Jin and Lucas may have been forced to let go of their original plans to celebrate their wedding due to the pandemic, but their love proved so beautiful and strong that it was felt all around the world.
Love during covid: A Virtual, DIY, Micro Wedding in Portugal
Photography by I Do Wedding Photo
How was your experience as a Forever Soles Bride?I have actually been working with Angie and Forever Soles since 2018! So, waaaay before I even had a ring, I already knew where I would buy my wedding shoes from! haha! Anyone who knows me, knows my obsession for the colour blue and Angie designed the perfect blue heels with me in mind. I can’t thank her enough! I even planned the entire wedding theme around these gorgeous heels! They're perfect.
Which shoes did you wear?
The Moondance Heels. They are nothing short of a dream come true! These stunning heels are also sooooo comfortable!
Can you tell us briefly about your love story?I like to call Lucas my favourite plot twist. Back in 2015, we were both international students in Australia and we met working a part-time job at a market food stall called World Famous Funnel Cakes. At first, we didn’t pay much attention to each other, but we gradually developed a strong bond and became each other’s person. We were very close friends that fell in love. Now, we live in Portugal with our dog, Sofia, and have been together for over 5 years.
How did he propose?
He took me on a blue hot air balloon ride - which has been on my bucket list since I was young - for an early birthday treat. While we were up in the air, he got down on one knee and presented me with a sapphire ring! He knows me so well, I couldn’t say no!
What was it like planning a wedding during the pandemic?
We were initially planning to have our wedding here in Portugal and have my immediate family fly over for the ceremony. But when the covid situation continued to worsen, we thought that instead of them coming to us, we would fly to over to the Philippines with Lucas’ family instead. Eventually, we all agreed that it was not safe for anyone to travel any time soon.
After buckets of tears, we decided we would have a very intimate ceremony with Lucas’ family present while live-streaming it to my family and to a few of the our closest friends and relatives in Brazil, the Philippines, and Australia.
I come from a big, tight-knit family, so to have them on the other side of the world for this was admittedly heartbreaking and very difficult. It was daunting! But my loving husband and our beautiful families went above and beyond to help us plan the best virtual wedding any covid bride could hope for!
Where was your wedding held?
At a beautiful little chapel by the sea called Capela da Boa Nova in Leça da Palmeira, Portugal.
What was it like to live stream your wedding?
It was challenging! We weren’t even sure if we would find someone who could do it for us in Portugal! We were also terrified that the internet would not hold since we were at the beach, but we were so happy to be able to share it to the people closest to us.
Although we knew our families and friends were watching through their screens, we were in awe at how solemn, simple, and heartwarming our intimate wedding turned out. It allowed us to focus on each other and the big step that we were taking. The moment I saw Lucas at the church, everything else just faded away.
Tell us more about the virtual aspect of the wedding! How did you navigate it?
One of my biggest heartaches was not having my dad present to walk me down the aisle. I couldn’t let this go and was determined to find a way to make this happen one way or another. Lucas’ dad ended up escorting me while holding an iPad where my dad was live on a video call. It was as close as we could make it and it meant so much.
Lucas’ brother carried a laptop with my family live on Zoom as he walked down the aisle too! The laptop was placed at the front row of the church for the duration of the ceremony so I could have them near me.
To top it all off, my whole family, including my 6 nieces and my nephew, got dressed up for the occasion, and in full the wedding theme, too!
What was it like planning a wedding in another country?
It was definitely a challenge. Some of our suppliers did not speak English, but I had the best groomzilla by my side! Lucas was amazingly as hands on with everything as I was. With our wedding being so tiny, we did not even hire a coordinator! From the invitations to the styling, the whole wedding was planned and prepared for by us. To paint you a picture, we had a florist, but we were both on our hands and knees at the church the day before, tying the little flower buckets to the aisles! It was such a rush and made everything so meaningful. We put a little part of ourselves in every little detail.
What is your favourite memory from your wedding?
Definitely our vows! It was a bilingual wedding - Lucas’ parents and some of his family and friends do not speak English, while my family and friends do not speak Portuguese. This was a major challenge! But we made it work! We said our vows twice - first in English, then again in Portuguese, so that everyone would understand them. It definitely made it even more special!
What’s the most amazing thing about your man?
There is definitely more that one thing! Lucas is my best friend, my best supporter, and partner in everything! He accepts and understands me like no one else can. He is so caring, feeds me well (haha!), he’s adventurous, and can make me laugh like no one else. There is no one else I’d go through life with!
Did you still have a reception?
We had a simple “zoom-ception” with our immediate families only. My family back home were also separated due to lockdown in the Philippines, so we were all split into 5 different locations. One of my sisters, Roxanne Mendoza, came up with the table styling and had it sent to each of their locations in the Philippines. She showed me a picture, and I recreated it here in Portugal. My brother in New York, recreated it there as well, even if he was just by himself!
They went all out and celebrated as if we were all together! We all gave speeches and toasts, and they even had a surprise video made for us. We also had standees of us printed in the Philippines so that we could still have some family photos during the day. My brother-in-law’s company, Makari Print, did it for us as a wedding gift. It was hilarious seeing all the photos and videos they sent us afterwards!
Who created your gorgeous gown?My very talented college friend, Con, from Con Cordeta Bespoke in the Philippines! Being a tiny Filipino, it was hard to find a dress that would fit! I wanted something clean and simple, but with a touch of drama, and she did it so beautifully!
Any advice for brides-to-be? Or for other pandemic brides?
Remember that your wedding is about you and your partner so, trust each other, trust the process, and try, albeit hard, not to sweat the small stuff. Our wedding may not be what we initially dreamed, but it was so imperfectly perfect and full of so much love. It’s cheesy, but, love knows no distance...at least that’s what our wedding journey has showed us!
Video by Francisca Siza
The dusty sky blue shade of shimmery velvet is enchanting to behold. Our Moondance wedding heels are worth swooning over. Perfect for a night of dancing under the stars!
Photography: I Do Wedding Photo; Video & Live Streaming: Francisca Siza; Bride’s Dress: Con Cordeta Bespoke; Bride’s Shoes: Forever Soles; Earrings: Heddera Handmade Jewellery; Flowers: Florista Soniflor; Hair & Makeup: Alberto Arruda; Kombi: Pão De Forma Eventos; Invitations: Jin Buzon Design (the Bride); Virtual Styling & Coordination: Dr. Roxanne Buzon-Mendoza; Standees: Makari Print Philippines