Monday, June 21, 2010

REAL WEDDING: CHRIS & ARMI (April 30, 2010)

You guys probably wouldn't believe it when I say that as of this writing, I have not met Armi yet, our bride for this wonderful summer wedding in Boracay (our very first!). I think Armi and I started communicating some time late February. It started with an SMS inquiry. I immediately noticed that she spelled out every word and I felt some sort of immediate kinship because not many take the effort of doing that (SMS, methinks, says a lot about a person's character).

The bride had only one instruction for her bouquet: it must reflect the reggae colors of green, yellow, black and red. This was to reflect the groom being a rasta. I agonized over this for a long time because as is our aesthetic, we never wanted to do anything so literal as to actually use anything related to the reggae theme. I admit I was tempted to use a reggae bonnet as the bouquet's handle ribbon, LOL! In the end, good sense got the better of us and we stuck to the classic idea of a bridal bouquet without pushing the envelope. The bride's bouquet (above) used yellow Ecuadorian roses mixed with chartreuse Cymbidium orchids, red Hypericum berries, and ended with a base of seasonal Jerusalem berries. A black lace applique covers the handle, and is adorned by a brooch and a black tassel. The bride eventually described her bouquet as "joyful". :-)

Yep, yep. Joyful indeed was the mood for this wedding! One can almost feel the party vibe pulsate through the pictures. I suddenly miss the island - and binging on mojitos! I wish to thank you, Chris & Armi, for making our first foray into the Boracay wedding scene possible. You believed and trusted in me even if you haven't met me at all. For this I am forever grateful. I also wish to thank the bride's friends who brought the flowers to Boracay; I forgot who actually hand-carried the bridal bouquet (as the rest were in a box) & I am sure she didn't sleep during that dawn flight for fear of dropping her fragile cargo.

And as always, A.M.D.G. :-)

Below, Pat Dy's photos and the bride's thoughts on the preps & the wedding. Happy viewing (& reading)!

How did you two meet?

Wow. It was ten years ago when I began dating (a late bloomer!) and after several dates with different guys, I agreed to meet Chris after chatting and talking to him over the phone. (Yes, I met him through the internet - during the era of ICQ and when there were still no internet cafés yet.) There was something about him and me that clicked plus it also helped that I was telling the universe at that time that I was ready to go into a relationship. Ha ha!



Tell us about finding your wedding dress:

I looked at the internet and magazines for inspiration. In Style, Wedding Essentials, Style Me Pretty were my favourites along with the website of Jose Villa, a wedding photographer from the US who only uses film (really!). I narrowed down the look according to what I felt fit my height, body structure, skin tone, and the theme of the wedding. Then I looked for designers to see what designs appealed to me.

I saw Debbie Co’s gown in Wedding Essentials and liked her aesthetics-clean lines but always with an accent that make it very feminine and classic at the same time. I used to visit her shop in Astoria Plaza but I didn’t know she did gowns. I sent a pdf file of my overall vision for the wedding and over ten gown pegs with my annotations. I did this with three other designers - met with them and compared prices. The most efficient was Debbie and it was pretty much a smooth experience from that first e-mail. I ended up having my mother and the mother of the groom, the flower girls’ tutu dresses, the ring bearers’ kaftans plus the bridegroom’s outfits done by her as well. It was a very enjoyable experience.

My favourite memory of the day was:

Walking down the aisle. They were all telling me to take it slow, to waltz my way and to enjoy that moment which is the bride’s alone. I heeded the wisdom in this, and as I walked I remember all the beaming faces as I passed them by, the smile and the cameras all raised and hovering around me. All that love was powerful and it felt grateful to be loved. As you know, that’s when I got teary eyed, and my girls, too.

Another highlight is the reception when we were watching the SDE photo and video coverage. Here is what I wrote in my blog,“At first there was clapping, a lot of oooohhing and aaahhing, then peals of laughter, tears of joy...and then finally shrieks. The photos and videos totally captured the tone, the mood, the colors, the vibe, the loveliness of that special day.”


Anything DIY for your wedding?

The entire planning was DIY. I only had 4 months to plan a destination wedding. It hinged on my Maid of Honor’s [experience with her] previous two-wedding coordination for her sisters and her stint as a wedding coordinator for a Boracay wedding sometime in 2005. However, Consuelo suddenly went MIA when she transferred to SG in the middle of the preparation. Good thing I planned everything from the start and had a lot of good help from family and friends (plus she did the coordination on the day!). Here is a list of our DIYs:

1.) Our Save the Date info was sent via MMS and email- a photobooth rendition of 4 shots seemingly taken from a photobooth but was taken at home using Chris’ Canon DSLR.

2.) Instead of monograms, we decided to use the photo taken by our friend in Serendra with Chris’ Vespa as a sticker for the invites and the misalette, which helped create the overall theme of the wedding.

3.) The Boracay sunset postcard, two photos of the famous sunset with the words Thank You and our names, date and location of the wedding inscribed at the back were also DIY- all we had to do was to send it to the printers. The postcard then became personalized thank you cards and souvenir at the same time.

4.) The directional signages with our names hand-painted on them using the same font as our stickers were also made by a friend. They were lovely!

5.) The flowers at the church were set-up by Chris’s relatives from Iloilo. The flowers were bought in Dangwa and were hand-carried by my family.

6.) Because I only had 4 months, and this is a first wedding planning for me, there were many details missed but this is nothing compared to the joy of that day.

(VM: The dried starfish boutonnieres were DIY, too! Our first time to use a glue gun! Ever! LOL!)

Tell us about your photographer:

What can I say? Pat Dy is among the best wedding photographers in the country, but he is also very nice. During the wedding preparation, I told him my friend wanted to have a photo shoot with him and he obliged (which made my friend really happy). He helped me find my best angle and guided me gently to pose “Love yourself” for the camera. (Those are the ones with the dramatic shots). When happy with his shots, he’d let me take a peek. He captured so many emotions of love and joy during that day - from my mother as she was looking at me with my veil on, to a father walking down her flower-girl daughter who was shy and sleepy, to the toothless grins of Chris’s Dad and our 3-year-old ring bearer. Some of the shots were directed, but many of my favourite shots were raw emotions captured as they unfolded. Bravo!

What was your biggest splurge?

Choosing Discovery Shores and Pat Dy. The 4-month planning for a wedding was only made possible because Discovery took charge of everything when it came to the reception. I thought I could not afford Pat Dy, but girls, this is a sage advice: pictures last a lifetime. I would have gladly paid him more. (Rhetorically, of course. I brought him cake and serenitea when I visited him after the wedding, hehe).

What was the design inspiration for your wedding?

With Boracay’s White Beach as a backdrop, we knew that our beach wedding would be a cinch. Initially it was a Sonya’s Garden meets Boracay theme but when Chris saw this, he said where was he in that wedding? Oo nga naman. My guy is a rasta; he was non-compromising on the beach wedding, on the rings, and wanted a reggae theme. This started the whole vibe and wedding look book. Of course all of it had to be done tastefully - no to shabby chic or rustic vibe.

How does it feel getting wed on the beach?

We were married at the Holy Rosary Parish in Boracay because we wanted the solemnity of the mass and the tradition that went along with it. But this is Boracay! As soon as one stepped on the island, the whole feel and pace changes you, and so it felt like everyone could let loose, be on vacation but instead of just you and the barkada or you and the family, it was you with ALL your family and closest friends. It turned out that way and more, as we were going to one party after another, our friends and families were having their mini reunions, and there was a lot of eating and partying that weekend. When I asked both of our parents to recount their weekend in Boracay, their grins were from ear to ear and there were many stories to tell. That was what we were going for!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding?

The budget. We had to make do with what we could afford. Our entire decision had to fit the already over budget. In the end we had to cut down on some things, and had to prioritize our non-compromises. We could not serve beer even if we wanted to; it cost P120++ per bottle at Discovery Shores!

Tips to brides to be:

Enjoy the planning, but let go on your wedding day. As my BFFs wrote to me the on the day of the wedding, “All shall be well.” That was very heartwarming and made me smile for the rest of the day.

Photos by

Pat Dy
2nd floor, Wilson Square Building,
Wilson St. corner P.Guevarra St.,
Greenhills, San Juan,
Metro Manila, The Philippines
Email: patdyphotography[at]


Boracay Hotels said...

Hi Armi and Chris

Nice Shot. i love your photos and i really enjoyed especially when i read your love stories.

It so inspiring. Congrats and regards.

Saan Resort ginanap ung wedding niyo?

Tanya Gemarin

Anonymous said...

Wow! Is all I can say. No words can describe how the pictures captured the moment. Words aren't needed anyway, the picture says it all. Going over your pictures made me feel I was part of the wedding as well. BRAVO!
Tingzi Torres-Bauer

Manila Girl! said...

Hi Tanya,
The wedding cocktails and reception was held at Discovery Shores.

Guess what Dylan, Tingzi was looking for me but I was unsearchable sa Facebook (of course) so she googled me and out came your blog. Now we're reconnected.

I love the write-up. I have got to see you na talaga. Soon!


-- We distinctly remember this day: we had five (5) weddings (two in Metro Manila, one in Cainta, one in Cagayan de Oro, and another in Bora...