A magical evening eight years in the making @ Shangri-La at the Fort
The newlyweds Bennett and Gina Aquino

A magical evening eight years in the making @ Shangri-La at the Fort

(The Philippine Star) - August 12, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A long, romantic journey reached its latest milestone last July 21 when Charles Benedict “Bennett” Aquino, son of lawyer Carlos and Fe Edita Aquino, married Ginarella Pearl “Gina” Yu, daughter of Architect Gilbert and Augustina Yu.

Starting off as colleagues at Bain and Company, one of the world’s top consulting firms, Bennett and Gina became really good friends in 2010 but went their separate ways for a few years – Bennett finishing his MBA at Wharton in Philadelphia and Gina getting her own MBA at Harvard in Boston a few years later. “Somehow we kept in touch all that time. We were really good friends, but there was always something deeper there,” said Bennett. The couple finally started dating soon after Gina finished her MBA in 2014.

The couple and their entourage (seated, from left) Lady Tanmantiong-Lao, Annika Yu, BJ Carreon, Diane Tan-Carreon, Liezl Yap, Chris Castillo, Karen Yu-Ung, Alexander Sarmiento and Vinci Villafuerte. Standing (from left) are Rebecca Ricalde, Andrew Bucu, Weirong Chang, Avishek Nandy, Megha Mathur, Gibson Yu, Hennie Co-Yu, newlyweds Gina and Bennett Aquino, Anthony de Guzman, Nina Aquino, Alex Aquino, Nic Chua, Charisse Borromeo and George Aquino

The rest, as they say, is history. 

Grace, elegance and heart truly emanated throughout the couple’s special day. They exchanged vows at the historic Manila Cathedral, where the Philippine Madrigal Singers provided a majestic musical backdrop to an emotion-filled ceremony. Thereafter, the reception was held at the Grand Ballroom of the Shangri-La at the Fort, which was decked out with lavish flowers and opulent opera-themed decor by Teddy Manuel, and with the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra playing a repertoire that was handpicked by the couple. But despite the grand setting, the highlight of the evening was undoubtedly its intimacy and its heart, with charming performances, touching videos, and heartfelt speeches. The bride and groom even surprised the audience with a near-flawless duet rendition of Journey’s “Faithfully” to the delight of the crowd, hundreds of whom traveled from across the globe. At the end of the evening, Gina beamed, “There was not one thing that I would have changed. Not one. To me, it was truly magic.” Those who attended most certainly agree. 

The Aquino family (from left) Alex, Lea, Charlie, Fe, Nina, Liza (seated), Bennett, Amara, George, Vida, Chico and Breeya

 The couple thanked Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto, Bob Nicolas, Teddy Manuel (event styling), Francis Libiran (bridal gown, groom suit and red gown of Bride’s mother), Ino Sotto (Tina Yu, bride’s mother’s yellow gown), Michael Leyva (entourage gowns) and Rajo Laurel (principal sponsor gowns).

The Yu family: (From left) Karen, Nathan and Nyles Ung, Gilbert, Tina and Gina Yu, Candice, Carys, Patrick, Sullivan and Quinn Fleming, Gibson, Garrett, Marreen, Terence, Gillian (seated), Hennie (seated), Daven, Martina, Hailey and Dylan Yu
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