THE wedding of Ronald Versoza and Marelinda Caranay caught the eye of many due to its gothic, all-black theme, the first to do so in their city.
Why was this so shocking? Because in the Philippines – and practically every other country – black is often associated with the concept of death, with white symbolizing purity and innocence, hence why the latter is most often used for weddings.
Held in Alaminos City, Pangasinan last December 28th and labeled the “Black Wedding,” the bridge, groom, and guests were clad in all-black, with the rest of their wedding following with the motif. Many of the guests also opted to wear rubber shoes over formal dress shoes, perhaps in line with the rock-and-roll vibe that the couple wanted to give off.
The wedding was held at the Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park – yes, a cemetery – which added to the overall gothic appeal of the event.
Additionally, the invites sent out by the bride and groom were also in the shape of a coffin; written on them were the words “‘Til death do us part.”
The bride and groom arrived at the event in a hearse, with a coffin riding alongside them.
The theme carried on through the reception, with a cake dripping with black sitting on the table, and with the bride and groom surrounded by funeral wreaths, candles, black tables, and even coffins with images of them inside.
In the background, rock music played by a live band was enjoyed by the guests throughout the night.
Life, marriage, and rock and roll
“First naming mag-meet nung Fiesta ng Mabini noong 1989, pinakilala ng isang friend sa’kin,” Ronald Versoza, the groom-to-be, shared when asked about how the two had met.
“After nun, nakikita ko lang siya sa ibang school na, then how many years, ‘di ko na siya nakikita. Noong 2014, dun kami ulit nagkita.”
His partner, Marelinda Caranay, explained that their relationship lasted that long because they loved each other, talking to each other about any problems that would arise.
In choosing the theme of the wedding, Versoza explained: “Yun po yung pagkatao ko; mahilig ako sa black [at] sa rock music.”
Tearily, Versoza delivered his heartwarming vows to Caranay: “Para sa aking asawa: ikaw yung pinakamagandang nangyari sa buhay ko. Ang promise ko sa’yo, hangga’t ako’y nabubuhay sa mundong ito, tatanda man ako, balat at buhok ko lang ang magbabago, hindi ang pagmamahal ko sa’yo.”
Meanwhile, for her vows, Caranay said: “Ikaw yung magiging kapartner ko habangbuhay. Aalagaan kita, mamahalin habangbuhay.”
Short, but just as impactful.
While many may be used to following tradition when it comes to special events – weddings, in particular – the uniqueness of Versoza and Caranay’s wedding has been applauded by many netizens.
Many online showered the newlyweds with congratulations on their wedding, with one comment saying: “It’s their choice, [ang] importante [diyan,] magmamahalan sila forever. Respect and love ay mananaig sa kanila maging dark man ang panahon.”
Others, while happy for the couple, showed concern over the fact that the wedding was held at a cemetery, raising concerns about whether or not the cemetery’s management asked the families of those buried at the cemetery if they approved of the place being used in that manner.
“Parang hindi binigyan ng respect ang mga nakahimlay sa sementeryo, just my observation and opinion,” one netizen wrote.
Regardless of one’s opinion on the matter, however, one thing is for sure: as seen in their vows, Versoza and Caranay’s love for one another is sure to stand against the test of time. Through all that they have been through, they’re sure to overcome anything.