An inspiring journey of 16 years together, proving to us that love is a skill learnt overtime.  Melissa and Jerome met at 13 years of age and just knew they were soul mates!

#RCREALBRIDE Melissa wore a stunning Maggie Sottero gown. A chic and on-trend style, this tulle A-line wedding gown features a beaded lace bodice and tulle off-shoulder straps. An illusion plunging sweetheart neckline adds a hint of alluring glamour. Finished with covered buttons over zipper closure.

Photography by Myio Okamoto 


We were classmates in 2003 (we were just 13 then!). In 2013 it was a big deal to have your own mobile phone. I asked for everyone’s number and that’s when Jerome and I started talking. I knew I had a crush on him but we were too young then. We became each other’s secret boyfriend/girlfriend. We went to the same university in 2006 and stayed together until we graduated in 2010. I remember watching an animated movie for our first date in 2009.

“One should know how to apologise. It doesn’t matter if it was your fault or not, at the end of the day, your relationship is more important than your pride”.


We have been together for 13 years when he proposed to me in February 2016. We were set to get married civilly in the Philippines before leaving for Australia. I was 26 then, I can still remember feeling a little upset that I will never experience the proposal I’ve been dreaming of because everything had been laid out and I am set to marry Jerome 5 days before our flight to Melbourne. I was heartbroken because as a girl, I also dreamt of being proposed to by my prince charming. But I settled with the fact that I had to move on to the next chapter of my life because it’s for my future.

He proposed to me 2 days before our civil wedding in our family home in the Philippines. My mum had sewn a cute red bow on my dog’s dress and hid the ring in there. We were about to leave for some errands when my dog walked towards me, wearing that cute dress with the red bow. I saw the ring and when I looked, Jerome was down on one knee, asking for my hand in marriage (as if we weren’t getting married in 2 days!). Of course, I said yes!


I had a picture of my dream wedding in mind even before Jerome proposed to me. I wanted to be surrounded with greenery and I also wanted a white wedding. Those were non-negotiable for me. Being an overseas bride, it was very difficult to look for suppliers. I kept searching for the perfect venue online, looked at too many photos and read a lot of reviews. I found a nature sanctuary at the south of Manila, it’s called Angelfields. I instantly fell inlove with it. The venue was husband-approved as well!


My most favourite part of the wedding was when we honoured our parents by thanking them for raising us and giving us the life we have. I know the wedding is about the couple but for us, the parents are a big part of this day as well and they deserve to be recognised more than anything else. We do not always get to thank our parents and it was one way of expressing our gratitude, in front of our beloved family and friends.

I also wouldn’t forget marching to the song Tightrope by Sara Bareilles while looking into my husband’s eyes. I couldn’t help but be emotional, I actually cried more than my husband did!


I went to Raffaele Ciuca Armadale in April 2018 (1 year and 5 months before our wedding). I initially wanted a Rosa Clara dress but the one I really liked didn’t suit my body type. So I went on to try 4 more dresses which the stylist thought suits my body type. Ellen, who assisted me was really helpful! I found my dress after trying on just 5 dresses!

I will never forget how the dress made me feel even if it was 2 sizes big when I tried it on. I loved everything about it, the tulle skirt and the beaded lace bodice got me! I bookmarked the link on my phone and I would look at it every now and again and I would always imagine myself in the dress on my wedding day and I became more and more excited!

I decided to put detachable tulle cap sleeves for an off the shoulder look, the alterations department at Raffaele Ciuca Brunswick did a really good job. I wore the dress in 2 looks, strapless and off the shoulder. Everyone loved how feminine the dress was too!


Ellen from the Armadale boutique assisted me from the day I tried on dresses up to the day I picked the dress up. She was very helpful especially when I didn’t really know where to begin. When I was browsing through the racks, she politely asked if I would consider trying on various types of wedding dresses for me to see how each style looks on me, that’s how I found my wedding dress.


Invite the people who have truly known you as a couple, I found that it makes the event more intimate and special. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Do not forget to thank the people who worked hard for your big day.

In order to keep a happy relationship, one should know how to apologise. It doesn’t matter if it was your fault or not, at the end of the day, your relationship is more important than your pride. Simple coffee dates make a big difference as well because you both get to sit down and talk about anything. It is also important not to keep secrets from each other (unless it’s a surprise!). Lastly, respect each other in the relationship. Always remember that being the man/woman in the relationship doesn’t mean you’re confined in a box of responsibilities. Doing your partner’s job won’t make you less of a man/woman. After all this is a partnership, not a competition.


Dress: Raffaele Ciuca Bridal
Photographer: Myio Okamoto
Videographer: Forevermine Wedding Films

Venue: Angelfields
Church/Celebrant: Aumar Aguilar of CCF Philippines
Flowers: Il Fiore Flower Boutique
Cake: Cake Studio

Hair: Aldrin Jalandoni
Makeup: Gia King
Shoes: Gucci
Invites: Ivy Lalu
Suits: Joe Black
Band/DJ: SQ Music
Bridesmaid Dresses: Apartment 8
Cocktails: Gabrielle’s 
Rings: Larsen Jewellery