Today’s feature is a beautiful coming together of two different cultures in a seemingly unconventional way: Kumar, an Indian, and Alyssa, a Pinay, had a civil wedding and a separate reception two days later. But, this gorgeous couple shows that unifying two worlds in this way can only be meaningful, enjoyable, and memorable! We also asked the bride some questions about her unique wedding. So, read on and check out the photos captured by Thinking Chair Studios, too!
1. What made you decide to have a civil wedding?
“My husband and I have different religions. I’m Catholic and he’s Hindu. It would have been more complicated and costly if we did a church wedding for both religions. We believe that God’s love is unconditional and that He will bless all married couples, regardless of whether their wedding takes place in or out of the church, for as long as their intention to marry each other is genuine and the couple have faith in God. Because of this, we decided that having a civil wedding would be the best way for us to go.”
2. Why did you choose to have your reception on a different day?
“It actually wasn’t our choice. We also preferred to have our wedding day on the same day as the reception, just like how any other wedding celebration usually is. Late last year, we already started booking suppliers for our chosen wedding date: May 18, a Saturday. However, we couldn’t finalize a schedule with the city hall yet because it was still too early, since they usually only accept applications for civil weddings a month before the preferred civil wedding date of the couple. Come January of this year, I got in contact with a relative of mine who is a judge and we asked if she could be the one to officiate our wedding. It came to our knowledge that judges can only officiate weddings during office hours, which is on weekdays. Since she’s a close relative of mines, we felt that it would be more meaningful if she would be the one to officiate our wedding. So despite it being a weekday and despite it being on a different day from our original chosen date, my husband and I decided to have our civil wedding on May 16, a Thursday. We didn’t think of rescheduling our suppliers from May 18 to May 16 anymore because it would have been difficult and a cause of hassle. We didn’t mind this too much though, since the gap of the dates of our civil wedding and the reception was not too far anyway. My husband and I also believe that you can actually have celebrations everyday and any day as long as you feel the love burning!”
3. What was the inspiration behind your wedding dress and style/theme?
“My husband really wanted to wear a barong because he finds it more comfortable compared to a suit. I loved his decision because it was somehow like a symbol of his acceptance of the Filipino culture. Because of this, I wanted my wedding gown to symbolize my acceptance of the Indian culture too. At first, I thought about wearing a traditional Indian wedding dress, but because 1) it’s so grand, it’s more costly, 2) I was thinking that I may look too overdressed for a civil wedding, and 3) it might not match well with the barong attire of my husband… I decided to wear a Filipiniana dress instead, together with a Matha Patti, which is an Indian headdress. Overall, my bridal look was like a fusion of Filipino and Indian styles. I liked how my wedding look represented how an Indian and a Pinay, or any two persons with cultural differences, can still very much have a happily ever after.”
“The color motif of our wedding was a mix of white and gold, which symbolize purity and prosperity.”
4. Were there any other unconventional details about your wedding?
“Weeks before our wedding day, my husband and I thought of sharing our love and decided to organize a charity event for the street kids of Malate. During our wedding reception, we showed a video of the charity event. Instead of spending for souvenirs and a photo booth for the wedding, we decided to use that money for the charity program. We believed that this would leave a bigger impact on our wedding guests, compared to giving away souvenirs. We hoped for our guests to take home something more meaningful and to become inspired to do the same and give also. We love knowing that our love has been shared in a meaningful way, to children who are in need.”
5. What was your favorite part or what was the most special part about your wedding?
“We actually loved every part of it. Our civil wedding was not how we imagined it to be. We love how the Hon. Judge officiated our wedding–she was able to insert some lines that included blessings of God. We love that our guests in the reception were happy with the food and the simple program we prepared. The reception was really for our guests because that was our way of saying thank you to them for all their support to us and our relationship. We love how some of our guests told me how they were touched by the charity event we organized. We love how the DIY wedding gown, bouquet, and boutonniere all turned out nice and were appreciated by our guests. We love how amazing our suppliers were. We love how our friends managed to be the on-the-day coordinators and host. And as the bride, I love how supportive my groom was during the wedding preparations–it all the more proves to me that I got the best one to spend the rest of my life with!”
Photographer: Thinking Chair Studios / Ceremony Venue: Manila City Hall / Reception Venue: Vikings SM Jazz Makati / Bride’s Dress: CDJF Wedding Gowns / Hairstylist: JM Martinez / Makeup Artist: Joyce Seludo / Bouquets: Bride’s DIY / Cake Baker: Daniel’s Bakeshop / Lights and Sounds: Live Levels / Preparations Venue: Artina Suites Hotel