Sunday, May 8, 2011
I love weddings. I remember when I was still with St. Mary's in Baliuag, I used to pass by the church twice a day, morning and afternoon, and as soon as I see that there is a wedding ceremony going on, I would enter inconspicuously and peek at the bride and groom. My order of interest would be the bride's gown, the entourage's attires and the ceremony itself. I like it when couples take personal interest and participation in almost all aspects of the wedding ceremony. I can be critical, especially when the wedding sponsors are heavily dressed up while the bride and groom are dressed down. I always believed the wedding day is for the couple to be wed and not for anyone else.
In the evening of February 14, 2011, while there was an on going wedding reception in my home for my cousin Emer and his bride Ine, my youngest son Nad came to my room as I was resting and told me he and Ann are serious about settling down this year. He said they wish to get married when his elder brother Poy is around and when it dawned on me that Poy is having a two-week vacation in April, I stifled a laugh and sighed. My son is dead serious. The first thing I asked was " Do you have savings?" to which he answered " Konti." The more I smiled.
And so began a two-month prep for The Wedding- my bunsoy's wedding to his beloved Ann. On February 23, 2011, off we went to Alido Subd. in Malolos City for the pamanhikan. It did not surprise me when i learned that they have decided on a civil wedding- Ann, being a Christian and Nad, a Catholic. However, I am resolute in my own plan to give Nad (and Ann, too) a wedding they both can look back to with fondness and with a smile on their lips. It didn't have to be in a warm sala of a judge or in an airconditioned, albeit cramped room, of a municipal or city mayor. There's got to be some way a decent, intimate ceremony can be held somewhere where the entourage and the guests will have a grand time.
Since both of them are working, I had to resort to phone calls, texts, email and FB messages so I can help them put it all together. I asked their preferred color motiff, their favorite songs, and their preferred venue. Since Poy is a lot owner at Waterwood Park in Baliuag, we were able to book it on their chosen date, April 16, 2011, at a 50% discount. It was there, while on an ocular visit, that I again met my former student at St. Mary's, Arlene Martin Tadeo, who's running a catering and an events coordination company, aside from being an alajera. We have been communicating a lot before since I always refer her to people I know who wants to invest in real property. At the time, I have been talking with a caterer from Plaridel, but seeing that Arlene's so at home in Waterwood where she is a top lot seller, I considered asking her offerings. It did not take long for me to decide on a switch. While the other caterer is good, Arlene's familiarity with Waterwood and the people who work there is a big plus. I was right. She gave me so much for so little. When i arrived at the venue on the wedding day, I thought, everyone would think this is a big one. Arlene gave me every peso's worth of the things we discussed and more. That night, I was delighted with Arlene's assistance.
For their unconditional love for their brother, Tim & Tj and Poy unselfishly shared their resources to unburden Nad and Ann with some of the necessities for their wedding. In my message, I reminded Nad to always remember the love so abundantly showered upon him by his siblings. I saw tears in Nad's eyes while they sat listening to me and i knew I mothered him the right way.
Like in Timmy's wedding in 2005, we opted to have a very small number of guests. However this time, it was a little bigger- 150 of the two families' closest relatives and friends. Being typically Pinoy, the guests' number ballooned, but again, Arlene's people were able to make adjustments and while there was really nothing left on the buffet table, no one made a fuss. After all, the last people who queued were Nad's cousins and titas( sorry people, when i get the moolah, I'll treat you all one day!).
The couple's planned civil wedding with only their immediate family present became a garden wedding of sorts. The wedding sponsors were the couple's baptism ninongs and ninangs and some are very close friends and relatives of the two families. Ninang Dith is a sister of my hubby, while Ninang Mel is my sister. While civil in character, the ceremony was so touching I always had to control my tears 'cause I just paid a hefty sum for my make up. Haha!
My Kumareng Lita, Ann's mom, cried while giving a message to Ann and Nad. And what mother-of-the-bride doesn't cry on her baby's wedding day? I did too, because when I addressed Ann, I told her that at that point I feel I still owe Nad so much, which I may not be able to give anymore, considering my circumstances (I am unemployed). Really, If I had my way, I would have enrolled Nad in a music school so he could learn to play musical instruments aside from the guitar which he learned to play on his own. I would have sent him to study robotics or cartoon writing and drawing, etc, etc. But I know Nad knows that I gave him so much of my time and attention and a lot of love, to make him whole as a person.
In 1998, I presented a project my group made (i did it alone, actually, since my classmates were only in grad school for the units) for a subject called Project Planning and Analysis. While other groups planned to put up a school, since most of us were teachers, my project was to put up an events company called Milestones. My teacher was impressed, so our group got a flat 1 in the subject. I did not know then that my plans will somehow become more tangible 13 years later while we were planning for my son's wedding. Through this wedding, I realized one didn't have to spend much to look expensive. In fact, other couples seem to spend more only to look cheap later. When love and care accompany the tasks given by those people who matter or even by professional service providers, like Arlene and another former student, Adrian Samson, the sounds provider who gave me another big discount, everything will turn out right.
It was not the traditional wedding with hordes of flower girls being carried by their moms during the processional (OMG, i hate this scene!), nor the "abays" who do not know what they were supposed to do during the ceremony. We decided to dispense with some roles which we felt were not really necessary, given that it was a civil wedding. The traditional candle sponsors were replaced with us, the mothers of the bride and groom, lighting the taper candles symbolizing the separate lives of the couple and followed by Nad and Ann lighting the unity candle symbolizing their willingness to carve a path of their own. This wasn't an original idea but the wedding of Ogie-Regine and the internet gave us so much ideas to start with. The participation of our compadre, Arch. Lito De Dios who beautifully sang The Prayer at the beginning of the ceremony (he even had the Latin part translated in Filipino), Endeth's assistance in coordinating the event, together with Rina who emceed the affair, Ann's brothers who escorted her from the car, Poy's role as the Best Man and Fhei, Ann's best friend who was the Maid of Honor- all added to the jovial mood of the afternoon which stretched into the night. My only regret in connection with this wedding was that I missed taking pictures- with all of my brothers and my sister who were all present on this occasion, with my only surviving Domingo aunt, Nana Subring, with my new balae, Mareng Perlita and with the latest addition to my family, Ann. Oh well, there are more occasions to come- like a baptism, perhaps.
Now that it's over, Nad and Ann are on their way to a journey called marriage. If I had to express another message to them again, it is to always remember that despite the stream of modern technology and lifestyles, marriage is forever. There maybe rough roads along the way, dark tunnels or rainy days, but always, it's God's promise, the sun comes out shining each new day.