Rebellious Groom - Duane

All photos by Toto Villaruel

Have you ever met a groom who didn't care about the so-called "dress code" for a church wedding and wore a pair of laidback slacks,a white polo shirt, and customized Nike shoes?

Have you ever met a groom, who would insist on the iconic Darth Vader soundtrack, "The Imperial Death March" as the entourage music?

Have you also met a groom, who, despite being a thousand miles away from his fiancee, would make sure to check up on the wedding preps, wanted to see the trial make-up photos, and was even game to actually HOST in their own reception?

Only Duane, I tell you. And that's what makes him, a Rebellious Groom.


I once suggested for a friend to wear a pair of Pumas for his wedding. His bride did not like my suggestion at all. Perhaps it wasn't my place to say anything. But I just wonder why a groom can't wear shoes that he wants--after all, it's HIS wedding too. Some brides would go as far as Singapore just to score a pair of Louboutins for their wedding shoes. So why should it be any different if the groom wanted to wear his own fave shoes?

In Duane's case, wearing Nike was a "no-brainer" as his bride, Didi says.

"Duane loves Nike. Hence, the Nike rubber shoes. It was his idea to customize the shoes according to the motif", Didi further elaborates.

Not only was Duane "man enough", and rebellious enough to have his customized Nikes be in their color motif, he even had the wedding date, and his name, printed on the shoes itself.


Usually, it's "okay" for a groom to wear something laidback when it's a beach wedding---for obvious reasons. But Duane insisted on wearing a pair of slacks and a white polo shirt to their Manila, church wedding. No frills, no tie, no suit.

" The root of all ideas of our outfits is really COMFORT. It is more important for us to be comfortable and to be able to move around freely and to enjoy our special day, instead of fussing over outfits and shoes we don't even enjoy wearing in real life.", Didi explains.

Duane says: "Wear something that you are most comfortable with even if it goes against the conventions of wedding attire. It's your celebration anyway". To Duane, wearing a laidback attire is the most sensible groom attire in Manila--we are after all, in a tropical country. Mainit. Oo nga naman!

Didi explains: "It was the groom's idea because it was his own "Death March". (The title of the song is the Imperial Death March) Game over. It's a guy thing I guess. I did try to convince him to use another song. But I had to give it to him. Like the bride has her own moment with the march, the groom has to have his own moment too, right?"

Asked if they had any difficulties executing this part of the ceremony and if they had any unpleasant comments, Didi says: "No unpleasant comments. None that I know of at least. I didn't even get any comments from the Church. I guess everyone was just surprised with the choice of song and they couldn't do anything when we played it."

Duane works in Dubai, so obviously, his bride-to-be, Didi (of Loving the Distance blog fame), was left to do all the leg work on her own. Duane humbly announces in his speech that "85% of what you see (in our wedding) is because of Didi". And so it is. But I still commend the groom for making sure things were in order, even from a far...even as far as the bride's make-up and gown.

Didi says: "Duane just doesn't like surprises. So he did see the make up, but not the gown. I wanted it to be a surprise. But then again, he was persistent. To be honest, we really didn't think about tradition schmadition that much. He just wanted to make sure I was least according to his standards. Duane's a tough crowd to please you see."

I have actually heard of parents who tell the grooms, upfront, to "back-off" when it comes to the wedding. "It's (insert bride's name)'s wedding.". "She's the star of the show". "A-attend ka lang." "Hayaan mo siya." So for Duane, to be rebellious enough to assert himself, and still find the time to know how the wedding preps are coming along, from a distance, takes courage.

During their reception, Duane also acted as one of the hosts. Such an awesome gesture, given that the couple already had a lot on their plate during the wedding. Guests felt comfortable and engaged because of this brilliant idea, and it really, simply just made the reception so much more fun and personal.

Duane had an equally Rebellious Bride on his side. Watch out for that separate feature! We have nothing else to say to Duane but this:  Astig ka na groom! Clap, clap, clap!

Kai :)

Do you know of other Rebellious Grooms? Find out how to share his story at the Submissions page. 



  1. Well, major financial backer ang groom kaya KELANGAN may say sha. wahahahaha! salamat sa feature! sayang wala video ung entrance niya. i would have love to haveseen ung reaction ng mga tao. kc ako din i cringed. wahahaha!

  2. Love your blog, it's just a lovely, happy place to spend hours and hours reading!!