Moments in Time: Bridal Tips From Iza Calzado-Wintle
A reflection of these couples’ romantic histories and commitments, four brides share how their dream weddings came to life. Shauna Jay Popple Williams takes you along for the nostalgic ride and culls invaluable advice for future brides-to-be
How did you meet?
Ben and I met in 2011 at the launch of Esquire magazine in Manila, which I was hosting.
What or when was that big moment that you realised that he was “the one”?
Ben was an obvious perfect match for me as he balanced and brought out the best in me and vice-versa. It was when he started writing messages on our blackboard (almost) every day starting February 2017, I told myself he was a keeper. That, for me, was a great idea because affirmations are my love language and he’s not very vocal with affirmations–so written format is the best way for him to get to me.
How did Ben propose?
It was supposed to be a lovely Sunday lunch with family at Sonya’s that turned into a beautiful emotional surprise with friends and family!
What was the overall look and theme of your big day?
Nature, dreamy, and love-filled. Boho feels mixed in with sea elements. Our logo is that of a seahorse because it is the only specie in the world wherein the male carries the baby and is monogamous. A few years back, we jokingly said that our lives would be even more amazing if Ben and I were seahorses!
Who did you wear and how did you decide on this? What was the process like?
I wore a beautiful Rajo Laurel creation made with lace that we sourced from Paris, which was hand-carried by my stylist and good friend, Kat Cruz. Rajo posted about it on his blog and House of Laurel account. I am so grateful that Rajo made my dress because he knew exactly how to bring out the best in me and my body.
Which wedding Apps, sites and bridal Instagram accounts did you follow for inspiration?
A bit of Pinterest was all I did. Honestly, Gideon [Hermosa] and Teddy [Manuel] did most of the presenting after I told them what felt I wanted and we just worked on everything together. They are both brilliant!
As far as the wedding planning went, what did you insist on doing yourself and what did you delegate to the planner and bridal entourage?
Organising the rooms was very stressful as they were so limited so that was one of the most difficult parts of the planning which we really had to be on top of from both ends. I am so grateful that we got Amanda Tirol and her team. Working with her made me feel so secure that things would go really well. I don’t know if I delegated anything to my entourage before the wedding day but I know that Kat Holigores kept telling me to fix my registry and she also officiated the wedding so that was a very big task!
What was a magical moment for you?
There were so many beautiful moments—even from the day before when most of our guests started arriving, our welcome dinner which was so, so much fun! But on the wedding day itself, Ben’s mum gave me “something old” to walk down the aisle in…a bracelet that was given to her in Hong Kong. For me, seeing the wedding ceremony and reception set up for the rst time, seeing Ben’s reaction as I walked down the aisle, watching the sun set as we said our vows, looking at all our loved ones who gathered to witness our union (and partying with them after!). Then there was Ogie Alcasid, Karylle, and Rajo singing for us and accompanied by the Manila String Machine...going crazy at our after party with Mars Miranda on the decks. Too much fun!
Do you recommend a destination beach wedding? What were the most challenging parts?
I recommend it for people who, like us, want to be one with nature on the day of their wedding. Destination weddings are also a great way of possibly getting a tighter guest list because only the ones who really want to be there will be there… or, like in our case, we had such limited rooms we couldn’t invite more even when we super wanted to (sadness!) But please make sure you are very organised or have an amazing planner like Amanda Tirol because logistics is challenging and honestly can be quite expensive!
Did you plan around your big day with a strict budget in mind? Can you give Philippine Tatler Weddings readers pointers on what is essential to include and what can be forgone?
Speaking of expensive! Haha! Yes, we were trying to target a certain budget which I knew offhand was not going to happen, but because of this, we still didn’t reach the first realistic budget we had in mind.
Our essentials: 1). Planner (unless you’re already amazing at doing so but even with that skill, a really good planner can take the stress off). 2). Stylist 3). Photos 4). Video 5). Good Food 6). Good music. As for things that can be forgone, that’s really a personal call, but just an example of things I didn’t fight for are chairs. We wanted a specic kind of chair but Club Paradise only had Tiffany chairs. We seriously considered transporting chairs to Coron but when we computed it, I said “I won’t fight for that ‘want’ because it’s purely aesthetic and it’s not like people will remember your wedding because of the kind of reception chairs you get.” We did y in a Vito Selma chair for the cocktail reception because its really special design was the highlight of the “Instagrammable” area. Choose your battles!
Iza Calzado & Ben Wintle Wedding
When: December 19, 2018
Where: Club Paradise Palawan, Dimakya Island, Coron
Love in Paradise
Maria Izadora Calzado, or Iza, as the stunning star from ABS-CBN network is known, said her I do’s to the dashing techpreneur and CEO of the indispensable Booky App, Benjamin “Ben” Marcus Wintle, at the breathtaking Club Paradise Palawan.
While their combined global networks would require the capacity of a couple of 5-star hotel ballrooms, ultimately, the two decided on a very intimate celebration (certainly by their standards) with 150 of their favourite people from Manila, Hong Kong, London, the US, and Canada.
“We were looking for an island big enough to hold our wedding, good food (their Thai chef is amazing so we went with Thai food—which we really love!), and great service,” shares Iza. As it were, the spectacularly idyllic venue was not only big enough, but more than perfect for the couple’s desired “beach chic” affair. If anything at all, it just wasn’t big enough for the amount of love that everyone shared for the beautiful newlyweds.
- Photography Pat Dy