'Prioritize what you want in your event'
Ralph Lorenz Yu and Caitlin Dionisio’s ting-hun plans were thrown off course three days before the day but thanks to their suppliers, the couple was able to reschedule. On June 29, 2021, Rap and Cait celebrated their traditional engagement with just their immediate families at home.
“We really believe in preserving the Chinese tradition as much as we can since both our paternal grandmothers wanted to see us get traditionally engaged.” To transfer their home venue, Rap and Cait invested in a photo wall designed by Jacq’s Floral. This was their “non-negotiable”.
Below, Cait talks about how they pushed for traditional engagement ceremony and the rustic romantic theme they decided for their ting-hun.
How did you two meet?
We met at a kettlebell gym where both of our brothers went. Our brothers are actually good childhood friends and the Rap’s brother would even sleepover at our house but Rap and I were never introduced back then. It wasn't until six years ago when we officially met. We started as friends, really good gym buddies. And then eventually we started dating around four years ago even if we would always say that we weren't each other's type. Rap proposed last year during the pandemic (July 4, 2020) in his home gym while we were working out. He made sure that the proposal would still mean so much for the both of us even if we were (and still are) in the middle of the pandemic.
Did you have a theme for your ting-hun?
We really wanted to go with a rustic romantic theme and one of our non-negotiables was getting Jacq's Floral to do the backdrop/design. We were so into the whole dried flowers effect but at the same time we wanted to make sure that the colors didn't look too dull. Another design that we focused on was having a photo/flower wall so we could have as many photo opportunities given that we had a small venue.
Was this the original plan?
We were supposed to have our ting-hun more than a month earlier at China Blue in Conrad with around 60-90 guests. But instead we ended up having an intimate ting-hun at home with only eight guests. This was because Rap and his mom tested positive for Covid three days before the event so we decided to move the ting-hun to another date with only our immediate family present. Thankfully, we were able to book a live streaming supplier, iTarget Events, that made it possible for our family and friends to be virtually present during the ting-hun.
Were there traditions or details that you skipped or made sure not to skip?
We really believe in preserving the Chinese tradition as much as we can since both our paternal grandmothers wanted to see us get traditionally engaged. We made sure to include as much of the ting-hun traditions as possible even if there were some that we had to tweak a bit given the situation. Since we were only 8 pax, some family members had to do multiple roles during the ceremony. We are very grateful to Jerome Go, our host/coordinator who made it possible to maximize everyone's participation and pull off a meaningful ting-hun.
What were the challenges encountered during the preparation?
Since we went from having a full-on ting-hun celebration with guests in a restaurant to an intimate one with only 8 pax at home, the main challenge was re-planning the entire thing. From setting a new date with all the suppliers, to fixing the logistics. Plus we had to add new suppliers since we did a live streaming of the event so our family and friends could still be a part of our ting-hun. Thankfully we had our coordinators Jerome Go and Tinghun Tris to help us with everything.
How did you handle the challenges?
We just faced them one by one. Starting with getting all the suppliers to agree to a new ting-hun date to getting the house ready for the event. We needed to work with what we had at that time, whatever resources we could use at home. Plus we stopped worrying about the little things that only added stress to the situation.
How did you feel during your ting-hun?
We were nervous and excited at the same time because aside from the fact that we didn't know what to expect, we also haven't seen each other since the postponement of the original ting-hun date. So it made things sweeter. Also, we felt really grateful to our family and friends who took the time to join us virtually. The online participants reached around 65 pax, making our intimate ting-hun more memorable.
What’s your advice for other couples planning their ting-hun?
In times like this, the most important thing is the both of you.The actual "engagement" of the two of you. Prioritize what you both want to have in your event, be it following the traditions or adjusting some details given the situation but make sure to be rational. And always remember to just accept the things that you can't control because at the end of the day whether you've celebrated intimately or with a number of guests, health is wealth.
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The Dream Team:
Photography by Ralph Lee Photography | Backdrop and photo wall decor by Jacqs Floral | Makeup by Nikki Duque | Gown by Francis Libiran | Livestream by iTarget Events | Hosting by Jerome Go and Happy Tinghun | Ceremony table styling by Tinghun Tris and iMajic Touch | Cakes by Naked Patisserie