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Guimaras Island, Philippines: Undoubtly the most b...

Guimaras Island, Philippines: Undoubtly the most beautiful destination wedding I have ever attended

I was supposed to fly to China last week for work but I backed out. Belle, my beautiful friend married the love of her life in Tatlong Pulo, Guimaras, the place where they met. Belle has been a big part of my life and is one of my best girlfriends. In the same manner, her beau, Sam have embraced this crazy friendship with open arms and I consider him as a part of my inner circle. It’s a no-brainer: I really really have to attend the wedding.

I was also curious about Guimaras. I’ve never been in that part of my country and knowing how creative Belle and artistic Sam is, this wedding will be something fresh and different.

I arrived one day before the wedding. Coming from a horrible 6 hour van ride from Caticlan, I stayed the night in Iloilo where I was hosted by Seda Atria Hotel, one of the premiere hotels in the city. This is also where we gave Belle a mini-bachelorette party. I wasn’t really sure how we will get to Guimaras but I went to the flow and figured it out along the way.

FROM ILOILO TO TATLONG PULO, GUIMARAS: THE CRAZY RIDE

Getting to Guimaras from Iloilo:

Take a taxi to Ortiz Port (near University of Iloilo). There will be ferries/boats leaving the port every 15 minutes. The fare approximately costs Php10.00 – Php20.00 and the travel time is 10-15 minutes. Once you arrive the other side, there will be jeepneys available depending on which beach you want to go to. Motorbikes are available, too.

It really is true. My traveler friends make up the bulk of my most memorable experiences. The good thing about this group is they are up for anything. What’s the best way to go to your friend’s wedding? TOPLOAD. We were on top of the jeepney for 45 minutes to Tatlong Pulo. There were bumpy roads and the palm trees will literally slap your face if you are sitting on top. I was actually amazed how they were not too strict about riding on top of the jeepneys. However, it is not advisable if it’s your first time. I won’t stop you but do it with caution!

As we arrive the venue, I can feel that my tan have improved. It was 13:00 and the sun was too hot — I wasn’t actually prepared for this!

THE SETTING

After going down the jeepney, we had to walk for at least 5 minutes to reach the venue. Goats, carabaos, cows and other farm animals were in view. “There is no way they are going to get married here.” I told myself, quietly. I couldn’t imagine the wedding venue. When we reached the beach, everything changed.

I was forced to include a photo carousel on this post because I want all of you to see the hardwork of Belle. Together with a small team, Belle did all these by herself! Simple, beautiful, clean. With only 9 tables, family and close friends, this has been Belle’s dream wedding. Anna of @annajcreative deserves a shoutout, too!

The part that has been vividly playing in my mind up to now is when we entered the venue, the drum beaters started rolling as if they knew we were to dance. Me and my friends started dancing without putting our backpacks down; without caring who is watching.

THE CEREMONY

Belle made her wedding dress and this was the first time that Sam saw her wearing it. “How did you sew that without him seeing it? You live in the same house!” She looked at me and said, “para-paraan” (we find ways). This girl is really talented! If you need something done: dress, wedding souvenir (anything really!) you know who to contact. You can never go wrong with Belle!

Officiated by one of Belle’s close friends, the ceremony was simple and direct to the point. And of course, everyone started passing on Kleenex when they started delivering their vows. I, on the other hand was on the side, delivering Kleenex to everyone. After their vows, the parents were asked to give their message secretly to the newly weds.

Sam kissed the bride and forever appeared right before us.

THE RECEPTION

Dear Belle and Sam,

We never live so intensely as when we love strongly. We never realise ourselves so vividly as when we are in full glow of love for others. Thank you for inspiring us with your very positive and open attitude in finding adventure together in life. Your experiences taught all of us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction. I am so honoured to be a part of your day and your life.

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love. Love. That’s what I have for you, Belle and Sam. I will go anywhere in the world for the both of you.

Come bouquet tossing, we were already expecting that the one who will catch it will be from our group and it happened! Grayson, my very loving gay friend caught the bouquet and some people were joking that Belle had to toss it again because he is gay. Belle said, “we are all equal here so we will let it be.” I think this is what I love about my friends’ very open attitude towards life! I love their beautiful souls!

We partied all night and lost track of time. The island was ours and we were free to do whatever we wanted to do. Me and my friends led the crazy dance moves, lay down the beach, talked about life, what our own weddings will be like, who will be the next bride etc. Everything was perfect — except someone puked inside our living quarters. Our nipa hut. Whoever it was, we didn’t figure out and I don’t really want to know.

THE AFTER PARTY

But wait, there’s more…

We woke up really early the following day because we were expecting another treat: Belle and Sam prepared a Booze Cruise party for their close friends and of course, we were in! We boarded the private boat and went around three different spots in Guimaras Islands.

Food and booze were served. We put music that reminded us of our friendship, did the crazy flying fish ride that made my body sore, went to the island toilets using jetski, watched the sunset together, lost our voices, stopped and said, “this is the perfect wedding.”

Ever since our friend Earl and Andre got married in Boracay last November, our friends already set a bar on how weddings should be like. It’s totally putting pressure to everyone.

I feel truly blessed because I’ve found a love that transcends and grows, despite timezones, island to island commutes and conflicting seasons. To the girlfriends who love us through everything, thank you.

Want to know how Belle and Sam met? Check out Sam’s honest account here.

© Photos by: Sam Arn, Bryan Boracay and Deneb Gela


What’s the best destination wedding you’ve ever been to? If you are to get married, what destination will you choose? I’d like to hear your thoughts! Tell me what you think on the comment box below!

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Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She'd like to believe she's not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. Trisha also loves extremely spicy food, pineapples, plants and symmetry. In no particular order, her favourite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv. Follow her life adventures on Instagram: @psimonmyway

  1. Sab Lee

    13 April

    Love your dress!! (or skirt/top?) 🙂

  2. Mar Pages

    14 April

    What a wonderfully intimate celebration with so much love. Great idea of the happy couple to book a cruise for the next day! Joy all around, all the best to Sam and Belle!

  3. Hi Trisha. I’m so glad you got to attend your friend’s wedding. You would have never forgave yourself if you had missed it.

    Thx for sharing another part of your great country with us readers. I’ve not yet been to the Philippines, but your posts really make me want to go.

  4. What a beautiful wedding! I always adore hearing stories of couples who met while travelling, and you can really tell from the photos that Belle and Sam are genuinely in love <3 Also I'm super impressed that Belle made her own dress. wow!

  5. Laura Lynch

    16 April

    I can’t believe you rode on top of that jeepney for 45 minutes. That’s insane. I really don’t think I would have done it for even 5 minutes. The wedding looks really beautiful. Congratulations to your friends!

  6. Anna Faustino

    17 April

    What a beautiful memento for your friends. Their wedding looked intimate, beautiful, and a true celebration of love-without all the wedding fluff! You know Brian too? 🙂

  7. Anda

    17 April

    Aren’t you lucky, Trisha to travel to all these beautiful places? Guimaras looks indeed like the most beautiful destination for a wedding. I would have loved to get married on a beach, but we didn’t have access to any nice beaches back in Romania.

  8. Sanket D.

    17 April

    That really is one heck of a location to get married in. Congratulations to you and your friends, Trisha! Looks like a really wonderful ceremony too 🙂

  9. What a very happy wedding 🙂 All the best wishes to your friend!

  10. Karla

    17 April

    You look gorgeous 😀 I didn’t think of Guimaras as a destination wedding but your account of it seems so beautiful. B

  11. Melissa Jones

    17 April

    Aw what a lovely idea for a wedding! Such a beautiful island and makes for such a memorable wedding (for everyone involved!). I’d love to do this, the idea of getting married in a stuffy building just doesn’t appeal to me. The views, the booze cruise, watching the sunset over the beach, I wish I’d been invited haha! Many congratulations to your best friend 🙂

  12. Sophie

    17 April

    What a stunning wedding and how wonderful you were able to make it there! I love the idea of a beautiful beach wedding – maybe something for the future!

  13. MariaAbroad

    17 April

    I got goosebumps reading this lovely story about this even lovelier couple. And her dress, it looks so unique and beautiful. I think there is nothing more special than either an inherited dress or a selfmade dress and your friend did an amazing job! Simply stunning and beautiful!

  14. Congratulations to your friends! I can’t believe she did it all! That’s a very talented girl! I would also like a beach wedding I think, around sunset.

  15. Cai Dominguez

    18 April

    Guimaras was so near yet so far when I went to Iloilo last year. Anyway, you look so pretty on that white dress. What a lovely and simple beach wedding. I can feel the happiness most of the bride. Who look so lovely on her own wedding dress.

    I never had a chance to attend a beach wedding but this one looks so cool 🙂

  16. What a fantastic place for a wedding! It looks like a great place to start your married life together- and to celebrate it with all your friends.

  17. Jessica

    18 April

    Guimaras – a small yet fascinating island of Panay. I was able to see the charm of Guimaras for our teambuilding two years ago and undoubedtly one of the best spots I have visited. I love all the concept of this wedding. Simply romantic and unforgettable! Can you bring home some mangoes? Hehe

  18. Mags

    18 April

    WOW! That’s a gorgeous wedding! I wish my friends would take note… I could use a trip to the Philippines.

  19. Veronika

    18 April

    What a dream wedding. It looks so romantic to get married on the island. Are you planning to do something similar for your own wedding?

  20. Destination weddings are always fun! This one looks so beautiful! The couple is lovely! Looks like you had an incredible time!

  21. Kevin Wagar

    20 April

    I love the relaxed vibe and intimate sizes of destination weddings and this definitely looks like a great place to celebrate! Everyone looks incredible and the bride is gorgeous!

  22. fendi

    6 August

    nice trip

  23. Lovely photos! The couple looks beautiful and happy on their gorgeous destination wedding

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