Before Rebellious Brides, There Was Once A "Bora Hop"

Photos by MangoRed unless labeled otherwise
Prologue - It's Feb. 13, 2013 midnight-- 2 days before my second year wedding anniversary. I can't sleep--tossing and turning trying to remember if my own wedding has a feature in the blog. And since I couldn't get the question out of my head, I open my laptop and begin to search the keywords "Bora Hop" in Rebellious Brides. And I've realized, it's not here. Sure, I've mentioned it in several other topics but there's actually no dedicated feature whatsoever. And it dawned on me that I've been featuring other people's weddings when I haven't even shared mine.

The fact of the matter is, before Rebellious Brides, before The Wedding Agency, first and foremost there was once a "Bora Hop". A wedding almost two years ago that somehow started all this rebellious blogging and wedding conceptualizing in the first place. It came before the blog and that's why it hasn't been featured here yet. 

The thing is, the "Bora Hop" has been featured everywhere else. So I'll try my best to make this different by sharing my old pegs, highlighting more on the rebellious thought processes, and mixing everything up with other wedding files that aren't necessarily from the official photos.  

This feature marks the FIFTEENTH feature the wedding has had in 2 years (coincidentally, our anniversary is Feb. 15). So I think it's probably time to retire the "Bora Hop". And I'm making this count. Enjoy :)

The Proposal - Well there was none, making this wedding rebellious from start to finish. It was simply two adults, having a serious talk, realizing it was time to get married and it was now or never. That night after the talk, I texted Jason Magbanua asking for February 2011 available dates and he knew right there and then what it was all about. No questions asked. A true fan dork, he was actually the first to know. 

Photo using my own Lumix (Not official photos)

The Engagement Earrings - "I don't want an engagement ring. I don't need one." This was the challenge I have somehow inadvertently imposed on my then fiancee. So rebellious as he was too, he worked around this and found a loophole. "Everyone else has an engagement ring. But you deserve something no one else has. So I got you a pair of engagement earrings", my fiancee said.

They are my twinkle stars. Secretly, I feel like I'm Jem from Jem and the Holograms when I wear them.

 A Challenging Budget Means Challenging The Norms - I've wanted a Boracay wedding since 2002. Hence, even without knowing who my future groom was, I've already been computing and recomputing how much a Boracay wedding could possibly be worth. The calculations seemed to point to one direction---it could easily go up to a seven-figured budget. So I took a step backward. I realized that this is the amount it will take to have the "usual" templated Boracay wedding. 

Photo using my own Lumix (Not official photos)

I looked at our own Bora trips for inspiration
So I closed my eyes and looked to how we were like as a couple. How have we come to enjoy Boracay? Our trip would never be complete without having breakfast in Real Coffee. Watching the beach for hours and hours in Station 1. Trying out a new spa discovery. Heading on over to The Tides' Sun Deck for Happy Hour. Dinner in True Food. Then partying the night away wherever the thumping music took us. And so I typed in my Excel Sheets the concept of the "Bora Hop" and presented it to my fiancee. I plugged in the initial calculations and immediately the budgets were cut by half. This was a wedding that was authentic to who we are and how we enjoyed the island. And it was within a reasonable budget. 

Our Dream Team - Every couple has one, right? Here's a quick rundown of ours.

 Jason Magbanua was a no-brainer. But I guess the most special part about it was the fact that I've had prior conversations with Jason about wanting to get married in Boracay with my then boyfriend even before I got engaged. "It will happen. 2011 will be your year,  I can feel it. Just text me when it happens, I'll block off my sched," Jason proclaimed. It was as if the wedding god has spoken and the stars would have to align. 

Jason Magbanua - Photo by Arnold Camacho
RB Mica - Photo by Arnold Camacho

RB Mica was another no-brainer. She was not just a friend but someone I've already worked with from many, many, other shoot collaborations. 

I knew she would be by my side, not just as the makeup artist but also as a friend. 

Hindy Weber Tantoco was yet another no-brainer. She has been my ultimate fashion icon since way back in college. I've been such a longtime fan. From Rustan's U, to Culte Femme. In fact, when my fiancee proposed for me to be his girlfriend, I was wearing a Hindy/Culte Femme cocktail dress. And from girlfriend to wife, I was going to be in a Hindy creation. For me it was not about the latest "it" wedding gown designer. It was more of going back to my own personal style and fashion roots if you will. 

Mango Ryan Dagooc photo by Arnold Camacho

For our photographer and coordinator, there were a lot of choices that cropped up. In the end, it really boiled down to which photographer and coordinator would be the perfect fit based on the concept that we were about to have. We were going to hop around several locations so inevitably we felt that MangoRed was the perfect fit for this crazy rebellious concept. And because we were about to take things to a different route, we knew we had to work with the Queen of Boracay, Amanda Tirol. 

Vision Mood Board

All White w/ Pops of Color aka, Kate Spade meets Jack Spade. My fiancee and I gravitate towards the creativity behind Kate Spade and Jack Spade. The playful colors, the even more playful touches. But we also enjoy the natural, organic things Boracay had to offer. We didn't want to overdo anything. We still wanted everything to go back to the island. And so we decided with just going for all-white. But agreed that once in a while, some color can pop out. Simple with a twist. 

Screenshot from our Jason Magbanua Wedding Video

The Unpopular Guest Count - It was because of the very essence of the wedding's concept, of all the moving around that we knew the guest count had to be intimate. That and the fact that we were on a tight budget. Plus the fact that my fiancee and I have agreed long ago that our wedding would only consist of immediate family and closest friends because we wanted the experience for each guest to be personalized. That we could easily have a party back in Manila anyway. It was probably the most unpopular decision of the wedding. But we were very honest and open about this to everybody else. And back in Manila, our post-wedding party would  separately be known as a fun night to remember. 

Intimate Wedding. Dream Team. Boracay in its most organic, natural form. All White w/ Pops of Color. These were our main rebellious elements. And this is how it unfolded:

Photo using my own Lumix (Not official photos)

Photo using my own Lumix (Not official photos)
Photo using my own Lumix (Not official photos)
Photo using my own Lumix (Not official photos)
Behind-the-Scenes by Arnold Camacho
Photo using my own Lumix (Not official photos)
Photo using my own Lumix (Not official photos)
Photo using my own Lumix (Not official photos)

More Rebelliousness - There were other subtle non-traditional decisions for our wedding. They were all not meant to simply be different, mind you. Basically it was just who we were and it seemed like the most logical things to do:

1) Minimal use of flowers - because I loved flowers so much, I couldn't bare the thought of throwing them away. The wedding only had a total of eight bouquets for the entourage and that was it.

w/ my best "groom-of-honor"
2) My fiancee saw my gown prior to the wedding because he was with me through all my fittings. I was also with him the morning of the wedding - we had breakfast together and even had a detox spa treatment together. We only separated for about 4 hours to get ready. Hindy called him "the best groom-of-honor". He never left my side. Screw the pamahiins. This was love, support, and teamwork at its best. Here was the man I was going to marry, I figured he was the only other actual person feeling the same emotions and excitement as I had so he was the best wedding buddy ever. 

3) I rode a trike because I wasn't the golf cart type of gal. Taking trikes is one of the many charms of being in Boracay. I just wanted to keep it real. 

4) I literally "chilled" with my girls during my preps. No cameras, no videos, no family were allowed to fuss around me because I didn't want to feel stressed. I wanted to have my own "chill zone", I wanted a laidback vibe. Jason and MangoRed weren't too happy with this set-up but I think that it all worked out for the best.  

A beauty shot of my matron-of-honor while I did my preps

I wanted the wedding to be about EVERYONE not just me. So not allowing them to shoot while I prepped allowed them to highlight guests, loved ones, and everything else that went on in the wedding and not just the bride. 

The video became about the people & the place - Jason realized / Screenshots lifted from our Wedding Video

5) The ceremony was like 30 minutes tops, including pictorials. We did our vows from the heart. And that was it. It was very simple. Minimal use of props. Just a circular type of seating arrangement to make it more intimate. Boracay was the backdrop. We couldn't ask for more.  Putting any more frou frou didn't seem right. 

Photo taken using my Lumix (not official photos)

6) No cake, no first dance, no program. Only speeches. It was so moving. We couldn't have asked for more. We asked Jason and Amanda Tirol to say a few words. We even asked the CHEF of True Food to say a few words. It was a night full of moving affirmations. It was the most priceless thing in the world. 

7) No Prenup Shoot  - just a Wedding Documentary


I met my husband in Sidebar on October 23, 2007. It was just fitting to have our Post-Wedding Manila 'inuman' where it all began.

8) The Post-Wedding Party in Manila - And so as promised, we had a party with more guests back in Manila a week after the wedding wherein Jason unveiled his wedding video for everyone to see. 

Epilogue: A marriage full of FUN - We will always go back to this best time of our lives. Looking back, I now realize why I love our wedding so much--it wasn't so much about it being so unusual or rebellious. It was the fact that it was more like a RETREAT rather than a wedding. It was like an open forum that really strengthened our relationships with the ones we loved. After our wedding, we've grown closer and closer with our friends and family. We've kept in touch with our dream team and still dream to have a "grand reunion" with them someday.

"Happy Earthy Home" Photo by my sister, Ella

My husband and I started this marriage with a wedding that was PURE FUN. And so far despite the many challenges thrown our way we have remained positive, grateful, happy, and contented. 

 Now, it's all about the good vibes. Every day is all about the good vibes. We couldn't ask for more.
June 4, 2011 "The Brunch" / Photo by J Lucas Reyes
But once in awhile, we could (or would) never be able to resist hosting anniversary parties (or weddings) just to have an excuse to be around friends.
Feb. 21, 2012 "Vegas Elvis" / Photo by Nelwin Uy

The End.


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