"It's gonna be a happy wedding."
That was what bride Aicelle Santos told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) when asked about her wedding back in October.
Fast forward to November 16, Aicelle and now husband Mark Zambrano got married in a garden full of sunflowers at El Jardin de Zaida in San Juan, Batangas.
Aicelle and Mark chose yellow and blue as the color motif of their wedding with sunflowers as the main decor.
Sunflowers are Aicelle's favorite flowers.
THE BRIDE AND GROOM
Aicelle walked down the aisle wearing an Edwin Tan bridal design.
Jason Delos Reyes and Mark Anthony Rosales did her make-up and hair, respectively.
As for Mark, the groom looked dashing in a blue tux with a red bow tie.
The couple both wore hand-crafted shoes from Marikina-based brand, Shoepatos.
For the bridal march, the couple chose the Amel Larrieux song "Make Me Whole."
Sunflowers continued to be the wedding's main motif during the reception festivities.
Event stylists Dave Sandoval and Lia Ny filled the reception area with sunflowers.
One of the main highlights from the reception was Aicelle and Mark's first dance as husband and wife.
They were serenaded by The CompanY.
In an exclusive interview with Aicelle and Mark a month before their wedding, the couple recalled how the proposal happened.
Sunflowers were already a motif then and Mark was specific about getting long-stemmed sunflowers for his proposal.
But during that time, around March 2018, this particular variety of sunflowers was not yet in season.
Mark recalled, "Iyong time na nag-propose ako, walang nagbibigay nung malalaki kasi off-season. Nung time na iyon, pa-plant pa lang. Ibig sabihin iyong lupa, nire-ready pa lang nila to plant. Wala akong mahanap.
"Sa Dangwa maliliit… ang pangit, e. Tawag ako doon sa isang owner ng farm sa Mountain Province, Benguet. Sabi ko, 'Kuya, kailangan ko ng ganito.'
"'Sir, wala po, e.'
Mark waited for two and a half weeks.
Those sunflowers were freshly delivered to Seda Vertis North hotel straight from the Mountain Province via a jeep.
At that time, did Aicelle already have a hunch that Mark was going to pop the question?
The GMA-7 talent and Broadway actress said, "No, though napag-usapan namin na we see each other in the future, ganyan.
"Ako, ang hinuhulaan ko lang, magpu-propose siya sa ibang bansa kasi scenic, alam mo na.
"So, feeling ko, magpu-propose siya sa Switzerland kasi parang dream destination namin iyon to spend the holidays doon… Kaya nagulat ako, iyong proposal bago ako umalis."
Aicelle still couldn't believe how everything fell into place at that moment.
She recalled, "Nakakatawa pa noon kasi ako, simple lang ako. Hindi ako mahilig mag nail polish, ganyan-ganyan.
""Pero iyong araw na iyon, si Lord talaga sinasabi sa akin, 'Mag-nail polish ka.'"
On that day, Aicelle just finished an interview with GMA-7 newcaster Jessica Soho about her Broadway endeavors.
Then before heading to Seda Vertis North for what she thought was a singing gig, Aicelle had two hours to spare.
"Since may gap na parang two hours, sabi ko sa kasama ko, 'Halika, gusto ko lang mag-relax.' So, nagpa-nails na lang ako...
"As in, bihira lang ako mag mani-pedi. Once a year.
"And that one day in that year, iyon iyong nag-propose."
HOW THEY MET
Aicelle and Mark's love story began online.
In 2016, the then GMA-7 reporter took a chance to get Aicelle's attention by sending the Kapuso talent a direct message on Instagram.
It took a month for the now ESPN5 sportscaster to get a reply, but this opened up the chance to ask her out on a date.
Aicelle and Mark's first date became a meaningful encounter for them and signaled the start of a deep connection between them.
Two weeks after, they became a couple.