MANILA — Ara Mina was the perfect picture of a fabulous June bride as she exchanged vows with government official Dave Almarinez Wednesday afternoon at the the Alphaland Baguio Mountain Lodges Chapel in the country's summer capital.
The actress wore a Leo Almodal bridal ball gown which the designer described as one of his masterpieces.
"Intricately handcrafted and fully crystallized to perfection from the elaborate neckpiece to the hem!" Almodal said in his message to ABS-CBN News from Baguio. "It's Baroque Rococo-inspired, corseted and cinched to achieve that Cinderella waistline. A fairytale and royal wedding indeed!"
The gown is a gift from Ara's younger sisters Heidi Gatmaytan and Cristine Reyes, who wanted to help her achieve her dream gown.
Almodal also praised Ara as a bride easy to work with. "Hazel (Ara's real name) is a great person! Down-to-earth, kind and very professional. It was her idea and her dream. My job is to bring her vision to life, like a fairy Godfather listening to a princess who is becoming a queen in her own right. It is a pleasure and privilege to work with her!"
Ara's six-year-old daughter, Mandy, was also the center of attention looking like a mini-me of her mother with an almost identical gown.
The entourage and guests included Sunshine Cruz and her beau and Ara's brother Macky Mathay, Diego Loyzaga and girlfriend Barbie Imperial, Jan Marini, Melissa Ricks, Jenny Miller, Jose Sarasola, and Miss Grand International 2020 first runner-up Samantha Bernardo.
All broke into applause as Mr. and Mrs. Almarinez kissed after their wedding.
Among the wedding sponsors were former Senate President Mannny Villar Jr. and wife, Senator Cynthia Villar; Senators Christopher Go, Richard Gordon, Ralph Recto and wife Lipa Congresswoman Vilma Santos-Recto; Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Glicerio Santos Jr., Dioceldo Sy,.M Atty. Roy Almoro, Reality Films producer Dondon Monteverde, Viva Films producer Vic del Rosario Jr., Dr. Milagros Ong-How, ABS-CBN COO for broadcast Cory Vidanes, San Pedro Laguna Mayor Lourdes Cataquiz, Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan, Robina Gokongwei-Pe, TV executive Redgie Magno, Emelda Teng, and Jocelyn Lim Chiong.
Almarinez, an undersecretary of the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) Undersecretary, proposed to Ara last January 2021 nearly three years after they became a romantic item.
In his latest post on his Instagram account, Almarinez declared there are only two times he wants to be with his wife — "now and forever!"