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Iza Calzado and Ben Wintle entertained their wedding guests with a barrio fiesta-style welcome dinner.

Celebrity events stylist Teddy Manuel transformed the beachfront of Club Paradise in Coron, Palawan into a mini fiesta.

He wrote on his Instagram caption, “Colorful buntings, string lights and bright hued blooms matched with huge tropical leaves – all helped in creating a night set for merriment.”

Iza and Ben arrived at the party wearing matching royal blue Barong Tagalog and terno designed by Rajo Laurel, the same designer of the bride’s gown.

 IMAGE @rajolaurel on Instagram Stories

 IMAGE @rajolaurel on Instagram Stories

Once the soon-to-be husband and wife took center stage, Iza immediately thanked their family and friends who flew in for their wedding.

She said, “First of all, thank you so much to everyone who traveled [from] far away—including Manila. That’s still far away.

“Thank you so much for making the time, giving us your love and your energy. I know it’s Christmas and a lot of people have Christmas commitments, but you have chosen still to celebrate with us…”

HOW IZA KNEW BEN WAS THE ONE

During their welcome remarks, Iza and Ben shared to their guests the meaning behind their love for seahorses.

It was a prominent design on their wedding invitations, and it was the design of Iza’s earrings that night.

For the couple, seahorses represent the idea of monogamy as wild seahorses are known to be as such.

According to Smithsonian official website, some of these species mate for life.

Staying faithful to one partner helped a pair have “greater reproductive success.” 

It is also thanks to their shared love for these sea creatures that Iza realized that Ben was The One.

The bride revealed, “When I was trying to look for a sign that Ben was The One—I was looking hard, I was praying hard!

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“‘Give me a sign.’

“We joined this game called Cash Cab, which is hosted by Ryan Agoncillo, and the winning question was about a seahorse.

“Ben and I looked at each other, and we were so confident in giving the answer.

“It was in that moment that I said to myself, ‘I will win… [everything in life with this man].'”

FIESTA PARTY

The welcome dinner was a showcase of Filipino folk dances.

A group of young dancers performed a medley of dances for the guests.

 IMAGE @cristallebelo on Instagram Stories

 IMAGE @nixalanon on Instagram Stories

 IMAGE @robbycarmona on Instagram Stories

Later on, Ben and Iza joined the fun as they tried the tinikling dance.

 

SWEET MESSAGES

In a quick interview with PEP Troika writer and Iza’s manager Noel Ferrer, Sunshine Dizon, Diana Zubiri, and Cheska Inigo gave their congratulatory messages to the bride.

Cheska, who will serve as Maid of Honor to Iza, was excited for the future Mrs. Wintle.

She told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), “It’s almost time. We can’t wait… Oh my god! You’re going to do it! We love you! Congratulations in advance!”

Sunshine added, “Congratulations, kapatid! I’m so happy for you. It’s a new chapter in your life. Ito na, ito na yon. We’re so excited for you.”

 IMAGE @dianazubirismith on Instagram Stories

Diana and husband Andy Smith gave Iza and Ben some words of wisdom.

The actress said, “Palagi dapat may respeto sa isa’t isa.”

Andy added, “You guys have been happy together, so stay happy. That’s just the key. Be patient, be happy, and love always… always look at the bright side. Remember why you fell in love in the first place.”

Diana then wished, “I hope sana magka-baby na kayo agad. Kailangan twins na agad para isa na lang.”

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At the dinner, Karylle gave a speech that made Iza tear up.

She mentioned Iza’s late father Lito, saying that “Tito Lito was correct” about Ben.

 IMAGE @cristallebelo on Instagram Stories

Iza and Ben are getting married tomorrow, December 19, at Club Paradise in Coron, Palawan.



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