Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lessons About Marriage

As brides, we get overwhelmed and preoccupied with wedding preparations. Let's keep in mind that more than the wedding, it's the marriage we have to prepare ourselves for. Here's a good read I wish to share with all brides. It was written by Conchita Razon for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

By Conchita Razon

Raise your glasses and drink a toast to all thecourageous souls who bravely step out and defy the sad and coldstatistics of marriages that burn up or burn out. God bless them. Onthe verge of a dark and uncertain future, they hold their lights upand dare to believe in forever.In the US, the figures are staggering.. Roughly 50 percent ofmarriages end in divorce. Of these, a good 59 percent are couples whohave lived in, before marriage.And yet, I read somewhere that mostwomen dream of, at least once in their lifetimes, walking down theaisle "all dressed in white."

Are we giving more thought to the wedding and less to the marriage?

It takes courage to say "I do." Samuel Johnson said it well:"Marriageis the triumph of hope over experience."Asked to impart some words (of wisdom?) to hopeful couples, I can onlycall on my own battle scars and bruises. After two attempts at"happily ever after," these are some of the lessons I have learned.

I would not try to win every argument. There are no prizes after all.Being right is not really important. Issues do not get resolved if oneparty retreats into a corner.

I would bite my tongue and not let my anger speak out. Words have away of slipping out, doing irreparable damage and there's no way totake them back. Wit and sarcasm are first cousins. When let loose theycreate mortal wounds.

Learn to talk to one another. Learn to whisper. It brings you close.

Pray together. Let the third party in your marriage be no one else but God.

There is no wrong time to apologize. Hang your pride on the door post.It isn't true that love means never having to say you're sorry. Iwould not miss the sweet tender moments of making up, no matter thatthe pillow is still soaked with your tears.

I would be patient. Two pieces of wood, rubbed thoughtfully oneagainst the other, will produce a spark. And then, with a gentlebreath, it bursts into flame. In this day of instant and cybereverything, it is important not to expect love to blaze with a click.

You work at a marriage. There are no shortcuts. There are bumps on theroad. That's no reason to get out of the car. You learn to travel overthem, around them, if necessary take another route, but alwaystogether.

Tell each other secrets. Build on your trust for one another.

Love is important, but respect is even more so.

Share your dreams. Make plans. Help one another achieve your goals.In spite of a far from commendable track record, I would not give upon love. I would still love with all of me. I know no other way.

They say that a successful marriage begins when we marry the one welove… and blossoms when we love the one we marry. The secret is tofall in love, over and over again, with the same person.Pity. One learns that sometimes a little too late.

Remember: It is not important to think alike, but you must thinktogether. It is not so much the dance, but that you move together tothe same music.

Make a million memories.

Take it from me. When the sun starts setting, when friends are few andnights are long, those precious memories will keep you company. Theywill be your warm blanket on a cold and lonely night. No one andnothing can take them away from you. They are yours always.

Only then will you know that you have found forever.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Your Best-Dressed Moment

My fiancĂ© and I decided to get married on the celebration of our 8th anniversary. I’ve been thinking about my wedding gown since that evening. Sixteen months later, I still haven’t made my final decision for my wedding dress yet. This entry is a warning to all single women: IT’S SOOOOOOOO HARD TO DECIDE ON YOUR WEDDING DRESS! You won't believe it. I thought it was going to be simple because I knew what I want.

I had the following considerations for my wedding gown:
1. There’s no way I’m going to wear a strapless dress/gown because that’s what most brides wear! (I got the chance to meet Inno Sotto at work. He once said the Pinay brides always want the strapless silhouette and he wishes Pinays would explore other silhouttes. There are so many silhouettes that are more interesting and flattering than the strapless dress. I totally agree!)
2. I want a silhouette that will compliment my tall, pear-shape physique.
3. I want to be able to dance and run around in my wedding gown.
4. I want to be able to wear flats when my feet grow tired.

Let me just say, looking for the perfect dress was harder than looking for Mr. Right! Whew!

Initially, my idea was to order from Ferdi Abuel a white (or cream or ecru…whatever light shade we’ll end up with) version of this beautiful dress he made for me. I wore it to the Monique Lhuillier benefit gala here in Manila on November 2006. It’s a jersey dress that you can wear in so many ways—haltered, one-shoulder, strapless, V-neck, it’s all up to your styling.

Multi-way jersey gown by Ferdi Abuel. To order, call Ferdi at 0917-8288845

This dress perfectly meets my criteria. And it would only cost me about P10,000 – P12,000! This is my best fashion purchase ever. If you want to order, call Ferdi at 0917-8288845. (NOTE: my price reference was from 2006) It’s so beautiful I’ve already worn this to 2 parties and I’m going to wear it to 3 more. You see these 5 events are with different circles—1 from work, 1 with my Mom’s side of the family and 3 with different sets of friends. It’s classic and timeless, I can wear it in so many ways, it’s very very comfortable and you’ll really feel beautiful in it. So by the time my wedding day comes, I’d be wearing a dress I’ve worn several times and most of the guests have most likely seen me in it.

So now I had to look for a dress. I have this folder in my laptop where I save clothes/designs that catch my fancy. I was able to dig up these dresses:

From left: gown by Zac Posen, from; gown by Zac Posen, from

Gown by Zac Posen

Both gowns by Halston, from

From left: gown by Oscar dela Renta, gown by Elis Saab, gown by Jonathan Saunders, all from
These are all exquisite dresses but I was looking for “that feeling” as I was looking for MY dress through my files and online. “The feeling” that will tell you it’s the ONE. Here’s another warning girls, there’s a big chance you’ll get “that feeling” more than once. You’ll find a dress that will make you say “I’ve finally found the ONE”, then you come across another dress that’ll make you say, “No, THIS is the ONE.”

I must’ve gone through thousands of dresses. I went through local and international magazines,, the knot, Martha Stewart Weddings (magazine and the website), Pronovias, and the list of bridal references goes on. I’ve reached a point where I was growing sick and tired of all the white dresses that I stopped looking at bridal sites. I realized if I can’t find anything in these sites, maybe I should look outside the bridal references.

Look what I found in My top 2 choices: (I had to tell my fiancĂ©, “imagine these in white or cream.”)

From left: gown by Elie Saab, gown by Monique Lhuillier, both from

I was more inclined to choosing the Monique Lhuillier dress. I had my seamstress cost it out for me—labor and materials. (This is a totally different story. I’ll have another blog entry about cost of custom-made wedding dresses). She met my budget. And then, my heart broke when my Associate Fashion & Beauty Editor told me that the Monique dress won’t look as good in white. Ugh!

And then I wanted ruffles… and then I wanted ruffles and one-shoulder neckline… and then I wanted a full skirt… and then I wanted lace…
Row 1: gown by Carolina Herrera, from Marthe Stewart Weddings; black gown by Monique Lhuillier, from; from
Row 2: gown by Notte by Marchesa; gown byJ Crew; gown by Monique Lhuillier, from
And then I stopped looking. I just got tired. And then on Sept. 9, I attended RAJORED—Rajo Laurel’s 15th anniversary gala show for the benefit of the Philippine National Red Cross. And then I found the ONE. :)
Rajo Laurel (image from