What is it like to get married right before the Enhanced Community Quarantine in the Philippines?

Photo by Arvin Simbulan Photography at St. Benedict Parish Ayala Westgrove Heights Silang, Cavite

Do you still remember what it feels like a day before your wedding? Definitely, yes! Most of us will really remember it and of course, your BIG day! It is the best day of our lives!

Me and my now-husband had 2 years to prepare for our wedding day. We got engaged December 2017. We checked out different churches in the upper part of Cavite during February of 2018. Our preparation is quite long so we really took time in deciding who are the suppliers we will book, choose the reception venue and most especially the church. We joined different Facebook groups for the wedding preparation and checked it out if they were good and fits our budget. It was a really tough job selecting suppliers and hoping they are still available for our wedding day. After months long of deciding, finally we made up our mind. We had St. Benedict Parish for our ceremony and Balay Dako for our reception.

Then came 2020, our most awaited year. We can all say 2020 started so HARD! We were in Silang Cavite on January 12 when Taal Volcano started to emit smoke. We met our florist/stylist that time. No one expected that Taal Volcano will blow up by then. As a March bride, I was really worried because it was really near our reception venue. Balay Dako was just a few kilometers away from the Taal Volcano. Days and days passed by, I kept on monitoring the situation of Taal even though I live in Rizal. Well, just being mindful of what will happen before our wedding. Everyone was still clueless by that time if it will reach the end January or even February. All weddings after January 12 was either postponed, cancelled or moved to another venue in Manila and other different places. It was sad because a lot of families in Batangas were affected. It took weeks before the disaster calmed down. Whew! What a start for 2020!

But then, here comes NCov or should I call it Covid-19 already? We were already calm because of the Taal situation. I thought we are going to move our wedding day, or postpone it but NO. we didn’t reach that part yet!

Covid-19 is such a mess. Who would have thought that the virus from Wuhan would easily reach the Philippines that fast? There were already some cases in the Philippines during the first week of March. It was so fast. Started towards the end of February, spread out at the first 2 weeks of March and boom! Here we are now. 45 days on quarantine already. But let’s go back a few days before the ECQ which was the day before our wedding.

March 13, yes it’s Friday the 13th. I was really worried with what I am hearing on the news. It was that morning when we are already checking in at The Hills at Silang. This is where we will stay until the morning of our wedding for the preparations with our family. I have no energy to get up and fix my things. I was just so paranoid with what is happening. My husband and his family were already there and was just waiting for us to come over and have our family get together in the evening before we get married the following day. I called the church and asked if the ceremony will push through. Whew! They said YES! I was relieved. Good thing all of our suppliers are still coming in for our wedding too. No one backed out. Thank God!

Our Big day came. Everyone was excited. At 7am, my HMUA was already there and started by 8am. Finally, our wedding is gonna happen! We had our photoshoot with our families and the entourage. By 1.30 PM, we are all ready to leave going to the church. It was mixed emotions, I did not know what I should feel until the time came. I will walk down the aisle and marry the love of my life. The door opened, I saw him at the altar waiting for me-smiling and crying. Huhu. Haha! Haaaay. When I walked down the aisle, I saw that there were not a lot of guests who came. Well, I don’t care anymore. As long as I will get married on that day, that’s fine! We don’t want to let go of that moment. It was the happiest day of our lives! We don’t want to waste the 2 years of preparation for that day and of course our families and friends who came all the way to Cavite to witness us getting married! We had a small number of guests but it turned out there were lesser people who came because of the community quarantine which was at that time the instructions made was not yet clear to the people. Most of the guests invited who did not make it was afraid that they cannot go back to their homes after the wedding. That was the problem. After the ceremony, we went to Balay Dako for the reception. Some of the guests did not even go to the reception venue to make it home early and in time before the community quarantine.

We had fun during the reception and got feedback from our guests that the place was very nice and our host entertained our guests pretty well. She did an excellent job. Our coordinators, photographers, videographers, florist, stylist and all of our suppliers did a pretty nice job in putting everything into place during our wedding. By 8PM, the party was over. Everyone went home pretty quick just like Cinderella before it strikes 12-midnight.

We still thank God for giving us the opportunity of getting married before the community quarantine. Celebrating with the most important people in our lives in front of Him was one of the best things we will never forget amidst the crisis that we are facing right now. We are still thankful that we are facing this crisis together as husband and wife. All we have to do now is to pray and have faith in Him that everything will fall back into its place at the right time. He is the best! Never forget that!

-Jes Tamayo

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