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Wedding TipsPage 14 of 19Prev   Next

Wedding in the Philippines

Publish On 2016-02-10 , 9:41 AM

Wedding in the Philippines is very unique and special. Couples as well as the members of the family do have many beliefs that they must act or do before and after the wedding date. This important ceremony reflects the families mix traditions from old Filipinos and Spanish people. There are still many traditional customs or superstitions that are being followed by Filipinos or those people who wish to have a Filipino style wedding. As time pass by, this beliefs started to fade slowly but not totally gone.

Marrying in the Philippines, as we all know, are truly remarkable and special. The wedding day will never be forgotten, thus, it will be treasured and remembered forever.

Filipinos have many age old traditions make for a beautiful and exciting event. Filipino weddings, also known as "kasalan", are among the most beautiful and intricate celebrations in the world because of the Filipino culture’s high regard for the sanctity of marriage making the event a lengthy and ceremonious occasion to remind everyone attending—especially the bride and groom—that the bond connecting the couple is expected to become permanent.

Filipino bride dress up in a traditional all-white wedding gown and the groom is handsomely clad in the traditional barong. In addition to the gown, the bride often wears a veil and carries a bouquet of flowers. A garter may also be worn and removed by the groom during the reception.

The groom wears a barong, a traditional hand embroidered formal shirt made from specially hand-loomed jusi or pina (pineapple fiber) cloth. You will be able to see some men wearing the Barong Tagalog at the wedding, a thin and transparent dress, most of the time white of color with a shirt under it. Now, even men go for black tuxedo.


Groom wearing "Barong Tagalog" and bride in a traditional wedding gown.
Photo Credits:

During a specific point in the ceremony know as the Sanctus, the veil sponsors carefully pin a large veil on top of the bride's head and onto the shoulder of the groom. These secondary sponsors play a part in the wedding ceremony, and each couple has specific functions: lighting of the unity candles - these two candles are lit symbolizing the joining of the two families and to invoke the light of Christ in their married life, putting on the veil - white veils are placed over the bride's head and the groom's shoulders, a symbol of two people clothed as one and the cord for their respective ceremonies. In Filipino traditional wedding the bride and the groom drape over their shoulders the yugal (a decorative silk cord) in a figure-eight shape--to symbolize everlasting fidelity , it is one of several centuries-old Philippine wedding traditions. The groom offers the bride 13 coins, blessed by the priest, as a sign of his dedication to his wife's happiness and the welfare of their future children.


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Towards the end of the ceremony, at a signal from the Priest/Minister, the Bride and Groom come up and approach the candles. When the bride and groom exit the church, they are greeted good wishes and applause by family and friends. During the reception couples practice the Filipino wedding custom of releasing a pair of white doves to symbolize a loving and harmonious marriage.There will be music and dancing for hours. Spanish music among others will be played the night through.The bride and groom will dance the "money dance" where guests pin pesos or dollars to the bride or groom in exchange for a dance with them. Depending on the wishes of the couple, Spanish traditional dances will be performed.Filipinos love to party and celebrate, and a wedding is one grand occasion.It is during the reception that the wedding cake is cut.


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Filipino Weddings reflect the strong traditions of family and extended family and so incorporates considerable symbolism in this area. Filipino wedding ceremonies have some very wonderful traditions different from the typical Wedding Ceremonies in the West.

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Wedding Party Gifts

Publish On 2016-03-10 , 2:09 PM


Your bridal attendants are those you hold nearest and dearest. You should recognize their participation in your wedding planning with a wedding party gift. Bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts can be simple or significant, inexpensive or lavish. What’s important is that they come from you and were selected especially for them.

Give wedding gifts that are functional and memorable. They can be personalized—it’s as simple as a monogram of your names or the wedding date. This lets you buy the same gift for each attendant, which is traditional.

For your bridesmaids, consider items like traditional wedding party gifts like perfume bottles, silver-backed brushes, picture frames and porcelain keepsake boxes. Other options include engraved goblets or champagne flutes.

There’s one bridesmaid wedding gifts that’s always a favorite —jewelry. Bracelets, pearl earrings and dainty necklaces are just a few of your possible choices for bridesmaids, while watches, tie clasps and money clips are naturals for groomsmen.

Also popular among the guys are beer mugs, engraved flasks, and personalized shot glasses, as well as sports tickets and team gear. Many men like wood items like CD holders, change trays and jewelry boxes.

For cigar lovers, consider premium cigars, monogrammed cases, lighters and cutters. Such accessories are available in either silver or gold and can be engraved.

Sometimes, the most appreciated bridesmaid and groomsmen wedding gift is financial assistance. It’s expensive to be in someone’s wedding party. To help your attendants pay for bridesmaid attire or travel costs is often a welcome, if non-traditional, gift. That’s especially true when you include a handwritten thank-you note that tells them how grateful you are for their friendship.

For groomsmen, such financial gifts could cover tuxedo rental charges. Bridesmaids can use your gift to help pay for their gowns, although another option is to pay for their shoes or accessories.

Wedding gifts are usually given at showers or during the rehearsal dinner. However do not feel this is the only time gifts can be given. Be creative when you package and wrap your gifts. This added effort often turns nice gifts into cherished mementos. For those you love, such gestures of gratitude are the least you can do. 


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How much a civil wedding would cost in the Philippines?

Publish On 2016-03-29 , 11:00 AM

Photo credits: Modern Filipina


A civil or mass wedding is one of the most inexpensive, and faster way of getting legally married in PH. It is usually conducted by a judge of the RTC court or officiated by the city Mayor for free. If you’re in tight budget for dream wedding consider this as your option.


Essential requirements for Civil Wedding:

1. Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female.

2. Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer. The authorize solemnizing officer are any of the ff:

  • Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the court’s jurisdiction;
  • Any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church or religious sect duly authorized by his church or religious sect and registered with the civil registrar general, acting within the limits of the written authority granted by his church or religious sect and provided that at least one of the contracting parties belongs to the solemnizing officer’s church or religious sect;
  • Any ship captain or airplane chief only in the case mentioned in Article 31 of the Family Code;
  • Any military commander of a unit to which a chaplain is assigned, in the absence of the latter, during a military operation, likewise only in the cases mentioned in Article 32 of the Family Code;
  • Any consul-general, consul or vice-consul in the case provided in Article 10 of the Family

3. A valid marriage license except in the cases where the same is exempted.

4. A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take each other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age.

5. If widowed,  Certified True Copy of Death Certificate of deceased spouse.

6. If divorced or annulled, a copy of Final Decree of Absolute Divorce or Court Decision and Absolute Decree of Finality from the court.

7. For Foreigners: Philippine law requires a citizen or subject of a foreign country to obtain a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage. It is issued by the diplomatic or consular offices of his or her country, prior to the issuance of a marriage license in the Philippines. This serves as a clearance or permit from the consul as an actual proof of the subject civil status and his/her eligibility for marriage.

Documentary Requirements and Venue Expenses:

  • Documents (Birth Cert./Cenomar/Marriage License) – Prepare at least P1500
  • Pre-Marriage Counseling Certificate Prepare at least P50
  • Judge Service Fee – If you choose your own judge to solemnize your wedding prepare additional P5,000. Hiring a Church Pastor with be more better and flexible.
  • Reception - You can have catering service that offers affordable buffet like for as low as P140 per head. Some venue offers 10K to 25K package good for 100 pax –usually food, decors,wine are inclusive.
  • Gowns/Barong/Toxedo – Prepare at least P2000 for the rental fee ( you can save more if you borrow from a friend).
  • Wedding rings – A set without stone or just the average design cost at least P3,500
  • Flowers - Budget at least  P1000
  • Wedding photos - Budget at least P500
  • Accommodation - Some 2 star hotel offers very affordable room price for as low as P800/day. Another way to save is to held your wedding in an area where you have close relatives or extended families so no need to pay for accommodations.


*This estimated cost is base from our personal experience and information from wedding experts.


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What is Barong Tagalog?

Publish On 2016-04-12 , 2:18 PM

In the Philippines a modern, westernized style of dressing is common everywhere. In the urban areas as well as in the rural areas. For a long time already. Happily, it doesn't mean that it is impossible to see typical Filipino dress. At ceremonies, festivals and all other kind of important meetings, you will be able to see some men wearing the Barong Tagalog.

Photo credits to the owner

Barong Tagalog is an upper garment and known as the formal men's wear of the Philippines.  The Barong Tagalog has a long tradition of more than four centuries. The look as well as the meaning of the dress have evolved throughout four centuries. The special traditional features remained untouched; the dress is thin and transparent (with a shirt under it), has decoration and one will wear the barong tagalog 'tucked out'. 

The meaning of the name "Barong Tagalog"
 'Baro'  = word for 'dress' 
 'Barong'  = means 'dress of '
 'Baro ng Tagalog'  = 'dress of the Tagalog'
The Tagalog:  people that lived  on the island of Luzon, already  a very long time before the Spaniards arrived on Luzon. 

The origin of the specific features of the Barong Tagalog
Long time before the Spaniards arrived in the Philippine archipelago, the Tagolog people on  the northern island of Luzon, wore already a dress, that can be seen as the origin of the Barong Tagalog. The dress reached slightly below the waist, was colourless and had an opening in the front. The dress was, as the picture shows, tucked out.

Why is it that the barong is tucked out?

There is more than one explanation! 
One explanation says that it is because of the tropical climate, which favours clothes that are tucked out. However, the historical explanation says that the Barong Tagalog traces its roots in the Spanish-colonial era (1565-1898).

Photo credits to the owner

The roots of the Barong Tagalog

From the beginning of the Spanish rule in the Philippine archipelago, the Spanish rulers demanded the Filipino men to wear  the Barong Tagalog. The Spaniards wanted to make  the differences between themselves and the 'natives' visible by the dress.
Therefore they prohibited  to tuck the barong under the waistband. That was the mark of the inferior status of the natives. Next to that,  the cloth material should be transparent. That should make it impossible to hide any weapon that could be used against the Spanish rulers. Furthermore, it was forbidden to have any pockets in the barong. This had to prevent any thievery.

Even at the time that some Filipinos became successful business men or successful in agricultural activities,  these  lucky and more important middle class men had to wear the Barong Tagalog just as the Spanish rulers demanded.
In these Spanish period, the new middle class started to put  more attention to the design of the barong.  The front of the barong showed more and more a hand -work design. It was the beginning of becoming a symbol of resistance to colonization. 

The Barong Tagalog evolved to ' the national dress'!

The Barong Tagalog gained his real 'national prestige' after president Quezon, the first Filipino president, declared the Barong Tagalog "the National dress". So, the Barong Tagalog  evolved from the pre-Hispanic became officially a symbol of the Filipinos' resistance to colonization!

The Barong Tagalog week

In 1975 The former president Ferdinand  Marcos issued a decree proclaiming an official " Barong Tagalog Week " (June 5 - 11). It was the incentive to a wider use of the Barong Tagalog.

Bridegrooms and the Barong Tagalog
In the Philippines of today,  many Filipinos  will wear the Barong Tagalog at important events. It became a custom for bridegrooms to wear the long-sleeved, embroidered Barong Tagalog.
Polo Barong
After the introduction of the short-sleeved variety, the "Polo Barong", the barong dress became  less formal than in the past. In the last 25 years the polo version became the all-around wear of Filipinos.


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Pamamanhikan: A Filipino Wedding Tradition

Publish On 2016-04-19 , 11:05 AM


After you have proposed to your future wife it is time to talk to her parents. One Filipino tradition we cannot do without is the Pamamanhikan. The Pamamanhikan is simple and yet very meaningful. It is where the groom’s family go to the bride’s home and bring a lot of food, usually native delicacies from their province or barangay.

If the groom’s family is well off they usually bring expensive gifts for their future in-laws, this is normally in the form of jewelry…maybe a nice watch for the groom’s father and a pair of ear rings for the groom’s mother…and for the future bride it usually comes in the form of a bracelet or a necklace. In Filipino culture it is considered right to bring something when you visit someone’s house and it would be rude not to.

The groom’s family then asks the bride’s family for her hand in marriage. This after all means when you marry my son you will symbolically marry his whole family. Now a days the pamamanhikan is purely symbolic. Although the ones mentioned above like bringing food and small gifts still plays a huge part in the modern pamamanhikan, now it is purely to discuss wedding details. Set the date, the theme, the location etc…

A Pamamanhikan is very important to Filipinos. I wrote this post to help foreign men who wish to marry their long time Filipina girlfriends. A Filipino family is very close knit and this is true no matter where in the world you are. Therefore it is traditionally correct to inform her family of your plans for the wedding and it is considered ill mannered if you don’t. Please understand that because you are informing them and discussing wedding details does not mean they can interfere with your plans such as color scheme, flowers to use, how the ceremony would be organised etc…This is a whole different topic.

Remember in todays Pamamanhikan no rigid formalities are required. Just enjoy the company of family members and indulge in good food, good conversation and a good laugh.


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