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This Couple Threw A Simply Elegant Wedding On A Budget

The bride only spent less than P3,500 for her modern, sleek, and chic ensemble!

Simple can be beautiful. Even for a big event like a wedding, simplicity has its way of making a statement. That you really don't need to spend an enormous amount of money to achieve stunning nuptials is something that's long been established, and this minimalist yet elegant wedding is further proof of that.


For newlyweds Shou Bryan Dignadice and Chelsea Chloe Santillan, a couple who have been together for a little more than two years, all it took were two months to put together their civil wedding. The preparation period may have been short, but the outcome was sophisticated, heartwarming, and full of meaningful, personalized elements.  


Real Weddings: Shou Bryan Dignadice and Chelsea Chloe Santillan
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Chelsea is a former cabin crew who currently helps out with their family's business, while Shou is studying in the US. Factoring in the long distance relationship, it's really not that easy to plan a wedding. But this bridechilla kept things simple and focused on what truly matters, which is their union, and with that in mind, planning became so much easier and smoother.


Shou and Chelsea met back in 2011 as 15-year-olds attending youth service in their church. Many years later, they found themselves facing the altar hand in hand, reminded of what they were told at the marriage preparation seminar their church hosted for engaged couples: "We learned about being husband and wife to each other, while putting God at the center of the relationship," Chelsea shares.  


They are both pretty laid-back individuals to begin with, so that side of them as a couple also shone at their wedding. Two things really connect them: their love for food (specifically Jollibee for Shou who lives abroad) and movies (especially Star Wars); both of these favorites made appearances at their special day.   


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This wedding is stunningly minimalist you'd be amazed at just how affordable it was to achieve this. One of the highlights of the event is Chelsea's bridal ensemble. A modern bride, she opted for a chic white pantsuit with a sexy corseted inner top.


Her coat and top from Shein actually marked the start of their wedding planning, as they were the first things Chelsea bought. "I ordered my top and blazer around May, so that I won't be nervous that it might not get delivered before July," she shares. "The blazer costs like P950 and the top around P450, and then I got my pants from Uniqlo which is P1,490. The necklace, I bought it from Kultura at P499."


These make her bridal ensemble total to only less than P3,500, because the other pieces that completed her outfit were borrowed from her loved ones. She adds, "My dangling diamond earrings and my Hermès bracelets [one of which served as her something blue], I borrowed from my aunt. My shoes is a hand-me-down from my sister who got married two years ago." Her veil? It's from the bridal shower her sister threw for her!


To complement this sleek look, her hair and makeup artist, Sid Laureano, did a wavy half-pony hairstyle and glittered eyeshadow makeup look. "I don't even have a peg," Chelsea says of her bridal beauty look. "I just let her do it. I got a little bit nervous when she put pink glitter to my eye shadow, because I usually see soft tones or neutral tones for bridal makeup, but when I looked in the mirror, I was so happy with it. I think it made my eyes pop."


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Chelsea also wasn't planning on having a bridal bouquet, but her sister insisted she get one. So, three days before the wedding, she looked through Facebook Marketplace, and found a shop that can deliver just in time for the event. "While looking at the pegs that we have in Pinterest for our outfits, I noticed the men have boutonnières! I messaged the flower shop, which is Elvy Floral Design, if they can add it and how much for it, they said yes, and they gave it for free! The bouquet was just P1,500."


The groom, Shou, matched the sleek pantsuit of his bride with an off-the-rack, sharkskin color Calvin Klein suit from Men’s Warehouse which was altered for better fit. To complete the look, Chelsea says, "We bought his white polo from Uniqlo and his brown shoes from Bayani, a Marikina shoe store."


Overall, including all the fees incurred from planning, Chelsea shared that this wedding was made possible in just less than P70,000!


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The wedding ceremony was held on July 6, 2022 in Victory Pasay. Some of their relatives—like Shou's parents and Chelsea's mom and sister in the US—witnessed the event via Zoom. "And then maybe 30 minutes before the ceremony, my sister told me, 'Why don't you send the link over to your friends?' And I was like, 'Oo nga noh!' I messaged my core group of friends about it, and a lot of them joined and 'attended' our ceremony. It was very heartwarming."


The reception followed at LOLA Café in S Maison (with a side trip in Jollibee, Shou's favorite). The couple only had 20 guests whom they shared the restaurant's modern Filipino dishes with. There was no program, and even the cake-cutting wasn't initially part of the event. "But my sisters insisted that we should do cake-cutting," Chelsea adds. "So while we were doing the post-nup pictorial, they went to Nono's and bought their Honey Crunch Cake. And they insisted we do a toast, so we got a bottle of red wine from LOLA Café."


Though simple and pulled off on a budget, Chelsea was especially particular about one thing: "We really want a nice photographer to document our wedding, because these photos are something that you could always look back on." They tapped NicePrint Photo for the photo and video coverage, and with the photo concepts they did (the street shots and the layouts with the SM MOA Eye ferris wheel in the background), the wedding definitely looked elevated. And since there was no program, a same-day edit video wasn't necessary—instead, as an alternative, NicePrint Photo made a next-day edit video for the couple to share with their family and friends. 


"I like our wedding, because it’s relaxed and very intimate," Chelsea says. "We celebrated it with the people we love the most."


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Check out the gallery below for more photos:



Photos by NicePrint Photo