When you think of a destination wedding in the Philippines, Boracay is probably one of the first places that come to mind. The island has become synonymous with beautiful beaches and tropical weather, making it an ideal location for couples looking for a romantic getaway. For David and Iriff, their Boracay destination wedding was everything they wanted it to be and more.
Their love story began during their first year of dental school, where they met through mutual friends. It was during a dental outreach program in Rosarito, Mexico, where they got to know each other on a more intimate level. Iriff fondly recalled crashing their gathering, and how meeting David’s family on New Year’s Eve convinced her to give their relationship a chance. ” And now, we’re tying the knot with our two dogs by our side. It doesn’t get any better than this,” she shared.
Despite David’s rule of not dating someone from his class, he took a chance with Iriff because she was special. “We just clicked,” he explained.
Planning a wedding during a pandemic is no easy feat, but Iriff and David managed to pull it off flawlessly. They started the planning process almost two years before their big day, with COVID-19 still looming over them. Booking major wedding vendors like their venue, makeup and hair stylists, and their photographer and videographer was a top priority, giving them ample time to reschedule if necessary.
Living in the US, they wanted to work with vendors who had experience with overseas couples, knowing that communication could be a challenge.
With a discerning eye for detail, David and Iriff carefully selected three potential venues for their wedding. However, it was clear from iriff’s repeated mentions and excitement about the stunning pictures of Shangri-La Boracay that this was the perfect location for their dream wedding.
When it came to choosing their photographer and videographer, Iriff knew she wanted someone who could capture the light-hearted and fun-loving essence of their relationship. David shared, “She wanted to be transported back to that day every time she leafed through the photo album and played the video. When she found Phoebe on Instagram, she knew immediately that her style was exactly what she was looking for. It felt organic, light, and fun! Iriff didn’t know that Phoebe and Ram worked together and so, it was a wonderful surprise for her when Phoebe told her about Ram.”
“When we had our meeting with them, they were very approachable and detailed. It was really a no-brainer after that!” Iriff added
Iriff’s vision for her hair and makeup was natural and fresh, so she scoured Instagram until she found the perfect team: Iya, Renzo, and Lady.
The couple took a break from wedding planning after booking their major vendors, recognizing that it was too early to do much, especially since they were living overseas. In an effort to resume their wedding preparations, they planned a trip to the Philippines a year before their wedding to meet with their wedding coordinator in person and visit Shangri-La Boracay. This trip proved to be helpful as it allowed them to check off a few items from their to-do list and get the ball rolling again.
However, between their Boracay trip in March 2022 and the real wedding planning, which began in December 2022 when their coordinator and her team checked in with their decisions, David and Iriff found themselves living in different states. This presented a new challenge as they had to make decisions via Facetime during their evenings and weekends. “I’m sure most brides would agree that wedding planning is not easy but, when you’ve got a supportive fiance and you find the right team to work with, it truly makes it all worth it in the end. It’s supposed to be a forever kind of love and a once-in-a-lifetime day, so you want to find the people who can make your vision a reality.” Iriff shared
For Iriff, the most enjoyable aspect of organizing their boracay destination wedding was the anticipation of everyone and everything coming together. As per traditional customs, the bride typically has a bridal shower and bachelorette party, while the couple is supposed to do a pre-nuptial photo shoot to enhance the wedding experience. However, they did not partake in any of these events, so it almost felt like the wedding wasn’t happening until they began packing for it two weeks before their departure.
As they boarded their flight from Los Angeles to Manila, it finally dawned on them that their loved ones were traveling across the globe to attend their wedding, which they had planned while being in a different country. This realization made them feel grateful for the love and support of their friends and family, and it made their wedding even more special. She also believes that a destination wedding is not just a celebration of love between the couple but also of the love that their loved ones have for them.
We were so “kilig” with David’s simple answer: “My favorite part was seeing Iriff happy.”
Iriff: We can’t pick just one thing. We truly LOVED everything that happened. Just like every other couple, we wish we had more time for each other, for family and friends, to admire the work of our vendors, to take in our venue, and lastly, to eat more of the food! Fortunately, we’ve got AMAZING photos and videos (thank you, Ram Marcelo + team and Hello & Co. Cinema) to replay the day over and over again!
David: It was the perfect Boracay day. Seeing Iriff coming down the aisle was such a beautiful moment. Honestly, seeing everyone in that moment was so powerful and I was so happy and humbled that our day was going so well. We had everyone that we wanted there in Boracay. Also, the reception setup was incredible along with the food! The music and lights made it such a special night.
Photo – Ram Marcelo
Video – Hello and Co Cinema
Venue – Shangri-La Boracay
Coordinator: Amanda Tirol, Boracay Weddings
Florist – Florista
MUA – Iya Gueco
Hair Stylist – Renzo Lusterio
Host – Dyard Magsipoc
Firedancers – Boracay Island Fire and LED Dancers Inc