Filipino Weddings: Five Things to Expect and Guest Conduct

Brenda Chu and Alvin Raagas

“Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins.” -Lao Tzu

It is a known fact that weddings are big festive events, but in the Philippines, it is all the more festive and grand. Considering that the family is an integral part of the Filipino culture, family members, relatives and even friends from abroad would all take leave and come home to celebrate this momentous event in an individual’s life. As it is a rare time for everyone to be home at the same time, celebrations do not last just a day, but in some cases, it would last a week to a month depending on how long visitors from abroad intend to stay.

Apart from looking for an appropriate wedding package in the Philippines, a lot of preparation goes into a Filipino wedding. While there are some more elaborate weddings elsewhere, what makes a Filipino wedding truly unique is the emphasis and importance it puts on the family. For this reason, most primary sponsors would be the couple’s godparents who apart from standing with them during the ceremony, are expected to give them sagely advice as regards marital and familial life. In any case, if you are attending a Filipino wedding, here are things you should expect or do:

1.) Give a timely RSVP

Invitations to a couple’s big day usually arrive weeks or months before the scheduled wedding date. Although in some cases, the physical form of a letter may arrive later than usual, you should do your part as a guest by sending your RSVP in a timely fashion. Remember that most couples would have to account for all of their guests through a final headcount. Giving the couple a prompt notice as to whether you will be attending or not would make it more convenient for them to decide on a final number of guests and a seating arrangement.

2.) Despedida de Soltera (Bachelorette Party)

Bachelorette parties in the Philippines are different (although, wild hen parties do still happen it all depends on the bride’s wishes). Filipino tradition dictates that a party would be held in favor of the bride to highlight her last few days as a single woman. While some bachelorette parties would involve raucous night out, this is also an event that would serve as a formal introduction to both sides of the family before the couple is officially wedded. So, if you have been given the honor of being part of the couple’s wedding entourage, do take part and contribute whatever you can to make this event more memorable.

3.) Take note of the maid of honor duties

If you have been given the prestige and honor of being a bride’s maid of honor, know that it is not an easy task. You are primarily chosen because the bride regards you as her closest confidante and trusts you to carry out your duties well. Apart from putting a bachelorette party together, your task would also include to organize the entourage for the wedding ceremony and attend to the bride’s needs. Additionally, it is also your duty to welcome and assist guests during the wedding reception.

4.) Follow the dress code given

While you can wear formal suits to weddings, if you want a more patriotic approach and something that would indeed appeal to Filipino tradition, you can do so by wearing the Filipino costume known as the Barong Tagalog. Dress codes are almost always indicated in the invitation–in any case, whatever you choose to wear for the wedding, always respect the couple’s wishes as to what kind of garb you should wear. This is the least you can do for their wedding day as an invited guest.

5.) Participate in the wedding games

Traditionally, Filipino wedding receptions would have intervals wherein games directed at married and single individuals are held. If you are a guest, do not dampen the couple’s spirits by refusing to partcipate—most especially if they call out your name. Have a great time and join the bouquet toss or garter toss if you are single. If you are married, enter some of the couple games with your spouse and just generally have fun.

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Personal Checklist: Getting Best Value Caterers for Your Wedding!

Your big day’s fast approaching, and you’re doing the final check of the event must-haves and must-dos – guest list, events place, technical support, program flow and performances.

There is just one more thing left – a catering service.

Food and beverage are make-or-break factors that can dictate your event’s success, and as a host, getting a reliable one that provides competent service and delectable food is a MUST.  Have a quick look at this sample checklist you can use to narrow down your options!

Word of mouth recommendations

An online search may be faster, but when it comes to the real deal, talking with actual customers is still a better choice. Call a friend or colleagues who have hosted an event before and list down some of the catering services they recommend.

Caterers who leave your friend nodding in satisfaction will most likely be your thumbs up choice.

Food & Beverage

How else can you decide if their menus is a go without actually tasting it? So go ahead, give the service a call and schedule a tasting day. Highly commended ones are more than willing to do this for you. Ask them to prepare their best or request a cuisine. Bon appétit!

Chef  & Staff

Before, it’s about looking for services with the LONGEST years of catering experience. Now it’s more on the BEST CHEF & STAFF in town. The length of years a company has in the industry doesn’t necessarily translate to the tastiest food variety.

If you want appetizing selection fit for the occasion and nutritional requirement, a top-of-the-line chef is your go-to pick!

Attention to details

While caterers are the primary in charge of providing your event’s menu, always be reminded that you are the boss. You’re the ones who provide the theme and specifics the service would need in preparing their menu. It’s always an advantage to go for those who show the willingness to listen to your request, ask relevant questions and provide you with the best available alternatives.

Event Specialty

‘Aren’t all caterers the same?’ You ask.

Yes and no. Yes, they both offer food for a variety of occasion, and no, they don’t specialize on an entirely the same nature of events.

Some services specialize in huge gatherings such as company parties and seniors prom. Others focus on smaller events like family reunions and exclusive birthday parties.  There are even those who only cater to event deliveries and don’t have the setup and staffing included in their package.

Enjoy the smooth flow of the celebration and pick the service that specializes on the occasion you are hosting.

Liability insurance

Regardless of the event type or size, we want to see the best of it and make our guests satisfied. But whether we like it or not, bad things happen at times. Surely, we wouldn’t want to bear the responsibility of answering for damages incurred by our caterer, right?

Before saying yes to a deal, verify the presence of insurance including its coverage. This protects you from any liabilities in case the service incurs some errors resulting to guest accidents and the like.

Contract details

Lastly, read and understand the contract. It’s a requirement, and all catering services are mandated to offer this to their clients. The contents may differ, but the salient points such as the cancellation policy, damages, additional payment, and inclusions are all detailed in this document.

Don’t hesitate to raise points of clarification when you find vague conditions you find hard to understand. Be informed. It’s safer that way.

Special occasions will not be complete in the absence of food and beverage. Create a checklist of the most recommended services and drop them a visit!

Common Wedding Plan Blunders

 

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Every woman who has dreamed of marrying the love of their lives has meticulously planned their very own weddings since the inception of their idea in getting married. They relentless think of the kind of dress they are going to don for the wedding day, the type of pre-nuptial photos they are going to take, the guests they are to invite, the programs, the location, the entourage, the theme, the wedding caterer…everything! This is why when something goes horribly awry during the wedding date itself, it can take its toll on the couple and leave them with less than savory memories of what is to be their happiest day. However, as it is a reality, some things will inevitably go awry on your wedding day if you operate on poor logistics and improper planning. Since nuptial blunders are a reality, it would be better if you are equipped with the most common of mistakes most couples make before making any decisions of your own. So that come your happiest day, you can rest easy knowing that you may have potentially dodged what would be a monumental error to make.

MAKING PLANS BEFORE SETTING A BUDGET

Brides to be can be rather notorious with mentally planning out a wedding before even having a budget in mind. They could have already envisioned a designer wedding dress without even consulting how much financial resources they have available. This is a novice mistake, before making any sort of wedding plans, you and your spouse to be should establish financial parameters. Not only will this ensure that you will have everything you essentially need for the wedding, but it would also give you a guarantee that you would not go broke right after the wedding date.

HAVING NO BACKUP RAIN-PLAN

Couples who would desire to tie knot outdoors should always have a backup plan just in case the sun ceases to shine on your wedding day. Do not rely on hope alone that it would not rain on your wedding day even if you slated it on a hot summer day as it is, weather can be very erratic and when it comes to your wedding day, you really would not want to take any chances. To avoid this potential dilemma, make sure the venue you have allocated for your wedding has an indoor setting as well, so that when it rains, you would know that you could still have your wedding inside. It may not be your initial choice, but it is a lot better than having to cancel the event altogether.

HAVING WAY TOO MANY GUESTS AT A SMALL VENUE

You want to share this momentous occasion with everyone you know, but, unfortunately, you can only afford a rather small and nondescript venue which, fortunately, though, does not have a guest limit. So, you go with your original plan of inviting all of the guests you want to attend and have them packed in such a limited space. This is an oversight on your part though you may have all the guests you want present on your wedding day, you would not want your reception to feel like a popular bar with the party in full swing and with people rubbing shoulders left and right. You want your event to be chic and elegant and to pull that off, do not fill your designated venue to its maximum capacity for guests.

NOT SUPPLYING ENOUGH INFORMATION

This is not exclusive to your wedding invitations alone, this also rings true for your pre-wedding soirees, bachelorette and bachelor parties and the like. Your guests would not want to attend an event they have inadequate information to. And apart from that, if you have a strict dress code, you would not want any of your guests to commit a fashion faux pas the day of your wedding either and if you are having a destination wedding, you would be helping your guests immensely if you complemented their wedding invitations with a map that would take them to your venue. Supply your guests with enough information before your wedding day to avoid confusion and they will thank you profusely.

SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF

So there may be a few inconsequential things that may occur hours or days before your wedding, these are all trifle and negligible matters that you should not spend a majority of your time worrying about. Do not let the pre-wedding stress get to you and cause you needless anxiety (Take note: You would want to look your best for your wedding day and for the wedding photos). Instead, try to focus on the fact that you are marrying the love of your life, zero on that alone and forget all about the insignificant matters that would not affect the course of your wedding anyhow. So the next time you feel like a rather unimportant detail is causing you to stress, breathe in and relax and envision yourself walking the aisle towards your lover who would soon be your husband to be.

 

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Romantic Ideas for Your Wedding Reception

 

 

Weddings are all about getting sentimental and feeling the ambiance of sweeping romance, fluff and emotions around you. After all, they are meant to commemorate the beginning of a couple’s wedded life together. However, when it comes to wedding receptions, the romance is traditionally limited to the bride and groom’s speeches while the decorations elsewhere are all about making a statement that conforms with whatever theme the couple may have selected. After attending a few weddings such as this one, it can feel a tad bit too generic, formulaic and all too familiar. And for the sentimental at heart, this could seem rather limiting.

So if you and you and your affianced are looking for fresh new ways to give your wedding reception a sentimental and romantic spin, take a look at the ideas below and you are guaranteed to have a romantic wedding reception that whether you are holding your grand reception at the Teatrillo or somewhere more subtle, you are guaranteed to melt the hearts of even the most embittered cynics amongst your guests.

1.) Have the reception at the site where your fiancé proposed

Simple yet unique and is guaranteed to make you relive the moment he proposed to you. This is a romantic idea as it incorporates another significant milestone you and your husband to be already experienced: your engagement!

2.) Choose locales that are inherently romantic

There are some locations and sites that are more romantic than some. A vineyard, for example, would need no further embellishments for a romantic or sentimental touch whereas a function room would need a full day’s work to give it that kind of ambiance. Look for locales that already have the general romantic feel when booking for your next reception.

3.) Let your wedding site inspire the theme of the wedding

If you are holding a garden wedding, then let the rest of the wedding aspects follow. Incorporate floral arrangements into your hair, wear a garden dress instead of the traditional wedding trail when you are walking down the aisle and so on. Having a general theme dictates how the rest of your wedding will look like and would additionally give it a more organized feel.

4.) Have facts about your “firsts” printed on every table for guests to read

This can include as many of the fond memories you and your spouse had made over the time you had spent together as a couple before you got married. It can include some facts about your first date, how you both met, your favorite getaway as a couple, etc. Additionally, this will also give your guests something entertaining and relevant to read while they are waiting for supper to be served.

5.) Decorate tables with framed photos of you and your fiancé together with family and friends

This is ideal for intimate and small weddings, and it will certainly give your guests a feeling of being genuinely involved with you. It makes your guests feel inclusive, and it is a great way to show them that you appreciate their presence as well as their support of you as a couple.

6.) Create a sentimental surprise

Couples can be rather flexible and creative with this. Some couples choose to incorporate it in their wedding vows, but another way of creating a sweet surprise is to read aloud a line of the love letter that your fiancé sent you before you got engaged. It is wonderfully sweet, and it is guaranteed to warm the heart of your husband to be.

7.) Opt for a romantic wish instead of an ordinary guestbook

Encourage guests to leave words of supports, little letters that are truly personalized for you and your groom to read once the festivities are over. It is sweet, simple yet sentimental and it certainly will give you something to look back on over the years you will have as a wedded couple. The words of encouragement they left could be your beacon of success as a loving couple.

10 Dishes and Drinks to Avoid at Any Wedding Reception

If there is one thing which can constantly remind your guests of your wedding even years after it happened that would be the wedding reception food. Talk about nostalgia, this can be good or bad, depending on the experience. Before you hire Philippine catering services, think of the types of food and beverage that you want your provider to serve beforehand.

Even choosing the wedding food is a process that may require the opinion and recommendations of other people although, of course, your chosen caterer can offer suggestions. Bottom-line, if you don’t want any of your guests to suffer from allergy, upset stomach or bad breath, just ditch these menu options.

1) Garlic-y food

Garlic and onion are fine in moderation, but too much of such can lead to having bad breath for hours. Considered as the worst offending ingredients, no one of your guests would love to see their meal with lots of garlic.

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2) Too spicy food

While it is an acquired taste, your guest will surely not appreciate a buffet table full of spicy options. Unless you are going to have a 100% spicy food-loving guest list, you will only leave them feeling hungry and thirsty. Surely, not a suitable environment for a wedding!

3) Bloating bread

Breads are used to complete a meal or as a garnish. However, unless your wedding theme is breakfast, endless bread options can only bloat out your guests’ tummies. If breads are really needed, make sure that serving them is properly paced. Don’t serve breads right before the party starts.

bloating-bread-on-wedding-reception

4) Sauce-y food

Pastas are okay, but only those that are not too sauce-y especially since weddings are formal events. These food items are disaster waiting to happen. Imagine how embarrassing it may get when you suddenly make a sound while slurping the sauce or when a kid unconsciously splashes the sauce on your gown or on that of the bridesmaid or any guest.

5) Cheese wheels

Cheese station and cheese wheel wedding cake are common nowadays. There is nothing completely wrong with these. However, make sure that you know your cheeses. A wheel of stinky cheese is enough to make your venue stench. Your guests will start leaving sooner than later.

cheese-wheel-on-wedding-reception

6) Stain-y wines

Red wine for toasting is okay, and they are also great as an accompaniment to main dishes. However, there are slight problems that come with drinking red wine. First is the possibility of spillage and second is that it stains the teeth and the corners of the mouth. Not good when you have guests to greet.

7) Teeth sinkers

Bits and pieces can get through the in-betweens of the teeth. Not that your guests will not appreciate the herbed meals, for instance. However, if these are unnecessary, then just skip them.

teeth-sinkers-on-wedding-reception

8) Excessive sweets

Candy or chocolate stations are ideal if you have kids on your guest list. Some kids, however, have no idea or deliberately ignore their limits. So, make sure that the kiddos understand that the candies are not unlimited otherwise you will have highly energetic tots around roaming around the reception, and irritated parents at that.

9) Hot dishes

Well, dishes should be served hot, right? But for a wedding summer on a tropical island like ours, it would be best to diversify the menu. A hot soup, hot meal and hot dessert? Your guests won’t like to swelter, so serve something cool instead. Serve it either at the start or the end of the main course.

hot-dishes-on-wedding-reception

10) Bubbly

Sometimes, a wedding is not complete without bubbly and sparkly drinks. Again, timing is important. For example, a glass of champagne before a speech can lead to a fizzy fiasco.

Evidently, there can be little compromises here and there. The most important thing to remember is while weddings should be a reflection of who you truly are, a little consideration will go a long way. Think of your guests as well as the weather, the dress code, the location, etc. In taking all the little details when making food and drink-related decisions, your wedding will surely be remembered for all the right reasons.

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