“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.