Filipino Wedding Traditions

      And how to include them in your wedding!

      Anyone who has ever attended Filipino weddings will tell you that they are quite the celebration and a perfect fusion of modern and traditional. For the Filipino bride and groom, a wedding isn’t just two people promising each other love and support- no, Filipino weddings are a way of two families coming together and becoming one big family. It really is a sight to behold and quite heart-warming at that.

      Another thing that I find truly fascinating about Filipino weddings is that no matter how big or how small they are, there are some traditions that are considered sacred and no Filipino themed wedding will be without. For those of you planning your own wedding, have a look at some of these traditions and see how you can include them in yours for a truly Filipino feel!

      Wearing Traditional Filipino Wear

      Barong Tagalog

      A groom in a suit is a sight to behold but for a Filipino wedding, a barong is the way to go. This is a traditional Filipino “suit” of sorts which is basically a thin tunic made out of pineapple fibers. Worn with an undershirt (it is quite transparent) and untucked. There are short-sleeved designs but long-sleeved ones are recommended for weddings for a more formal look for the groom and groomsmen. An added bonus of choosing the barong is it can be quite refreshing especially for summer weddings.

      As for the bride, you can opt for gowns with the butterfly sleeves known as Saya or perhaps donning accessories made by Filipino craftsmen out of materials from the Philippines. The sky is the limit as to how creative you can get and how obvious or subtle you want to go with your theme. If you do opt for the traditional butterfly sleeves, you are sure to find gorgeous contemporary takes on an old favorite.

      As an Orange County wedding photographer, I truly enjoy taking photos of couples dressed in traditional-inspired attire.

      Cords, Candles, and Coins

      Candle For Catholic Wedding


      What do these have to do with a Filipino wedding, you may ask? Well, these are used as part of the ceremony and have long been a part of Filipino weddings.

      • The lighting of Candles – This is an old-time tradition and can involve a couple of candles to symbolize God’s presence and to signify unity as well.
      • Arras – These are coins that are either gifted by wedding sponsors and carried by a coin bearer to the altar. The coins are then passed between the couple or only from the groom to the bride. To strictly follow tradition, you will want 13 gold coins or a mix of gold and silver.
      • Cord – Called Yugal, the cord is knotted to form an infinity symbol to be draped over the couple by a sponsor. This is to symbolize the bond between the couple. What makes this fun is you can choose the material for your chord be it silk, or flowers, or crystals. The choice is up to you and some couples are even know to re-use their parent’s cord.

      Food and Dancing

      Money Dance

      It is not a Filipino wedding if there is no food and dancing. For your wedding to have a truly Filipino feel, you can either choose to incorporate a few dishes from your hometown or opt for the most quintessential Filipino food. There are quite a number of Filipino food caterers in Los Angeles and the Orange County area and are sure to bring in a truly Filipino flavor to your food and your wedding reception! For a fun, contemporary twist, you can also hire a Filipino food truck to provide the food. One popular food caterer is Yummy Taho Sorbetes. They serve delectable Taho (Silkened Tofu) and Sorbetes ( A Classic Filipino Ice-Cream).


      Nothing quite compares to delicious Filipino food after a lovely wedding ceremony unless it’s some traditional Filipino dances. These usually take place during the reception and gives the guests a chance to appreciate more of the Filipino culture. The money dance is one of the popular tradition that makes a Filipino wedding even more memorable. Some couples may choose to hire dancers or leave it to family members to dance the itik-itik, pantomina atbp!

      For the newly-wedded couple, you can attempt the tinikling. If you want something less risky, you can opt for the money dance where guests pin money on your clothes as you dance. This symbol of being wished good fortune and what newlyweds don’t want that?

      Having enjoyed working as a Los Angeles Wedding Photographer, I have enjoyed taking part in this wedding. Nothing is more meaningful than preserving these priceless moments for the couple. Let’s make a memory and let’s make them count.

      Let’s Make a Memory is a wedding photography and videography studio in Los Angeles. We photograph and film weddings in Orange County and San Diego County. As destination wedding photographers and videographers, we also travel to Las Vegas, Manila, and anywhere in the world to document your wedding.

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