The wedding invitation of celebrity couple Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Labhati went viral on social media as several high-profile personalities, including politicians, were listed on the principal sponsors list.
It featured the nuptial’s supposed attendees and their roles. The bridesmaids included Yassi Pressman, Coleen Garcia, Bella Padilla and Janine Gutierrez.
Secondary sponsors, meanwhile, featured the names of veteran entertainers Aga Muhlach, Charlene Gonzales, Mariel Rodriguez, Robin Padilla, Vice Ganda and Angel Locsin.
The invitation also indicated the list of principal sponsors that raised eyebrows on social media.
Featured attendees include President Rodrigo Duterte, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, former presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Joseph Estrada, Senate President Tito Sotto and Senators Manny Pacquiao, Bato dela Rosa and Cynthia Villar, among others.
Other supposed attendees with the similar listed role are Assunta de Rossi, Bench founder Ben Chan, VIVA chairman Vicente del Rosario Jr., ABS-CBN president Carlos Katigbak and fellow network executives Malou Santos and Cory Vidanes.
The list elicited various reactions from social media users. Some congratulated the couple for finally getting married after being together for eight years.
Others were more critical, likening the wedding invitation to a “voting ballot” due to the number of politicians on the list.
“Sarah and Richard’s wedding sponsors are to blame for 95% of the country’s problems (right now),” a Twitter user said.
“Ez rampage. Nasa iisang venue na lahat ng mga kupal sa gobyerno,” wrote a Reddit user.
The celebrity couple started their relationship in 2012 and were engaged in 2017. Although they are already parents to Zion and Kai, they have yet to officially walk down the aisle.
Last year, the celebrity couple revealed they wanted to get married in March since it is a “very special month” for them as it is the same month they got engaged. It is also the same month their first child Zion was born.
All about sponsors
Principal sponsors usually consist of senior men and women who are expected to act as the couple’s second parents or counselors in their married life.
They are not part of the liturgy of Catholic weddings but they are traditionally included in Mexican and Spanish nuptials.
The Philippines, being a Spanish colony before, also adopted this practice where the godfather (also called “el padrino”) and the godmother (“la padrina”) were traditionally expected to place a large rosary over the shoulders of the bride and groom.
The large rosary is styled in a “figure-eight fashion” as the number is the mathematical symbol for infinity, indicating the “permanence of the institution of sacramental marriage.”
This particular act by the principal sponsors reflects the theme of unity in marriage in which spouses are joined together for the rest of their lives.
Principal sponsors also serve as legal witnesses to the couple’s marriage.
There are no strict rules determining their exact number but one pair is sufficient for the marriage to be valid by law.
In 2018, the principal sponsors list of Bai Nor Aila Kristina Ampatuan and Mohammad Omar Somama caught the public’s attention for its inclusion of high-ranking politicians such as Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and now Sen. Bong Go.