EXCLUSIVE: #HereCamsTheBride—The Countdown To Camille Co And Joni Koro’s Destination Wedding Is On
The countdown to the much-awaited wedding of the #CoKoro couple is on.
Today, blogger, influencer, and entrepreneur Camille Co flew to Hong Kong with her friends for her bachelorette party. And we can already tell it’s going to be a crazy-fun, Instagram Stories-filled kind of weekend. We are tuned in, and so are their hundreds of thousands of followers.
Days are going by so fast it’s becoming hard to keep up with the events in the life of this bride-to-be.
With less than a month to go before tying the knot with her Instagram-famous “blogger jowa” Joni Koro, one can almost imagine a picture of a frantic Camille metaphorically squeezed in her incredibly curated feed. But no, such a picture is non-existent. As detail-oriented as she is, she is surprisingly a bridechilla, who has learned the balance between being a stickler for perfection and at the same time being nonchalant in the midst of pressure.
“Wala na kaming ginagawa ngayon,” Camille says confidently about how their wedding plans are coming along, the sense of fulfilment that comes with the achievement of planning a destination wedding so efficiently obvious in her voice and clearly fills her heart. They have now put all the planning to rest, and are simply waiting for their big day to come.
Silver glittered off-shoulder ball gown by Mark Bumgarner and jewelry by LoveRock
"I like that he’s very level-headed. I like that he’s very understanding. He truly understands and knows me"
Camille and Joni, who have been a couple for close to five years now, got engaged last August. The day of the proposal, which took place at the scenic Rikugien Garden in Tokyo, Japan, had a cute twist: “Because I have a ring now on my finger, magtitipid na tayo,” Camille says in her YouTube vlog. “No really, it’s so hot, I don’t have the energy to stroll anymore. We’ll just look for food here in Family Mart, because the food here is really good anyway.”
Planning how the proposal would go was not a stressful thing to take on for Joni. He knew all he needed to do was whisk her away to someplace dreamy, get down on one knee, express his genuine feelings, and hand Camille the tangible proof of his love for and commitment to her. “I knew she didn’t want any grand proposal,” Joni tells Metro.Style. “And I wanted it to be intimate for the two of us.”
Strapless white ball gown by Vera Wang and jewelry by LoveRocks
"He doesn’t try to change me. He loves me the way I am. And I love that it’s just so easy to be with him"
What was difficult to come up with for him was the excuse to go out of the country to buy her ring. Joni shares, “It was most stressful when I had to fly to Hong Kong to buy the ring without her knowing. That was the tricky part.” But since he always travels for work anyway, particularly to Hong Kong, he was successful at hiding the real reason behind this trip.
He adds, “She was abroad that time. She was busy with her own thing, so she wasn’t asking too much questions.” Mission accomplished. This resulted to one thing, though, Joni says in jest: “Now I lost her trust because of that. [She said], ‘I have no idea how I can trust you now, if you can lie that well.’”
Exchanging jokes like that makes their relationship constantly fun, lighthearted, and as drama-free as possible. Albeit different in style, they each have a sense of humor that even when they giggle at an inside joke, you’ll find yourself giggling with them as well. Like, when asked to share what her first impression of Joni was, he offered to answer for her: “Not smelly.” Camille agreed, adding that she liked his sense of style as well, and they both laughed. Or, that time when Joni did Camille’s makeup for her vlog (seriously, you should watch it to see the combined infectious energy of these two very different yet at the same time very similar individuals).
Of his first impression of Camille, Joni says, "She's tall and pretty." Later, he has come to know her as someone funny, too. "She’s always energetic when you are with her, so it’s a non-stop show,” he says.
"He's very sweet. I think his language of love is through deeds. He’s the kind of boyfriend who treats you like a princess"
“The way we think is so alike. Like all my friends, the blogger besties, when we ask them, they say that Joni is the male version of me. We’re really so alike—the way we think, the way we see things. Like, if you give us a problem, how we’ll solve it, it’s the same. It may be different in a few things but our values are the same, our strategies are the same," Camille says.
Still on the topic of first impressions, their paths first crossed at the airport terminal when they were both heading to Bacolod. Seated beside each other in the plane, they chatted throughout the flight. And he somehow managed to get her number, which we learned was actually Camille’s spare number, before they went their separate ways. That was the beginning of the love story of this #TowerCouple (a witty twist to "power couple," referencing how tall they both are; Camille, whose height is approx. 5'9", is thankful for having found The One in Joni, and happy about the fact that he's taller than her even when she's wearing heels). Later, they called themselves the #CoKoro couple, a cute hashtag that combines their surnames.
On Joni: Black blazer by Zara, black trousers by Massimo Dutti, and bow tie by Gucci
"What we do best is communicating. We communicate so well with each other. Even when we have a misunderstanding, it’s not a shouting spree"—Camille
From the get-go, their relationship’s journey has been anchored on traveling. Whether for work or leisure, traveling has played a huge role in each of their lives. From miles apart, fate brought this Finnish man to mere inches away from this woman, a Filipino of Chinese descent.
The difference in their backgrounds and cultures could easily be a deal breaker, but that didn’t turn out to be a hindrance for this relationship to bridge those. Joni easily understood what it would take for him to earn the approval of not only Camille but her family as well.
“I really introduced Joni well. So, in the beginning of our relationship—and props to Joni because he was so patient and so understanding—sabi ko talaga sa kanya, he has to go visit our house everyday. And then that time we were living in Sta. Mesa and he was living in Rockwell, so he would travel and almost everyday siya nasa bahay,” Camille shares. “My parents would see him all the time. They would eat dinner with him all the time, and they would get to know him. I just always exposed him to my parents so that they actually get to know Joni.’” Meanwhile, Camille met his parents about a year into their relationship, when they visited the Philippines one holiday.
"He’s a good partner. I think andu'n 'yung balance e, kasi the way I was brought up was super traditional. Sa kanila, parang, sige go, run free. So it’s like a nice balance"
Although Camille said theirs is a very traditional Chinese family, her parents were very accepting of the possibility of their daughter marrying a man who isn’t Chinese. “There were a lot of things to consider, and a lot of things are different compared to how they would be back in Finland. But I knew what to expect. I somewhat knew, and Cams briefed me pretty well from day one—that if you want to be with me, you better prepare yourself to do these and these and these things,” Joni shares. “And I knew if I end up marrying someone from another culture, that brings its own peculiarity into the relationship.”
Last month, as part of the Chinese traditions, Camille and Joni were officially engaged via a ting hun ceremony. Joni’s parents flew to Manila to attend the special occasion. “I’ve never been to a ting hun. I didn’t know what ting hun means basically before we started talking about it,” Joni says. Although he and Camille were both new to the experience of the ting hun, what matters in the end is that they got to celebrate the prelude to their springtime wedding with some of the most special people in their lives.
"She's smart and proactive with things. That’s something I really appreciate"
A few days from now, these people who were gathered for their ting hun will get together again to witness the union of Camille and Joni. They are taking their love-filled festivities to a scenic city whose sun-drenched streets and nippy weather will serve as the fitting setting for a wedding that’s guaranteed to be effortlessly stunning and stylish.
“We got engaged August. We didn’t do anything until around October. We had to look for a date first because it was ghost month. So we had to wait for the ghost month to be done and then we had to wait for, you know, sa temple kasi, they had to wait for the new guide book of, like, lucky dates, and it doesn’t come out until the latter part of the year,” Camille says of the initial stages of their wedding planning. “I couldn’t really book anything because we didn’t have a date yet. And then I started planning around October."
Come November, things got so overwhelming for Camille. There were a lot of options to choose from, from the theme to the food, to encapsulate what they are as a couple. This modern bride didn't work with an event coordinator as per her choice, but it was too much to take in in the beginning. That month, Camille took a break from wedding planning. She says, "I told myself, ‘Okay, I’m just not going to touch on this.’ I stopped. I let it go. I didn’t plan anything. I didn’t reply to any e-mails anymore. I just stopped. And then after that, nu’ng December, that’s when I started booking na our suppliers. December lang. December, and that’s it. Joni was saying nga na he feels like these suppliers are so lucky daw to have me as a bride.” To take a breather when you feel the need to and just enjoy the process are two pieces of advice Camille has for brides-to-be like her.
Bow-strapped white gown by LightShineWhite and jewelry by LoveRocks
"She’s funny. She’s always energetic when you are with her, so it’s a non-stop show. She’s super sweet, caring"
As for Joni, he was happy to let his bride do all the planning; he trusts her taste and wants her to get the dream wedding she hopes for exactly. But he made sure he was always ready to give his valuable inputs and approvals whenever Camille would consult him. “She’s really been the driving force behind it,” Joni says. Camille also acknowledges the contributions of her groom-to-be, saying, “Usually I would come to him when I want to make a decision. Parang ‘What do you think? Is this one better or that one better?’ He’s just more of like ‘Do we really need that?’ That’s why I always ask him also kasi feeling ko parang kailangan ko ng a more practical mind.”
It’s not enough to say Camille was hands-on with the wedding preparation. She was actually in charge of everything. She even created a mood board to give her suppliers a visual guide for the concept she has in mind. There is actually no theme. With their destination of choice already beautiful beyond words, Camille and Joni have decided to let the place shine, only choosing to enhance and complement its sunny backdrop with varying tones of Marsala, wine, dark old rose, and rust.
As is typical with destination weddings, the intimate three-day celebration will begin with a welcome dinner, followed by the wedding the next day, and another day dedicated to laze around and bond more with their loved ones.
Swarovski and pearl encrusted gazar and tulle gown by Hannah Kong and jewelry by JJ Jiao
"I think in a relationship, where either both or the other one is popular, the relationship has to be on a steady platform, and there has to be trust"—Joni
Right after their wedding celebrations, Camille and Joni will proceed to their honeymoon. Among all the places they’ve been to together, what stands out is their trip to Lapland, Finland, Joni’s home country. “It was really super nice and we really just took our time. We rented a car so we were just driving around and it was his home country so ang dali,” Camille recalls. What are waiting to be ticked off of their bucket list are vacations in New Zealand and Kenya.
They are fortunate to have the chance to travel together as often as possible. But on occasions when they do need to travel on their own, they have nothing to worry about when it comes to the stability of their relationship. In fact, there’s no need to constantly update each other on their whereabouts. “We have a very secure relationship. I think that’s one of the reasons why Joni and I are comfortable not talking to each other everyday. Even if I’m clingy, we’re comfortable, like, for example, one of us is abroad and the other one doesn’t get to reply, it’s not an issue for us because we are very secure,” Camille explains. “The trust is really there. I think it’s a very mature relationship. I think it’s not about the amount of time you spend together but the quality of the relationship. It’s really about that. So, it doesn’t really matter.”
Gazar off-shoulder top with train by Vania Romoff and jewelry by JJ Jiao
"She’s more creative, so she can visualize things which I can’t. She has this picture in her head and when she actually pulls it off, it’s always nice"
When the honeymoon is over, the two will blissfully retire to their own home, which they are currently renovating. With practicality always considered by this couple, they have decided and thought it better to rent a house instead of building or buying one.
On this choice, Camille comments in detail, “Honestly, it’s so daunting for us as a new couple. We’re already starting so many new things. I’m starting a business. We’re getting married. Full of expenses. There are just so many things to consider. I’d rather put my money into something that will give me a bigger return, a bigger yield. It’s really something na we talked about. We didn’t want to just invest in a house kasi ayaw naman namin madaliin, you know. Just because we’re getting married, oh, we really have to buy a house na. Tapos, what, that house is not something that you can eventually sell or it’s not the house that you can live in for ten years or more. At least we’ll be able to take our time to just look for a house that we really love. We’ll be able to take our time to save up for a house that we love.”
Deep V beaded lace gown by Rosa Clara and jewelry by JJ Jiao
"We wouldn’t have continued if we didn’t think that there’s potential for this to last"—Joni
There are no words to describe how excited Camille and Joni are about starting this new chapter in their lives. “I’m most excited about getting to wake up next to Joni, getting to really experience a relationship with just the two of us,” Camille says.
They are furnishing their home little by little, mostly with minimalist yet luxe pieces from their own Scandinavian furniture shop, Curio Cavern. In the house, there’s an extra room meant for a nursery for when the right time comes for them to start their own family. “That’s one of the things talaga na requirement with the house. We wanted it to be a house that we can grow into,” Camille says of their family home in progress. “Ang hirap kasi nang kaka-move in mo lang tapos when you have a kid, you have to move out again kasi the space is not enough for you guys. It’s really something that we can grow into, like years from now.”
It’s exciting to look forward to the future—the possibilities are endless especially for a young, adventure-loving couple like Camille and Joni. While they do want to spend quality time first as a married couple, before they get serious about having kids, they both welcome the possibility of it happening in the near future. “I think we still need some time together, like us, just the two of us, before the kids come along. But I don’t think it’s far ahead in the future. Let’s see,” Joni says. “Let’s get married first and see how it goes.”
The countdown continues. For now, we'll be constantly refreshing our social media feeds for updates on what we're sure will be an Instagram-perfect, Pinterest-worthy wedding.
Best wishes, #CoKoro!
Produced by Kate Paras-Santiago
Photography by Gee Plamenco Jr.
Sittings editor: Grace Libero-Cruz
Makeup by Anthea Bueno
Hairstyling by Mark Familara
Styling by Myrrh Lao To, assisted by Carvey Samonte and Zia dela Rosa
Video producer: Joan Ko
Videography by Tin Zabat
Shot on location at Nono’s in Salcedo Village, Makati