‘Tapsilog’ on dinner menu of Roman-Shalani wedding
Imagine a variation of “tapsilog” as well as “dirty ice cream” in the dinner menu of what promises to be the wedding of the year.
These less-than-elegant food items are favorites of the engaged couple, Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo, 44, and Valenzuela City Councilor Shalani Soledad, 31, and best reflect the casual ways by which they are known to their friends and constituents.
It is thus no surprise that they included these favorites in the dinner menu while planning their wedding scheduled on Sunday in Sta. Rosa, Laguna province. The marriage ceremony will be held at St. Benedict Church in Ayala Westgrove, and the reception, at the open-air Nuvali Evoliving Center.
Both Roman and Shalani are fond of tapsilog, a complete Filipino everyman’s meal consisting of tapa, or strips of cured beef, fried rice and an egg usually cooked sunny side up.
Dirty ice cream, too
Because they both love beef tapa, caterer Florabel Co is preparing a sit-down dinner with Angus beef as the main course, according to wedding coordinator Marichelle Ligon of Bride’s Maids & Co.
Except for the Angus beef to be served with vegetables and rice, the couple’s 700 guests will be treated to an all-Filipino repast that will include such dishes as chicken binakol, quezo de bola cheesecake, and the bride’s favorite, “dirty ice cream.”
Shalani insisted that a sorbetero (ice cream man) complete with a traditional ice cream cart do the honors, Ligon said. But the sweet treat will be made using fresh cow’s milk, she said.
At first, Ligon and the other members of the wedding committee, designer Inno Sotto and events stylist Zenas Pineda, did not like the idea because of space considerations. “But Shalani eventually had her way,” Ligon said.
Other than that, according to Ligon, Shalani is a wedding coordinator’s dream: “Far from [being] giddy and uptight, she’s so relaxed. She has very simple demands. She’s also very open to our suggestions.”
When it came to her wedding gown, a white romantic number with a fitted lace bodice and cut-on-the-bias skirt made of 17 layers of soft tulle, she left Sotto to pretty much do as he pleased.
“A lot of brides have all sorts of requests, which I try to consider as much as I can,” Sotto said. “Shalani isn’t that kind of bride. Other than her desire for me to use lace, I can’t remember an instance when she made any fancy request.”
In keeping with the solemn occasion, Sotto designed a rather conservative V-neck top with tiny cap sleeves. The V neckline is pronouncedly echoed on the back, which is also fitted with a peplum.
No cleavage, bare back
“There will be no cleavage and bare back showing,” Sotto said. “Everything will be done in accordance with good taste. The influence of Kate Middleton (the bride of Britain’s Prince William) will be with us for a while, and Shalani’s gown is no exception.”
For added texture, Sotto appliquéd cutouts of the same lace material on the bodice. And because it’s an evening wedding, he gave the gown a hint of sparkle.
For the 17-layer tulle skirt, he alternated white with off-white until he could come up with the right “mix.”
“Sticking to white tulle would have made the skirt too white, and sticking to off-white would have turned it yellowish under all that light,” he explained.
Shoe designer Lila Almario took charge of the bride’s shoes. Her hair and makeup will be done by “the same woman who does her hair and makeup on ABC 5,” Ligon said.
And the groom? He will wear a midnight-blue tuxedo paired with a white shirt and a gray bow tie by Hugo Boss. He chose his shoes: a black pair by Louis Vuitton.
Designer Dennis Lustico made the gowns of the wedding entourage, including the couple’s respective mothers, 21 flower girls, and the groom’s sisters and secondary sponsors, Mons Romulo, Lupe Romulo and Berna Romulo Puyat.
The groomsmen are Roman’s younger brother Erwin Romulo, editor in chief of Esquire Philippines, and Representatives Anton Lagdameo and Rodolfo Fariñas.
Roman and Shalani also tapped their good friends, Marikina Mayor Del de Guzman and Representative Toby Tiangco, as offerers, and Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez and broadcaster Karen Davila as readers.
For the couple’s giveaways, Roman’s parents, former Foreign Secretary Alberto and Lovely Romulo, are providing St. Benedict medallions blessed by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.
Secret wedding cake
Celebrated cake makers Penk Ching and Shen Ratilla are keeping the wedding cake a secret, Ligon said. “I heard it will echo Shalani’s dress, so I assume it will look a bit lacy,” she said.
Pineda, who collaborates with Sotto, is styling St. Benedict Church as well as the reception venue. She’s also doing Shalani’s bridal bouquet.
“At first, I envisioned a medium-sized bouquet of cascading white peonies,” Pineda said. “But since I might not have enough peonies because they’re not in season, I will also be using syringeas or white lilacs, ranunculus and freesias.”
Since the church is already picture-perfect, Pineda and Sotto are settling for a simple all-white floral arrangement consisting of casablancas and roses.
And since it’s an open-air reception, the couple originally did not want an overhead cover to impede the view. But given the unpredictable weather, the wedding committee prevailed upon them to reconsider.
“For the table arrangements, I chose crisply starched table linens in white to allow the floral [pieces], consisting of lilacs, hyacinths, cabbage roses and lysantus, to stand out,” Pineda said. “In keeping with the color motif, which is lilac, the color scheme is lilac with touches of green and yellow flowers.”
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