Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati are a picture of a happy couple when photographed in El Nido weeks before their March 14 wedding.
Sarah Lahbati
Richard-Sarah wedding reset to ‘better time’
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - March 14, 2020 - 12:00am

Late last year when Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati announced their wedding, they didn’t foresee that the grand plan would be derailed by a virus. Just when everything was set…

At 4 o’clock this afternoon, the sweethearts would have exchanged vows at a Christian wedding at a five-star hotel where the reception would have immediately followed.

The March 14 grand event was touted to be “The Wedding of the Decade,” with three Philippine presidents among the 25 pairs of Principal Sponsors --- Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and former Presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Joseph Estrada --- together with other politicians (Senate Pres. Tito Sotto, and Senators Cynthia Villar, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Manny Pacquiao, among them), celebrities from business (Kevin Andrew Tan, Ben Chan, Peter Coyiuto, et al) and the entertainment industry (GMA’s Atty. Felipe Gozon, Viva Big Boss Vic del Rosario Jr. and ABS-CBN’s Carlo Katigbak and Charo Santos-Concio).

By now, those invited and showbiz-watchers should have heard that the wedding had been reset “as soon as things get better,” from the following statement from Richard and Sarah: As much as we want to celebrate our love with our family and friends, in light of the recent situation we have decided to postpone our wedding as we do not want to put anyone at risk. Thank you so much to those who flew in and to everyone who worked so hard for our special day. We only wish good health for everyone and we hope to celebrate with you as soon as things get better. Much love, Richard & Sarah.

At press time (late Thursday afternoon), there was no announcement yet when the new date would be or if there would be changes in the details, such as Gary Valenciano and Ogie Alcasid singing at the ceremony (Ogie to do a song that would make the bride and the groom cry); and Pops Fernandez, KZ Tandingan and Martin Nievera at the reception (Martin to sing Love of My Life which he wrote specially for Richard and Sarah, with music by Vehnee Saturno).

Thursday morning, Richard’s mom Annabelle Rama told Funfare that she was excited to deliver a speech extemporaneously, brushing off her children (and Sarah’s) suggestion that she read from a codigo.

“Worried sila baka daw kung ano ang masasabi ko,” laughed Annabelle. “You know me, walang preno. I told them, ‘Walang codigo,’ because I want my speech to come from my heart.”

In the days leading to the (abortive) wedding, Sarah told Funfare that she was grateful to be entering a new phase in her and Richard’s lives and excited to celebrate with loved ones.

The glittering roster of Principal/Secondary Sponsors and members of the wedding entourage, led by Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte

“The excitement of getting married is different from the excitement of giving birth,” said Sarah who has two beautiful children with Richard. “The two are completely different. But one thing they have in common is the joy that they both bring to us.”

She added, “I’m feeling blessed and grateful that our time has come to officially become one in God’s perfect time. We are lucky to be loved by our family, friends and fans. Our hearts are full and we thank everyone for the endless love and support.”

(E-mail reactions at For more updates, photos and videos, visit or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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