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From a ‘magic proposal’ to a fairytale wedding party, Henna and Suraj’s lavish wedding celebrations at the Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa in Cebu was a carnival!

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

How We Met
"Suraj and his family lived in the same city where I grew up in Davao, Philippines. In fact, his father and mine were best friends. Their family had migrated to Chile when Suraj was five. Over time, our families lost contact with each other. One day, Suraj added me on Facebook and that is how we started chatting. We clicked from our very first conversation, and on realizing about our feelings for one another, we told our families about our marriage plans. They were delighted and were extremely happy as they got to connect with each other again because of us."

The Proposal
"Suraj asked me out on a date one night and brought me to a lovely restaurant called the Temple in The Intercontinental hotel in Chile It was kind of funny because we had a magician appear in the middle of the dinner. He entertained us with some tricks, and on the last trick, he held out a card which said, 'Will you marry me?' It was very romantic and thoughtful."

Wedding Planner
"My amazing wedding planner, Stanz Catalan gave me my own personal assistant for five days. She made sure to organize each outfit as per the different functions, and also reminded me to eat and get enough sleep, which I consistently forgot! She assisted me for days, and helped me get ready and even ordering room service meals for me during hectic phases. These small things really count and I cannot thank her enough for this brilliant and stress-free organization."

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Wedding Venue
"We had guests coming from all over the world, and around 80 people flew in from Chile. Therefore, we wanted a place that would be a grand establishment. We chose Shangrila's Mactan Resort and Spa in Cebu, Philippines which is beautifully located by the beach. We wanted to have a destination wedding and had heard only good things about the venue which led us to book it as our dream destination wedding venue."

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Wedding Function

Welcome Lunch
"Our wedding festivities kicked off with some delectable meals and a buffet-style welcome lunch for our guests. We had a Hawaiian theme with colorful floral garlands and a chilled Pina Colada served in pineapples!"

Engagement & Dinner
"We had a Brazilian night with the theme ‘A Night in Rio’ for our engagement functions. It had a very relaxed and trendy vibe with models dressed in Rio de Janiero outfits and fire dancers to entertain our guests. We even made a grand entry on a speedboat with glittering fireworks to welcome us as we entered. Since we just wanted to party and let our guests enjoy to the fullest, we chose the beautiful Cowrie Cove at Shangri-La as it has al fresco resto bars overlooking the ocean. Even rains couldn’t dampen the happy spirits of our guests who continued to dance until the wee hours of the morning."

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Christian Wedding Ceremony
"We had a beautiful wedding ceremony at the Ocean Pavillon of the hotel. This was at a beautiful chapel-like hall which overlooked the ocean. We kept the decor quite rustic which beautifully contrasted with the fairytale theme of the ceremony. I was welcomed with much fanfare as I made my entry in a decorated golf cart which definitely made my bridal entry quite memorable. From unlimited cocktails to scrumptious food, the party was enjoyed by all our guests. For the Christian wedding ceremony, I wore a stunning fishnet gown with a long trail that made me look like a fairytale princess."

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Mehendi/Sangeet
"We chose the theme ‘Lapiz Lazuli, (national stone of Chile) for this event, and all our decorations were in shades of blue. We had a lovely mehendi with dances by our friends and family. To give this event a fun vibe, we started a ‘drinking game' competition between our guests from Chile and Philippines. It was something very unique and people really enjoyed it. We even had a group of local dancers dressed in Indian outfits which was so enjoyable that Suraj and I ended up shaking a leg with them. I also had a dance performance with the female dancers on the song ‘Sau Asmaan’ which was followed by an energetic ‘Kala Chasma’ dance by Suraj."

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Wedding
"The wedding was beautiful because of the love, effort and the portrayal of vibrant cultures (Filipino, Chilean, Indian), and so much more. Our guests really made the wedding a memorable event with their energy and support. Many said that it was the best wedding they have ever been to. This wouldn’t have possible without the support of our friends, family and wedding vendors. It was truly a fairytale wedding, with traditional décor and beautiful Indian aesthetics. I wore a stunning golden embellished lehenga with minimal jewelry that matched with Suraj’s glitzy sherwani and contrasting maroon 'safa' (turban)."

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Reception
"Our reception transitioned into an enjoyable after party that comprised an ‘All Red’ decor theme. It mainly included emotional videos, funny speeches, lip-smacking food, unlimited drinks and a special dance performances enjoyed by one and all. I wore a gold Jesal Wora outfit for my reception function which really made me feel comfortable during the numerous dance sessions."

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Henna and Suraj, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Tip for to-be-wed couples
"My advice for future brides is to enjoy the process. The planning part is so much fun, and remember that the little details count. Make sure that the food is good, the drinks are overflowing and you get a good DJ and an even awesome wedding planner. Be nice to the people who help you during the process. Be nice to your family, friends, vendors who go out of the way to give you a beautiful wedding. Although the frustration and the stress can turn us into bridezillas, try to remain calm even if everything does not go according to the plan. Spend as much time as you can with your family and friends. Especially for brides moving to another country. This is the time to really make the most out of their company. Eat well, exercise and drink lots of water. Also, don't forget to smile during all of this. This is your moment and no one can ever take this away from you. Lastly, enjoy the wedding you spent months to plan. You deserve it!"

The Wedding Makers
Wedding Location: Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu, Phillipines
Wedding planner: Stanz Catalan
Bridal Trousseau: Jesal Wora (Reception)
Cake: Trina Ang
Decor: Simple Wishes Events
Entertainment: Emblem Band (Christian Wedding), On The Cover Band (Reception)
Host (Sangeet and Reception): June Rabin
Sounds/Lights: Raymund Guinto
Dhol Player: CJ Wasu
Hair and Make-up: Garison
Photographer: Nelwin Uy Photography
Videographer: Black Tie Project

Watch their wedding film here-

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