It was a memorable party, indeed!
One week after their Manila wedding, Herson Sy and Muriel Orais, along with a little less than a hundred of the couple’s friends and family members, flew in from all over the world to celebrate their union at their destination wedding in Phuket, Thailand.
For those coming from the Philippines, the travel took almost a whole day with two connecting flights, a five-hour layover in Singapore, and multiple antigen and PCR tests to finally arrive in Thailand’s largest and most famous island. Following local health protocols, all passengers underwent another confirmatory swab after going through Thailand immigration, before proceeding to our hotel to quarantine for eight hours while waiting for a negative result. Once we got our test reports, the first official event on the agenda was Herson and Muriel’s welcome dinner held on a Friday, Feb. 25, 2022 at Cafe del Mar in Phuket the night before the wedding.
While cocktails were being served, I humbly approached the father of the groom, Mr. Herbert Sy, for his blessing to invite him on stage for a Father-and-Daughter dance with the bride for the reception happening the next day. Mr. Herbert is known for his strict and strong demeanor. As can be expected from the big boss of SM Markets group, and the man behind Alfamart in the Philippines, the fastest growing chain of minimarts in the country today. Yet, that evening, he gave a soft smile and happily obliged. He said it would be his pleasure to share a first dance with his new and only daughter. He even helped orchestrate the program for the intimate number, giving me tips for when to call him and the mothers of the newlyweds to the dance floor.
It’s being able to coordinate and plan these special surprises for the newlyweds that I gained an even greater appreciation for being entrusted the huge role of hosting (for the second time) for Herson and Muriel’s wedding reception 2.0. Though this time, I am paired with the bride’s best friend and maid-of-honor Sheralyn Kaye who flew in all the way from the UK for the momentous occasion.
The wedding day started with a hearty buffet breakfast at Four Points Hotel by Sheraton near Patong Beach, where the whole entourage resided. We were then shuttled to Villa Aye, an eight-bedroom luxury villa located in the upscale gated community of Cape Amarin, for a ceremony rehearsal, managed by esteemed wedding organizer, Nanya Tanthapaiboon of The Wedding Bliss Thailand.
Makeup artist Tanasak Leetanasaksakul, better known as “Bobo Makeup,” did the bride’s radiant makeup look. Official photographer, theproudrad, was flown in from the Philippines to capture the couple’s special day. While the Sy couple tapped a local creatives team called Tichakorn Cinematography for the videography.
On brand with Herson and Muriel’s quirky and adventurous personality, the entourage consisted of a few new titles that deviated from tradition such as grooms babes, a flower dude, a wine box girl, a ring boy, and a bridesman. The groom’s entourage marched the aisle wearing their Raybans with “We Will Rock You” playing in the background. On the other hand, the bride’s side walked to Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love” as though on a runway.
Donning a Patricia Santos Officiel creation, Muriel was beautiful in her wedding dress. It had intricate handcrafted floral details embroidered over a beige base, and a long trail tied like a cape, ribboned to the straps of her bridal gown. The look matched perfectly with the wedding’s rustic picturesque aesthetic, defined by the wooden floor board, dried preserved roses and hydrangeas, and the podium that rested on top of the villa’s infinity pool.
In her wedding vow, Muriel says she had always dreamt of what her wedding day would be like, and here she is now, with the love of her life bringing her vision to life. She promises to care for her husband and submit to him even when it’s difficult. While Herson confessed that when he met Muriel ten years ago, he didn’t know that she would be his wife. But he should have known sooner when she still kept showing up for their crazy adventures together. They both commit to love each other in the best and worst of times, to extend patience and understanding for their marriage to work, and to make time for one another even when they don’t have it.
After sharing their ceremonial kiss, made more memorable amid the backdrop of azure ocean and sky, the guests were invited for a photo op with the couple in the villa’s driveway where two baby elephants casually showed up as part of the newlyweds’ pre-reception activities
Sheralyn and I had the honor of kickstarting the program by welcoming the new Mr. and Mrs. Sy onto the dance floor where their friends and family awaited them with sparklers on hand. The couple concluded their grand entrance with a heartwarming dance number, unaware of the surprise that we had in store for them.
When we called Mr. Herbert Sy to the stage, we saw the astounded look on Muriel’s face. Almost driven to tears, Herbert led the bride in a father-daughter dance while Herson took his time to honor the three moms in his life. His birth mom Weena Tan, stepmom Shelly Sy, and new mom, Desiree Grace Ty. Muriel grew up without a birth father, hence it was truly sentimental to witness her loving moment with her new dad. They danced to the groom’s mom Weena’s favorite song, “Somewhere My Love” by Andy Williams from Dr. Zhivago.
The rest of the night was more lighthearted and upbeat, as the couple’s siblings and best friends took turns sharing anecdotes about the newlyweds. And in classic Herson and Muriel style, the after-party consisted of guests getting thrown into the pool. This time, attendees were all provided with dry clothing to change into, and slippers courtesy of Beach Walk.
Herson and Muriel’s destination wedding is definitely one for the books! Everyone came in as guests, but left as good friends—each taking home memories that we will surely look back to fondly.