Our Civil Wedding – The Wedding Day Story Pt1: Bride’s Perspective

I slept fairly well the night before the wedding day. There was no anxiety or jitters about how the day would pan out. I knew that it would turn out as it was meant to and I had the love and support of family to make the day great. I had gone through as many details as I could with everyone hired, practiced my make up and hair several times, the dress fit perfectly and my mom was around to take care of all the other details I might miss.

I woke up before the sun rose to finish writing cards to my family members. It wasn't uncommon for me to wake up at 5am with the baby kicking and being active early each morning. I had drafted them on my phone before but wanted to start my wedding day writing gratitude to them and show appreciation for how much I loved them. My childhood bedroom would set the scene for wedding day prep so the table had been laid out with some of the details like shoes, cards, jewelry, flowers...etc. Vases filled with roses surrounded the rest of the room to serve as decor. I could hear how early my mother had been up, clipping away at some roses for the decor later in the day. We shared breakfast that morning with my father and grandmother as well. Nothing glamourous but filling and traditional for my filipino household - a touch of comfort and familiarity on a unique day.

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I began my make up and hair prep around 8:30am as the videographer was meant to arrive around 10am. I had practiced just the day before so it was a matter of repeating the same steps. I'm no make up expert but I can do a decent job on my own self. I went for a light gold look to keep it fresh and simple. By then, the house was in full swing as people were getting ready all over the place. My father left to pick up balloons for final decoration around the house and us ladies got ready. I stayed in my white robe with 'Bride' written on the back. I originally was on the fence about getting this, especially with the limited selection and amount of time I had to order it but in the end I was happy that I treated myself to a little bridal luxury, even if it didn't fit perfectly with the baby bump. I also gifted the ladies of the house who were my honorary bridesmaids, pink robes so that we could look unified for a few photos. I think they turned out beautifully and again, added a bit of wedding glam.

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The videographer arrived right on time and began working on various shots around the room/house. I was pleasantly surprised that there was two of them as I only expected the one. I posed as instructed and assisted in helping them capture whatever they needed. They were easy to work with and hopefully got lots of great content for that morning. When I wasn't busy working with them, I focused on touching up my make up and making sure that everything was packed and prepped for departure. I snuck off to take family photos since there was no photographer around to do this. I have a very photo-happy family so I knew there would be lots to capture as much as possible.

A special feature of that morning was that my mom was able to pull out her wedding dress from 30 years ago. We had also already purchased the christening gown for our baby girl. Three generations of dresses hung in my bedroom and made for a special and sentimental photo, thanks again to my sister. It's a unique and special thing to be a pregnant bride and it took me a long time to find acceptance with that fact. Looking now at this picture, I'm blessed to have experienced this day with baby inside. My mother shared the same experience for her religious ceremony, where I was only just beginning to grow in her belly. And while it's not a tradition I'm going to encourage with my own daughter, it certainly bonds my mother and I in an entirely different way.

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We took some time to open the cards I had written that morning with my sister and my grandmother. There was a bracelet we gave both our sisters for being our legal witnesses that day - for helping us tie the knot! I also read David's card to me that he had written in advance. David and I also decided to write cards to our in-laws to share our gratitude for our partner and their parenting skills in raising them. My parents were able to open his and share a short message to him captured on film. We ran out of time to do my individual cards to my parents but later made up for it at the reception. It was important to me that they each read their card on that specific day so that it tied to the special event.

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Before getting changed, we took a lunch break and ordered some pizza. While the videographers ate, I got myself changed into my gown but they would be back to film the final details including tightening of the dress, putting on the veil and sash and jewellery. While my sister and mother helped me, my father waited downstairs so we that would do a reveal to him.

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The headpiece I wore that day, I had purchased a long time ago and never worn before. I accepted the same for my choice in jewellery, opting for whatever I had at home that was simple. Instead, my parents gifted me a beautiful new Swarovski jewellery set. Sadly it wasn't photographed too much as it was a surprise so it went straight from the box onto me. Luckily everything fit and it was a beautiful touch of sparkle for my bridal outfit.

Once I was dressed and ready to go, the videographer was kind enough to take a few photos of us and then we were off in an UberX to head downtown. My parents rode separately as they needed to stay back a little longer to gather the final decorations and pick up the wedding cake from our family friend.

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