A tale of three weddings
Diego and Jackie Nepomuceno tied the knot last Oct. 20, 2020.

A tale of three weddings

RAZZLE-DAZA - Pat-P Daza (The Philippine Star) - February 15, 2021 - 12:00am

It’s the day after Valentine’s Day and I’m wondering how many couples had the chance to spend this special day together. My nephew Diego Nepomuceno tied the knot in October and married his long-time girlfriend, Jackie Mañago. My friend Nina Cruz-Paz has attended two weddings in the last two months. And so I asked them, “How do couples celebrate their love during a pandemic?”

Nina shared that the two newly married couples in her family, nephew Jeo and wife Alyssa Paz and niece Justine Paz-Claveria and husband Ariel Claveria, did not take the plunge blindly. But since both pairs were engaged pre-pandemic, there was a marked difference between the expectation and the reality of their envisioned wedding ceremonies. Nina thought they would postpone their wedding plans and wait until things got back to “normal.” But since deposits had been made way before the pandemic, they decided to scale down the number of guests (for obvious reasons) from 300 to 30 pax including priest, videographer, photographer and wedding coordinator. Nina’s niece, Justine, took a slightly different route and opted for a civil wedding before Mayor Andeng Bautista-Ynares in Antipolo and a simple salu-salo immediately after. Only family and close friends who played a big role in their 10-year relationship were present. Justine and Ariel have decided to have their dream wedding… someday.

Nina noted that because of the health protocols, air-conditioners were turned off at the wedding of Jeo and Alyssa to lessen the risk of transmission. Guests thus had to endure the heat and the women, especially the bride, had to check their make-up regularly. The women also wore bedazzling face masks as they walked down the aisle. Even though only 20 guests were inside the church (two to a pew), they were all required to wear their face masks and face shields the entire time. Nina even thought that the priest would ask the newlyweds to kiss with their masks on. Though the priest wanted the entourage to keep their masks on for the picture-taking, Nina pleaded and asked that they be allowed to take a few “maskless” photos. Thankfully, the priest obliged.

Jeo and Alyssa Paz had their scaled-down wedding last Dec. 12, 2020.

Diego and Jackie, on the other hand, had been together for 13 years. They got engaged in July 2019 and began their journey as husband and wife on Oct. 20, 2020.

Because the number of guests allowed inside the church was limited, Diego and Jackie had a Zoom/online livestream ceremony that’s a COVID-wedding essential these days. Thanks to technology, relatives from Manila, Sydney and Amsterdam witnessed their celebration. Diego and Jackie are thankful that they were aligned in their desire to push through with the wedding regardless of the circumstances.

For Risa Nepomuceno, mom of the groom, the wedding was more intimate, meaningful and special because those present and watching online were able to give their full attention to the couple. At the heart of it was a celebration of love and family, and of prayers for the hopes and dreams of the young couple.

The consensus among these three newly-married couples is that they have no regrets getting hitched during the pandemic. If anything, the circumstances forced them to focus on and appreciate the people who truly matter to them. The ceremonies were relaxed and fun, and in the end, practical. The money that would have been spent on a grand wedding was put to better use making a down payment for a home or buying things for the house.

Getting married is the ultimate step for two people in love. It means you both want to be in each other’s lives, in sickness and in health, with or without a pandemic, till death do you part.

Ariel and Justine Paz- Claveria had a civil wedding in Antipolo last Feb. 2, 2021.

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