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Rod Nepomuceno-Teemy Ledesma Wedding: Diary of a bridegroom |

Travel and Tourism

Rod Nepomuceno-Teemy Ledesma Wedding: Diary of a bridegroom

- Rod Nepomuceno -
Today is a good day to die." That was the opening line in my favorite ’90s movie, The Flatliners. That line struck me. I remember thinking back then – "Hmmm...I’ll probably say that the day I get married!" Chuckle, chuckle.

Fast forward to Dec. 28, 2001. Holy Innocents Day. The designated date that I, Rod Nepomuceno, at the not-so-tender age of 34, will die.... well, not really me, but my single life. Funny. I thought I’d be a wreck on this day. But I wasn’t – I was fine. I was ready to get married. But frankly, I wasn’t ready for the details and the planning! Teemy and I procrastinated – then the realization set in – "Aargh, we don’t have invitations yet!" "...What?!! It takes three weeks to print????..." "Yikes, our ninongs and ninangs haven’t been informed!..." "The souvenirs – what do we get? Where do we get them?" "The misallette! Who’s gonna do it?"...."Who’s gonna design our clothes?!!! What?! How much?? That amount is for THE wedding gown ONLY?? %$#!!#@%$)(&^!!!!&^%!!! I can buy a car with that!!!!!" "...You mean we have to wait 10 days for a wedding license?" "...Excuse me...can you repeat that – how much PER HEAD again????" "...What exactly do you mean when you say ‘it would be a BIT’ more expensive? Please define ‘a BIT.’"

You know, Teemy and I went through a good number of sparring sessions before everything was settled. How did we settle it? Simple. Teemy had her way. Oh well. Funny, she always had a "cute" solution for every problem (e.g., "Hon, I know na! Why don’t we sell your car in order to pay for my gown?"). Often, the snag had something to do with – you guessed it – finances. The costs ballooned to Hindenburg proportions and I was tempted to raise the white flag and ask for financial aid. Miraculously, I managed. Today, I have my pride intact but an empty wallet. Oh well. Though I tried to conceal it from Teemy, I can confess now – honey, I kept track of every cent that we spent on the wedding.

But I did it in a subtle way...

"Oh honey, I want to be brought to the church by a horse carriage. That’s been my dream – to be on a horse carriage like Cinderella! "

"No na hon! Our wedding’s near New Year – someone might throw a firecracker at the horse and he might run all the way to Baguio. Also, what if the horse has a bad stomach that day? Not a good sight!"

"Sweetie, we need the Llegerro string quartet."

"Hon, my officemate, Bong, used to sing for The New Minstrels – well, they are now the Old Minstrels – but hey, he’s good! He will sing for food!"

Ah, those cute squabbles – I will miss them. Anyway, the good news is, somehow, everything eventually fell into place, thanks to the top-notch, quality people who helped us out – Cecil Carreon, our efficient wedding planner; Joanne Duque, a very creative, understanding, patient, detailed, up-and-coming designer, The Publishing House of Bernabe and Estrella, a top speed, top quality printer, Pancho Pantig of Plumeria, a brilliant and resourceful florist, and Cecille Bangsil, of A La Crème Cakeshop and Café, the best cake maker around! Plus, we had friendly and helpful executives – Loteth So and Ming Lim – from Holiday Inn Mimosa helping us all the way.

Good team effort!

When everything was in place, I was all set to die – I mean, to get "settled down" I was all set to hit the aisle. Now, the execution. I think you will agree, most weddings in Manila are hard to tell apart. They all look the same. In Manila, unless you do something extraordinary (like jump off an airplane) people will always mix your wedding with someone else’s. People are always rushing somewhere. Plus, the "aesthetics" are not pleasant. Traffic. Street vendors. Pollution. So we decided to be a bit different – an out-of-town wedding. We wanted our wedding to be an excuse for our guests to take a much-needed break. Our wedding day – December 28 – was right in the middle of that limbo period between Christmas and New Year. During this time, people usually take a leave from work and are just lazing around, scratching their big fat post-noche buena bellies.

And true enough, a lot of our guests "checked in" for the weekend. And, just to put a twist, Teemy and I decided to have a luau party the night before. After a quick rehearsal at the chapel, we dressed up in our best Hawaiian shirts and dresses and danced the night away. The place was dressed up like luau heaven – banana trees, candles on the pool, bamboo torches and leis around people’s necks. Our close relatives and friends had a chance to get to know each other a little better and we had a chance to "chill out" before the big day. Engaged couples with money to spare should have something like this. Hey, I didn’t have money to spare but still did it!

That night, my eldest sister, Cynthia, my roommate for that evening, told me – "Rod, do you realize that this will be your last night as a bachelor?" I thought to myself "Yeah, that’s right!" I wasn’t bothered really. Just kinda felt...umm...reflective. The reflection took a while to sink in – mmm...around seven seconds? Then I had one of my best sleep in years! That was a comforting thought.

The next day, I was awaken up by my cell phone – "Hon, my family is here! Where are you?" screamed Teemy. Yikes! It was 9 a.m. and we had promised Teemy’s family that we would treat them for breakfast the moment they got in for Bacolod. So, without brushing my teeth and without changing underpants, I rushed to meet them. It was really pleasant – I’m blessed with great in-laws! The only sad thing was – while everyone was enjoying their scrambled eggs and croissants, I was meeting with my wedding planner issuing checks. Grumble, grumble.

By mid-afternoon (our wedding was at 5 p.m.), everyone except me was in panic – Teemy and her bridesmaids were in the next villa and were scrambling. While I was chilling out, texting and watching koalas mate on Discovery Channel, Teemy and her entourage were shouting and screaming in panic – "Aargh, where’s my eyeliner?... Who took my mascara?... Can someone adjust my girdle?... Who took my pustiso from the fridge?" It was so funny. I tried to sneak in the villa but one of our flower girls, Sasa, kicked me out – "You’re not allowed to see Tita Teemy!" Huh? I mean, what’s the fuss? In a few hours, we’ll be sleeping together! Oh well, I guess we just have to follow protocol.

The wedding ceremony itself, surprisingly, went by – shwisssh – just like that. I desperately tried to absorb the moment, take in every detail of the whole thing. But there were just simply too many details to think about, that before I knew it, we were exchanging vows. But there were nice flashes I remember – seeing my lovely bride on the horse carriage with her dad; her march down the aisle, with fog, mist, and bubbles for effect. It was the first time I ever heard applause while a bride was walking down the aisle. It was great seeing her beaming and happy. Then there was the exchange of vows (which, according to my friend, I announced like a newscaster), and then the kiss – mwah! – and the awfully long picture taking sessions. I also recall my little quarrels with Teemy whenever I would step on the long tail of her gown. I couldn’t help it! It was too darn long!!! It got in the way. Then, there was the horse carriage ride back to the hotel. For around two minutes, it was just me and Teemy and the horseman – it was dead quiet. We were riding in the dark of the night with a cool breeze blowing. That special moment was something else! It was really romantic. And for two minutes, I felt that the money I spent was worth it.

The reception was a big circus. But I mean that in a good way. So many activities and lots of production numbers arranged by our wedding planner – the grand entrance of the godparents and then the couple– the parade of the waiters (which was done with military cadence) – the surprising toast with accompanying confetti and in-door fireworks. Plus, a short film showing our baby pictures and an excerpt of the proposal I made on air when I was newscasting for ABC 5. Cool!

One coup that we were able to get away with was to get ourselves to sit in the middle of the dance floor and ask the people in each table to go to us (rather than us go to them) for the official picture taking. A lot of our guests said, "Hey, naka-escape kayo sa tiring posing with each table a! This is a great idea!" Indeed it was! That "adjustment" spared Teemy and I from the arduous task of going from one table to another.

The night went on with D.I.s taking over the show and pulling everyone to the dancefloor. We stayed on with our close friends, drinking wine and laughing. Teemy and I argued what to do with the lovebirds that our florist gave us. Our first official argument as a couple. But, when we went up the honeymoon suite, we "made up." That was certainly a great way to end the night!

In retrospect, it was a wonderful experience getting married. Death of my single life? Who’s mourning? I’m certainly not. All that talk about weddings being a scary experience – I guess it all depends on who you are and who you’re getting married to. It’s not 100 percent true.

This is Bridegroom Rod, now Husband Rod, and hopefully soon-to-be-father Rod, signing off. And hopefully, just like in the movies, Teemy and I will live happily every after!
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For your comments, you can write Rod at

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