When planning to marry a Filipina, knowing what is the Filipino culture for weddings is an integral part of the planning process. Every culture is unique, and for Filipinos, theirs is something to respect and keep.
The Filipino wedding culture comes in several stages, the first of which is the wedding proposal, or in Filipino language, “Pagtatapat”. “Pagtatapat is when the man asks the girl to marry him. Wedding proposals, extravagant or not, are always unique to the couple, and more often than not, bring the woman to tears, not of pain of course, but of joy. The couple may then set a time and date to announce their engagement to their respective families.
After the wedding proposal comes the next stage, the “Pamanhikan”. This is the stage when the man, together with his family meets the family of the girl to discuss wedding preparations. The Pamanhikan is often done in the house of the woman, but if both parties agree, they can have it somewhere neutral, such as a cozy restaurant for instance.
The next stage is the Pa-alam. This is when the actual wedding planning takes place. Ideally, this should start at least 6 months before the “big day”. There are many things to plan for – invitations, entourage, gowns, church and reception, and many more, and a few weeks time to cram all these in may not be enough.
The Pa-alam stage is perhaps the most stressful part of the Filipino Culture for Weddings, and so if they’re planning a big wedding, the future bride and groom may choose to hire the services of a wedding planner to get things started and organized for them. Planning a wedding can be a very overwhelming experience, especially when the wedding involves two cultures, and a wedding planner makes less stressful for the couple, allowing them time to focus on welcoming their new life together. But of course, should the couple choose to do things their own way, they can always do so.
Filipino weddings are usually grandiose in the sense that the wedding ceremony is conducted in a church where there is a long line of entourage composed of dozens of principal sponsors some of whom are unknown to the couple but which apparently are public figures, maid of matron of honor, groom’s men, bride’s maid, junior bride’s maids, and the flower girls. After all have settled in their respective seats, the bride walks down the aisle in a long gown, with (or without) her father beside her.
The mass then starts, and within the mass, the exchange of vows. After the mass, a pictorial takes place inside the church itself. The pictorial usually takes very long – sometimes as long as 30 minutes to one hour! But the guests don’t seem to mind as they will have their chance with the bride and groom towards the end of the pictorial, anyway.
The reception comes next. Some couples choose to have their wedding reception at home where the guests can be more comfortable and they can save a little more money, but others would much rather have their reception done more privately, such as in hotel or garden settings.
You might think that understanding what is the Filipino culture for weddings is no longer important these days, but that is not true at all because Filipinos, even modern Filipinos, still value the Filipino culture a lot.