I already had the mindset that if I was able to accept the fact my family can't come to the wedding, then the rest are all minor things and everything will be okay
Jose Antonio Alcantara and Sheena Caburog have a romcom-worthy love story that ends up at the altar with an intimate wedding. Anton and Sheena both specifically prayed for their lifetime partners and at the “perfect time”, their paths crossed “when neither of us expected,” Sheena says. Three years later, Anton proposed and of course Sheena said yes!
The couple initially wanted to do their wedding at Iloilo on March 20, 2021 but the travel restrictions and the pandemic made it too tall of an order to arrange. “Then we thought if it will no longer be a destination wedding, why wait?” Sheena says. So they moved up their intimate wedding to January 8, 2021 and it was held at Nuestra Señora de Gracia with an outdoor reception that boasts of the cityscape.
Unfortunately, a wedding in Metro Manila meant Sheena’s family could not attend the wedding. This was perhaps the biggest challenge the couple faced while planning their wedding, apart from managing the safety protocols. Despite this setback, Anton and Sheena say “We were just happy that the wedding happened and we were married.”
Below, Sheena shares in her own words their journey from being God’s answered prayer, moving up their wedding date, and what it’s like not to have your family by your side on your wedding day.
Tell us your love story. How did you meet and when did you decide to get married?
Few years ago, I made a checklist of whom I wanted to end up with and wrote it on my novena book— his characteristics, every little detail of the man I’d want to spend the rest of my life with. How his eyes would look, probably his smile, too, and his stance, among others. On the other hand, Anton, apparently was also praying for the woman he can grow old with. Praying and praying, to end up exactly with someone like me.
Years passed, we became intertwined in this thing called life: I became busy with all the hustle—being in the wedding industry, maintaining a start-up company (Mayad Studio); and Anton, in his businesses. Love was nowhere to happen.
But then God, in His very many amazing ways, Anton and I met at that perfect time, when neither of us expected. He was exactly the guy written in my novena book as I met all his checklist of the girl he also prayed for. Meeting each other was God’s answered prayer, hence “GAP”, our term of endearment for each other, which literally meant God’s Answered Prayer.
After 3 years of being together, Anton popped the question. And of course, my only answer was a resounding yes!
What was your idea for your wedding?
Initially we don't have an exact theme in mind, we just want to keep it simple, relaxed and intimate gathering of some of our closest friends. But when suppliers asked us, we just said we trust their creativity fully.
Originally we planned to have our big destination wedding in Iloilo on March 20, 2021. But due to Covid and fear of travel restrictions we decided to transfer it here in Metro Manila. Then we thought if it will no longer be a destination wedding, why wait? So we changed the date to and made it earlier since we both had the blessings of our families. Sadly my family was not able to fly because of health risks.
What was the most difficult challenge?
Probably the thought of not having my family to join us in our wedding and of course some of our friends. We were very attentive to different protocols and changes as well, so being flexible with these changes.
How did you handle these difficulties?
Surprisingly everything just fell into place. We were very chill during the whole preparation. I already had the mindset that if I was able to accept the fact my family can't come to the wedding, then the rest are all minor things and everything will be ok.
How did you feel during your wedding day?
It was an answered prayer. It was truly a happy day. Even if there was a time we thought it was going to rain and my reception venue was outdoors, we were still okay. We were just happy that the wedding happened and we were married.
What’s your advice for couples planning their wedding?
Of course follow the protocols make sure you are always informed. But also during the prepartion, acceptance is the key. Be flexible enough to all the changes and keep in mind that the most important thing is that you are getting married to the person you love. Everything else will just take place. Get the suppliers that you trust most, it lessens the stress and burden since you know you are in the right hands. And of course just enjoy have fun. You deserve it.
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The Dream Team:
Church: Nuestra Senora De Gracia | Photography: Bill of Mayad Studios | Video: Jed of Mayad Studios | Live stream: Mayad Live | Wedding Rings: J's Diamond | Coordination: MYD | Both bridal Gowns: Jo Rubio | Groom’s suit: Boy Kastner Santos | Make Up: Gery Penaso | Bridal Shoes: Jefferson Si | Bridal Essentials: Creative Peppers | Band: 3rd Avenue | Lights and Sounds: High Impact Events | Cake: Penk Ching | Church Stylist: Dave Sandoval | Reception Stylist, bridal bouquet, and entourage flowers: Teddy Manuel | Macarons Giveaway: Audrey's Pastry | Cocktails: Soul Food Truck | Wedding Car: A Perfect Day Wed Car Luxury Bridal Cars Manila | Calligraphy: Iana Cris Forbes | Invitation: Angelu Jane Santiago Lagazo | Wedding Site: Eric Barbosa | Online Photobooth: Pose and Print