Beautiful, In His Time: A Bride’s StoryThe Silver Lining
When planning for anything, we often have the need to get all aspects down to the letter. For weddings, the attention to detail and the effort given is on an entirely different level. However, there are some things out of our hands that take place, which could shake even the most rock-solid of plans.
For this blog, follow the story of 2020 bride Elyssa Dienice Lansang-Aminulla, RJPH’s Quality Assurance Supervisor who has been with the company for almost nine years. Learn all about her experience planning for her wedding, and the challenges she and her husband encountered! Dienice shows us that something beautiful can come out even from the bleakest of times.
The Bride-to-be In Action
I was engaged back in 2018. When the planning phase came, a friend of mine invited me to a Facebook Group for brides-to-be. Starting out, I just pinned some ideas using an application, read about and checked out some suppliers mentioned in the FB group, but in all honestly, it took me around a year to really start my journey on the wedding preparation.
The first thing we considered was what kind of wedding we wanted. Personally, I liked beaches and sunsets, so we ended up choosing a beach wedding officiated by a pastor. This, of course, led to the next thing to consider, which was the venue. Most venues that could cater beach weddings were quite pricy, and while at that time we already had a venue we were ready to book, our chosen wedding date was too far, and the property was being sold. As a last resort, we joined a bridal fair, and got a venue there.
I could say that the easiest part of the preparation was booking suppliers that were already tagged as the one, selecting my bridal tribe, organizing the budget, and the things we needed for the wedding. The challenging part was the misunderstandings my SO and I had; at that time, he was still working overseas, and there were times I felt that I was running a one-man show. What frustrated me the most was when I would ask about his opinion on some things, he’d just say it was already good, or that I could just decide on it.
As I worked full-time, I did my wedding planning after work and during the weekends. There was also an instance when I had to take a leave and go to Palawan to attend a bridal fair and book major suppliers, as well as get discounts. I remember also working from home when I returned to Palawan for the engagement shoot in November of 2019. At work, we were preparing for a upcoming project at the same time, so I was very thankful that we had an ad-hoc team for the initiative, and I could delegate some of the decision-making to them if I were not in the office.
Another challenge was staying within the budget. I remember going overboard on one supplier, but since my mother provided a financial gift, I was able to book it. Yay for all supportive mothers out there!
Overall, the most important thing we considered was actually the budget: how much were we willing to spend for each supplier, which suppliers would we spend more on, and how much we could save. At that time, we also just got a house and it was being renovated, after all.
When the announcement about the lockdown came in March of 2020, I wasn’t that affected at first, since we still had over a month before the wedding. I tried to remain positive, thinking that it wouldn’t affect our wedding that much, since the lockdown could get cancelled. But as the days passed, I realized that the situation was more serious than I previously thought, and I really had no control over it. There were times when I simply sat, staring into nothing (as dramatic as it seems). What I was very thankful for was that my SO was with me at that time and that he was SAFE.
Around March 2020, our venue decided to close the resort, and at that time, we also notified our guests that the wedding will be postponed. We’re thankful that they were there for us, and that they understood the situation, despite most of our friends and relatives needing to refund their plane tickets and booked accommodations at that time.
We still really wanted to have the wedding on the same date, even if it were just the two of us, but since we didn’t have the marriage license, we weren’t able to push through. We had to change the date a couple of times, telling ourselves that “maybe next month, we can have the wedding.” After some time, we found out that Quezon City had begun the family planning sessions once again, a requirement for the marriage license, and it gave us hope that the wedding could finally push through.
All in all, we only had three weeks to plan our intimate wedding, and we chose to have it at a restaurant in Quezon City with a 30% guest capacity. We also had to consider the pastor who would officiate the wedding, but thankfully we were able to find one after meeting with some officiators.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a bridal party, my SO had no guests from his side, and with our parents in Palawan, we had to do an online video conference for our guests from Palawan, Manila, Australia, and the US. Physically, there were only seventeen of us in total, including three suppliers, eleven friends and relatives, and the pastor.
It was not an ideal situation, but I learned that I needed to let go, and let God. If we held on too tightly to what was happening, we wouldn’t have been able to move forward. I was very thankful that my SO was with me and I didn’t need to worry about him working overseas, and most importantly, we were both safe. I accepted that maybe it was God’s way of saying that it was not our time yet, that this situation has happened to us so that we may work on ourselves, change our perspective on things, and have more faith in Him. Marriage, after all, is not defined by the money spent on the wedding, nor the people who were present or not on that day; what’s important is that both of us were there, committing ourselves to God’s promise of marriage.
As we had already transitioned to a work-from-home set up at the time, there were some benefits that I experienced. Firstly, since my SO was physically there with me, misunderstandings were resolved much faster, and feedback was given almost instantly. He was somewhat obliged to hear all my plans and was able to give suggestions if any. I still planned after work hours, and my friends and relatives were also easy to reach when I needed another’s perspective on my plans, how to do the styling on the day, and bouncing what I had in mind with them. The extra time I got from being at home all the time also meant that coordinating and communicating with my suppliers was made more effective.
The Perfect Time
For those who would also like to have their wedding at this time, do enjoy the journey. Things are really bound to happen, after all. One thing I regret the most is not feeling the enjoyment during the wedding preparations because I worried too much. I hope wedding planning still sparks joy within; it’s like having the kilig moments when accomplishing something.
Accept that not everyone can be invited. Create a list including people who you and your SO would really want to be included, and as much as possible, urge those who have ailments, comorbidities, and the elderly to attend the online wedding instead. For those who would not make it to your list, just be truthful with them regarding the situation; they will surely understand. Lastly, let that day be about you, your partner, and God.
As for our originally planned wedding, we’re praying for it to happen. We consider it as our celebration, and something we can also give back to our parents. I don’t know what the future holds, or when we can have it (maybe in three to five years’ time). If God permits, I still want to wear my wedding gown with my veil on.
God’s promise is that “He’ll make all things beautiful in His time.” Someday, we will have our kiss while the sunset bathes us in a mellow glow, the laughter, cries, and cheers of our loved ones in the background. When that time comes, we will look into each other’s eyes and tell ourselves that this is indeed beautiful.
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