Filipino Wedding Traditions
Customs with a Spanish Flair

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Filipino wedding traditions are soaked with Spanish flair.

For some of us this may seem odd, but the Philippines were ruled by Spain for hundreds of years, so the Spanish presence is very vivid in their wedding customs.

While other cultures lose traditions over time, most of the ancestral traditions are very much alive today just like they were hundreds of years ago in this culture. So much to cover! Let's begin!

Dressing the Part

Traditionally the bride will wear her best dress, but if she followed the Spanish tradition, she may wear a black satin dress. But you are a modern bride, and I am sure you would be pleased to know that now most Filipino brides wear a white wedding gown.

Your groom more than likely will wear a barong... This is a formal shirt, traditional and hand embroidered, made with pineapple fibers.

Some men will wear what is called a barong Tagalog. This is a traditional long shirt, and by long, I mean a shirt with a dress length.

As these barongs may be a little transparent, so usually a white shirt is wore underneath.

Orange blossoms are the favorite flower for a Filipino wedding. They come from the Spanish tradition, and brides make them their bouquet flower.

If you decide to use another flower in your bouquet, you can incorporate the orange blossom in your church decorations or centerpieces.

Walking Down the Aisle

The best men will walk down the aisle followed by the groom, who can walk down the aisle alone or with his parents.

The bride will walk down to the right of her father; this way when she reaches the groom, her father won't be in her way.

Once the ceremony begins, so do the customs.

Ceremony Traditions

Many of the filipino wedding traditions happen during the ceremony:

* Ring ceremony: Once the bride approaches her groom the ceremony begins, and the priest will bless the couple as well as the rings.

* Coin ceremony: The Priest then drops 13 coins (silver or gold) called arras into the groom's hands, who then drops them into the bride's hands.

* Sanctus: A sponsor places a veil on top of the bride’s head and pins one of the veil ends to the groom's shoulder. This symbolizes the union and that the couple now is one, very much like the Lazo ceremony in Mexican weddings.

Party at the Reception!

Do you do the Pandango? Don't be scared, the Pandango is just a money dance. You and your groom will dance and your guests will pin money on you, with the purpose of helping to pay for your honeymoon.

So what kind of food do you serve according to Filipino wedding traditions?

No matter what type of wedding you are having, whether it is formal or informal, if you are having a Filipino wedding, Spanish food will be present.

Paella, ham, olives, peppers and rice are sure to make an appearance.

Fine wines are also present, to go with the main course. As for sweets, custards or flans are ideal.

At the end of the ceremony the newlyweds will release a pair of doves, representing the beginning of their journey together.

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