7 Popular Filipino Wedding Customs for the Traditional Bride
With wedding season upon us (and my own wedding coming up shortly), I wanted to share some of the more popular wedding customs and traditions you might find at a typical Filipino wedding.
Having your own wedding soon? You might enjoy Party Like a Filipino on Your Wedding Day Without Breaking the Bank – 10 Money Saving Tips for the Budget Bride.
Now, when I say “traditional” I really just mean within the last few decades. Wedding traditions have developed over the years (as have American ones), and were greatly influenced by Spanish colonialism in the 1500’s. In fact, a lot of “traditional” Filipino wedding customs are very similar to Spanish wedding customs.
If you’re looking to incorporate more traditional Filipino elements into your wedding, check out these 7 popular wedding customs for ideas.
Not looking for a traditional wedding? Check out Filipino Wedding Decor for a Nontraditional Wedding
Actually, just like in America, it is tradition for a bride to wear a white dress. Some women will wear a white traditional baro’t saya which is an embroidered airy blouse, while the men will wear a barong, a traditional dress shirt that is worn untucked.
This awesome company, Pineapple IND, has great examples of how this style of traditional clothing can be used in a modern times.
Arrhae (13 Coins)
Traditionally given by the groom to his bride, the arrhae represent a symbol of a groom’s pledge to his bride for her welfare and happiness. The 13 coins symbolize the well-wishes for wealth and prosperity in each month of the year with an extra coin for additional blessings for the couple. This custom comes from Spanish influence and is still practiced in Spain and many Latin American countries.
Cord or Rope
A cord, fashioned in the shape of an “8” or infinity sign, represents the infinite nature of marriage. The cord is place over the heads of both the bride and groom.
A large veil is pinned on both the bride and groom to symbolize the unity of marriage (“two becoming one”).
Catholic Nuptial Mass
Since over 80% of the Philippines is Catholic, Filipino weddings are typically celebrated with a Catholic Mass or religious service.
This is a popular dance during the wedding reception where guests can pin money onto the bride or groom in order to dance with them. If you’re not Filipino, this tradition seems a little strange, but it’s actually quite entertaining. By the end of the dance the couple is covered in bills, which they can then use for their honeymoon or to start their new life together.
Not Tossing the Bouquet
Typically a bride will not toss her bouquet but instead offer it to a picture or statue of the Virgin Mary, a special saint, or at the grave of a beloved family member who has passed away.
What are other special customs you’ve seen at a traditional Filipino wedding? Share them below!
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