Sunday, May 30, 2010

When Simple Elegance Mattered

Mike Marquez and Sabs Wee
Santuario de San Antonio

Blue Leaf Events Pavilion

The wedding of Mike and Sabs would be best remembered as intimate, genuine, and heartfelt.

Sabs, who is a flight attendant, is the sweetest bride I have ever had. She has a genuine concern for me, not only as her wedding planner but also as a friend. The bond we had established became the cornerstone of our wedding preparations.

The very first time we sat down and talked about her wedding, she said succinctly that she liked it to be very simple – “I want the wedding to be a celebration of the love that Mike and I have for each other, and the love we share with our families.” You see, both Mike and Sabs come from close-knit families. Since Sabs was out of the country for most of the planning stage, her mom came to the rescue and she helped us out with the wedding preps.

The concept of “simple and elegant” – though perfunctorily used by many brides I have met – is very subjective. What may be simple and elegant to a person may not be necessarily simple and elegant to another. But Sabs was able to concretize what simple elegance was, first, through her color palette of silver and navy blue which turned out to be a great choice! It was clean, modern, and regal.

The invitations designed by Printsonalities reflected the simplicity yet formality of the event – two cardstock boards in ivory with the text in charcoal gray thermograph. The main invitation carried a pearlized border to add texture to the invitation suite. Designer Rajo Laurel kept up with the preference for simplicity of the bride. Inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s wedding gown, Rajo created a lace masterpiece with a high neckline. The back details included crystal buttons for enclosure and a neat bow in Mikado silk.Sabs wore shoes from Solea, and Rajo provided her a vintage-looking hairpiece.Madge Lejano made sure that Sabs looked her best. There was no bad angle for Sabs – each angle was picture perfect. She has an almost perfect facial symmetry. It was as if she had a spotlight following her wherever she went. She was a sight to behold.Sabs carried an all-white peony bouquet by Zenas Pineda.The entourage wore elegant blue gowns with silver accents.They carried white bouquets dotted with lilac flowers and tied with silver ribbons that matched their outfits. Sabs didn’t want any elaborate floral decor in the church. She asked the florist for clusters of asters in silver urns to decorate the aisle. She also decided to do away with the red carpet, and thus expose the elegant marble flooring of the church. It was refreshing to see the church’s aisle bare. A plain shiny board covered the misalettes which were tied with a silver cord. The end of the strings had silver ornaments. The unity candle set featured a white pillar candle tied with a textured white ribbon and accentuated with a vintage brooch. Two white tapered candles wrapped in blue tulle and white organza were used to light the unity candle.Photographers Pat Dy and Francis Perez captured the fun-loving couple during their portrait session. Despite the rain, the couple was game for posing, hence, these lovely photographs. (Reminder to myself: The makeup artist must be available for touch-up. Good thing, Madge stayed and made sure that after being drenched a bit by the rain, the bride was as radiant as ever when she entered the dining hall.)Both the Jade and Banyan halls of The Blue Leaf were reserved for this event. Half of the Jade Hall was venue for cocktails; the other half became part of the dining area for guests. Bizu Patisserie provided a variety of cocktail food which consisted of mushroom duxelle in vol-au-vent; melon, shrimp and prosciutto croquettes; Spanish chorizo and cheese croquettes; and beef and capsicum in skewers. Guests swarmed around the wine and cheese station. It overflowed with the best of wines and cheeses from all over the world – Gruyere, Stilton, Emmental, Brie, and Edam. Bai Capture set up a photo booth which became an instant hit among the guests – some of whom came all the way from Zamboanga. Zenas featured square-mirrored vases, old-fashioned candle holders, and pebbles to create a minimalist look – as per request of the bride. She also used tall crystal vases filled with white pebbles to add height on some of her arrangements.The menu cards were placed together with the napkins and tied with a silver ribbon. Boards with the names of the guests served as a napkin holder and place card, too.The tables were named after the international destinations of the airline for which Sabs and Mike work. Right after their grand entrance, the couple proceeded to the dance floor for their first dance. They danced to the tune of “Panalangin” by the Apo Hiking Society. A shower of confetti capped their dance.Then, the couple cut their five-layered fondant wedding cake by Penk Ching. It was indeed another masterpiece from the Queen of Fondant herself.Daddy Toti, Mommy Cristina together with Mike’s siblings – Anthony, David, and Mark – welcomed and thanked everyone on behalf of the Marquez family.Dinner ensued right after. Bizu served a mouth-watering buffet which included a 10-hour roasted U.S. beef belly on the carvery with mushroom sauce and horseradish cream; chicken with bleu cheese tarragon cream; baked cream dory with pomodoro, prosciutto, bechamel and artichokes; roast pork tenderloin with dijon thyme; and grilled tiger prawns with aligue cream. And what’s Bizu without their famous macaroons? Yummy ending indeed.
The grandparents of Mike also gave a heartwarming speech.
On the side of the bride, Papa Ernie, Mama Gina, and siblings of the bride, JR and Kuya Mickey with wife, Kaye welcomed Mike to the Wee family.An emotional thank you speech from the bride and the groom made everyone teary- eyed – this coordinator included. Mike and Sabs were the epitome of happiness during their wedding day. Here's Jason Magbanua's onsite AVP.

Mike and Sabs sent me a touching thank-you note almost a year after their wedding. I have to admit that letters like this make my heart melt and I am not ashamed to say that I was crying in a public place when I was reading it.

Dear Ernest,

I might have known what kind of wedding I wanted maybe even before I had a grasp of what marriage really means; from the style of my gown, to the "feel" I'd like to project; the flowers, the colors...but little did I know that with you at the helm, my husband and I are now proud to say that we had the wedding beyond what we dreamed of.

You made it possible to have our wedding with everything we wanted, but not compromising the factors that would make our personalities as individuals and as a couple stand out. That made us really respect your suggestions and opinions. I might have been stubborn during the early months of our discussions (causing money down the drain..ha ha ha!) but what mattered in the end was that everything about our wedding came out to what I can call my "dream wedding perfection."

I guess the perfect manifestation of how great you are at what you do are the many feedback we received from our family, and our guests about our wedding. Words like, "This is the best, most sincere wedding I've ever attended!" or "Everyone was crying!" and "Your wedding's so beautiful" or "I felt part of your love story!" were more than enough for us to appreciate the hard work and sheer effort you'd exerted to make our special day as it was. We can't thank you enough. Our gratitude is beyond words.

Thank you, Ernest! With you, I did not just have a wedding planner. I have family. :)

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