Cover Dani and Paulo in love

Paulo Bautista and Dani Osmeña have the wedding of their dreams—a special, intimate wedding with the people they love most

The pandemic is a good enough reason for many couples to cancel or postpone their wedding, but not Paulo Bautista and Dani Osmeña. It wasn’t a big deal to them as they’d never dreamt of a huge wedding with hundreds of guests; they simply wanted an intimate gathering.

“We wanted our wedding to be about sharing the moment with people we love,” Paulo says. “The videographer is the only person that we did not have a personal connection to,” Dani adds.

Grand or intimate, wedding preparations still take time and effort. Given the current situation, Paulo and Dani’s big day would pose different challenges and demand more time. However, the couple, who have known each other since high school, managed to plan the wedding of their dreams in a span of only three months, with the help of both their parents, Tonio and Pauline Bautista, and Serge and Bettina Osmeña. Soon, wedding invitations designed by co maid of honour Kay Salgado were sent out.

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The midday ceremony, officiated by Msgr Claro Matt Garcia, was held at St Alphonsus Liguori in Makati, and styled by Martina Bautista according to Dani’s preferences. Co maid of honour Bea Lorenzo also sang the bridal march, church songs and first dance, making the day that much more special.

After the church ceremony, the guests were welcomed into the home of Dani’s parents for the reception. It was there that they served decadent dishes that were lovingly prepared by Bettina, a touch that would not have been possible pre-pandemic as food would have been catered. Dani’s younger sister Andi also livened up the party as the DJ. With sensitivity and attention to detail, the couple’s family also organised lunch trays to be sent to the virtual wedding guests watching the live stream from the safety of their own homes. 

With her seamstress, Dani made her ceremony gown plus three more bridal looks, as well as the dresses for the entourage including her mother, mother-in-law, sisters, bridesmaids, maids of honour and her yaya Juliet. “I had one bridal look each: for the morning preps, the ceremony, the programme and the after-party so to speak,” Dani says.

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Not a surprising feat for this bride who designed gowns for other women under her namesake label, Dani Osmeña. She shares, “As I’ll be closing down my studio for the foreseeable future, it felt like an apt way to have some fun saying goodbye to the brand. Being able to make all the gowns was actually a big consideration when we decided to move up the wedding as we knew that I wouldn’t get to do so if we hold it next year. It’s amazing to have that level of freedom when making your own wedding gown, down to every detail and to have unlimited fittings since my seamstress lived in my condo while we worked on them. It feels priceless to be able to say that I draped and cut some of the pattern pieces myself.”

After the wedding, the newlyweds will be focused on moving to Boston. The couple had been to El Nido, where they spent three weeks in March. It was quite momentous, not only because the Enhanced Community Quarantine had been announced which extended their stay, but because Paulo received his MBA acceptance letter from Harvard Business School. “[The news] sped up our plans,” he says. By then, the couple knew that it was the beginning of a new chapter in their lives together.

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  • ImagesDani Osmena
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