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Aside from being some of the top tourist havens, these Philippine destinations also have what it takes to bring magic to your dream wedding.
At a time when everybody enjoys traveling and beautiful weddings are celebrated left and right, it is undoubtedly possible to have the best of both worlds. Whatever the theme of your nuptials, you’re sure to find a destination that will suit your needs. The Philippines have so much to offer; after all, we now have a documented total of 7,641 islands.
Checking out and choosing the perfect wedding venue is one of the crucial parts of wedding planning. It’s not every day you get to marry the one you love surrounded by your family and friends, so being a little extra on your big day is more than okay. From a sandy aisle to a volcano backdrop, here are 2018’s Philippine destinations worth considering for your out-of-town wedding.
If your budget permits, a destination wedding in one of the white, sandy beaches in Palawan is a must. With scenic spots that recall paradise, what’s not to love? This island wasn’t declared 2017’s “Best Island in the World” by readers of Travel + Leisure Magazine for nothing.
Is green living important to you and your soon-to-be spouse? Check out El Nido Resorts, which is a group of sustainable island resorts in El Nido and Taytay. The group has four island resorts, namely Apulit Island, Miniloc Island, Lagen Island, and Pangulasian Island. If you prefer privacy and relaxation on your big day, Lagen Island is for you. Otherwise, go to Miniloc Island for a fun and vibrant destination wedding. Apulit Island, on the other hand, is a tropical paradise with a pristine cove and tropical forest in Taytay, Palawan. Lastly, Pangulasian Island is a luxurious tropical hideaway located in Bacuit Bay.
Another luxurious and exclusive island resort in Palawan is Amanpulo, which is part of Aman Resorts International. True to the brand, you can only get here through a private flight that will also land on the island’s private airstrip. In fact, Amanpulo’s exclusive and VIP reputation has attracted the likes of famous celebrities like Beyoncé and Brad Pitt.
While a traditional church wedding would not be possible here, you can still have a Catholic beach wedding ceremony and reception by the beach.
Quezon Province, which is bounded by the Pacific Ocean and Tayabas Bay, is just a four-hour drive from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila. On the other hand, a 25-minute flight from Manila is what you need to experience one of the most luxurious sandy destinations of the country.
Balesin Island Club is a famous wedding venue for those who want to tie the knot away from the metro and have the money for it. Balesin is a 500-hectare island with seven unique villages to choose from to match the theme of your wedding. It may be a members-only resort, but the good news is you won’t need to pay for membership to get married here. All you need is an endorsement from a sponsoring member, or a corporate endorsement.
Balesin has several options to offer for your wedding ceremony, be it indoors or outdoors. A beach wedding goes without saying, but if you want a traditional church wedding, there’s Balesin Chapel. For a rustic garden wedding, set your sights at the Balesin Spa. Or how about getting married at the Mykonos Dome or the Costa del Sol pool area for a ceremony with an international feel?
Famous couples that have exchanged vows at Balesin Island include Heart Evangelista and Senator Chiz Escudero, Cristine Reyes and Ali Khatibi, and—more recently—Colleen Garcia and Billy Crawford.
Another wedding destination venue to consider if you’re eyeing the province is Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort. Because of its old-world aesthetic, it would be a great venue for a Filipiniana- or Spanish-themed wedding. Come to the Villa Escudero Chapel on a resort-provided horse-drawn carriage for an additional touch of charm. You can even complete the theme by having your pre-nuptial photos taken at the Villa Escudero Waterfalls.
Located in the Bicol Region, Albay’s claim to fame is the famous perfect cone-shaped Mayon Volcano, which actually makes a unique yet breathtaking backdrop for a wedding. In fact, early this year, photos of a newlywed couple went viral as it depicted the new husband and wife in an embrace with the volcano erupting behind them.
You may not get the same perfectly timed picture, but posing in front of the Mayon Volcano post-eruption as a married couple would be a special moment all the same. Before that, say your “I do’s” at the historical baroque-style Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Parish Church, also known as Daraga Church.
But if you prefer a beach or garden wedding, Misibis Bay is hands-down the perfect venue for couples in search for luxury wedded bliss. Accessible via plane followed by land or sea travel, the beauty of the bay’s pristine blue waters cannot be missed as you approach the five-hectare island resort
At Misibis Bay, you can choose a traditional church wedding in Stella Maris Chapel overlooking Mayon Volcano. Alternately, you can have a more scenic ceremony at the Misibis Bay amphitheater or at the resort’s beach.
If you don’t want to travel far, far away from Metro Manila, Laguna can easily be an ideal destination for your nuptials.
Truly a picturesque green space, Cipriano’s Garden in San Pedro City offers you a choice among the upper courtyard, lower courtyard, and the covered pavilion for your ceremony and reception. For a venue that melds romance with art, venture into San Pablo City and look for Casa San Pablo. This bed-and-breakfast prides itself as a creative space , making it perfect for artsy couples looking for a unique outdoor venue.
Also in San Pablo is the Sanctuario De San Pablo Resort Spa, a venue with architectural aesthetics that seem to have been lifted from the pages of a fairy tale book. Its buildings and accommodations faintly resemble cottages and castles, bringing your dream wedding to life.
While wedding ceremonies can also be held in these venues, churches are nearby for more traditional couples. Choose among the province’s most beautiful churches, including the San Pedro Apostol Parish in San Pedro City; and Saint Paul the First Hermit Cathedral, a Romanesque cathedral in San Pablo City.
With pristine white shores teeming with world-class resorts, Bohol is another dream wedding destination for those who enjoy spending time at the beach. For a grand location that matches your equally grand ceremony, Henann Resort Alona Beach in Panglao spans 6.5 hectares and is found along the famous Alona Beach. Another world-class accommodation for your seaside wedding is Eskaya, a boutique world-class resort covering 16 hectares.
If you want a traditional wedding, don’t worry; Bohol has some spectacular churches, many of which are declared national historical landmarks. Also known as La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church, This Neoclassical structure was completed in 1727. The 2013 Bohol earthquake caused great damage to it, but it has been fully restored as of 2017. Another beautiful historical church is the Assumption of Our Lady Shrine in Poblacion, or Dauis Church. Built between 1863 and 1923, this Byzantine-Romanesque church was also restored following the 2013 earthquake.
Over at Panglao Island is St. Augustine Church, or Panglao Church. One of the oldest churches in Panglao, its construction occurred between 1894 and 1924. Its watchtower was also destroyed in the aforementioned earthquake but has now been restored.
Don’t just go with a wedding theme just because it’s trendy. Your special day should be as personal as possible as it’s one event you will cherish for a lifetime.
Main photo via Depositphotos