Photographer Charisma Lico Becomes The Beautiful Subject As She Marries Aren Santos
What does it look like when the photographer takes the other side of the camera? Beauty. Love. Perfection.
Many dub 2018 as commercial and editorial photographer Charisma Lico’s year, as her portraits headlined many local magazine covers and big brands’ campaigns. We can remember her stunning work with Metro magazine for the recent cover of Sarah Lahbati wearing Vania Romoff, as well as the Metro.Style covers of Richard & Juliana Gomez and Alex & Toni Gonzaga to name some. But for us—and for her, surely—2019 is her year. It is a year of love, of a blossoming beauty; it is this year that she tied the knot with Arch. Aren Santos.
“He proposed on my 25th [birthday]!” Charisma recalls Aren’s proposal back in 2017. "I was clueless about it for I thought we were just going to have dinner in Tagaytay for my birthday. With the help of our friends, they filled the pathway with candles, which I didn’t see since I was blindfolded and it also rained after, haha! But I really appreciate all the effort! There, we stood under a huge tree while I was blindfolded, our song played, he took away the blindfold, and proposed.”
On January 9, the months of preparation finally led to a beautiful, intimate wedding at Narra Hill in Batangas, where Charisma and Aren finally said their "I dos."
Many would expect a grand, big celebration for someone who has been making a buzz in the local media the past year. But Charisma and Aren chose a simpler wedding with their closest loved ones.
What, or rather, who, stood out big-time was Charisma, looking the most beautiful and breathtaking in her white Elizabeth Hallie lace gown. It was a gown that underwent thorough thought and decision-making, but something that eventually turned out perfect.
“I was pretty indecisive at first with the wedding gown since I’m not really a girly girl. I initially didn’t know what I wanted. Some would suggest that I wear a serpentine cut gown but realized I won’t be able to move so much with it,” Charisma shares. “So I and my stylist and best friend, Danae Vernisse, opted for an A-line gown. Comfort was still a priority. When it comes to the fabric used, I’m really into lace and long-sleeved mock necks so we considered those style points.”
The gown itself was a practical choice, too. Once the long-sleeved lace top was detached, the gown transformed into a more daring, sweetheart-cut neckline with thin straps for her evening reception look.
Instead of a church setting, the couple opted for a more outdoorsy ceremony. Reminiscent of Aren’s proposal, the couple exchanged their vows under a huge tree at Narra Hill. Everything was laid back, dressed in lush greens and beautiful flowers, with the people basking in the quiet nature and the overflowing love from the couple and their families.
It was, in Charisma’s words, “Nothing too fancy or grand, we just had a simple rustic-theme for our wedding.” But the smiles on the couple and their family’s faces that day made everything look priceless. This time, there were no theatrics or art direction needed to nail the perfect shot. No elaborate styling or studio lights to make a picture that would earn a thousand likes. This time, it was only Charisma and Aren, and their love for each other, highlighted and shining in every smile, every dance, every moment they held each other and finally knew that he was hers and she was his.
“It’s true when they say that details get blurry on the day of the wedding itself because it seemed like everything was fast-paced and to be honest I loved everything about it, from the march of the entourage up to the last activity of our reception program. I didn’t expect to enjoy our wedding so much but we praise God for the blessings we experienced through it. Sounds cliché but it’s definitely the best day of our lives—for now. We know that with God, our best days are yet to come.”
It was indeed, a day for the books—and for the ’gram! But most of all, it was a day that marked the start of the rest of their lives together as husband and wife.
Photographs by The Proud Rad courtesy of Charisma Lico