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Wedding Essentials celebrates 15 years of being a testament to loving unions

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Text by JOHN LEGASPI

Photos by ALVIN KASIBAN and JANSEN ROMERO

“It is a good story if it’s like the Manila Hotel,” says the literary giant Ernest Hemingway. What happened over the last weekend marked a new chapter in the hotel’s history of good stories and grand celebrations.

Tadhana 2019, an event in partnership with the premier historical hotel of the country, the Manila Hotel, and the country’s premier bridal magazine, Wedding Essentials, made a toast to forever and ever under the roof of the Tent City of the hotel.

Envisioned by three good friends, fashion designer Edwin Tan, Wedding Essentials editor in chief Kitten Zapata, and the hotel’s late events director Natalie Ramirez, Tadhana aims to bring the grandeur and elegance of Filipino weddings back to the marbled floors and grand halls of the Manila Hotel. It has since become the most sought-after wedding event every year.

 

TO FOREVER AFTERS BFWP creative director Janno Novenario, fashion designers Pat Santos, Albert Andrada, Val Taguba, and Wedding Essentials editor in chief Kitten Zapata

TO FOREVER AFTERS BFWP creative director Janno Novenario, fashion designers Pat Santos, Albert Andrada, Val Taguba, and Wedding Essentials editor in chief Kitten Zapata

Now in its fourth year, Tadhana 2019 was extra special in celebration of the magazine’s 15th anniversary. The bridal magazine launched another title focused on the gentlemen, Wedding Essential Grooms. It will be also be spearheaded by editor in chief Rey Ilagan, with the first issue expected to come out in the summer of 2020.

Another first for Wedding Essentials is the inauguration of Bridal Fashion Week Philippines (BFWP), showcasing bridal couture fashion and Filipino craftsmanship. For its first run, BFWP invited three of the top couturiers of the country: Pat Santos, Albert Andrada, and Val Taguba.

Wedding Essentials is known for featuring real-life couples on their journey to being one, making the magazine a chronicle of love and how essential wedding is to life and Filipino culture.

Kitten was in tears when the video montage of past magazine covers was shown during the two-day event. Wedding Essentials, best known for featuring real-life couples on their journey to unity, has turned the magazine into a chronicle of love and how essential wedding is to life and Filipino culture.

“We are blessed that Wedding Essentials has been there, giving inspiration and aspiration to all soon-to-weds,” said Kitten. “With the support of the Manila Bulletin, my publisher who believes in us and what we can do, Wedding Essentials will not go anywhere but up.”

For a decade and a half of being the style bible for marriage, Wedding Essentials has featured the best of bespoke fashion on its covers and glossy pages that are worthy of wedding fantasies.

THE NEW DAPPER

To kick off the launch of Wedding Essentials Grooms, a runway show full of dapper and tailored suits were displayed at the hotel’s Tap Room. Presenting their suit collections were designers Rau Ablaza Uson, Ryan Chris, and Rafael Gonzales. Chris stuck to the classic style with clean lines and neutral shades of black, gray, and deep navy. Uson explored colors from fiery red to pastel blues. Mirroring the warm tones of the Tap Room was Gonzales’ collection, featuring asymmetrical details, stripe pants, and elegant cutouts that soften his tailored pieces.

Ryan Chris

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Rau Ablaza Uson

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Rafael Gonzales

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EVERY KIND OF BRIDE

Tadhana 2019 was also about dressing every kind of Filipina bride. This year, it featured up-and-coming and seasoned designers who are on a mission to dress the traditional and the unconventional kind. Chynna Mamamwal explored the seductive persona of a bride with her use of sheers and corsetry. Julianne Syjuco went for the roaring 1920s aesthetic with fringes and textures dominating her runway show. Patty Valle went for vintage elegance with her billowy sleeves and 1980s silhouettes. Ending the show was Amir Sali with models donning floral wreaths and couture pieces with beadings mimicking delicate feathers, romantic vines, and ruffles of varying sizes.

Chynna Mamamwal

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Julianne Syjuco

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Patty Valle

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Amir Sali

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WEDDED IN COUTURE

Pat Santos went for gold with supermodel Marina Benipayo opening her show in a golden lamé ensemble, followed by models in flounced dresses, men in brocade tuxedos, and white ball gowns dotted with floral beading. Albert Andrada went for the timeless elegance of Filipino traditional dressing, showcasing terno-inspired wedding dresses and a mash-up of Pinoy barong and the western suit on the runway. Closing the show was Val Taguba with his couture pieces for the bold bride, from a black and red ombre dress to white dresses in odd proportions.

Pat Santos

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Albert Andrada

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Val Taguba

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Capping the two-night event was a surprise proposal of actor Angelo James Patrimonio to his girlfriend model Jasmine Maierhofer, everyone bearing witness to the couple’s love.

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