A long overdue bridesmaid’s letter

Dear Kaye:

By the time you read this, you would’ve already had a month’s worth of experience on what it means to be a wife. I can picture us sitting in a coffee shop in Ortigas on a random afternoon. (In my head, it’s a Wednesday.) You will speak quick and excitedly, the way you usually do when you are telling a story that you love. Your smile will dance clumsily; you won’t be able to wipe the happiness off your face — and no part of me would want you to. You will probably describe the past month as fast and crazy, as in: “Babe, I’m married! I can’t believe it! It’s been a month. Oh my gosh, has it really been a month?! WAH! So fast! So crazy!”

I hope you throw the words blissful and soul-expanding somewhere in between as well.

I don’t have much to say about marriage but I do have plenty to say about what I hope it will be:

I hope it will be good. So good. Why-didn’t-we-do-this-sooner-type of good. This-sets-my-spirit-alive-type of good. I-see-God-in-this-everyday-type of good. I hope you can look at your wedding album, at the photos of you making your way down that aisle, and say: “Yes, younger self. Keep going. Keep walking towards the most delicious destiny you could’ve ever found yourself in the middle of.”

You have always been a force to be reckoned with but it is my hope that marriage taps into a deeper, more profound part of your being. I hope that in becoming Elvin’s wife, you discover an entire ocean of love you never even knew existed.

I hope you discover the best of your you-ness. I hope that having a husband amplifies facets of your identity, makes you altogether braver, wiser, and better. I hope it brings out your creativity a hundredfold. I hope beautiful things (art, words, experiences, children) are born from the joy of being Mrs. Villar.

But I also hope marriage will not make you afraid of the moments in life when you find yourself alone. At the end of the day, you are still your most constant relationship. May you view this reality with a kind and tender affection.

I hope, no matter how good or bad your day has gone, you will be comforted by the thought that your favorite person in the entire galaxy, the man you have chosen to spend this lifetime with, will always be there to welcome you home.

I hope your marriage makes you feel safe. I hope it is the one space in this crazy, messed up world, where you can be most free, most true and most unpretty. You will always be beautiful. You won’t always be pretty. I hope marriage shows you that the former will always be more important than the latter.

When the romance goes quiet, on the days you do not see Elvin as Prince Charming or your ‘studly little man muffin’, I hope what you find instead is the face of an awesome, awesome friend. I hope friendship precedes romance in your marriage. This will matter most on the days you don’t feel like you’re in love anymore.

May your plate never be empty, may your heart always be full, may the life that is ahead of you rise to the commitment of love, great love.

I hope marriage is the type of thing we’ll talk about 50 years from now, perhaps in a coffee shop in Ortigas. I can picture us now, a pair of lovely withered prunes. I hope you can look back on every year you spent with Elvin and tell me, eyes steady, smile dancing, that marriage is still the best thing you ever built.

I’m sure you will.

My love for you is plenty.

Your bridesmaid,




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