Recounting the day of his first wedding in four months with more than ten people, celebrity event stylist Teddy Manuel excitedly rang the bell of the house on McKinley Rd. at 5 AM for the set-up call time. Much to his surprise, it was the groom who eagerly opened the gate. Being one of the most in demand wedding stylists in the country, Teddy is no stranger to a spectrum of weddings with its myriad of bespoke requests. Known for his over-the-top productions for superlative weddings, he was equally excited to do this intimate wedding since the pandemic pause last March.

“It’s my first time to do a wedding this ‘big’ since March. I’m just happy because we are restarting and regaining our routines with baby steps. We went through a complete reset the past months during ECQ,” he says. “Now, it’s a restart. It’s like seeing light at the end of the tunnel.” A favorite of couples who dream of spectacular set ups, Teddy’s weddings in 2019 were between 250 pax to a thousand pax. This time, there are only 30 guests. “Designing for a small wedding was not something I thought I would be doing at the start of 2020. But here we are, there is a first time for everything. There is still hope in new beginnings in this new normal.”

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All flowers I used are local flowers bought at Dangwa—azucena, cabbage roses, local hydrangeas, and local roses.

“Our wedding was supposed to be on March 27 and the plan was to move into our new house after the wedding,” Pam Carunungan, the bride, shares. “When the ECQ was announced, we initially decided to move our date to next year or to wait and see what happens after the ECQ. We would check on our move-in ready house every chance we get and would feel a pang of anticipation every time we see it. We could not move in together since we had not gotten married yet.”

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“We were happy, our family was happy, I’m happy we finally did this,” Pam said of her intimate wedding planned in three weeks.

“Several months after, and with rumors that it was going to get worse, we mulled at the thought of a civil wedding at home. With our two lolas and immediate families expected in attendance, we surmised that it would be safe to hold the event at home. So, by late June, we decided to take the plunge and set the date for July 18th. We had  three weeks to plan. Sadly, my grandmother passed away two weeks before the wedding, shares Pam.”

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Pam Carunungan’s family

“A week before our wedding, Sanctuario de San Antonio, my husband’s parish, informed us that the church was going to allow 30% of the capacity, which is 80 people with the transition at the start of the month to GCQ. We didn’t push for the 80 and settled on 30. We had our families, a string quartet at the church, videographer and photographers. We were set.”

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Miguel Montelibano’s family

“It wasn’t the wedding we had initially envisioned and planned for, but we were so happy with our decision. Life is too short. You want grandiose, pero at the end of the day, even if it was intimate, we were all happy. Surrounded and witnessed by our dearest loved ones, we made it happen and that’s all that matters.”

“It was fun,” Miguel Montelibano, the groom said when asked about him ‘helping out’ in the setting up of the reception at their backyard. “I volunteered to set the tables while Teddy and his team did the floral decorations. We started off our married life in our very own home and that made it more heartfelt. It will always be memorable and I knew it would turn out well. It felt like home, because we were home.”

Photos and video by Nice Print Photography (@niceprintphoto)

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