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  |  By Judith Manzano

*pronounced mah-BOO-hi and is an expression used to exclaim “long live”.

It’s hard to believe that six months ago I introduced myself and Mark to the Weddingbells online community and now I’m saying my farewell. In that time, you’ve learned quite a bit about our Filipino heritage from the ceremonial traditions to the superstitious beliefs. You’ve followed me through the gong show that was the hunt for my dress, hopefully received some makeup inspiration and learned about the difficulty of coming up with a cake design.

When I entered this contest, my head was still floating high in the clouds from the proposal. You know what I mean: the perma-smile plastered on your face, you walk as if you were part of a ballet and you find every excuse to talk about the proposal. I couldn’t help but jump at every opportunity to tell my proposal story and this contest was just another chance to relive the proposal. I was completely gobsmacked when I was contacted by the Weddingbells staff and the rest is history.

This has been such an amazing experience; one that I will cherish forever. Almost every bride has given me the same advice, “Enjoy your wedding planning and take it all in. It’s over far too soon.” Well this experience has not only given me a place to document my wedding planning, but to help me really appreciate so many little things in life that we often take for granted. In preparing my dedication post for Mark, I spent quite a few days looking back at how our relationship had begun and how it evolved. A few posts later, I was dumfounded that 20 years ago, Mark and I were in the same church dressed in similar outfits as we’ll be wearing on our wedding day – it was fate!

As this journey has been shared with Mark, he’s written a few sentences of thanks:

Hello everyone, this is Mark. I just wanted to say a brief thank you to everyone. To all of Judith's faithful readers, we appreciate you all following along for the last six months. Judith and I are nothing but thankful for all the support you have given us. Whatever the outcome of this contest may be, this has been a great experience for us both.Thank you all again!

To the staff at Weddingbells: Thank you for such an amazing opportunity. You’ve given me such a great wedding gift; one that I can proudly say is one of only seven across Canada, the chance to document such a crazy journey. May the next 25 years be filled with great success, ever growing popularity and prosperity. Thank you.

To the readers: Thank you for sharing this journey with me! It has been so much fun interacting with you. I will truly miss it.

To the six bloggers: CONGRATULATIONS ladies! Your posts were so entertaining to read and I’ve learned so much from them. I wish you all the best for whatever the future holds and may your marriages be filled with an abundance of laughter and the “butterflies in your stomach” kind of love.

To my friends and family: I LOVE YOU ALL! The amount of encouragement either in the comments or in person have truly humbled me. I could not have done it without your encouragement and support. Maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat.

To my daughter and Mark: I cannot thank you enough for loving me like you both do. I am looking forward to such a bright future and I’m so excited that it is with you both, that I get to share it with. Love you Bey and Booger :).

“I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom.”  ~Author Unknown

This article was originally published on Jun 15, 2010

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