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EXPLORING EGYPT


One thing I like about my relationship with the DHB is that we give each other space. We understand that as much as we need to mature as a couple, we also need to grow as individuals. This is why I have no qualms in allowing him to travel without me. 

In fact, this May, he is headed to Brazil to meet his father while I go to Denmark and Sweden alone (but sponsored by him of course! Haha!)

Some time last year, he asked me if he may go on a trip to Egypt with one of his best buds A. I was in the Philippines arranging our wedding. Of course I said yes! He came back with awesome videos of the Pyramids!

It’s only now that I’ve gotten to edit the videos they’ve taken. I still have to teach him how to take better footage though. 

Here’s what I came up with–

Wanderlusting,

Mrs. DCW

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BRIDE AND BREAKFAST


The best wedding website in the Philippines featured our wedding!!!

I have been secretly dreaming of Bride and Breakfast.ph picking up our wedding because for me, that would be a nice remembrance and also a cool validation that we did a good job in planning our wedding details.

Sorry, we were already married in Switzerland so the Philippine wedding was more of a passion project for me.  I was really more into the details of it.

I did not have any coordinators while planning that wedding and I was kind of managing everything from Europe towards the last stretch. The added pressure made me really take full ownership of the “project” and I was determined to make it as well executed as possible.

I had 2 friends, D and V, whom I constantly consulted on Viber so I am sharing this milestone with them.

I’ve always enjoyed brainstorming sessions. I like coming up with ideas and shooting down those that are not aligned with the vision. I was in Advertising and Publishing after all. I was trained and paid to sift through ideas and implement the winning ones. Seeing what once were mere thoughts come to life gives me an inexplicable high. I have always reveled in the creative process.

I knew our photographer already uploaded our pictures on his site so when no feature came, I felt kinda sad. I have no shame in admitting that I was expecting one! Hahaha! Maybe this illustration explains how I really am with projects–

After celebrating 3 months of marriage,  I woke up one morning with people tagging me on Instagram pictures! To my delight, they were showing me the photos from our wedding that were posted on Bride and Breakfast’s Instagram page! My husband was the one who got a literal “rude awakening” coz I shook him beside me while he was so deep in sleep just to show the pictures! I was jumping up and down for joy! Achievement unlocked!!!

They liked our chosen rings! They also found the beach view amazing! They liked our intimate “almost kissing” black and white photo! Waaaah.

But what really made my heart happy was reading their blog caption!

Mike and Den’s wedding is pure class sprinkled with calm charm.” -Bride and Breakfast

 

And the title of the feature was “Caught up in the Classy”.

They got it! They got my concept! They got meeee!!! 

I have envisioned for us a beach wedding that is still very classy and elegant. Not too bohemian. I am chill but not too boho chill. I am also not hipster. I have always been the “classic with a twist” kind of girl. 

And so I chose really timeless elements like peach tones, Pronovias Spanish tulle gown, minimalist decor, etc. The location was also very calming to the senses. The ceremony was by the beach in an exclusive luxury resort and it was finished just before the sun went down so everyone saw the glorious sunset. 

“Gorgeous bridesmaids outfits, cute signage on the aisle, the most adorable invitation suite, and guest fans are just some details that are making us swoon. Now who wouldn’t have a good day after seeing this?”

It was a good day for us! And I hope that somehow, a bride-to-be out there gets inspired with the details of our wedding.

Thank you, Janna Simpao and the B and B team! Thank you for putting that yummy  cherry on top of our already delicious wedding experience! 

 

Love,

#denswithmike

 

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SINTRA, PORTUGAL


The day that we planned to go out of Lisbon and take the train to Sintra was the very day that the train workers decided to go on strike. We were already inside the train, waiting for it to move, when we realised that no one was planning on operating the trains that day.

Sintra is about an hour away from Lisbon and to take the cab back and forth is quite expensive. So my brilliant DHB thought of asking random folks if they would like to share a cab to Sintra with us. Luckily, we found this Russian couple Dmitri and Anastasia (her name is very Romanov! I love it!!!) who agreed to hitch with us. Doesn’t Anastasia look like the actress Rachel Weisz?! :)

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Sintra was such a beautiful surprise! The city takes pride in all of the castles that the Moors built years ago. We took a hop on, hop off bus to go up the mountain and see the Pena National Palace of Sintra and the Moors Castle. The view was amazing! It made the unexpected cab ride worth it!

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Portugal is my 27th country to visit and the DHB’s 31st. I can’t wait to know what my 28th country will be this year!

To more safe travels,

d.

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LISBON, PORTUGAL


We were having our Valentine’s dinner at Belvoir Park in Zurich when the DHB asked me to check my email. To my surprise, he sent me an advance booking for Lisbon, Portugal! It’s his surprise gift to me for our 2nd year anniversary as a couple!

April came and it was time for us to fly to Lisbon, Europe’s second-oldest capital after Athens. We flew via TAP Portugal, a part of the Star Alliance group of airlines.

We stayed at hotel Marques de Pombal, along their main street called Avenida Liberdade which reminded me of Champs Elysees in Paris. On our first day, we walked down the Avenida and it brought us to Restauradores and the old town Alfama where all the restaurants and shops are.

“The entire town is a huge shopping mall”, said the man who was behind me at the Front Desk when he heard me ask where the biggest shopping mall is located.

Lisbon means “safe harbour” and the entire city is enveloped by docking ports. Its design made it possible for the world’s greatest explorers like Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan to make Lisbon as a launch pad for their ambitious voyages. Once in Lisbon, you will see monuments, creatively tiled buildings, and Brazilian, Indian, and Asian influences in their surroundings and culture. This is because Lisbon is the first true world city and it colonised quite a number of countries.

Now we know why travellers flock Lisbon. It’s really a tourist-friendly city. There were all-access cards available for transportation. Their trams took us to the famous spots. There were available tuk-tuks with tour guides. The waiters speak English. It was quite easy to go around even if you are not part of a tour.

The DHB and I checked out all the spots that were recommended by his boss and the sites that we read prior to the trip. We walked what felt like a thousand miles because the shops were endless and the monuments were scattered all over the city.

We took home boxes of their famous custard tarts (yummyyyy!!!), a travel plate to add to my Papa’s collection, and a figurine to add to the DHB’s mementos.

Check-out our short video from the trip HERE:

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Obrigado,

d.

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RHEINFALL, SWITZERLAND


It’s my second time to visit this beauty. It’s the largest plain waterfall in all of Europe.

What’s different about my experience this time is that we road the boat (10chf each) towards the hill that was right smack in the middle of the waterfall and climbed it! It was a nerve-wracking experience for me not because I was afraid of heights but because I was too scared I was gonna fall into the waterfall! 

My biggest regret in life is not learning how to swim well. I’ve been trying to. I’ve actually enrolled myself in swimming lessons twice already but I can’t seem to trust myself to breathe well under water. But they say third time’s a charm! So I asked the DHB if he could buy me a one-year pass at the Hallenbad (indoor swimming pool) near our place so I can practice my swimming regularly. I can’t wait to finally conquer my fear of the deep waters!

   

              

Conquer your fears,

d.  

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FLUMSERBERG, SWITZERLAND


The best thing about living in Europe is that I feel like a traveller everyday.

Even if it’s just roaming around where we live, there is always something new to marvel at.

Just this weekend, we brought our visitor H to Flumserberg, a part of the Swiss Alps, which is just a few hours away from our house. We were expecting bad weather but God surprised us with snow and sunshine! :)

Finally created another travel video. It’s been quite a while since I made one!

Switzerland is majestic! I am so lucky to have migrated here. I love the fact that just hopping on a train in Zurich Hauptbanhof will get me to another country anytime.

In April, the DBF and I are off to Portugal and I can’t wait! :) It’s his 2nd year anniversary gift to me. :)

Cheers to more travels,

d.

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DUBAI, UAE


Dubai is now my favorite stopover when I travel.

Aside from the fact that its airport is huge, there are also so many Overseas Filipino Workers there!

I feel very much at home at the airport.

Before reaching Switzerland, I had a 9-hour layover in Dubai. 9 hours is a loooong time to get stuck in an airport. But because there were OFWs managing the stores, I managed to kill time by talking with them.

As soon I felt sleepy, I decided to go to the massage shop manned by mostly Filipinas. I paid for an hour’s worth of massage but because the Filipina masseuse found out about my long wait, she told me I could sleep for a couple more hours on the massage chair for FREE! Amazing how just because of that one thing that connects us, (in this case, our being both Filipinas) she became more accommodating and generous to me. The best feeling while travelling in a foreign land is that moment when you realize that somehow, you are not lost and that you actually belong.

Another feel good experience I had while at the Dubai airport happened when I was coming home from Zurich to Manila last December. I exchanged a few of my pesos to US dollars. At the Dubai Airport, they only accept USD and their local currency Dirhams. I was planning to buy a tube of lipstick and a box of perfume at the Duty Free. At the cashier, I realised that I was 2 USD short and I asked the cashier if it’s okay to wait for me as I exchange a few more pesos into USD. The guy behind the cashier suddenly spoke in Filipino and asked me: “Filipina ka ba? Kasi hindi ako sure kung Filipina ka or Latina.” (“Are you a Filipina? I’m not quite sure if you are Filipina or Latina.”) And so I beamed at him and declared that I am a full-blooded Filipina! Loud and proud! :) And then he said, “Magaganda talaga ang mga kalahi! Okay na yung 2 USD mo. Merry Christmas sayo!” (“We are really a beautiful breed! No need to give me the 2 USD! Merry Christmas to you!”). I wanted to hug him!

I didn’t take a lot of pictures from my layover. I just took a picture of the book I finished while waiting for my next flight and the sunrise from our designated gate before I stepped in my Emirates plane. (Thanks to our family friend N.G. who works as a plane engineer in Emirates Dubai for the usual discounted tickets!)

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d.

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BALER, AURORA


I got to spend a few more weeks with my family after the wedding and before I flew to Switzerland.

My dear parents arranged a beach trip for my send-off.

From Anvaya to Boracay to Costa Pacifica!

Costa Pacifica is a resort in Baler, Aurora, Philippines owned by the Angaras. My mom happened to have worked with the former-Senator Ed Angara so we got an invitation from him to visit his private beach house in Dicasalarin, a 30-minute drive from Costa. Our friend Juliette also happens to work now for the Angaras so she arranged everything for us.

We brought our chowchow Kobe with us. It was a steady few days for the family. I appreciated the calmness of it all.

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I shall comeback soon,

d.

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BORACAY, AKLAN


When 20+ of your friends fly halfway across the globe to witness your wedding, you make sure that they have a good time.

So after our beach wedding in Anvaya Cove, we flew to Boracay for yet another beach escapade with our friends! Yes, we spent our “honeymoon” with our friends from Zurich, LA, and San Francisco and it was the first best decision we ever made as an official husband and wife! We dropped our plan to go to Bali, Indonesia, to spend almost a week in good old Boracay, Philippines.

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We rode ATVs up the mountain.

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and watched the sun go down.

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We bargained for pearls to bring home.

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We lounged at the beachfront, ate buttered corn and drank melon shakes.

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We got ourselves pampered with massages, braiding, and mani-pedi sessions.

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We ate breakfast and dinner buffets together. We went to the fish market and ate all the lobsters and scallops we could afford.

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We had a jacuzzi  party in our suite and then we barhopped at the clubs nearby.

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Our Dutch friend got punched at the bar out of nowhere but for him, it was still one helluva fun “bring yourself to the hospital for some stitches” experience.

The highlight of this trip for me was when my husband rented a sail boat for the two of us to go to this secluded part of the island called Baling-hai. There, you may order food and they will drop it from the top of the mountain to where you are via a pulley.

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The boat ride freaked me out a bit coz we had to sit on these extended “wings” made of net. I could feel water splashing on my feet and for someone who does not know how to swim, that could be an unsettling feeling. Oh but we survived and I had a great time!:) And that, for me, is what really matters most in life.

Carpe diem,

d.

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DETAILS


WÜTHRICHCONGCOFRONTCOVER

12 January 2015. I don’t ever want to forget this day.

This post is for me to remember the day when I first felt fear for my life. I never feared death. I would always say that I am ready to go, any time. But that day, as I was walking down the aisle, I felt a surge of joy, excitement, and panic all at the same time. I thought to myself, “I am not alone anymore. I will officially have a husband to take care of. I will have someone to create a life with. I will have someone to depend on me the way that I will depend on him. I now have someone to live for. And we have an entire lifetime to build. New dreams to reach together.”

That day gave me a renewed reason and drive to live. It gave me something more meaningful to look forward to. I am not anymore just Dens who goes to work/school and spends the day aimlessly. I am now Dens with Mike who is living everyday with more meaning and purpose. I will now be defined not just of what I do for a living but to whom I am doing things for. I don’t want to ever forget this. I am living for my family. I am living for my soul’s counterpoint in another. I am living for the God who made all of this happen.

I don’t ever want to forget this day and the details that made it truly our own.

Dens with Details:

The DHB chose an engagement ring that doesn’t have protruded edges just how I need it to be. [I’m now calling him DHB for Dear Husband. I’m retiring DBF on this blog. ;)]

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Platinum wedding bands to last us a lifetime.

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Because “Love Travels”– boarding pass and bag tag invites and a fan with the entourage list and a travel crossword to keep guests busy while waiting. Printed by Printsonalities. Our wedding logo was designed by Kay Aranzanso and Lai Geluz-Reyes.

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This view. We chose Anvaya Cove for its magnificent view, good food, and excellent service. Members only = Privacy = Perfection!

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Road signs! Spark Graphics printed these tarps and my Papa together with my Tito spent the entire day putting these up from Subic’s entrance toll gate to Anvaya Cove.

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I made these signs with the help of Mundo Builders and my cousin’s boyfriend Francis.
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Beige shoes I can still wear after the wedding. I ended up trading these though for my Maid-of-Honor’s Ipanema slippers because I wanted to enjoy the party comfortably. :) Best decision EVER.

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These Melissa wedges were what I ended up wearing at the ceremony. They were my “something blue” because the wedges were blocks of blue jellies.

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The moment I bought this Atelier Pronovias Ocanto wedding gown, I felt such a huge relief. A-line, Spanish lace, mother of pearl flat sequins. Classic. Elegant. Timeless. I made it my own by having it altered into a sweetheart cut instead of the original straight bustier.


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I totally got along with our florist Miss Jane Pineda of Details and Blooms. I enjoyed all of our meetings and she totally got my vision for my bouquet.

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Chic designer Rosalyn Lagdameo created my lace headpiece. It’s dainty, simple, and it goes well with my dress.

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I wore my mama’s earrings on my wedding day. They were a pair of South Sea pearls that are detachable from these diamond encrusted gold ribbon earrings. I like wearing pearls coz they brighten up my face.MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - PREP-881

One of the first things that I knew for certain that the DHB liked about me was my scent. Lancôme La Vie Est Belle. Every woman must have a signature scent and this is mine. Reminds me that life is indeed beautiful!
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From Miss D to Mrs. DCW. La Tercera created a peach robe with Chantilly lace and an embroidery of my new initials at the back.

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The DHB had 7 months to buy his wedding shoes but he procrastinated.  Just days before the wedding, we found ourselves running from one mall to another to find the perfect brown shoes for him. Oh and don’t get me started about the socks!
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I bought these hangers for our entourage. I used permanent acrylic markers to write their names on it. Iloilo-based designer Sidney Eculla made the groom’s coat and it was shipped several times from Iloilo to Manila and back! I had it dry cleaned at Rockwell a week before the wedding. #fiancéeduties

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I don’t care if other weddings are prettier than ours because I’m sure that my groom is more handsome than anyone else’s! HA! ;) #jackpot

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Kathy and Kathy Bespoke made these white gold cuff links that bear our reversible initials DWM/MWD.MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - PREP-1100

Vatel Manila’s sister company {ETC Handmade Goodness} created the groomsmens’ bouttonnieres.

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Spark Graphics also gave us these huge wedding logos mounted on sintra boards.

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Ate Gi bought these white umbrellas from Divisoria while I got the wooden hamper from SM.

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The DHB and I have always believed that we are better together. 2 years of maintaining a long distance relationship makes you realize that.

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We used my London travel case (a gift from our couple friend on my surprise 30th birthday which the DHB prepared for me in London) for the pillows that the little boys will carry. {ETC Handmade Goodness} also made our pillows for the rings and the coins as well as the Bible band.

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Our cord came with my Pronovias gown.

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My cool garter with a flask was a gift from my Maid-of-Honor.

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More hangers with names for my lovely bridesmaids.

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I commissioned Aranáz to customize their grama bags for my bridesmaids. 
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Botak Philippines customized the Pilipinas basketball jerseys of the groomsmen.

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Madeline of Izzo Shop collaborated with me for these give-away tote bags.

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Mundo Builders fabricated our sea foam green doors. These doors were actually from the house of one of the owners of SM! We passed this on to a couple who was going to get married in Baler.
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Oh these green Anvaya chairs were heavenly! I hate it when beach weddings use those usual ballroom chairs covered with white linen. I made specific instructions to NOT cover our chairs with such and I also gave a thumbs down to those ribbons they tie around those kinds of chairs. I also do not like the ghost chairs because they are not too comfy and they heat-up quite fast. I have the same sentiment with those mismatched wooden chairs. I prefer the comfortable cushions of these Anvaya chairs.

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Since we already got legally married in Switzerland, it was of course too late for the groom to run now! :)

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He calls me his Babe-oh!

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How pretty are our flower girls?! Their dresses were made by Bea Romero. Their eucalyptus headpieces were by Jane Pineda. The baskets were the same as our table centerpieces. I bought them from SM, too. I just asked Miss Jane to attach handles so the girls can carry them.

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I love crisp white polos so I asked my bridesmaids to wear them during the preps. I was wearing one of my groom’s white polos.

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Some brides give their grooms Rolexes on their wedding day. I opted to give something more meaningful– a letter and pictures from his Dad who is in Brazil. He couldn’t make it coz he can’t travel anymore but the DHB will meet him in Brazil this year.
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We asked our groomsmen to wear white polos, blue trousers, brown belts, and brown shoes. It’s amazing how the blues did not come in different shades! Everyone followed the visual peg which made my heart soooo happy! :)

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This was my bridal carT.

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My mama wore a dress by Sidney Eculla. How lovely is she?!

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I did my own makeup while Ren Bautista did my hair.

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Our Entourage. Dresses by Bea Romero. Hair and Makeup by Ferdie Santiago of Shu Uemura London, Benjie Angeles, and Ren Bautista.

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Our generous and groovy Godparents!MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - CERE-1594

The sparklers were bought by my brother while the ribbons were lovingly made by my papa and yayas.

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This stunning sunset. As soon as the ceremony was over, the sun went down beautifully.

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Our cake was made by my grade school classmate and dear friend Claudine of Francine’s Sweet Treats. Our Bestman Cy brought boxes of Swiss chocolates which we scattered around the cake for the guests.

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I printed our travel photos and put it on each table. Succulents x peach and blue flowers were put inside the baskets I bought from SM. I was surprised to find out that my Mama distributed random chocolates on each table. She was so worried that the guests will go hungry while waiting for the buffet tables to open.

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I created all the table name cards.

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When the Australian brand Typo opened a wasteland here in the Philippines, I bought this cool light box. I knew I’d be able to use it for the wedding.MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-16

We asked for marriage advice, date ideas, and recipes from our guests during the cocktails.MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-18

Picturebooks printed our pre-nuptial pictures for our guestbooks.MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-20

These hashtags were supposed to be for the photobooth for the guests to hold so I was surprised to see them hanging on stage when we entered the ballroom! Turned out nice though so I’m not complaining.MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-96

We also had a video booth by Picparrazzi which turns the photos into bound flip books.

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Teejay and Sandy of Sound Salad entertained our guests. We had a rocking full band!MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-143

Special song number from my super talented nephew Ren Bautista (yes, same person who did my hair!)MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-164

Bought the letters from Typo as well.MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-92

Thank God for talented friends! Ian Villamor flew in from LA to host our wedding together with former Extra co-host (yes, the US entertainment show!) Bianca Oros (who is now based in Zürich). MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-168

For our entrance, we danced to the tune of Crazy in Love, Bootylicious, and Time of My Life!

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These folks delivered heartfelt and funny speeches! We love you, guys!

Our Bestman even prepared a video wherein the Pilipinas Gilas basketball players he met at a game in France greeted us.

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The DHB and I met through his sister Audrey so she definitely had something interesting to say! :)
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My Papa channeled Liam Neeson in Taken that night. His speech was epic!MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-856

Andrew, our adopted son, had good words to say, too.
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Chris, our handsome godfather, is one of those people whom we really look up to. MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-1276

The DHB’s mom picked up Bible verses to guide us throughout our marriage.
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My rockstar groom showcased his e-guitar playing skills and sang our theme song together with his band– John and Audrey on back-up vocals, Joseph on percussions, Rainier and Kurt on guitars, and Andrew on keyboards.

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The Zurich Crew headed by my groom surprised me with a dance number!MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-801

Who would have thought that our first dance will be a surprise from the groom, too?! I’m a lucky wife!

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My cousins and brother danced, too!

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And our entire family danced to the tune of Happy which perfectly describes how we were all feeling as the night ended! :)
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It was everything we ever dreamed of and more!

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Until my next milestone,

Mrs. DCW