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How to pull off a Filipiniana wedding theme

admin May 28,2011 1 Comment

Words by Aaron Dante Mamiit 

Why choose a Filipiniana wedding?

Choose a church with a genuine Filipiniana mood to it, such as the old churches of Manila


As mentioned, a Filipiniana wedding is a very simple concept that provides a lot of flexibility to the couple and to the other wedding organizers. Because the theme is close to the heart, it often translates to a casual and comfortable event, while at the same time retaining the intimacy of the sacrament of marriage. 

What makes a Filipiniana wedding?

To help you plan your Filipiniana wedding, here are some tips and pointers. 


Invitations to send out for your wedding should of course be in Filipino. For an added effect, you may use handmade paper that’s being sold in stationery stores. To make it even more dramatic, you could print it using old cursive with the paper having burnt edges and corners. 

Wedding clothes

Wedding clothes should have the Old Manila feel – for men, the classic barong tagalong, and for the women, Maria Clara-inspired gowns. The bridal dress should be simple and pure white, complete with a panuelo or a neck scarf. 

Don’t make the mistake of adding significant color to your Filipiniana gowns and barongs by wearing colored undershirts underneath, or having the barong themselves colored brightly. Light colors could be fine, but intense violets and reds are not. It takes away the innocence and purity often associated with these clothes. 

Wedding venue

The church you should choose should have a genuine Filipiniana mood to it, such as the old churches of Manila. You could have the church decorated with simple fabrics, and for the flower decorations, choose the ever-classic fragrance of sampaguita. 

Wedding ceremony

Instead of the bride arriving in a limousine, you can replace the car with a horse-drawn kalesa. You can even have the driver wear a uniform reminiscent of the old Spanish guards. 

Choose to have the Nuptial Mass in Filipino. Saying your vows in Filipino, in the words that you both use everyday, would make the words more personal and close to your hearts. You may also pick out your favorite OPM love songs for the choir to sing during the communion, recessional, and picture-taking before you all proceed to your reception. 


The reception is where you can truly indulge in your Filipiniana theme.

A fiesta atmosphere in your reception will keep everyone comfortable – who doesn’t love the festivity and fun of a fiesta? Instead of drapes and curtains decorating the reception hall, use banderitas instead to create a jovial and casual atmosphere. The centerpiece of the tables, instead of flowers, can be a basket of tropical fruits such as mangoes, pineapples, etc.

Have your favorite Filipino food served buffet style. It would be great if you can get a caterer that specializes in Filipino dishes, served in palayok pots for the complete fiesta feel. Just don’t forget the lechon right at the center of the table! In a December wedding, you may even have bibingka and puto bumbong stalls, December favorites, at the side of the reception hall.

Fun games such as pukpok palayok and pabitin can replace traditional reception activities. Have fun as you watch and even participate in these classic Filipino activities.

Wedding favors

For your wedding favors, you may opt to have gifts made out of indigenous materials. Recommendations for your gifts are native delicacies such as flavored lambanog in a bamboo wine holder and local handicrafts such as wicker baskets filled with flowers. 

The allure of a Filipiniana wedding

A Filipiniana wedding would be one the most festive themes that you can choose, which is especially attractive to couples who simply love to have fun. Your guests will appreciate the simplicity and casualness of your wedding, and at the same time enjoy the festivities of your reception.

Most importantly, both bride and groom will feel comfortable and right at home as they embark on a new journey as husband and wife.

 June is the month of weddings, with church bells singing left and right to celebrate the union of a couple. While various themes and gimmicks are available to all husbands-and-wives-to-be, you might want to take a look at a simple but very memorable type of wedding – the Filipiniana wedding.


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1 Responses to "How to pull off a Filipiniana wedding theme"

  1. In your June issue, on page seven there is photo of horse-drawn kalesa. You could have used a better picture than to show one that has an american flag being used as a dung pouch!

    I am an american, married to a filipina( she’s the best thing that ever happened to me!!!!) and since our marrige several years ago, I have imersed my self in everything Philippines, and am very impressed with your culture, your people, your food, your islands, everything! And our two countries have such a long history of cooperation and friendly relations. But come on! edit your pictures a little better!

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