A Gothic Boho Wedding

My boy bestie got married! Paolo Icasas, who I met when I was 13 years old and featured in my blog several times, tied the knot with fellow artist Marionne Contreras this October.

Pao + Marionne

The wedding invites were designed by the bride and groom. Instax photo by yours truly.

Call me a nuptial Grinch, but I sometimes get tired of the all the cliché elements that have turned weddings into a competitive nightmare. It was so refreshing to attend a wedding that did not give in to commercialism.

The couple opted not to do a prenuptial fashion shoot. They did not hire a videographer—only a small team of photographers, who, thank goodness, not once uttered “O wacky naman!” throughout the event.


Right: Pao changed into his black Barong Tagalog (formal Filipino men’s wear) and flared slacks for the ceremony.

“It’s best to just recall the wedding from your memory,” Pao said when I asked why he didn’t want videos. “It’s not like we’re going to watch the video after the wedding. We don’t really like watching videos of ourselves,” he joked. “What?! No same-day edit with a Christina Perri background song? Unthinkable!” I joked back.

With cig in tow, Marionne arrived in a run-down gray Toyota Corolla.
Not your usual bridal car

There were no forced parlor games for the singles, no photo booths with dirty and overused clown wigs, no generic wedding host with tired catchphrases like, “Ladies and gentlemen, at this point…” and no videographers dictating when, where, and how the guests should react for the camera. Best of the all, nobody starved.

Groom’s family (L-R): brother Miki, groom Pao, mom Angie, and sister Ao

From the start, I knew this was going to be a laid-back wedding. I laughed when I heard the groom asking his guests if they knew where his black Barong was minutes before the ceremony, and when the photographers could not get the entire entourage to sit still and pose for standard photos en route to the reception. I even heard the bride tell her photographers, “It’s okay; Let them be!” and not to fuss about getting all the shots.

Vincent, the adult ring bearer, carried the black wedding rings in a box of ashes.

The theme was also one for the books. I would describe it as gothic with a touch of boho, which is a representation of the couple’s sense of style. Pao and Marionne didn’t actually have a theme in mind when they started planning. All they knew is that they didn’t want bright colors, so they chose a gray color scheme. The rest of the details just fell into place weeks leading to the wedding date.

The bride and her parents, Mario and Josephine, walked down the aisle of St. Joseph The Patriarchal.

Scroll down to see how that memorable day unfolded. Congratulations to my beloved vampires!

The wedding mass was officiated by Fr. Christian Gabinete, a good friend of the groom.
The dress was designed by the bride, and executed by designer Jun Pimentel.

A closer look at the black wedding band by 13 Lucky Monkey
The bride’s girl friends and relatives
Kate was here. One decade ago, I told Pao, “When you get married, I wanna be your flower girl.” It finally happened!
Pictured here are the guests in shades of gray at the garden area of St. Joseph The Patriarch, Batangas.


Sue, the bride’s best friend and maid of honor
The couple was happy to find out that St. Joseph Parish has a 19th century-style banquet hall at the back. No need for the guests to drive to a separate location for the reception.
En route to the church’s banquet hall

The artist couple’s signature gothic vibe
Each table had one disposable film camera, which I was more than happy to use. I also brought my Fujifilm Instax camera.
No-frills wasabi cheesecake! The food was catered by George’s Table, headed by Noel Hizon, friend of the groom.
For the reception party, the couple opted for blues and classic rock music by the local band, Saltwater Berries. The bride’s maid of honor, Sue, sang a blues version of “Billie Jean.”

The venue’s vintage interiors meshed well with the couple’s look.
Best wedding giveaways in my book. These skull cement sculptures were lovingly made by Marionne. They’re based on the skull engagement ring that Pao designed for her.
Rock on, P+M!

Date of event: October 21, 2017

Photos by KateWasHere. Additional photos courtesy of Sue Hernandez, Christina Dy, and Geeyo Bonuan.