May 7, 2020

#WERealWeddings : Timeless Elegance and Priceless Love

Giancarlo Manas and Anamae Pabustan Wedding
Words by Anamae Pabustan-Manas
Photography by Pat Dy

        Despite being together for almost 15 years, civilly married for 9 years at that, we still decided to get married in the church and be blessed in front of the Lord God. It was really important to us. Carlo believed that facing the Lord God in marriage was something that he needed to be prepared for- spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and financially.  He wanted to give me the best by being ready in all aspects of his life. It took 8 years before he unexpectedly proposed again to me to marry him in the church, but it was according to him, God’s perfect timing. 

We also decided to have it in the Philippines because that is where our families and closest friends are. Apart from our relationship being blessed by God, one of the reasons we decided to have a church wedding is for our family and closest friends to be there and to stand witness to a very important day in our lives – they were already witness to our 15 year relationship, and we wanted them to be part of this very special day as well. 

For over a year and a half, we’ve been planning this wedding overseas. Using all the means necessary to us – from Facetime to Whatsapp, we were in constant contact with Teena Barreto Events and the team. They did a splendid job. My sister, who was also my maid of honor, was our top secret to success. She attended food and cake tastings, oversaw label making, ran to the bank on busy days to transfer deposits to suppliers: she was basically our go-to lady, and she didn’t disappoint. It would be a shame for all their efforts to go to waste.

It took us months of preparation and a lot of Facetime meetings to get here. But the negative circumstances wouldn’t deter us. On the night of December 21, I decided to let it go. Everyone was there with me and wanted to help out and smooth things over. I was beyond grateful for them. I decided that I would be enjoying the wedding – my own wedding – on their behalf.

I fell sound asleep.

Call it woman’s intuition or whatnot, but i knew that Carlo’s dad would keep his promise. I would remember how he always told Carlo: “Sa buong buhay mo anak, wala ko. Hindi ko hahayaan na wala ako sa kasal mo. Kahit anong mangyari darating ako”.

Our entourage came in late due to the weekend Tagaytay traffic, made even worse by the Christmas rush. But one person made it before everyone else. He was standing in front, proudly beaming at us by the altar. The priest began the ceremony by acknowledging his presence.

It was Carlo’s dad.

We were brought to tears. It was perfect. Having the entire family by your side on the most important day of your life is priceless. We both came from broken families. Our wedding was a vow to strive hard to have a complete family of our own.

Antonio’s Lanai awaited with its delightful array of refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. Wine, a Raclette Station, popcorn, their signature tortilla chips, and chocolates. Kids had their play packs ready, and the little girls felt like they were Disney princesses as they saw the bride dance with the groom. It was the ideal place for the guests to know each other more.

We arrived ecstatic and relieved, seeing all the people we love surround us. 145 out of 150 guests came to join us on our special day, coming all the way from Pampanga, Manila, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Malaysia, London, Hawaii, Germany and Dubai. We had our first dance to the song You and Me, followed by the bright and wondrous crackle of colorful fireworks in the sky. We then headed for Antonio’s main dining room, its rustic charm accentuated by candlelight and fresh flowers everywhere. Dinner was a lovely sit down, 7-course fine dining experience by Chef Tony Boy Escalante. Our hearts and tummies were full – not only of the delectable dinner, but of love and laughter.

Everything went well despite the many challenges. The wedding was what we hoped it would be – classic, elegant, timeless. Something that we would share with our children and grandchildren. We felt blessed by God, with our family and friends surrounding us. Perhaps the rain and traffic stood as a constant reminder of the challenges that life throws at our way, the presence of our loved ones would always shine through.

Giancarlo and Anamae’s Dream Team |Church: Mary Help of Christians, Batulao Batangas | Reception: Antonio’s Tagaytay | Caterer: Antonio’s Tagaytay | Coordinator: Teena Barretto Events  | Cake: Naked Patisserie | Invites: Print Divas  | Event Stylist: Jo Claravall  |Photographer: Pat Dy | Videographer: Bob Nicolas  | Gown designer:  Oscar Dela Renta/ Francis Libiran | Suit designer: Francis Libiran | Make up: Mark Qua  | Hair: Aries Manal  | Host: Sam YG  | Band: 3rd Avenue  | DJ: Funk Avy  | Fireworks: Dragon Fireworks  | Entourage Gowns and Make up: Casa Moda by Mich Viray/ Thea Dionisio | Photobooth: Instafame Photos  | Souvenirs: Bakes & Crafts by Kohji & Kishi  | Prep Venue: Tagaytay Higlands 

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