It’s possible to have a beautiful, memorable wedding amid a pandemic while keeping everyone safe from the virus. Take it from Luis Manzano and Jessy Mendiola, who recently surprised everyone with the announcement they had actually tied the knot in civil rites at The Farm at San Benito in Lipa, Batangas last February.
The video uploaded by the bride shows how safety protocols were observed: the ceremony was held outdoors, they kept it short (about 20 minutes), only a handful of guests were invited, guests wore mask at all times and observed physical distancing. Only the bride didn’t wear a mask, as well as the groom—as can be seen from the photo of Luis going viral where he is seen sobbing like a child who just saw his mom step out for an out of town shoot.
Undergoing a swab test was, of course, a must to ensure that the environment was Covid free. As per Jennifer Sanvictores, the health and wellness resort destination’s Director of Sales and Marketing, all the guests and suppliers at Luis and Jessy’s wedding were swabbed upon arrival at the venue. The Farm had a licensed health professional to administer the antigen test onsite. Having RT-PCR tests can also be arranged, but it has to be done prior to the event, since it has a 24-hour turnaround.
The couple steered clear of having a wedding reception. Luis’s stylist Rex Atienza told ANCX everyone went home separately right after the event.
According to Sanvictores, they only started opening The Farm’s doors as a venue for weddings and intimate events around August last year. The first celebrity event they hosted was that of TJ Monterde and KZ Tandingan, which was held under the wellness destination’s 300-year-old Mango Tree (they set up the tree as a venue, hence the upper case M and T).
There are a lot of other stunning spots to choose from at the sprawling 48-hectare property, says Sanvictores. Luis and Jessy held their wedding right by The Farm’s iconic big lagoon, which also has the mountain view as backdrop.
Couples-to-be can also hold their wedding at the Amphitheater which has a view of the lagoon. The 112-sqm. space can comfortably fit 25 persons, while its gardens can accommodate an additional 25 more for al fresco dining.
“Our beautiful and spacious suites and villas, which have their own pools, can also be a venue for intimate weddings and private events,” adds Sanvictores.
What it includes
The Farm’s wedding package may include the following: pre-ceremony canapés and cocktails; five-course gourmet dinner (appetizer, salad, soup, main course, dessert with coffee and tea; open bar (beers, liquors, spirits and cocktail selections); a three-tier naked cake; a bottle of champagne for the toast; exclusive use of the Mango Tree for the ceremony and exclusive use of the Amphitheater for cocktails and dinner reception; use of grounds for photoshoot; 120 minutes of Hilot Kasuyo for the couple; a special gift for the couple; and accommodation in the luxurious Lakan Pool Villa.
We asked for a price range or ballpark figure how much it is to hold a wedding at The Farm. The answer: 200,000++ for 20 persons. Inclusive of venue, dinner reception, open bar, naked cake, bottle of champagne, use of grounds for photoshoot, couples treatment, and accommodations for the couple.
The Farm has two separate restaurants—Alive! Restaurant, which serves raw food and organic vegan feast, and Pesce, which offers pescetarian dishes. “As part of our advocacy, The Farm promotes sustainable farm-to-table local produce,” says Sanvictores.
50 people max
Now that ECQ is implemented and Covid cases are on the rise, receptions are highly discouraged. But The Farm assures they can can arrange a properly distanced setup for a very limited number of guests.
Currently, they can only accommodate intimate and private weddings with maximum of 50 pax in an open-air venue. By 2022—hopefully we’ve all been inoculated by then—they’re looking at allowing up to a maximum of 300 people for weddings and events in their soon-to-be built Banaba Banquet Hall.
“We offer a variety of wedding packages. But what’s important to highlight is that we’re flexible. We can customize and adjust based on the requests of our clients and also their budget,” says Sanvictores.
For inquiries regarding their green weddings and intimate celebrations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0917-5722326, 0917-5722300. For reservations and inquiries: email@example.com 0918-8848080.