For her last semester at Sydney University, Jessica Diaz Wilson, co-founder of beauty brand Sunnies Face, decided she wanted to study abroad. She had missed the exchange program application deadline but begged the administration to let her apply to any school still accepting students, and that’s how she ended up in Maastricht, a tiny university town in the Netherlands, where she eventually met Moritz Gastl.
They first ran into each other on a random Tuesday night out at “the grimiest student bar,” Jessica remembers. The next year, Jessica moved to London, and the two did long-distance, as he finished his degree. Then, the year after that, she decided she wanted to move back home to the Philippines and asked Moritz if he’d like to come. He booked a one-way ticket, thinking he’d be there for six months, and cut to 10 years later, and he hasn’t left!
In 2019, while on a trip to Papua New Guinea to visit Jessica’s sister George, he proposed at the end of the coast on a secluded island. “I didn’t realize how nervous Moritz was until I think about it now and how weird he was acting,” Jessica reflects. After she accepted, they ran back to celebrate with friends and family on a boat. “It was magical.”
The two had originally planned on having civil and church ceremonies in September 2020 in Salzburg, but because of all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and travel, they pivoted to a small legal wedding in the Philippines and postponed their religious service to May 2022. The couple had just taken a trip to Sunlight Island Resort in Palawan in March 2020, so when thinking of venues for their 30-person service, they both agreed on hosting it at the same hotel. “Unfortunately Moritz’s entire family and my dad, along with other close family and friends, couldn’t make our Philippine wedding, so we really just treated it like a wedding warm up celebration,” Jessica says.
To plan their June 2021 micro-wedding, Jessica and Moritz hired Events by Amanda Tirol. “Amanda and her team just know how to get things done and make you feel so special and loved on your wedding day,” the bride gushes.
For her wedding dress, Jessica wanted to wear a traditional Filipino dress with a modern twist. “The traditional female wedding dress is called a ‘terno’ and the male shirt is called a ‘barong,’ which is what Moritz wore,” the bride explains. Vania Romoff designed a mini terno fringe dress for the ceremony and a long skirt to put over the short design for dinner. And to complete the look, Jessica wore a pair of diamond earrings from her friend and jeweler JJ Jiao.
On June 26, 2021, Jessica’s brother-in-law Arthur officiated the intimate ceremony. The bride’s cousin and best friend, Ava, read the touching poem “Love Me When I’m Old” by Bee Rawlinson, and then their good friend Jim said a few words on marriage and love. Jessica’s mother also read a Bible verse that was picked out by Jessica’s father, who was unable to attend the wedding. “For some reason, this ended up being the funniest Bible reading ever,” the bride remembers. “Her delivery was so funny and unique; she had everyone laughing the whole way through.”
When Jessica and Moritz exchanged vows, everyone was in tears until he mistakenly said, “I’m the most loving and generous person that cares more about myself than others.” The bride adds, “It was great comic relief, as everyone—myself and our officiant included–was in tears from laughter.”
Once officially married, everyone enjoyed dinner on the beach by Naked Patisserie and set up by Gideon Hermosa, who also handled the florals for the day. Menus were designed by Kasali and printed by Neonovelties. As the main course was served, Ava surprised the couple by starting the roasts and toasts. “One by one, almost everyone stood up and gave a roast/toast,” Jessica remembers. “Because the group was so small, everyone was comfortable and felt they had something to share. I was in awe, laughing and crying the whole dinner.”
To get to the after-party, golf carts were waiting for guests to move everyone to the pavilion on the water. “We danced all night. No one went home or wanted to leave the dance-floor,” Jessica says. “My brother deejayed all night and took every single song request. He opened up with Kylie Minogue, and we went crazy.”
After the perfect micro-wedding, the married couple is saving their honeymoon for after their wedding in Austria, but they’d love to go to Greece, Mexico, or Africa.