Never in my wildest dream did I think of marrying a soldier.
He came home to Manila one day in September, and popped the question just like that! It wasn’t a dramatic proposal that we frequently read from books, hear from friends, or watch on movies/YouTube.
He just surprised me one Sunday afternoon while I was attending church service. A guy suddenly sat beside me, grabbed my hand, and slipped a ring on my finger. That’s it! No frills. No dramas. No if’s, not but’s. I didn’t even need to say, “Yes!” We got engaged in a heartbeat.
Meet the Parents
The formal “Meet The Parents” (Pamamanhikan) happened on March 2010. Everything has already been decided on prior the meeting, and we just needed to inform them of what’s about to happen. I was a very hands-on bride-to-be. I literally arranged for everything since my fiancé needed to fly back to serve. Through the help of family and friends, everything got ironed out for the Big Day.
Two days before our wedding day, we have already carefully packed all the wedding stuff that we would take to the hotel. We got a very good deal with Discovery Suites in Ortigas Center (Pasig City) for our pre-wedding preparations. We stayed in a 3-bedroom suite for 2 days and it was indeed a very pleasant experience. It was also a very strategic location in case we needed to do some last-minute wedding errands.
The Big Day
We got married on September 24, 2010 at our home church, Faith Fellowship, in Quezon City. It was my dream wedding and I’d forever be grateful to LT for giving it to me.
This is how my florist arranged our church ceremony. I just wanted white flowers all over.
The moment I’ve waited for 2? years finally arrived! I’m walking down the aisle to marry the one person who brings out the best and worst in me.
For those who are having a military wedding here in the Philippines, we are also following the legal requirements prescribed by the government aside from an additional document — a certificate of singleness. When applying for a marriage license at your local civil registrar, they are also requiring the members of the PNP or AFP to present a certificate of singleness duly signed by their commanding officer. It’s a written proof that the serving member is free from any marital responsibilities and obligations as far as the PNP or AFP is concerned.
After the wedding ceremony at our home church, it’s party time! We all moved to our reception venue at Oasis Manila. When I first saw the pavilion, all dressed up, I was really very happy. It turned out just the way I envisioned it. My blood, sweat, and tears were all compensated for! It was just beautiful, following our wedding palette: midnight blue, silver and pearl.
I think we had about 220 guests that night. We just love so many people that we couldn’t afford not to see them in one of the most important dates of our life.
Here’s another tradition on military weddings: Did you know that we did not use an ordinary knife to slice our wedding cake? Military Weddings usually use a saber in executing this tradition. Yes, that same saber that was used when we were welcomed at the reception is also used in slicing the cake.
If you’re a soon-to-be-bride who’s organizing a military wedding, here are some of the things that I wish to leave you with:
1. Be very, very, very, understanding because big chances are, you will be pulling everything off since your fiancé is in deployment. I prepared for this wedding for 6 months alone because LT only arrived 2 weeks before our wedding. Imagine how we squeezed everything in: final food tasting, prenuptial pictorial, paying the suppliers, meeting with our coordinator, etc. Don’t get upset with your man (like what I did because this is pretty normal).
2. Keep track of your finances. You can make a spreadsheet in Excel with each amount that goes out of your pocket. Along with this, keep a filing folder for all your contracts and receipts. It’s very easy to get lost in the preparation of your dream wedding, and you’d thank that excel and filing folder later on for saving your brain’s neurons. Don’t be too trusting: read and understand your contract well and make sure that when it’s about money, it’s always best to pay personally and demand for a receipt. Don’t entrust your hard-earned money with just anyone.
3. Attend as many wedding expos and bazaars as you can BUT don’t book any supplier yet. If you participate in them, you would have an idea of the services they offer and their existing rate. Join online wedding forums or discussions like Weddings@Work (W@W) and ask for any feedback from real-life couples, first-hand! If you really like the services being offered by that supplier, find out where to catch them next and book them right away (of course, haggle, ask for “freebies!). Suppliers are always generous in expos and bazaars.
4. “Q: Bakit hindi ka pa nagpapakasal? A: Wala pa kasi kaming budget.” I fully understand where this statement is coming from because we’ve been there, too. I tell you, unless you are uber rich, you can just never have enough! I’m not undermining the importance of saving but this I say: start with whatever you have. When LT and I started with our wedding preps, we don’t have a lot, and we didn’t even have enough to finance “the dream.” But if you both got jobs, then by all means, get the wedding that you want! Walang nagsisimula ng may “marami.” Hangga’t hindi kayo naoobliga magbayad sa supplier, hindi kayo makakaipon! When we were preparing for our wedding, every payday, we pay our suppliers little by little. 🙂
5. Every girl deserves to have the wedding that she dreams of. I don’t know with you KGs or military GFs, but if you will be asked by your man to get married, voice out whatever your dream wedding is, no matter how big or small it may be, because your wedding day is one of the most important and (supposed-to-be) happiest days in your life. If you dream of having a beach or garden wedding, go for it! If you dream of marrying in your home church just like me, say so. These dreams need not be expensive. LT once asked me to do a civil wedding at first because we still “didn’t have enough” when we started planning. We thought of saving up first, and make our soon-to-be-kids our little groom or bride in our future dream wedding. But we realized, after the wedding, a new chapter will begin when we become parents. We all know the cost of having children around, so how in the world that word “saving up” could happen? It’s going to be a series of never-ending expenses.
Today, it’s been almost 3 years and beautiful memories just keep on coming back. If not for our wedding partners, we won’t have the wedding that we’ve always wanted.
If you’re planning a military wedding, you might want to consider these suppliers that have partnered with us:
- CHURCH : Faith Fellowship Ministry Center (Project 4, Quezon City)
- RECEPTION VENUE : Oasis Manila (Pavilion) Aurora Blvd., San Juan City
- CATERER : Juan Carlo the Caterer
- PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY : Smart Shot Studio by Lito Genilo
- HOTEL : Discovery Suites – Ortigas Center
- RINGS : Suarez Weddings
- PHOTOBOOTH : Fotoloco
- SOUVENIR : M&Ms Personalized
- MUSIC : SJT Strings
- CAKE : Vienna Cakes