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Wedding Day Arrives –More Crazy Stressors


To continue with my last article “Wedding Stressors in the Philippines” the day of the wedding arrived. I was woken early because there were about 10 members of the wedding party in my house and they had to get to the hotel to get makeup, hair done and dressed for the wedding. The wedding was not to start until about 4pm, but every female in the wedding party were to be taken care of by a crew to get their makeup and hair done and get into their dresses. All the males had to get dressed in their tuxedos or Barong (Formal shirt in the Philippines).

At 8am, I was on the road with the first group. After they were unloaded, I returned home. Then at 9am, Elena and the rest piled in. We dropped off everyone at the hotel and I then needed to bring Elena to the mall to have her hair treated before going to have it styled by the crew at the hotel. We bought us lunch, but had to take it to the hotel to eat since Elena needed to get in line for her treatments. Then leaving the mall, we had to stop at bridal shop for the slacks of the ring bearer since they were missing.
Once at the hotel, there was no parking, so after dropping off Elena, I had to find a place to park, which is no easy task in downtown Davao. I was lucky to be allowed to park across from the hotel, half on the curb.

I finally made it up to the hotel sweet to find all the bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents of the wedding party, flower girls, ring bearers, two photographers, one videographer, and crew of three hair and makeup people In the two room sweet. I was so tempted to just drop my jeans in front of everyone and get changed, but finally got three females out of the bathroom to quickly get changed. Then after about two hours of everyone preening, there were all the combinations of everyone to be photographed. We finally got the call to head off to the church. Traffic as always was a disaster but we made it through and got to the church in one piece.

me-and-elenaOnce we arrived, we had to hang out in the parking area since there was another wedding in progress. After they were done, we were rehearsed on the order of entrances, where to stop, where to site and so forth.

Finally, the weeding started and everyone proceeded down the aisle and in place.  I was happily surprised that the ceremony was in English so I could follow and understand what was happening. One nice item was when we stop partially down the aisle to wait for each the bride and groom. The bride is to stop and give “Blessing” to us each by touching the back of her hand on each of our foreheads. As tradition with Janis, she did what we always do, she kiss me on each cheek and forehead and then allowed me to return the same.

After the ceremony, the photographers stepped in and the photos had to be taken.  To shorten the description every combination of parents, bridesmaids, grooms, Ninongs, Ninangs were photographed. The only constant was the new couple and the heat.

Now we needed to get everyone into vehicles to get back to the hotel for the reception. It was rush hour so the streets were clogged with stop and go Jeepneys and other vehicles.  As we got close to the hotel I kept my eyes open for street parking and to my amazement I found a spot a block from the hotel.
The reception room was nicely decorated and I got a chance to chat a bit with some friends as the guests arrived. Then we were seated at the table of honor. Then the MC stated his routine. At an early point, I asked the MC for a few minutes at the mic to give my wishes to the bride and groom since officially I was the father of the groom. This request was ignored.

Dinner was nice and as tradition, even though it was buffet style service for the guests, the table of honor is served. Then was the “dollar dance” where the guests were to come up and “pin” money to the bride and groom. Instead of pinning, they had little envelopes with two-sided tape to tape it to them. Then they did the tossing of the bouquet and the removal of the garter.  A funny tradition here is the single female with the bouquet and the male with the garter have to sit next to each other and the bride and groom behind them. The groom is to kiss his bride on three different places and the guy with the garter after each kiss the girl next to him on the same places. First, he kissed the brides cheek. That went fine. Then on the shoulder, that went fine too. Then the groom kissed the bride on the mid thigh. That brought embarrassments to both, but as troopers, they followed tradition.

Next was the cutting of the cake and the champagne toast. By the time the cake was to be cut and shared to the guests, the waiters had cleared up and had to locate plates to place the cake slices on. By the time that was done, many of the guests had left.

After the reception, I was exhausted and had my bed and pillow on my mind, but no, that was not going to happen. We then had to get all the remaining sections of cake and all the presents to the suite and then watch them opened.

I remember the joke in America couples would get many toasters and blenders. Well we are not in America. Here they received seven rice cookers, six salad bowl sets, three small canister sets, and two each of electric hot water thermoses and clothes irons besides other gifts.

We finally came home for a well-needed night’s sleep. The next morning as I was having my coffee and thinking of the bridge game scheduled at 11am I was informed I had to drive to the hotel and load the car with all the gifts and transport them to the bride and grooms home.

Even with all the stress, deliveries, waiting, heat and more stress, it was a beautiful wedding and reception and I am honored to have been accepted as a surrogate father to my nephew and now proud of being part of their wedding. I love Amar and Janis as my son and daughter-in-law.

If interested, let me know and once we get the photos back from the photographers, I will post and article with a slide show of the best photos.

25 Responses to “Wedding Day Arrives –More Crazy Stressors”

  1. don m. says:

    you clean up very well-bruce. This is the first picture I’ve seen of you where you were not wearing jeans. It looks like it was a very grand time for all. Best wishes to the newly wed and a life time of martial bliss!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. Terence says:


    Congratulations, you made it through in one piece!

    Sounds like you were a real trooper and helped make for a very memorable day for the bride and groom.

    Makes me wonder if I’ll perhaps be able to just sneak off and have a small wedding. Of course, it would be followed by a great Irish wedding party.

    Looks like my arrival in PI is getting pushed ahead a bit and I may make it there as early as February, depending on availability of frequent flier mile seats.

    Keep up the great work; love your blog. Happy holidays to you and yours.


    • Bruce says:

      You need to get used to being used to get things done, but what else do I have to do except play bridge and watch TV.
      If a lady agrees, you can just get married by a Judge. Since you need 2 male and female sponcers at the wedding, we will be available for you, as long as we get invited to the reception.

      I will be happy to finally meet you, especially if you bring a few bottles of Seagrams 7 when you arrive.

      Happy Holidays to you.

  3. Riza says:

    Hi Bruce, been a long time. Elena is really pretty in this photo. I’m surprised you haven’t mentioned anything about wedding traditions like Sukob, among other superstitious beliefs on weddings ^___^. I laughed and identified with you on this post. My uncle had gone through a deal of trouble with his wedding, it was postponed because of Edsa Revolution too!

    BTW. I changed my urls, and I’ll visit again soon!

  4. Steve in Davao says:

    Bruce, sounds just like a typical American wedding. Evidently, we westerners don’t have the market cornered; when it comes to wedding day stressors.
    Sounds like it was a long, hot, tiring, crazy, wonderful day. Congratulations, Father-in-law!
    Congratulations to the Bride and Groom.

  5. Steve in Davao says:

    My name is Steve and if I might offer a little advise.
    You may never be able to afford a bigger, better wedding day like the one you can have here in the Philippines.
    Dollar for dollar, you just can’t beat the prices here. Give the girl a big bash! Have fun, let Bruce be your wedding Planner… sounds like he knows his way around one… Ha-ha!
    Keep it Simple (if such a monster really does exist) and do a smaller wedding, but don’t miss the opportunity to get a real bargain here and do it up right for her. You would be amazed at the low cost opportunities here. Maybe a nice wedding at the Pearl Farm Beach Resort or in her church or one of the local venues.
    I married my wife at a courthouse wedding in the states (mostly to better accommodated our living arraignments.. i.e.. we could not share a home until we married). We live here in Davao now and will have a rededication of our vows on our 10th anniversary. I plan to give her the big wedding she missed. I’ve always felt a little guilty for not doing it better the first time.
    I hope you and your bride have a long and wonder-filled life together. Marrying my lovely Filipina was the smartest and most gratifying thing I have ever done.
    Just something to think about.
    God bless,
    Steve in Davao

  6. Steve in Davao says:

    P/S… an Irish wedding party!!!
    I’d be glad to get dressed up and buy a wedding gift to see an Irish wedding party.
    Once again, good luck!
    Steve in Davao

  7. Steve in Davao says:

    Cool! I’ll help set up chairs for the invite. I might even hit the dance floor with my wife, Weddings Rock!

  8. Vanessa says:

    Talking about wedding stress, my vacation in the Philippines felt like a week. All i did was do wedding preparations and other stuff. It was stressful enough as a bride that i wish i hired someone to do all of it. But then again i’m a cheapo haha. Well, lesson learned.

  9. Evelyn says:

    bruce,nice blog..may i ask how much did they spend for the wedding cake?i have a nephew who would be getting married also next year and they are scouting for wedding cake..tenks bruce…merry christmas to you and to elena..and my best wishes to the new couple..may they live happily ever after…hehehe

  10. Steve in Davao says:

    Soooo true. You did mean at “OUR” age, didn’t you? …Ha-ha!
    Merry Christmas Bruce.

  11. pinaywife says:

    love that photo of you and elena. you sure looked dapper in barong and your wife is just so fab

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