We use our blog to highlight some of our favorite films, and today we’re v. excited to share Philip and Leanne’s fairytale film in the Philippines with you! From Leanne’s gorgeous Francis Libiran dress, to their dreamy venue, Palazzo Verde, everything at this magical vow renewal was fit for a king and queen. Plus, Philip performs an epic rap for his bride that you don’t want to miss. Watch the full film by Photogenics Studios below and then read on for our interview with Leanne.
How did you meet and fall in love?
My husband, Philip, was born and raised in San Diego, California. In December 2007, Philip went to visit his grandparents in the Philippines, who also happened to be members of our church. He was sitting at the door during our church service the first time I saw him. He had the saddest face I have ever seen in my entire life. I knew he didn’t want to be there because he was bored and didn’t know anybody. All I could think was, “how can I make this guy happy?” Philip and I were formally introduced by our Pastor. Since I was the youth president during that time, I didn’t have a choice but to entertain Philip because nobody wanted to speak with him. I invited Philip to attend our youth activities. Philip and I shared fun stories as well as US and Philippine cultural differences–we became so closed so fast. On the third day after we met, he asked me if I liked him, and I said, ” I do.” He never had a girlfriend before so I guess he didn’t know proper timelines. On the fifth day, Phil already had to leave to go back to the U.S. On that day, while he was at the airport and we were talking on the phone, we officially became boyfriend and girlfriend (yes, after five days). Before Philip left, he wrote personal letters for my parents and siblings asking if he can come back and court me, which was really sweet. Our time spent together was really short, but it felt like we knew each other for years. We were in a long distance relationship for three years [after that].
Tell us how the proposal happened.
Phil said the proposal was supposed to be inside our church where we met. He said we were supposed to have a scavenger hunt with the youth group and I would end up at the altar where I would find a ring and he would propose. However, it was raining so hard that day so nobody from the youth group came and the church was closed, so Philip ended up proposing outside the church.
Where did you get your engagement ring?
Phil got the first engagement ring from Robbins Brothers and he got me another ring from Tiffany and Co., during our vow renewal on our fifth wedding anniversary.
What products and/or vendors made your vow renewal so beautiful?
We had a fairytale vow renewal in the Philippines. The Venue, Palazzo Verde, which is a castle in Alabang, is for sure one of the expensive venues in the Philippines, but it was a perfect venue for us. The venue has a carriage, gondola, trumpeters, sparklers and fireworks. We also had a scroll invitation, Cinderella shoes, a string quartet, a live stream, a live band with saxophone and a DJ for the reception. We also played a fairytale game, The singles Game. The boys had to look for their “Cinderella” by asking who owns the shoes. The table names were also princess names. My dress and Philip’s suit were designed by the great Francis Libiran . Francis Libiran is one of the top designers in the Philippines. He was featured a couple of times on “America’s Next Top Model.” He also made some dresses for Hollywood stars as well as Filipino celebrities. Francis Libiran also let us use some of the gowns and suits he made for celebrities for our pre-wedding photoshoot–that made us feel like a million bucks. Our caterer is also top of the line in the Philippines. Bizu is the best caterer in the Philippines. Of course, the wedding is extra special because of our videographer, Photogenics Studios, who captured the special moments of our best day ever.
Tell us about something that was creative or unique to your vow renewal.
I feel like the most unique part of our wedding was the singles “Look for your Cinderella” game. Philip also made a surprise montage [for the wedding], where he included photos of our relatives, especially his grandparents and my grandparents who couldn’t be there. The montage has the background music, “Jealous” by Labrinth–it made everybody cry. He also showed photos of our civil wedding in 2010. Philip also had a surprise rap that brought the whole house down.
Describe the moment from your vow renewal day that stands out to you the most.
When Philip did the rap. Philip doesn’t talk as much when he in the Philippines so his family was really surprised when they saw he rapped. They thought he was drunk. We all had a great time.
How did you find your dress? Who designed it and how did you know it was the one?
I was looking for a dress designer for almost a year and then I ran into some gorgeous dress photos on Instagram [from Francis Libiran]. The first time I saw Francis Libiran’s dresses, that was it for me–I found my designer. Best decision ever.
What made your renewal feel extra special to you and your partner?
The fact that we were able to have a wedding in the Philippines with my family. When Phil and I got married at the courthouse in 2010, it was just his relatives and some of my relatives in San Diego.
How did you find your filmmaker and what made you choose them?
Philip was actually a wedding videographer years ago. With that being said, he is very particular with shooting style and Photogenics Studios was the [videographer] who stood out for him. It was a huge plus that they do drone shots as well. They did a really great job! We are so pleased.
What is your favorite moment from your film?
There are a lot of shots that I love from the wedding film. First, it was a same day edit. Second, is the carriage shot. Third, is my slow motion entrance with sparklers. Fourth, is me crying during Phil’s tagalog vow. Fifth, is the kiss and finally, is the venue and firework drone shots.
Tell us the one piece of planning advice you wish you would have known.
Focus on planning the program. It’s not only about the food and the venue. The program will save the guests from being bored. Always consider your family and what they will enjoy the best. Find the best wedding coordinator out there. Everything that you planned and worked for will go to waste if you have a bad coordinator. Also, try to compromise with your partner. After all, it’s both you getting married, not just you.
What do you think the “secret sauce” to your relationship is?
One God in the center of our relationship. Philip and I were in a long distance relationship for three years before we got married, and God made us so strong to be able to survive those years. Now that we are married for almost eight years, God is still so generous to bless us with the love, trust, and patience that we always need. Just like during the stressful wedding planning that we went through, we always compromise. The end result of being a great team is always worth it.