The marriages in the Philippines are held after some spent by the men and women in courtship as well as engagement. If you read the history of Filipino Wedding Traditions, you will find that during pre-colonial times the Filipino wedding could be completed in three days. But with the passage of time, the wedding traditions have changed a lot.
Following are the main features of Filipina marriage tradition in modern times.
Legal Age for Marriage
The Family Code of the Philippines specifies that the male and female above the 18 years of age may get married. The consent for the marriage should be freely expressed in front of the competent officer.
In Filipino wedding traditions, the groom and his parents go the bride’s home and ask the consent of her parents for the marriage. Once the proposal is accepted, other matters like fixing of date for marriage, the wedding plan, the guest list etc. are discussed. Generally the groom’s family bears the expenses of the marriage.
It is actually the invitation in which the couples go to their relatives and inform the date and venue of the marriage. They may deliver invitation cards also. The wedding invitation card includes the name of sponsors. The sponsors may be selected by the priest or with the advice of spouse’s parents. Normally there are six male and six female sponsors. The marriages are held primarily in the month of June.
In a Filipino Weddings ceremony, the groom usually wears a Barong Tagalog which is collarless, while the brides wear while gown and veil. The only while colour is assumed to be good and they are not allowed to wear other colours.
The Filipino Weddings ceremony takes place in long hours and a lot of rituals are performed. The bride arrives later than the groom. The rings are exchanged between the couples and the bride is presented coin (arrhae) by the groom as a symbol of monetary gift. The arrhae consists of 13 pieces of gold or silver coins. The candle sponsors light the pair of candles. This is followed by the pinning of veil and draping of the yugal (cord) over the shoulders of the bride and groom. It is normally shaped as figure "8" and symbolizes fidelity of spouses. The cord may be of silk, flowers, coins, chains etc. The rings and coins are kept by the separate persons during wedding and there are known as the custodian of those items. There are two types of sponsors in the wedding. They are named as primary sponsors and secondary sponsors. The secondary sponsors come into action only during cord and candle rituals while other rituals are per performed by primary sponsors.
You may gift anything to a newlywed couple except sharp objects like Knives etc. There is belief that the sharp object causes marriage failure. The rain is believed to be good for marriage and rice is thrown towards the bride to symbolize rain.