After wedding party, couple forgives ‘scammer’

IT may have taken a while but Arniel and Cherry Pie Satingasin’s wedding story still got its “happy ending.”

On Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, the Satingasin couple got the reception they wanted days after their wedding planner ruined what should have been a happy occasion.

With all the blessings that came their way after their wedding last Sept. 22, the couple chose to move on and forgive wedding coordinator Naser Fuentes.

A video of Cherry Pie crying shortly after her wedding ceremony after finding out that Fuentes had not booked their wedding reception venue despite receiving P65,000 in payment from them went viral.

Three days later, she was all smiles when she arrived at the wedding reception thrown for them by radio dyHP and 93.9 i-FM, and local wedding suppliers and sponsors.

Cherry Pie said she was happy they could still have the wedding party that they wanted, complete with the cake slicing and wine toast, a money dance and lots of photos to remember it by.

Dressed in a gown and suit, the bride and groom also had their first dance as a couple at the reception held at the lobby of dyHP RMN Cebu station.

In an interview on Friday, Sept. 24, the couple said they had already forgiven Fuentes, who remains detained at the Police Station 3 in Barangay Basak, Mandaue City after he was arrested Thursday for an unrelated estafa case that was filed in 2013.

“We should not cause any more pain on his part because it’s all in the past. We were angry but he’s already detained. Perhaps that is enough already,” the couple said.

Cherry Pie said she doesn’t want to judge Fuentes since he may also be going through some problems.

During the reception, they asked those who had been following their story to move on so they can also be at peace.

“To those who will watch or read about this, we request that we all move on from this. We also want to be relieved of all the stress caused by our experience. We thank everyone who expressed their concern for us,” Arniel said in Cebuano during the reception.

“If you want to extend well wishes, we will gladly accept them, but we decided that we will no longer talk about the incident so we can finally get settled. We haven’t been getting enough sleep and we haven’t been eating properly since the wedding,” added Cherry Pie.

The couple hopes that the public could learn a lesson from their experience—that despite a rough start, there is hope and room for forgiveness and peace, “and of course, a happy ending.”

The Satingasins’ experience prompted a wedding coordinator to give future brides and grooms this advice: If it sounds too good to be true, consider other options.

Alnair Agujar, owner of Chasing Perfection Weddings and Events, said couples should take the time to check the portfolio of their wedding planner and other suppliers, and get feedback from the supplier’s previous clients and colleagues in the wedding industry.

“No couple deserves to experience such, especially on their once-in-a-lifetime event… If you feel like the service is so cheap, and is so good to be true, then consider looking for other options,” he said.

Joan Lapus, spokesperson of the Cebu Wedding Suppliers, said what happened to Cherry Pie and Arniel was unacceptable.

“You cannot turn back time to correct what has been done. It should have been a beautiful memory rather than a traumatic one. We in the events industry do not condone or tolerate such doings amongst the members,” she said.

Lapus urged brides who plan on engaging the services of a wedding planner to do their research.

“Ask around about the background and past works. Ask venues for recommendations. Ask friends if they know someone. It is better to be safe than sorry. And another thing, check with every vendor, especially big-ticket items like venues, if their event has really been booked,” she said. (ANV, JOB)