Being sentimental, I usually cry when I read or hear about couples who tie the knot. A wedding, to me, is always the first step that leads to the happy life ever after.
Just recently, a wedding made me both cry and smile for the same reasons — joy and the strong faith that this one will last forever. The bride’s narrative of her and her groom›s love story, from the getting-to-know phase, through courtship, mommy not initially approving of her daughter to have a boyfriend, among other interesting details, made me laugh as well.
Indeed, true love does wonders and we, who observe lovers while they are holding hands or having their first kiss as man and wife, can only sigh, hoping our moment, too, would come.
Rajo’s masterpiece of lace
Although Philippe “Phil” Lorenzo and Adrienne “Adri” Ley preferred an intimate wedding with only a hundred guests, they made sure theirs would be a memorable one, replete with the trimmings.
The bridal gown, to begin with, was a masterpiece that only Rajo Laurel could create. The society designer, on his Instagram post, wrote: “From the onset, our bride wanted something minimal, simple, elegant. I, on the other hand, encouraged her to go for dramatic volumes. I dreamt of a wedding gown blooming and bursting with peonies. I knew that the concept would only work with a four-ply duchesse 100-percent pure silk satin from Abraham. So glad that it arrived from Switzerland in time.” The bride complemented Rajo’s creation with a pair of Bottega Veneta shoes while holding a Jimmy Choo purse. The couple’s wedding rings came from JMA Jewelry.
Hand-picked cherry blossoms
Kyno Kho, their wedding stylist, had every reason to be proud as well. He describes the bridal bouquet as “hand-picked blooms in shades of white and blush loosely arranged for a dainty bridal bouquet. These delicate blooms are curated to match and compliment the masterpiece of Rajo Laurel.”
Equally enthused about the ceremony, officiated at the Christ the King Church in Green Meadows, Kyno outdid himself by welcoming guests with this sight: “Cherry blossoms that they saw upon entering the church. Next, they were enthralled by garden-fresh blooms arranged on pedestals of different heights. What I aimed to achieve was a classic and timeless setup, creating a picturesque ceremony.”
The reception, held at the Diplomatic Hall of the Marriott Grand Ballroom, was something else, being “warm, chic and ethereal — a romantic night that symbolizes the beginning of a new chapter.” He achieved the effect by putting together “an ensemble of peonies and cherry blossoms for the ceiling, topped with pendant chandeliers and fairy lights for a romantic glow.”
Linda, the biggest challenge
Although they both finished their BS Management degrees at the Ateneo de Manila, they met only in their senior year.
Adri recalls that they were introduced by common friends. Her first impressions of him? “I found Phil really cute! He was quiet, shy but very handsome.
“But he found me very intimidating. He said later that I was a proof to never judge a book by its cover because he soon realized I was very warm and funny, too.”
Although they’ve been together for 10 years already, the couple had to hurdle the biggest challenge — the bride’s mom, glamorous society hostess and homemaker, Linda Ley. Being an unica hija herself, Linda Ley had always been protective. Initially, she was hesitant to get to know Phil — all for nine years. Thankfully, her daughter’s boyfriend never gave up.
Adri recounts, “It was during the pandemic that Phil got to visit the house more often (since we couldn’t go out) and she got to know him more. He was our late puppy’s favorite (my mom’s bunso fur baby Douglas) and she saw how much Phil loved him which I think won her over. So after a decade, they’re now the best of friends!”
The proposal was another fun part of their relationship.
Adri’s initial reaction: “I just kept laughing because I couldn’t believe it was actually happening! I had no idea he was going to propose.
“I just thought it was going to be a regular evening at home or mahjong with the family. I was so surprised and amazed at how he could have pulled off this secret proposal when we’re always together.”
The proposal took place at the Ley home, with Kyno creating a beautiful set-up. Only the bride’s family got to witness the drama because the Covid-19 alert levels were still very strict at that time.
Adri shares, “Phil was streaming the proposal via IG Live for our close friends but he forgot his plan and ended up putting the phone inside his pocket. The viewers saw only a black screen with muffled audio.
A 10-year-old promise
Fast forward to the biggest day of their entwined lives — Phil began his wedding vow by recalling his first impressions of her. He said, “I remember the first time I saw you. It was our last year in college and talagang napa-wow ako. As in, “Wow… ang taray naman nito.” I never really entertained the thought of us together. But you had your ways.”
What started as a humorous vow spoken by the groom went on to be an emotionally touching one. From laughing, the guests turned teary-eyed as they listened to Philippe whose sincerity they could feel.
“Fate had us becoming thesis-mates, and you took it upon yourself to find moments for us to spend time together. Sometimes subtle, most of the time not. But I played along because I found myself enjoying the time you tricked me into spending with you; and longing for that time whenever I’m not with you. Something that still holds true today.
“I remember the moment I decided I wanted to be with you. We just finished doing the grocery for our thesis, and you invited me to lunch. We sat
window-side at a Chinese restaurant across your place, the sun beating down, neither one of us wanting to be the one to ask the other to head home.
“Instead, we sat there as you honestly and wholeheartedly told me about your life and your loves, and I remember thinking to myself that a girl, as genuine, as warm and as selfless as you, deserves so much more than what you’ve been dealt. So in my head, and now I realize in my heart, I made a promise; and let me say it now, 10 years later.
“I promise to give you the love and the care that you so rightfully deserve. The kind that makes you love life and look forward to our future together.
“I vow to share the same honesty that you shared with me 10 years ago; to not leave things unspoken and know that I can be vulnerable around you just as much as you can be around me.
“And even if I can’t put into words everything about how I feel right now, I vow to spend my life showing you how much I love you.
“I love you, and I will be happy for the rest of my life because of you.”
Now, we can only agree with Adri, who says of Phil, “He is very good with words.” She relates that she said similar things but “with K drama references and in baby talk.”
Las Vegas honeymoon
Adri relates, “We planned our wedding only two months prior. We amazingly pulled off everything with the help of our family and our suppliers who really did a great job.
“My youngest brother, man of honor Michael Ley, also doubled as my ‘BROdinator,’ helping out our wedding coordinator and really making sure I wasn’t stressed at all during the wedding. My other man of honor, my brother Mark Ley, and Phil’s best man Dustin Carreon made sure that all the guests were having fun, drinking, dancing and enjoying the party. “
To make up for the black screen fiasco during the proposal, “We presented its SDE during the wedding reception so they could view what happened,” she shares.
For their honeymoon, they traveled to the United States — Los Angeles and Las Vegas — to watch the concert of the bride’s favorite group, BTS.
SariSuki founding team
The couple works for SariSuki, of which they are part of the founding team, together with CEO Brian Cu, who was also one of their wedding principal sponsors.
Phil is the chief operating officer while Adri is the lead group category merchandising manager. SariSuki was founded as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic and part of the founders’ mission of empowering communities around the country.
“We strive to offer supermarket-quality products at wet market prices while helping others make a decent living as micro entrepreneur via our community group buying platform,” Adri volunteers.
“This union is truly an answered prayer,” Adri confides. “I prayed in all miraculous Marian sites in Europe — Medjugorje, Fatima, Lourdes and, on Easter Sunday, to the Black Madonna at Montserrat — our marriage was destined and definitely in God’s plan.