Cover Moritz Gastl and Jess Wilson on the iconic walkway of Sunlight Eco Tourism Island Resort in Culion Island, Palawan

Jess Wilson And Moritz Gastl finally tie the knot and celebrate a love to last in paradise

“I didn’t think the day was going to come (. . .) I was just so used to frustrations [from foiled plans],” Jess Wilson recalls after finally tying the knot with Moritz Gastl. And after months of flying back and forth from the Philippines to Germany and England to process piles of paperwork.

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The couple originally planned to marry in Salzburg, Austria last year. Then the pandemic happened. So, they decided to wed in the Philippines. “Who knows what’s going to happen?” she says. “In conjunction with that, my dad isn’t very well, so I wanted to get married with him by my side and I didn’t need a huge wedding to do that.”

First, they agreed to hold a small wedding at her aunt’s house in Alfonso, Cavite in June. However, stricter travel protocols were imposed due to the pandemic, and the couple had to change their plans once more.

Gastl and wedding coordinator Amanda Tirol then suggested to hold the wedding at the Sunlight Eco Tourism Island Resort in Culion Island, Palawan.

See also: 5 Unique Wedding Traditions In The Philippines: Pamamanhikan, Money Dance, And More

But most of the bride’s relatives could not join the trip, including Wilson’s father, Robert. Exasperated, the pair decided to have a civil ceremony in Taguig before heading out to Palawan and continue the celebration.

“That Tuesday, before flying out, we had our civil ceremony. It was just my immediate family and Moritz and my cousin [Ava Daza Zanirato]. . . and it was the most intimate, beautiful ceremony ever. I cried the whole evening,” Wilson relates.

Then they flew to the resort by private aircraft to celebrate with only a few guests. The pair nixed tradition and walked down the aisle together during the ceremony officiated by Arthur Burnand. They were saving the other wedding traditions for next year.


It was a memorable evening. The couple read their vows; friends expressed their well wishes. Wilson’s mother, Aurora, read a bible verse her father picked out, and Daza Zanirato read aloud a funny poem about couples growing old together.

Although the celebration turned out different from what they had initially planned, it was still a dream come true for Wilson. Initially torn between having a Filipino and a European wedding, the bride can now have both. The second dream wedding will be held in Austria next year, where they hope to enjoy the presence of both sides of the family.

One thing’s for certain—the celebration is not over yet.

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This story was originally published on Tatler Philippines' September 2021 issue. Download it on Magzter for free.

  • PhotographyPat Dy
  • HairPaul Nebres
  • Make-UpRobbie Pinera
  • FloristGideon Hermosa