Fila Philippines’ Butch and Cris Albert celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary with a renewal of vows and a grand garden reception in Antonio’s Tagaytay, no less.
Dubbed #Love21BC and directed by Javi Martinez, the posh, pastel-theme event was romantic, magical and exquisite. Antonio’s was turned into a castle of dreams, embraced by blooms arranged by Robert Blancaflor, the flowers flown in from Holland, Ecuador and Germany.
The ceremony was a reminder of how love endures the test of time. Butch and Cris aren’t your ordinary couple. Theirs is a partnership forged by destiny.
“Twenty one is a special number for us,” they said. “Our first residence as a married couple and our current home are both on the 21st floor. Fila’s office, and even its warehouse, have a certain touch of 21. So, for us, we have always looked forward to our 21st wedding anniversary. Call it faith or God’s hand, but we see #Love21BC to be written in the stars.”
The program opened with a serenade by a string quartet from the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra.
Wedding sponsors were Dr. Vicki Belo, Timmy Tan, Helen Ong, José Arnulfo Veloso, Vicky Zubiri, Johnny Litton, Korina Sanchez, Kevin Tan, Alice Eduardo and Ralph Joseph.
Secondary sponsors included Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Sheila Romero and Aivee Teo.
Bridesmaids were Sari Yap, Small Laude, Cristalle Belo Henares, Linda Ley and Len Olbes; and groomsmen, Anton San Diego, Pepper Teehankee and Tim Yap.
Alex Van Hagen was man of honor, and I escorted Cris.
Cris recounted that she married Butch without realizing how important a decision it was. Now, she stood before her husband in a regal Rajo Laurel gown beaming with love and affection.
“There have been times when you and I could have chosen to go without each other, but then over and over you chose me and I have always chosen you,” she said as guests broke into applause. “The reason is simple,” she added, “love above all things.”
In her vow, Cris reaffirmed her choice and destiny, “to be Butch’s angel,” through a surprise song by their lovely daughter, Isabella, and the gorgeous Pops Fernandez, with Homer Flores as music director.
Après the solemn rites, the program continued at the lanai where The Bloomfields performed the couple’s favorite songs.
But #Love21BC came full circle at the Shakespearean banquet, with a ballroom designed like it was lifted from a Baroque painting and classical music from the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra and soprano Myra Meneses.
Dinner started with baked brie and cranberry in puff pastry with herbed arugula salad, followed by sea bass and salmon roulade on cream crustacean reduction and duck leg confit.
A series of champagne toasts for the newly re-wedded couple commenced as close friends and famille gave their blessings to Butch and Cris.
Son Carlo cheered on his “always-in-love” parents, saying they’ve never lost faith in each other through their “21 roller-coaster years.” In his toast, Carlo also dedicated an African proverb lifted from one of his travels: “The buttocks are like a married couple. Through there is constant friction between them, they will still love and live together.”
As the event culminated into an upbeat party to the mix of DJ Funk Avy, Butch and Cris remained a picturesque example of what it means to love and be a blessing to the people around them. No wonder their marriage continues to be bountiful and a source of inspiration for their friends and family.
Curiously, the wedding was one for the books; for one, the entourage danced their way to the altar. Even Cris and I did a shaky, sexy dance as I handed her over to Butch.
But the lasting image of their love shone brighter as the crowd slowly thinned after the party.