March 23, 2023

#WERealWeddings: I Choose You

Featuring Lawrence Carlos and Klara Iskra Añonuevo

Words Klara Iskra Añonuevo | Photography Vital Image Photography

“A Caterpie may change into a Butterfree, but the heart that beats inside remains the same.” – Brock (Pokemon) 

In our relationship, one of the things that Lawrence and I bond over is our love for Pokémon. We both grew up playing the games, and until now we play the recent releases, so we wanted our wedding to have a subtle Pokémon theme, with easter eggs for our guests—many of whom are fellow Pokémon fans—to discover. When we told our suppliers this, they each said the same thing: “Oh, my kid loves Pokémon!” We laughed at the prospect of a wedding theme that could end up being like a children’s party. However, we knew we could curate an elegant country wedding in such a way that even non-Pokémon fans would appreciate it.

Our wedding invitations had Pokémon hidden in the main watercolor graphic, our wedding rings were housed in a Master Ball, my vows were placed inside a Pokémon game card case, I had Vulpix and Poké Ball earrings for the ceremony and the reception, respectively, and our cupcakes had fondant decor of selected Pokémon elements. Even our motif, violet and scarlet, although they are actually our favorite colors, reference the then yet-to-be-released new Pokémon game.

But if there were two things that validated our decision to push through with a Pokémon-themed wedding, it was our reception seating placeholders and the music that played when the members of the entourage walked down the aisle at the ceremony and upon their entry to the reception.

Each of the reception tables was named after a town or a place in the Pokémon world, and we assigned one Pokémon per guest for their name placeholder. The fun part was letting everyone choose their own Pokémon so we asked each guest to give us their top three. As with most weddings, we had to regularly follow up for RSVPs, which was arduous at times, but when asked about which Pokémon they wanted, we were pleasantly surprised by how quickly everyone responded! When the more well-known Pokémon kept being chosen, we also reminded our guests that there were plenty of others to choose from. To make our reception seating name placeholders even more unique and to avoid them going to waste, we had them printed on seed paper, which the guests could then plant and grow spinach after the wedding.

As for our entourage music, we chose an orchestral version of the original game’s soundtrack—it was subtle enough so non-Pokémon fans were none the wiser, but it was enough to put smiles on the faces of those who were familiar with the game, including some members of our entourage, who had no idea that we had this planned. Seeing their faces light up as these moments happened, as well as getting fellow fan feedback throughout the day of the music selection only added to the overall enjoyment of the wedding day itself.

Our wedding was held on October 14, 2022, on our fifth relationship anniversary, and more than two years into the pandemic. Unfortunately, this meant that a handful of our guests who had confirmed their attendance couldn’t make it in the end because they tested positive for COVID-19 or were exposed to a positive case. 

On the other hand, this also meant that we were seeing many of our guests for the first time in over two years. For some friend groups, it was also their first time seeing each other since the pandemic, so we were glad our wedding became a reunion unlike any other. We were incredibly grateful to everyone who did make it, as our guests from the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and Malaysia, all had to travel under more complicated circumstances due to the pandemic.

It’s an understatement to say that our wedding was non-traditional. Apart from the fact that it was Pokémon-themed, our wedding had no maid of honor nor best man, and our ceremony was so simple that we basically just exchanged rings and vows. And of course, both our vows had Pokémon references, too—“I choose you to be with me for the rest of my life,” recited Lawrence, for example. We also did away with the bouquet toss, removing the garter from the bride’s leg, and a prosperity dance for the reception. What we did gain in program time, as a result, was then devoted to longer, more stories and speeches from our entourage, who embellished the occasion with personal meaning and emotion that we simply could not plan for.

Lawrence and Klara’s Dream Team: Ceremony: La Faite Home and Country Garden | Caterer: La Faite Home and Country Garden | Coordinator: Soulful Events Team | Cake: La Faite Home and Country Garden | Invites: Meggie Abdul | Event Stylist: La Faite Home and Country Garden | Photographer: Vital Image Photography | Videographer: Roadtale | Gown designer: Happy Andrada | Suit designer: Masanting Sastreria | Bride’s Shoes: Keds | Bride’s Robe: La Rosa Bridal | Groom’s Shoes: Base London | Solemnizing Officer: Rev. Christian Sablay | Reception Host: Nikki Viola  | Hair and Makeup: Makeup Artistry by Lil | Lechon: Braedy’s Lechon | Photobooth: Ochipix | Souvenirs: Tealchemy and Baked & Co. | Crew Meals: Chef Anthony’s Crew Meals

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