And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
It was May 2015 when Jane and I crossed paths, and since then, love has bloomed like a sunflower field, full of love, faith, and hope. We started to travel to all kinds of places together. We crossed rivers, climb mountains, took planes every now and then, went to places other people could only dream of. It was a whole heck of a great ride.
After 6 years of being a couple with 3 years of being engaged to one another, the time has definitely come for us to become one, as a couple, as part of the world of the married people. This timing has been perfect, as it is God’s will that worked for us.
Jane, who once told me that she doesn’t really expect herself to marry another, chose me to become her husband. That itself was already a blessing given by the grace of God.
ENGAGEMENT & WEDDING DATE PLANNING STORY
We got engaged by 2018. I told my old self, that I will bring my special one to Japan and that will also be the time I will be ready to propose marriage. Japan always had a special place in my heart. One of the few places I will forever go back to for a quick journey, or even live there if fate permits. Hence, I promised myself I will be ready for a step-up of the game called love, marriage.
Originally, we planned to get married on June 20, 2020. That would have been perfect. 20, 20, 20. Our wedding venue, L & J Country Estate, located in Mendez, Cavite.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 happened, and our plan to get married on that date was canceled. Lockdowns have been put in place in every corner of every town. The protocols for safety and security have been most tight. It was really hard to even go out when you don’t have a car.
We even thought of moving it to December, however, that date wouldn’t still be possible. The protocols for COVID still haven’t eased and the resort also needs to get up from the effect of the pandemic. It really wasn’t that easy.
Then came 2021, we decided to push through our wedding plans. It was actually supposed to be June 19, 2021, so it’s still a bit inclined to the original date, but we also have to consider many factors, the resort’s availability, the weather, etc. 19, 20, 21. Great numbers, right?
Finally, we decided to move the wedding date to May 21, 2021. Now the numbers are 21, 20, 21. What does it actually mean?
If we are to look for the meaning based on Angel Numbers 20 & 21. Here they are:
Angel Number 20: Angel number 20 is one of confidence, determination, optimism, and positivity. Its influence goes a long way in making your life better. Angels use this number to show you that life for you is just beginning. You need to start doing things that will benefit you for the longest time possible.
Ange Number 21: Angel Number 21 symbol is forcing you to convince yourself and to make positive assertions regarding your determination to succeed in your ambitions. There is no place for doubt. You should have trust in the Supreme Power who will guide you to attain your ambitions.
I’m not sure if there really is a significance in numbers, but we considered the date (May 21, 2021) so Saturdays can be used to accommodate other guests, and Friday is a weekday so there’d be lesser people. Unfortunately, we also had to limit our guests due to pandemic limitations.
Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. Mark 10:9
L & J Country Estate | Our Wedding Venue
We’ve written about this event & staycation place when we first came here as the experience was really memorable and commendable. The owners were really humble and kind, and generous as well. They offered us to hold our wedding in the resort and we happily accepted it. It was a once-in-a-lifetime offer and wedding planning wasn’t easy so the help they offered was really a great plus.
We’ve been to the place more than the fingers on my hands can count and every experience and visit was such a blessing. This resort holds a special place in both our hearts.
L & J Country Estate was just perfect for us as a venue for our wedding. They’ve been in the business of wedding, catering, and events for long years so their craft, experience, and advice are on an expert level. They know how to do and handle things professionally and their client’s satisfaction is the top priority, except when certain rules are in place and when broken, could deter the resort’s image which we all didn’t want to happen.
Recently, they covered the area where events are mostly held, outside the Leopoldo Pavilion, the garden area. It was decided so whenever events are to be held outside and it happened to rain, the guests are well-shaded and rain-protected. And that particular purpose happened to us.
If you happen to have not visited the resort yet, you can go there for an ocular visit. The photos here won’t actually justify the beauty of L&J Country Estate so it would be better if you can visit the area yourselves and I’m sure it’ll also be a great experience.
Fresh air, cool breeze, farm views, and lush greens await when you visit & stay at L&J Country Estate.
WEDDING PREPARATIONS | A SHORT STORY
Jane and I decided to do DIY (Do-It-Yourself) wedding preparations. So we didn’t hire a wedding coordinator to help lessen our wedding expenses. We both coordinated everything and went to gather stuff ourselves and it was a great decision. Tiring, but fun. And if we were able to do it, then you can do too.
From the invitations (virtual & physical) to principal sponsors gifts, to souvenirs, the program, etc., We made it work with a little help from our dear friends, my Best Man (Emil), my brothers (Bernard, Jervie, Jayvee), Pastor Bernard Pinile (our officiating minister), Raven Amandy (our Host/MC), Richie Anne Marfil (our HMUA), my mother-in-law (Mama Edna), Tita Ellen Destacamento (for the gowns), Tita Erline Destacamento (for a share on wedding cake), my Mama and Papa for the food, and others. I’ll make a list later of our suppliers and sponsors.
We were also able to lessen a huge chunk of expenses since most of our major expenses were sponsored by family and friends. Wedding expenses sure are massive, but with their help, we managed to get by.
We also asked our venue, L&J Country Estate, to do just a rustic, white, minimalist garden wedding setup, so the design is at their disposal. And believe me, the venue for the ceremony & reception was far greater than what we expected. What makes a venue better? THE SERVICES. And L&J delivered more than what we asked for.
WEDDING CEREMONY SET-UP AND EXPERIENCE
Our wedding ceremony was held just outside the reception area (Leopoldo Pavillion), the garden. Even when the sky and weather weren’t the finest, the wedding we had was still the greatest. Thank you L&J Country Estate!
With an isle of dashing white and guest chairs as beautiful as white roses, and with a chair for the couple that’s comfy & lovely, altogether with the center altar as white as the curtain drops. It was a dreamy moment for us, the newlyweds, and our guests.
Here’s a little story about the date. We decided to go for May 21, 2021, because we knew June would be the start of the rainy season and we surely didn’t want to rain on our wedding day.
However, things didn’t work out as we wanted and planned. Our ceremony is supposed to start at 4:00 PM. Here’s what happened.
By 12:00 PM, it started to get really hot and humid.
By 1:30 PM, the sky started to change from light to dark.
By 2:00 PM, it started drizzling.
By 3:00 PM, it started to rain heavily. Like it’s raining cats and dogs. There was a storm.
By 4:00 PM, when we are supposed to start, the rain won’t stop so we asked our Officiating Minister to wait for a bit until the rain stops falling but to no avail.
By 4:15 PM, the power went out on this area of the resort. So we again asked our officiating minister to at least wait for a bit until the power comes back on.
By 4:30 PM, the power still hasn’t come back so we had no other choice but to start, even without music, even without lights as it is already getting dark. Our officiating minister suggested we already start so because the rain also stopped for a while.
We only added music on the video but there was no actual music during the entourage.
Our entourage walked without the sound of music and what I only did was take my phone out and open the Spotify app to at least create a little bit of sound ambiance from when they are walking. The rain started pouring heavily again.
The bride is about to enter but the power is still out so I changed the song from my phone to the bridal walk music it was supposed to have. Even with just the phone speaker, it let me experienced what I imagined. My tears were already on the side of my eyes, I almost cried. No, I cried an actual bit but not that much because of the lack of music.
Since there was no loud speaker, not even a portable one (and the power is still out), the experience was not the greatest but still the best. Without music, entourage walk is a bit lacking but not bad. Music adds ambiance and more feels but on that day, a power outage came about exactly when we were about to start.
Our Officiating Minister started the rites speaking from the depth of his lungs (which wasn’t a problem because he’s also a teacher) so everyone can at least hear what he’s saying. He was really awesome. I thank God for He directed us to him.
A few minutes later, during the opening rites of the minister, a generator is being powered on. Then the speaker from the lights and sounds company started. What a huge sign of relief it was to see lights around and get a microphone and speaker to work. The management really worked above and beyond to relay their promise of good service.
And so the ceremony went on smoothly, with an abundance of music for a great wedding experience for both me and Jane. Now, Mr. and Mrs. Destacamento!
I think there was originally no power generator at the resort, but the owner went around to look for one. We thank the heavens for He didn’t let us experience a wedding without music and lights. It was such a great blessing indeed. Though the lights were a bit lacking due to the power outage, seeing happy faces with lights on is better than none.
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33
WEDDING RECEPTION SET-UP & EXPERIENCE
After the ceremony and picture taking afterward, surely, everyone was looking forward to the reception.
The reception set-up was beautifully made and executed at Leopoldo Pavillion. Had there been no power outage, the set-up and the whole Pavillion will surely have a better view with all the lights on. The only lights we had that night were powered by the generator. Fantastically, the lights were still sufficient to lit up the event.
As mentioned earlier on the ceremony set-up, we let L&J Country Estate do expertly about the design. White dominance with a few colored accents, a backdrop of white for the newlyweds, some more plants and flowers around, it was actually breathtaking.
Honestly, I wasn’t able to take photos of the reception area myself and I really haven’t seen the pavilion by my own eyes before the ceremony started. So it was all a kind of surprising for me to see that the reception venue we had was almost heaven-made. I also thank the people behind the design & decorations, you all did a great job! And to the people who took photos of the reception area, thank you!
The food, no doubt, was the best. Our guests loved it, how it tasted, and the experience. The servers/waiters were also keen and carefully addresses any concerns each table may have. No doubt, the staff were all well-trained and are totally great at what they do.
We also let L&J Country Estate decide for the food to be served on the table but prior to that, they asked us what we like. We believe that L&J Country Estate will serve the best food they have on the menu and true to their promise, the food was really great! Thank you 100%! We just weren’t able to take great pictures because it’s like everyone was busy especially us.
If I was unable to see the set-up for the venue, so was my bride, Jane. Since the time she woke up, she hasn’t left the room to prepare for the day. I haven’t even seen her after lunch when she’s being put with make-up and wedding gown.
I only saw her face to face on the aisle, during the ceremony. It was gracious, though she walked really fast down the aisle, she was gorgeous, immaculate.
Anyway, even though there was a power outage and the only lights we had were from the light and sounds company powered by the generator, we managed to get through the night with a whole lot of fun and shared wonderful moments with our guests. I can’t imagine a wedding with no music & in total darkness.
So again, we thank L&J Country Estate’s management for giving us a wonderful wedding experience despite the challenges we had to go through that day because of the weather, the heavy rain, and the power outage.
All glory to God for blessing us with challenges that were all conquered through. It was a little mind-excruciating to think about why it happened but we believe that everything happens for a reason. It was God’s will that had it rained all throughout the afternoon, a day pouring with so many blessings. What probably signifies the loss of power, I think it was to provide and find the light to get through the darkness, to get through the night.
Our Wedding Suppliers & Sponsors
Venue & Reception by L & J Country Estate, Mendez, Cavite
Contact: 0927 317 5530 | [email protected]
Hair & Make Up Artist: Richie Anne Marfil
Photo and Video: Docs Photo Digital Photography
Wedding Cake: Celcius Bites
Groom’s Tailored Suit: Victorious Tailoring Shop
Bride & Bridesmaids Gown: Ellen Destacamento
Host/MC: Raven Amandy
Wedding Singer: Irish Kate Famaranco
Officiating Minister: Bishop Bernardo Pinile
Room & Accommodation: L&J Country Estate & ZEN Rooms
Contact (ZEN Rooms): www.zenrooms.com