Everyone knows that planning a wedding is hard. But what if on top of the usual wedding overwhelm, wedding supplier and budget decisions, you throw in a volcano eruption and a global pandemic crisis?
Marvin and Lesley got engaged last March 2019 and had agreed to have a one-year preparation before their big day. With their big wedding finally set in Tagaytay, the epicenter of the 2020 Taal Volcano eruption, they never expected the long rollercoaster of challenges and emotions in planning their wedding. Read as Lesley retells their inspiring story of struggle, perseverance, and hope.
The bridal fair. "At first, we were really clueless on where to start so we attended several bridal fairs to get ideas, and to know what the average cost would be. On our first visit, we were overwhelmed by the number of suppliers swarming around us so we ended up going home with tons of flyers feeling tired for nothing.
So, we strategized for our next bridal fair visit. We decided to be intentional and go straight to wedding suppliers that we were eyeing. It was a good move. We even won a raffle and got a free grazing table! From there, we felt excited with the wedding preparations and eventually completed all our suppliers.
The Taal Volcano erupted. Two months before our wedding, when everything was almost ready, Taal volcano erupted and it quickly escalated to alert level 3. It was a heartbreaking calamity and all establishments in Tagaytay were closed until further notice. Our mental state was tested not only because not only was our wedding jeopardized, but also because my fiancé’s (now my husband) family is living in Tagaytay within the 14km radius danger zone that PHIVOLCS announced. Most of the soon-to-weds couple we know decided to move their venue in Manila but on our case, we decided not to change the venue and believed that everything will be back to normal soon.
Finally, good news came. The Taal alert level was brought back to 1, and thank God my fiancé’s family is safe. It was really a faith-testing situation for us.
Come March 2020, two weeks before our wedding, we were full of hope as we were all set and just waiting for our big day to come. However, the news about COVID-19 pandemic lockdown broke out, so that meant our wedding will not push through on the set date.
When we learned about this, we were really devasted because, just like that, the wedding that we planned for a year was wiped out. But we understood that we are facing a global crisis so we needed to process our emotions, accept reality and keep moving forward. Safety is the number one priority.
We considered to have a civil wedding, but sadly, all our wedding papers were on hold at our local church’s office and there was no way for us to retrieve it during that time. Weeks have passed and the validity date of our wedding license was expired. This now meant we were back to square one.
Fast forward, we started again from scratch around July this year. It wasn’t easy because as the government's directive kept on changing, our plans kept on changing with it. We had so many failed attempts on the date, venue, etc.
We finally decided to schedule our wedding on August 29 and we booked another venue in Tagaytay with the target of 30 - 40 pax guests. We were all set again. Suppliers were all available on our new date, up until the government announced that we’ll be back to MECQ. We were left uncertain if we can push through with our wedding or not. GCQ then came and we were able to resume with planning.
However, a few days before our wedding day, our wedding venue told us that they will not operate unless it’s MGCQ! It was such a rollercoaster of emotions! Imagine -- we don’t have a venue a few days before the wedding! Anxieties started to kick in again, all suppliers were hanging, and we were in the verge of giving up, feeling heartbroken.
We prayed hard and asked God for wisdom and direction, and finally, we’re able to come up with a better option. We opted to have a home wedding setup so we booked The Blue Cottage Tagaytay which is a home rental / Airbnb. The venue is perfect for an intimate wedding! From preps, ceremony, and reception, we were able to maximize the place.
In less than 10 days, we planned this new version of our wedding. Our only goal was to have our immediate family with us. It was really a change in plans and perspective. At the end of the day, we realized that marriage is much more important than the wedding. A wedding will happen only for a day, but marriage will last a lifetime.
Since it was gonna be an intimate wedding, we had already planned to let go of everything including our previously booked suppliers. However, later on, we decided not to cancel our contracts with them as we also wanted to be a blessing to their businesses. We agreed to invest in our ceremony setup and wedding photography because we believe these are the things that we can keep forever and look back to.
The intimate setup was perfect too with 10 people present during the ceremony and only our immediate family for our lunch celebration. It was priceless!
We made sure to comply with the IATF guidelines on social distancing and other health protocols as we wanted to put the safety of our guests and wedding suppliers as our number 1 priority. Thank God everyone was safe and we were able to pull off our dream garden wedding! The outcome of all our planning was really beyond what we expected! It was a perfect wedding for us, and we loved every detail of it!"
Photographer: Love And Other Theories
Videographer: Bethena Aundrea Films
HMUA: Joan Quizon MakeUp
Florist/Stylist: Edgar Noveno Erni (Tagaytay based)
Catering: Casa de Corazon -TheCaterer
Coordinator: Water into Wine Events
Fabric Bouquets/ Boutonnieres: Blush and Buttons