‘God has His way of surprising us’
Geoff Firmin Khu and Beverly Ann Mateo endured a long-distance relationship for years before Bev said yes to Geoff. “We made it work with non-stop video calls and communication,” says Geoff. Bev was working in Qatar but the two met before relocating.
Apart from the natural challenges of being in a long-distance relationship, they also endured planning an intimate wedding while apart. “Planning for a wedding was a difficult feat as one of us was based abroad, and added with the uncertainty of Covid restrictions,” says Bev, an optometrist. Geoff and Bev’s wedding was scheduled for 2022 but they had to move up their wedding due to a family situation.
But that wasn’t the only curveball–during Bev’s quarantine after flying home for the wedding, the bride tested positive and it added another set of hurdles to get through. But Geoff and Bev triumphed over them all and they were married at San Agustin Church on October 2021. A reception at Nobu Restaurant, City of Dreams.
Below, Geoff and Bev share in detail how they got through the challenges of planning an intimate wedding during Covid times and while in a long-distance relationship:
Tell us how you met and your love story.
Geoff: We first met in a company sales rally and built our friendship with a series of get togethers with mutual friends. A few months after, Bev got accepted to work in Qatar. It was during her stay in Qatar when our friendship grew deeper. A year after, she returned to the Philippines for a vacation. It was then we took a trip together to Japan and solidified our relationship. It was a long distance relationship but we made it work with non-stop video calls and communication. A year later, on her second vacation while working in Qatar, I planned the proposal and we got engaged.
What was your experience like planning for your intimate wedding?
Geoff and Bev: Planning for a wedding was a difficult feat as one of us was based abroad, and added with the uncertainty of Covid restrictions. We originally planned to get married in 2022, but due to the death of a close relative we had to move the wedding date within a 100 days from the death. We had to find a suitable wedding date where most of the suppliers were available.
After settling on a date, we had to scramble in completing all our documentary requirements for the wedding. A month before the wedding, Bev was scheduled to return to the Philippines to give ample time to process our other requirements for the wedding. During Bev’s quarantine period, she tested positive for Covid and fortunately she was asymptomatic, but the extension of her isolation made our schedule for the requirements tight.
A lot of our plans were altered, overflowing frustrations here and there, expectations were already set to minimum, but truly, God has His own ways of surprising us. He made our day more striking and memorable, more than we could’ve hoped for. It was immensely beautiful and breath-taking.
Do you have advice for couples planning their wedding?
Make a list of your non-negotiables. Visualize your dream wedding first. Research before booking a supplier to know their strength. Original plan was to have a big wedding but we realized it doesn't always have to be that way, making it intimate made it more memorable and fun because you get to spend time with your guests.
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The Dream Team
Preparation: Hyatt Regency Hotel, City of Dreams Manila | Ceremony venue: San Agustin Church Intramuros Manila | Reception venue: Nobu Restaurant City of Dreams Manila | Photography by Polk Studios | Hair and makeup by Ann Santiago Makeup Artistry | Bridal Gown by Rosa Clará Couture Collection | Groom's Suit by Ian Manila | Entourage Gowns by Tin Tamayo | Wedding Rings by Sep Vergara Fine Jewelry | Bridal Car by Bridal Car Philippines | Lights and Sound by LIVE LEVELS Pro Audio and Lights Services | Stage Decor by Amante Fleurs Event Styling | Florist and Photowall by Dangwa Flowers by Clint Carl | Neonlights by King M Graphics Design and Printing Services | Cake by PhoebeCakes | Wedding Coordinator: Camy Events | Wedding Host: Camil Escaño of Camy Events