"I'm the most luckiest man in the world!" declared English-yoga teacher, Marc Mead. He'd better be since he managed to pull off a surprise wedding for his bride, American-yoga teacher Christina Stahis.
I’ve been to all kinds of surprise birthdays but a surprise wedding?!? It’s a fact that every girl's dream is to get married (well, at least, many women) and that being the case, it would be every girl’s dream to arrange her own wedding. I must say that it was a risk for Marc to surprise his bride. However, I actually think its very sweet of him since traditionally it is a woman's role. Maybe what resolved Marc to do it and do it soon is because they are already engaged and in fact, their supposed wedding is set on March 2009 in Palawan with a reception after in the States.
So, on a full moon on December 13, 2008, we all trekked down to Tita’s Phimco beach resort in Nasugbu, Batangas to witness the wedding.
Dinah Salonga and most of the Makati-studio students surreptitiously helped Marc arrange everything from the date, the venue, the dress, flowers, food, and make an appointment with the town mayor to officiate the wedding.
Tessa and I unfortunately didn't see Christina's reaction when she arrived at the resort. Marc told her that they were going to spend a day on the beach with Littal and her husband. Well, we were late because the wedding was moved from 2pm to 4pm, and thus assumed we had time to lunch at Fire Lake, take photos with heartthrob Piolo Pascual who happened to be next door
At least we got to Phimco before the ceremony. When we arrived, the groom and his best man, yoga teacher Ryan, were already in their tux, the bride was hidden and Isa was doing her hair and make-up, the mayor arrived and Dinah was arranging the ceremony, and everyone was all dolled up. Even Tristan who taught the morning class made it on time. Some of the spouses were present and also friends from Singapore who flew in.
By 4ish, Dinah led us to the beach and assembled the entourage for the processional march (members in photo). The bride came out radiant in a white tube dress, a tiara, pearl drop earrings, bouquet and even her elevated flipflops had rhinestones. For an unconventional weddimg, the ceremony had traiditonal elements from the march, to exchange of vows, arrhee (which signifies the groom's pledge of his dedication to the welfare of his wife and children), unity candle, declaration of marriage, introduction of newlyweds, signing of the wedding certificate (the ninongs were Tristan, Tita and Dinah) and of course, the typical pinoy photo op session after the ceremony and the usual throwing of the bouquet and garter (I caught it!) and the speeches during the reception.
Actually he claimed that he'd rather say a poem.. he said "… I happen one day to go to yoga and that took me to LA where I happen to meet someone who helps me be a better version of myself, someone who I am always in awe of... I live 24 hours with my best friend, the most beautiful person I've ever met and I'm lucky enough to say is my wife."
The world is truly a small place. Who would have imagined that Marc from Southend-on-Sea and Christina from Arizona would fall in love seven days after meeting in a Bikram Teacher's Training program in LA in November 2004 and four years later, marry in the Philippines? This is their second term in the Philippines. The first was in 2005. The two will be traveling back to the States to staff in the Fall Teacher Training program and then head off to Australia and New Zealand. Like Marc, I am lucky too, lucky to have learned yoga from the two of them and to witness a truly unique unforgettable wedding of two people who are very much in love.
watch exchange of vows: