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Camyl & Ryan’s Ice-Cream-Cart-Picnic-Church Wedding


Y’all. We are on an international wedding roll this week. Today’s wedding is from The Philippines, and it will explode your pre-conceptions of Filipino weddings, in the most bad ass way possible. I mean, I’m not even sure where to start. It’s an indie-DIY-ice-cream cart-picnic-church wedding (I know, right?) But what really gets me about this wedding is Camyl’s deep respect for her husband, and her joy at the fact that he loved their wedding, and helped make it happen. You don’t hear that a lot in wedding media. Just sayn’. And finally, when she talks about her seriously ill mother and how she wanted to help with wedding planning, she breaks my heart. Because I’ve been there, and she is wise.

Camyl & Ryans Ice Cream Cart Picnic Church Wedding | A Practical Wedding

You have no idea how much APW has helped me deal with the insanity of wedding planning, even if i am so many miles away from all the other APW brides and graduates. Most of the ideas that my husband and I implemented at our wedding came from this site—while still putting our own brand of style on it. We got married in April this year, but even now, after attending several other weddings (all our friends seem to be settling down this year too), my husband still raves that ours remains the best he’s even been to. Of course he’s biased in a MAJOR way, but I realized that hearing him say that is all I ever wanted to hear while planning the event. No matter how many people I wanted to please or impress, his opinion was the one that mattered to me most (and I feel stupid for only realizing that belatedly). And I have you and all the other APW brides to thank for this, among others. So, here goes, my APW post from a little country in Southeast Asia.

Camyl & Ryans Ice Cream Cart Picnic Church Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Most weddings in our country still tend to go the traditional route—big church, reception at some hotel ballroom, restaurant, or one of those faux-garden or tent venues. Ryan and I definitely did not want to do things traditionally; in fact, at the very start of our planning, we decided to plan a wedding that would be: 1) unique, 2) totally un-extravagant, and 3) fun, casual, and relaxed.

Camyl & Ryans Ice Cream Cart Picnic Church Wedding | A Practical Wedding

We are not church-goers, but we come from families that are, and we respected their request that we have a church wedding instead of our original plan of having a garden ceremony. So to meet them halfway, we decided on holding the wedding mass at the high school chapel of our university, the Ateneo de Manila University. I spent four years as a Lit major in that school (this is where I also met my husband), but Ryan is the true-blue, die-hard Atenean: he went to Ateneo for elementary, high school, and college, and in fact has taught in the high school department for the past ten years. Having the wedding there was incredibly meaningful to us.

Camyl & Ryans Ice Cream Cart Picnic Church Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Keeping the “fun, casual, and relaxed” theme in our minds, we decided to forego the usual WIC suppliers that we thought offered products that were too cookie-cutter for us. I am a very OC person, so I sourced most of the materials we used myself. I went to various public markets, scoured the department stores, and tried my very best to look for stuff in places that brides don’t usually look into.

Camyl & Ryans Ice Cream Cart Picnic Church Wedding | A Practical Wedding

A lot of brides decide that they’d rather have someone else go through the trouble of making their weddings look nice enough for them. I totally respect that and I’ve never judged them for that decision (in fact, in the middle of wedding-prep stress, I understood all too clearly WHY there are professionals who do these things for you), but given who my hubby and I are, we sought out the materials ourselves, which really paid off in the end, hearing all the comments at and after the wedding like, “it was sooo you!”.

Camyl & Ryans Ice Cream Cart Picnic Church Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Camyl & Ryans Ice Cream Cart Picnic Church Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Both our parents shouldered the cost of the wedding, but we only spent half of the budget they had set aside for us (we spent the rest on our honeymoon in Hawaii—which was a smart move, because not once did we ever feel like we had to cut down on honeymoon spending!). Plus, we were lucky to have family who were willing to do stuff for free or within our budget. My eldest sister, who coordinates weddings for a living, agreed to be the lead day-of coordinator (and she did so with my friends and officemates as her team); my other sister and her husband have a catering company, and they provided the food and set up the decor (they executed our picnic wedding so beautifully that until now, we can’t stop ooohing and aaaahing over the photos); my husband’s aunt baked our wedding cake and cupcakes; seven of our friends agreed to take photographs for a minimal fee; and so on. All those volunteers helped us cut down on costs considerably.

Camyl & Ryans Ice Cream Cart Picnic Church Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Luckily, we have a very supportive family, friends, and most of all, I have a supportive fiance. Being the third and last daughter to marry in our family, my parents were more lax during planning, as compared to my sisters. To my sisters it seemed unfair, but I felt incredibly lucky that my parents gave me the room to do what I wanted to do, and even pitched in with whatever help they could give.

Camyl & Ryans Ice Cream Cart Picnic Church Wedding | A Practical Wedding

It was also meaningful to me, because my mother is actually very sick. On the months leading up to the wedding, she kept apologizing that she could not go with me on my buying trips, that she could not bring herself to finish my wedding thank-you gifts (she made pastel artworks for my entourage). But, she religiously woke up early (mornings are very bad for her) for my wedding dress fittings. We did not hire a designer, which is the accepted practice here, because I did not want to overspend on the dress. However, the first dressmaker that I visited did not execute the design I gave her very well, and because I did not know anything about the intricacies of dressmaking, my mother went out of her way to guide the second dressmaker into coming up with my wedding dress. The end result was even more than I expected, more so because I knew it took a LOT of effort for my mom to give her input during every fitting.

Camyl & Ryans Ice Cream Cart Picnic Church Wedding | A Practical Wedding

As for my fiance, well, he was the one who kept on reminding me that no matter what happened, no matter how badly things would go at the wedding, what mattered was that he loves me, and that we were going to spend the rest of our lives with each other.

Camyl & Ryans Ice Cream Cart Picnic Church Wedding | A Practical Wedding

I broke down several times, but he always always always succeeded in reminding me that the details don’t matter as much as the fact that we were going to be married in front of everyone we loved and cared for.

Camyl & Ryans Ice Cream Cart Picnic Church Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Pictures by friends as a wedding gift! Rory Rebustes of Citrusnap Photography, Keith Dador, Jic Horrilleno, Jonas Asistio and Jolo Santos of LomoManila, and Sunshine Selga-Funa

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  • Richelle

    Oh Camyl congratulations! What a beautiful and true wedding. You obviously made it a reflection of you and your fiancée, and your guests obviously had a great time. Cheers tom your mom and to you for respecting each other and loving each other extra in this time of great expectations and pressures. The second to last picture made me cry – the love in there will move mountains – and I love your enterouges dresses! Congratulations again and all the best for many, many years of happiness with your man.

  • http://www.ukuleleinrouen.blogspot.com Kinzie Kangaroo

    What a stunning wedding, and congratulations for digging to the root of what it needed to be for you. I love how much you clearly love and respect your mom — what a beautiful story, and she sounds like an awesome lady.

  • Anon in Canada

    Wow. Congrats! I was especially moved by the second photo from the end.

  • http://fionalynne.wordpress.com fiona lynne

    “my husband still raves that ours remains the best he’s even been to. Of course he’s biased in a MAJOR way, but I realized that hearing him say that is all I ever wanted to hear while planning the event. No matter how many people I wanted to please or impress, his opinion was the one that mattered to me most”

    I love this :)
    I am still thrilled when I hear my husband talk about how amazing our wedding was. It makes me so thankful for all the time we spent planning it together so that it was an authentic, meaningful and fun celebration!

    • Alyssa

      That was my favorite part too. It makes it all the more meaningful because it just reiterates how much their wedding was THEIRS instead of HERS.

    • http://made-of-sun.tumblr.com/ Trisha

      My husband didn’t want a wedding. Hearing him say “Thank you. I’m really glad we did this.” at the end of the day is what made all the planning, and effort to make sure it was something true to both of us totally worth it.

      • Sarah

        This was my experience, too. Thank you for articulating it so well!

  • Meriel

    Such a gorgeous, happy day. Thanks for sharing! I’m so inspired to see how you made this fantastic event happen with the support and effort of all your loved ones, I plan on taking my friends and family up on similar favors (photos, cake baking, etc) and I think it just makes the wedding all the more personalized and special! Congrats Camyl!!!

  • ElfPuddle

    Congrats!
    I love a groom who’s as interested in the wedding as the bride.

  • New York City Wedding

    Philippines in da house! Nice to see a fellow Filipino on here. :)

    What a stunning and fun wedding. Love the baby’s breath everywhere. I, too, got so much support from APW while planning my casual wedding. Had I not seen brides like you on the Internet I probably would have caved in and settled for more traditional (and pricey) choices. When you’re going against the grain you *need* to see that others have successfully accomplished a similar goal, especially when family and friends are telling you that your vision is impossible.

    • http://koruwedding.blogspot.com Koru Kate

      Yeah, I was excited to see a wedding in the Philippines too! My fiance & his family are Filipino; my fiance is the first generation to be born in the US. We’re excited about incorporating Filipino traditions into our ceremony- veil, cord & coins. I can’t wait to show him this sweet wedding!

      Congratulations Camyl & Ryan! Best wishes to you!!

  • http://bravebride.blogspot.com/ Kim NYC

    (Oops, that was me. I accidentally posted this comment under my “anonymous” identity from last week’s post on budget.)

  • Lor

    I haven’t had time to go through and read the post, but HELLO bridesmaid dresses, TOO FREAKING CUTE!!

  • Alyssa

    This was such a great heartfelt post, and such a gorgeous wedding! (OMG, the bridesmaid dresses!!!) I love how involved everyone was, that makes it so much more special. Yay Camyl and Ryan!

  • http://www.stofnsara.com saartjie

    This day looked absolutely exquisite. Camyl, your frock is breath-taking! How beautiful that your mum was so involved in the making of it.

    Meg: (as a foreign graduate myself) I just want to thank you for including so many “international weddings”. Brides from all over the world trawl the internet for inspiration for their weddings and marriage, but much of what is prominently displayed on the interwebs is so very American. Of course, this is part of why we do it: there are so many gorgeous documented weddings in that great big internet-loving country of yours. But: at one stage in the wedding build-up I remember feeling completely lonely in my little South African wedding experience because I couldn’t find an online community of brides who (it felt) wanted to relate to me! By featuring weddings that aren’t from the US, it gives us foreign gals a sense of sisterhood.. and so much about this site IS sisterhood. What strikes me the most is not the other-ness of the international weddings, but the similarities between the real real real celebrations of love that are featured on your site. It’s worth remembering that for Camyl and Angela (and me!), it’s not an international wedding at all. Just a flippen marvellous one.

  • Chinka Besinga-Sarmiento

    Hi! I am Camyl’s ‘other’ sister (as she described in her blog). :) I am thrilled and super proud that her wedding is featured here! She put in a lot of love and tears into each and every wedding detail. Camyl is our family’s baby. Their wedding, being the last in our family, was truly the icing on top of our parents’ ‘daughters-to-wed’ cake. ;) If any of your readers are interested in seeing more photos of their wedding, you may view them on these sites. More power to you for empowering brides-to-be all over the world!

    http://pinkplate.multiply.com/photos/album/28/Wedding_Reception_for_150pax

    http://frenchvanillaevents.multiply.com/photos/album/14/Event_Styling_Summer_Picnic_Wedding

  • http://kristythecoffeegirl.blogspot.com Kristy

    “…the details don’t matter as much as the fact that we were going to be married in front of everyone we loved and cared for.”

    Um, yes. My husband constantly reminded me of this during the stress of the planning. And I had to remind myself of it when some of the little details I thought I cared so much about needed to just be let go. And of course it was okay to let them go.

    Congratulations to you both, Camyl & Ryan!

    And Meg – thanks for posting international graduates. I love seeing non-US weddings.

  • http://ridiculouslyeverafter.blogspot.com Nikki

    so many beautiful dresses! I also really love that Ryan still raves that this was the best wedding he’s ever been to – that’s exactly what we were going for, too :)

  • Camyl (and Ryan)

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments! You have no idea how much people like you help people like me go through such *stressful* life events! Ditto on what New York City Wedding/Kim NYC said: “When you’re going against the grain you *need* to see that others have successfully accomplished a similar goal, especially when family and friends are telling you that your vision is impossible”.

    I also felt sort of lonely while planning with my then-fiance, because only a few people saw through our vision of a happy and carefree wedding to start off a happy and meaningful marriage. I am grateful for stumbling upon APW and reaffirming our ideas. I immediately felt a sense of sibling-hood with all APW people, even if I seldom commented on posts, agreements, or arguments.

    And as for international weddings? Saartjie couldn’t have said it any better. “What strikes me the most is not the other-ness of the international weddings, but the similarities between the real real real celebrations of love that are featured on your site. It’s worth remembering that for Camyl and Angela (and me!), it’s not an international wedding at all. Just a flippen marvellous one.” Exactly exactly exactly!

    **Oh, those bridesmaid dresses are actually off-the-rack, from UK brand Dorothy Perkins :)

    • http://pianobi.wordpress.com pianoB

      “I also felt sort of lonely while planning with my then-fiance, because only a few people saw through our vision of a happy and carefree wedding to start off a happy and meaningful marriage.”

      That’s how I’ve been feeling during my planning, too. At start it was frustrating, because there were things I couldn’t share or couldn’t explain even to my closest friends… but then I thought that instead of trying to share everything without being understood, I could think at certain elements of my wedding as a kind of “surprise” for my guests. I hope it will turn out as a nice and welcomed surprise… and maybe someone will realize that there are many different visions of wedding out there.

      • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

        I was blessed with supportive parents who, even though they couldn’t always envision what we had in mind, always trusted that it would turn out ok. (And it did, of course, and much fun was had by all!) But there were many other people who didn’t understand and couldn’t “see” what we wanted, so I understand how frustrating it can be!

  • http://pianobi.wordpress.com pianoB

    […]hearing all the comments at and after the wedding like, “it was sooo you!”

    We haven’t got married yet (still 10 days to go), but when we gave the invitation to a friend of ours she said “I love it, because it is so YOU, guys”. This was the best compliment and I hope our guests will think the same about our wedding day, as well.

    Anyway, I hope Camyl won’t be jealous if I say that I love her husband’s look and his smile and glasses are so cute!
    Of course, the bride is wonderful, too. I adore the green crown holding the veil.
    Congratulations!

    • Camyl (and Ryan)

      Not at all, that’s quite a compliment haha! I think he’s cute, too! :)

      Good luck at the wedding, I’m sure you’ll hear more of that!

  • http://www.icookwithwine.com Melinda

    Camyl, so much of your wedding seemed to echo my own thoughts about our wedding – but nothing more than the support of your fiance (now husband!). My own now-husband was the same way about our wedding (“it’s the best!”) and while I usually scold him (“it’s not a competition!”) you’ve inspired me to go home and thank him in a big way! Because you’re right, I don’t think there was a nicer thing I could have heard.

    The whole post was very heart-warming and inspiring and you looked absolutely gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Caitlin

    This post hit close to home for me in so many ways. Having a wedding where people say ‘it was so YOU’ was something we had, too, and I wouldn’t have traded that for the world.

    Oh, and your dress—- WOW. just wow.

  • Claire

    Congratulations! Your wedding is gorgeous and I am so happy it was such a meaningful experience for you. Cheers to long lives together!

  • http://made-of-sun.tumblr.com/ Trisha

    What a lovely wedding! I absolutely adore the third picture, and the second to last one. Both brought me right back to my wedding day, the solemness of the ceremony, with the all the love in the air spilling out and covering everything with a patina of rampant joy. Congratulations!

  • N

    That second to last picture!! Swoon.

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    I just have to comment on the first, third, and second to last photos. Those are pictures of wedding zen. Ah! So peaceful and happy. That’s what quiet excitement looks like to me.

    Lovely!

  • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

    What a happy post! :D
    You two look wonderful (and relaxed!), and I love the picture with the sunglasses.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://memyselfandmommy.com Renee

    Beautiful! Makes me deeply miss wedding planning for fall on your face in love couples …

  • http://www.slicecakestudio.com Denver Wedding Cakes

    What a wonderful post! I love seeing the traditions that are different, and what we might see as unconventional – turn out so stunning! I love the bridesmaids dresses – the colors are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

  • angela

    enhorabuena!!
    i wish you both happiness and a long meaningful life!!

  • Joselle

    What a stunningly gorgeous couple! So many beautiful details, both in the look of this wedding and the feelings conveyed in this post. I love the baby’s breath wreath and bouquet. Congratulations and all the best to you.

  • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com Basketcase

    Beautiful. Both your day, and you on the day :)
    May you continue to find great joy in your wonderful husband, he sounds like a true blessing.
    Blessings from further down the pacific in good old NZ :)

  • Therese Totten

    Oh, how cool! Camyl and I are friends: we went to the same university and had a common group. I send her all my best :)

  • Alexandra

    So awesome. Love seeing weddings from beyond the U.S., for sure!

    Congratulations, Camyl! [and Ryan!] Looks like a fantastic day.

  • http://therebelliouswriter.blogspot.com Iris

    Truly a DIYer…good job on cutting all the costs and putting your ‘heart’ and for being a hands-on bride. GOOD job!

  • erika

    Hi Camyl, my boyfriend and I are planning to hold our wedding at the Ateneo HS chapel as well but since he is in the US, I’m trying to do what I can before he returns. We were wondering if only specific people can use the chapel (he’s an Atenean, I’m not) or if it’s open to the general public. It was raining when we tried to visit Ateneo (Habagat week) and he had to leave for the US at the end of that week so now I don’t know where to go or whom to ask until I saw this post.

    (Really beautiful wedding by the way, it inspired us more)

    • Camyl

      Hi Erika,

      Hey! Congratulations in advance on your upcoming wedding! You can try asking at the Physical Plant Office if the chapel can be rented out. I don’t really know if there’s a specific rule about renting it out to non-employees, because the three weddings I know of that were held there (including ours) were weddings of employees. But it’s worth asking, I hear the chapel is completely renovated now, and can fit more people (and is now airconditioned!).

      Good luck! :)

  • Jonathan

    Hi, I’m also considering the Ateneo HS chapel as a wedding venue for me and my fiancee. We’re both Ateneans (batch 2003) and were hoping to get married at the place where we first met. How did you go about making reservations and all that?

    Also, is your wedding the “main ceremony” or is it just sort of improvised to meet halfway. In other words, is this an official church wedding and not just a formal ceremony?

    Your reply is valuable to us because we are in the process of making reservations at other churches in Manila. Thanks! :)

    • Camyl

      Hi Jonathan,

      Yes, we actually got married officially at my parish, because the Catholic Church requires that weddings be officially done in a parish church. Technically, the mass that was held in Ateneo is just that—a mass. We just discussed with our officiant if we could include the wedding rites after his homily, and he agreed.

      So in our wedding papers, our wedding venue is actually our parish church, and not the Ateneo chapel. We really didn’t mind that at all, so we went ahead with our plans. :)

      Hope this helps!