Close  
  • share this

I officiated at the wedding of Iza Calzado and Ben Wintle

Everything was, like the couple, picture perfect
/ 05:04 AM December 30, 2018
The newlyweds after the ceremony, with the Coron sunset as backdrop —INSTAGRAM @GIDEONHERMOSA

The newlyweds after the ceremony, with the Coron sunset as backdrop. INSTAGRAM @GIDEONHERMOSA

Imagine sand in your feet, the sun in your hair and the blue of the ocean as far as the eye can see. Sounds like a perfect backdrop for a holiday?

On Dec. 19, that imagery served as the setting for the wedding of picture-perfect couple Iza Calzado and Ben Wintle.

ADVERTISEMENT

The bride, radiant in her bespoke Rajo Laurel gown, walked down a flower-lined aisle and into the arms of her handsome groom.

For Iza, an actress and entrepreneur, tying the knot seemed the logical step to further her almost seven-year relationship with Ben, surrounded by close friends and family members.

FEATURED STORIES

My friendship with Iza began many years before she met Ben, but deepened once the couple started dating more seriously. I would oftentimes be the third wheel on their dates, but I was always struck by how nonplussed and patient Ben was with Iza’s obvious star power.

Although admitting some annoyance at the intrusion of fans wanting to have a photo with her, he didn’t exhibit any insecurity or resentment.

Grounding rod

Ben grew up in Hong Kong, the eldest of three siblings to a British dad, Peter, and Filipino mom, Friday. I assumed this is why he remained curious yet detached about Iza’s industry. A good balance, I thought, a grounding rod to Iza’s sometimes frenetic lifestyle.

The radiant bride in the arms of her handsome groom

The radiant bride in the arms of her handsome groom

My third-wheeling soon turned into double dates with the convenience of my boyfriend living in the same building as Ben. It was easier to plan joint dinners, watch Grand Slam finals on TV and go on diving weekends.

Since Iza and I were both dating non-Filipinos, our shared experiences of our cultural differences with our partners brought us even closer together.

Milestones for the couple seemed to happen in succession—the launching of Ben’s restaurant app, booky.ph, Iza in the lead role of various projects—that it was no surprise to me when Ben intimated he wanted to propose marriage.

ADVERTISEMENT

The proposal, though, remained a surprise for Iza who casually walked into Sonya’s Garden one day to be greeted by her future husband and a group of cheering friends and relatives.

He got down on one knee, she tried (unsuccessfully) to hold back tears, and gave a resounding yes.

‘Kilig’

Several months after the proposal, I asked Iza if the engagement had changed her outlook in any way. She took a moment before responding, with a wistful smile, “Yes, I wake up every day now feeling more kilig (delighted).”

Although the engagement was solid, the wedding plans were still up in the air as the couple’s busy schedules took over, and they had to take into consideration the guests who were flying in from around the world.

Still, they made it work, finally deciding on a beach wedding in December. They could only pray for perfect weather and that their nearest and dearest could all make the time to attend.

I, on the other hand, was praying to the muse Calliope as I had accepted the role of officiant to the wedding. On hindsight, I said yes out of shock, and the panic ensued shortly after I realized what I had just done.

After many, many deep breaths and sleepless nights, I decided to just ride on the energy of the couple, especially in the days leading up to the wedding.

An aerial shot of the wedding venue at Club Paradise

An aerial shot of the wedding venue at Club Paradise

We had planned to arrive at Club Paradise in Palawan days before the other guests, which allowed my boyfriend and I to spend some quality time with the couple, including getting them to go on one last pre-wedding dive.

The night before the wedding set the tone, which was full of spirited fun. Guests partook of traditional fiesta offerings such as lechon, playing pabitin and palayok, and were entertained by dancers performing the tinikling. The enjoyment was palpable, and the party continued well past midnight, making people forget that there was still a wedding to attend the next day!

At the wedding, I had the best view, witnessing everything from the makeshift pulpit: Iza escorted down the aisle by her kuya, Dash Calzado; and Ben holding back tears waiting for her, flanked by his best man, his brother Ralph.

They said their personal vows.

“… I vow to always be the first soldier to fight your battles… we will figure things out in our way, like we always do… My heart will always be yours, as you know my love for you is unbreakable,” said Ben.

Iza responded: “As we look towards our future together, I can only smile, because I already know that it is going to be even more wonderful than I can imagine it could be. Together we are unbreakable.”

Ogie Alcasid serenaded the couple before they sealed their marriage with rings, and the much-anticipated first kiss as husband and wife.

The reception was an unforgettable fete, complete with dining and dancing under the stars.

Everything was, again, like the couple, picture-perfect. —CONTRIBUTED

PHOTOS COURTESY OF @PATDY11 AND @TEAMPATDY

The dreamy flower-lined aisle and pulpit designed by Teddy Manuel and Gideon Hermosa

The dreamy flower-lined aisle and pulpit designed by Teddy Manuel and Gideon Hermosa

Bridal cake by Naked PatisserieBridal cake by Naked Patisserie

Bridal cake by Naked Patisserie

The bride surrounded by her bridesmaids doing a simple pre-wedding candle ceremony

The bride surrounded by her bridesmaids doing a simple pre-wedding candle ceremony

Iza in Rajo Laurel, escorted down the aisle by brother Dash Calzado —PHOTOS COURTESY OF @PATDY11 AND @TEAMPATDY

Iza in Rajo Laurel, escorted down the aisle by brother Dash Calzado

Ben flanked by parents Peter and Friday Wintle

Ben flanked by parents Peter and Friday Wintle

Bride and groom dance the “tinikling” at the traditional fiesta pre-wedding reception.

Bride and groom dance the “tinikling” at the traditional fiesta pre-wedding reception.

The bride and groom with their entourage: (from left) Karylle Yuzon, Divine Lee-Go, Kat Cruz-Villanueva, Mike Lariosa, Sunshine Dizon, Gen Vergara, maids of honor Anicka Wintle and Cheska Iñigo-Winebrenner, Stephanie Vallejo, Katrina Holigores, Valerie Beggs, Suzy de Vera, Ciara Tan-Abing, Sharyn Macaraeg and Nika Virtucio

The bride and groom with their entourage: (from left) Karylle Yuzon, Divine Lee-Go, Kat Cruz-Villanueva, Mike Lariosa, Sunshine Dizon, Gen Vergara, maids of honor Anicka Wintle and Cheska Iñigo-Winebrenner, Stephanie Vallejo, Katrina Holigores, Valerie Beggs, Suzy de Vera, Ciara Tan-Abing, Sharyn Macaraeg and Nika Virtucio

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Iza Calzado, Iza Calzado wedding
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.