Nearly two years ago, when blogging is more and more popular here in the Philippines to the point that there were a lot of blogging groups on Facebook, Marjorie messaged me asking if I was related to Debbie Slaton. Turned out, my comment on one of the messages on a Facebook group caught her attention because of my surname. Responding to her messages, I found out aunt Debbie (my dad's cousin) is a common connection we had, and when we first met personally, we traced the connection and found out that her mom is also one of my late father's cousins...making us second degree cousins. She quickly became a good friend of mine and we often meet during events.
It was a surprise to me when Jonel and Marjorie came out in the open. I knew then that Marjorie was talking about heart concerns, but it didn't occur to me that it was Jonel he was talking about (I thought all along it was another friend of ours). Though a surprise, I was very happy that she and Jonel found each other.
Just a little over a year of dating, they announced their engagement and last Sunday, they got married at the Oasis Garden in Quezon City. As two bloggers who has a lot of blogger friends, they weren't able to invite many as they wanted the celebration small and sweet - attended only by family and close friends.
Officiating pastor was Jeff Aspacio, also a blogger (along with her wife Jen). It was my first time to attend a Christian wedding, and I can't help but compare it with the Catholic weddings I have attended in the past. I loved the ceremony for everything was detailed and well explained.
Biggest difference would be the exchange of vows. In the Catholic weddings I attended, the couple just normally repeats what the priest would say ("for better or for worse..."), but the couples don't have specific vow to exchange. I do hope in the future Catholic weddings would have that.
Things I loved and learned about the Marjonel (a monicker the blogging community gave them) wedding:
- The pastor telling Jonel that his role is to be a leader, Marjorie's role is to be submissive to her husband...without losing their own personalities. The couple need not worry about their better half's role, they have to concentrate on their own roles, while maintaining who they are as a person.
- Religion per se is not that important, the important thing is a person's relationship with his own God.
- The couple giving their parents a token as well as their own personal message to them.
- The couple's vow to each other.... more specifically, Jonel telling Marjorie something like, "When we entered the relationship, we faced monstrous problems... but I vow to love you as equally monstrous as the problems we faced and about to face."
- The couple lighting the candle of unity.
- The smooth flow of the whole ceremony - the way coordinators communicate with each other without distracting the attendees that much.
I wasn't part of the entourage, but I was part of the ceremony as one of the singers *clears throat*. Last December, during the Max's Restaurant Christmas Party, there was a videoke party and I was the third place winner. I admit I don't have a great voice and my stage fright causes my voice to be shaky and off tune, but still, they asked me to sing on their wedding. At first, they wanted me to sing "Runaway" by the Corrs as their bridal march theme, but last week, Marjorie asked if I could sing Martina McBride's "My Valentine" during the signing of the wedding contract. Like I said, my stage fright caused my voice to go off key, and I would like to apologize for that. I guess I will always be the shower singer. Hahaha.
Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Jonel Uy.
Who knew that one of the first bloggers I met would marry one of my cousins nearly five years after? In 2011, Jonel organized the Mt. Pinatubo trek - one of the toughest and most unforgettable moments of my life. That day, my weight and my lack of stamina brought me down...causing me to be two hours behind the team, yet Jonel (and the tour guide) stayed with me and gave me the much needed strength to carry on with the 10KM treacherous trek. He presented a good sense of leadership that time, as even if the tour guide asked him to go and be with the rest of the team, Jonel decided to stay with me as part of his role as a leader was to make sure no one gets left behind. Now that he is married to my cousin, I don't feel the need to ask him to take care of Marjorie, as I know he surely will.
Their reception... I loved, too! I loved that they did the important ceremonies - first dance, wine toast and cake slicing - even before food were served. Typically, reception starts with the meal first and the ceremonies were done during or after the meal. With this setup, sometimes there were guests who would start leaving, but because they went to do the ceremonies before the meal, every guest were there to witness it.
Food? Overflowing! I love all the selections they made, but my favorite would have to be the Chicken Alexander. Desserts were abundant, too!
At the event, sister and I got to meet other relatives as well. I admit, I don't know some of dad's relatives, but thanks to blogging and Facebook, I got to meet them.
To Jonel and Marjorie, I pray that your life be blessed with so much love. I look forward in seeing little Marjonels in the future.