Just over a month ago, Sarah Lahbati and Richard Gutierrez were excitedly anticipating the arrival of their big wedding day. Until, of course, the festivities were put to a halt due to the growing COVID-19 crisis. Sarah remembers it vividly. “I know it was a Thursday,” she recalls during her recent Facebook Live with Preview. She had just picked up their wedding bands and was on her way to the salon for last-minute hair prep when concerns about the current situation started to blow up her phone. With rumors about a potential lockdown circulating Manila, Sarah and Richard immediately came to the heartbreaking but responsible decision to postpone their nuptials.
When asked about how she felt knowing she had to forego their wedding for the time being, she candidly reveals, “I was shocked and I was sad because I’ve always dreamt of having a fairytale wedding so of course I cried. But I think any bride who thinks of having a real big wedding would feel the same. I just had to cry it out and move on and think about the present situation.”
A few days later, Sarah and Richard gave us all a delightful surprise by pushing through with their nuptials via an intimate civil wedding instead. Attended only by a select number of their family members, the small but loving affair took one whirlwind day to put up. “It was planned overnight,” Sarah tells Preview. “Gideon Hermosa set up the most beautiful backdrop which made it so special. My dad, mom, my three half-brothers and Chard’s family were there. That’s all the people we needed. We had an intimate dinner set-up by Teddy Manuel. It was so simple but so beautiful. My best friends and a couple of family members were there. We just celebrated real quick and we tied the knot and that’s it.”
While couples everywhere may be discouraged and disappointed after being forced to call off their own nuptials amid the global pandemic, Sarah and Richard’s story serves as a beacon of hope and a reminder to look back on their reasons for getting married.
In fact, when asked why she pushed through with an intimate wedding, Sarah left us and fellow couples waiting in the wings with a sobering thought. “We would have loved gathering everyone. But the real meaning of this is really about you and your partner. It’s about the future and why you want to do it and fight for it. At the end of the day, it’s all about you two and you just have to find the time to have a big celebration [later on].” With grand spectacles being the seeming prerequisite for weddings these days, we couldn't agree more!
In case you missed it, catch Sarah’s full interview with Preview, below!