Thursday, 16 February 2012

The secret is in the details #4: Time and Place

Even those who are aware of how my thought processing works will find that my thought processes are quite messed up.

Image on the left found via while the
image on the right was found via Both
images are for visualization purposes only. No
copyright infringement is intended.
I have found out, over the years, that the way my thoughts flow isn't always as logical to others as it is to me. One of my favourite stories comes from my days in Architecture when, while having a snack with my friends, I suddenly exclaimed, "The answer to my problem is Chiz Curls!"

Of course, this earned me some very strange looks from my friends--we were talking about something else entirely as we ate.

So I proceeded to take a clean sheet from my sketchpad and laid out some pieces of Chiz Curls on top of it then carefully raised the sheet so light would pass through.

"Imagine the shadows the shapes will create. It's going to be just like a canopy of tree branches!"

And suddenly, everything made sense and all was right in the world again.

I am admittedly a little spacey so one would seriously wonder how I could have managed wedding planning so calmly given my obsession with the little details. The answer is simple: I prayed. A lot.

The truth is that, our wedding is an entire series of blessings and answered prayers. I revealed this to only two of our suppliers, the ones we worked the most and the longest with, Noel Salazar and his fiancé, Rae Venturanza. We'll get to their part of the story in the next related entry.

It wasn't until after we'd spoken with Noel that we realised everything hinged on the availability of our chosen venue for at least one of the dates we had in mind. We were considering either September (9-10-11) or December (our actual anniversary month) but ultimately decided on the latter to give us more time to get everything in order.

Paco Park became our first choice at the suggestion of my mother who, after asking how many people we expected to invite, said that St. Pancratius Chapel (the chapel within the walls of Paco Park) could probably fit a maximum of 200. Perfect for us since we fully intended to have a very intimate celebration.

Our first visit to the venue happened on the afternoon of 21st January.

It was, to me, a return to a place I had very fond memories of. I'd once been a flower girl for a family friend's wedding in Paco Park and even then I remember thinking to myself that it was a very beautiful place. Perhaps because I was three, I did not realise that part of the peace I felt was from the fact that Paco Park is a memorial park (read: a cemetery). For Lester, it was the first time he remembered even stepping into the place. Since the romance of returning as a bride to the place where I was once a flower girl had gotten me hooked, I prayed with all my heart that he would fall in love with the place too.

We arrived mid afternoon and the setting sun gave the entire place a very warm, welcoming glow.

We walked straight to the office first to inquire about booking the chapel for December, learning then that we had to go to the Parish Office at St. Vincent de Paul to make the booking. Since it was nearly five in the afternoon, it was too late to go all the way around the place again to get to the office so we decided to do it another day and just take a quick stroll around the park so Lester could see the whole area.

The sky was becoming overcast by then, giving the next two images on the left a slightly eerie effect but the peace and beauty of the place is still apparent and I believe that was what he felt as we walked up the path towards the chapel.

"It still looks the way I remember it!" I was ecstatic. I asked Lester a little nervously if he liked the place and I was thrilled when he said yes.

Sometimes you can just be so grateful to see eye to eye with your beloved.

I took this last photo as a parting shot. Now that we were sure we wanted our ceremony at St. Pancratius, I intended to use it for our save the date cards.

We weren't able to return to St. Vincent de Paul until two weeks after. We tried calling them during that time, hoping that we could at least find out over the phone which of our dates was available and possibly get pencilled in.

No such luck.

We finally managed to go to St. Vincent on February 1, Chinese New Year of 2011. In the two weeks in between we prayed for only one thing: that the availability of our selected venue either on 22 December or 23 December be the sign that all our wedding plans would flourish.

They say that prayers ought to always come with a great deal of faith that the request may be blessed by the Lord when the time is right. Even during my darkest hours, I don't think I prayed as hard as I did in those two weeks and it was so hard to conceal my delight when the office administrator showed us their schedule book and we found out that both the 22nd and 23rd were still completely empty.

We wanted the ceremony to be in the evening. Both days fell on a week day and as much as possible, we did not want to burden our guests with having to leave work early or even take a leave from work. There were no other dates to consider either--I was already fixated on the idea of celebrating our fifth anniversary with our union and entering our sixth year as Mr. and Mrs. The fixation led to choosing 22 December, the eve of our fifth anniversary as a couple.

Thus began a wedding planned primarily through faith and prayers because the Lord had granted us our first sign.

P.S. I know I've been neglecting the updates for my daily photo challenge, eek! I swear I'll catch up. I've only got a 5-photo backlog to fill but I do already have the necessary photos on file, just not yet resized to match the others. ^^;

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