A Jane Austen wedding-A A +A
By Luci Lizares
Saturday, July 14, 2012
IT WAS late evening in March 2011; I was cozily tucked in bed, eyes closed. My mind was in the threshold of reverie when I thought I heard Andre’s voice from a distance saying, “Mom, I’m going to propose to Katy.” My desire to sleep overpowered my curiosity, and I tripped to the world of dreams.
I woke up the next morning wondering if indeed it was part of my dream, and asked Andre if I had heard right. “Yes, Mom,” he said. It was a pronouncement I knew I would be receiving sooner or later. We all love Katy and the news was pure excitement. This will be our first wedding in our family and with Andre, our youngest.
Katy and Andre’s courtship and romance bloomed over five or six years, despite the distance that set them apart. Katy was teaching in the Singapore International School in Samarang, Indonesia for the past two years, handling nursery children. But thanks to modern technology called Skype, they were in constant communication, and they did not feel the separation.
Both Katy and Andre have March birthdays, all within a two-week stretch.
Andre was all set to visit her. But one morning before his departure, I saw him all dressed up. Asking where he was off to, he said he made an appointment with Katy’s Dad, Raymond Estella.
I thought he was going to ask if they needed anything sent to Katy. But my son surprised me when he said that he was going to formally ask Raymond for his daughter’s hand in marriage.
Wow! I was amazed. And truth be told, I was a proud Mama for my son’s display of earnest sincerity and respect. In this day and age, kids do that? I was pleased with his chivalry and his courage.
So, in Indonesia, the two lovebirds got engaged. It was going to be a long engagement as they were planning a May wedding the following year. While Katy had an offer to teach in Malaysia for the next school year, she preferred to come home and immediately was hired by the St. John’s Institute Nursery School in Ayala.
From the onset, Katy knew what she wanted for her wedding. A romanticist, it was definitely going to be a Jane Austen wedding.
Jane Austen is an English novelist who wrote romantic fiction: “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibilities”. She earned her place in English literature as one of the most widely read writers.
A Jane Austen-inspired wedding would have a Regency theme of simple elegance, rather than the lavish Victorian. The affair was to be private with just family members and intimate friends.
Grounded in Catholic upbringing, Katy and Andre wanted a special Church ceremony. This union before God and before man would be the highlight of the celebration. Choice of celebrant was Monsignor Vic Rivas with the Asoy twin brother priests, Raymand and Raymond assisting. The prayers in the Missalette were carefully prepared by Katy.
The principal sponsors were traditionally ninongs and ninangs of their baptism or with close family ties. Brothers and sisters as well as friends with lifetime relationships made up the rest of the entourage. Some came from as far as London, the British Virgin Islands, and from different parts of the Philippines for the special day.
As there are anticipated Masses on Saturdays, Church weddings today are scheduled in the early afternoons. How to brave the summer heat of May? God in His infinite goodness afforded a heavy shower from heaven just before the wedding. Rain is a manifestation of God’s blessing and His affirmation of the union, and with that grace came also a cooling which did not make the ceremonies unbearably warm.
The Sacred Heart Shrine is a beautiful church inside and out. Gothic in exterior design, the interior with its colorful tiles and impressive altar with the Sacred Heart Image commanding the central attention, décor should compliment and not drown the overall grandeur.
Golden candelabras so generously shared by Hanelli Montilla Lacson were adorned with sprinkles of traditional English roses and greens spaced sparingly along the red carpeted aisle, while the central altar glowed with candles and blooms in fragrant and radiant summertime colors, softening the touch with tendrils of cadena de amor.
Guests came way ahead of the appointed hour. The ladies all looked so pretty in their flowing gowns and cocktails dresses, and the men dashing in their suits so in sync with the Jane Austen ensemble.
At the stroke of three, the Essence Trio - a violinist, a keyboard, and a lady singer - started playing Katy’s bridal song pick “Then You Looked at Me” by Celine Dion.
Best men, big brother Spitzie Yunque and best friend Sarge Noble, started the processional followed by two dapper looking men, Ikoy Locsin and Katy’s younger brother, Paolo Estella as groomsmen. Then mother of the groom—that’s moi—walked proudly down the aisle with my son, Andre, in his charcoal suit. No Mr. Darcy tails though. That would be impractical.
There were 9 sets of Principal Sponsors. Ninangs were dressed in soft nude chiffon, while the men looked so stately in their suits. All looked elegant.
As in the order of entry, the Candles Sponsors: Miki de Ocampo and Richelle Estacio; Cord sponsors: Luigi Yunque and Myka Regner and veil sponsors: Aljay dela Paz and Alyssa Gutmann followed. Johnjohn Ditching chose royal purple colors for the ladies’ wardrobe.
When all had taken their designated places, the bridal march commenced. Cute young lads, in pink and gray, Lucas Estella, Kyle Escario and Enzo Regner were the Ring, the Arrhae and Bible Bearers. In sweet as cotton candy pink smiling daintily were Chloe Cano and Mika Regner as flower girls.
Best friends of Katy, Jennifer Javellana and Congresswoman Chedeng Alvarez in butter yellow, capped sleeves were the Bridesmaids. Another BFF Rowena Basabac and sister Mia Estella were the Maids of Honor. Two more sisters, Pauline Armas and Genna Estella were the Matrons of honor who looked splendid in hues of turquoise.
Finally, the mother and father of the bride, Dianne and Raymond Estella, marched their way to the center of the aisle, stopped and waited for the entrance of Katy.
Then came the bride. Katy, stunningly lovely in her champagne white wedding gown with her beautiful face mantled in a traditionally inspired “belo” hand-beaded with pearls, made her final walk as a single maiden.
She looked stunningly regent.
The ceremony, though very solemn and sacred, was heartwarming and endearing. As the couple was pronounced man and wife, thunderous applause from the happy crowd reverberated.
What is a wedding without the blessing from heaven? The union of two people in love has to have God in the center of their lives to make the vow a lifetime commitment. In the midst of very dear family and friends, Andre and Katy made their promises before God.
Asking Katy if she had her dream wedding? Her reply was a definite “Yes!”
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 14, 2012.