Unless you've just come out from under a rock in the last two decades, you know that Judy Ann Santos is one of the country's superstars of her generation, much sought-after endorser and until last month, was one of the country's most eligible bachelorettes. It was no surprise that after Ryan proposed to her last year, Judy Ann's fans have been excitedly preparing to gatecrash their wedding to finally see their idol get hitched. But the couple simply would not allow that -- they kept the date, location and other details secret until the last minute, even barring cameras from participating in what was to be a very simple and solemn affair, witnessed only by immediate family and very close friends. It was earlier reported that there were only about 80-100 attendees at the 7am wedding and a few friends from Manila (who weren't there to witness the exchange of vows) travelled 3-4 hours for the beach reception that night.
While I am not particularly a fan of either Judy Ann Santos or Ryan Agoncillo, I was gushing at all the photos and videos that showed their private ceremony last April 28 in Batangas. I must say though that I am a fan of their wedding. Haha.
Reports say that Judy Ann and Ryan pulled all the stops to make sure that their wedding ceremony and initial reception was going to be a private affair. They wanted to keep the guestlist down but unlike most couples who do so, it wasn't because of budget constraints. On the contrary, in wanting to keep the ceremony very private, they had to employ a reported 300+ personnel to construct the platform that they used for the Anilao reception, security to keep uninvited guests at bay and make sure the three locations (church, brunch reception in Laiya and evening location in Anilao were ready for all their guests).
It was really to keep the true ceremony solemn and they chose to "celebrate" later on by holding another reception in Makati four days after the wedding. They might've earned a few raised eyebrows by choosing not to invite some people at the wedding but hey, it was their wedding, they paid for it and so, I respect that decision. I mean, how many weddings have we heard of, showbiz or not, that turned out to be a circus? How many couples look back at their photo albums and not recognize their guests?
I also liked the little nontraditional nuances they did during the wedding -- the entire entourage didn't have to march down the aisle -- it was just the little bride, their daughter Yohan and the real bride, Judy Ann, although having the Matron of Honor, Sharon Cuneta was asked to march at the last minute.
Loved the flowers, loved how the church was made even more beautiful. Loved the reception decor -- down to the floating luminaries by the beach. Loved that everyone wore white, loved the cute and casual but secretive invitations (half a pair of white slippers, the other pair to be claimed at the reception) -- each guest was asked to donate a peso in claiming the slipper since it was Filipino custom to give a peso to someone who gives you footwear (for luck). Loved the gown, loved that they kept it intimate, loved the dream team that made it possible:
Paul Cabral - gown designerJerome Lorico - groom’s suitRita Neri - wedding plannerRobert Blancaflor of 1816 - event stylist/floristGene Gonzalez of Cafe Ysabel - catererBalai Laiya / Trivona Beach Resort- reception venuesPenk Ching of Pastry Bin - cake makerPrintsonalities - invitation printerPatrick Uy - photographerRaymond Isaac - photographerJason Magbanua - videographerBaicapture - photobooth
To this day, I marvel at how they pulled it off beautifully -- I wonder what time they started setting up in church to put all those beautiful flowers, how many meetings they had to make sure logistics was perfect for the couple and their guests. And to plan everything in less than two months!
Bravo to the brave couple!