Saturday, August 22, 2009

Springtime surprise

"Springtime surprise"
Sun.Star Davao, Aug. 22, 2009

Dominic Dexter Te So Jr. and Honey Michelle Cua Herrera’s paths unexpectedly crossed in June 2005 when they were with their respective moms waiting for their flight to Davao. They were at the Manila airport’s Mabuhay Lounge when it was announced that their flight was delayed.

Dexter’s mom Merlene then approached her acquaintance, Michelle’s mom Helen to talk to her while passing away the time. Dexter and Michelle were not formally introduced then.

After the flight, Merlene would often call Helen on the phone to chat. She would ask if Michelle and her family were free to have dinner with her family before Dexter returned back to Australia where he was based. Michelle, who was busy with their family’s telecoms business, would always decline the invitation due to her tight schedule.

Family affair
After asking again for a few times, Michelle finally accepted the dinner invitation. And, so Dexter and Michelle together with their moms and dads Engr. Manuel Ang Herrera and Dominic So Peng Kee had their first dinner date at Bistro Rosario.

“The night was awkward as most of the conversations were among our parents, while Dexter and I were just listening and trying to join the conversation”, Michelle recalls.

After dinner, as Michelle was about to go into their car, Dexter mustered enough courage to ask for her phone number. And luckily, Michelle gave her number to him. That was the start of their beautiful friendship.

When Dexter was called back to Davao to help in the family business in 2006, he started to relentlessly pursue Michelle. It was no easy feat as Michelle also had other suitors and was the apple of her parents’ eyes being the youngest and only daughter in the family. Michelle has three older brothers, Richmond, Winston and Chester.

But, Dexter was not the type who would easily give up. He persevered until Michelle said yes. And, when it was time to ask for Michelle’s hand in marriage, Dexter invited her future in-laws to dinner.

“Most of the dinner was small talk. By the end of the dessert, Dexter was so nervous, I had to queue him to speak and ask my parents. Everybody was relieved when Dexter asked the question. He was sweating very heavily”, giggles Michelle.

Elegant garden theme
The wedding ceremony at the All Nations Christian Fellowship Church and the grand reception at the Davao Convention and Trade Center had a lovely springtime garden theme in lively yellow, orange and lime green colors.

Davao’s pioneering wedding planner, Annie Lim, elegantly decorated the Davao Convention and Trade Center with ceiling drapes and ecru tablecloths.

Each pretty centerpiece featured a glass crystal vase full of cymbidiums, peonies, carnations, roses, stargazers, French tulips, dancing ladies and Malaysian mums from Davao, Baguio, Holland and Thailand. Fresh oranges, lemon and pears were placed together with the exquisite flowers.

“We wanted the wedding decorations to be bright, simple and elegant, and the mood for the evening to be fun and light”, says Michelle who is a graduate of Bachelor of Science and Commerce, Major in Accountancy from the Ateneo de Davao University.

The towering wedding cake was magnificently created by the talented Chef Booboo Maramba of Natalie’s Cake.

The scrumptious piece de resistance was a 5-layer light yellow fondant showpiece inspired by fabric techniques. Pleats adorned the bottom tier while ruching highlighted the next layer. Providing a modern touch were the quilted asymmetrical middle square cakes. On the other hand, the topmost layer mimicked a balloon skirt. Delicate handmade gumpaste tulips and roses in varying shades of orange provided the dramatic contrast.

VIP guests of the affair included the couple’s principal sponsor from Australia, Virginia Rosa and her husband Jack. From Manila, the principal sponsors were Milagros How, Raymund Ilustre and Justice Conchita Morales while Ninong Leonardo Yu came from Butuan. On the other hand, Domingo Uy, Henry Wee, Vicente Lao, Regino Cua, Lolita Huang, Helen Lim and Remedios Cruz were the Davao-based principal sponsors.

The couple’s close family and friends came from all over the world. The maid of honor who is the bride’s first cousin, Caroline Cua, flew all the way from San Francisco, USA. The best man, Philip Soo came from Australia. Other overseas guests included Trevor Stanton (Singapore), Imalia Ismojo and Louis Lee (Australia) and Dexter’s relatives from China, Zhang Zhi Xiong and Lin Wen Juan.

Springtime surprise

Rodel Macatangay of Chardin exclusively designed the breathtaking gowns of Michelle and her wedding entourage.

The statuesque bride donned an ivory silk mikado wedding gown cut on the empire with an asymmetrical two-layered sepal on one side and spaghetti straps on the other. The umbrella-cut asymmetrical overskirt had intricate embroidery and embellished with sugarbeads, matte sequins and Swarovski crystals.

A very long detachable train was attached with a huge bow-like detail at the gown’s back and then replaced with fabric roses at the reception for a different look. “The shimmering tulle veil completed the elegance that she was. Michelle was indeed the brightest star of that momentous evening!”, exclaims Rodel.

Dexter and Michelle awed everyone with their romantic first dance, an international waltz choreographed by Metro Lifestyle’s Corvette Alforque to the tune of Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright’s “With You I’m Born Again”.

Touching speeches by Michelle’s brothers, Richmond and Chester as well as the surprise song number from the groom’s mother made the event more special. Merlene’s heartfelt rendition of “Sunrise Sunset” from the hit musical “Fiddler on the Roof” left the guests teary-eyed.

That night, it was evident that Merlene was a proud mom as she shared how Dexter had always been a loving and responsible son and a doting brother to his younger siblings, Denver, Dexon and Deiniel.

Dexter studied at the Australian International School in Singapore during high school and finished his Bachelor of Science and Arts at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Dexter also happens to be the grandson of the late So Kim Cheng, one of Davao City’s strongest supporters in the field of sports.

Manila-based professional wedding host Eva Marie Poon serenaded the couple with endearing love songs like the French favorite "La vie en rose" by Edith Piaf. In addition, the Music Authority provided the live entertainment for the night.

With free-flowing Lavazza coffee from Café Firenzo, heavenly dessert buffet from Lachi’s and 20 units of Nokia and Samsung cellphones given away as prizes, Dexter and Michelle certainly treated their 700 happy guests to one unforgettable evening of springtime surprise.
We share photos of the So-Herrera nuptials by master photographer Lito Sy.

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