This is a journal entry I wrote a couple of days after my wedding day. I’m posting it ahead of the 24th as I won’t be online till after that day. 😉 Have a great weekend everyone!
The Night Before
Once an AE (account executive), always an AE. Same with being a planner. Up till 11 p.m. of May 23, I was sending text messages to people on what their table numbers were. One of my godparents sent me a text message in return: “Don’t be an AE or a planner tonight.” To which I said, “Too late.” My wedding was the next day at 8:30 a.m. I didn’t fall asleep till around 1:30 a.m. after a massive text brigade.
The Morning’s Preparations
I got up at 3:15 a.m. on May 24. When I woke up on time, I knew it was going to be a terrific day. My hair and make-up artists came at 3:30 a.m., right on the dot. They were really good. My hair was put up in some kind of bun with sparkly hairpieces — a terrific feat considering I have short hair. My sisters, cousin, mom-in-law, aunt and mom followed after I was fixed up. It was really a fun time, with us cracking jokes about early morning weddings in between yawns and rubbing eyes.
The team of photographers came at exactly 5:30 am, on time as well. We took a lot of pictures, some wacko, some serious. I didn’t have the typical caressing-of-the-gown-video. I was so happy I was trying not to laugh too hard through the whole pictorial. My flowers came at around 6 am. My bouquet was cute and dainty — a bundle of pretty pink and orange gerberas.
My groom kept calling the hotel room to ask me stuff. I got irritated at some point because these were things that could wait till after the wedding, but he ‘fessed up and said he just missed me. Awww.
So I put on my gown and ta-da! More pictures were taken. Then at exactly 7:30 a.m., we left the hotel. While in the bridal car, I kept smiling because people on the streets were trying to peek. Funny how I would always peek into the bridal car when I was the pedestrian. So this is what it felt like inside the car! In 15 minutes, we were at the church. My relatives and friends kept knocking on the car window to say hi and congratulate me. My groom and I were doing the 1st and 2nd reading, so I started practicing my reading in the car.
The reading is from the 1st letter of Paul to the Corinthians, the one that goes “Love is patient. Love is kind…” I read it over and over. Okay, brief spiritual awakening at this point. From the time I woke up till I rode the bridal car, I kept praying for God’s presence. Usually, I would feel peaceful and happy at significant moments in my life but I just couldn’t feel HIM that morning. I felt happy I was getting married, but sad because I didn’t feel His presence at all. I kept asking him, “God where are you? Why don’t I feel you?” I was going over the reading for the 3rd time when the words hit me right in the heart. “Love is patient. Love is kind. It is not jealous. It is not inflated. It is not pompous…” All the moments that I was mean to Dennis flashed before my eyes and then I realized what I had to do to make the marriage work. Be patient. Be kind. To not be jealous. And you know the rest. Then I felt at peace. That’s what God was trying to tell me. I knew that was what he wanted me to realize before I walked down the aisle. I started crying a little bit. Sheesh. Tears of enlightenment, tears of joy. I felt complete.
The Wedding Celebration
“Okay Toni, let’s go,” my Mom called as she opened the car door. I kept fussing over my veil because it wasn’t falling over my face right. Then we positioned ourselves before the church doors (which were closed after the last of the entourage walked through). When we heard the priest say, “And now, let us all stand and welcome our bride and her parents…,” the church doors opened and I saw that all the people were looking at me. I froze. “Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god,” I kept saying over and over and I could feel my heart thumping through my ears. I lost my balance as I started to walk, but my Mom held me and I stood up straight.
An instrumental rendition of “The Prayer” played, and so we started walking. I was beaming and trying not to cry as I walked with my parents toward my groom. My sisters were crying up front, all pretty and red-eyed in their maid-of-honor gowns. I was looking around while I walked, and there were about ten pews on each side that were filled up. Not bad. When I got to the front, I hugged my parents, and they presented me to my groom. Dennis, his eyes moist, took me by the arm and led me to our little pew up front. My Lolo priest was smiling at us and whispered to us, “Well, you made it. Relax!”
The rest of the Mass went really well. It was solemn and touching, just the way we wanted it to be. 10 minutes into the Mass, our priest asked us to look around and see the people who have come to celebrate our wedding. What was ten pews earlier was now double! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I held back tears of happiness when I saw the people I loved right there.
My mom and mom-in-law were sniffing. I read the 2nd reading with my whole heart. During the exchange of vows and the blessing of the rings, Dennis looked like he was fighting his tears. A sniffle or two would escape him sometimes. I still remember how he looked when I was slipping the ring on his finger. I was looking straight into his eyes the whole time, and I could feel the love and happiness between us. I also had an Offering of flowers to the Blessed Mother, we said a prayer, then I walked back to my Mom-in-law and gave her a rose from the offering, and walked to my Mom and gave her a rose as well. It was a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful celebration. Our priest’s sermon was also very enlightening — he said a lot of things but what struck me the most was when he said that it’s the little things that can destroy a marriage, not the big ones.
Finally, when Lolo Priest said, “You may kiss the bride,” I turned to Dennis, he lifted my veil and gave me the sweetest kiss. What made it even more special was that we gave each other a long embrace after the kiss. To me, that was even more binding than the kiss.
As we walked down the aisle, rose petals were thrown over us. More rose petals were thrown in the air as we walked out of the church. Then the doves were handed to us, and we released them into the air. We exchanged hugs and kissed with friends and relatives, then skipped and walked to the parish hall for the reception. Fun, fun, fun!
We welcomed each and every guest who came in. Hey, we wanted to see who made it! The gifts started pouring in too. After the people were in, we proceeded with the Unity Candle ceremony. Then my mom-in-law gave a welcome speech, followed by a speech from my Mom. I was in tears when my Mom gave her speech. I should post it one of these days. It was very personal, and truly, truly touching. Dennis and I didn’t get to each much. I was too excited to eat. I wanted to table-hop already! So pictures were taken, the cutting of the cake was done, drinking of the wine, a wonderful best man’s toast, a touching speech from Dennis, then it was done. It was a pretty good reception. Our signature frame by the way, was passed around. The pic in that frame was of Dennis and me making faces at the camera. Very us — light-hearted and just wanting to have fun! My Mom made the souvenirs by the way, beautiful blue gel candles with silver rings intertwined and embedded into the wax. It was scented with my favorite Raspberry Ice scent. Mmmmmmmmm.
After the whole programme, I went from table to table to greet my friends and family. I was soooooooooooo happy that the people who were closest to my heart were all present!!! Even if my wedding was being tagged as a “dawn wedding,” so many people came. My groom and I slipped away for a little bit to have a pictorial at the church and the grotto, when it started to rain. And pour. And po
ur some more. “RUN!!!!!” we both screamed as we did run for cover! The photographers had a blast taking pictures as Dennis and I darted for the hall.
And so the rain poured heavily. They say that the rain brings blessings. Well, we sure had a million blessings that day. We celebrated the beginning of many happy days. I was able to profess my love to Dennis in front of everyone, in front of God. All the people I loved were there. Gosh. I really couldn’t believe it. Dennis and I were really happy that day. We still are.
I look at my ring finger once in awhile and catch myself smiling. “Totoo na talaga ‘to,” (This is really for real now.) I would think, “What’s up next for us?” We don’t know. What we do know is that we’re husband and wife. And that’s how it’s gonna be forever and ever. For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health. Till death do us part.
— Written by Toni, May 28, 2003