Dennis & Jess: An Intimate Wedding

The Couple. 7 years. College sweethearts. Jessica Navarro & Dennis Navarro (yes they have the same surname! speaking of meant to be) were already together as seatmates from day 1 of their college life. Having the same surnames, how they met was totally not accidental. The rest as they say is history.

The Proposal. It was during their 7 days Cebu-Bohol vacation with friends that Dennis decided to pop the question formally.

We had already decided on this but i still want to make it official. I decided to give her the ring during our visit to Ogtong Cave, Bantayan Island. I thought it was a good spot since it’s an inland cave so it would be different and Jess wouldn’t suspect of it. To my surprise, the cave was filled with chest deep water so we had to leave our bags along the cave’s opening. I told Jess to go ahead and I intentionally left myself with the bags grabbing the ring and the closest ziploc bag i could grab, placed the ring in the ziploc and stuffed it inside my swimming shorts pocket. The funny thing was I forgot to remove the air from the ziploc so the whole thing kept on floating out of my shorts! I had to constantly hold it in!

And then there was the rock. There was a huge rock beneath a flourescent bulb directly at the center of the cave, I winked at Dave (who was holding the camera at the time) to signal the moment. As we were climbing onto the rock, I positioned myself a bit behind her so she won’t see me getting the whole ziploc out of my pocket. Corny but Jess turned her head earlier as expected. FAIL! haha I was freaking shaking! I took the ring out of the velvet box and asked “Are you sure?”. Jess nodded and was, well – simply Jess – Smiling.”

The Goal. Jessica & Dennis wanted their wedding day to be an intimate celebration that was simple yet personal to them. They only had a few requirements for their special day. “…we wanted it to be on February since its our anniversary month and Dennis had always wanted it to be in Tagaytay because of the cool weather. He also wanted to have a string quartet play and to get a good photographer. Everything else was negotiable. We did a lot of research and just chose what we liked and what we thought would look good“.

The Design. When it came to the look of the wedding, Jessica knew for certain that she wanted black as their main color, and the rest of the decor built around that. WIth the additional touch of white, the design as she put it was “simple, chic & sophisticated“. They created great ambiance by dimming the lights and illuminating the space with candles.

The Look. Jessica looked lovely in a strapless pleated gown, adorned with her button black & white bridal bouquet. Her bridesmaids wore black satin strapless dresses with white ribbons. The groom wanted something formal & classic and opted for a classic tuxedo vest with a white bow while the groomsmen were stylishly put together in black long sleeves with white ties.

To add a bit of pizzaz, Jessica & Dennis wore their signature college shoes. Jessica had her favorite white Keds & Dennis with his black chucks.

The Details. It was indeed a personalized non-traditional wedding- formal with a twist. Every detail was thoughtfully chosen and designed to fit the couple’s style. For the invitations, Jessica & Dennis created their own design (including their monogram) & handcrafted everything themselves. They wanted something elegant and formal that would tie into the look of the reception.

The music for the wedding was another twist. Dennis was a violinist himself so including a string quartet was a must. With a tight budget, the couple decided to have a live performance at the ceremony only. Jessica walked down the aisle to  JJS’ performance of “Canon in D by Pachelbel” picked out by Dennis  for its vintage, soulful vibe. Being fans of alternative music, the reception music was an offering of U2, Goo Goo Dolls,  Oasis, FOB & Paramore but all translated to its classical mood by Vitamin String Quartet (VSQ). It was simply a reflection of Dennis & Jessica mixed together, from their Viva La Vida couple’s entrance to their Iris first couple’s dance (played by VSQ as well).

As guests arrived at the reception, they were welcomed with black & white russian mocktails & chocolate & cream cookies. Dinner tables were topped with black satin linens and damask patterned overlay, as well as varying white paper pom poms & candle centerpieces. Black painted birch trees wired with white tiny flowers in tall glass vases delineated the spaces for the long tables.

Being friends with the couple was a great advantage to offer non-traditional wedding gifts. The church decor was entirely up to friends, so Jessica (to her surprise) walked down the aisle decorated with white pom poms, rose petals & candles to compliment the rustic look of the church. Sparklers were thrown in after the ceremony as the guests sent off the newly-wed couple.

As part of guests souvenirs, Dennis created a tarpauline with their monogram and placed it along the entrance of the reception as a photobooth backdrop. Props were also all black & white – from mardi gras masks, clown hats to fake mustaches – and yes, they are all handcrafted as well!To surprise the couple even further, the best man’s toast was set outside as the “end of the program”. As guests were being served with champagne, fireworks were set-off to end the perfect night.

The Moments. The wedding became an intimate celebration of 70 guests. Almost everybody knew each other. All the details were not just about the couple but it was also an extension of how the wedding came to be with all the help from family & friends.

 

 

Jess: I would have to say that my favorite part of our wedding was the planning. It was stressful but fun at the same time. Seeing everyone come together, it felt great to see all our hard work pay off. Another moment I’d choose would be when we were in the ‘waiting room’ (resting room for the bride & groom before the reception begins). It was a surprise to both of us and it gave us some time to be alone and savor the moment. I actually wished we had a camera with us.

Dennis: The whole wedding was just awesome. The whole plan was like clockwork and went on smoothly, from the preparations to the ceremony, until the reception. Our wedding was set at night, elegant as it is, the sparklers and fireworks made it a blast! Yes, they were really not planned and it took us by surprise! We planned the whole wedding altogether, but our wedding planner (Eliska) added value to the occasion making it modish as well.

The Advice. From the bride: “This is your day, you should have what you want. Within reason of course. But you can be a little selfish. People will understand. They should understand. If they don’t, then maybe you should re-check your guestlist =P

You don’t need to have an extravagant wedding to have a beautiful and perfect one. I can’t say that ours was perfect, but it sure felt pretty damn close. You just need to know what you want and have the creativity and passion for it. What makes your wedding special is all the personal details you put into it. Not just for your guests, but for you as well.

Get a good night’s sleep before the wedding and read the misalette. During my bridal march, all I could think of was that I was so tired and sleepy, hoping that my smile still looked good and didn’t reflect what I was feeling inside. I perked up once the ceremony started but I started sort of panicking when I realized that I never read the misalette (Dennis made the misalette).

So how does it feel to be married?

 

You’ve always seen it in movies when people fall in love, get married and then halfway realized what a huge mistake they have made. As our wedding drew near, I was wondering when I was going to feel any wedding jitters. But I never did.

Getting married helped me reach a higher level of comfort with him than I could ever imagine. Being married to him, I’ve slept so soundly ever since knowing you’ve been by my side (I’ve had sleeping problems before). Even on our first night in our new home with just a sleeping bag & a fan! So I guess what I’m saying is, I find it odd when people say that marrying someone is like taking a leap of faith, since it felt like the most normal thing to do [with Dennis].

How sweet is that!

Congrats Dennis & Jessica! Thank you so much for giving us the honor of being part of your wonderful day! It just proves that simplicity is key to elegance & weddings don’t need to be expensive to be amazing! Just keep the creativity alive!

The Pros.
Photography & Videography: Nice Print Photo (Dennis Mendoza & Hazel)
Ceremony: Transfiguration Chapel, Caleruega
Reception & Catering: Splendido Golf Club
Flowers: RCJC Flowers
Cake: Caroline Pattiserie
Hair & Make-up: Nanette Tan & Rose
Ceremony Music: JJS Ensemble
Bride’s gown: custom made
Bride’s shoes: Sneakers from Keds
Groom’s suit: custom made
Groom’s shoes: Chucks from Converse

 

 

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