- 8 years ago
- Wedding: October 2010
Mark and I really want to incorporate some of my Filipino culture into our wedding ceremony and so after speaking with my mom I began to do some research on different wedding traditions…
Filipino Wedding Ceremony Traditions
Filipino Weddings reflect the strong traditions of family (& extended family) and symbolism. Thus, Filipino wedding ceremonies typically involve many people, and the wedding rituals typically “speak” to the couple personally.
Beyond the usual bridal party, the Filipino wedding involves people who are also significant in the couple’s life: the Principal Sponsors and the Secondary Sponsors.
The Principal Sponsors (aka Ninang and Ninong): These are women and men whom the bride and groom respect & admire. They are, as in the early days of the Church, sponsors of the couple attesting to their readiness for marriage and freedom to marry. These are often aunts and uncles or close friends of the family. In the Philippines, they are the official witnesses of the state and they sign the marriage license. Worldwide, their participation is symbolic of the wisdom & support they shall offer the new couple. The number of sponsors can vary from a single couple to many couples. The Principal sponsors are part of the bridal procession. At the nuptial blessing, they may also be invited to come up with the celebrant and to extend their right hands to join in the prayer of blessing. In doing so, they are fulfilling their roles as sponsors.
The Secondary Sponsors: These are women and men whom the couple chooses to involve in their ceremony because of their affinity or friendship with them. They are typically relatives or close friends.
There are four sets of Secondary Sponsors:
The Coin Sponsors – those who will present the Unity Coins / Arras. Often, they will also provide the Unity Coins.
Alternately, the coins may be brought to the altar by a coin bearer who is a child (relative or friend).
The Wedding Coins (also known as: Arras [ah-rahs] or Arrhae [ar-rah-heh]) have traditionally symbolized the prosperity that would be shared by the new couple, and the groom’s promise to provide for the welfare of the new family.
*However, today’s couples embrace life & face the world together in a more mutually supportive way than ever before. So, the Wedding Coins have come to symbolize the couple’s commitment to mutually contributing to their relationship, their children, and their community.
The Veil Sponsors – those who will place a white veil over the shoulders of the couple.
The Couple’s Veil (white) has come to be a symbol of purity. Its original meaning was the symbol of the presence of the Lord, as the cloud was a symbol of His presence. It is placed over the shoulders of the couple to symbolize their union and being “clothed as one” in unity.
The Cord Sponsors – those who will place a knotted cord over the heads of the couple, to lay on their shoulders.
The Cord is a symbol of the couple’s bond; that indeed they are no longer two but one in their new life as a couple.
The Candle Sponsors – those who will light the candles on the altar.
The candles symbolize the Light of Christ, the same light they received at Baptism and now receive again to lead them in their new life as a couple. Some couples choose to have their mothers or fathers light the candles in this ritual.
We may not incorporate all of these things but I definitely want to try and stay true to my roots. I am so proud to be Filipina and I think it will really make our ceremony that much more memorable and special by doing so.