Who’s who at the Roman Romulo – Shalani Soledad wedding

Rappler.com
On the eve of the Chinese New Year, Shalani Soledad will tie the knot with Roman Romulo

JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. The bride, Valenzuela councilor and TV personality Shalani Soledad, marched to the altar in her Inno Sotto wedding gown as a 5-man band played Bruno Mars' song "Just the Way You Are." Photo by Alvin Lao

MANILA, Philippines [UPDATED] – On the eve of the Chinese New Year, Valenzuela councilor and TV personality Shalani Soledad tied the knot with Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo in a VIP-packed and star-studded event in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

Soledad, 31, walked down the aisle in her Inno Sotto gown. She was engaged to Romulo, 41, in September 2011, more than a year after her high-profile break-up with President Benigno Aquino III. She has stayed in the limelight after accepting a hosting job in “Will Time Big Time,” a popular game show on TV5.

The wedding theme is apple green with a touch of purple.

WEDDING. This is the wedding invitation for the Romulo-Soledad nuptial on January 22, 2012

PARENTS. The groom is the son of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Romulo and Lovely Romulo. Photo by Alvin Lao

ESCORT. Mon Soledad, the bride's uncle, escorted her down the aisle. Soledad and her dad, Adolfo Aguirre, reunited in 2010. Photo by Alvin Lao

SPONSORS. The sponsors were Albert del Rosario (Foreign Affairs Secretary); Manuel V. Pangilinan (chairman of TV5, phone giant PLDT, diversified conglomerate MPIC); Ramon Ang (president and CEO of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation); Panfilo Lacson (Philippine senator);Ben Chan (Bench founder); James Gaisano; Manuel Dy; Janet Napoles; Natividad Cheng; Jessica Bautista; Elizabeth Gan Go (mall owner in Cebu); Bettina Aboitiz; Betty Chua; Cynthia Villar (former Las Piñas Representative and wife of Sen. Manuel Villar); Corazon Ong; Norma Ona; and Gretchen del Rosario

BEST MAN. Fortune General Insurance chair and CEO J. Antonio Cabangon (left) was the best man. Photo by Alvin Lao 

Matron of Honor was Joy Marie Castellvi, Shalani’s childhood friend.

The groomsmen were Ilocos Norte Rep. Rudy Fariñas; Davao del Norte Rep. Anton Lagdameo (husband of actress Dawn Zulueta); Erwin Romulo; George Rafael Lorenzana; Dante Soliven.

21 FLOWER GIRLS. Catherine May Hervas, Annaliza Jacinto, Diamond Villar, Malou Romero. Photo by Alvin Lao

CELEBRITIES: Actor Richard Gomez was among the over 700 guests. Other celebrities who graced the occasion were Mariel Rodriguez, Migz Zubiri and wife Audrey, Valerie Concepcion, Marco Alcaraz and girlfriend Lara Quigaman. Photo by Alvin Lao

READER. Leyte Rep. and TV personality Lucy Torres-Gomez was one of the readers at the wedding ceremony. The others were broadcaster Karen Davila and Therese Badoy. Photo by Alvin Lao

SPONSOR: Manuel V. Pangilinan (right), the chair of TV5 where the bride has a show, was one of the 22 principle sponsors. Photo by Alvin Lao

SPONSOR. Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson was one of the 22 principal sponsors. Photo by Alvin Lao

Former senator Kit Tatad and Agriculture Undersecretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, sister of the groom who confirmed to the media that Soledad and Romulo were engaged last September 2011. Photo by Alvin Lao

CEREMONY. The wedding ceremony was held at Church of St. Benedict at the posh Ayala Westgrove village at 5 p.m. on Sunday, January 22. In his vow to his bride, Romulo said,  “It took me 44 years to find you. I have found you, Shalani. I have found happiness. I will love you forever.” Photo by Alvin Lao

PACKED. The church was full of relatives and friends. Around 700 was expected at the wedding. Photo by Alvin Lao 


The evening reception followed the ceremony at the Evoliving Center Dockside in Nuvali. The newly weds were welcomed with fireworks.

In his speech, the groom’s dad, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, said it was family friend and current Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario who introduced the newly weds to one another. But Romulo emphasized, “Roman picked up the ball.”

The bride’s mother, Evelyn Soledad-Yumol, took her turn to give a speech.

Soledad-Yumol said the groom visited her 3 weeks after he met her daughter to ask for Shalani’s hand in marriage. At the time, Soledad-Yumol has seen Romulo only twice. When she asked him why so soon, Romulo told her he “found his true love.”

“I cried and I cried. I asked him 3 things: One, that he must love my daughter. Two, to pray in a chapel in Bicol. Three, to meet my daughter’s many friends because she’s a councilor,” the mother narrated.

Soledad-Yumol added that she was confused when she learned that her daughter asked Romulo, ‘Are we already a couple?’ “What is this? He is asking for my daughter’s hand but my daughter is not sure if they are even on,” she narrated in mixed English and Filipino.

In the middle of her speech, Soledad-Yumol wept. “It’s difficult to let go of the princess of the family. But I have to accept that you (Shalani) must have your own life. You need a husband. Besides, you’re already 31.”

She hinted about the pain her daughter went through from her previous relationship. “We supported Shalani joining TV5 even if she wasn’t a very good host because she needed to be busy with something. She was very hurt. Now she is not. We thank TV5.”

The orchestra at the reception played a medley of Eraserheads’ Pare Ko, Overdrive, Ligaya, and El Bimbo as the guests were treated to a sumptuous meat prepared by restaurateur Florabel Co-Yatco.

Guests feasted on smoked salmon salad with herb croutons, parmesan flakes, longganisa bits and Caesar dressing. There was also chicken binakol with Baguio spinach chicken soup and coconut juice.

Also served were roast angus rib eye with soy calamansi sauce with mashed sweet potato and haricot vert.

Dessert included queso de bola cheesecake, summon latik with Batangas chocolate, and Pinoy sorbets or “dirty ice cream,” one of the couple’s favorites.  

As a wedding giveaway to guests, Roman’s parents distributed St. Benedict medallions blessed by Pope Benedict XVI.

The couple will spend their honeymoon in Amanpulo, an idyllic island in Palawan.

The reception stretched up to midnight, marking the Chinese New Year. Guests and the newly wedded couple were treated to another set of fireworks. – Rappler.com, with reports from Patricia Evangelista

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