Wedding Wonders and that long travel to the West

8:59 AM

Everybody hopes to have their own fairy tale. Weddings are perhaps the greatest execution of a romantic happy ending. But with the financial cost and the logistic stress among others that come with it, tying the knot these days requires a lot of planning along with extra dosage of patience. 

When one of my closest cousins invited everyone in the family for his wedding, all of us got excited. However, the energy faded after learning that the wedding will not be held in our hometown or anything near for that matter. Almost everyone went silent upon realizing that the venue of the wedding ceremony is 3 islands and 2 seas away. The bulk of my matriarchal family leaves in Ormoc City in Leyte while the wedding was scheduled to be held in Bais City in Negros Oriental. 

All of a sudden the order of priority went from 'what to wear' to 'how much to prepare'. Our parents brought out the calculator first to do the math of the expenses before taking out magazines from the stands to plan for our outfits. This will be chaotic, I thought. 

Photos 1-5: The bride, Sylvia, along with her Maid of Honor, Bridesmaids, and Flower girls with photos of the wedding invitation, the giveaways, a portion of the bridal cake, and the reception setup

I am away from home (as some of my loyal readers might notice) and working here in Manila so I am twice as far to Bais as my relatives in the Visayas. Only that mine is more transport convenient as I can board a plane directly to Dumaguete (the closest city with an airport to Bais) while Ormoc airport is not functional for more over a year now. However, the promise of a fun road trip with the entire family won me over. I booked a Manila-Cebu trip instead so that I can meet them halfway. 

My family's physically-draining trip started in a 4-hour slow-boat ride from Ormoc City, Leyte to Cebu City followed by a 3-hour bus ride from Cebu City to Bato town in South Cebu. From there we boarded into a 45-minute ferry ride from Bato, Cebu to Tampi, Negros Oriental and completed the last stretch with an hour bus ride from Tampi town to Bais City. That was a staggering 9-hour travel for my mom, my 2 sisters (one of them is 3 months pregnant), and my 3 nieces and nephew and a few other aunts. But we did it all to give out a full support to my cousin.

Photos 6-10: The newlyweds, Sylvia and my cousin Nino with their officiating and also singing priest; the bride and the groom with the groom's parents and kin; the opening of the gifts during reception and that traditional 'money' dance; and my nieces surviving a 9-hour 4-leg travel to fulfill their flower girl duties

We arrived in Bais at around 12 noon and went to the bride's residence which thankfully, is just a few blocks away from the bus drop off. The huge house, which served as the guests' quarters, was also the reception of the wedding. 

A few talks with the family and we rested. April 28, 2012 greeted us merrily. The wedding was scheduled 10:00 am but we were curbing our loins as early as 5:00 am. It was fun though; the parents scold while the kids laugh and as usual, everybody had fun during pictorials. 9:30 am and we were already at the San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish, Bais's biggest church. I was up for my usual role for 3 family weddings now, planning for the processional flow of the entourage and making sure everything will become as dramatic as possible. 

Photos 11-16: This blogger as the reception host poses with one-third of the bridal cake and along with my niece Abby while in the middle of some hosting duties; the shores of Bato, Cebu greeted as we are about to island hop to Tampi, Negros Oriental; our tiny fast craft that brought us back from Dumaguete City to Santander, Cebu; my niece Claire in Lilo-an port in Santander; my sister Angeli and cousin Mary Grace rests trying to entertain themselves to disregard the stress of the long travel; and my nieces having a few minutes of fun time as SM City Cebu before going back to Leyte after the wedding

The wedding went on smoothly. So was the reception. It was a quick affair after which we braised ourselves for another long travel on our way home the next day. 

A wedding is not entirely a fairy tale. Writing the program of the mass is already huge work how much more is organizing the whole wedding itself. This made me salute all married couples out there who underwent all the stresses a wedding brings just to show to each other and the people around them a modern day fairy tale. 

Well, wedding planning is just the finishing touch. The biggest step is finding that someone and deciding it's him or her you want to spend the rest of your life with. Sticking out with that someone is for me, the real wedding wonder. 

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