Peps Bengzon and Sara Appleton got married first in Idaho and then in the Philippines, and both weddings meshed their individual cultures and interests well.
When a mutual friend introduced Peps Bengzon and Sara Appleton to each other, it gradually became clear that it wasn’t just a small world. The pair got to know each other more in the first few months of the pandemic. As they spent time together, turns out they had more things in common than they thought.
Sara works with Amtrak and focuses on its multibillion-dollar transportation infrastructure projects. Peps is with an American-based technology and logistics company, DoorDash, and helps expand their businesses through collaborating with retail brands. The couple enjoys music and performing arts outside their professional lives.
Peps and Sara got married twice–first in Sun Valley, Idaho, and the second ceremony was held in the Philippines.
Even though the pair met first prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was during its peak when they really bonded. Peps and his friend Brett decided to invite two people to join their quarantine “pod” in downtown Manhattan, New York. Brett invited Sara, while Peps invited a friend from the Philippines named Angelo.
They had an enjoyable first quarantine together as they feasted on steak and drinks while singing along to The Sound of Music. This then became a pandemic tradition, where every Saturday they would meet and bond over great food and do sing-along movie nights.
Peps and Sara started off as friends but the more they hung out together, the more they realized that they are compatible. New York became the couple’s pandemic playground and where their love developed deeply. They have been together for almost four years, and the rest, as they say, is history.
An intimate proposal
He proposed to her in 2022 where he arrange Sara’s friend to invite them both at a gala event in the Met Cloisters Museum. It overlooks the Hudson River in New York and it is actually Sara’s favorite spot in the city. However, the gala was non-existent–it was a surprise ruse!
“I brought Sara to a beautiful and private turn-of-the-century arch and asked her to marry me,” Peps recounted, to which she agreed. They celebrated the moment intimately as they shared a small bottle of her favorite champagne. A surprise party followed after the proposal, where all their loved ones gathered in a 19th century Manhattan mansion’s library.
The couple got married in Idaho last June, while their Manila wedding happened earlier this month at the St. James the Great Parish in Alabang. A reception followed at the Manila Polo Club.
Fun, serious, and loving as partners
Sara explained that she knew Peps was the one when she witnessed his silly and mature side, both equally embedded in his personality. “He embraces daily life with a childlike joy and goofiness that allows him to transform even routine and mundane activities into extraordinary moments,” she said.
Meanwhile, Peps said Sara was everything he looked for in a partner. “It’s rare to find the right mix of affection, playfulness, and drive,” he expressed. “She has an unbridled zest for life and adventure, tempered with the emotional maturity of someone beyond her years.”
They are a social and dynamic duo as a couple, where they initiate gatherings bringing their family and friends together. Between the two of them, they likened each other to that of a ship’s crew. “Sara often sets the course for our life together, making sure that we’re focusing on the right things,” Peps said. Sara chimed in, saying Peps keeps both of them afloat through getting necessary activities done and moving at the right direction.
Two weddings highlighting their culture and interests
The couple held two weddings as a lot of Peps’ family and friends cannot make it to the Idaho wedding. He stressed the significance of their attendance as big families are common in the Philippines. “It was important that we came back home and celebrated here as well,” Peps explained.
The latter was a smaller wedding of approximately 100 guests, and what made it special is their theme: mountains and musicals. A beautiful mountain view became their wedding backdrop.
“The Idaho’s wedding reception had an opening number that our closest friends did,” Sara narrated. “We entered in the middle of the dance. We also sang a duet that was also from a Broadway musical.”
Their Manila wedding turned out to be as special as Peps said it would be as he was able to spend time with his close friends. He didn’t get to see them as he resided mainly in the United States. They also performed for their guests and became a triumphant culmination of months of their preparations.
Some family and friends from the States also flew to Manila for the second nuptials. They got to bond with them, show them around the Philippines, and let them witness a true Filipino wedding. “Having everyone rave about it was quite fulfilling,” the couple said.
Incorporate what you enjoy at your wedding
Peps and Sara reflected on their wedding journey. Doing something they love added a bit more magic on both their big days. Singing for their guests and performing with some of them made their wedding more momentous, fulfilling, and endearing. Their ceremonies were undeniably and compellingly “them,” as both occasions were accumulations of things and people they love.
“Doing something you love and enjoy will make your wedding planning more enjoyable,” the couple remarked.
Banner photo from Nice Print Photography.
Coordinator | RHED SARMIENTO Event Planners and Coordinators
Event Stylist | GARY DACANAY
Photo and Video | NICEPRIN
Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist | BYRON VELASQUEZ
Bridal Car | BRIDAL CAR PH
Musician | QUARTET MANIL
Cake | CUSTOMS CAKE
Gown | Galia Lahav & Randy Ortiz
Barong | Randy Ortiz
Sun Valley wedding
Planner: Amanda Seaward
Photographer: Lionlady Photography & Kendra Elise Photography
Hair Stylist: The Feathered Flip
Makeup Stylist: Chantelle Makeup
Florist: Bloom Theory Studio
Gown: Galia Lahav
Tiara: Marie T. Hunt
Tuxedo: Stephen Kempson London