Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Our Happy Day

I never had any plans for my wedding. Sure, I wondered about it in the past and at one point in time even considered a blue and silver theme if ever I do get married, but that's about it. There are always stories of girls knowing exactly what their dream wedding would be even before they got proposed to or even had a boyfriend, but I somehow never got around to that. The funny thing was that Aleq never thought about his wedding either. We always figured we would think about it when the time came. 

Well the right time finally arrived and somehow we just went with the flow and winged it. Blue and silver never happened. In fact, we ended up with a wedding that was very different from what we had in mind when we got engaged. We just relaxed and enjoyed the ride, and somehow, it turned out just right.

The day before the wedding we were stressed to the max. Things happened beyond our control, and we ended up arguing and annoyed at each other. We somehow made up quickly (chalk it up to true love, heh) and we managed to finish our cramming at 4am. Yes, we were still awake and with each other before dawn on our actual wedding day. When we said goodnight for the last time as boyfriend and girlfriend before retiring to our respective rooms with our families, we were completely happy. We knew that the next time we would see each other was at the church at 3pm.  

The morning greeted us with a haze of suppliers, coordinators, family members, and friends. The first doorbell rang, and the chaos began.   

When Aleq and I were dating he would give me chocolates, books, toys, cds, and what-not, except flowers. I get sad when they wilt, and I would much rather have things I could eat or keep as mementos. Despite that little fact however, I always told him I wanted a blue rose -- just one -- for kicks. Well, he never gave me one! Our wedding was finally my chance to get a blue rose and I did -- a whole bouquet, actually. It was from Holland Tulips, and it had blue roses as well as my favorite flower, orange tulips. Pearls were wrapped around the stems, which I thought was a lovely touch. It was exactly what I wanted.

Getting pretty with my Shu Uemura glam squad -- Cindy Pineda dela Cruz and Avril Seguin. I was so glad my closest cousins and bridesmaids Sheila and Lek were there. They kept me sane amidst all the frenzy, while the rest of my family got ready in other rooms.

Our wedding rings by Matus. They're plain, white gold bands (with the exception of a single diamond on mine) that looked exactly like the promise rings we gave each other when we were just 18 and 19 years old. http://www.myweddding.com/alessandrojullienne!

Sofitel that morning looked like any other morning.

In his room, my groom was getting ready too. Avril came over to prep his face and style his hair. His parents and cousin, plus my best friend and my cousins were popping in and out to get their makeup and hair done with Anne Viray and Jennette Rondilla. 

Our wedding coordinating team, The Best-Case Scenario Events, was very organized. They tacked schedules in all the rooms and made sure it was followed to the letter.

My wedding shoes <3. Vivienne Westwood x Melissa Lady Dragon Heart!

My groom wore his blue and silver Relic watch. We gave each other matching watches as anniversary gifts the year before we got engaged. 

Our colorful wedding invitation by Wink (Written in Ink) was done in our modern, color-block theme.

Our save-the-dates and "Will You Be My" cards were made with love by me and our Wedding Fairies, Lek and Clang. 

Flowers of May did our entourage flowers. The pastel colors were so pretty! Kyle, my niece and god-daughter, and our lone flower girl, wore a flower crown on her head and carried a flower pomander.

That day was the girliest I have ever felt in my entire life. I was the star of my own show and everything revolved around me. It was absolutely fine to just sit pretty.

My best friend and matron of honor Hazel lent me the garter she wore during her wedding for my "something borrowed." Aleq's cousin Aielle, who was our junior bridesmaid, was so excited to wear her dress and step into her role that day.

Our wedding stationery

The groom getting groomed; my aunt Eve, one of our principal sponsors, and my cousin Lek caught on cam. 

Aleq's wedding shoes were from Zara. The blue and orange-y lining and the blocked design were the perfect details.

I chose Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers in Love for my wedding perfume -- really appropriate, don't you think? 

Everything in our wedding was white gold or silver, except for our arrhae. My sister-in-law Ate Weng made us choose from regular silver coins and coins covered in melted gold. Aleq chose gold, because for him, treasure equals gold.

Aleq chose Burberry The Beat as his wedding perfume, simply because it was his favorite.

I am still obsessed with these shoes. They were my "something blue" of course.

I wore my mom's diamond earrings that day. It was my "something old" and my way of keeping her close to me. I knew she was with me that day -- and everyday -- in spirit.

Aleq is also still obsessed with these lace-ups.

We decided to do a pocket square instead of a boutonniere in keeping with our modern theme.

The bright pink Shu Uemura lipstick Cindy used on me was one of the little details that just made me happy. 

There were quite a few hearts at our wedding -- our save-the-date, my shoes and perfume, etc. -- but we never noticed that my own dress had a heart on it until we saw the pictures! Edwin Uy and Jeon Varon made me an absolutely beautiful gown. My "something new" was the silver accent that came with the dress. 

One of my brother Manny and sis-in-law Weng's surprises for us were these orange and blue fans that we gave out to the guests at the church. My wedding fairies and I made the message cards that went with them. (Everything had messages, to show our love for words.) Our wedding was in April, at the height of summer, and though all our venues were air-conditioned, these were very much appreciated.

Our misalettes, which we kept stark and simple, was another Wedding Fairies project. They had Aleq and mine's stamp of approval. Literally.

Aleq's navy blue suit was also done by Edwin Uy and Jeon Varon. Modern and matte was always the theme.

The most important dress I have ever worn

I have never smiled the way I did on my wedding day in my entire life. The joy inside me was evident on my face.

My blue preparations dress was from Forever 21, which I wore with orange Havaianas.

My pensive groom

When the rest of my bridesmaids arrived, the excitement went up a notch. This was how the bride's room looked that morning. It was a crazy hub of activity!

These scenes of Aleq and his dad getting ready together are so precious.

My dapper man!

When the groomsmen arrived, the energy in the groom's room went from busy to insane. They're funny guys.

I was the last to dress up.

My dear Hazel can be such a ham!

My nails either looked like the depths of an ocean or a glittering corner in space. Deborah Lippman's Across the Universe was the only polish I wanted to wear.

My gown had a secret rock element to it -- a dark blue petticoat! It had an uneven hem to show it off and my shoes.

Suit details -- matte everything, stark white shirt, bright orange tie and pocket square

So ready.

With his parents and groomsmen

With my bridesmaids and family

Aleq left first.

I was the last to leave.

And we're off.

Then I kiss your eyes and thank God we're together
And I just wanna stay with you
In this moment forever, forever and ever
- Aerosmith, I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing

The University of Santo Tomas was the place where we met, where we spent our college years, and where he proposed to me. That is why the Santisimo Rosario Church, also known as the UST Chapel, was the only place we wanted to get married in.

Waiting in that bridal car with my dad was a blur. It was like time sped up then. I hardly remember a thing, as I was feeling the butterflies. 

Aleq walked down the aisle with his parents, followed by our wedding entourage, to an acoustic version of Aerosmith's I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing by the Vitamin String Quartet. 

Our little ones!

The wind created this magical moment as I walked up to the church! The air was perfectly still before, and it was totally unexpected that it caught me off-guard. MyPhotato, our photographers and videographers, all scrambled to capture it. 

I caught the last strains of I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing when I walked up to the door, and it made my heart swell. 

My dad looked so thrilled to finally give me away.

I walked down the aisle to The Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Tears immediately came when I took the first step, but I was so happy, I didn't want to cry. My makeup artist Cindy told me that morning that if I needed to keep myself from tearing up, I have to avoid looking at the people because seeing them would definitely make me cry. I didn't have a problem doing that -- I was only interested in looking at my groom.

Aleq was the exact opposite. He was smiling the entire time! People actually told him he was "bungisngis", because he was grinning so much while staring back at me. He told me he was simply so happy, and all he was thinking at that moment was "This is really it!"

I think my bridesmaids got misty too.

Our friends, who served as our readers, were waiting for us at the altar.

My brother Manny was our commentator, while my cousin Camille was one of our lectors.

We took the vows, ring, and arrhae ceremony very seriously. The feeling while saying those words out loud to each other was indescribable.

Our offerers were made up of family and friends. Two of them didn't get to join the procession. Our friend RA wasn't able to make it to the wedding due to a family emergency (he was supposed to proxy for another friend Kate who couldn't make it), while our friend Arwin was simply late. This was the perfect example of things not going as planned, and we didn't even notice until after the wedding. Our coordinators did a fine job of fixing the problem by having my sister-in-law and our friend Kitch carry two offerings each. Also, we didn't take it against our friends -- things just happen.

Candle, cord, and veil.

The officiating priest was my brother, and he delivered an amazing homily. That was the one thing I knew I wanted for my wedding -- for my brother Rev. Fr. Walde to marry us, and for my brother Manny to be beside him as commentator. I teared up when we were finally all together at the altar. 

We kept stealing moments to whisper to each other, we were so happily distracted!

"You may now kiss the bride." It was surreal. Aleq took it slow and made sure my veil was all nice before tenderly leaning in to kiss me. We both thought it was sublimely different. It was so sweet, it felt like our first kiss in 1999.  

Bright smiles while signing our marriage contract up on the altar.

With our families!

Husband and wife. We couldn't believe it.

Coming out of the church and having everyone greet us with flower petals and camera clicks was one of our favorite memories of the entire day. 

Our best girls and guys!

Mr. and Mrs.

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn, you're not alone
- Savage Garden, Crash and Burn

Party time! We wanted our reception to be bright and fun, and it was exactly that. 

Oranges, one of our favorite fruits, were used as holders for our escort cards. The Wedding Fairies made the cards and Best-Case Scenario painstakingly stuck them on top of the oranges right before the wedding. "Orange you glad you're here with us? Thank you for coming. Aleq + Julls"

Josiah's Catering did the food and reception decor. Being sweet-tooths, we had to have a sweet buffet. It had 15 kinds of desserts, including chocolate fondue in three flavors-- milk, white, and dark. Tidbit: My brothers missed our childhood slideshow later that night because they were outside at the dessert table, bonding over fondue! That's how we know we're siblings. We're all chocoholics. 

For cocktail hour, we welcomed our guests with different kinds of canapes and blue iced tea. Our bar also opened early, and everyone who wanted a cocktail got one (actually, several). 

A lot of Filipinos aren't big minglers, so we made sure the guests had lots to do while waiting for us to arrive. We had message cards for them to fill out, as well was a word puzzle, because Aleq and I are both writers by profession. Menu cards were also on the tables so our guests could plan out how to raid the buffet properly, heh.

We wanted flowers in different shapes, sizes, and varieties, and we chose a combination of milk bottles/vases and glass jars to give the tables a carefree vibe.

Mixed Mobile Bar's drinks were fantastic! Their Flaming Lamborghinis were a hit. 

We had Papemelroti make these blue and orange wooden letters. They also did our A+J at the welcome table.

Our venue, the Pergola, had a pretty chandelier. Next to photos of us, almost all of our guests posted photos of it in their social media streams.   

Our wedding was the only time in my life that I wanted flowers. UST supplied the church flora, which we kept white and simple, and our entourage ladies carried real bouquets. We had Josiah's fill the reception venue with flowers. We had blue and orange blooms, complemented by pink, white, purple, and yellow flowers. Our guests were free to take home any of the flowers that caught their fancy at the end of the night. 

Each table had a photo of us from one of our 13 years as a couple, plus a cootie catcher.

Love how my nephews just opened up the cootie catcher and read the Aleq and Julls trivia inside.

Our host, Atom Ungson, started up the program. He was our master of ceremonies of sorts, and was responsible for all our crazy party shenanigans!

The moment for the grand entrance came when Savage Garden's Crash and Burn started playing. Our entourage led the way. 

The music changed to Third Eye Blind's Semi-charmed Life when Aleq and I entered. It was a totally joyous, fist-pumping moment.

We danced to Savage Garden's I Knew I Loved You. It was our cheesy song back in college, hah! We've discussed over and over how everything feels different at your own wedding. We've danced with each other a ton of times before, but in that moment, everything faded away, and it felt like we were the only people in the world.

Our pretty and modern chocolate ganache cake from Cakeline. It was a joy to look at (and eat)!

Aleq's aunt Deanna -- one of our principal sponsors -- and her hubby Mark, gave us these silver goblets for our wine toast. They were so Game of Thrones, and so us.

We had a game where every table had to pick representatives to name that tune and sing part of it to beat the other tables to the buffet. We were so surprised that our guests got so into it! Look at my high school friends, partying it up! Our veil sponsor, Rein, stole the show with his version of Katy Perry's Last Friday Night! (By the way, our dress code was color-blocked and modern. We were amazed at how great everyone looked!)

The food was scrumptious, and until now it is still one of the things that people rave about. We tried to balance what we liked, and what our guests would like. We pretty much chose comfort food and stuck to the classic and familiar.

4play Band played acoustic versions of our favorite 90s songs during dinner. We still can't get over how awesome they were. 

This picture is everything -- the orange and blue Japanese paper lanterns, our laughing faces, table napkins on our laps, and food on our table. We heard too many stories of brides and grooms who didn't get to eat at their wedding and we didn't want that at all. Though Josiah's and The Pergola had canapes and drinks served to us in our bridal suite before our grand entrance, we still fixed the schedule so that we could eat and enjoy at the same time as our guests.

Atom told us to pick a couple we wanted to tease. He would toss a coin and have the couple kiss whether or not they got heads or tails. We picked my cousin Lek and her boyfriend Pete. It turned out to be a lucky kiss because they are now engaged!

Watching the onsite edit of the day's events. Love the wistful looks on our guests' faces.

We wanted our reception to be all about the party, so the only speeches made that night were by our dads.

Cheers! Aleq and I both wanted different drinks. I wanted dalandan juice, while he wanted raspberry iced tea. Josiah's let us have both!

The table trivia game was hilarious. We found out that our family and friends didn't know us as well as we thought! 

So much fun.

The last teary moment of the night came when we stood up to thank our guests. Aleq thanked our respective families and friends. We were truly touched that they came to celebrate our special day with us. I talked about my mom for a bit afterwards. We really wished in our hearts that she was there.

Finally, it was time to kick back, chill, and relax! Here's my groom being silly with our veil sponsor -- former housemate Sheva and her husband Bin.

I had to get out of my formal wedding gown and into something comfy. I loved my bridesmaids' color-block dresses so much, I had Edgar Basilan of The Secret Creations make me my own too! Cindy also changed my lipstick into a bright orange-red one and Avril loosened up the waves in my hair for the reception. My shiny, shimmery, splendid, studded heels were from Zara. I forgot to change my purse from white to orange though. Whoops!

Bridesmaid fun!

My Wedding Fairies and I had a quick celebratory pic together. Job well done, girls!

We really made sure we had enough time to be able to go around and see our loved ones. Our day wouldn't have been complete if we didn't have them with us. This shot taken by my cousin Jhack says it all. 

Mint to be! "Did you know that when Aleq was courting Julls back in 1999 he would sneak Tic Tacs into her bag? She kept finding fresh boxes from him whenever she ran out of mints, and sometimes the candy even came with a letter or a poem. Her favorite flavor was orange, while his favorite flavor was extra strong mint. Fast forward to 2013 and their wedding theme is blue and orange -- the exact colors of the Tic Tacs that started everything."

The dance floor was a blast! We played 90s pop songs for the party. It started with Wannabe by The Spice Girls and took off from there. MyPhotato came out with wigs on and got everyone hyper.

The bar was very busy too! The rest of the night just passed us by. Kampai!

Before we knew it, it was over.

Minutes before we fell asleep that night we talked about how just felt so lucky to have had a day like the one we had. Best. Day. Ever.

All the things you said to me today,
Changed my perspective in every way. 
These things count to mean so much to me, 
Into my faith, you and your baby. 
It's out there. It's out there. 
It's out there. If you want me I'll be here.
I'll be dreaming my dreams with you. 
I'll be dreaming my dreams with you. 
And there's no other place, 
That I'd lay down my face. 
I'll be dreaming my dreams with you. 
- The Cranberries, Dreaming My Dreams

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