In Philippine cultures, the groom’s family traditionally pays for the wedding expenses. These days, however, the bride’s relatives will usually help pay for some of the expenses. The bride and groom will often pay for the expenses out of their own savings.
Before any of this is decided though, the groom and his family will pay a visit to the bride’s home in order to ask her family for her hand. This is called the Pamamanhikan or “the meeting of the two families.” Pamamanhikan is a traditional event where the wedding plans are drawn out. It can be a rather awkward situation for the couple to hear their parents discussing plans for the future. The parents discuss matters concerning the guest list, budget, and so forth.
As far as wedding outfits go, white gowns have become popular in the last century due to Western influence in the Philippines. Traditionally, brides would don dresses with festive designs. The wedding gowns would represent styles of that particular season. The grooms now tend to wear the Barong Tagalog, as it is traditional formal wear in Filipino cultures. They usually wear them untucked, with a regular white shirt underneath. Grooms also usually wear black pants. The male wedding guests will typically wear their finest barongs.
Traditionally, in centuries long past, the wedding ceremony would last for three days. Modern Filipino weddings have changed a great deal, but some of the native customs are the same. Nowadays, there are special sponsors, such as godparents, aunts, uncles, or a parent, who will act as special witnesses to the marriage. There are also secondary sponsors that usually handle specific aspects of the ceremony. Some of them can be candle sponsors, who will light two candles. The bride and the groom will take each of those candles, and use them to light one single candle that will symbolize their union.
A veil sponsor will place a veil over the groom’s shoulders and the bride’s head. The veil is usually white. This is done to clothe the two as one. The cord sponsor will drape a decorative cord, called a ugal over the couple’s shoulders. The silk cord is tied in a figure eight shape, and is believed to symbolize eternal fidelity. Finally, the groom will give his bride thirteen coins, blessed by the priest, called “rrhae” This symbolizes his dedication to his wife as well as their future children. It is a sign of respect, as he lets her know that he will provide for her well-being.
Perhaps the most elaborate event of a Filipino wedding is the feast. Food at Filipino wedding feats consists of soups and a variety of different meats, including chicken, goat, boiled ham, fish, and roast pork. Vegetables and fruits are also provided. For the dessert, meringues, coconut macaroons, baked custard flan, and sweetened nipa plant seeds is served. No one ever goes hungry at a Filipino wedding!
Filipino weddings are considered to be some of the most beautiful ceremonies in the world. The Filipino culture is highly regarded for its belief in the sanctity of marriage. They make sure that the permanent bond between the bride and groom is made at an unforgettable event!