MANILA -- It’s happening. The new normal is here and people just need to roll with it.
That’s exactly what bride Kris Bacani and her then fiancé Jay Endaya did this summer. The two had planned on getting married on April 19, 2020. But after the first Manila lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic was announced in mid-March, the couple soon realized they won’t be able to push through with their big day celebrations. The two decided to move the event to 2021.
But that doesn’t mean they couldn’t legally wed. And so on their original date, Bacani, a seasoned wedding supplier, found herself the star in a bridal ceremony far different from what has been the industry norm.
So what is a “new normal” wedding? Bare-bones.
For starters, while the church had agreed to go on with the wedding because they had already completed the documentary requirements, it had one condition: that only the parents and two witnesses are allowed to join. That means “essential guests” only, as I like to call them. No ninongs, ninangs and big entourage; just a really intimate wedding party who were also required to observe some physical distancing.
As for everything else, DIY (do-it-yourself) is the name of the game.
As a makeup artist, Bacani prepared her look herself and wore a 7-year-old dress. Her bouquet of dried flowers was handmade by her sister and maid-of-honor, Sasa. Luckily, some industry friends lent a hand in many ways too.
“Three designers, Izza Lambino-Hallare, Santi Obcena, and Jo Rubio gifted us with stylized face masks — truly a sign of the times. We weren’t planning on having a photographer, but Jamie Lihan of Mayad Studios generously offered to shoot our wedding. At the last minute, Mayad also offered to livestream the ceremony so our family and friends can be with us virtually,” Kris shares on her blog.
They would later learn that some of their virtual guests even dressed up in formal attire while watching.
After the short church ceremony, the small wedding party headed back home for reception lunch that consisted mostly of takeout food. “Who knew we'd have Baliwag liempo as part of our reception menu?”
Of course, there was also cake and alcohol, and the newlyweds gamely did the mandatory cake-cutting and champagne-drinking with arms intertwined, albeit with just three people looking on. “It was as intimate as it can be.”
To cap it all off, the maid-of-honor also made a same day edit (SDE) video just using her phone and shared it online that same night.
“Pwede naman palang ganito (Apparently, you can have it this way),” Bacani shared, admiring the simplicity of her big day. “It’s surprising how minimal the requirements really are to get married: officiant, bride, groom, rings and two witnesses. That’s it.”
Sure, the coronavirus outbreak changed the couple’s wedding plans in a big way. And it will for many other couples in the foreseeable future, and the whole wedding industry extravaganza may be turned upside down.
But if a couple’s hearts are in the right place, even a bare-bones wedding will still shine. Because just like what “The Little Prince” has taught us, what is essential, really, is invisible to the eye.
lockdown, quarantine, wedding, new normal, Kris Bacani, Jay Endaya, Mayad Studios