We wish we can attend all the destination weddings we get invited to by Wedding Planners, Celebrities and our readers, but sadly we can’t. But when Rani of Revel Events, Hong Kong informed us about this upcoming wedding in Cebu, Philippines we knew we had to take a break from work and travel all the way from Mumbai via Singapore to Philippines.
Benita Mahtani and Rahul Chandiramani from London got married in Cebu last week, and while we will be featuring the wedding on ‘Real Destination Weddings’ after we receive more photos from the official photographers (Picture Perfect India) we couldn’t wait to tell you more about Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu and the celebrations there.
Just Married Benita and Rahul
1. So many ‘Party Zones’ at one resort
The General Manager of Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Sparightly referred to their many indoor and outdoor venues as their many ‘party zones’. From the welcome party at the sea-side Cowrie Cove, to the pool party and post-parties at the Ballrooms and the Marquee, each of the traditional and fun celebrations were held at different venues. So while we stayed in the resort for three days, we felt as if we had visited so many places, all just a few minutes away.
Cowrie Cove, the venue for the Welcome Party
Benita and Rahul at Cowrie Cove
2. The Ocean Wing
The Mahtanis and Chandiramanis booked the entire Ocean Wing of the resort. The lobby of the wing where the wedding desk was located has a different feel altogether, unlike the busy lobby of a sprawling resort or hotel. As a unique wing, the Ocean Wing with a separate entrance and quick check-in services offers elegant comfort for discerning travellers who seek the finest in luxury living. Many of Shangri-la’s Resort properties have an Ocean Wing and are now much sought-after for destination weddings.
3. The Special Gesture of Thanks
We witnessed this for the first time at a wedding- at the finale dinner, the hosts called on stage all the members of the core team who worked behind the scenes to thank them for their hard work and dedication- The General Manager and Events team of Shangri-La, Wedding Planner Stanz and her team, Wedding Coordinator Rani Moriani from Hong Kong, Artiste Manager Rahul Idnani from Hong Kong, Entertainment Manager Ankur Sagar and team, Choreographers Swapniel Desai & Dhanraj Panchal and the dance troupe and bundle of ‘energy’ Kubra Sait who was the MC for all the functions.
The families thank the teams at the Grand Reception at The Marquee
4. An ever-smiling Wedding Planner
In the last few years Stanz Catalan from Cebu has organized a few Indian weddings in her city. She tells us that she always looks forward to organizing an Indian wedding despite the huge responsibility that comes with it. And while she is now confident of taking on more shaadis she admits she will call herself a ‘Shaadi Specialist’ after she makes a trip to India. What was special about Stanz was how she radiated warmth and stayed patient and courteous always, even with the last-minute tensions that are inevitable when managing a big Indian wedding.
Mandap by the beach. Stanz Catalan’s team at work
5. Far, yet not far
For guests who were travelling from Singapore and Hong Kong, Cebu is not too far but for guests travelling from India, the journey initially seemed far. At the airport we met some guests travelling back to India- they talked about how they wondered ‘why Cebu’, but now they are so glad they got to stay at the mesmerising resort and attend a super-fun and truly well organised celebration.
Our blog post on Cebu will be incomplete without a mention of the live wedding webcast which Kishore Samtani (the Grooms’ uncle) organized for his mother (i.e. the Groom’s grandmother) to watch the celebrations live in Mumbai. At the finale function the grandmother’s message was live webcast in Cebu. She could not attend the celebration due to her frail health, but the moment the cameras turned to her, seeing the audience she jumped up with joy and exclaimed how she was delighted to see her grandson get married- this was indeed one of the most emotional moments at the magnificent sit-down dinner with lots of teary speeches, dances and live entertainment.
Travel to Cebu- SilkAir operates 12 weekly flights to Cebu from Singapore. As the regional wing of Singapore Airlines; SilkAir is a premium, short-to-medium haul carrier and has a unique appeal amongst leisure and business travelers in Asia Pacific. Singapore Airlines and SilkAir’s combined schedule feature 85 weekly flights from 11 cities (Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam, Thiruvananthapuram) in India to Singapore. Whilst offering carefully selected meals, a full bar service and elements of in-flight entertainment, SilkAir places great emphasis on providing attentive, friendly and relaxing service. For more details log on to www.silkair.com.
Photos Courtesy- Picture Perfect India