Wednesday, February 21, 2018

title pic Wedding Budget Survival

Posted by admin on June 24, 2012

Going about a wedding plan is stressful.  Here as follows are some tips to ease away headaches and perhaps just go with the motion and flow towards the wedding day.

You know very well that you are financially independent.  Consider this planning for a wedding your “Baptism of Fire”.    Understand what details are important to you.   So, set priorities.  Why, because it determines how you will go about in planning or allocating a budget while raising a family.  Since this is after all the end result of the celebration.

Wedding is a celebration to be shared to all and everyone.  Ask yourself, “What matters most to us?”  Determine if it’s a need or a want.    Then, decide on the top three (3) most important elements to be one’s priority.

In the top three devote much of the time and allocate the funds as needed.   Stick to a reasonable wedding budget.   Next, pick the least three elements, also as to time and expense.

In deciding your choices ask yourself practical and pragmatic questions.   Must the wedding go on a limited or unlimited budget?    Must the guest be limited or unlimited?     Must it be formal or an informal wedding?   This is just but some of the questions to be probed and asked about together as a couple.

Noticeably and perhaps admittedly, the Philippine culture gives much importance to parents in coming up with the least of guests to be invited.   These are you close kin’s or relatives, and close family friends.

Having decided on the number of guests on each side be sure to stick to it.   Your choice must be based on priorities and a lot of considerations.   Never feel a sense of guilt that the uninvited will be offended or overlooked.    Ideally, it should be on an equal number of guests.   This is, of course, the traditional set-up.

There is an option to deviate from the norm.   As young professional of today make your own wedding lists.   Be sure to trim them down and not to add up the guest list.   One needs a meeting of the minds in order to appease everyone.

In the reception, limit your dinner to three (3) courses but still amazing to the palate of your guests.   For sure you can still have a tasty meal on a budget.

A Filipino wedding is indeed a family oriented celebration.   It is a gathering of close friends and kin or a reunion of relatives.

So the number to show up and be counted should be done strictly, especially when you send out the invitations.   That is the importance of the RSVP.

Remember, a wedding need not be fancy.  In the context of the principle of matrimony the heart of the wedding is the vows said for each other and with a priest blessing your union.

It is this simplicity done in a sacred and holy manner, with all the elements of dignity and the charm of simplicity that matters.

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title pic The Principal Sponsors – “Ninong and Ninang”

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God parenting at a marriage  requires a base of established kinships or friendship of long standing, one presupposing mutual care and concern and not one necessitated on a personal or family interest as called for by occasion.

The bride and the groom to be, usually consult their respective parents in drawing up the list of sponsors.  They might be close elders such as a favorite aunt, uncle or close family friends.  Most of the time this is where involvement of parents sometimes leads to a clash with their son’s and daughter’s as to their preference or choice of sponsors.  There will be arguments when parents insist that a certain person be included in the list of sponsors.  One need to compromise to severe misunderstandings, so make sure your choice is justified.

As sponsors, the “ninong” and “ninang”, Filipino words attached to terms of endearment for a close person are supposed to be second parents or counselors to whom the young couple may run for succor or guidance.  At core, it is a very special relationship.   Being a sponsor at a marriage then carries with it some moral responsibility and obligation for the young couple.

However, the principal sponsors’ original function by the dictates of matrimony are to stand for all intents and purpose, as witness to the marriage.

Strictly, then, a marrying couple only needs two sponsors.  The present, the culture of wedding witness, as sponsors have evolved into the general thinking of: “the more of them the merrier.”

Sponsors are usually chosen for certain specific qualities: such as a spring of worldly wisdom from which the young would imbibe, for character traits, or achievements worth emulating, or for being models of respectability.

In reality, what validates and perhaps, the main consideration in the choice of principal sponsors is the expectation of an expensive wedding present or gift likely to be received.  Particularly, if the sponsor and the young couple are very close, gifts offered wholeheartedly are on a personal level.

Always bear in mind that the end result of a wedding ceremony is the married life.  It is happy to note that aside from the parents and close friends, your choice of “ninang or ninong” are close by to assist either financially or emotionally.

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title pic The Nuptial Blessing-Roman Catholic Ceremony

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This is a declaration of blessing after marriage.  The priest sprinkles the spouses with holy water and extends his hands to give his blessing in behalf of the Roman Catholic Church. The following is the priest’s declaration of nuptial blessing:

Nuptial Blessing

Nuptial Blessing

“Holy Father, creator of the universe, maker of man and woman in your likeness, source of blessing for the married life, we humble pray to you for this woman who today is united with her husband in this sacrament of marriage.

May your fullest blessing come upon her and her husband so that they may together rejoice in your gift of married love and enrich your Church with their children.

Lord, may they both praise you when they are happy and turn to you in their sorrows. May they be glad that you help them in their work and know that you are with them in their need.  May they pray to you in the community of the Church and be your witness in the world.

May they reach old age in the company of friends and come at last to the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Now that you have received the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony, I admonish you to remain faithful to one another.

To the bride, love your husband and be a good housewife; persevere in faith and love and holiness.

To the groom, love your wife as Christ loves his Church and live with her in the holy fear of the Lord.

Now bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing.  May Jesus, who was a guest at the wedding in Cana, bless you and your families and friends.

May Jesus, who loved the Church, to the end, always fill your heart with love.

May he grant that, as you believe in his resurrection, so you may wait for him in joy and hope.

And may the almighty God bless you all, the father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

The foregoing declaration is an official blessing rite of a priest to spouses.  Though official in manner, it is best to seek approval from the church before printing to form part of your personal missal in the wedding ceremony.

In like manner, it is best for young couples to be wed to read, absorb and understand the content of the priest’s declaration of blessing in order to give a spiritual perspective to the married life the couples are about to undertake.  To state directly, that marriage is no laughing matter to be taken for granted.  Admittedly, due to the anxiety and excitement attendant to the wedding ceremony the words as said by the priest are not really understood by the spouses and the congregation in general.

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title pic Rite of Marriage

Posted by admin on June 16, 2012

This is the heart of the wedding ceremony.  This is the liturgical part where parties express their free consent and volition to take each other as husband and wife.  And without this consent, there is no marriage.

The following marital rites are taken, officially, from the Roman Catholic Ritual.


Priest; Dearly beloved N and N, you are here today to seal your love with an eternal bond before the Church. I assure you of the prayers of the community that God pours his abundant blessing on your love and help you carry out the duties of the married state. (Addressing the congregation), dear brother and sisters, may I ask you to help them with your prayers and accept them as a new couple in our Christian community.


Priest; May I now ask you to answer truthfully the following questions. (To the bride), Did you come here of your own free will to bind yourself forever in love and the service of your husband?

Bride: Yes, Father

Priest: (To the groom), did you come here of your own free will to bind yourself for ever in the love and service of your wife?

Groom: Yes Father

Priest: Are you both ready to raise as good Christians the children whom God will give you?

Bride & Groom: Yes, Father


Priest: N and N, since you wish to contract Holy Matrimony, please join your hands and express your intention before God and his Church.

Priest: (bride), do you take (groom) here present, for your lawful husband, according to the rite of our Holy Mother, the Church?

Bride: Yes, I do.

Priest: Do you give yourself to him as his wife?

Bride: Yes I do.

Priest: Do you accept him as your lawful husband?

Bride:  Yes I do.

Priest: N (groom), do you take N (bride), here present, for lawful wife, according to the rite of our Holy Mother, the Church.

Groom: Yes, I do.

Priest: Do you give yourself to her as your husband?

Groom: Yes I do.

Priest: Do you accept her as your lawful wife?

Groom: Yes, I do.

Priest: Now please recite together this prayer

Bride & Groom:  Grant us , O Lord, to be one heart and one soul, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.


Priest: And I, by authority of the Church, calling on all those present here as witness, confirm and bless, the bond of marriage which you have contracted. In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Under the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, this gives testament, that the spouses, indeed, are the “real ministers” of the Sacrament of Marriage.  The priest’s role is just to assist in the ceremony and receives the consent of the spouses.  In addition, the priest gives its blessing and recognition in behalf of the Roman Catholic Church.



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title pic Pre Hispanic Wedding Ceremony Rites

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Wedding Ceremony

Wedding Ceremony

Historical knowledge is vital to bring back awareness to a once civilized ancient wedding tradition, uniquely Filipino in nature.  Let it not be said that we are copycats in our wedding rites, as influenced by Spanish and American culture.  But due to the Spanish legacy the happy wedding times of our ancestors is now a thing of the past.

The following illustrates once upon a time the beauty of our pre-Hispanic wedding ceremony for everyone to recall.

With the dowry agreed upon, presented and offered by both families of the bride and groom, the next step is setting the date of the wedding.  The wedding ceremony takes three days every with every member of the clan involved in the preparation.

On the first day, the bride and the groom are carried separately in a procession moving towards the “babaylan’s” (a high priest) house where the wedding rites take place.  The priest joins their hands on a plate of raw rice and blesses them.  This is followed by the start of feasting until the next day.

On the next day, the groom and bride are again before the priest and this time a blood compact is performed.  With a thorn at hand pricks their chest to draw a little blood.  He later joins their hands and bade them declaring thrice their love for each other.   He then feeds them cooked rice from the same plate and makes them drink from the wooden cup of the blood drawn from both, mixed with a little water.

Binding their hands and neck together with a cord, he declares,” This man is now one with the woman. Let all of you be witnesses to this union.”   Like the exchange of rings in a Christian ceremony, the couple then gave each other a jewel.   This ritual called “talingbuhol”, signaled the completion of the wedding and the start of yet another round of wedding feasts anywhere from one to two weeks or for as long as the grooms largesse held out.

On the last day of feasting the bride, ceremoniously bathed by her godmothers and decked again in her wedding finery, is solemnly and finally delivered to her husband in their new home.

To the new generation of young couples, take heed, the customs our ancestors once performed and practiced deserves fond memory.  Keeping in mind what our national hero, Dr Jose P Rizal, once said: “it is necessary to open the book that tells the story of the past.” Knowing the past is akin to knowing our identity, as a Filipino.


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title pic A Letter to Daddy and Mommy

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Dearest Daddy and Mommy,

It is this chapter of my life that I shall value years from now.  Being far away from home has its advantages as well as disadvantages.  But in the long run, it seems that the former overcomes the latter.  I have experienced what is to be alone and what loneliness really means. Yet, I am now more independent and take pride in this.  Away from home, I have been able to look life from another perspective.  On the whole, I have learned to be more pragmatic and realistic about certain things.  

At this point, entering into the married life, it is too early to tell what I shall do a year from now, where I shall be, or what shall happen.  But whatever happens, I feel confident of myself.  This confidence stems basically from everything I have experienced.  The happiness as well as pain and most importantly, from my experience living with you as my parents.

I remember my childhood, adolescence and early stages of adulthood with you, and of all these have enriched me as a person.  The times when as a family we would go off to Baguio, Tagaytay, etc.    But now, as I look back, I treasure these memories.  The times when Daddy would put us up on the horses in Baguio and you, Mom and Dad would patiently watch us go riding for hours.  The times when we went shipping, shopping, biking.   The times when Mommy had to cook for all our parties, and when Daddy would go downstairs at night to watch the full moon at the front yard only to find out we’re all following him to also wonder about the moon’s beautiful shape.  When you both played Santa Claus and I caught you, but never let on that we knew.  These are memories I shall always cherish, look back to and find strength in, when things get rough along the way.

I also think back and note all the big and small things you have done for us, the trials you have gone through to make us happy, and all the pain you have endured because of us.  As I look back with tears in my eyes, and heaviness in my heart due to guilt as well as homesickness, I want to thank you and say, I am truly sorry for every pain and heartache you have had to endure because of us.

Yet yours is a true example of parenthood.  It is unselfishness, coupled with understanding, or at least trying to understand which counts so much to a child when she looks back.

I hope years from now, I can emulate these values as a parent for the sake of my children.  Thank you Mom, Dad, for molding me as a good person…


I love you and will miss you,

Your daughter Isabel


Wedding Letter

Wedding Letter

For parents, it pains to see one’s daughter about to be betrothed than a son.  The anxiety of a daughter marrying someone considered as an alien to a family.  So, to ease the pain it will perhaps be splendid for a daughter to write a personal letter expressing affection to parents before the wedding day.


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title pic Philippine Wedding Superstitious Beliefs

Posted by admin on June 15, 2012

The Spanish colonization had one of its objectives the conversion of the local populace to the faith they believe and adhere to, the faith of Roman Catholicism.

In the absence of an organized religion, inferiority of the indigenous religion and fear sowed by the colonizers, the conquest of ignorant minds was easy to achieve.   And Islam, the religion predominant at the time, was rapidly overtaken in the minds and hearts.

Reinforcing the constructive work on the faith the religious order brought to our shore, along with tolerance on some indigenous religious customs; superstitions were incorporated leading to the corruption of the feeble mind of the locals.

Filipinos have developed superstitions that are related to marriage and weddings, as practiced and followed in any region and province.  The beliefs have formed part of the Filipino culture to caution altar bound couples from any untoward events in their wedding and eventually a life of marriage. Regretting at the end if mishaps do happen after all is non- negotiable for couples.

The following are some beliefs to delight the imaginative mind and for all altars bound pairs to ponder.

  • The bride leaves for church in a chauffeured driven white car with her father only riding along with the bride.  With the convoy of vehicles with the bride’s wife and the family members aboard, the bridal car should be timed in such a way that it arrives last at the church driveway
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title pic The Woman – A Bride to Behold

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Behold, woman, this is your day to take and to behold.

To a woman, the day of wedding is called, The Brides Day.  Perhaps it is.  The perception showing its biased opinion may hold true.

As a subject of thought, the cliché can best be reflected, alongside the physical and spiritual perspective.

It is a customary practice that when a bride sets foot on the church aisle, she is subjected under a magnifying glass to the prying eyes like a commodity or merchandise.   It seems like being dissected amidst the gathering of guest, visitors and family members as well.

They observe and note her demeanor and bearing or disposition.  From the way she wears her gown and the facial expression that she exudes showing either joy, happiness, contentment.

Rarely, is the groom given much attention or complimentary remarks on a matrimonial ceremony.

In the context of spirituality, it is an appropriate showing of a woman representing humanity.

The Book of Genesis describes, before the creation of Eve, the woman, Adam, the man was surrounded with all and any specie of living creature.   But Adam had no one looking like himself.    So, Yahweh the Creator in all his benevolence created a woman by taking Adam’s rib and filled its place with flesh.

The created woman was meant to be a companion and not a servant.   She was not taken from the upper part of the body nor at the lower part, but at the man’s side.  A woman created equal to the man, not inferior or superior.

The woman is the source of bringing forth the reality of humankind to procreate and multiply.  The woman represents the generation of humankind.   Man in its persona is defined to the role of stewardship of creation.

The prior existence of animals in the Garden of Eden has placed man in a state of preparedness to realize the unique value of a woman.  In Yahweh foresight, the principle of marriage is brought forth to make humankind grow in order to provide care and direction for and over human creature’s.

To state a wedding day as a bride’s day deserves enough admiration that no man can contradict.  The day of wedding is indeed meant for a woman to behold.

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title pic A Philippine Military Wedding

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There is that uniqueness in every military wedding.  It is a pleasure to see the bride in ecstasy to experience this once in a lifetime moment which not every woman will have the liberty to realize.

There really is nothing in particular to expect when it comes to a military wedding.   It’s just that the groom, a member of the military service, is wearing the appropriate gala uniform as required for such occasions.

Perhaps this is the only wedding ceremony where the groom is the center of attraction and not the bride.

The branches of military service in the Philippines are namely, the Philippine Army, Air Force and Navy.

However there are protocols that need to be observed.  When it comes to the wording in the military invitations, a military etiquette is observed and followed strictly with respect.

Special considerations are also made as to the seating arrangements.    A high ranking military officer in this case, a Lieutenant Colonel and above, are seated in positions of honor at both the ceremony and reception.   By tradition, the officers are seated directly behind the bride and groom family while the ceremony is ongoing.

What defines and distinguish a military wedding from a civilian wedding is the arch of sabers.    But the arch of sabers is performed solely for commissioned officers.   The arch symbolizes the safe passage of newlywed couple into their new life as husband and wife. It is the highlight of any military wedding tradition.

After the wedding rites, the ushers line up on either side of the aisle in the church.   There are times, if the weather is fine; formation is done outside the entrance of the church.

At the command of the head usher’s “Draw sabers” they raise their swords into the air forming carefully an archway.   The newlyweds pass under the arch way and at the command “Return sabers” the ushers return their swords into their sheath at their sides.   In turn they escort the bridesmaid down the aisle, likewise.

Often the national colors and the distinguished flags of the branch of service walk directly behind the center of the receiving line.

This formation is performed again during the cutting of the cake.  The bearers are in formation in front of the cake.   The bride and the groom pass beneath the sword towards the cake.

Mostly, civilians are at awe and admiration as they watch the ritual by the side of the aisle.

Well, anyway, the only difference that one sees in this style of wedding is the tradition.  What is important is the fact that the center stage actors, the bride and groom, have officially taken their vows of marriage.

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title pic Recognition on Mixed Marriage

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Mixed marriage is defined as the union of a man and a woman with different culture, religion, or nationalities.   It is the state of living together as husband and wife with norms of either the eastern or western hemisphere.

There is a need of a thorough examination if one is to enter the realm of marriage with someone not of your own.   The marriage of couples bearing different cultural background and nationalities can be intimidating if one’s character cannot cope up in balancing with conformity the cultures at hand.

Anyone who plans to settle down must think a hundred times regarding the subject of marriage.   One can never know if one’s marriage can be a life of bliss or a life of misery and sadness.

Filipinos are no longer seeing it strange to the idea of a mixed marriage.    Our Malay forefathers have contracted marriages with the Chinese, Spanish and American nationalities.   The conglomeration of the cited nationalities has brought about a Filipino genogram and culture unique on its own.

However, present time, evidences have exposed that our Filipino woman are at great risk when mixed marriages happen.    Some women are allured to mixed marriage due to financial consideration. Alongside, contrary to this notion are women indeed in love with a foreign partner that marriage proposals are heartily and freely accepted.

If a marriage is planned to occur in the Philippines, the requirements applied to our citizens as provided by the laws of the land is likewise the same in mixed marriages.    What is of utmost importance is that the wedding ceremony conducted in our country is recognized in the country the foreign partner was born.

There are instances that marriages done in the country are not recognized in the country of the foreign partner that permanent settlement is impeded.    So the purpose and the intent to live as a family create risk more so to a Filipino woman than to the man.  These factors can force plans to change dramatically.

The reality of mixed marriages cannot be avoided.   What can be avoided is to become a victim to mixed marriages happening to be a scam and fraudulent which puts much emotional strain to any Filipino.

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