Iza Calzado and Ben Wintle entertained their wedding guests with a barrio fiesta-style welcome dinner.
Celebrity events stylist Teddy Manuel transformed the beachfront of Club Paradise in Coron, Palawan, into a mini fiesta.
He wrote on his Instagram caption, "Colorful buntings, string lights and bright hued blooms matched with huge tropical leaves - all helped in creating a night set for merriment."
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Filipino fiesta themed welcome dinner to usher in the festivities for @benmwintle and @missizacalzado ‘s union. Colorful buntings, string lights and bright hued blooms matched with huge tropical leaves - all helped in creating a night set for merriment. #becomingmrswintle #teddymanuelexperience 📷 @josephgatz Amazing team: @eventsbyamandatirol @clubparadisepalawan @patdy11 @bobnicolas @gideonhermosa @bespokemanila
Iza and Ben arrived at the party in matching attires—he in royal blue Barong Tagalog and she in a terno designed by Rajo Laurel, the same designer of her bridal gown.
Once the soon-to-be husband and wife took center stage, Iza immediately thanked their family and friends who flew in for their wedding.
She said, "First of all, thank you so much to everyone who traveled [from] far away—including Manila. That's still far away.
"Thank you so much for making the time, giving us your love and your energy. I know it's Christmas and a lot of people have Christmas commitments, but you have chosen still to celebrate with us..."
HOW IZA KNEW BEN WAS THE ONE
In their welcome remarks, Iza and Ben shared with their guests the reason they both love seahorses.
The marine animal was prominent in the design of their wedding invitations.
Iza's earrings that night were also designed around its shape.
For the couple, seahorses represent the idea of monogamy as some of their species are known to mate for life.
According to the Smithsonian website, staying faithful helped a pair have "greater reproductive success."
And thanks to their shared love for seahorses, it made Iza realize that Ben was The One.
The bride revealed, "When I was trying to look for a sign that Ben was The One.
"I was looking hard, I was praying hard! Give me a sign.'
"We joined this game called Cash Cab, which is hosted by Ryan Agoncillo.
"And the winning question was about a seahorse.
"Ben and I looked at each other, and we were so confident in giving the answer.
"It was in that moment that I said to myself, 'I will win... [everything in life with this man].'"
The welcome dinner was a showcase of Filipino folk dances.
A group of young dancers performed a medley of dances for the guests.
Later on, Ben and Iza joined the fun as they tried the tinikling dance.
In a quick interview with PEP, their friends, together with Iza's manager Noel Ferrer, relayed their congratulatory messages to Iza and Ben.
Cheska Inigo, who will serve as maid of honor, expressed her excitement for the future Mrs. Wintle.
She told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), "It’s almost time. We can’t wait…
"Oh my god! You’re going to do it! We love you! Congratulations in advance!"
Sunshine Dizon chimed in, "Congratulations, kapatid! I’m so happy for you.
"It’s a new chapter in your life. Ito na, ito na yon. We’re so excited for you."
Diana Zubiri and husband Andy Smith gave Iza and Ben some words of wisdom.
The actress said, "Palagi dapat may respeto sa isa’t isa."
Andy added, "You guys have been happy together, so stay happy. That's just the key.
"Be patient, be happy, and love always… always look at the bright side.
"Remember why you fell in love in the first place."
Diana capped it with a wish, "I hope sana magka-baby na kayo agad.
"Kailangan twins na agad para isa na lang."
At the dinner, Karylle gave a speech that made Iza tear up.
She mentioned Iza's late father Lito, saying that "Tito Lito was correct" about Ben.
Iza and Ben are getting married today, December 19, at Club Paradise in Coron, Palawan.