Unique Wedding Traditions in the Philippines
Nowadays, we often witness modern weddings. The bride wears gowns in Western designs and the groom wears a suit or a tuxedo. The theme is adopted from a Hollywood movie, and the ceremony is held in English.
Since traditions are deeply rooted in the Philippine culture, old wedding customs and practices still influence most Filipino weddings today. No matter how westernized the wedding is, a part of it will still be distinctly Filipino.
The Philippines is quite rich in cultural traditions especially those relating to weddings. In fact, there are a number of pre-wedding as well as post-wedding practices that can be experienced only in the country.
In the early times, dota (dowry) is given by the groom’s family to the bride as a form of engagement. This amount assures the future of the bride if ever the groom dies early. Today, although some parts of the country still practice the dowry system, most Filipino couples opt for the modern engagement. The groom asks for the bride’s hand in marriage by giving her a diamond engagement ring. Diamonds are preferred due to the belief that the more expensive the ring, the more sincere the groom is in marrying his bride.
Religions are instrumental to how marriage is practiced and understood. Some religions share similar beliefs while others show glaring differences. Muslim and Christian marriages are classic examples of differing perspectives that are often compared to each other. These two religions have their own unique characteristics regarding marriage’s value and importance.
Sacrament and contract
For Christianity, marriage is seen as a sacrament. Under this context, marriage is perceived to last. This orientation is primarily influenced by St. Augustine who advocates the view that marriage is a symbolic union of those who are practicing the Catholic faith.
Meanwhile in Islam, marriage is a contract governed by its sacred laws and readily acknowledged by society. With this, partners do not only recognize their marital union. They are also expected to agree with all the corresponding duties and responsibilities that it entails.
Wedding celebrations need not be expensive. Yes it entails costs but not to the extent of burning the couple’s pockets in spending for the mere preparations alone. With more important family expenses coming, couples should be more practical.
Practicality means getting good values at lower costs. Good value constitutes spending for all the important aspects of wedding celebrations but cost-cutting on those aspects that merely enhance the festivity of the occasion. Giving away wedding souvenirs is an example of a practice whose importance to the couple is on a case-to-case basis.
Yes, giving away souvenirs is a traditional Filipino wedding practice but is it really necessary? Is it wise to spend for such or not?