MANILA, Philippines - Articulate, eye-catching Patty Cojuangco met tall, suave businessman Anthony Kierulf on the beach in Boracay in 2006. After two short years, they were making the vows at the altar.
Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati, saw the gathering of about 400 relatives, friends, and associates of the bride and groom. They watched with absolute pleasure as Anthony walked to the altar with his mom, Lilia Styner.
His father, businessman José Antonio Kierulf, escorted the bride?s ultra-glamourous grandmother, Imelda Ongsiako Cojuangco, down the aisle, dahlings.
The church doors then opened and Patty made her grand entrance. There was hardly a dry eye as she glided down the aisle on the arm of her father, tycoon Tonyboy Cojuangco (looking as fit as a fiddle), to the tune of ?Kissing,? performed ethereally by the Ateneo Chamber Singers and Bernie Pasamba?s orchestra.
Patty looked absolutely radiant in her simple but elegant wedding gown which was enhanced by an embroidered piña paneled train. Her gown was a masterpiece by Dennis Lustico, no less, palanggas.
Before Patty took Anthony?s arm, she stopped to give her glamorous grandmother, ?tata? Imelda, a nose kiss?the trademark greeting Imelda gives to family and close friends?and a hug so long that even I got goose bumps. Everybody felt emotional watching Patty give her ?tata? her last affectionate act as a single girl. Many a socialite was teary-eyed.
I know of several doñas who were anticipating a major scene to take place in the church. But to be fair, the subject of much speculation had delicadeza, kept to herself, and didn?t show up in the wedding.
It was a beautiful moment, the start of many more heartfelt moments to come.
After they were pronounced man and wife, Anthony gave Patty a long torrid kiss, leading some in the audience to scream loud enough to rock the church chandeliers. Wow!
The guests made a scramble out of the church through a torrential summer downpour??infinite blessings,? I was told. They rushed to the Rizal Ballroom of Makati Shangri-La for the reception, which began with cocktails.
I noticed many of the women changed gowns at the reception.
?Half my gown was soaking wet going from the church to my car because of the wind,? one said.
Another told me, ?The umbrella didn?t help at all, with the strong wind and rain. Even my shoes were drenched.?
The ballroom had been superbly decorated by Zenas Pineda. Tables glowed with candlelight and gorgeous colorful blooms.
After the excellently prepared five-course dinner, Patty?s sister, the gorgeous matron of honor Iya Guingona-Lagdameo, stood up. ?Always be best friends first, above everything else,? she told the newly-weds.
Looking absolutely great were Ching Cruz, Mayenne Carmona, Jojo Zabarte and Marissa Cojuangco.
Songs of love
The evening?s entertainment was more than fun, it was close to the heart. One of the sponsors, chic ninang Ning Ning Cojuangco-Yulo, sang a meaningful duet with Johnny Velasquez.
They were followed by the fabulous voices of Cris Villonco and Rem Zamora, who sang ?Somos Novios,? as Patty and Anthony did the ceremonial all-white cake-cutting, made by Patty?s close pal, the owner of the famous Sonja?s Cupcakes.
Popular social photographers Alex van Hagen and Patrick Uy covered the event.
For their first dance, Mr. and Ms Anthony Kierulf wowed everyone with a real smooth foxtrot to the tune of Sade?s ?Kiss of Life,? sang wonderfully by Patty?s sister, Mia Tengco, accompanied by the fabulous band 8-Track.
The band had everyone on the dance floor till dawn.
But that didn?t stop there, dahlings. A DJ took over the booth and dished out sounds that had us rocking till 3:45 a.m., to be exact. Now, that was P-A-R-T-Ying!
It was really fun, and Patricia and Anthony kept it that way.
Perhaps the most welcome surprise of the evening was Anthony singing ?The Way You Look Tonight,? which caught Patty completely off-guard as she danced with her grandfather, José Guingona.
After that, the party really got rolling and rocking with Patty?s dad Tonyboy singing! Yes, dahlings, singing beautifully one song after another, eliciting wild applause and whistles from the guests.
Making this wedding fab and fun were the dynamic Bridesmaids and Co.?Rachel Climent and Leah Sanchez?who coordinated the dream wedding perfectly.
To Mr. and Ms Anthony Kierulf, here?s to a beautiful love that will live on till eternity.