How can you and your loved ones come together when we are all advised to stay apart? Indeed, COVID-19 has upended our lives. Left with a few options, couples and wedding suppliers are improvising to massively scale down what would have been grand spectacles of celebrations in a bid to follow the precautions and ensure everyone’s safety. Gone are the days of hundreds of beautifully garbed guests turning up to bedecked venues to witness and celebrate unions in pure merriment. These have been replaced by ‘I dos’ behind face masks, rings on sanitized hands, physical distancing, and virtual toasting.
The recent positive developments on pandemic control, such as the rollout of vaccines and the increased ability of medical professionals to manage the spread of the disease, brought about new hope in the wedding industry. Over time, wedding suppliers have gotten the hang of operating in the new normal. And no matter what, we learn to adapt and be flexible as we cater and execute every couple’s dream wedding with utmost precautions in mind.
After all, life is short and it must go on.
Against All Odds
While the current situation has put a strain on weddings, joyous celebrations, and our collective psyche, one couple proved that their dream wedding was still achievable. Coupled with a hopeful mindset and reliable suppliers, the pandemic only challenged them to overcome what they initially thought was impossible.
The lovely couple—Oscar Gironella III and Jessica Tamondong from Calasiao, Pangasinan, and Baguio City—managed to pull off their spectacle of a wedding last December. It took place at the groom’s hometown in Calasiao after initially planning to cut back on their wedding plans.
“We were hesitant to push through with our original plans,” the couple shares. “Concerned with our loved ones not being able to attend, we initially thought of having a simple and intimate wedding on our desired date, and then have the big one in April 2021.”
However, Oscar said that in the end, they decided to stick to the original plan of the celebration they envisioned and to see how they could work it out. “We did not want to wait for the pandemic to be over to celebrate our union,” he says.
There was also a desire to celebrate life and love and cast rays of hope and beauty amidst the misery and isolation. They figured that with the right approach and team to assist them, they can make it happen.
Coming All Together
With the capable assistance and execution of wedding planner Teena Barretto of Teena Barretto Events (TBE) and their team of suppliers, Oscar and Jessica went all out for their wedding, which was held at Calasiao Sports Complex. And to ensure everyone’s safety, all the suppliers and parties followed the protocols of Pangasinan—which was under Modified General Community Quarantine at that time.
The flawless execution of Jessica’s dream wedding, a spectacle of love in itself, required the intensive planning and support of a talented team of suppliers. They seamlessly blended their creative process with safety protocols—showcasing their ability to thrive in the new normal.
“We were blessed to have all the best suppliers to work on our dream wedding. God knows how we prayed for all of them to stay healthy and safe all throughout,” the groom says in relief.
The set-up team, led by Teena Barretto transformed the space by installing colossal panels as high as 34 feet to serve as a dome for the whole setup. Internationally acclaimed wedding event stylist Teddy Manuel made a grandiose sanctuary out of the setting through jaw-dropping crystal chandeliers, candelabras, and florals using Ecuadorian pink roses, purple phalaenopsis, gypsophilas, white dendrobiums—flowers that the bride Jessica had wished for while planning for her dream wedding. On the other hand, the technical aspects were fortified by Forsc Ink Socials.
The successful transformation of the complex was a fairy tale in itself. With 500,000 likes and counting on Teddy Manuel’s TikTok account as of this writing, this goes to show how we all desire beauty and inspiration even during these times. After all, elevating the look of a socially distanced gathering elevated spirits as well. Now that’s a spectacle fit for the times.
Additionally, the team was able to project the love and passion of the couple onto their monumental work and their wedding aims to send a message of hope and inspiration to other couples who are planning their celebrations.
Guarantees for a Safe Spectacle
Here are some tips from the Gironella-Tamondong wedding to guarantee a safe celebration for everyone:
The venue was sealed and secured as early as five (5) days prior to their wedding day. That way, the ingress, and flow of all suppliers and their equipment can be strictly managed.
The venue was completely sanitized and disinfected prior to the event.
Safety kits were provided for everyone. Guests wore their masks most of the time. There was a roving team of safety enforcers who also provided disinfectants and accommodated other safety requests.
Doctors were also on standby in the venue.
All of the suppliers were swabbed before and during the production, as well as on the day before the wedding.
Guests wore color-coded pins to church and the venue. Red for those who prefer to be six feet away from anyone, yellow for those who were open to talking to anyone without physical contact, and green for those who were open to talking and fist-bumping.
Oscar shares: “To couples who are getting married amid the pandemic, just pray, trust and believe in our dear Lord. Pray and trust the process, and believe in His ways. He showed us miracles along the way. He can turn things around for you. You just really have to trust and believe Him.”
Truly, true love, strong faith, and team effort show the way and can make it happen.
Marbee Shing-Go is a curator of wedding ideas for the past 18 years and has collaborated with top international brands in producing content and projects for both the wedding market and industry. She is also the editor of MEGA Weddings, the country’s only coffee table book on wedding tablescapes and was the showrunner of She Said Yes! A wedding show created by FOXlife Philippines.
OneMega.com is your all-in-one access pass to exclusive content from a wide variety of lifestyle experts, thought leaders, influencers and leading content creators here in the Philippines and around the world. OneMega.com is a prestige media brand of One Mega Group, Inc.
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