8 Traditional Filipino Wedding Customs

The Filipino culture is heavily influenced by Catholicism. If you have plans to wed a Filipino woman than there are quite a few traditional wedding customs that you may want to be aware of. Keep in mind that not every generation or family chooses to honor all of these customs, but many of them are designed to be part of a faith-based ceremony that combines Filipino folklore with the Catholic beliefs of the culture.

  1. 3 Day Wedding Celebration. A Filipino wedding is a true affair. It is quite typical to have a three day long celebration that includes family and guests at the home of the bride and groom. This tradition is a bit older but is still very popular.
  2. Family is Included. Filipino women are raised with the idea of family as the center of everything. It is typical that the family is heavily involved in the courtship and wedding process. Instead of having a bridal party, the bride and groom will have sponsors for their wedding which is typically composed of immediate family members.
  3. Groom Wears a Veil Too. Another older tradition that is part of Filipino wedding customs is that the groom will wear a veil as well. The idea is that when both individuals lift the veil during the ceremony, they are signifying becoming one with each other.
  4. Non-traditional Wedding Dress. Filipino brides traditionally wear a garment that consists of a long skirt that is high up on the ways and a cropped blouse with large sleeves. The groom is to wear a Barong Tagalog. This is part of the cultural significance that goes along with the wedding.
  5. Bride Hopes for Rain. The Filipino culture believes that rain on your wedding day is a sign of prosperity and good fortune for the marriage ahead. For this reason the bride is likely to hope for rain on her wedding day.
  6. No Sharp Object Gifts. In traditional cultures kitchen items such as knives or scissors might be the ideal gift for new couple. However, Filipinos see sharp objects as a gift as a sign of bad block and discourage them from being offered at the wedding.
  7. Groom Asks Permission. As family is truly the center of all aspects of the Filipino culture, it should come as no surprise that the groom is still expected to ask the bride’s parents for permission to marry her. In fact, Filipinos believe that when you choose to date and pursue marriage with one individual you are choosing to do so with the entire family.
  8. Don’t Drop Anything. Steady hands are an important part of the wedding ceremony. Filipino folklore suggests that if the ring, 13 coins, or veil are dropped to any point during the wedding preparation or ceremony then it is assigned the marriage will be miserable and misfortunate.

As an outsider who is marrying into the Filipino culture it is important to understand what kinds of traditions are important to your bride and her family. Be sure to ask plenty of questions to understand what is expected of you and your role in the relationship and the wedding planning process.