The Prince & The ShowgirlMakati City, March 30, 2003 -- Here is a set of pictures taken by freelance photographer Richard Chen at the Christian nuptials of a Turkish heir and his beautiful bride one of the country's most beautiful stars.

Clearly the Wedding of the Year, the rites uniting Sharmaine Ruffa Gutierrez and Yilmaz Bektas last Tuesday, March 25 at the Garden of the NBC Tent at Fort Bonifacio Global City was a star-studded affair.

From showbiz and politics, they all came-people close to the bride. Among the 40 principal sponsors were former Pres. Fidel V. Ramos, Jinggoy Estrada (representing his father, detained Pres. Joseph Estrada), House Speaker and Mrs. Jose C. de Venecia, Jr., Senators Ed Angara, Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., and Loren Legarda, three strong "presidentiables" namely Fernando Poe, Jr. (and wife Susan Roces), Panfilo M. Lacson (represented by a proxy), and Raul S. Roco, Mayors Lito Atienza Jr. and Jejomar C. Binay, Dolphy, Ricky Reyes, Danny Dolor, Silvano Bulgari, Nap Rama, Justice Consuelo Santiago, Tingting Cojuangco, Stella Marquez de Araneta, producers Lily Monteverde and Donna Villa Caparas, Helen Gamboa Sotto, Sharon Cuneta, Inday Badiday and German Moreno, and Minnie Osmeña.

Save for three gents, they all came in regulation tuxes. The matrons wore dazzling gowns in varying hues of electric blue.

Groom kissing the brideRuffa's bosom buddy Donita Rose Cavett was one of two maids of honor while the best men were Ruffa's brothers Eduardo Jr., Elvis, Richard and Raymond, and Ritchie Paul, and Ton Ton and Ramon Christopher.

And there they paraded or sat down at the side, such lovely ladies as Chin Chin Gutierrez (a replacement for Kris Aquino who reportedly infuriated Ruffa's mom Annabelle Rama with her last-minute decision to back out of the party), Pops Fernandez, Gretchen Barretto, Vina Morales, Sharmaine Arnaiz, among others, escorted by dashing gentlemen Eric Quizon, Richard Gomez, and Jomari Yllana. The ladies bloomed in various shades of pink, from shocking to rose petal and bougainvillea.

Bride and Groom with parents and Imelda MarcosThe offerors during the religious service also displayed high wattage: Rudy Fernandez and Lorna Tolentino, Alma Moreno, Carmina Villarroel, Albert Martinez, Phillip Salvador, and Rufa Mae Quinto (representing Bong Revilla Jr. who didn't show up). Lectors and readers were Kaye Torres, Nadia Montenegro, Aiko Melendez, and Snooky Serna. If Ricky Davao and Jackielou Blanco were moving about the premises, it was to attend to daughter Arabela who was a flower girl.

Providing musical moments at the solemn affair were Ogie Alcasid, Ciarra Sotto, and Gary Valenciano. Among the singers at the reception were Jamie Rivera and Lani Misalucha.

When former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos arrived at the close of the wedding ceremony with son Ilocos Norte Gov. Bongbong Marcos, Madame Imelda chat tentatively with showbiz newshens while Bongbong exchanged pleasantries with Ricky Davao.

Chin Chin Gutierrez, Gretchen Barreto and Pops FernandezWhen the wedding proper ended, the guests and participants moved to the Tent beside the makeshift chapel in the garden to partake of a banquet prepared by Le Soufflé. Champagne and red and white wine flowed (a tiny detail, though: Le Soufflé should have served the mineral water in glasses instead of allowing the sealed plastic bottles to crowd the otherwise finely-arranged tables, a little tacky for such a name restaurant).

But the food was good: pan fried goose liver and seared scallops, clear essence of wild mushrooms, roasted Chilean sea bass on leek fondue, lemon sorbet to clear the taste for the main course namely grilled US black angus tenderloin in Bordelaise sauce with baked potato and vegetables. A trio of desserts capped the feast: Gateau Gloria, Princess Carmen, and special mango roll, with fresh fruit.

The event was covered by GMA-7, to be aired next week as a TV special. (Malaya)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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