I have coordinated many Filipino weddings throughout my 23 years in the wedding planning business. They are all different in their own special way. But here are 5 Filipino wedding traditions that are included in the wedding (a client may have 4 of 5 of them):
1. There is a BIG WEDDING PARTY, consisting of maid/matron of honor, best man, bridesmaids and groomsmen, flower girls, and bearers. There is also the PRINCIPAL SPONSORS. (the godparents, aka ninongs and ninangs, whom the couple respects and admires) They are part of the wedding entourage and typically are very generous in their gifting to the couple.
2. Majority (not all) of the Filipino wedding ceremonies that I have coordinated have taken place in a CATHOLIC CHURCH.
3. Men in the wedding party and many guests wear a BARONG TAGALOG, (The Traditional Filipino Men’s Formal Wear), with an undershirt and nice black slacks for the wedding.
4. During the ceremony, after the vows and rings have been exchanged, there is a UNITY CANDLE, VEIL AND CORD ceremony. There are SPONSORS for this. (aka SECONDARY SPONSORS who place and remove the items on the couple) At times, the 2 outer candles are lit by the mothers of the bride and groom rather than sponsors., and the bride and groom light the center unity candle with the 2 outer candles. MyBarong2.com has a great description of what each of these ceremonies represent.
5. Right after the first dance and special dances with the parents, there is the TRADITIONAL MONEY DANCE. Guests stand in line for the bride or groom, pin a bill ($1-$100, it is up to you) to the bride’s veil or dress or the groom’s attire and dance with them for a minute or so. It is a great time to catch up with them during the evening… and it is extra ‘honeymoon’ money.