Filipinos Wedding traditions

Having your big day in the Philippines means three days of festivity. This includes traditional and Church weddings. Some couples choose to follow the traditional conventions to the fullest. Others seek a more private and intimate ceremony.

However, a huge percentage prefer an intimate wedding that involves family, friends, and relatives. The amazing thing about Filipinos is they value their culture that provides them with different templates to choose from.To know what traditions you need to follow during your wedding continue reading this article.

12 wedding traditions in the Philippines

1.  Formal Introduction and negotiation

This is known as pamamanhikan. During this period, the groom’s family is expected to meet the groom’s bride’s family. The visit should be done months or weeks before the big day. By doing so both families can bond and discuss more about the wedding ceremony.

In most cases, both families share a meal, glass of wine, or play games to bond with the bride’s family. While others choose to exchange gifts to mark the event.

Today you will find the introduction and negotiation being done in restaurants. This limits the workload on the bride’s family during the visit. Though some opt for a traditional method and conduct the ceremony at home where it’s more private and intimate.

2.  Wedding announcements

Wedding announcements also form as part of the rituals during your wedding ceremony. You are expected to make rounds to the guest and personally request them to attend the event. While doing so you will be presenting them with gifts and official wedding invitation cards. This presents you with a chance to ask prominent people or elders to sponsor your wedding.

3.  Making arrangements

Weddings are usually hectic and plans need to be made ASAP! When making arrangements elders from both families are brought together under one roof to discuss the plans. This is what is referred to as Bulungan meaning “whispering”.

That’s because the wedding plans are discussed quietly between the bride and groom’s family. Furthermore, they believe discussing the plans quietly won’t attract bad spirits. The arrangements are usually discussed in the bride’s home and the discussion of budget allocation and division of tasks are done.

4.  Wedding preparations

Your wedding preparation should happen even at the ceremony. The preparations revolve around the Bayanihan concept. This is usually marked by carrying out small heroic acts of kindness in the community.

To ensure the activity is successful, people from the bride and groom sides, and the community can give a helping hand. They help with the cooking, cleaning and other activities. However, the activities you engage in depends on your religion, region, and ethnicity

5.  Parental blessings

Parents’ blessings  play a significant role in your union. For this reason, Filipinos hold various rituals to seek blessings from their parents. In most cases, you will find the couples asking for blessings from their parents by kissing their hands. On other occasions, the parents would place their hands on the couple’s forehead.

 That is done while uttering phrases that speak life into their marriage. For example, you would find a Muslim groom kissing his father-in-law’s hand. That’s a sign of seeking blessing. But it’s important to know the blessing ritual varies depending on your religion and ethnic group. Hence, it’s wise to know them while courting to prepare for the big day.

6.  Veil and cord

Ceremonial veil and cord also form part of your wedding ritual and each has a significance. Your Godparents are given the task of placing a ceremonial veil over the bride’s head and onto the groom’s shoulders. This is done as a symbol of being clothed together, which shows you are one.

On the other hand, a cord known as Yugal is wrapped around you and your spouse. This symbolizes an external cord of fidelity. An interesting fact is the cord is made by the bride’s mother. But if it’s a church wedding more so Catholic the cord is from an extra large rosary.

7.  The 13 coins

It’s a practice which has been inherited from Spain by Filipinos. Mostly you will find this taking place in Hispanic or Catholic weddings. The practice dictates that the 30 coins (Arrhae)should be given to the bride by the groom. It’s a sign that he promises  prosperity to the bride.

However, there is a twist when it comes to giving out the coins. They are to be tacked in a handkerchief and handed over to the groom by the Godparents or sponsors. The coins also are to be handed over individually, then trickled down from his hands to the bride’s palm.

8.  Lighting the unity candles

When it comes to this ritual you are expected to light the unity candle. There are two candles on each side. You and your spouse will be required to light the candles individually before light the unity candle as one. This, in turn, symbolizes your unity and that of your families.

9.  A shower of rice and Rice cake

Rice and cakes play a major role in every wedding. The rice is thrown at you when leaving the church, symbolizing the abundance of rain. This is regarded as a sign of blessing to your union.

That’s not all, in some cases the rice is even thrown at the new couples when entering their home. Then later the rice would be used to cook their first meal in the house. However, it depends on your culture as well.

Apart from the meal, there is rice cake. You will be served a small dish of sticky cakes which symbolizes your unity as a couple through your marriage life.

10.  Money dance

Your first dance as a couple pays! Yes, this is what is referred to as the money dance. While dancing your guest attaches money or develops cash to your clothes. This is done using tapes or pins. That makes your dance enjoyable, hence learn new moves to ensure you sway your audience. If you are a guest and don’t have any gifts with you, participate in the dance. This is the noble thing to do to honor the newly weds.

11.  Sharing of food

Wedding cakes are a must in every wedding today. In most scenarios you’ll find the first slice being shared among couples. However, Filipinos have taken things differently, instead of sharing the first slice together, they give it to their elders and parents.

That marks an extension of guidance and shared responsibility to the new couples. In other cultures in the Philippines the first piece is offered to the dead relatives. However, each practice depends on the community you associate yourself with.

12.  Wedding performances

You’ll be expected to dance this time round without receiving any cash. This is a traditional dance performance done to impress your guests. There are various dances you can engage in, one of them is the Pangalay dance among others.

Final word

Wedding rituals are normal in each tribe, what brings out the difference is how it’s done. Having said that, Filipinos have some of the most amazing cultures. From generation to generation they have been followed to protect the new union.

However, as you enjoy the ritual, there are certain things that need to be observed if you’re a guest. This starts from the dress code it shouldn’t be revealing. That’s a crucial detail to have in mind.Let’s now talk business since every wedding tradition being done requires capital. If you don’t have funds, then the traditions will be impossible to undertake. That’s why you need a wedding loan from BDO Unibank here – this financial solutions provider in the Philippines offers you an affordable loan attracting low interest rates. Hence you can go on with your wedding tradition without worries.

Written by Monella