#WERealWeddings featuring KARL ANDREW GALLAR and ANGELIQUE GENCIANA
October 1st, 2020, amidst all this pandemic, the love of my life & I tied the knot, and guess what? We had it in the land of fire and ice. Believe it or not, as dreamy as it sounds our wedding journey was never easy.
Initially, my now husband and I planned to have a simple civil wedding in Copenhagen, Denmark, as people would refer it to be one of the easiest places to get married in Europe. I mean, if we’re eventually having a church wedding in the Philippines, might as well make the civil one simple.
Iceland was supposed to be just one of our holiday destinations before we get married. Karl and I are both travel enthusiasts and we always try to look for uncommon but beautiful destinations. We would celebrate special occasions with a travel holiday, and we got engaged under the Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway.
At the back of my head, I always wanted to have my wedding as dreamy as possible, one that can top off our engagement. After watching the infamous local movie “Through Night and Day”, I never stopped thinking about getting married in Skogafoss. I knew it was unrealistic. Nonetheless, I didn’t stop reading about elopement weddings in Iceland and I tried my luck to ask for the availability of the date that I was eyeing. 01.10.2020– and guess what?, it was available. It felt like it was so meant to be.
My first photographer had to cancel a week before the wedding since he wasn’t a local and could not fly in due to COVID. From scratch, I had to look for a substitute and luckily the new one that I found was a local, he helped us a lot with the planning changes- such a blessing in disguise.
Fast forward to the week of the wedding. Iceland has imposed a rule that upon arrival, you must be COVID swabbed in the airport, quarantine for 5 days and get re swabbed. Until the second results come back negative, you won’t be able to go out and explore. Because of this, we flew in September 25, so we can have our second swabs done on the 30th, a day before our scheduled wedding. For some unknown reason, we received an email that we should have a 2nd test, scheduled on the morning of our wedding day. I tried to contact the authorities if they can change the dates for us but they said it’s impossible to modify once it’s already on the system. We had no choice but to abide with the rules. We had ourselves tested first thing in the morning.
Karl and I were chasing our results since lunch time, and at our dismay we didn’t have any update until 14:00. The customer support crew of COVID.IS were helping us and contacting everyone as much as they can just to expedite our results. I was already crying in frustration and told the customer support people that we’ll just cancel the wedding. I took off my wedding dress and changed to normal clothes. It was just hopeless at that time. Karl contacted our photographer and officiant that we will need to cancel as results are not yet in and we won’t be able to make it. Our Photographer which was also our driver, was already waiting downstairs since 10 AM but he said he will wait a bit longer just in case something changes. The officiant said she will do the ceremony no matter how late it is. In times like this, I just felt that if it weren’t for the locals who helped us, we never got through it.
The ceremony did not take too long, 10-15 minutes I would say. We said our vows, exchanged rings, signed the documents and that was it! We were Mr. and Mrs, Finally!! The legal officer told us that we got married the hard way. It may be just a short ceremony but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I guess, what I can say is, hardships and challenges may come our way but if we have that right person with us, we can always pull through anything. Wherever or whenever it may be. As what I’ve said to Karl in my vows, “Everything in me recognizes you as my home and your arms as my shelter”.
Karl and Angelique’s DREAM TEAM: Location (Ceremony): Skogafoss, Iceland | Other Locations: South Iceland | Invites: Zazzle UK | Photographer: Leszek Nowakowski (icelandphotographer.is) | Gown designer: Vivienne Westwood | Suit designer: Hugo Boss | Tokens: WeddingLux UK