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Filipino Wedding Customs Continue…(2)

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Pa-alam or wedding announcement to elders of bride’s family is considered a must in Filipino wedding customs…

However, once it is completed, you will find that the couple must visit the family priest or the parish priest as per the Filipino wedding customs. This is especially considered essential if the bride or groom is from a different parish. Interestingly, you will note that the priest is conjoined with the duty of telling the bride and the groom their duties and responsibilities as a husband and wife and also discussing with them the possible impediments to the union.

The Despedida de Soltera or the Bachelorette Party

In Filipino wedding customs it is considered the bride’s final goodbye to spinsterhood. You will find that the bride’s friends and family host a send off party for the bride. The groom and his friends and family are also invited for the occasion.

The Alay-Itlog kay Sta.Clara

Rain on the wedding day is considered auspicious in Filipino wedding customs. However, the bride and the groom visit the shrine of Sta Clara to offer eggs to the patron saint of good weather praying for a rain free wedding day!

Kasal Kumpisal or the Cleansing ceremony

Most wedding customs demand that the bride and groom go through a cleansing ceremony before they wed. So you will not be surprised to know that the Filipino bride and groom too, are expected to cleanse themselves. The bride and groom go for final confessions a few days before the wedding and partake of the bread and wine during the nuptial mass.

The Wedding Dress and the Ceremony

The bride is often dressed in the White wedding gown that is popular in the west. However, some brides may wear black silk as in the Spanish tradition. The bride carries a banquet of flowers with orange blossoms and a heirloom rosary.

The groom dresses in a transparent shirt called the barong over a white T shirt and black slacks. The shirt is often elaborately embroidered and made of silk or jusi.

The godfathers, grandfathers, uncles and aunts of the bride and groom stand in two groups on either side of the couple. They are called ninogs and ninangs.

Generally, the wedding ceremony is Catholic. You will find that the ceremony begins with the lighting of the Unity candle. The parents of the bride and groom light one Unity candle each and the two candles so lighted will then be used by the bride and groom to light a single candle also called the Unity candle to symbolize the union of the two families.

Next, two members from the families of the bride and the groom will pin a veil on the shoulder of the groom and drape it over the head of the bride. Another two members will place a lasso or silk chord around the necks of the bride and the groom in the figure of eight. The groom will then give the bride arrhae or thirteen coins which have been blessed by the priest. The above ceremonies you will appreciate, signifies the everlasting bond and love between the bride and the groom and the grooms commitment to dedicate his life to the well being of his spouse and their future children.

When the wedding ceremonies are complete the bride and groom participate in the reception and receive the congratulations of all their family and friends. Food and drink are served and is followed by hours of dancing and merry making.

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