While most Filipino families observe birthdays, Christmas reunions and New Year gatherings, a wedding comes only once in a person’s life.
In a predominantly Catholic country such as the Philippines, a wedding is an important milestone that is marked by a grandiose celebration involving families, loved ones and friends. It is one major occasion when clans gather to toast the couple’s union.
There are many places in the country that are associated with things nuptial, such as churches and venues where grand receptions are held.
In Cebu, there is one establishment that has gained a reputation for being popular for bridal events: Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa.
Shangri-La Mactan general manager Marco Vazzoler described it best during the resort’s annual wedding fair, “Of Veils and Trails”: “The Shang is known in Cebu as a special place for celebrations—birthdays, a first kiss, weddings. A wedding is a very important moment in (one’s) life, and that is something we want to create for you. Our experienced team works hard to create something for you to experience.”
Shangri-La Mactan proved it is the ideal venue for bridal events in Cebu by hosting a community wedding for 23 couples from Lapu-Lapu City to enable them to experience this one-in-a-lifetime affair as only the resort organizes it.
The community wedding was a first for Shangri-La Mactan, and it sealed the hotel-resort’s reputation as a place for matrimonial events. It was also the grand finale for this year’s bridal fair.
The brainchild of director for sales and marketing Albert La Fuente, it combined not just the joyous occasion of a wedding, but also the resort’s CSR initiative for the community.
“The resort is heavily involved in CSR with our marine sanctuary and our adopted community in Tingo, an island just right across the resort,” said La Fuente.
With the help of the local Association of Barangay Captains, and under the guidance of the Office of the Mayor, 23 unmarried couples who have been living together for some time were given a chance to formalize their relationships at the community wedding.
The resort opted for 23 couples as a symbol of the 23 years that it has been part of the community of Lapu-Lapu City.
The wedding was held at the resort’s Ocean Pavilion, which was specially decorated with red roses by Pink Flora.
Vazzoler, La Fuente, resident manager Marie-Laure Fleury, and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza stood as principal sponsors for the couples.
Pastor Jaime Luyao officiated the ceremony.
The group Stringed Ensemble serenaded the couples as they exchanged vows, while Metro Jewelry provided all the wedding bands.
Following the ceremony, the hotel hosted a reception at the Mactan Ballroom, styled by Simple Wishes.
The couples received mini individual cakes by Cake Couture and Marissa Unchuan, two of Cebu’s most popular wedding cake providers. Stanz Catalan, one of Cebu’s leading wedding planners, orchestrated the whole event.
The event was supported by partner photographers from Rock Paper Scissors Photography and Light & Shade Photography, while Digital Minds presented a same-day-edit wedding video.
Other partners who supported the community wedding included Gari son and team, SayCheese Photobooth, Happy Living, New Datche, RBJ Events Provider, and Jerks AV Rentals.
“We are privileged that our business allows us to witness and become part of people’s special celebrations. It is our honor to create beautiful lifetime memories with you,” Fleury said as she welcomed the couples during the reception.
This was just the second time Shangri-La Mactan organized a bridal fair. The event showcased the different venues available in the resort, as well as the variety of food and beverage the resort can offer.
It was also a chance for couples to meet with the different suppliers the resort works with in a single venue. It is the vision of Vazzoler to see the fair become a regular offering at the resort.
La Fuente said Shangri-La Mactan can tailor-fit any theme a couple might envision to the venues available at the resort.
“Whether couples wish for a chic yet sophisticated celebration under the stars or an intimate and down-to-earth beach wedding, our indoor and outdoor areas provide ideal venues for intimate commitment ceremonies, renewal of vows or lavish celebrations,” he said.
The hotel has five venues. The Ocean Pavilion is air-conditioned and offers unparalleled views of Mactan Channel, with its floor-to-ceiling glass windows. It is popular for private ceremonies and intimate receptions. The gardens beside the pavilion may also be used for al fresco cocktail receptions.
For those who want a beach reception, a part of the resort’s white sand cove can be cordoned off to accommodate anywhere from 100 to 800 guests.
For a garden ceremony with a view of the beachfront, the Ocean Terraces is popular, especially for late-afternoon and early morning events.
The Mactan Ballroom can accommodate 480 guests. It could be split into four halls for smaller groups.
Those who want more space can opt for the Marquee, which can fit as many as 1,000 guests. Both venues are air-conditioned.
La Fuente said Shangri-La Mactan has gained a reputation as a wedding destination for couples intending to wed out of Manila.
It has also organized private events for foreigners, mostly Japanese and Korean guests, who want to celebrate their wedding at the resort.
For wedding packages,visit www.shangri-la.com/cebu/mactanresort/weddings-celebrations/wedding-packages.