It is often said that your children will always surprise you, and I only realized how true it was when my second son Jason married the love of his life, Nikki Boncan. It truly was a wedding of surprises.
From the moment they got engaged (an almost-fiasco because Jason, in his excitement and nervousness, had forgotten the ring in the car), Jason and Nikki took the helm and started to plan a unique and unforgettable wedding, one that everyone would remember, starting with the date.
As they had gotten officially engaged in December 2010, they immediately scrambled to secure November 11, 2011 (11.11.11) as their wedding day. Despite the intense competition, they miraculously got St. James the Great Parish and Alabang Country Club.
While other couples typically choose colors as the unifying theme for their wedding, Jason and Nikki, both passionate architects, revealed that the triangle was their inspiration. There were triangles everywhere—the logo they made for their wedding, the confetti that fell at the end of their Save-the-Date video, the gowns of the bridesmaids, the table they used at the reception, and the unique steel bouquet that Nikki carried down the aisle.
They also wanted a happy, fiesta vibe, and requested all the guests to wear colorful outfits. Everyone in the entourage had bright turquoise gowns (for the girls) and matching ties (for the boys); I chose a hot pink and orange gown (colors I borrowed from the “Mamma Mia” wedding scene), and I thank Mica Santayana who did both my and my balae Jaqui’s gowns, courtesy of the couple, who refused to let us pay for anything.
Although they kept us in the loop about their plans and progress, Jason and Nikki carefully and efficiently executed all their ideas into a concrete plan. It was almost like they were designing and building an entire architectural project, from the paper to the last nail and pebble. We hardly had to lend a hand because they were accomplishing so many things on their wedding to-do list on their own!
As each day passed and the wedding date loomed closer and closer, the lovebirds showed no signs of stress. Each time I discreetly checked on the wedding preparations, they would surprise me with how much was already done. Pre-nuptial shoot: done. Invitations: sent out. Food tasting: done. Videographers and photographers: booked. They even put up their own wedding website to keep all their guests informed. How efficient can that be? Before I knew it, it was time to walk my excited son down the aisle.
Like I said, the wedding and the reception was full of pleasant surprises. It started with my grandson Jaime Iñigo, the ring bearer, shocking us by walking down the aisle all on his own with a big smile on his face, without any guidance from us. (He was 1 ½ years old.)
After confidently declaring that he wasn’t going to cry, tears fell down Jason’s cheeks when he saw Nikki walking to him. At the reception, the whole entourage was asked to dance in pairs as they entered the ballroom. Shocked as we all were, we all tried to shake our groove things as we stepped in.
In his speech, the best man, my older son Jondi, revealed a tender and never-before-shared moment back in their adolescence, when he and Jason shared a tearful hug before Jason left for an exchange program in Japan. Jason even had a surprise for his new wife, a rendition of “Save the Last Dance for Me” (complete with dance moves). And finally, instead of regular dancing, the reception was all about singing, as Jason and Nikki had prepared a rockeoke experience for all the game guests.
My best surprise was during the wedding ceremony itself. Before Jason kissed his bride, he and Nikki stepped up to the microphone and declared that they had messages for their parents. Jondi handed Jason his trusty iPad and, from there, my son read a touching note he wrote for me and my husband Adrian.
A wedding is supposed to be the big day for the bride and groom, and usually the parents have a quick moment during the reception where they give a speech. But here we were in church, and my son and my new daughter were sharing their spotlight with us, the parents.
I felt deeply moved and honored as I heard Jason say, “Together, you are the best couple I have ever witnessed grow together. The two of you have taught me important values that will continue to be my guiding principles in this new family that I am forming today.”
Of course, it was no surprise that I cried.