Bliss In The Rain

Today is the last day of July and it’s rainy still. Rainy days of July bring me back to that one particular rainy day which was our wedding day. Last Tuesday was July 22, our 2nd wedding anniversary. I never had a chance to actually write about our wedding. For someone like me, who likes documenting and writing, I find it hard to write about something so personal and dear to me because I feel I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. But before this month of July ends, I promised myself I will try. I may not be able to fully recount our wedding experience, but today I will try to share as much. So when the time comes when we’re too old to remember the details and we want to recount our story to our children or grandchildren and may have lost photos or files throughout time, I will just tell them to read it here and hopefully the good old web has kept the memories safe.

I remember it was drizzling the day of our wedding. Lucky that it wasn’t stormy weather but just soft rain. The air was crisp with mist. It was chilly, cloudy and gloomy. But for me, it became dreamy seeing the skies from my bridal suite a little foggy and the trees and the garden moist. It created a dramatic feel to the day that was about to unfold. Having our wedding in July set a few challenges. I never liked the rain. In fact, I hated it. I always imagined getting married WITHOUT it. But of course, our date of July was the rainy season. And my heart was set on San Agustin Church in Intramuros. A lot were opposed to it as it wasn’t covered unlike the other church we also booked which was Sanctuario in Forbes. Both were close to my heart having schooled in Colegio San Agustin, Makati majority of my life. Imagine booking 2 churches for our wedding. That was how worried they were for us. But the old world feel and architecture of San Agustin Church just won me over. Seeing it again when we were doing oculars just made it immediately “the one”, with or without the rain.

The night before our big day was raining too. I remember my designer Niko (Hernandez), having a hard time getting my gown in my suite that night. And my bridesmaid, Mima and my MOH, Carla sleeping over already to make sure the weather wouldn’t make them late the morning of the wedding. I remember having my hair and makeup done overlooking the drizzling view the golf course amidst the chaos of everybody’s hustle and bustle in the room. I remember seeing my bridal bouquet for the first time on the morning of the wedding, as my stylist, Pat (Pastelero) handed it to me and I got choked up. I’ve always loved peonies and have always wanted that for my wedding day and seeing it in my hands that morning made me realize I really am getting married.

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I remember my wedding planner, Pooh (Christine Ong-Te) and my designer, Niko stressing outside the church as I get out of the car as it was raining and they didn’t want me and my gown wet for my march. But for some reason, the rain didn’t bother me that day. Yes, we may not have some of the usual outdoor shots if the weather was sunny but thanks to our wedding photographer, Oly (Ruiz) our photos weren’t anything short of perfect as how we wanted it. What we had in return were unconventional shots that made that day purely our own. And I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Somebody said before that the rain is a blessing from the sky. And I remember thinking about that and feeling so emotional before I got down from the bridal car as I felt all the love and blessings from the skies above.

They were scrambling for me as I got out of the car, trying to cover me from the drizzling rain. My makeup artist, Mickey (See) rushing over to do last minute checks and touchups. All our dear suppliers were getting wet and I remember thanking them all, calling out their names for a quick thanks before I made the walk. I could hear the soft music of our wedding hymns inside and my heart started pounding and I started panicking as I didn’t want to cry. I owe many thanks to Pooh and Niko during that time of my walk as they kept assuring me and Niko kept telling me to pretend it’s just “a walk in the park”. I remember the moment when the big wooden doors opened and I forced myself to take deep breaths, smile and walk. The aisle of San Agustin Church was very long and I remember walking in a faster pace at the start that Niko and Pooh had to slow me down to fix the trail while Niko kept calling out “walk in the park” for me.

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There were a lot of guests huddling at the end of the aisle with cameras pointing towards me but all of those were a blur to me. That supposedly long slow walk down the aisle of San Agustin Church felt like I did it in seconds as all became an emotional blur for me. But I vividly remember seeing my Mom at the middle of the aisle, waiting to walk me down at the end with my Tito. Seeing my Mom was what made me cry. She was so beautiful and regal and in tears for she was about to give me away. After all these years of being with her, sleeping in her room, leaving her was the hardest for me. I remember hugging her tight before I finally got to see Ken at the end. And seeing him was another story. I always knew he would be that man I’d meet at the end of the aisle. He was looking so handsome and so dapper in his tux. It was the best that I’ve seen him but his eyes were red from crying. That will always be one of my favorite moments.

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I remember having our pictorials in the museum of San Agustin Church, after the ceremony. I remember pulling off my tulle ball gown skirt for the 2nd look of my dress which I wanted for the museum pictorial (my dress had 4 looks thanks to the genius Niko, for the prep, the ceremony, the pictorial and the reception). I’ve always loved everything vintage so I wanted our photo shoot in the church’s old stone museum. It was fitting to our wedding concept, which was “100 Months In The Making”; since we got married on our 100th month together. Ken and I are both into writing and books so the overall look and theme was Old World Love/ Storybook Wedding. It’s a shame we don’t have a good photo of our wedding invites in detail but our wedding invitation was in the form of a vintage storybook and we wrote our story about our 100 months together and the whole details of the wedding in the form of a storybook.

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I remember after the pictorials, Pooh brought us to the ballroom of Marriott Hotel where our reception was held. The styling was all done and Pat was there to meet us. She perfectly brought to life all my pegs! Everybody who knows me well would know that lace and pearls will be the theme of our wedding and yes it was! I wanted a classic vintage look and she nailed it. I will always remember being blown away seeing the ballroom empty with nobody else but us and nothing else but her work in full effect — blush pink and white flowers, tall vintage candelabras, pearls hanging from the flowers and laid down on the tables, vintage wrapped books, huge makeshift trees with white baby’s breath and chandeliers for our backdrop. It was perfect. It was so lovely that we were actually surprised to be advised the next day that guests took some decors home! Here’s a link to Bride & Breakfast featuring our wedding,  http://brideandbreakfast.ph/2013/02/11/pink-and-pearls/

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The whole day went by like a blur – the ceremony, pictorials, the reception. You spend months planning your wedding and the day goes by so fast you can barely believe it. That’s why you need to enjoy it as the day unfolds. There will always be glitches but enjoy every moment. We were lucky to have very good wedding suppliers that we didn’t have to worry about anything. We were able to enjoy our wedding day thanks to them.

Out of all the beautiful things I remember about our wedding, there is this one biggest highlight of all. That random surprise from Ken in the end of our wedding. Ken loves surprising me. But this I think would be one of his best ones and my most treasured one. I am an easy girl to surprise being naive and non-suspecting, so I never really had an inkling about this. All along, I thought we would both be making the usual “thank you” speeches in the end. That was what I dreaded the most since I hate speaking in big crowds and I am not comfortable having the spotlight on me. And our wedding had a trimmed down 450 guests!! I really wanted an intimate wedding but his side of the family is big and as the first son an intimate wedding is somewhat impossible. So he already told me in advance not to worry because he would be the one doing the talking but I thought it’s only proper I say my part too. So when he started talking in the end, in truth I was only half-listening because in my head I was already thinking of what I should say after him. Then he started talking about a lot of things, going back to our history and it was so unplanned (for me at least) that I started panicking in my head wondering what exactly is he doing and how come he’s not giving thanks and not wrapping it up. Then suddenly he started singing to me and I froze.

To give a background, I go into shock whenever Ken surprises me in public. Like that time he proposed to me high up in Vertigo, Banyan Tree overlooking the whole of Bangkok. I totally wasn’t expecting it that I froze and I couldn’t remember what he said during his proposal. I’m that kind of person who have a hard time dealing with sudden emotions in public so I tend to freeze and it only sinks in later on when it was just the two of us. And that was like it. I froze at that moment he suddenly sang for me in front of all our 450 guests. The whole time he was singing, I wasn’t hearing what song he was singing, or what the lyrics were all about. All I can see was he was singing so beautifully to me. I’ve always loved his singing. Every time he would sing out loud during long drives, I would tell him that moments like that were those that make me fall in love with him all over again. I adore his singing and this one during our wedding is probably my most favorite one of his. I held back tears that moment but I remember that night after all the wedding fuss, when we were already in our suite, I asked him to play that song again. And apparently he had it in his iPod in loop and was listening to it the entire day to practice in his head. And it was then at that private moment, when it was just us and I completely heard the lyrics and the whole message, that I cried. Ken has always been romantic especially about that time he first saw me in school. And the lyrics of that song just goes so well with his character (one who always had big dreams and big goals) and our story and all that we’ve been through in our past 100 months together before we got married. It was so overwhelmingly touching. It was perfect. And until this day, it’s hard for me not to get emotional hearing that song again as it brings me back to this time.

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Our crying friends during Ken’s song.

And now, it’s been 2 years and looking back I can’t help but remember that quote I kept thinking about during that time we were planning our wedding. “What matters is the marriage and not the wedding” and that really is true. I know that more now and I know that 2 years being married is nothing. Our first year have been quite challenging with the biggest and littlest things like my homesickness (missing my Mom and my little nephew), all the adjustments, learning household chores when it’s just the two of us then, the happy news of getting pregnant, the sad and sudden news of losing it and more. They always say that the first year is the hardest and yes I agree. Our second year have been easier. We’ve adjusted, we’ve got a great housekeeper (which does help a lot), we’re growing together and have achieved so much more together. But yes there will always be challenges and everyday there will be new things to learn and overcome and we are enjoying every moment of it.

Looking back during the past rainy days, I can’t believe how so much has happened for us during days of July. A year ago, it was also on this month when we learned we lost our first one. And growing up, I’ve always hated the rain and have always been scared of it. But our wedding day has changed all that. That one particular rainy day of July, 2 years ago, showed that you can find beauty in the rain and that no matter how rainy a day can be, it can actually be blissful.

To my dearest other half and the love of my life, that one person who taught me how to dream and dream big and helped me achieve it. The one who showed me how to overcome every bit of my worries, my insecurities and my imperfections and loved me unconditionally despite all those. That one person who always makes me see bliss in the rain, THANK YOU. You will always mean the world to me.

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Here are some videos of our wedding 🙂

by Jason Magbanua

by Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto

by my sister 🙂

For the complete storytelling of our wedding day in photos, please click this link from our official photographer, Metrophoto 🙂 http://www.mymetrophoto.com/2013/02/san-agustin-church-and-marriott-hotel-manila-weddings-ellen-and-kendrick/

*Follow me on Instagram @ellenjoyco or drop a note at hello@ellenjoy.co! 🙂

 

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