In the Philippines, a wedding would probably mark the biggest occasion of an individual’s life. They are traditionally big and festive events where a large group of people comes together—from the family to the relatives, friends down to the neighbors. Apart from being a grand and festive, Filipino weddings are predominantly influenced by religion—so much so that it is traditionally celebrated inside big churches situated all over the country. However, with the advent of modern weddings, a lot of wedding traditions have become lost as more and more weddings get wrapped up with the commercial or monetary value of the planning involved.
It is rather unfortunate that Filipino weddings are losing some of the aspects that made it distinctly Filipino—including some of the customs and traditions that made it one, however, there are still modern unions that do practice it today. While traditions such as setting a pair of doves free or pinning some bills on the bride’s dress in exchange for a dance have gone stale, there are a few practices that are still evident in almost every Filipino wedding you attend. From the elaborate wedding planning that includes wedding packages in the Philippines to other quirky and unique practices, here are some practices that make a wedding truly Filipino:
1.) Filipino Time
Regardless of the occasion, Filipinos are notorious for arriving late–so much so, that the concept of Filipino time was coined. It roughly means that if an event is to start around 7 PM, Filipinos do not get ready to leave until it is 6:45 PM. In weddings, this can be particularly stressful; guests would typically take longer than usual as they have to do their hair and makeup and primp themselves up. If your wedding invitation states that wedding is to start around 3:00 PM, you can expect a majority of the guests to arrive at around 3:30 PM to 4 PM. But the worst guests are those who skip the wedding ceremony altogether and just head to the reception in time for the buffet. To make sure this does not happen, announce that the wedding starts an hour early in your invitation. This would not ensure that all of your guests would arrive on time, but at least a significant number of them will arrive just in time.
Even if your invitation has indicated that the dress code is strictly formal, you will undoubtedly find someone in a more casual outfit of jeans and slippers. Apart from that, you may have requested that guests give you monetary gifts as you would be moving out of the country, yet it seems like some of your guests have missed the memo. So, how do you deal? Check on everyone at least a couple of weeks before the wedding. Remind them of your dress code and if they do not have any available, see if you can help them borrow from someone else.
3.) There are several gimmicks
A reception is a combination of many different events, and it is more than just a simple wedding dinner. Though the wedding ceremony finished hours ago, you are not expected to eat until a series of presentations and speeches are over. For this reason, many couples have opted to include a cocktail buffet table that would serve guests finger food as well as something to drink to stave off hunger before dinner is to begin. Before a wedding reception, come prepared and eat a heavy meal before attending the wedding ceremony. This would not only prevent you from being hungry during one of the many speeches in the reception, but it would also help you avoid from hoarding food in the cocktail buffet table.
4.) Girls disappearing during the bouquet toss part of the program
In almost every Filipino wedding, women would readily make an excuse to go to the bathroom just in time for the bouquet toss segment of the program. It seems like women do not want to have the limelight on them during the couple’s special day. A good workaround to this problem is to introduce a crafty way to ensure that the ladies would be more receptive to joining. Apart from receiving the bouquet, consider giving a monetary prize to the woman who catches the bouquet.