The pandemic has put a halt to so many personal plans, everything from traveling to studying to dating and even exchanging I Dos. Where June used to be a busy month of weddings, and I confess with me trying to wiggle out of attending all of them, now it seems to be just another month filled with 30 mostly rainy days.
In this dismal mood, I was inspired to discover the love story of Josiah Frederik Jimenez or Jof and Shadon Psalm Joaquin or Shadon that stood strong through the many lockdowns and ended up at the altar.
The two actually met via Tinder a year before COVID-19 wreaked havoc on life and love across the globe. After dating for a couple of months and then officially becoming a couple, everything looked rosy for Jof and Shadon. Then the pandemic happened, Shadon lost her job and she had to pack her bags and go home to Baguio in July of last year.
Despite the long-distance and quarantine-riddled relationship, Jof proposed in December and they exchanged vows in April. While Shadon would have wanted to be a June bride, the ever-present threat of rising COVID-19 cases made them decide to do it and do it soon.
Jof recalls that “pre-pandemic we would usually go on dates almost every day as we would meet after work. During the pandemic, we switched to video calls to serve as our date, and we would share our day and really just talk about things.”
Shadon said yes to Jof’s proposal during the pandemic, and they did not intend to wait until COVID-19 went away, so she already knew it would be a different kind of wedding. “We planned to get married during the pandemic so we already anticipated that either of our dream weddings will not be exactly how we imagined it. When I was younger, I dreamt of having a beach wedding with all of our close friends and family members attending and celebrating with us.” In Jof’s case, he imagined himself getting married with a large crowd and in a traditional church in Metro Manila. “My dream wedding was a big family affair as we have many relatives here and abroad and I wanted to invite all of them. Due to the pandemic, we decided to move forward with a small and intimate wedding.”
If COVID-19 is keeping you from taking the plunge, check out the romantic and practical advice of Jof and Shadon that may just change your mind.
#1 Intimate weddings are in.
Shadon remembers that they had to change the number of people who will be invited. “Instead of having a big wedding, we decided to have an intimate, almost a micro one.” With physical distancing guidelines and ensuring that their celebration will be safe not just for the couple but also for the guests, this is understandable but Jof said there were people who did not understand the situation. “We informed and explained to friends and family who were not invited to the intimate wedding that there will be a separate celebration. It was also hard on our part because as much as we wanted for them to be there, it was impossible because of the restrictions.”
#2 Simple weddings mean less stress for the couple.
Because it was a simple wedding, Shadon confirmed it was less taxing for her to plan and this is why this is her top advice to friends and anyone else planning to exchange their vows. Jof admits that he previously felt that a small celebration will not be memorable and exciting “but I was totally wrong. It made the wedding more memorable as we were able to focus more on the actual wedding instead of the wedding planning where most couples get so stressed especially if you only have a couple of months to prepare.”
#3 Put your partner first.
Shadon candidly shares that some of their friends were against having the wedding during the pandemic as they would not be able to attend. In the end, it was Jof and Shadon who missed each other so much and wanted to put their long-distance affair to an end. Together with the support of their families, the two moved ahead with their small and simple celebration. “At the end of the day, the wedding is about you and your partner so plan and design a wedding that both of you would like and will be memorable,” Jof counsels.
#4 Celebrate with your near and dear but at least a meter apart.
Jof and Shadon ended up having 4 micro events as they started their life together. Instead of one big celebration, there were 3 separate affairs for family and friends from Baguio and from Manila. And while they admit it was not easy to coordinate with wedding suppliers virtually, in the end, the two had their dreamy wedding.
#5 Money saved for their future.
Jof’s close friend also got married during the pandemic “and the only advice he gave me was to push thru with the wedding! He shared how the pandemic helped them shave their wedding budget to 1/4 of the original cost.” Shadon found this to be true in their experience. “We would say that we saved around 40%. Yes, 4 events would have looked more expensive but they came out cheaper! Because one big beach wedding with so many guests would have cost us so much, but with 4 different and simpler celebrations, we were able to save nearly half of the budget!
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.