I’ve been blogging for almost three years now. Seeing all these weddings everyday, plus attending my fair share of such joyous events, has really made me ponder on how weddings are created–especially here in the Philippines. And being a former bride myself, I was inspired to write my realizations in the hope of helping brides and grooms who are about to experience one of the best days of their lives.
It’s alright to go against the current. The Philippines has always been a very traditional nation. We love our culture and our people, and this is not a bad thing. However, this characteristic also gets the better of us. I noticed how some couples are afraid of doing something new, fearing that “It’s not how we do weddings here in the Philippines.” Or they ask the question “What will people say?” When I got married back in 2010, having beadless entourage dresses was unheard of–the concept seemed “not formal” enough for many. Everyone was telling me I should at least put a sprinkle of sparkle because that’s just the way it’s supposed to be. I am fortunate enough that despite opposition to the idea, everyone eventually supported it. And it was one of the best decisions I made for my wedding–not because it’s the way something should be done, but because it was more me. There are countless aspects of a wedding that can be done in a different way: how your wedding dress will look, what elements you will put into your program, the kind of bridal car you will ride, the flowers you will use, etc. Bottom line, you don’t always have to do things just because it’s the way it’s been done for the past decade. You can go against the current and still come out a happy bride (and groom).
Everyone noticed (and praised) the simple beadless chiffon dresses.
A lax program doesn’t mean it’s a boring one. Because Filipinos love to entertain, we feel that weddings should too. Our hospitality gene makes us responsible to ensure that our guests are never bored. It is simply forbidden that there is not a dull second on our watch. Because of this, our wedding programs are more jam-packed than ever, sadly leaving no room for our bride and groom to sit, eat, mingle, say sweet nothings to each other, and take a few minutes to just look around and gaze at the magnificent event happening around them. There is always something to do, a picture to take, a game to play, fireworks to see, a dozen video presentations to watch. Sometimes, all our guests want is to enjoy the scrumptious meal you provided for them, engage in good conversation with the new friend they made in table number 6 and clink the glass to see the beautiful couple gaze lovingly at each other (without time pressure). Again, it’s not about having a packed program or not (some people my actually thrive in such a busy schedule). But for many who feel that they just need to do ALL these things to entertain, really… you don’t need to. A lax program is also an enjoyable one.
Tip: Make your program as meaningful and personal as possible. Speeches from loved ones will be something that’s relevant to you. The crowd loved my dad’s speech , but more than that, I loved it.
We made sure that dinnertime was not busy. We also played soft music to allow our guests to talk and enjoy good food and great conversation.
Instead of taking the usual photo op with all the guests, we just decided to go to each table, say our hellos, and chit chat with friends and family while our photographer took candid shots. This allowed us to really savor each moment with our guests.
Living the moment versus just creating it. Who doesn’t want a beautiful wedding? Who in their right mind would not wish for perfection? Besides, you only get married once! You will only get to wear that gorgeous dress for that one special day (unless you come to a halloween party as bridezilla), and you spend thousands of moolah to create the most beautiful ambiance you could ever dream of. SO NOTHING CAN GO WRONG! You make sure you maximize every minute of portrait-taking because you know you’ve never looked this beautiful… and you did book the best photographer in town. Ok, so, two hours of your wedding day goes to posing, understandable! But then at the reception, you have about 500 guests and you must go to each table and take photos with all your guests–that’s another hour gone in a flash. Simply because of the NEED to document. Then you meticulously make sure that the program goes smoothly and all the dance and singing practices pay off. Phew! At the end of the day, atleast you know the photo and video coverage will definitely rock right? Though this may be true, more often than not, couples get so caught up in creating memories that they forget to live it, right there and then–to just pause, breathe and take it all in. And as you watch the recap of your day, you tell yourself, “Where was I when that happened?”.
I will never assume that our wedding is better than anyone else’s. My point for sharing about our special day is to inspire you not to be pressured by external expectations and just be yourselves. At the end of this special day, the most memorable moments will be the spontaneous ones with the love of your life.