Alyssa & Indoi

Indoi and I were together for 12 years before we finally tied the knot. We have been classmates since grade school, were teased in our senior year of high school and finally became boyfriend and girlfriend in college despite going to separate schools. Even as college kids, we would dream of the future.We always fantasize about our wedding as well.

I always wanted a garden wedding but changed my mind when I saw the 90’s movie ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’. Robin Hood was married in a forest clearing and I thought it was very pretty. I talked about it with Indoi and he agreed that a forest wedding would be nice. This was in the mid 2000s. Yep, we are dreamers!

Fast forward to June 25, 2014. Indoi finally proposed in the country’s surfing capital, Siargao Island. I thought it was pretty sweet that he proposed in the water with us sitting on our surfboards. To commemorate the proposal, we had our engagement in Siargao a few weeks before the wedding.

You would think that we would have started planning our wedding right after the engagement, but no. I am your typical bride to be and was really annoyed by this, haha. Since I am a wedding photographer also, I see weddings everyday so I was really get motivated to make my wedding dreams come true. Indoi, on the other hand, is a network securities engineer and knows zilch on when to start planning. It was only two months before our wedding date of June 25, 2015 that we started preparing for our big day! It was also an advantage that we had an intimate wedding of only 85 guests.We really wanted it small and chose the people that we knew would really be a part of our lives.

Crazy? Yes, because we chose to have a destination wedding in my province of Baler, Aurora. Baler is the birthplace of Philippine surfing thanks to the American movie, ‘Apocalypse’. It is a five to six hour drive from Manila where we are based. I consider it to be my favourite place in the world. It’s a good thing I am in the wedding industry because if I wasn’t, this two month prep would have been impossible! It was quite easy because I knew who to book already. I also had to travel back and forth between Manila and Baler so that was a bit tiring.

Our wedding preparations started out at Costa Pacifica Hotel. It was pretty fun because I was surrounded by wedding industry friends. It was just weird that they were working and I wasn’t.  Just an FYI, it is very important to get an excellent coordinator. They make or break your wedding!














Our forest ceremony was held at Dicasalarin Cove, a private beach resort. I had been a pretty relaxed bride because I chose to let the coordinators do their thing. Yet, en route to the ceremony, I started having butterflies in my tummy. I guess no matter how relaxed you are, you will still get that. It finally started subsiding when I was walking down the aisle. Lo and behold, Indoi was crying. I believe that was the first time his relatives saw him cry. Definitely a highlight.








On a personal note, my grandmother officiated our wedding and whilst I was listening to her, I was admiring my stylist’s Dave Sandoval‘s work. I loved how he went all out red with the flowers. From my bouquet, bridesmaids’ flowers and the ceremony and reception styling, the flowers and details that he did was just beyond beautiful. He didn’t scrimp on material. He made everything that I envisioned come to life but so much better. The finale of our ceremony was our vows. Vows are important to us because these are spoken promises as witnessed by our loved ones. This is where I finally broke down and cried.










Following the ceremony, it is typical to have cocktails beside the reception area but I did ours differently. Since our reception was outside at Dicasalarin, I felt that it would have been a waste if the guests did not set foot on the beach itself. Thus, I put the cocktails there. The guests’ reactions definitely did not disappoint upon seeing the beach.


Our reception was held at AMCO Beach Resort. I chose this venue because of the beautiful rock formations meeting the ocean. This time, Dave decided that the floral table arrangements should be a mix of different coloured flowers. He also placed gold plates and candelabras on the tables. I also made him put strings of lights over the reception area so the ceiling  – which was the sky – didn’t look flat.







Two thirds of the way into the reception , it started raining. For some, they would have been disappointed but not me. In a way, I thought it was a blessing because I had an excuse to have our wedding day videos be played at an indoor venue where I do not have to worry about the projector and sound not working. Thus, I ushered everyone back to Costa Pacifica and watched our videos play in a small function room. True enough, our intimate wedding got even more intimate when watching the videos. The reactions of guests while watching the videos were priceless.




Even before I got engaged, I already have two of the most important suppliers worked out. For the photographs, I had to have my boss, Ian Santillan, and our team. It’s an inside joke between Ian and me that he has been preparing for my wedding for five years now (I have been working for him for five and a half years). For the videos, I got a personal favorite of mine, Cinemaworks Wedding Art Film. Marvi de Guzman, the owner, made sure that I  booked him even before I was officially engaged.

I cannot stress enough how blessed I am to be in the industry and have friends in it as well who excel in what they do. They are the reason why our wedding was a success. They went over and above! Would it be too biased to say that I had the wedding of my dreams? Maybe, but I really felt that my husband and I did. Everyone thought so, too. Friend and strangers alike, everyone kept saying “your wedding was so you.” We always wanted to have an intimate wedding that was not entirely traditional.  Even now, I still watch almost everyday the videos as they remind me of how truly blessed we are that we had the wedding of our dreams!

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Alyssa and Indoi; your enchanted forest ceremony with the beautiful flowers was just magical!