March 20, 2020 was the original wedding date set by the couple Angelo Japlos and Iza Gallego, but everything was postponed due to the ECQ imposed on March 12. “We felt devastated when we heard the news that Luzon would be in total lockdown one week before our original wedding date. We were so excited leading up to the wedding, but our hearts dropped when we realized that it wouldn’t push through,” says Iza.
One year of planning for the big day went down the drain. Iza revealed that they did not have time to process their emotions. With the help of their coordinator from Kiss the Girl Events, they spent no delays informing their suppliers and guests about the postponement. She admits, “It felt unreal, like it was a nightmare.”
Third time’s the charm
Hoping that the lockdown would be lifted soon, the couple set their sights on a new wedding date—May 12. But the lockdown was extended again, so they had to lay out their options and choose from there. “Because nothing was sure for the next few days, weeks, and even months, we decided to work with the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) guidelines,” Iza intimated.Their marriage license was also about to expire in the merrymonth of June, so they really had to find a way to get married soon.
The couple had booked Nuestra Senora de la Annunciata Parish, in Old Boso Boso, Antipolo, Rizal for their wedding. “It was a nice change of scenery for our friends and family since most of the weddings were usually done in Tagaytay or Manila,” explains Iza. So when the province of Rizal lowered down their lockdown level to GCQ (general community quarantine), the couple took this chance to push through with their plans. Only one condition was requested by their officiating priest and that was to strictly comply with the IATF safety guidelines.
Simple isn’t always easy
With the lockdown in place and no physical interactions allowed, they had to make do with planning via numerous phone calls and messages. It was challenging and tedious to discuss and agree on the new wedding plans, but they finally agreed on a date, May 30. Another roadblock was figuring out how to travel to Rizal without putting anyone at risk. Iza would be coming from Pasig, while Angelo was from Quezon City. They also made sure to stay updated on the current news and announcements to avoid problems they might encounter that day. Bracing themselves for a busy wedding day, they woke up extra early, just in case they might get stuck in traffic due to multiple checkpoints.
As intimate as it gets
Iza remembers the day so vividly, “It was a peaceful, bright, and sunny day. It felt so surreal when we reached the church, realizing that this was the day that we would be getting married.” The couple followed IATF’s rules on keeping the number of participants at a maximum of 10 people. Their wedding was composed of only eight people: the couple, the priest, their photographer from The Day Dreamer Studios, their hairstylist and makeup artist who is a family friend, and a handful of their immediate family members.
Even though it was an intimate group, Iza still made the effort to add some extra touches with silk flowers from their event stylist House & Wedding by Garry Zari. Observing the social distancing measures, they also wore locally-sourced face masks sewn by Style Ana.
Wearing masks all throughout the wedding ceremony, one wondered if they got to kiss. Iza answers, “No, we opted not to because we felt that it was inappropriate under the circumstances. We will just save it for next year when we can safely and freely celebrate it with our friends and families, and when bigger celebrations will be allowed.”
Lunch followed right after, but only with Iza’s family. They had a separate lunch with Angelo’s family the next day in compliance with the IATF guidelines. “At the end of the day, we’ll all go back to the real meaning of marriage, which is the union of two persons through love and having God as our witness,” says Iza.
She credits this smooth implementation to constant communication with Angelo. “Always communicate with your significant other as you go through your preparations. It is normal to feel sad and anxious about this pandemic, especially when it comes to your wedding, but never forget that you have your family and friends to support you and your future spouse through this endeavor,” she ends.