After weeks of lavish wedding updates on social media—four Michael Cinco gowns; a huge and flawless emerald cut engagement ring from London’s Graff Diamonds; golden Charlotte Olympia bridal shoes; accommodations at the Coco Chanel Suite at the Ritz Paris for estimated Euros 25,000 a night (read P1.5 million++)—can celebrity doctors Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho rack up more zeroes when they exchange “I do’s.”
The answer is yes, they can because yes, they did over the weekend in the ultra-expensive City of Love.
On Friday night, the couple–who were civilly married in Manila some weeks before leaving for their grand Parisian wedding–held a welcome dinner for celebrity guests who flew over 6,000 miles to be with them on their special day aboard a 70-meter cruise ship that sailed along the River Seine.
As Belo said on her Instagram account, “We formally welcome all our loved ones as we cruise along the River Seine to celebrate our once-in-a-lifetime kind of love.”
On the morning of the wedding, the 61-year-old dermatologist who singlehandedly built the Belo Medical Beauty empire, posted her one and only Instagram photo for the entire day: her breath-taking blush pink Michael Cinco bridal gown made entirely of French lace and embroidered with Swarovski crystals, complete with a three-meter long train.
Surrounded by a dozen staffers in white lab coats straightening out and fawning over every inch of the work of art, Belo wrote, “Thank you, @michael5cinco for this dream wedding gown. It’s everything I imagined, hoped for, and more.”
And with the church and reception venue kept secret from the public until Saturday, Instagram feeds in the Philippines were flooded with posts taken by the couple’s guests from the American Church in Paris for the ceremony, and the opulent Palais Garnier, also known as the Paris Opera, for the elaborate dinner party.
The American Church in Paris is said to be the first American church established outside the United States dating back to 1814. Belo and Kho, both renewed Christians, were wed by a pastor, with a complete bridal entourage, led by their daughter Scarlet Snow Belo as flower girl.
The 142-year-old Palais Garnier, or Opera Garnier, on the other hand is a story in itself. Probably the most famous opera house in the world, it is considered “a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré Coeur Basilica.” The 1,979-seat theater, will be more familiar in pop culture as the setting for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera.”
Inside, Belo and Kho shared their first dinner as husband and wife with family and friends at the Grand Foyer where Paris’ high society in the last hundred years is known to gather before watching the opera and in more recent years, the ballet. Bedecked in gold leaf and golden pillars, crystal chandeliers and age-old frescoes by painter Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry representing various moments in music history lorded over the newly married couple and their guests in the huge hall, as Asia’s songbird Regine Velasquez and husband OPM’s singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid provided musical numbers.
But of course, before the party went full swing, Belo and Kho made the most of their pricey Opera Garnier moment and held their first dance on the Grand Staircase, inspired by 18th-century French Neoclassical architect Victor Louis’ grand staircase for the Théâtre de Bordeaux, built almost a hundred years before this Parisian landmark.
With all eyes on them, Kho, in his white tuxedo, and Belo, in a powder blue Beauty and the Beast-inspired dress, danced to “Take Me as I Am” from the Broadway musical “Jekyll and Hyde,” choreographed, according to Belo’s daughter Cristalle Belo-Pitt, by Lala Movement.
With every angle of the wedding “Instragamable” as they say, the likes of Piolo Pascual, Derek Ramsay, Alden Richards, Richard Gomez, Lucy Torres, Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera, Lovi Poe, and a spattering of Manila’s society figures clicked and posted away through the night.
Saturday’s Kho-Belo nuptials finally sealed a 12-year-old roller coaster of a love story for this May December affair. At 37, Kho is younger than Belo by 24 years. Belo was previously married to businessman Atom Henares, with whom she has two children, Cristalle and Quark Hernares.
(SOURCES:@belobeauty, @justinpitt77, Wikipedia and Opera de Paris websites.)