A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Wedding Traditions in the Philippines

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The Philippines is a country rich in various cultures and many wedding traditions — all of which have been passed down from one generation to another. Filipino wedding traditions are honored across all social classes of the country and are practiced by many citizens. The customs and practices observed have stemmed from a range of superstitious to plethora of whimsical beliefs practiced by Filipinos.

 

Actually, modern methods, as well as traditional ones, have been inspired by Catholicism. That is to say, religion plays integral role wedding traditions in the Philippines — and this is what makes Filipino weddings both sentimental, emotional and memorable. We’ll tackle all of these practices and what they represent one by one. It would hopefully give us a deeper understanding and a renewed appreciation for the Philippines wedding traditions or marriage. Here’s the list of the most common Filipino wedding traditions:

Money Dance

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One of the wedding traditions is money dance, and it is not exclusive to the Philippines. It’s also practiced in various cultures. Aside from being called money dance, other cultures refer to it as ‘The Dollar Dance’ while others call it ‘The Apron Dance’. There are also many variations on how to perform those, but the general concept for those who practice it is totally similar. In the Philippines, money dance is the first dance for the newly-wed couples — it occurs during the wedding function or reception. The close acquaintances of couples come over and start pinning money on the bride including groom's clothes. This represents a wish for continuing prosperity in marriage. It also symbolizes the nest egg that would help them financially as they start their journey towards married life. People who can afford to give a lot of cash will also do so because it is also a belief that larger amount received is equivalent to good fortune that would follow.

Wedding Day Church Rites and Ceremony

Just as mentioned previously, the Filipino culture is strongly intertwined with Catholic practices. Thus, it would come as no surprise that a wedding party would consist of:

 

  • Coin sponsors
  • Principal sponsors
  • Veil sponsors
  • The ring-bearers
  • Secondary sponsors
  • Flower girls

 

All of these play crucial roles in Church wedding ceremonies. As a rule, wedding couples carry all the traditional items: In a conventional Filipino themed wedding, the bride would wear a white wedding dress inspired by national costume with its signature butterfly sleeves. Conversely, the groom would wear traditional barong Tagalog made from pineapple fibers. The motif also reflected in the wedding party's attire.

Sharp Objects Are no Good Gifts

Filipino wedding traditions involve a lot of gift giving. This culture dictates that you would be considered ill-mannered if you don’t bring gifts to wedded couples. Usually, you should give gifts that would help couples start a new life. The best choices for gift giving would be starter plates, pots, pans, and cooking utensils. It is observed though that gifts should not involve sharp objects like knives, cutlery, or scissors. It’s believed that giving such objects would bring Filipino couples bad luck.

Wedding Attire

As you would expect, Filipino weddings also showcase wedding gowns, which are usually white. Basically, it shows Western influence in wedding traditions. Color white, just as in the Western world, shows that the bride is pure and is a virgin at the time of marriage. It is also tradition that the bride wears gown consisting of white blouse with butterfly puffed sleeves and matching skirt (all of them white).

Trying out the Wedding Gown Before the Big Day

Another rule observed before the wedding is that the bride should never try her wedding gown — it’s a bad luck! This superstitious belief has many variations. One reason bride isn’t allowed to try the wedding dress before D-day is that there’s a considerable chance the marriage wouldn’t push through.

Siblings Should Never Marry in Same Year

According to Filipino wedding customs, it’s inappropriate for two siblings to marry in the same year. Well, this sounds weird but the reason behind the belief is that someone would die early or fall very ill and pass away. Marriages amongst siblings should be properly paced. Another reason why siblings are forbidden from marrying in the same year is that members of their families would be riddled or have bad luck.

The Meaning of a Filipino Traditional Wedding

Even though traditional weddings in the Philippines are colorful, there are always superstitious beliefs that are followed strictly. That said, it is imperative to consult elders if you want to marry a Filipino woman, lest they miss out on core traditions.

Actually, everything about Filipino traditional wedding ceremony has meaning. The color of gowns as explained earlier symbolizes purity and coin cage filled with coins represents the promise made by the husband to ensure the financial security. Also, cord joining the couples symbolises that two individuals are now one.

 

Are you considering getting married in the Philippines? It is vital to prepare well because a wedding is an extraordinary occasion in this country. It’s not just for the bride and groom but a big celebration of joining two lovely individuals. Everyone is expected to do his or her part; ensuring that everything is covered including proper execution of timeless wedding traditions in the Philippines is a responsibility of every member of the family. In the Philippines, the wedding is highly valued. In fact, a whole town can participate in a wedding ceremony. Filipinos consider wedding a core tradition, and that’s why they respect people who value their traditions are exhorted to attend such rare occasions. Essentially, if many people attend the wedding, it means that good luck awaits the lovely wedded couples.