Adventure of a Lifetime: Gabriel and Lorma Wedding Day Prep

June 8, 2019








Photo/Video: FlipFat Studio; Bride’s Hair and Makeup: Makeup by Krizia Guevara; Groom: Dapper Groom; Wedding Coordinator: Liz Soliva of Thirty One Events; Venue: The Manor; Couturier: Atelier Debbie Co; Barong: Exclusively His; Rings: Sep Vergara Fine Jewelry


Adventure of a Lifetime: Gabriel and Lorma (Preparations)

When Gabriel first mentioned marriage to me, we were hundreds of kilometers away from each other and we were just six months into the relationship.

At first, I thought he was just toying with the idea. But he was dead serious. Three months later, we began our preparations.

Ceremony and Reception Venues

We first considered San Juan, La Union as our venue. Gabriel visited various churches and reception venues, but none felt right. We decided to have the wedding in Baguio instead since weather is nicer and there were more hotel options for guests. By January 2018, we already had our ceremony and reception venues booked: St. Ignatius of Loyola in PMA and 19th T of The Forest Lodge at Camp John Hay.


Early Wedding Gifts

Among the first people to hear about our wedding plans were my friends abroad. When I visited the Bay Area in California in June 2018, my friend Lalaine, gave we a valuable gift that helped throughout our planning:

When Lalaine and I visited Jasmine in LA, they surprised me with gown fitting at Panache Bridal Salon in Pasadena. I tried at least 5 gowns. The one I liked the most was a Rosa Clara gown. I almost bought it.

Before I left the US, I also ordered my first item for the wedding: a personalized table napkin.


Wedding Suppliers

Next is selecting the couturier for my bridal gown and bridal entourage. I decided to go with Debbie Co since one of my friends had her before and I was a bridesmaid. We chose mauve as color motif for the entourage.

We got our wedding coordinator and event stylist and florist next. Thanks to my Maid-of-Honor, Lizbeth, we were able to book the best in Baguio – Ms. Liz Soliva and Thirty One Events. We decided on a rustic theme to go with the design at Forest Lodge.

Upon our coordinator’s recommendation, we got Reinforcement for lights and sounds, Krizia Guevara and Dapper Groom for hair and makeup, Glyco Sweetshop for our cake, Jaime Yaneza as event host, Music of the Heart for music and entertainment, Happy Bunny for photobooth and Robin Tan for our bridal car.


Our Photo and Video supplier was an easy decision for Gabriel. We chose FlipFat Studio which is owned by Gabriel’s friend and neighbor.

For the rest of the suppliers, we went to Bridal Fairs in the metro to find them.

Wedding Checklist

To help with our wedding planning, I downloaded a checklist from SheKnows.

I just modified it as needed.

Wedding Checklist

Letting Everyone Know

By December 2018, we were ready to let everyone know.

We distributed our Save The Date cards to our families right after Christmas. Thanks to my dear friend, Chinky, who made the cards for free.

Including our invitations to would be entourage.

Lastly, I created a website to let our family and close friends know:


Coron, Palawan 2017

My third trip to Coron is a bit remarkable compared to my other trips.

Since I had folks visiting from the US, we stayed at a more decent place, Busuanga Bay Lodge (I usually stay at boutique hotels that are less pricey 😊). This place was established in 2013 by its Canadian owner and his Filipino  partners. They picked a great part of the island with an amazing view.

We had this part of the property to ourselves, that’s our room at the corner.

All rooms have a view of the bay. We got one right by the shore.

Instead of the usual island hopping trips, we took the recommended trips by the hotel which only included three stops – Lusong Gun Boat (ship wreck from WWII), Coral Garden and South Cay Island.

We rode an outrigger boat to the islands

We snorkled about a mile of lavish coral reef with plenty of fishes with varying sizes and colors. Too bad I was not able to bring my underwater camera with me.

South Cay Island was exclusive to guests of Busuanga Bay Lodge. We were lucky to be the only guests at the island the entire Saturday afternoon. It was such a wonderful experience to be on a beautiful island by yourself. There were some rainshowers throughout our stay but it was enough to cool the place down from the hot and very humid weather.

We had a view of the other beautiful islands around South Cay

Apart from the new sights and places, the most remarkable about this trip is being able to experience it with someone special. Thanks, Gabriel, for being with me on this trip ❤


At this moment, there are 6,470,818,671 people in the world. Some are running scared. Some are coming home. Some tell lies to make it through the day. Others are just now facing the truth. Some are evil men, that war with good. And some are good, struggling with evil. 6 billion people in the world. 6 billion souls. And sometimes, all you need is one.

Sometimes, when youre young, you think nothing can hurt you. It’s like being invincible. Your whole life is ahead of you and you have big plans. Big plans. To find your perfect match. The one that completes you. But as you get older, you realize its not always that easy. It’s not until the end of your life that you realize the plans you made were simply plans. Because at the end when youre looking back instead of forward, you want to believe you made the most of what life gave you. You want to believe youre leaving something good behind. You want it all to have mattered…

– From One Tree Hill.

Lalaine and Russ: A Beautiful Wedding in Napa (Oct 2012)

Getting There

I arrived in Pleasanton the day before from my week-long trip in New York. As soon as Jazel arrived from Seattle, she picked me up at my hotel, we had a quick lunch at Stoneridge Mall, then headed out to Napa in time for the 4:00 PM wedding rehearsal. We can’t be late or else the beautiful bride will not be happy 🙂 We had a fun ride catching up on things. Well, I did not have much to share, not much has happened to me. Jazel had more exciting things to share that I cannot share here (nor with anyone else… haha, nang-intriga pa) 😉



The Venue

Beautiful, isn’t it?



Mother and daughter walking down the aisle during rehearsal while Russ’ parents look on. Beautiful moment 🙂

Dinner with the family, close friends and entourage

After the rehearsal, the group went to this elegant Italian restaurant. Shared stories with old and new friends.


Russ thanking family and friends. Sorry, Russ I missed the beginning of your speech.
Jessica. Russ’ beautiful sister.
Listening intently to Jessica.

Bridal Shower

After dinner, Elaine suggested that we give Lalaine a bridal shower since many of us are from far away places (Jasmine from LA, Jazel from Washington, Aileen from Virginia, and me from the Philippines) and could not get together  weeks before. We decided to meet at Crush (and we got lost going there, haha!)


Hello, sexy ladies!
The bride with her bling!
Lalaine and her beautiful girls!!! Me, Marie, Lalaine, Grace, Jazel, Elaine, Jasmine

Pictorial before the Ceremony

Beautiful gown!
The beautiful bride and her flower girls
Katelyn. Love her smile and beautiful curls!
Hi Lalaine! Luv ya!
With the mother of the bride. Kanino pa ba magmamana ng kagandahan!
Love this! Miss you girls!

At the Ceremony

Could not take pictures, but snuck this one 🙂

Aunt Elsa: Take care of Lalaine, Russ! Walang solian!


Lalaine and Russ ❤

Pictorial again after the Ceremony.

We tried to catch some of the light. Had a hard time going up and down the hill in my 3-inch heels. Well, Lalaine had a much harder time in her 4-inch heels! I should not be complaining.


Jasmine did my curls, Aileen did Jazel’s, Jasmine did hers, Aileen did hers. I wish I can style my own hair!





Lalaine with brothers Ryan and Rommel
Great idea, Lalaine! Keep the kids busy so they won’t get bored 😉
Hey, Russ. I’m taking Jack’s picture.


First dance as man and wife ❤
Cheers! I wish both of you lots of happiness and beautiful kids 😉


Change in outfit. Love the dress!
Change in outfit. Love the dress!



What we did before going to Meritage for the preparations for the wedding.

Jazel, Aileen and I took a walk around the area and took some silly pictures, haha! We decided we need some exercise!!!

Hot air balloons in the distance







When love beckons to you, follow him,

Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,

Though the sword  hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks to you believe in him,

Though his voice  may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

He threshes you to make you naked.

He sifts you  to free you from your husks.

He grinds you until you are pliant;

And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge becomes the fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace  and love’s pleasure,

Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out love’s threshing floor,

Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not  all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;

For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you shall not say, “God is in my heart, ” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”

And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; 

To rest at noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;

To return home at eventide with gratitude;

And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

– The Prophet,  Kahlil Gibran