The wedding of JP and Mimi is truly one for the books. I can easily describe it as unique and unconventional, but I think the best and most apt description for today’s feature is brave. This couple challenged so many templates and traditions–questioning its origin and checking its meaning–because they only wanted to do the ones that they believed in. They wanted their wedding day to be as honest and meaningful as possible, and it was important to them that their special day reflected who they are as a couple. We asked the bride some questions about her non-traditional wedding, so go ahead and read on, and enjoy Moki Cruz Photography‘s snaps while you’re at it!
Can you tell us briefly about your love story?
“JP and I were schoolmates back in high school. He was just one of those guys I was connected with on social media but don’t really know personally. And we’re the type of couple you wouldn’t ever imagine hitting it off. He sneaked into one of me and my friends’ tweets, and the rest was history.”
Was it really your vision ever since to have an unconventional wedding?
“Not really. Unlike most, I didn’t have a dream wedding, nor did JP. Ours being unconventional was just a part of the result, but we didn’t intend to be wedding rebels. What we did know was that we didn’t want to follow any trend nor follow a template if it didn’t feel like “us.” We dared question what traditions hold up to who we were and what we stand for as a couple.”
What were the traditions that you defied and why?
“Being a feminist, I was selective of what to follow because these traditions almost always put the burden on women.”
“It started with our engagement. I was not one to wait around for the guy to call the shots, in this case, when we will get married. That decision should be mutual. We knew our ring sizes because I was going to propose, too. My requirement was it can’t be expensive. JP proposed with a remodeled ring from his mother. The first thing I asked was, “Mahal ba ‘to?” because I seriously will not be happy if it was. That time, I didn’t have a ring to propose with so I grabbed the nearest cottony décor (it was a Halloween party and my birthday), tied it on his finger, and asked him to marry me. I bought him a 200-peso ring the day after.”
“We opted for tattoo rings that say “palagi”. It means always choosing each other. Although my husband always jokes about what it meant for him: palaging tagabuhat, palaging taga-abot, and the list goes on. If we’re talking about representing our commitment, the tattoos felt so right—even if we bathe, get sick, and die, it’s with us.”
“I painted my dress and my husband’s tie. I felt so uncomfortable at the idea of wearing all-white and what it symbolized. I didn’t have a dream wedding gown to begin with, but I knew that I wanted my dress to be cheap, comfy, and not fully white. Some people justify splurging on this because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. I have the same exact reason to scrimp. I got it from Disenyo Pandi in Bulacan a month before the wedding. Prices are at par, if not cheaper, than Divi. Bonus: no crowd, no hassle. There were decent off-the-rack dresses, but I decided to have mine custom-made at the price of P2,500. The dress was simple, so I waited only a week to get it and it took me over 3 hours to paint it. I was so scared at first, but it turned out better than I imagined. I’m pretty sure there is only one dress like this and it is so Mimi. I chose waves because I believe women were never meant to be tamed. Like waves, I can be calm. I can be restless. I am anything but pure. I am blessed to marry someone who not only accepts this, but surfs with it. I also painted my husband’s tie with clouds. We’re both nature lovers so what we wore also reflected that.”
“I didn’t wear a veil nor a garter because I felt like they were unnecessary and uncomfortable.”
“We slept beside each other the night before. We were so secure that we didn’t feel like we had to hold seeing each other. We even interacted freely during preps. This made it easier for all suppliers because they did not have to tiptoe around to make sure we didn’t catch a glimpse of each other. We had our photo/video shoot before the ceremony because we didn’t want to keep our guests waiting long after.”
“We even borrowed the wedding symbols we used. Someone told us it’s bad luck but we really didn’t want to buy things we will not use again. Also, we will not allow our relationship to be defined by superstitions.”
“There was no dress code for guests, not even for our entourage. We encouraged everyone to wear anything they liked and possibly wear again. Oh, and we saved a lot because there were no flowers at all! I wasn’t a fan of flowers ever since, and they are so overpriced for weddings. I had a lovely dried bouquet though! Nothing was thrown at us during recessional, our entourage just cheered us on.”
“We avoided gender roles for our guests as well. For example, players of the games were not determined by gender, but by preference. Even JP’s entourage included his female cousin. Women weren’t required to wear skirts or dresses.”
“We did away with preparation robes. We just wore our usual pambahay, which could have easily gone south, but it turned out really funny! The groomsmen wore boxers (and removed them) for the preps look.”
“We made a conscious effort to lessen our waste for the good of our future children. So it didn’t come as a surprise for our friends that we went for less waste and recycled styling. Our stylist reused materials from their inventory and previous weddings and we contributed recycled wine bottles. Even the paper used for table numbers and menu cards were recycled. We didn’t spend for unnecessary décor which we will not even use again.”
What were your non-negotiables when you started planning your wedding?
“One of the first non-negotiables was our “cocktail food” to be one of our fave snacks, isaw. Our guests raved about how good (and unusual) it was! As mentioned, we didn’t want to generate unnecessary waste hence the recycled everything. Ultimately, it was mandatory that we stuck with who we were and how we loved. It showed!”
How did you handle the pressure around you from your family and friends (if there was any) since you went the unconventional route?
“Believe it or not, there was none! I guess we were already known to defy societal pressures so the choices we made in our wedding were not really surprising for those close to us. Everyone was so supportive also because most of our friends have the same advocacies, too. Our families, especially our parents, were so respectful of our vision! They asked the whys, of course. But we were never questioned.”
What was your target budget and did you achieve it? How did you cut down on cost?
“We had 18 months to prepare and when we started, I set an initial budget of 300K, definitely not knowing how expensive weddings were! We spent 400K more or less but that already included all the logistics during the preparations. You would know for 130 guests in 2019, that’s cheap! We broke a lot of traditions and templates, which took out a big chunk off our total cost. Most of our suppliers are also our friends, but not once did we ask for discounts or freebies because we support their businesses. They are just so awesome that they voluntarily gave us these, which helped us reallocate expenses. We didn’t spend as much as the usual wedding. But even so, a lot of our guests said it’s one of the best weddings they’ve attended, so far. They had so much fun that they jokingly asked us to repeat this day! I remember tweeting this during planning, “Titipirin pero gagalinan.”