— excerpt from the movie, My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
That’s exactly how I felt when I found out that one of my best friends got engaged in July last year. You can tell that we were very happy and excited for her not only for the reason that we’re friends, but because she was the first to walk down the aisle in our group.
Pardz has been based in Doha, Qatar most of her childhood years. She only comes home to Manila during school break to visit her grandmother, Mama, until it was time for her to get into college. We both went to the University of Santo Tomas where we got our BS Industrial Engineering degree. Pardz and Laviel met in Behringer. They were colleagues; the rest was history.
Since their engagement, Pardz had been 100% hands-on with their wedding preparations. Every now and then, both of them would come home to meet with prospective suppliers. If I remember correctly, Pardz flew back to Manila three times before their Big Day. It’s amazing that they were able to squeeze in two engagement photoshoots with various suppliers on different occasions. Here are some photos from their e-session with BlackTieProject:
Pardz and Laviel tied the knot on Saturday, the 8th of September. Fortunately, it was also Mama Mary’s birthday which made the occasion even more special. They got married at the National Shrine of Mt. Carmel in Quezon City, in the same church where Pardz’ parents exchanged their vows 30 years ago.
I was lucky to have been given a role in their wedding—Secondary Sponsor (Candle)—together with Pardz’ cousin, Jay. Since I was part of their entourage, I had to be in church an hour before the actual time of ceremony. By the way, because my fiancé won’t be able to attend, Mom and Dad accompanied me to this event.
Fifteen minutes to half past one o’clock, all members of the entourage were asked to file in line as the ceremony was about to begin. With Canon in D Major playing in the background, the usual order of procession took place with the Best Man taking the lead, followed by the Groom and his parents (in Laviel’s case, his mother and his eldest brother), then the pairs of Principal Sponsors. When the last pair started to march down the aisle, we were told to take our time when it’s our turn because the Bride has not arrived.
I guess we did a great job in buying time because as soon as Kye sat beside me, she told me that they had to follow even before we reached our pews because the Bride has arrived. A thick air of anticipation was even more evident when Pardz’ parents marched on. We were prompted to rise to our feet and welcome the arrival of the Bride. Simultaneously, the soloist began singing to Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years as she walked further down the aisle with her parents. As if right on cue, I started to cry… It was an overwhelming feeling to watch your sister-from-another-father-and-mother looking stunning on her wedding day. Although a bit emotional, I can tell that Pardz was glowing with radiance. I would run out of words to describe how beautiful she was on that day.
While everyone’s attention was on the Bride, I glanced at the Groom who appeared to be trembling in expectation. Laviel caught my eye, I grinned, then gave him my two thumbs up!
They had a very solemn ceremony. In fact, I took note of what the priest discussed during the homily for future reference in married life. After an hour or two, the couple was proclaimed Mr. and Mrs. Laviel Dela Cruz!
Shortly after the ceremony, we headed to the reception venue at Light of Love. While we wait for the newlyweds to arrive at the place, we were served with finger foods and entertained by their female emcee, Zarah Bianca Saldua. As usual, we talked about the highlights during the ceremony and took group pictures to pass the time.
Perhaps one of the highlights during the reception were the unique games they come up with in place of the typical tossing of bridal bouquet and garter. The host called in quite a number of guests for a photo opportunity with the newlyweds. Little did they know that they were trapped to join the game for single men and women. In lieu of the bridal bouquet tossing, the ladies were summoned to take a shot of tequila then thread a needle. The last to complete this challenge will be the winner. On the other hand, the gentlemen had mini-basketball court strapped on their waist to shoot their way to elimination. It was so hilarious most of them were sweating bullets as they strive to get booted out of the game.
Another part of the program we enjoyed during reception was the audio-visual presentation (AVP) prepared for the couple. The background music used for Laviel’s portion in the AVP was so funny, we were laughing the whole time.
As the celebration come to a close, the newlyweds went to each and every table for a photo opportunity with them.
It was, indeed, a memorable experience for everyone. As my mother had observed, the newlyweds emulated a happy disposition, looked calm, enjoying their special day. I was honored to be part of this event as Pardz and Laviel welcome a new chapter in their lives. I could only wish them all the happiness and prosperity they deserve.
Once again, Congratulations and Best Wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Laviel Dela Cruz! May you have a blissful married life!
Added on 06 Oct 2012: Laviel and Rivka’s Same-Day-Edit (SDE) video has been posted! Check it out!