At our wedding we would like to observe some Filipino traditions. To keep you all informed, here is a run-down of the rituals you will be observing during the ceremony and reception.
Sponsors/Godparents (Ninongs and Ninangs):
These are women and men whom the bride and groom respect and admire. They are sponsors of the couple attesting to their readiness for marriage and freedom to marry. They are often aunts and uncles or close friends of the family. Their participation is symbolic of the wisdom and support they will offer the new couple. Godparents are like second parents whom the bride and groom can turn to for counsel and encouragement in their married years.
During a specific point in the ceremony known as the Sanctus, a veil will be carefully pinned on top of the bride’s head and onto the shoulder of the groom. The veil symbolizes unity and that the couple shall be “clothed as one”.
After the veil is placed on both the bride and groom, a white cord will be loosely placed around the necks of the couple in a “figure eight” configuration. The cord symbolizes the lifelong bond or tie between the bride and groom.
During this ceremony the priest dribbles thirteen silver coins into the groom’s open palms, trickling like a waterfall into the bride’s hands. This symbolizes the couple’s commitment to mutually contribute to the relationship, their children, and their community.
Unity Candle Ceremony:
On either side of the unity candle is a long stemmed candle. The parents of the bride and groom each light their respective candle. When it comes time for the wedding couple to light the unity candle, the couple will light it with the candles that were lit by their parents. This symbolizes the union of these two families through the love and lifelong bond of their children.
The money dance is a wedding tradition that represents the hope of good fortune for the couple. It is a time during the wedding celebration where guests have the opportunity to pin money to the couple’s garments and take a turn dancing with the bride/groom. This represents the wish that good fortune is “rained” upon them, while also helping the couple financially as they begin their life together.