#BENwaitingforeVERN: Love and weddings in the ‘new normal’

Marymil M. Cabrera
·4 min read

THE “new normal” has definitely pushed many events and activities into an indefinite state. Fortunately, weddings are now allowed but with safety measures in place.

The pandemic may have bogged down life planning; however, love always finds a way and prevails—just like the love lifestyle influencer Vern Enciso and longtime partner businessman Ben Lim have for each other. The couple officially exchanged “I do’s” at the luxurious Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa Cebu last Jan. 30 after almost seven years of being a long-distance couple.

Vern, who grew up in the country’s capital, met Ben in 2014 during an event held in Barcode, a bar Ben used to own. The Cebuano businessman then approached Vern, and offered her a drink, but ended up being ignored by Vern for the first time. However, Ben was persistent and offered another shot, and finally she accepted it. From then on, the two got to know each other. After that weekend and a few Skype calls later, Vern knew that Ben could be “the one.”

Relying on their trust and love for one another, the couple made their carefully planned few-times-a-year-meetups-kind-of-relationship work. The two made sure to make the most out of their time together by travelling and living life to the fullest, to make up for the time they were apart.

Last March, before the lockdown was imposed, what was supposed to be a short trip to Cebu led Vern to be stuck in Cebu for the entire quarantine period—or rather, she was home and only realized it a little later. Many couples may be separated amid the lockdown restrictions, but Ben and Vern were fortunate enough to be closer to each other as they were living under the same roof—the longest they had been together—along with Ben’s family.

And, he finally put a ring on it.

On Jan. 30, the couple tied the knot in a fall set-up inspired by their favorite travel time: September to November—the fall season styled by Gideon Hermosa. “We wanted our guests to experience the magic we would always feel whenever we would travel during that season,” shared Vern.

Vern, now Mrs. Lim—who wore a “Sex and the City” Carrie Bradshaw-inspired wedding dress by one of the world renowned Filipino designers, Mark Bumgarner—shared how she prepared for her big day in this “new normal” and some tips for future brides and grooms.

How was it like to get wed in this “new normal?”

Vern (V): It was difficult at first, especially because we had to keep moving and changing our plans. Two weeks prior to our wedding, we had to change our plans altogether. However, that became a blessing in disguise because that’s when we decided to move it to Shangri-La, booked all my dream suppliers, and only limited our guests to a very small number.

How long did you prepare for your wedding?

V: Two weeks! We booked Gideon Hermosa, Jason Magbanua, Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa and another dress from Mark Bumgarner literally only 14 days before our wedding.

What was the hardest part in planning and having a wedding in this pandemic?

V: Testing procedures and safety protocols (no hugging, the wearing of face masks and face shields). It is very hard because one slip-up can ruin everything. Given that all 45 of our guests were family and very, very close friends, we had to be extra careful. That is why to all the brides out there getting married at this time, one thing you should never forget to invest on are swab tests, and making sure every single protocol is followed.

How did you start your big day?

V: With a smile on my face! I was really dancing in the rain, not literally but I was just happy that the wedding was pushing through despite all the changes even if it was raining all morning and there were strong winds that broke our first tent that we specifically had made for our wedding. I was just really thankful for everything so it was no sweat for me. Even the rain couldn’t spoil the fact that I was marrying Ben.

What are your tips for couples who want to get wed during this time?

V: Enjoy the process because it happens so fast. Invest on tests and never take the safety of your guests for granted. It’s your responsibility because everyone is risking their health to be on your big day. Don’t push to have a big wedding. Trust me, intimate is better.

Given without the pandemic, Vern admitted that the wedding was supposed to be big with 400 to 500 guests. But with the current situation, it was minimized to 45 guests. “A big wedding doesn’t have to happen to start our life together,” shared Vern Enciso-Lim.