Sarabia-Peña Nuptials: The Garden Wedding of Red and Risa – Part 2

We have now come to part 2 of our feature on the two-day grand wedding of St. Therese MTC Colleges Vice President and Sarabia clan scion, John Frederick “Red” S. Sarabia and prominent anesthesiologist and Lopez heiress Dr. Risa Maria Lourdes O. Peña.

Their wedding was one of the much awaited and talked about social gathering of the year, and they certainly did not disappoint.

The couple had their second wedding in an awesome garden ceremony at one of the bride’s famille’s  ancestral home, The Nelly Garden, also known as Mansion de Lopez which is historically regarded as the “Queen of Heritage Mansion” in Iloilo.

The garden wedding and renewal of vows was celebrated by Fr. Joel Eslabra.  The vast lawn was masterfully transformed into the ceremony grounds by none other than internationally acclaimed event stylist, Gideon Hermosa. 

Two days before wedding, more than 1,200 kg of imported fresh flowers were air flown to Iloilo for this grand affair. The aisle and altar were designed specifically for this occasion, with the mansion of Nelly Garden serving as the backdrop of the couple as they exchanged “I do’s.”

The guests were definitely in awe when the bride walked down the aisle surrounded by 10,000 white Lisianthus roses which were individually planted by Mr. Hermosa and his team of 30 people who were all flown in from Manila for this occasion.

The bride wore a jaw-dropping bespoke bridal gown by sought-after celebrity designer Vania Romoff. The bridal gown featured a draped bodice and A-line skirt in full French lace with crystal sequins and a chapel length train with a draped bow detail

Ms. Romoff also designed the timeless gowns of the mother of the bridephilanthropist and Iloilo society’s grand dame Mrs. Sarah O. Peña, sisters of the bride, Atty. Rita Carla Fernandina O. Peña-Antonio and Engr. Rica Marie Isabel O. Peña, as well as that of adorable Sofia Beatriz Peña Antonio who was the sole flower girl for the occasion.

Red Sarabia looked dashing in a sleek black three-piece tuxedo by Suit It Up Manila. The groom’s mother, maritime trailblazer Dr. Ma. Teresa “Terry” Sarabia looked gorgeous in an emerald green gown by Iloilo’s pride Eric Castelo while the groom’s sister, Mary Margaret Rose “Mishy” Arcenas wore a striking green number by Manila-based Vee Tan. The classy bridesmaids’ dresses were created by top Ilonggo designer, Djohn Clement.

Not to be missed are the handsome men of the Sarabia and Peña families.

The proud fathers, MICE Chairman and former DOT undersecretary Salvador “Dong” Sarabia Jr. and sugar baron and IFFI Chairman Rito “Judgee” Lopez Peña were all smiles as they greeted their many guests which comprised of high profile top Philippine society personalities. They are joined by the dashing brothers of the groom, Salvador “Don” Sarabia III,  Alejandro “Lee” Sarabia, Red’s brother-in-law the enigmatic Angelo Arcenas and esteemed architect, Arch. Pablo Antonio III who is the bride’s brother-in-law.

Beautiful music filled the air as the powerful voices of the Sta. Maria Parish Choir led the ceremony in song, and the Lyrica String Entertainment provided live orchestral music.

Dr. Risa is passionate about classical music and theater; it was therefore no surprise that she walked down the aisle to West Side Story’s “One Hand, One Heart” which was specifically learned by the choir and orchestra for this occasion.

After the ceremony, guests were treated to cocktails inside the Nelly Garden mansion which was also lavishly adorned by thousands upon thousands of fresh flowers by Mr. Hermosa.

The couple’s two-day wedding was masterfully executed by sought-after celebrity event organizer Amanda Tirol and her team. The precious moments of the couple were captured by the country’s top wedding videographer, Bob Nicolas and the team of Hayag Studios for photos. More to come about the couple’s grand reception in part 3 my next article, dahlings!