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A Filipino Wedding - What To Expect

Nov 25, 2007
For almost all women, walking down the aisle in a long flowing, white gown is a childhood dream, and you are about to make her dream come true. Before you can exchange vows with a Filipina lady, you have to observe some traditional practices like taking your parents with you and meeting the girl's parents to formally ask for her hand. Once both parties reach an agreement, this is the time when wedding plans and details will be discussed.

In the Philippines, the male usually foots the bill for the wedding. Sometimes, the bride's family will offer to pay for other incidental expenses but this is possible if she is marrying a Filipino. As a foreigner, expect that all expenses will be shouldered by you.

Weddings with reception in the Philippines can run anywhere from P50,000 to 250,000 pesos, that is about US$1,000 to $5,000. This includes the fees for the use of the church, facilities and food for the reception, transportation to and from the church and reception venue, gifts, singers and entertainers for the wedding ceremony and reception, flowers and decorations, invitations, photographer or videographer, dresses for the bridesmaids and bride's parents, wedding cake, wedding gown, wedding rings, accommodation expenses for yourself, the bride's family, relatives and guests.

It is also a practice to get as many sponsors as you possibly can to witness your wedding. Some couples even have 50 pairs of male (ninong) and female (ninang) sponsors. You can also expect hordes of relatives and neighbors to be there for your wedding.

It does not matter whether you send them invitations or not, because for them they are automatically invited to the festivities. A lechon baboy (roasted pig) is ever-present in weddings and you must be prepared to buy more than one.

Filipinos love to party and celebrate, and a wedding is one grand occasion. You will be expected to participate in all the colorful wedding rituals. Expect also for the party to last even until the following day.

If you both prefer a civil ceremony, you will be spared the lavish preparations and expenses of a grand wedding. Two sponsors for each of you is enough to act as witness.

The Filipinos, especially the women are very superstitious. Expect them to practice wedding superstitions that even seem ridiculous. Among these are beliefs that the bride should not try on her wedding gown before the wedding day or it will not push through, altar-bound couples are accident-prone so expect yourself to be barred from long drives or traveling before the wedding.

If you allow your bride to sit ahead of you during the wedding ceremony you will be a henpecked husband, and to avoid bad luck, you must arrive ahead of your bride at the church. And whether you believe it or not, take note of this: Do not allow your Filipina bride to step on your foot while walking towards the altar because doing so will make you agree to her every whim.
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