MANILA - It's all systems go for the wedding between high-profile pair Sen. Manuel "Mar" Roxas II and Korina Sanchez on October 27 (Tuesday) at the Sto. Domingo Church in Manila.
Final plans for the wedding ceremony and the brief meet-and-greet afterwards were finalized out by members of the planning core team on Monday, before the big event.
Sto. Domingo Church was bustling with activity on Monday afternoon, as workers and organizers completed setting up tents and 4 giants screens for fans who want to witness the event from outside the church.
They also prepared props and decorations for the wedding.
The church will be decorated with Sanchez's favorite flowers including rosal, white roses, and sampaguita on the day of the wedding.
A long red carpet will also be laid out for the wedding procession. Mike Miñana, over-all head of production and security, said the carpet outside will be of equal length to the carpet inside the church, allowing everyone a chance to see the wedding entourage.
The bride will reportedly be given away by her 3 brothers. The mass will be officiated by 4 bishops and 2 priests, including Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo and Fr. Tito Caluag.
"Joyful but solemn" Filipino songs will be provided by the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philippine Madrigal Singers, who will offer their talents for free.
Artists Basil Valdez, Robert Sena, and Jamie Rivera are also set to sing during the ceremony.
'Simple but elegant'
Organizers describe the event as "simple but elegant." In place of a grand wedding reception at the Araneta Coliseum, the couple scaled it down to a small meet-and-greet after the ceremony.
Sanchez and Roxas donated the P3 million they would have spent for the grand Araneta Coliseum reception to victims of tropical storm Ondoy. (see story here: What Mar-Korina's wedding reception would have been)
Marichelle Ligon, the couple's wedding planner, said that fans can definitely mingle with the couple at the meet-and-greet at the church courtyard.
"After the mass, the couple will come out and will really go to them. So their visit will not go for naught," Ligon said in Filipino.
Refreshments will be served at the "meet-and-greet" like juice and pan de sal filled with "kesong puti."
There will also be tents to secure guest areas outside the church in case it rains. About 2,000 people are expected to attend the event.
Organizers issued strict guidelines for guests and media, however, to ensure the orderliness of the ceremony.
Accredited reporters and cameramen were briefed on "do's and dont's" as well as given instructions on where to position themselves so as not to interfere with the ceremony.
Guests who are invited inside the Sto. Domingo Church are advised to be early, since the church's doors will be closed at exactly 3:00 p.m.
A day before the wedding, an excited Roxas meanwhile still found time to work on finalizing plans for the Liberal Party's (LP) slate for the 2010 elections.
The party welcomed Cavite Gov. Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi, a former supporter of the LP-Atienza wing, into the fold.
Likewise, the party decided not to file a motion to disqualify former president Joseph "Erap" Estrada, who announced he will run for president next year.
Roxas's running mate and LP standard-bearer Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, meanwhile, refused to comment on other political parties' brewing plans because he wants to focus on his presidential campaign.
Aquino III also said he is excited to serve as a godfather (or "ninong sa kasal") to both Sanchez and Roxas at the wedding on Tuesday.
He initially expressed reluctance for the task because he said he is younger than Roxas.
"Ikinagagalak natin na dumating sila sa isang punto na mag-iisang dibdib sila, at talaga namang 'yong bright future ang talagang wish naman natin," said Aquino, who used to date Sanchez.
"[I wish them] strength, that there are no conflicts, if any, that are unsolvable, but that they will not get to the point that there will be conflicts that need to be resolved," the senator added.
Aquino's mother, the late president Corazon Aquino, was supposed to be one of the godmothers at the Roxas-Sanchez wedding.
Aquino said he agreed to serve as a "ninong" in the spirit of goodwill and in remembrance of his mother. With reports from Niña Corpuz and Jing Castañeda, ABS-CBN News.