All Brides Are Beautiful!

My husband, Adi and I will be attending a friend’s wedding in Balanga City tomorrow. Oh, I’m excited to see the bride; she was one of my bride’s maids and her soon-to-be husband was one of the groom’s men. Their love story didn’t start at my wedding because they were already lovers when we got them to be part of our entourage.

Weddings are elegant no matter how simple some of them are. The bride always exudes an air of aristocracy; her beauty shines through her smile. The groom’s facial expression denotes pride and excitement. The bride’s maids, groom’s men, maid of honor and best man look at the soon-to-be husband and wife with unexplainable joy and admiration. The parents of the couple have both tears and smile on their face as if they can’t decide whether to give away their son or daughter to their soon-to-be daughter or son-in-law.

My own wedding was not perfect. Months before the wedding, there were some family problems to face. My then-boyfriend and I were too harassed by the preparation. There were only me and him who prepared for our wedding. When the modista took my measurement in December 2008, I was fat and she suggested to put some allowance on the gown in case I grew bigger before the wedding. When the gown was delivered in February and I tried on it, I noticed that it was a little loose on the torso. I disregarded the loose fitting; I didn’t realize that I’ve lost a lot of weight in just two months. When I wore the gown on my wedding day or five weeks after I tried on it, it was very loose! I lost a lot of weight and it showed on the gown. It was very uncomfortable to always check on my gown for any wardrobe malfunction while my father and I were marching down the aisle.

Frankly, I have not yet watched our wedding video and the wedding gown was just stored at its box sans dry cleaning. Up to this time, it’s hard to see my ailing mother on video. She died two months after the wedding. As for the wedding gown, it was certainly a wise decision to have a cheaper gown made by an unknown yet skilful modista. I have nothing against blushing brides opting to get the services of famous gown designers if they have money to burn. But if the budget is tight or in my case, if the bride is just being practical, then the work of an unknown yet skilful modista will do.

We spent more on the reception and miscalculated the number of guests at 200 when only 110 guests arrived. Heck, I can’t even remember our caterer’s food!

My wedding was not perfect and I got married to an imperfect person. At this stage when our honeymoon phase is over and reality is knocking on our head, I question my decision of marrying someone after a whirlwind romance. We have no past to share and his life 25 years before is a door that needs to be opened. Maybe I made a big mistake of getting engaged just two months after we started dating. But that big mistake brought me my greatest joys in life, Adi and Robi.

Celadon Green

It’s final. Our color motif for our wedding is gonna be celadon green. It’s elegant and classy. Miel’s original choice was aqua blue. When we saw the gown sample for the secondary sponsors, we decided to change our color motif to celadon green since aqua blue does not complement people with dark skin tones.

Wedding preparation can both be fun and stressful. It’s comforting to have a partner who hugs you when you’re tired and kisses you when you lose your cool. I love you, Miel. Muah!

June Bride?

I. Pre-Pamamanhikan

Miel prepared well for the pamamanhikan. We started our Sunday by going to the chapel to hear the minister’s text. He seemed so relaxed at the chapel. We met Zaldy, a convert like me. He converted his faith to INC because of his girlfriend. I told him that I had a somewhat similar experience but I decided to be converted not because of Miel but because of my own freewill. After our worship, Miel and I had some doughnuts and coffee at Mr. Donut. It was the best doughnut I ever had because I was with the man that I would soon marry.

We went home to my apartment and prepared the things that we needed for our travel. We took some pictures while inside the bus. We reached home at 12:10 PM. I introduced my fiance’ to my mother, brother and daughter. There was no tension. Everyone was calm. My father was not yet around when we arrived.

Miel and I ate the delicious kare-kare prepared by my mother. It was so yummy; I forgot that I was on a diet. After eating, we went to the living room to join my mother and daughter watching “House of Wax.”

Everyone was consumed on his/her watching; we temporarily forgot what we’re there for. My father arrived and I introduced Miel to him. Miel kissed his hand as a sign of respect. I did not notice if he did the same to my mother earlier.

3:00 PM, we went to the mall to find an internet shop. I could have sent my e-mail on my laptop but the wireless was not functioning well. I introduced Miel to Larry, a neighbor and a childhood acquaintance. Larry runs the internet shop.

We went to have a light snack at Jollibee afterwards. He was amazed at the big number of customers there. After there, we went to buy cake at Goldilocks and ice cream at a grocery store.

At home, he had a chance to bond with Changki. They seemed to get along well. My daughter has been looking for a father figure. She knows that her grandfather is not her father and her real father is not fatherly to her.

II. Pamamanhikan

I could have by-passed my parents in the decision-making for my wedding preparation but being a dutiful daughter and a good Filipino, I followed the tradition. Miel good friend, Ate Jenny, suggested to bring a minister for the pamamanhikan since his father is in Cebu. I told him that we don’t need a minister because my family is Catholic.

After dinner, I asked my then irritable father to sit down with Miel and I for a conversation. (Earlier, Miel was praying very hard for God’s guidance.) My father was mad at the start; my mother was just playing it cool.

Miel said his intention, that is, to formally ask for my hand. My father was unreasonably sarcastic. He was intimidating Miel with his .45 calibre gun. Miel was relaxed. He didn’t show signs of fear or disrespect.  My father did not agree to the February wedding. He said that it was too soon. I told him that I no longer believe in long-term engagement after two failed long-term relationships.

There were three tactics that Miel and I tried to do to persuade my parents:

1. Paawa (Pity-Me Effect) Effect- “My mother is long dead so she won’t disagree to my wedding. My father has his own life, too.” ~ Miel to my father.

2. Taray  Effect -“Pa, you think I’ll buy that long-term engagement thing? I’ve been through two failed long-term relationships but did it work?” ~ me to my father.

3. Pa-guilty Effect- “I have fears of being infertile. What if I couldn’t give him a child? So I need to get married on February!” ~me to my parents.

All those three tactics didn’t work. Their reply?

“What’s the difference between getting married in February and getting married in December?” they both asked.

Me and Miel whispering to each other “We just can’t wait!”

III. The agreement

So my parents did not like a February wedding. They suggested a December wedding. Miel had other plans—a June wedding.

“Honey, December is too long. Let’s make it June,” said Miel to me.

“Okay, we’ll make it June,” I said. I winked at him and proceeded talking with my parents.

IV. Realizations

I learned that Miel loves me very much. As the great Francisco Balagtas said, “O, pag-ibig nasok sa puso ninoman. Hahamakin ang lahat masunod ka lamang!” Miel loves me very much. He would cheat death just to be with me.

I learned that Miel could love his in-laws and my daughter.

I learned that Miel dreams to build his future with me, Changki and our future kid/s.

Most importantly, I learned that I have fallen in love so much with my husband-to-be. 🙂

Meet My Parents

“Honey, pasenya ka na kung parang madaming usisero sa atin. Ganun yata pag friendly ang tao, maraming gustong makaalam ng nangyayari sa buhay ko,” I explained to Miel as he was reading my text messages from friends and acquaintances who learned about our engagement.

He said that he’s not used to that kind of attention. Ever since we became a couple, his private life was exposed to people with different intentions of knowing the why’s and the how’s in our relationship. I told him that he could always remain discreet of his private life without offending them.

I know where his discomfort is coming from. He’s just a simple person with a limited crowd. His crowd belongs mainly to his religious affiliation. On the other hand, I grew up exposed to different crowds: politicos, religious groups, istambay sa kanto, coño, jologs–name it, I was exposed to it!

His greatest challenge so far is meeting my parents this coming weekends. He’s not used to doing it. He’s been practicing how to speak and act for the pamamanhikan.

Ate Ams gave me some tips for the pamamanhikan. I don’t know if it’s applicable to us. I am just so excited. Ewan ko. This is it! Pray for us!

Meeting His Brother

I filed a half-day leave of absence yesterday to accompany my fiance’ on his annual medical exam. I chanced upon an old acquaintance in college and I introduced Miel to her. My classmate was not surprised to know that I’m no longer with my daughter’s father.

After that, we went to Miel’s brother’s apartment. It was my first time to meet him and he’s almost two years younger than I. It was awkward to call him “kuya” so I addressed him in his first name. Just like Miel, he is mild-mannered. I think that we can get along well. They’re just very simple people with no pretensions or illusions of grandeur.