The much-awaited wedding of Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo last April 28 in San Juan, Batangas, was a big surprise in the showbiz world for its complete secrecy. Celebrities are hard-put to keep their private lives away from the public eye, of course, yet Judy Ann and Ryan managed to keep the most intimate occasion of their lives to themselves, their family, and a few selected friends.
Pulling it off was no easy task, as Ryan's manager Noel Ferrer explained in a taped interview with Startalk yesterday, May 2.
"It was February na sinabi nila na they were ready to get married," said Noel. "So, first thing was to contact the wedding planner. It was such a challenge kasi destination hindi sa Manila, e. Tapos para kang nag-treasure hunt."
Noel also revealed that Judy Ann and Ryan wanted to get married while they're still at age 30 (Ryan turned 30 last April 10 and Juday will turn 31 this coming May 11). Another of Noel's revelations was that the couple consulted an astrologer, who said that the ideal date for their wedding was April 28. "Pinakamagandang date dahil sa planetary arrangements," said Noel.
The wedding was supposed to re-create Ryan's parents' wedding but that didn't happen. "They [Ryan's parents] got married at 5:30 in the morning and tapos na sila by 6:30," said Noel. "Nag-breakfast na sila sa tabi ng church... Ganoon kasimple dapat yung wedding. But yung church, wala na, so we had to find the next church na pinakamalapit doon sa church na pinagkasalan ng parents ni Ryan. So, dito sa San Juan."
The officiating priest was Fr. Tito Caluag. The matron of honor was Juday's friend and Megastar Sharon Cuneta. The best man was Ryan's brother Dondee Agoncillo and the flower girl, Juday and Ryan's adopted daughter Yohan.
"Nag-start ang mass ng 6:45 a.m.," added Noel, "dahil na-late ang pari! Yun ang nakakatawa doon kasi naligaw siya!"
SURPRISED GUESTS. Juday's manager Alfie Lorenzo, one of the guests, on the other hand, got no details on the invitation and was even clueless about where the wedding was to be held. "Ni hindi nga sinabi sa akin," Alfie said. "Sabi ko, 'Sa'n ba tayo?' Sabi, 'Secret! Sunduin na lang po namin kayo sa Lunes. Dadalhin kayo sa lugar.' Hindi ako aware."
Alfie said the wedding was just like a Hollywood scene. "Isang island, tapos, e, hakutin lahat ng mga kamag-anak nandoon. Kahanga-hanga 'yon. Parang set ng production at location shoot. Lahat ng tao doon nagtataka, bakit ang daming kotse, so walang nagtitilian kasi hindi nila makita mga artista."
Alfie no longer feels any bitterness towards Juday and Ryan. But is it true that Alfie is retiring as Juday's manager?
"Pakiusap ng dalawa, business as usual, walang iwanan," Alfie said. "Sabi ko, sige, although ako I was ready to retire na sana. So, sige..."
Also invited was Survivor Philippines host Paolo Bediones. The invitation card he got was unique. "Kung babasahin mo yung invitation, walang indication na wedding siya," he said. "Nakalagay doon na 'Inuman tayo! Ito na ito! Magsuot ka ng puti.' Ganoon lang kasimple. Usually, mga wedding invitation na may mga parents of the bride, groom, mga sponsors, invite you...blah blah... wala, e. Simple lang talaga, may directions lang papunta sa location."
The card had just an embossed JR emblem and, as Noel would say, if you knew Juday and Ryan, you would immediately call them and ask if the invitation really was it.
One of the ninangs, Suzi Entrata-Abrera, also shared her experience at the wedding. She said, "Katulad nun, yung ibang detalye na dapat nakaputi kami, e, hindi ko na-retain ang information kaya ang lola niyo, naka-gray! Sabi ko sa iba na ninong at ninang na basta bagay daw sa beach, kaya 'yan, iba-iba ang kulay namin!"
Suzi added that they were only 80 people in all at the wedding. She observed that Ryan was excited and, although solemn, the couple had some playful moments together. It was beautiful!
"Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez sang 'The Prayer,'" Suzy added. "Si Agot Isidro sang "The Wedding March." Sharon, KC Concepcion, and Sen. Pangilinan were all there, although the couple had to leave sooner. KC stayed to the end of the party."
SOLEMN WEDDING. Juday and Ryan only wanted a solemn wedding and that was the first thing they requested, said Noel.
"Hindi naman sa ayaw nila um-attend mga friends nila o mga fans," added Noel. "Gusto lang nila solemn para manamnam nila mga vows nila with each other. Ang nakikita mo ang dapat makita at hindi yung hiyawan ng mga bystanders o usyosyo. Siguro, it's not based by politicians attending, it's not based by cameras na humaharang-harang sa tabi mo, o people who would say, 'Kiss naman, kiss!'"
The sponsors, who were chosen friends and relatives, were the only people invited to the wedding. Other guests were invited to the reception in Anilao, Batangas, a two-hour drive from the church.
RECEPTION: UNKNOWN. Even the location of the reception was wrapped in mystery. As Paolo Bediones would say, "Doon sa reception, nakakatawa, kasi doon sa invitation, nakalagay na 'X marks the spot.' Walang resort, walang nothing. Parking lot lang makikita mo. Pag park mo doon, may mga nakaputi. Sabi ko, 'Ito ba yung kay Juday at kay Ryan?' Sabi nila, 'X marks the spot po ito, e.' Ganoon sila ka strict. So, naghintay kami. Sabi nila na may darating na shuttle. So, even then, pati mga guests, [hindi alam] up to the last minute kung anong resort ang pupuntahan namin. Pagdating namin sa resort, naghintay kami mga 30 to 45 minutes."
After the wait, Juday and Ryan arrived in a boat. When they got off, they kissed and hugged each other for all the guests to see, Paolo narrated.