Como, Italy—And the countdown frenzy is on, even in the peripatetic weather in Lake Como, Italy. The most-talked-about wedding of the year—of beauty industry heiress Cristalle Belo Henares and Australian hotelier Justin Pitt—is happening here in a scenic old villa in a few hours.
As the couple, their family and the wedding entourage are settled in Villa Calvi, guests started to arrive yesterday, Sept. 14. They took in the scenery and enjoyed the boat ride down the lake. The bride’s mother, beauty mogul Dr. Vicki Belo, even joined Cristalle’s bridesmaids in the lake cruise.
Already here in Villa Calvi are Dr. Belo; the bride’s father Atom Henares; the bride’s brother, filmmaker Quark Henares; the groom’s parents Roger and Leeanne Pitt; and the groom’s bosom friends who flew in from Australia.
Also here are Dr. Hayden Kho, who’s Dr. Belo’s longtime partner; their 18-month-old daughter Scarlet Snow, who’s now an Internet darling and the apple of everybody’s eye here; Dr. Belo’s old friend Liane Bautista and daughter Maritina; and Dr. Belo’s good friend Jojie Dingcong.
Giving Cristalle steadfast and loving support are her best friends from Assumption who are also her bridesmaids, led by Timi Gomez Aquino (her husband, Sen. Bam Aquino, is joining her); the bride’s cousin Celine Willard (daughter of Ronnie Henares and former wife Merce); and actress Ruffa Gutierrez.
Last night, the eve of the wedding, the couple hosted a welcome dinner at Momi restaurant, a stone’s throw from Villa Calvi. There, the guests gathered for the first time, enjoying cocktails, and of course, the Italian cuisine (antipasti, spaghettini, fried squash flowers, among others) by chef Momi whom the couple met and got to like months ago when they were doing an ocular of the lakeside wedding venue.
Among the guests were Connie and Linggoy Araneta with daughter Monica, who is a good friend of the bride; Audrey Puckett; Rajo Laurel; Butch and Cris Albert; Georgina Wilson and her husband Arthur Burnand; Katrina Enrile; Anton San Diego; Tim Yap; Alice Eduardo; Small Laude; and Dr. Belo’s sister, Karen Litre; and Babette Aquino Benoit.
Tonight the guests are looking forward to the wedding in the old monastery Villa Erba.
But before that, in the living room adjacent to our bedroom, we listen to dance music as the bride, her mother and father take turns rehearsing their moves.