Set under the bright rays of a morning sunrise, Gideon Hermosa crafted a memorable wedding for his brother and new sister-in-law. Here’s how he did it.
Having seen the love grow between my brother Jerome Hermosa and his bride, Mariel Santiago, I knew I’d put everything I had to make this event special for them. It was a wedding so lovingly and thoughtfully planned that it took nature and an orchestra of top-notch wedding suppliers to pull it off—and it all happened at the break of dawn.
For this couple, everything came full circle when they said their wedding vows on an early Tuesday morning—the same time three years ago when their love story officially began. True blue farmers who begin their day at sunrise.
Even their pet is named Sunrise! Aren’t they the cutest?
Back to Their Roots
The Pantabangan Lake did its role beautifully as it served as the perfect backdrop to celebrate the union of our lovely couple. In fact, this lake is the largest water reservoir in the country that provides irrigation to Nueva Ecija and Tarlac—where the couple is originally from. Given the limitations set for most occasions these days, we let nature become the grandeur as we drew inspiration from it—creating an intimate wedding with close family and friends.
I knew from the onset that I would give them a harvest-inspired wedding to celebrate their passion for farming. The colors that played in my vision would mimic the sky and the sun—a mix of bright oranges, blues, and earth tones.
The intimacy of weddings these days shouldn’t limit our designs, but rather challenge us. The private area that sits on top of the hill gave us the idea of creating a greenhouse-inspired oval structure. Instead of glass, it was adorned with hanging lights that gave way for the cool breeze to flow. The aisle decor and archways resembled that of flower fields, while the chairs made out of hay came from my brother’s farm.
Just before the break of dawn, the place looks like an ethereal pod—ready to bloom in a few hours. And bloom it did! As the sun rays crept in, the glory of the space is revealed in all its splendor.
Of Harvest-inspired Tablescapes and More
Two receptions were set up to meet requirements imposed for events—a sunrise event for breakfast and a sunset reception to follow. This was to ensure the safety of our guests and to maintain necessary social distancing. Everyone in attendance, including the suppliers and their staff, was tested before the event to adhere to safety protocols, too.
The tablescapes were graced with bright and colorful scented candles from Yankee Candles and locally sourced fruits and vegetables. The cake from Honey Glaze served as a sumptuous vase to cradle the blooms from the House of Hermosa. Adding to the elegance are handmade poppy flowers from The Paper Blooms, which blended incredibly with the whole floral design that I envisioned for this occasion.
And finally, the jello cheesecake snowglobes from Jamie’s Artisan Blooms nestled in the same flowers used for the invitations. Come to think of it, a lot of the decors that we used were also locally sourced. This is something I feel strongly about—supporting local craftsmen especially now in these trying times. All of this beauty would not have been possible if not for the partnerships that were formed with our dear suppliers.
In Perfect Harmony
International fashion designer and good friend, Francis Libiran, captured our vision for Mariel’s bridal gown. From the simplicity and timelessness of this piece to the intricate lace veil, the gown fitted Mariel perfectly. She practically flowed as she walked down the aisle! Meanwhile, Joe San Antonio designed the entourage dresses with palettes inspired by the colors of sunrise.
All these and more were captured by NicePrint Photo, down to the tiniest details! They immortalized this milestone for our whole family. Yes, every shot was Instagram-worthy, while the videos were cinematic.
As guests wake up with the early call time, the whole team moved in harmony so that everyone is bright-eyed and ready to greet the first rays of sunlight. Christine Ong Te Events was the perfect partner for this unusual schedule. They managed everything like a pro and did it despite the restrictions. We prepared cups of coffee, hot chocolates, and light snacks for our guests to warm their bellies. And when they saw the scenery and amazing sunrise, they agreed that all was worth it!
Giving Back and Giving It Their All
But what truly sets this wedding apart from many was the community pantry that we set up for the people of Pantabangan. We, along with the bride and groom, gave away the fruits and vegetables that were used for decors at the wedding.
And it didn’t end there. The rest of the suppliers and our friends also donated essentials products to add to the panty. This is our small way of thanking the locals of Pantabangan for their warm welcome and support in making this dream wedding a reality. Plus, it’s nice to see that although celebrations are now very limited and in a smaller capacity, we all can still be a catalyst to give back to those in need.
How to Achieve a Sunrise Wedding
Sunrise weddings are a sight to behold. And it can be executed well when a great team is in place. Here are a few tips I want to share for those of you who want the same for yourself:
Set the timeline and make sure to communicate it with everyone—from the suppliers to the entourage, and even the guests. We are working with nature when it comes to outdoor events, so we must respect its schedule. As you can see at Jerome and Mariel’s wedding, all these yielded beautiful results.
To capture the event, check where the sunrise will be and set your ceremony behind it to avoid lighting issues. The sun will always be the best filter, so ensure that you hire a good light supplier to complement the sun. Reserve the bridal pictorial after the ceremony when the natural light is at its best. Not everyone you’ll invite is a morning person, but everyone loves a warm cup of drink—prepare a light breakfast for your guests to partake in when they wake up. This will give everyone the energy for the festivities that awaits them.
I’ve done many events, but this one right here is special—a true collaboration between my brother and his wife. Not only did this wedding bring our family closer together, but it let me see my brother in a whole new light. This is truly one for books.
Concept and Execution HOUSE OF HERMOSA
Photo and Video NICEPRINT PHOTO
Venue HIGHLAND BALI
Planner CHRISTINE ONG TE EVENTS
Lights & Sounds LX EVENTS PRO
Suits and Bridal Gown FRANCIS LIBIRAN
Entourage Gowns JOE SAN ANTONIO
Hair and Makeup CJ CUISON GLAM TEAM
Rentals C&L DECOR
Reception Chairs THE HIRE DUO
Plate Setting CASA LUXIA
Cake HONEY GLAZE CAKES
Candles YANKEE CANDLES PHILIPPINES
Fruits GOLDEN HARVEST
Jello Cakes JAMIE’S ARTISAN BLOOMS
Graphic Design BESPOKE MANILA
Printables PRINT DIVAS
Foiled Place cards HELLO MARDIE
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