Chia Hollman Yulo And JJ Pou's Minimalist, Sunday Lunch Wedding Is Absolutely Stunning
No theme? Minimal décor? "Chill?"
They're concepts not often associated with brides-to-be envisioning their big day, but for Chia whose minimalist ceremony was absolutely beautiful, she reminds us all that the special occasion's most personal moments do outweigh the flowers, tablescapes, and intricate production designs we've come to expect.
After all, a wedding will always be anchored on the intangible, no matter how big or how small the setup—the commitment between a husband and wife, and the love their families will share in their union, will always come first.
"We got married in a Christian ceremony under a tree surrounded by close friends and family right outside Blackbird [Makati], and the lunch reception followed inside," recalls Chia Hollman Yulo who married JJ Pou on February 3.
Choosing to keep the big day as intimate as possible, Chia began it with a few of her entourage members getting primed and prepped at her suite at The Peninsula Manila.
Surrounded by her glam team composed of makeup artist Chinky Tanjangco and hairstylist Bryan Ressurection, Chia radiated with pure romance and excitement hours before saying "I do," and in her words, her brother even had "a slight meltdown in my hotel room seeing me all dressed up he plopped down on my bed head first."
Chia's brother, Chino Yulo
Chia with her mom, Chiqui Hollman
Emotional as he was when he was witnessing the last few moments of Chia's singlehood, he—along with this couple's other guests—simply couldn't contain their happiness at the sight of Chia who made her grand entrance.
Crossing the street from The Peninsula to her wedding venue, Chia gave onlookers and her wedding party alike a lovely view of her wedding day look: a strapless serpentina gown by White Label Bridal, featuring double layered lace, subtle beading, delicate lacework of small leafy vines, a belt, and a classic white veil. The dress was accessorized by headpieces from Rose and Crown PH and shoes by Badgley Mischka Bridal.
Its details took inspiration from Chia's mother's own wedding look, one that included her wearing fresh grapes on her head!
It didn't take long before Chia, now ready to meet her lifelong partner, completed the picture; a color scheme of white, light gray, and periwinkle that the entourage also wore to complement Blackbird's existing palette of deep browns and plush greens.
Despite having no flowers at the event—Chia is allergic to them!—Venus of Design and Touch Flowers did a stellar job at decorating the venue, and instead made use of the simplicity of leaves, twigs, and succulents to spruce things up.
Chia's father, Prandy Yulo
Refocusing her attention to the moments unfolding in front of her, this bride fondly remembers everything about her father during this day.
"Before walking down the aisle, my Dad just kept staring at me with a smile on his face. It looked like my whole life was playing in his head," she reflects.
The sweetness from her family continued as the ceremony went on, and Chia felt it especially when her two grandmothers, aged 88 and 94, gamely played the part of flower girls! The choice, though unusual, she says, was definitely one of her favorite parts of her wedding.
Come the reception, this bride continued to feel the love as her friends and family offered their congratulations through speeches and stories.
"They were all so funny and meaningful especially since our friends and family aren’t talkers. The food was also especially good!" Chia says.
Her dad, making another touching gesture, likewise gave a speech that reminded Chia of her childhood. "He made me recite for the last time the phrases he made me memorize as a child: 'You are the apple of my eye. You are the source of my being.. Papa, I cannot live without you,” she continues.
He even revealed an extra special piece of trivia about the couple's apparently destined marriage: he revealed that "he had met Jay’s father in the eighties and remembers the man because of how nice he was. Jay and I got married on February 3, which would have been [Jay's] dad’s birthday."
Chia also made it a point to thank her guests for their very attendance; many of them had flown in to be part of the memorable day, though it was missing two important guests—Chia and JJ's Frenchies!
"Our cake was also special to us since it has our two dogs on it. We couldn’t take them to the venue so it was important for us to have them there in spirit. Our invitations also had the Frenchies on them," Chia explains with a smile.
For the thoughtful creation, Chia had Sugar Fix by Nadine Madrigal to thank.
"At the end of the day, we just wanted to get married and be surrounded by our loved ones," adds Chia.
And with the help of her wedding coordinator Marge Montemayor of Events by Marge and now-husband JJ who helped plan the day ("Jay was in charge of music and the seating plan. With everything I planned, I would always get his opinion but there were a few things I definitely wanted to keep a surprise," Chia says), she accomplished this goal without breaking a sweat.
Overall, Chia and JJ's low-key ceremony allowed them to concentrate on what really matters in a wedding: spending time with those you love most and making sure that those memories last a lifetime.
Now that Chia has officially been Mrs. JJ Pou for a month, her photos by Jaja Samaniego and videos by Studio 1 will help make it feel as though her wedding day was just yesterday.
To share the happiness she feels as a happily married woman, see scenes from her and JJ's simple yet meaningful wedding in the gallery below:
Photographs by Jaja Samaniego, courtesy of Chia Hollman Yulo