Sambie Que Rodriguez, country manager of fitness platforms Guavapass/Classpass recently wed Mikko Tung, vice president of A.Tung Chingco Manufacturing Corporation at the Manila Cathedral. The ceremony was followed by cocktails and dinner at the Makati Shangri-La. Here, they talk to Town&Country about their love story and take us through the planning to the wedding day itself.
The Love Story
After four years of dating, Mikko proposed to Sambie in a special place in Australia.
How did you meet and how long have you been together?
Sambie: We met a little over four years ago through my best friend and maid of honor Mariel. We had dinner and drinks at Las Flores with friends and immediately hit it off. We went on our first date a few days after that. Two bottles of wine later and the rest is history!
The couple's prenuptial photo by fashion photographer BJ Pascual
What attracted you to your partner?
Sambie: What attracted me most to Mikko is his discipline, kindness, and quiet strength. At the office, he is loved by all his employees, always being a firm but approachable boss who loves to joke around with his staff. He truly has a heart of gold and his integrity is unmatched by anyone I know.
Mikko: I think it goes without saying, the first thing that caught my attention was how beautiful she is; she lit up the dark corner of Las Flores, where our table was located. What really attracted me most, however, was her intelligence. I love that she is someone who constantly teaches me new things. Whether it's about food, art, travel, or things about her work, Sam always challenges me and pushes me outside of my comfort zone. I also love that Sam is the kind of girl that makes me beam with pride. She is one of the most hardworking people I know, with dreams so big that even I get taken aback. She has already accomplished so much in her life. I'm proud of her every day.
Tell us about the marriage proposal. How did it happen?
Sambie: Mikko proposed to me at the Twelve Apostles in Victoria, Australia. We were on vacation with friends and went on the most beautiful road trip from Melbourne via The Great Ocean Road. To this day, one of the most stunning views I have ever seen was during that drive. Mikko proposed to me at sunrise when there were barely any tourists in the area. The entire experience was absolutely magical with a view of the breathtaking Twelve Apostles as our backdrop and the sun peeking from the clouds. How could a girl not say yes?
What is something about your partner that you wish more people knew?
Sambie: I wish people knew just how hardworking Mikko is. He has been going to work six days in a week for the past eight years, braving the hour and a half long transit back and forth, while still managing to go to the gym and working out every day. He so rarely complains as well, which to this day still boggles my mind! I also want people to know how much of a loving, patient, and committed partner he is to me. I wouldn't be where I am today without his love and support.
Mikko: I wish more people knew how incredibly kind and thoughtful Sam is. I've always felt that to most people, Sam is seen as this incredibly strong, hardworking, and goal-oriented woman. But she is also so much more than that. Sam is also very soft, kind, and caring, especially of me. She is also very supportive of my own goals, my own dreams, and my own aspirations. It brings me peace knowing that I have a partner who will support me through anything, no matter how wild or crazy the roads ahead get.
The bride tells us more about the theme, the planning, and details that made their big day extra special.
Why did you choose to get married in Manila?
We wanted all our friends and family to be able to attend the wedding and be a part of our celebration. We both agreed that we wouldn't be where we are today if not for the cumulative support of our family and friends. We felt we owed it to each and every single one of them to make them a part of our special day. We also wanted to pay proper homage to the city where we fell in love and call home.
The couple got married at the Manila Cathedral
Principal sponsors Meg Rodriguez-Mitchell, Virginia Bote, Hetty Que, Lulu Sian, Rosalia Lagdameo, and Michelle Tan
Principal sponsors Paulino Que, Getulio Bote, Ben Chan, Jonathan Que, Necisto Sytengco, and Simon Tay
With the bride's family Lucy Que, Juanito Que, Tess Que, and Miggy Rodriguez
Parents of Groom Marian and Gregory Tung
Tell us about your gowns and Mikko's tuxedo.
I wore three different gowns that day. My main gown was Vera Wang, which was made of four layers of French lace partnered with Jimmy Choo white satin platform shoes to ensure comfort from day to night.
My second gown was a vintage navy-blue velvet cheongsam from the '60s that once belonged to my grandmother, which I paired with emerald green Marco De Vincenzo stilettos. I guess you can say the cheongsam was my something borrowed, something blue.
My last gown was a strapless Rosa Clara ball gown, which was so comfortable that I partied the rest of the night away wearing it.
Mikko's tux was made by Tinos, his bow tie was from Dolce and Gabbana, and his shoes were Tods.
The groom Mikko Tung
The groom with his best man Graeme Perkins
Macky Tung, Marian Tung, Mikko Tung, Gregory Tung, Katrina Tung-Robbins, and Mark Tung
Mikko Tung with his groomsmen Graeme Perkins, Mark Litonjua, Gio Bote, Abdul Dimaporo, and Don Bautista
What was your vision for the wedding?
We wanted to make sure that our guests felt that they were taken cared of and given just as much importance to. We added fun activities in the cocktails area such as food booths by Pouf. We had a cotton candy booth, an ice cream booth, and a fries booth, so our guests could enjoy some casual and fun finger foods even in the midst of the formal setting.
We also created a portrait booth area for our guests (executed by fashion photographer Je Villaroman) so they could go home with beautiful photos from our special day; this was our way of thanking our guests for the effort they put in being all glammed-up for our wedding.
Lastly, the entertainment was also of great importance to us. This was also our way of thanking our guests for celebrating with us, by giving them an enjoyable show: The Manila Philharmonic Orchestra along with Broadway singers John Joven and Shiela Valderrama serenaded our guests during dinner.
How did you decide on your suppliers? Can you tell us about your favorite ideas?
Our prenup shoot was shot by famed fashion photographer and friend, BJ Pascual. We were both so excited that he agreed to shoot for us since he usually specializes in magazine covers and campaigns. We wanted our prenup shoot to be something extremely special and out of the box. We shot our prenup photos at my grandparent's house where I grew up. It turned out to be such a nostalgic experience playing dress up with my family.
Our prenup video was shot by indie director and friend Sam Lee. We explored the streets of Escolta with an old digicam and iPhone in hand. The video day turned out to be such a fun experience. And the final video was so raw, refreshing, and creatively executed.
My makeup was done by Mickey See and my hair was done by John Valle. I have worked with them in the past and have always been in awe with their talent and how much passion they have for their craft. Having them on my wedding day allowed me to focus fully on being in the moment because I knew that I could fully depend and trust them. They were both so caring and supportive every step of the way.
My cake was a collaboration between Penk Ching and my florist Dave Sandoval. I wanted something elegant that featured real beautiful flowers that were cohesive with the reception details. I also requested for white buttercream icing and not fondant. All the cakes were also edible.
I actually did the wedding planning on my own but hired Kutchie Zaldarriaga for her on-the-day wedding coordination services. She was very helpful especially during crunch time leading up to the wedding day.
My stylist and florist was Dave Sandoval, who was equally a joy to work with. My brother, Miggy, and I worked extremely closely with him to make sure that every detail was perfect. Some of these details included how we wanted all the stems of the flowers to be visible instead of in sponges. We also brought in all the mirrored glass tables and clean white acrylic center flooring for the final touch. Dave truly did an impeccable job in bringing our vision to life.
Our content team was made up of Director John Marvi de Guzman of Cinemaworks, Mango Red for the photos, Spotlight Creatives for event coverage, and Je Villaroman as our portrait photographer for our guests.
The bridal entourage: Christine Gonzalez Crisologo, Pie Alvarez, Bianca King, Sarah Lahbati, Jenni Ng, Maxine Sian, Ally Lim, Ange dela Cruz, Katrina Lee, Mari Jasmine, and Mariel Bitanga
My bridesmaid gowns were made by designer Boom Sason. Boom helped me find the perfect shade of blush that would complement all skin tones. I decided to keep each style timeless and classic so that they could easily reuse their gowns for other formal occasions. I love how clean the gowns looked and how gorgeous my bridesmaids were that day. Boom did a fantastic job during the fittings as well given that a few of my bridesmaids were based abroad.
What did you not compromise on?
We made sure not to compromise on the quality of food. The Makati Shangri-La did a fantastic job with making sure the food was delicious. I am also extremely grateful to Conessa, and the rest of their team for making my experience with them seamless and perfect. We served our guests salmon tartar and seared tuna on a bed of avocado pure; followed by potato soup with caramelized onion and chicken jus. The main course was a choice of beef tenderloin with asparagus, shallots, mashed potatoes and port wine jus or deep-fried cod with barbecue sauce and vegetables. Dessert was lava cake with vanilla ice cream and berries campote.
Your advice for newly engaged couples planning a wedding?
Stay true to yourselves as a couple. Don't be afraid to think out of the box and do things differently. It is your big day, after all, enjoy every bit of it!
The Best Moments
The couple shares some of their wedding highlights and favorite moments.
What were the most memorable or touching moments during the ceremony and reception?
Sambie: Aside from having all of our beloved family and friends in one room, as well as our godparents whom I admire and respect so much, some notable highlights include having my dear friend and bridesmaid Sarah Lahbati's son, Zion, as our ring bearer for the ceremony; my brother Miguel's touching and heartwarming speech that brought the entire room to tears; and the surprise dance number from my best friends which totally caught me off guard and was a fantastic start to the after party.
Ring bearer Zion Gutierrez
Sambie with her brother Miggy Rodriguez
The surprise number of members of the bridal entourage Wedda Dumadag, Tarish Zamora, Katz Salao, Madz Humphries, Jenni Ng, Ally Lim, and Bianca King
Our friend and DJ for the night, Jess Milner, brought the house down as she played throwback hits from the '80s and '90s, which was the perfect blend to get the entire crowd going.
The bride with her aunt Christine Lee
Ash Rye, Rajo Laurel, Tim Yap, Mac Puckett, Madz Humphries, Nix Alanon, Sambie Rodriguez, Emel Rowe, Mari Jasmine, Mond Gutierrez, KC del Rosario, Sean Go, Arthur Nowak, and Miggy Rodriguez
Nicole Andersson, Franco Saycon, Fenelle Victoria, KC del Rosario, Sean Go, Johannes Raadsma, Liez Estrada, Cris Cu, and Tristan Seisa
Gab Estrella, Trickie Lopa, Jia Estrella, and Jonathan Matti
Lucy Que, Juanito Que, Cathy Tan, and Andrew Tan
Erica Concepcion-Reyes, Francis Reyes, Mond Gutierrez, Nix Alanon, Bride, Gab Estrella, Jia Estrella, Miggy Rodriguez, Tina Fernandez, and Trickie Lopa
What's next for you two?
Sambie: We have yet to embark on our honeymoon, so this is something we definitely are looking forward to. We are extremely excited to spend the next few years traveling and going on adventures together. This April, we will be traveling to Paris, followed by a River Cruise from Budapest to Vienna. Our last destination is Greece. We can't wait to be on our three-week escape and first out of the country trip as newlyweds!
What's the best marriage advice you've received so far?
Mikko: The best advice I've been given so far is actually very simple, but very important. I was taught that in any marriage, problems will come and that it won't always be smooth sailing. However, what's important is that we always choose one another and that we'are always on the same team.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountry.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.