My older sister Lina, whom we call Sash (I really can’t remember anymore why?) and brother-in-law Bobby also celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary recently. I remember back in early 1989 when Marvin asked me to marry him, I had to ask her if they already had plans of getting married. You know, that Filipino tradition of “bawal ang sukob” – i.e. siblings getting married in the same year may experience bad luck. Being younger by three years, I thought I should give her first priority, but she answered, “Go ahead sis!” And so we took 1989 and they took 1990.
Here’s her account of her Silver Wedding Anniversary:
by Lina Fres Sayo
As a child, I had always marvelled at wedding anniversary celebrations and would dream of celebrating mine,too. We had our grandparents’ 50th when I was in grade school, my parents’ 25th when I was in college then their 40th, 50th and now we are looking forward to their 60th. Maybe we are a family who loves to celebrate anniversaries. I was excited as my husband Bobby was also into it. Count down started from our 20th…
Nowadays it’s hard to keep a marriage; either couples fall out of love or not live long enough to be together. I thought that staying married for twenty five years would be quite difficult since my husband and I were not considered young (per early ‘90s standard) when we got married in our late twenties. But the saying “time flies fast” is indeed true – we’ve reached twenty five years! God is good, really good! I was blessed with a wonderful husband, two adorable children and a loving family and in-laws who made life sweet and happy.
Bobby and I agreed to have a simple silver anniversary celebration with a mass, renewal of our vows and a reception with our relatives and friends in a destination garden wedding at a resort in Laguna known for its rustic setting – Casa San Pablo.
The Wedding Preparation
We thought the preparation would be a breeze because we were not new to this. But preparation in the early ‘90s was much easier, simpler and less complicated. With some early planning and DIY challenges though, we managed to complete the preparation (without the benefit of a professional wedding organizer) with less stress and worries than expected. I wanted to have the ceremony at an area which had never been used before as venue for reception/ceremony. It was the ideal place for my entrance and bridal march. But when we revisited the resort we found out that putting chairs and altar would be a challenge because of the uneven terrain. Suggestions were made to us to use other areas but I was determined to have mine in that area. It was just a passing modest request that a minimal landscaping be done. To my pleasant surprise, a major design upgrade of the lawn was beautifully done, more than what I asked for, thanks to the owners – the Alcantaras. Thank you to the team who helped us – Sheila, Danica and Carl.
The Wedding Gown
Do you agree that the star of a wedding is the “Bride?” And that next to the Bride is her “wedding gown?” Would you wear an old gown? My sister Rose (FQ Mom) wore hers on their 25th, Amparo Lhuillier also did on their 50th. I was inspired. Why not check my old gown, too? I did not bring it for dry cleaning as I thought nobody would use it anyway. Besides, the beads might fall off, so why spend? Years passed and my gown was kept untouched inside a box in a cabinet. I was a bit scared to open the box as the gown might be full of dust and unwanted crawlers. But to my surprise, the gown was neatly packed. I’m sure I was not the one who did the packing. J I was such a skinny bride then, so I thought, “Will I still fit into this?” With my daughter assisting me, the zip wouldn’t go up. Then I remembered, the designer and an assistant practically dressed me up during our wedding 25 years ago. So I decided to see a couturier Yes! I was able to fit into my gown! We took off the bubble sleeves and did a few stitches. It looked so nice, I felt really good. Imagine, my 25 year-old gown still fits and looks great on me!
The celebrant, Fr. Andy, was heaven sent. We hoped and prayed to have a priest to officiate the mass in a garden setting. It was an answered prayer. Fr. Andy agreed, drove all the way from Manila to Laguna and gave a beautiful message. The guests were so happy to hear what he shared in his homily and for his special blessings for all married couples among the guests.
At some point we had worries of having a destination wedding as all guests will be coming from Manila and from the north. It was well attended and the guests were in their relaxed and happy mood as they mingled enjoying the food, place and music. After dinner, my husband surprisingly serenaded me with a Michael Bublé song “Everything” which he ended by changing the lyrics to ♫la♪ la♪ la♪ la♪♫la – love you Lina♫ then we capped it with a kiss and a matching “foot pop” ala Princess Diaries.
Our guests shared their own thoughts about the affair. One said she enjoyed every bit of the wedding; another thought it was a very memorable one while for some it was a lovely, light-hearted celebration, Pinterest-worthy, very intimate, relaxed and chic 25th anniversary. The phrase “a perfect wedding for a perfect couple” in a guest’s social media post was a heart-warming compliment. Yes, a very happy occasion indeed!
But beyond fitting into my old beautiful gown I must say that it is the love and blessings that God has showered our married life with for the past 25 years, and entrusting to us our children, Patricia and Alfonso, that are most important and what we are grateful for as we commemorate our wedding milestone. As Bobby and I renew our vows, we pray to keep our promise of eternal love and fidelity.
Thank God for a beautiful garden wedding!!!
Click this link to see the photo video of the wedding: https://youtu.be/7CpLYr4kNbM
Rose Fres Fausto is the author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon. Her new book is the Filipino version of the latter entitled Ang Muling Pagsasalaysay ng Ang Pinakamayamang Tao sa Babilonya. Click this link to read samples of the books. Books of FQ Mom Rose Fres Fausto.
Photo Attribution: Photos from Thoper Bernardo
This article is also published in FQMom.com and RaisingPinoyBoys.com.