Michelle and Dean's whirlwind romance started in Sydney, but they traveled to the Philippines--Michelle's home country--for their wedding. Cool pastel hues, which were evident in various wedding details, complemented the chic theme of the gathering.

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Love Story

For Michelle and Dean, it was love at first sight. Shares Michelle, "I walked into a bar near my home in Sydney, looked over to a corner, and Dean's blue eyes looked right into mine. He smiled at me; and in that moment, I felt a strange electric-like sensation go from my brain and through my entire body. I told myself 'I'm going to marry this guy.'" And true enough, four months later, the two were engaged.

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Dean was insisting that he personally ask Michelle's dad for her hand. Michelle relays, "We thought we'd wait a few months before he did that so as not to freak out my traditional Filipino parents with our spontaneity. So around April, on an Easter weekend with my family, I snuck away while Dean asked my dad for his blessing. Although my dad was shocked at first, he was nevertheless happy for us."

Wedding Preparations

With the wedding date drawing near, Michelle and Dean made sure they were hands-on with the preparations. To cut down on costs and to find one-of-a-kind details, the couple explored thrift shops in Manila in preparation for the big day. With the help of their loved ones, Michelle and Dean worked on reception decorations using colored pens, ribbons, and spray paints.

The couple also spent time doing crafts. Michelle narrates, "We made our own missalettes, and attached little packets of confetti for our guests to throw as they wished. I bought some safari animals from Divisoria and spray painted them gold so I could use them as table number holders on the tables. They ended up being nice conversation pieces, which people also took home as an extra giveaway."

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For their special day, Michelle and Dean invited guests from different parts of the world. Michelle says, "To couples planning a destination wedding in the Philippines, I highly recommend organizing a trip away with your international guests before the big day. It breaks the ice for your friends who live on opposite sides of the world. We planned a trip to Coron on the weekend before the big day for 12 of our friends. This allowed them all to be comfortable to hang out with each other during the week while Dean and I were busy preparing. On the night before the wedding, it was like they were their own little family."

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