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.
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.
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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