No one would ever want a storm for their wedding day, especially if it’s the strongest yet-to-be-categorised kind – Haiyan (locally, Yolanda). I’d say it was destiny when we chose that fateful day – November 8, 2013. There was no particular reason for that date. It was far from sentimental. It was just practical for the circumstances surrounding us then.
I know it was generally a sad, even devastating day for most of the world, especially for Filipinos. I will never understand exactly why Haiyan happened or why it coincided with our wedding. Nonetheless, I stay thankful for that day. It was nothing close to what we planned. We were supposed to get married outside beside a lake while enjoying the cool breeze and the beautiful lights. There were supposed to be floating lights in the water when we will first re-enter as husband and wife as we are riding a boat. Flying lanterns were supposed to be lit as we have our first dance. I was not going to throw my bouquet but instead give every single woman a rose as a symbol of my prayer that they too would have love in the perfect time. Junmark was supposed to give every single man a handkerchief as a gesture – a reminder not to make girls cry as per the superstition but to always be ready to help wipe the sweat, tears and dirt of their lady loves.
The reality? We ended up crowded inside two separate halls. One hall was used for the ceremony and then quickly set-up to hold half of the reception. Half of our visitors did not really get to see the program, if there really was any. We basically just thanked everyone for braving the storm to be there and just honored God for His faithfulness in our lives and our love. I was really concerned for everyone’s safety so I suggested that we all just enjoy our dinner (which was really good!) and go straight home. Lovingly, many people still stayed and we did have a short program. All in all, we were really not the ones calling the shots that day. Our friends and families were eagerly on top of everything, working together to make it happen despite the unbelievable storm. Indeed, love was as powerful as the winds that day. I felt loved. I am blessed.