Filipino weddings in Florida and their wedding traditions
Filipino weddings are a fusion of modern day and historic traditions. Traditionally, Filipino weddings are a celebration of two families becoming one rather than two people coming together. Filipinos are very family centered and that plays a big role on their weddings. Filipino wedding attire like the Barong and Filipiniana along with the traditional Tinikling folk dance are just a few of the many customs modern filipinos will incorporate to their Florida weddings.
FILIPINO WEDDING CEREMONY
There are a variety of Filipino wedding traditions with many coming from the catholic religion. with more than 80% of filipinos in the United States being catholic, it is customary to have their wedding ceremonies held in catholic churches. Like any catholic church wedding, there are many rituals and readings that take place during the course of a catholic wedding ceremony. To filipinos these catholic rituals and the union of two individuals is an important and emotional part of a Filipino wedding ceremony.
Filipino Wedding Sponsors
A unique aspect of Filipino weddings is the importance placed on very significant members of the couples family members. These are family members that are extremely important to the couples lives and in Filipino wedding culture get assigned a title, such as sponsor and secondary sponsor. In addition to the bridesmaids and groomsmen, this is an honor and can consist of a couple or several couples. During the wedding ceremony the sponsors are invited to join the bride and groom in the blessing.
Along with the sponsors there are four sets of additional sponsors that include a coin sponsor, veil sponsor, cord sponsor and candle sponsor. These additional sponsors consist of close family and extended family members and are a part of the catholic wedding ceremonies rituals.
The Arras | Catholic Coin Ceremony
There are 13 Arras (coins) that are carried in a pouch and brought to the alter by the pre-determined coin sponsors. They are bless for the groom to give to his bride as a gift as he promises to take care of her and their future family. Although traditionally, it is the groom who makes the promises, in recent times couples are mutually supportive and make promises to each other. The coins represent their future children and both bride and groom promise to always love and care for their children and each other.
During the catholic veil ceremony, the bride and groom are forever bonded and recogized as one. the Veil ceremony involves the sponsors draping one side of the white veil over the brides head and the other side of the veil over the grooms shoulder to symbolize their unity. This tradition is also a represents warm wishes of good luck good health and protection for the rest of their lives as husband and wife.
The Yugal or infinity shaped cord is a representation of the couples union and bond. The cord sponsors place the Yugal on top of the veil as the couple receives their blessing from the catholic priest.
Unity Candle | Catholic Candle Ceremony
The final Filipino wedding ritual that symbolizes the bonding of husband and wife and two families in Filipino culture is the candle ceremony. Two outer candles represent the couple as individuals before their wedding day. The candles represent the bride and groom and their past experiences and their individual families on this wedding day. The bride and groom then take a candle and each light a single unity candles that signifies their oneness and they extinguish the single candles they hold, that represents the ending of their pasts.
TRADITIONAL FILIPINO WEDDING ATTIRE
The Filipiniana | Filipino Wedding Dress
Filipino wedding dresses are one of a kind. Known as the Filipiniana, it is usually a two-piece dress with large sleeves and made from high quality fabric, with spectacular embroidery and bright colors. Most modern incarnations of the Filipiniana have evolved into elegant white gowns you typically see, yet still have a resemblance to the traditional Filipiniana. Most Filipino brides choose typical white wedding dresses with elaborate designs and embroidery.
Barong Tagalog | Filipino Groom Attire
A Barong is a traditional Filipino shirt that male members of a family are expected to wear at weddings and special events. Barongs are usually made from light weight fabric and embroidered along the front in a U-shape. Males will wear their Barongs untucked over an under shirt.
FILIPINO WEDDING RECEPTION TRADITIONS
Like most weddings you might attend, Filipino wedding receptions are a celebration of the couples nuptials. There will be first dances, speeches and prayer before dinner is serviced. Filipino Wedding receptions will have amazing food and incredible memories for those in attendance.
Filipino Money Dance
A fun part of most traditional Filipino weddings is dollar dance or apron dance. Regardless of what you call it, this is fun tradition that many times other cultural weddings share in common. The Dj will ask the men and women to line up separately and wait their turn to dance with the bride or groom. The money paid to the bride and groom for a dance is meant to bring good luck and help the new husband and wife in their new life together. There are always a lot of laughs and good times that happen during the money dance, which always makes this tradition fun to photograph at a wedding.
Filipino Folk Dances
Filipinos also have a few unique dances that will take place during dinner or at some point during the reception. The Itik-Itik, Sayaw Sa Bangko and Pantomina are Filipino cultural dances that pay homage to a very rich Filipino history. These are beautiful dances that help keep the history of Filipinos continually passed on to newer generations.
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