There’s no point in postponing such a beautiful culmination of love as long as everyone’s safety is prioritized
By Joaquin Reloj
Mark Anthony Ynoc and Charlene Kay Arenajo first locked eyes in the summer of 2014 when Kay was still in the process of studying for her board exams. A businessman and a doctor respectively, the couple met through a common friend. Immediately after their first meeting, Mark wasted no time in looking Kay up on social media.
Coming from drastically different worlds and lines-of-work, it was easy for their schedules to not fall in sync. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. The couple found countless ways to make things work, allocating enough time for their relationship.
Mark proposed in 2014, the year they met. Unfortunately, that was also the same year Kay was beginning to take up her three-year pediatric residency which was quite hectic. Finally, after dating for 6 years, the couple was able to tie the knot making the wait all the more worthwhile.
The couple held their intimate wedding ceremony on December 12, 2020, at the Sacred Heart Parish Church. This was immediately followed by their rustic, outdoor-themed wedding at Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa.
After 10 months of planning, they originally wanted to have the wedding on March 21, 2020. However, this was also around the same time when the lockdown was starting to be implemented, forcing them to postpone. The second option was to hold it on October 31, but government protocols were still strict at the time.
With their plans being delayed twice, of course, they took into consideration and complied with all the health and safety protocols to guarantee the well-being of their guests.
Aside from finalizing the date, the couple also ran into some trouble during their preparations. Refunds, limiting the guest list, and venue changes were some of the biggest hurdles they had to overcome.
“The biggest challenge was the refunds coming from the existing suppliers. Either it took them so long to extend the refund or they closed for good due to the pandemic,” the couple says. Initially, they had 500 names on their guest list, eventually trimming it down to just 50. They also went through three church venue changes along the way.
On the day of their wedding, the couple’s biggest worry was the weather since it was an outdoor event. Fortunately, the elements were cooperative and gave them sunshine all throughout. They also highlighted the role that their organizers, suppliers, and family members played in exerting so much effort to ensure the seamless and smooth operation of their big day.
Mark and Kay wanted to emphasize three things for couples who are planning to get married during these trying times: intimacy, coordination with suppliers, and enjoying the day itself.
“It is better to hold a small and intimate wedding rather than wait for the pandemic to ease down. Hold as many important meetings with your suppliers as necessary. Be very careful with the safety protocols especially when there are seniors attending. And the main advice is ‘Enjoy your day as much as you can with the people who matter most in your lives.’" Because really, there’s no point in postponing such a beautiful culmination of love as long as everyone’s safety is prioritized.
The Dream Team
Coordinator: Snoogie Mata | Photographer: Marky Cantalejo of The Left Fielder | Videographer: Franz Arrogante | Groom and bride's attire: Francis Libiran | Entourage gowns: Jun Escario and Rei Escario | Florist: Debbie Huang of Simple Wishes | Makeup: Eunice Enrera | Lights and Sounds: Anthony Dy | Fireworks: Dragon Fireworks