Ronan and Athens: A Beautiful Church Wedding with Grand Details

Ronan and Athens

Athens, a Filipino nurse living in San Francisco, always knew she wanted a beautiful church wedding. She met the love of her life, Ronan, in the same city where their love blossomed.

A sign from God

God does make all things beautiful in His time.

Their relationship, though, was not without trials. They had broken up, spending four months apart, only to rekindle their relationship with the ultimate decision. They prayed and asked God for a sign in the form of one single yellow flower—they got a whole mountainside of yellow flowers in Napa Valley.

“You will just know in your spirit that he is ‘the one’ sent to you for his plans, for the ‘grand scheme’ of God,” the bride shared happily.

Just needing one more affirmation, the couple asked for another sign that it was really God speaking to them.

It was then that they found the Alpha Omega Winery at that moment. They knew it truly was God – the Alpha and the Omega – and, by His grace, the couple was certain about the path they were going to take.

From that moment, everything simply flowed effortlessly for the couple, who always put God at the center of their relationship.

He proposed with ice

Most girls get ice – “diamond” – but Ronan’s was the real thing. It was really ice!

He brought Athens to Squaw Valley in Reno, Nevada, one mid-winter-to-spring day. At the peak of one of the mountains, he made a beautiful heart-shaped ice by hand and gave it to her. The eye-popping diamond ring was just ‘icing’ on the cake.

A classic wedding

Athens wanted nothing but a classic romantic wedding scene she could look back on years later and only a beautiful church wedding would do. She got exactly that – the dreamy black-tie affair was all classic ivory and gold. The men looked dashing in their tux.

“I want it all clean and white lang,” Athens explained.

A beautiful church wedding

The couple went to some of the best suppliers in the industry, such as Michael Leyva for the bridal gown and Teena Sabrina for the entourage gowns.

The bride’s makeup was by Madge Lejano and the entourage was glammed up by TheMakeUpStudioTeam Manila by Madge Lejano. Jessie Mendez took care of the groom and his family.

Penk Ching designed the magnificent wedding cake to the bride’s specifications, right down to the last detail.

A Beautiful Church Wedding
A surreal classic white-and-gold wedding cake by Penk Ching

Ronan and Athens hired no less than the formidable team of Pat Dy and Jason Magbanua for the photo and video coverage.

Bride and groom exchanged marriage vows at St James The Great Parish in Ayala Alabang Village.

A grand reception followed at Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila. The splendid event was styled by wedding industry veteran Robert Blancaflor and coordinated by Rita Neri.

A Beautiful Church Wedding
Styling by Robert Blancaflor and coordination by Rita Neri
Ronan and Athens
The beautiful couple with their pretty daughter as a flower girl


DIY-ing the logo

The couple, however, DIY’d one particular detail.

“The logo was a hard one,” Athens recalled. “It had to depict our initials. The yellow promise, the bushes, the castle (Castillo).”

“We used Printsonalities to edit our monogram several times. It was crazy, but in the end, our monogram stood out at the reception and on the invitations, cake and flower wall,” Athens said, laughingly recalling her obsession with the details.

A Beautiful Church Wedding
Guests took home French macaroons by Bizu

Unforgettable moments

Even though she could pick just about anything from the magnificently planned wedding as the most memorable aspect, to Athens, it was the journey.

“[It was] meeting people along the journey and strengthening ties with my entourage and all the people who shared our love on this special day,” she fondly remembers.

Another part the couple could not forget was the prenup shoot at the Alpha Omega Winery, where God had spoken to the couple four years before their beautiful church wedding.

Their videographer selected the prenup location, and the couple did not realize until the day of the shoot how meaningful the place was to them.

Athens had been talking about God and how much He was a part of their relationship when the leaves rustled from the breeze and a ray of light shone through on the couple.

The after-party escapade to Cebu

Most weddings end up with the entourage raiding the hotel bar for the after-party or painting the town red. This wedding went all the way to Cebu for an ‘island escapade’ after-party.

Checking in at no less than Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, the couple treated family members and their entourage to three days of tropical fun in Cebu. They went island hopping, partying on the white-sand beach and indulging in delectable Cebuano eats while fire dancers and a live band (and the bride, herself!) entertained everyone. The whole bridal entourage soaked in the warmth of the sun and even danced in the rain.

A Beautiful Church Wedding
A fine day for a beach party at Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan in Cebu
A Beautiful Church Wedding
Guests partied to a beautiful sunset on the horizon

For the whole party, it was such an unforgettable way to end an unforgettable lifetime event.

Church: St James The Great Parish, Ayala Alabang Village, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa
Bridal couture: Michael Leyva
Groom’s couture: Suit It Up Manila
Entourage couture: Teena Sabrina Tan
Bridal robes: Michael Leyva (pictorial) / Teena Sabrina Tan (souvenir) / Victoria’s Secret (preps)
Bride’s HMUA: Madge Lejano
Entourage HMUA: TheMakeUpStudioTeam Manila by Madge Lejano
Groom and family HMUA: Jessie Mendez
Cake: Penk Ching
Emcee: RJ Ledesma
Event stylist: Robert Blancaflor Group
Event coordination: Rita Neri Event Planners
Photo: PatDy Photography
Video: Jason Magbanua
Reception: Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila, BGC – special thanks to @Shamae Ezawa
Invitations: Printsonalities
Choir: 32 AD
Band: 3rd Avenue Band
Strings: Manila Philharmonic Orchestra
Post-wedding coordination: RNEP / Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, special thanks to @JMWan
Giveaways: Bizu Catering Studio

More about Astrid Abella

Astrid Abella is a copywriter and editor who loves curling up with a classic whodunnit and hot cocoa on a rainy day or snorkeling for corals and reef fish on a sunny day. In between, she edits for a five-star luxury hospitality group and writes about travel, destinations, events, weddings and whatever takes her fancy. She could also be seen checking on the earthworms in her garden or plotting ways to become a philanthropist.

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