From the Bride... There are so many words to describe what we wanted our wedding day to be like, how we wanted it to feel, and most importantly how we wanted to remember it. I think back to the early days of our engagement, describing how we envisioned our wedding to family, friends, and vendors and the same words always came out of my mouth - personal, timeless, and fun! After a year of planning with my mom, our day came and exceeded our expectations. If I had to describe it in one word (Really one phrase!), I would say it was "Simply magic!"
Knowles Memorial Chapel at Rollins College is beyond gorgeous and was the perfect backdrop for our traditional Catholic mass. It's nestled in the heart of Winter Park, Florida where I grew up and is a breathe of fresh air, especially since most people think Orlando revolves around Disney! Walking down the Chapel’s aisle with my dad to Mike is one of my favorite memories of the day.
I'm Filipino and to honor my heritage, we incorporated the symbolic traditions that take place during a Filipino wedding - Sponsors, the blessing and giving of the Arrhae (13 gold coins), and the Veil and Cord ceremony. These traditions have taken place at the weddings in my family for generations, so it was important for me to honor my family and to introduce Mike's family and our friends to something they have never experienced. We carefully selected the music and readings for our mass – some hymns were childhood favorites and our readings really spoke to the ideals of love and marriage.
We chose the Orlando Museum of Art as our reception venue for a few of reasons. Whenever we travel to a new city, Mike and I make a point to visit the art museum. It's a special "tradition" for us, so it seemed quite fitting! We wanted a venue that our guests could really enjoy; having the whole museum to ourselves, they were able to walk the grounds and view the exhibits. Finally, we wanted a place that we could come back to, even for years and years to come. We literally utilized the entire Museum for our reception. A refreshment reception took place in the Sculpture Plaza for guests who arrived early. Cocktail hour was in the Grand Gallery, whose focal point is a floor to ceiling Chihuly sculpture. Our dinner and reception took place in the Museum’s Rotunda and meeting rooms.
Many of my favorite elements of our reception were the fun, personal touches. We purchased our invitations and monogram from Betsy White and used our monogram on all of our DIY projects – info frames, seating chart, table numbers, place cards and the dinner menus. It was a great way to tie our guest’s first impression of our wedding and our wedding day. We had our favorite lawn games, washers and cornhole, laid out in the Sculpture Plaza for guests to enjoy – my brother surprised us by having our monogram made for the cornhole boards.
Obviously another favorite element was my dress! I actually found my dream dress while reading a wedding fashion post on Style Me Pretty. (If that wasn’t luck enough, we hired the event stylist of that photo shoot as our day of coordinator! And we also found our amazing photographer on SMP too!) Just by sight, I knew it was the one and when I finally tried it on, I was in love! My veil was custom made of lace, tulle, pearls and crystal. My mom has a wedding portrait of her parents at home, and my veil is reminiscent of my grandmother’s. My mom lent me her diamond tennis bracelet, given to her by my paternal grandmother, as my something borrowed. To have my veil and to be able to wear that bracelet was so special since both my grandmother’s had passed. It was my little tribute to such great women and was my way of having them present.
When our reception came to a close, we rode off in our trolley with family and friends and I was so grateful for a picture perfect day. No amount of planning could prepare us for how special and how wonderful every second of our day was! I remember when Mike and I gave a small speech to our guests; I said, “Today is a beautiful memory we will have forever. We are so happy that it’s a memory that we can share with you.” It’s such a true statement and we could not be happier that our wedding was perfectly us!
Wedding Photography: Sharon Clark of Smitten Photography / Floral Design: Ken Rosen of Encore Décor / Event Coordinator: Brittany Sobering of Tickled Pink Brides / Floral & Event Design: Designer Events by Suzanne Nichols / Wedding Ceremony Location: Knowles Memorial Chapel (Rollins College) / Wedding Reception Location: Orlando Museum of Art / Catering: Arthur's Catering / Cupcakes: Sweet! By Good Golly Miss Holly / DJ: Soundwave Entertainment Systems / Draping: Quest Drape / Lighting: PTE Productions / Hair & Makeup: LeJeune Hair & Makeup Artistry / Wedding Dress: Marisa / Bride's Veil: Custom / Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka