Hazel and Pete say ‘I do,’ read vows on their iPads

CBS 2 reporter Hazel Sanchez and Pete Rapciewicz took a yellow cab to their reception.

By Cristina DC Pastor

The bride and groom came in a yellow cab, the guests a red double-decker tourist bus. And that’s just one of the “very New York” highlights of the October 8 wedding of CBS 2 reporter Hazel Sanchez and AIG insurance executive Peter Rapciewicz.

Everything else was a nice pastiche of Filipino and American traditions as the couple and their guests danced till the wee hours, reluctantly calling it a night as Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” played.

“It was New York modern, but not cliché,” said wedding planner Lyna Larcia Calvario of Kasal NY, who shared details of the wedding with The FilAm.

A kiss in church…

At the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church where Hazel, 39, and Pete, 33, exchanged ‘I dos,’ the pair read their vows on separate iPads. The guests – which included CBS 2 colleague and FilAm journalist Kristine Johnson — laughed, especially when Hazel said, “By the way, we’re very techie,” after she and Pete bent to pick up the tablets at their feet.

After the ceremony, the wedding entourage went to the reception in three yellow cabs hailed on the spot. Said Lyna, “We wanted to do it in real New York fashion.”

Out-of-towners got on the double-decker tourist bus hired for the occasion; they were treated to a short tour of Manhattan before proceeding to the reception.

The reception was held at the Sunwest Studios loft on West 39th, with nearly 150 guests. A station, filled with Philippine delicacies like ‘sapin-sapin,’ ‘biko,’ ‘cassava cake,’ ‘puto’ and ‘kutsinta,’ was a nice Filipino detail, but was also a hit with Pete’s family and the American guests.

Coming from a musical clan, Hazel sang “I Will” to her groom. It’s an original composition put together and arranged with the help of her sister and brother. Their father, Dr. Manuel Sanchez of Illinois, offered his own rendition of “Ikaw.”

The bride wore a Kenneth Pool gown with scallops at the hem, calling to mind the scalloped tip of the Chrysler Building, noted Lyna. The motif color was navy blue with gold and platinum accents.

“She cries every time she sees it or tries it on,” said Lyna. “It’s just her.”

There were 16 pairs of sponsors – 32 in all – with the Filipino godmothers paired with male sponsors from Pete’s side.

The red velvet wedding cake found a delectable complement in the cupcake towers filled with chocolate and ivory cupcakes.

“It was an intense wedding. They’re both very successful and have pretty intense jobs,” said Lyna.

Pete paid the ultimate gratitude.

“Our wedding was everything my wife envisioned and then some…I cannot stress enough how much we owe (Lyna) for making our wedding day special, memorable, and just outright gorgeous,” he writes on the Kasal NY website.

As for Lyna, who met Hazel in 2009 at a fundraising event for Typhoon Ondoy, it was a case of simply passing her card around. When Hazel got the business card, she said, “Well, I’m not seeing anyone, I’m far from being engaged, but I’ll get your card. You never know.”

…And also at a bus stop.

Photos by MPW. Key Music Group provided the entertainment.

Cristina DC Pastor is the founding editor of The FilAm.

One Comment

  1. Andreas Radler wrote:

    Thank you ever so much for you blog post. I’m a fan of Hazel.

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