We just came back from the best wedding party we’ve ever been to! The event was the Renewal of Vows and Thanksgiving Party of our parents, Fulgencio Rana, Sr. & Perla Capiral-Rana, to celebrate their 40th (ruby) wedding anniversary. We had the perfect weather, the perfect set of wedding suppliers who seamlessly set the mood, guests who came in their Hawaiian outfits ready to party, and most of all, a very happy couple finally getting the kind of wedding they never had.
Papa & Mommy (that’s not a typo, that’s really how we call them!) never had an en grande wedding when they got married 40 years ago. Yet they managed to pay (in full or in part) for the weddings of their five children. So since their 25th anniversary and every five years hence, the family would toy with the idea of having a renewal of vows. On New Year’s Day of 2005, the plans became more concrete, and the ideas and talks became more serious. Aha, this is it! This is the year. finally!
Our Dream Team
Being a wedding photographer, our kuya, Fol Rana, Jr. (www.folrana.com) was automatically put in charge of the photo coverage and portraiture; and us, being in the forefront of WeddingsAtWork.com, were automatically put in the driver’s seat to plan the whole event. Lucky for us, preparing with just six months lead time wasn’t as hard since we already knew who to go to for what. In just a matter of days, we have already decided who will be doing what and by the outcome of yesterday’s event, we surely made all the right choices.
First, we decided on having the event at The Coconut Palace (firstname.lastname@example.org) as this is the venue the guests will most appreciate; outdoor yet elegant, picturesque, and would fit our Luau-theme perfectly. Next we got Josiah’s Catering (www.josiahcatering.com) as Papa, Mommy and their friends love their food already and the company has already been the family’s choice primarily because of their very personalize service with us in every event. What made the look cohesive was the design of the non-traditional invitations we got from Prinsonalities (www.printsonalities.com). The invites set the tone of the celebration which made all the guests indeed come in their best luau get-up. Virginia Cakes (email@example.com) based their design on the invites and what a sight the towering cake was! But that was expected, as Virginia always provided the cakes for all our major events and never failed to wow us. To set the mood with their set & lighting design, we talked to Balay Kandila (www.balaykandila.com) and as soon we did, there came a snowball of ideas that felt like an avalanche already! Plans became bigger and bigger, set-ups became more and more elaborate until we were already too excited and too hooked up with the wedding. Their enthusiasm and heart poured into this wedding was so infectious that what started as a simple party became a Grand event. While in the hotel, Mom was already so impressed with their hand-painted Unity Candle custom-made by Balay. The set-up and styling of the venue was very colorful in the afternoon sun and transformed magically as dusk came. Sound Syndrome (firstname.lastname@example.org) automatically came in as our lights and sounds provider and as the plans grew bigger that the venue would no longer be able to provide the electrical requirement, that we would need a generator. Good thing Glisaz (www.glisaz.com) just informed us that have gensets for rent. Next came Tropical Blooms (www.tropicalblooms.net) to complete the Luau look, they provided every floral bouquet for the entourage, complete with the painstakingly hand-made leis made of leaves draped on the men’s shoulders with the ends dangling in front; it set apart the male entourage from the guests.
The fireworks were one thing we insisted on. We felt the celebration won’t be as grand without the illuminating the sky & the Manila Bay backdrop. Good thing our friends from Dragon Fireworks (www.dragonfireworks.com) are accredited with Coco Palace. The ooh’s and ahh’s the fireworks generated was proof it indeed wouldn’t have been perfect without it.
The only thing that took us the longest finalizing was the production for the Audio Visual Presentation. As we had to go on location for this, Papa, kuya and us had our own opinion on what we want the AVP to be. Threelogy Digital Video (www.threelogy.com) was actually in a bind as we were all pulling them on different directions. Good thing they found a way and were able to make a video that surely pleased us all. We are very proud of this group as they are friends who just recently entered the wedding industry and are steadily gaining ground. We look forward to seeing them make it big.
As we were in the middle of the preparations and actually quite done choosing most of the suppliers, we’ve noticed that our personal to-do list for the big day become more and more complicated for us to handle that we already needed professional event management. Good thing Visions & Ideas (www.visionsandideas.com) came on board just in time and practically saved our lives and sanity. We would definitely be too tired writing this article if they weren’t there during the event. No task was too big or too bothersome for them. Everytime we reach a stump, they would simply say, don’t worry, we will handle it, and really they did! There was nothing we needed that they didn’t have (yes, including Midol!) that it was just like JLo in her movie! Mommy even said she felt like a queen with a personal assistant always on her side to simply wash her hands. Thanks to them we were able to actually enjoy the event without worrying about anything.
It is now hours after the party but still we can picture the whole set-up: tables linens in printed floral design, waiters and waitresses in complete Luau get-ups, long neon flags in bamboo poles waving, the super colorful projector frame that was such a center of attraction, the full orchestra (www.dingmalazoandhisorchestra.com) elevated on platform that resembled a boat with matching lifesavers, the bamboo raft that transported the Rana grandkids from one end of the pool to the other, the special numbers prepared by our brothers, sisters and our kids, the first burst of the fireworks, the smiles as the AVPs were shown, the grand fondant cake, the calla lily bridal bouquet, the yummy chocolate fountain, the unending servings of food, and the endless congratulations of we got from both guests and wedding suppliers for such a great wedding and finally seeing the happiness of our dear parents who finally got their wedding and so much more!
Our special thanks to the Carmelite sisters of Lipa and the cloistered nuns of Santa Clara who helped us in praying for a rain-free day. Call it a miracle but it really didn’t rain that day despite the consistent afternoon showers throughout the week. Mommy said, if prayers can move mountains, what more if it’s just rain. It also helped that Papa, who from the start never doubted that it would be a sunny day, was unwavering even during the eve of the wedding despite the really loud downpour and wind we heard from the balcony of the bridal suite in Westin. The blessings were just too great we knew that God has a hand in making it all happen.
Papa & Mommy, we are so happy we had a hand in making all this possible for you. Here’s wishing you 40 more years of good health and togetherness. We love you! Cheers!