Metro Weddings: Sailing Ahead
“Kramer – Garcia Nuptial”
Doug Kramer and Cheska Garcia are the kind of couple who can’t hide anything from one other. After 4 years of being together, this may not really come as a surprise, but this does make it quite challenging for Doug to surprise Cheska with anything. So when Doug decided to propose last October 2007, he pulled out all the stops to make sure that Cheska wouldn’t uncover his plans.
Doug says, “I knew she was expecting me to propose on October 9 – the date of our 4th year anniversary, so I deliberately made it earlier and set October 2 as the proposal date.”
Just to show how good Cheska is at detecting surprises, Doug shares how he chose the engagement ring. “I went to Greenhills with Cheka’s (Doug’s pet name for Cheska) mom a few weeks before to buy the ring. The following day, Cheka and I were also in Greenhills and out of the blue, she pointed out a ring which was very similar to the one that I had bought just the day before. She said, ‘Babe, don’t get me this type of ring ha. It’s too small.’ So I called the jeweler, returned the ring, got loose stones and designed another ring from scratch. It’s a Tiffany style ring with one big stone in the middle and two smaller stones on each side. It worked out na din because this design turned out to be different from the usual one-stone engagement rings.”
Doug proudly goes on to say how he meticioulsy planned out every detail of the proposal. “I was in Shanghai for training and was supposed to be there for 10 days. I called all my teammates plus their girlfriends and told them about my plans so that none of them would slip. Cheka thought I’d be back by October 3 so I made arrangements for her best friend, Zhara, to take her out to dinner on October 2.
From choosing the venue (Le Souffle, Fort Bonifacio) — to having cameras and microphones planted in the centerpiece and the surrounding areas of the restaurant – Doug thought of just about everything. “I wanted to tape the event so that our kids would be able to someday watch it and see how I proposed to their mom.”
When it was time for him to come out, he let out a whistle that they use to call their poodle, Frisky, and Cheska turned around to see where this familiar sound was coming from.
Cheska is still giddy as she interjects, “Then he got down on one knee and said ‘I promise to take care of you baby. I love you so much. Will you be mine forever? Will you marry me?’ I thought I was going to cry, but didn’t. Kaya lang, I don’t think I got to eat either!”.
“I was really surprised on that day. It was surreal, but I think I was kind of suspicious already. Before this, we were already talking about our future and making plans, so I was sort of expecting him to pop the question. In fact, Doug proposed on a Tuesday, I told Puey (Quinones) just the Sunday before that when Doug and I get engaged, he would make my wedding gown. I didn’t know that it would happen 2 days after! I told Puey that he was really meant to be my designer!”
“But ‘I hate you!’ was the first thing you said to me no, Cheka, when you saw me come out?” Doug asks, making Cheska laugh at this memory.
This is typical of Cheska and Doug. They’re not overly affectionate, or the least bit cheesy, but they have their own kind of banter that borders on karinong brutal, with Cheska shooting off cutesy statements in a soft sing-song pout and Doug always coming to the rescue to indulge his lady — in a moderate, level-headed manner.
The two set October 9, 2008 as their wedding date because it would be their 5th year anniversary and because of the number sequence 10-9-08.
Cheska relates, “I initially wanted a masquerade theme – like Venetian Carnival – where everyone would get a mask at the reception, but Doug didn’t want it to look like a Halloween party.”
Doug adamantly shakes his head as he comments, “Ya, you won’t even see your guests. It’s nice for a party, not for a wedding.”
“I was watching this big wedding of a Spanish matador on TV and thought it was so romantic and classy so we settled on a Spanish theme with a modern romantic twist. It’s not as wild as the masquerade party, but I guess the Spanish theme is more realistic.”
“Yeah, diba that’s better?”, Doug asks a rhetorical question in an approving tone.
Clearly, Doug does not fit the stereotype of a groom who only wants to know the bare minimum when it comes to wedding preparations: how much, when, what time and what am I supposed to wear?
Cheska supports this by intimating, “With a lot of things in our relationship, Doug is very hands-on. Women are always the ones telling the guys to fix things. Doug is the other way around. It’s one of the things that drew me to him. He’s more organized than I. I get easily stressed out by the many details of the wedding preparations.”
“Ya, she shouts at me. I never shout at her!” Doug says, smiling at Cheska affectionately.
Cognizant of their personality quirks, the couple has devised a ‘divide and conquer method’ in sharing the wedding responsibilities.
“I am only assigned two things: my gown and the entourage’s gowns. Everything else, Doug takes care of. Doug is the one who sets up all the meetings. It’s always him who gets the suppliers together and facilitates meetings. He’s good at that and he likes it. You know, even our guest list is in alphabetical order on his computer.”, Cheska says with a tinge of pride in her voice.
“Of course. Madali lang naman yun, e. That’s just Microsoft Excel. Everything is loaded on the computer, all the expenses. We have to know what we’re paying for and budget properly. I even have a file of all of wedding contracts.” Doug says, as he pulls out brown envelope labeled “Wedding Documents” from his filing cabinet.
The couple’s pragmatism applies not only to the delegation of their duties, but also to their specific wedding arrangements, which show not only practicality, but utmost consideration for their guests.
Puey Quinones is designing Cheska’s Spanish – Japanese inspired wedding gown which is very modern and elegant. The form fitting serpentina silhouette with a mock turtle neck and half sleeves made out of French lace and a rich layering of ostrich lace will follow below the knee. A delicate Spanish style veil with lace at the ends and a long train will complete the ensemble.
Juan Sarte will do Cheska’s hair and make up in a dressy updo style that women like Katherine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers made famous in the glamour era of the 1940s. Chandelier earrings with diamonds and a pearl that Cheska’s Dad gave her for Valentine’s Day 2 years ago will be her main accent piece.
Puey will design Doug’s light wool tuxedo and cotton shirt in off-white. Pin tucks details on the lapels will highlight the slim fit cut of the suit.
The color themes of the wedding — royal blue, periwinkle and salmon pink – will be the bridal entourage hues, which Puey will also design. Cheska particularly wanted rich and strong colors that aren’t normally seen at weddings.
“My bridesmaids will be in periwinkle, but their gowns will all be different. I told them to pick out a design that they are comfortable with and consult Puey about body areas they want to hide or show off. I want them to be able to wear the dress again kasi saying naman, diba? My Matron and Maid of Honor will wear royal blue. Our moms will be in pink salmon which will be used to break the monotony of the blue.”
The Blue Leaf in Fort Bonifacio will be the venue for both the ceremony and the reception for the estimated 350 family and friends who will be invited to the wedding. Doug and Cheska initially wanted a garden wedding so The Blue Leaf was perfect because its all-glass walls let the guests enjoy the refreshing greens of the outside gardens from the comforts of an air conditioned environment where you wouldn’t have to worry about the weather. It was also the most convenient for guests.
“We didn’t want our guests to have to go through the hassle of going to two different venues to park so we decided to have everything in one place. The Christian Ceremony will be at the Silk Pavilion, which is a circular pavilion. The ceremony will be after the sunset, there will be a fireworks, and cocktails before the dinner proper. We’re joining the 2 pavilions – the Banyan and Jade Pavilions for the reception.”, explains Doug.
Cheska continues describing other details, “The interiors will be all white. The ceilings will have white drapings and lanterns. The trees will be wrapped with white and lit up with the tiny yellow Christmas lights and candles hanging from the trees. The table cloths will be also white and ecru. The flowers will add the splashes of color.”
Tropical Blooms, who will be doing the floral arrangements and styling the interiors, lists the flowers to be used for the wedding. Imported blue hyacinth, purple hydrangea, lilies, tulips, Ecuadurian roses, carnations, delphinium and snapdragons all in shades of pink, blue and purple will be used for center pieces and other floral accents to dramatically stand out against the background of white and soft lighting.
The buffet and the dessert tables will be lit up from underneath with various colored spotlights in the soft shades of purple, pink and blue of the motif. Josiah’s will do the catering of the Spanish style buffet.
“During the ceremony and throughout dinner, the guests will be serenaded by Serenata Strings, under the musical direction of Lorenz Arquero. After, we’re also going to have a live band – Men of Blue Blood — playing 60s to early 90s. We want it to be one big party where the guests will all have fun and have a souvenir of the good time they had at our wedding with their pictures”. Doug relates.
Cheska agrees, “That’s why for our souvenirs, we got a Click booth where our guests can have their pictures taken. They can go inside the booth with friends, with their families or with their dates, just get silly and act out whatever way they want for the cameras.”
The couple is still deciding on the final details of their honeymoon which may have to take place in January in consideration of the PBA Season.
“We’re thinking of either an Alaskan or Mediterranean cruise. It’ll be nice to go in January because it’s low season.”
“Wait” Doug interjects thinking aloud, “Won’t we have to go in August because of play offs?”
“August? That’s too long! I don’t like. We have to go somewhere sooner than that!” Cheska admonishes him and pretends to mope.
Doug smiles mischievously, perhaps already thinking of this as another opportunity to surprise Cheska.
WEDDING SUPPLIERS: KRAMER – GARCIA NUPTIALS
Florist/Stylist of reception venue:
Mobile # 0919.443.3936
GF Edsa Shangri La Hotel
Mobile # 0917.328.1893
Member: One Wedding Gallery
34 East Drive
Tel # 934-2163/934-9253
Wedding Gown and Entourage Designer:
The Bel Air Place
5013 P. Burgos, Makati
Mobile # 0916.776.3098
Make up Artist for the Bride
Hair & Make Up for The Entourage
Benefits Style Salon
2F Fox Square Building
#52 Connecticut Street
Greenhills, San Juan
Tel # 724-8102
Mobile # 0917.854.1006
Tel # 873-4753
KRAMER – GARCIA NUPTIALS: Partial List of Bridal Entourage
Matron of Honor:
Maid of Honor:
Anne Curtis Smith
Doug & Cheska’s brothers and sisters and various family members.
To be decided: