Over 250 of Manila’s well-heeled flew to Paris last weekend to attend Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho’s wedding, which was nothing less than lavish. What began with a romantic pre-wedding cruise along the Seine ended in an extravagant love-filled affair at the Opéra Garnier. Below, every nuptial-related detail that led up to the marriage of the two high-profile dermatologists.
Beautifully-designed wedding invitations are one thing but having a cohesive branding look throughout is a challenge that graphic designer Patria David and illustrator Trisha Gesilva-Ong took on for the Belo-Kho nuptials. According to David, "everything was conceptualized by the couple."
Embossed with gold and characterized with adorable illustrations by Trisha Gesilva-Ong, the invitations were an initial show of the grandeur to come. The party also hired a separate calligrapher for the hand-written text. Interestingly, the invitation breaks tradition twice by leaving out the reception venue and listing the bride’s name before the groom’s. The designer also notes that the groom was very hands-on with the invitations, conducting meetings himself so that the bride could get some rest.
The coordinates of the venue were printed onto hats distributed among the guests at the pre-wedding party. According to the designer: "Every guest had this on the back of their hats: 48.8720 N, 2.3316 E. The invite didn't reveal the reception and this was one of the clues. Fairytale indeed!"
Along with the invitation came maps beautifully illustrated by Robert Alejandro. Leaving behind the
The Beauty Team
The bride had her trusted beauty team fly in for the occasion and enlisted makeup artist Juan Sarte and hair stylist Junar Santos to create her simple wedding look, which focused on bringing out her eyes and her hair in an updo. No doubt she had her makeup redone after the ceremony and during the reception, she sported a wavy ponytail.
The Wedding Dress
She might have had four Michael Cinco creations to choose from but the wedding dress—which surprisingly came in a blush color instead of the usual white—possibly took the longest to finish. With 11 seamstresses working on the gown, its train spanned three meters long and consisted of French lace underneath a baroque pattern. The designer didn’t stop there, adding rose opal Swarovski crystals to embellish the wedding dress.
The Groom's Attire
The bride wasn’t the only who had an outfit change. The groom packed two Tom Ford suits—one in black and white; the former he paired with a bowtie during the church ceremony while the latter he wore at the reception.
The Bridal Bouquet
In contrast to her extravagant wedding gown, the bride opted for a simple bouquet to hold during her ceremony. Delicate white Lily of the Valley bunched up and held together by modest lace. It may look simple but event stylist Robert Blancaflor notes that the flower is one of the most expensive types in the world.
The couple exchanged vows at the stately American Church in Paris, which was the first American church built outside the United States. From the church entrance, one would clearly notice the high ceilings adorned with chandeliers and stained-glass windows that lead up to the altar. At the end of the aisle, the altar stands small before a grand organ. The exteriors of the church are fenced by iron-wrought gates. Its towers can be spotted miles away.
For the reception, guests made their way to the Palais Garnier. Built in 1861 to 1975, the Beaux-Arts style theater is home to the Paris Opera and is often referred to as the Opéra Garnier. The opera house is famous both as a symbol of Paris and the setting for Gaston Leroux's masterpiece The Phantom of the Opera.
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After being led to their seats, wedding guests were serenaded in the hall by opera singers, which was followed by a performance by Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez.
The flowers and the table setting were by esteemed florist Anne Vitchen of The Ritz Paris. Carrying on the opulent tone of the Palais Garnier, Vitchen used a combination of gold and glass elements that suited the wedding to a T.
The bride and groom called upon prestigious French luxury caterer Potel et Chabot for the reception. To start,
The second course, a citrus fruit lobster was delicately presented with sour root vegetables, yogurt bread, and lemon caviar vinaigrette.
Guests were given a choice between sea bass or veal. The pan veal loin on "Hatelet" was accompanied by steamed juice, macaroni, parmesan cheese cream, and a pumpkin horn.
For dessert, a rich chocolate
The Other Dresses
Aside from her blush wedding dress, Cinco created four other dresses for Belo to wear. Belo shared, "I didn’t ask Michael to do four dresses. He just surprised me by giving me four dresses
Perhaps, the highlight of the night was the fairytale-like first dance. Belo, clad in a powder blue feathered Mark Bumgarner gown was whisked away by Kho in Palais Garner's staircase surrounded by family and friends.
The festivities didn't stop there. The bride and the groom started a conga line, a pleasant surprise for the guests, which led to an adjacent room for the after party. A perfect end to the magical night.