Inspirations.PH / Weddings That Inspire / March 04, 2021

They Rescheduled Their Intimate Wedding Thrice

Edward and Karen: The Last Wedding at The Makati Shangri-La

By Joaquin Reloj

A Crazy Rich Asians-inspired intimate wedding ceremony and reception were held at the Makati Shangri-La on January 28, 2021. Engr. Edward Rupert Sajo and Dr. Karen Adapon, who specializes in anesthesia, celebrated their union despite all the challenges that the global pandemic has brought. The third time really is the charm since they struggled to reschedule three times before finally getting the chance to walk down the aisle.

The newlyweds started dating in high school and their relationship persisted for quite a long time. Somewhere down the line, they separated to carry out their own paths in life. It seems, however, that fate has a funny way of setting things in place. After several years of living their own lives, they eventually found their way back into each other’s loving arms. This time, they were in it for the long-haul.

Engr. Edward recounts their love story, “We were high school sweethearts. We were together for seven years as boyfriend-and-girlfriend and separated at the start of Karen’s Medicine Proper days. We moved on and had separate lives, but after 13 years of being separated, God found a way to get us back together again. It was fate and God's plan that had brought us back together.”

The couple originally planned to get married on April 18, 2020. Of course, this was during the height of the Covid-19 outbreak when lockdowns and social distancing measures were very strict. Everyone was blindsided and confused regarding all the safety guidelines that were being implemented at the time. They’ve really been through a lot during the entire duration of the pandemic.

“The original date of our wedding was supposed to be on April 18, 2020, but due to the pandemic and safety of everyone, we had no choice but to cancel it.” The couple recalled. “Our old plan was to invite 250 guests at the Rizal ballroom and eventually did not turn out the way we planned for it.”

They then decided to have the intimate wedding rescheduled to a later date. This time around, they were aiming for December 27, 2020. For the most part, everything was slowly but surely falling into place. In the face of the pandemic, it seemed that all their hard work would finally come to fruition. Unfortunately, there was one key factor they overlooked: their marriage license.

Below, Engr. Edward and Dr. Karen share the rest of their journey to their hosting their beautiful 80-pax wedding.

The Dream Team

Venue: Makati Shangri-La | Shangri-la event Coordinator: Ms. Anna Calderon | Wedding Gown: Cary Santiago | Bridal's entourage Gowns: Mel Orlina Couture | Groom's Tuxedo suit: Bergamo | Groom's entourage Suits: Onesimus | Hair & Make up of Bride & Entourage: Ms. Bambbi Fuentes | Photographer: Pat Dy | Videographer & Facebook Live Stream: Jason Magbanua | Prenup Videographer: Mark Multimedia | Prenup Locations: Kyoto, Japan & The Old Grove Farmstead | Prenup Hair&Make Up: Azil Ocampo | Ceremony Stylist and bridal bouquet: Teddy Manuel | Entourage corsage: Biboy Flowershop | Reception Stylist: Robert Blancaflor | Cake: Penk Ching | Cake Show: Cake Mapping Philippines | Emcee: Dr. Jerome Go | On the Day Wedding Coordinator: Ms Aissa Estacio-David & Team | Dance Choreographer: Mr. Edward A. Sera | Ceremony & Dinner Music: Manila PhilHarmonic Orchestra | Cocktails & After Dinner Music: Libante Strings | Photobooth: EasyPics Mirror Photobooth | Giveaways for guests: Liquor Cakes by Maricar | Souvenir for Principal Sponsors & Entourage: Notes & Notice Gift Shop | LED Aisle Flooring: Forscink Inc | Wedding ring band: Cartier | Engagement ring: JANNPAUL Singapore | Lights, Fogs & Sounds: In Sync Mobile | Bride's Hair accesories: Bride Sparkle

“We had rescheduled again on December 27, 2020, but despite our best efforts, it did not push through since our marriage license had to be renewed again because we just came to know about its validity that it was just valid for 120 days.” Frustrating as it was for the couple, they shrugged it all off and chose to continue forward. They were determined to celebrate their love despite all the challenges.

Eventually, the couple was able to secure the final date for their wedding. After all the challenges that came with the pandemic and rescheduling, they were finally married on January 28, 2021. The best part was that they were able to plan their perfect day by themselves. There was no need for a wedding planner—they only opted for an on-the-day coordinator—since they knew exactly what they wanted.

“It was a delight and exciting to be able to plan your own wedding.” The newlyweds asserted. “For the April 2020 schedule, it took us about a year. Edward proposed Feb 18, 2019, so right after that, we started planning already. Then for the reschedule it took us nine months until January 28, 2021.”  The couple answered when asked how long it took for them to plan their wedding.

Truth be told, there really wasn’t a concrete theme for the wedding. They simply wanted to to be surrounded by white flowers and cherry blossoms. It was more or less similar to the wedding scene in the movie Crazy Rich Asians. This made their intimate wedding more iconic and unforgettable, considering the fact that they were also the last wedding event to be held at The Makati Shangri-La.

There were two main problems that the couple faced during the planning. “First was when we had difficulty renewing our marriage license again. It was difficult going back and forth those troubles passing the necessary documents all over again. The second was when we were not allowed to hold the garden wedding ceremony 20 days prior to the real wedding day because of IATF guidelines for Makati City.”


Despite all the challenges and pressure that they faced throughout their journey, they still managed to resolve all of them together with a smile. They always choose to see the silver lining in those situations. Seeing it as God’s way of sending them blessings-in-disguise. Their love prevailed over all the unfortunate circumstances that Covid-19 threw at them.

“We just laughed at every problem that we faced and resolved it together fearlessly. We have been through a lot and we know that we are stronger as a team! We told ourselves that since Edward will be back for good to be with me here in the Philippines, why wait for Covid to be over if we can do it now? Why delay if we can still push for it. So we told ourselves, 'We will not wait until Covid-19 is over.’”

From the original guest list of 250, they were only allowed to invite 80 guests during the ceremony and reception. This made for a genuinely intimate wedding. Other important guests were still able to witness their celebration through a live stream that was done on Facebook. In the end, they truly “made it their own” since they accomplished everything from the planning to the financing.

“Definitely, our happiness extends beyond the moon! During the wedding, we felt a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment, a dream come true because finally, we were able to get through all the cancellations and this pandemic together,” the couple remarked, highlighting the importance of reaping the fruits of their labor. “We wanted to enjoy the journey of planning our once-in-a-lifetime wedding.”

?Holding each other’s hand through the most challenging situations was one of the most important lessons they learned while planning for their intimate wedding during the pandemic. Constantly adjusting to the changing Covid-19 guidelines really tested their patience and love. In the end, everything fell into place as long as the couple tackled all the obstacles together as a team.

“It is really hard to pull off an event amidst this pandemic. Having options A, B, C should always come into play while making the right actions, and adjusting to the ever-changing IATF for Covid-19 guidelines proved to be very very difficult. But it made us closer as a couple.” When asked what advice they wanted to impart on couples planning to get married during the pandemic, the newlyweds gave prime importance to not living in fear of the current situation and the challenges that might arise. In the end, this single moment is the event couples will cherish the most. The problems that may come are what will make or break the relationship. “Do not be afraid to have the dream wedding that you both wanted. We only live once so make the most of everything that you ever wanted because in the end, what matters is the lasting memories that both of you will forever cherish. If you can overcome wedding preparations, you will definitely get through any problem that comes along through your journey as husband and wife.”