On a cool and breezy late afternoon in December, fifteen years ago this week, the setting was nothing short of magicalâ€¦ The San Sebastian Basilica in Quiapo, Manila had just turned a hundred years old, and it was the only all steel Gothic style church in Asia, transported on several ships from the steel foundries in Belgium. With an altar and some pews made of silver, intricate steel patterns, and an ornate, yet quiet elegance, it seemed like the perfect place for us to get married. Yes, this week Mrs. Marketman and I are celebrating our 15th Wedding Anniversaryâ€¦ and a few days ago as we were frantically unearthing winter clothing from storage cabinets for our last minute unplanned trip to New York City in freezing weather, I ran across her wedding gown. I took it out of its wrapper to have a closer look and reminisceâ€¦
The Kid was around and eagerly tried on her momâ€™s wedding gown. She is only 12 but the gown fit like a glove around her midsection and was the perfect height for itâ€¦ Mrs. MM could actually have been thinner than the Kid is now! The gown was relatively simple for the times, when serious beading and over-the-top concoctions were de rigeur. Mrs. MM had the gown custom made, and many yards of custom designed hand embroidery destined for the workshops of Giorgio Armani (yes, he used to source embroideries here for his couture gowns) were edged in gold threads and embroidered with sequins and seed pearls. Despite the relative restraint for that time, the gown still weighed several kilos and now that I have had a chance to inspect it closely, I fear for the number of folks who may have ruined their eyesight making it. Gowns today are much less elaborate, but on closer inspection, you just have to marvel at the hand work in the these older style gownsâ€¦
With a string quartet playing classical music, a soprano (I think) singing some of the songs, and simple white flowers, there is little we would have changed if we had a chance to do it all over again. We emerged from the church to a perfect Manila Bay sunset and stepped into an enormous 1940â€™s grey Packard automobile which ferried us to a nearby reception with 150 guests. It seemed like a fairy tale then, and for many reasons, it still feels like a fairy tale todayâ€¦ Happy 15th (Crystal) Anniversary, Mrs. MM!