for a salon hair and make up session. I made do with my pressed powder, blush on and would you believe I have to borrow my yaya/live-in nanny’s lipstick because I lost mine for lack of usage? I know, I’m hopeless.
Her cool Papa did a quick practice walk with her on the center aisle while I whispered some quick instructions. After that, she wanted to go out and play outside wearing the dress! Of course I don’t like to walk around, on my, way past ankle length gown. But Mikaela have a different agenda. She was pulling my hands to play outside. I just had a little polite conversation with some of my friends when somebody said “Baby, NO!” And what did I saw? My Mikaela carrying a big rock! What to do with this kid?
Typically, Filipino men wear Barong Tagalog as formal wedding attire. This is a picture of my husband (right most) and some of our friends on one wedding (not Gio and Faith’s).
3:30 arrived. After some last minute briefing with our daughter, my husband & I walked down the aisle.
Fortunately, our dear daughter walked the whole way, which was a vast improvement compared to the first stint she had as flower girl. We were also unexperienced parents. We should have thought of having one of us stay at the front or the altar to wait for her. Instead my husband and I just watched her from the church door, she started walking sedately, but in the middle of the aisle she did a 180 degree turn around which was very comical. And since it was our first time too, I didn’t thought of video taping it. She was 2 and a half years old.
And you’d thought I would have the presence of mind this time, about the documenting thing now. I did video taped her using my phone camera, but instead of taking the video horizontally to have the correct orientation during playback, I belatedly realized that I did it vertically. Perfect! Crap.
And then the beautiful bride finally appeared. She was a vision in white. I rarely get emotional during weddings but this time my vision clouded with unshed tears. It was when halfway down the aisle the bride teared up about the same time I realized that she missed her mother who died recently. At the same time I was willing her to not cry hard for the eyeliner, wait is it the mascara that runs? She is beautiful in her very elegant gown. She had the right curves in the right places and she filled her dress very elegantly.
The mass started and then the wedding rites were observed. Of course I still have to look out for my dear sometimes too independent daughter at the other side of pews. I was expecting she’d sit by me and was not really surprised when she gave me a stubborn shake of her head when I signed and signaled her to come and sit beside me. She is an unpredictable walking sitting time bomb. For the first 15 minutes she did just fine, she sat still for the first 5-10 mins or so. Then it began. She started with pulling some of the flowers on her flower ball then proceeded to pluck the petals. With a new friend in Meagan, they were standing up and walking about but thankfully just in the confines of their pew. Notice the flower petals on the floor? All Mikaela output.
When the men on the right side were given foldable flexible fans, Mikaela zeroed in on her father, got up and proceeded to get the fan and used it like a frisbee. I was frantically trying to catch her attention. I am mortified! The guests behind them were hit twice. I know exactly what they are thinking “What a rude kid! Where are her stupid parents?”. *Sigh*
After 3 frisbee throw attempts and a scolding I suppose, by the yaya/nanny of the other flower girl (who didn’t returned the flexible fan) to her which is a good thing, she resorted to flower petal plucking.
Half way thru the rites, she asked for milk! The problem is, I only brought the milk, no water, I was thinking/anticipating she’d ask for milk when we will be at the reception venue already. I tried telling her and bribing her to wait for the mass to finish, it is almost done. She lasted 25 minutes about the same time the mass finished. Then the pictorials commenced, dear husband have to find a store to buy bottled water for Mikaela’s milk and he made it in time for the secondary sponsors’ turn on the photo ops with the newly weds. Mikaela thought it was really cool that her dress makes for a slide inducing thing and used her knees instead of her perfectly capable legs to walk after her turn with the pictorials. *Sigh*
Oh and when it was our turn to put on the veil on the bride and groom, Mikaela also went to the altar and peeked on Gio and Faith afterwhich I have to sort of drag her after. Same with the taking off the veil, she also went up to the altar again and looked at the couple. Another, *Sigh*
After the photo shoots, off to the reception venue, a 9th floor penthouse where you can see the port area and on the other side, the mountains of Cebu.
I was worried that Mikaela’s “slight claustrophia” may manifest again, thank God she got over her fear for enclosed spaces. This is Ethel and Frank’s boy Raman, he is a sweet-tempered smart 4-year-old. He wanted to borrow my smart phone and play angry birds. While my Mikaela made it her mission to clean every square inch of the room with her dress, because she likes how she slides on the floor tiles while lying down, sitting and crawling on the floor. She also made it a point to test the ends of my patience with her running about, then sliding and crawling under the tables. So help me God. Too bad I wasn’t able to take pictures of her antics, phone was used by this very handsome boy sans shoes. Here are some of the pictures.
The program officially started by the grand entrance of the entourage and the couple dance their way to the dais. After which the blessing of the food and the per table pictorials with the couple at the stage, before the guests proceeds to the buffet tables. A really good idea since some guests don’t really wait for the whole program to be finished before going home.
Dinner was served soon enough and Mikaela haven’t stopped running and “cleaning” the floor. She and Meagan (the bride’s niece) had the greatest time while I, am very much trying to track her every move which is giving me a headache and I decided to just let her be and crossing my fingers. While eating, they have a live band who serenaded the guests, they were really good, it must be the saxophone, it added a fresh fullness to the otherwise typical live band sound. Their first set was a collection of really cool pop and classic love song mix, pleasing to the ears. A slideshow of the “before” pics of the groom and bride were shown on the projector and some of the church pictures. After which the couple mingled with the guests.
Then there’s the slicing of the cake and the toasting of wine, but instead of wine, they each have a bottle of San Miguel beer. Pretty cool! 😉
From the groom’s side, his Ma and her sister (Gio’s Pa already passed away), gave their messages. From the bride’s side, her Pa and her sister Felsa (Faith’s Ma as I’ve mentioned above passed away too).
Then the smallest and the biggest gift were selected for opening. We weren’t able to see the bouquet and the garter toss and the rest of the activities because dear husband have another event at our house! In fact, his guests are already at our house when we arrived.
I just have to include their give-away gifts, a simple fork lovingly “modified” by the groom, the bride and the sister of the groom to make for a card/picture holder! Not expensive, yet useable and not common.
There! Congratulations and Best Wishes dear Gio and Faith! We are so happy for you two.