Offbeat partners: Tin & Iñigo
Date and location: 11/16/2019, Café Oley, Quezon City, Philippines
Our wedding at a glance:
Back in 2010, my future husband saw me singing with my band onstage and told his friend I looked “'90s hot.” We got together a year later, moved in together almost immediately, and spent 8 years sharing an apartment before deciding to tie the knot.
So, things seemed rushed and not rushed at the same time, which pretty much defines our relationship and our engagement/nuptial ceremony. But we're a good fit. To say we immediately knew that we'd our life partners would be an understatement – especially since we got married when I was 43 and he was 40 (so, we really took our sweet time!).
We're both big nerds when it comes to our respective fandoms. I've been obsessed with Alice in Wonderland since I was a child, and it never quite left me as an adult, while he, meanwhile, breathes everything Star Wars. But I knew he understood my passion when, during our early days, he gifted me with practically all of the Alice in Wonderland Kaiyodo figures to add to my budding collection.
His generosity and consideration continued well into our wedding plans, which we called The White Rabbit Wedding. He not only agreed to add Wonderland elements into our ceremony and reception, but fully embraced the theme. The result was a Wonderland-inspired vintage tropical dream, set in an intimate neighborhood café that we'd previously stumbled upon by accident – much like Alice did down the rabbit hole!
We had no official wedding photographer — our guests took our pics and used our hashtag #whiterabbitwedding! My apologies if the picture quality isn’t professional… I would love to share our special day anyway.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We went for a non-religious ceremony, though we were both baptized in the Catholic church. We initially planned on getting our geriatric 19-year-old cat Ernie to be our ring bearer, but he sadly passed two weeks before our planned nuptials. My vows mentioned Ernie and Himas, our shared felines who pretty much defined and set the tone for our relationship:
“Today, among all days, I would like to talk about our cats.
Before I fell in love with Iñigo, I fell in love with their cat, Ernie. The first time I met Ernie, he proudly presented me with a small dead mouse. Iñigo said he'd never done that with anyone before, much less a stranger!
I'd like to think that our two dearly departed furbabies were the litmus test for our relationship, and consequently, our life as newlyweds. We went through literal sickness and health, thick and thin, and sleepless nights of nebulizers and subcutaneous sessions to treat our cats' respective ailments. At the end of it all, we came out stronger as a unit.
I'd like to think of our relationship as a Wonderland of things that we can discover and conquer together. There will be talking flowers, pools of tears, strange creatures that can give us lessons or puzzles, and monsters we can either nurture or destroy together.
I can't wait to see what else Wonderland has in store for us, my husband.”
Tell us about the reception:
The biggest hiccup we encountered regarding the catering: my husband dislikes cake!
Café Oley is a café that serves traditional Filipino food, but it also has an artisanal bakeshop. You can imagine how the owner's face fell when Iñigo told her he doesn't eat cake. But we ended up compromising on a three-tier cheesecake topped with Lego minifigs of Alice and Luke Skywalker (had to make concessions for his fandom!). As my husband put it, cheesecake is pie, not cake.
We put together a Spotify playlist called “White Rabbit Wedding” which a friend curated and played throughout the reception. I walked down the “aisle” to Tracey Thorn's “Here It Comes Again.”
The vibe was laidback and intimate. We had close family members and friends in attendance, and they agreed to wear varying shades of blue in smart casuals. Most of our female guests wore fascinators on their heads as a nod to the Mad Tea Party.
The venue took care of the flowers – hydrangeas in varying hues of blue and purple – and each table had a small cake and some figures from my personal Wonderland collection as centerpieces and decorative touches.
As our invitation said, “Expandable waistlines are welcome as it will be an eating party“, and it most certainly was. The food was superb, the drinks were free-flowing, and people happily celebrated us as a newlywed couple. I wouldn't have it any other way!
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
We got engaged in late March 2019, and were initially aiming for a wedding that September 7th, our anniversary. Unfortunately, the venue was undergoing renovation, and several family members were travelling abroad on that date, so we moved our wedding to November 16th. At this point, I realized that every small detail had to have its own schedule, even the printing of tote bags for giveaways and ordering tea and biscuits from Marks & Spenser. You can't always rely on suppliers to be in sync with your itinerary, after all.
But the biggest challenge was taking care of a very sick pet. Towards the middle of October, we can sense Ernie was getting ready to say goodbye to us. So between wedding planning and vendor-calling, we were giving our 19-year-old furbaby lots of love and attention, to the point that we'd sleep beside him on the floor because he could no longer go up to the bedroom using the stairs.
It got to the point that my heartbreak was telling me to call off the wedding. But as my fiancé and I agreed, Ernie saw us through our relationship, and it would be a disservice to cancel our plans because of grief.
So how did we overcome it? By celebrating all the things that married couples are expected to go through, albeit in advance. We've gone through heartbreak, grief, and hope as a couple, and the least we could do is show our loved ones that we're ready for what else will come.
We had custom rings made with portraits of our beloved, dearly departed furbabies, Ernie and Himas. Inscribed inside the rings are the latitude and longitude of our apartment.
Are you and yours ready to walk through the looking glass? Check out our other curious and delightful Wonderland themed weddings for additional inspiration!
- Rings: 13 Lucky Monkey
- Hair and make-up: Gab Lopez
- Venue, catering, flowers, and décor: Café Oley
- Groom's suit: JE&Co.
- Alice flower girl dress: Sewmate Fabrics
- Invitations: Gamo Tuano