'A wedding is not just about our love for each other but God's love for both of us'
By Misha Fabian
June 27, 2020 marked the beginning of a new chapter in Lyn Dela Luna and Matt Imbong’s life together as they celebrated their very intimate wedding ceremony at St. John Bosco Church, Makati. A reception was then held at Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati.
The Love Story
The couple first met at a three-day single’s retreat in Tagaytay. They were unable to talk at first since there were around a hundred people in their group. Matt recounts the journey of their relationship.
“One day, on one of our batch activities, she was all flustered and worried… she apparently got her phone snatched from her on the way to our meeting place. So there I was trying to console her and was doing what I could to help her out. A week after the incident she was able to get a new device. I thought of sending her a message and asked how she was doing, we started chatting which then led to us talking over the phone,” Matt says.
It is truly incredible how such an inspiring romance can bloom from one unfortunate event. To put it succinctly, “God will give you what you ask for when you are ready to receive it,” Matt says.
“During our conversations, I came to realize that I really liked talking to her and I felt that we had a deep connection, so after talking for hours on end every day I decided to ask her out. A few months of dating passed, I finally asked the question, she said yes and we became a couple!” says Matt.
Originally, the couple planned for 150 guests in St. John Bosco Church and an Elegant Chic themed reception at Dusit Thani to be held on June 20. But, with the implementation of quarantine guidelines, they had to make significant changes to their preparations.
“Except for the groom's suit, the wedding gown, attire for the entourage, and for those of our parents were also on its way to completion. We even had our rings made with our names and date already engraved. With the restrictions during quarantine though, we had to let go of some of our suppliers even though we already placed reservation fees for them,” Matt says.
With their parents being away from Manila coupled with the strict travel restrictions, it would have been impossible for their loved ones to attend their ceremony. They were torn whether to push through with starting their lives together or to wait it out.
Matt says, “When the ECQ was lifted in June and we got our marriage license, we prayed for guidance. After carefully thinking it over, and with our parents' blessings, we decided to go ahead and push through a week after the originally scheduled date. We renegotiated new terms with the venue and with the floral arrangements in consideration of the new setup we were having.”
Pushing Through with Plans
When asked how the couple handled the challenges that came with planning a wedding during a pandemic, here’s what they had to say:
Matt: Aside from our original photo/video service, we opted to set up a live-streaming video service for our parents, relatives, and friends who wanted to witness the event live but could not attend for safety reasons and imposed limitations at that time. For the actual reception, we had to move to a smaller function room just enough to fit 15-20 people. We gave out face masks & eyeshields. Social distancing was imposed in both church and the hotel so as to keep everyone safe.
Lyn: I was supposed to have my pampering session before the wedding but since that was not possible, my sister instead bought me a multi massager & she had my nails & hair done. My friends from the Legion of Mary organization in St. John Bosco volunteered to help in setting up the legion altar, wedding signage, and other errands in the church since we didn't proceed with hiring a wedding coordinator.
Although their wedding turned out differently than what they had planned pre-COVID, the newlyweds still felt blessed and found that the celebration exceeded their expectations.
“As what our officiating priest told us a wedding is not just about our love for each other but God's love for both of us. Just when I thought that things couldn't get any better, our dinner turned out to be a night full of love as everyone put their hearts out as they shared their personal experiences with us. We ended the night with our hearts full of love,” the couple says.
The Imbongs are also planning to arrange another celebration with their closest friends and relatives since many, including their parents, were unable to attend.
“Just a simple celebration and gathering with our loved ones. Unfortunately, Lyn's dad passed away just 2 months after the wedding while working abroad. Though we were deeply saddened by this news. We were somehow consoled by the thought that we made the right decision to push through with the wedding. At least he was able to witness his daughter tie the knot before his passing on,” Matt says.
“When you are faced with difficult decisions and emotional distress, go in prayer, and ask for guidance before you get into a discussion. This pandemic has revealed our differences but it also made us patient and understanding of each other,” says the couple.
They also stress the importance of communication and letting others know of your challenges, especially during these trying times.
“It would also help if you can share your challenges with your family and closest friends as they will do everything to make your day easier and stress-free. Talk and negotiate with your suppliers, you will not know how flexible they just might be to help you out,” he says.
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The Dream Team
Church: St. John Bosco | Reception: Dusit Thani Hotel | Photo & Video: Honeycomb PhotoCinema | Livestreaming: Red Panda Philippines | Florist: WeddingsnMotifs | HMUA: Redefining Beauty by Rhaiza | Bridal Gown: Leslie's Bridal | Bridal Robe: Sewn with Love by Yvonne Camay | Wedding Rings: J's Diamond