December 17, 2020

Tested and Blessed


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.

Entourage make up team rang at around 6 o’clock in the morning, accompanied by her team of make-up artists who took care of our entourage. Their arrival made me realize that this is “The Day” that we’ve been looking forward to for about a year now.

I looked out the window to see not a cloud in sight: it was a perfect sunny but breezy morning in Tagaytay Highlands. I thanked the Lord for the beautiful weather and that He spared us from the rain.

Everyone was finally getting ready. But we couldn’t contact Carlo’s dad. Was he coming or not? Did he arrive from San Francisco? No one knew. Carlo wore his optimist face. He was saying that he probably can’t afford to lose his job. “It’s December – a busy season,” he would say. 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.

Carlo cried and was emotional throughout most of the ceremony. Even our uncles did. The vows were genuine, and they rang across the ceremony hall for all our closest friends and family members to hear. They already knew our story, but hearing it finally being said in front of the altar was a different experience. It was spiritual. It was intimate and romantic. It was totally heartfelt.

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. 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.


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 | Ento Gown and Make up: Casa Moda by Mich Viray/ Thea Dionisio | Photobooth: Instafame Photos  | Souvenirs: Bakes & Crafts by Kohji & Kishi  | Prep Venue: Tagaytay Higlands 

WE Real Weddings 2020 is available for download at Magzter and Press Reader

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