I love weddings, not only because they remind me of my own, but because I get to witness couples step into a new stage of commitment. And well, yes, I look forward to the bridal fashion.
But I felt particularly excited about Christian Concepcion and Olivia Jacinto’s marriage last March. For one, it was the first wedding of a nephew, as Marissa, the mother of the groom, is my second cousin. The two have been together for 10 years—nine as an official couple—and Christian decided he wanted to marry her back in January 2015.
It was such a beautifully organized wedding, and extremely fun! All the guests ended up on the dance floor, and it was impossible to settle down due to the excitement. I asked Marissa, who helped the couple through most of the preparations, about Christian and Olivia’s big day.
How did Christian propose to Olivia?
He wanted to propose in a place that meant something to both of them, so they chose Halfmoon Bay in San Francisco. He asked his sisters to set up a picnic by the beach with a beach mat, lamp, a bucket of champagne, a cheese platter with her favorite snacks, candies, and other things that she would be happy with.
Many people stopped by asking what it was for, and took photos. His sisters hid among the trees. Meanwhile, Christian was calling Olivia’s parents to ask for their blessing. Then the two drove to Halfmoon Bay. When she saw it, she said, “Wow, what a nice picnic scene.” Little did she know it was theirs.
She started taking photos of the beach and singing her favorite song. And as she turned around, Christian was on his knees. She was so shocked, she burst into tears. He presented her with the ring when she answered him.
How did Olivia pick her gown?
We were shopping for her gown in Hawaii and San Francisco. In the end, she found the perfect design she wanted—a classic Rosa Clara caught her eye. But she wore a different gown with a tulle skirt in church. She wore the blue gown for her dance at the reception.
How about the groom’s tuxedo?
Christian’s tuxedo was created by Gian Romano. Thanks to you, Ria, for helping me go to the right designer! He’s so easy to work with. Christian was confident.
Tell me about the menu.
We met with the chefs at Shangri-La. At our first meeting, I asked them to please create something unusual, and they did create something great for the occasion. I requested something they’ve not done, an olive oil sorbet. But the chef even went beyond to add a basil panna cotta base. It was excellent! When the chef came out with the seafood dish—seafood in a jar—I was convinced. The presentation was something I had not encountered in any wedding yet. The experience of opening the jar was amazing.
I also asked the chef to select a grade of beef that went well with a red wine/au jus reduction. For the dessert, I requested them for the couple’s favorites: salted caramel ice cream, caramel popcorn and a chocolate lava cake. There was also a mixologist who took care of the signature drink that Christian requested.
Who did the flowers?
Robert Blancaflor. He was able to conceptualize the details of Olivia’s designs. He interpreted and executed her design for lamps, which gave the place its character and expressed Olivia’s personality.
What was the most memorable part of the wedding?
Bishop Soc’s homily. My daughters gave a prayer message, my daughters’ surprise number. It was their very first time to sing together. There was also my husband’s speech, and really seeing Christian and Olivia throughout the night. I could see Christian was in his element, and he was radiating love, while Olivia embraced it.
It wasn’t hard to be enamored by it all. The bride looked amazing, thanks to Mickey See, who was “a darling to work with,” Marissa says. The event was romantic, and I heard that the Concepcion family spent some time together in Boracay before the couple headed to Japan for their honeymoon.
Oh, what I would give to do it all over again—only with my husband, of course.