The big day is fast approaching! Roughly ten months, our days were consumed by all the preparations both physical and spiritual. We were two very hands-on bride-to-be and groom-to-be. Each requirement was treated as a task under our huge project we call Project: One Fine Day.
Our engagement period was so full of excitement. There was a renewed feeling of truly being alive and lucky to be in love with someone who loves you back. The idea of spending the rest of your life with this one person is both exhilarating and nerve-racking.
Wedding jitters? Excitement, anxiety, worry and fear — all rolled into one. We never knew how this felt until the day before THE big day.
Yollie was his name – our pet fighting fish. He was a wedding gift who almost got lost for two days among the pile of other gifts. He was with us for a brief six months. Our wedding day was scheduled during the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda, thus “Yollie”.
Without disregard to the victims of the strong typhoon, we could consider ourselves fortunate in Manila. Although the gloomy day kept us worrying that it was only getting worse, it didn’t stop us from proceeding with our plans.
A day before the big day, we were about to go home to our respective hometowns so that we would be able to go to Tagaytay with our families. We’ve ensured that everything’s packed and ready to go.
On the morning of November 8, the sky was still gray. I drove to Tagaytay with my parents. Along the way, near the rotunda was the flower shop of our supplier. I dropped off two boxes of flower vases that we’ve spent months on collecting and a day decorating. It was a little place full of flower decorations which seemed like being prepared for an event prior to ours. In a short distance from the flower shop, we picked up Renz, my little brother who was my best man.
At Sonya’s Garden
Tradition goes that the groom-to-be and bride-to-be should avoid seeing each other on the day before the wedding. But we had things to talk about and plans to finalize. There we sat by the long wooden table in the bride’s house (which was also “Ninang” Sonya’s favorite house in the garden) having a board meeting.
All of our immediate families were with us having dinner. Everyone’s already here – both of us thought. We understood and accepted if our relatives and friends wouldn’t make it due to the weather – and we preferred that they didn’t even try to travel lest they’d figure out in an accident.
After our early dinner, we were back sorting out the payments for each supplier – putting the money into envelopes and labeling them. Suddenly, money had become mere pieces of paper – a vehicle to get us through the realities of this event. We were going back and forth with this task and the other – coordinating with suppliers.
Jaycelle was startled when her make-up artist called and asked whether the event was pushing through. She handed me the phone to talk him into renting a boat just to ensure his arrival. On the other hand, our coordinators, photographers and videographers were already booked at a nearby place.
The electricity was powered only by a generator and every time a howling wind came by, the light got interrupted. I kissed Jaycelle goodnight and began to walk back to my room. The typhoon was hammering the trees in the garden – fallen leaves and branches littered the ground. A lamppost that had fallen over – a grisly sight that told me the weather wasn’t going away anytime soon.
My body couldn’t ignore the tiredness of the long day but I wasn’t ready to jump into the cold sheets yet. This was the perfect time to be in the mood to pen my wedding vows to Jaycelle. Although the big winds were battering the windows beside my bed causing dirt from the ceiling to continuously drop on my blanket, the weather was weirdly comforting and the angry sound outside didn’t worry me anymore.
With a bright lamp, my pen and notebook, I traveled in time to answer why I was here a sleep away from tying the knot with Jaycelle. It was already past two when sleepiness hit me. I retired the overworking pen and notebook by the dresser and immediately sank into slumber.
Whether I had a dream or not, I couldn’t remember. I was awaken not by my phone alarm clock but by the tone of text messages coming in – our relatives and friends were all getting ready to witness our union.