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title pic A “DIY” Wedding Invitation

Posted by admin on June 24, 2012

This is a do it yourself or “DIY” design to save on cost and to be able to create one of a kind personal wedding invitation.  With a computer, printer and available resources in the market an invitation need not be expensive to come up.

An engraved invitation is in the best taste, however its cost can be prohibitive.

For stationery, choose the best quality paper stock available.  The price difference over next best is small compared to the net effect.  Paper in white, ivory or eggshell kid-finish (or any un-shiny surface) is best, with watermark, makes an even happier choice.

Parchment type paper is fine too.  Pastels have a sentimental appeal such as, yellow, pink, baby pink, light yellow or any color that could be able to make it light.

The traditional format of an invitation is 8 3/8” x 11 1/4.

The typeface of letters can be done by your computer.  Only script type is considered appropriate for traditional wedding invitations.  Script type stands in for handwriting, as originally, invitations were handwritten.

Extra care should be taken in proofreading the invitation as final proof.  Any typographical error that appears on the printed is something that is unforgivable, especially the spelling of a person’s name.   The wordings may be ornate or direct according to the couple’s taste.

Whether written in English or Filipino is one’s option, as long as the message of invitation is clearly conveyed to the guests.

RSVP (French for “please reply) is usually for regrets only.  It’s a thoughtful gesture to advice whether one will be attending.  The host couples need to know how many of the invited guests will actually turn up.

Other novel forms can be devised by couples, either by original or non-traditional wordings.  As a reminder, care should be taken that no ambiguity creeps in while departing from the conventional in the wordings of your invitation.

As experienced writers say, “KISS”, keep it simple but smart.

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title pic The Wedding Entourage and Procession

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The wedding entourage refers to the auxiliaries at the ceremony, those who precede the bride in the processional form from the church door to the altar.

They are the principal sponsors, the maid of honor, the secondary sponsors, the bridesmaids, the ushers, flower girl(s) and ring and coin bearer(s).

The maid of honor is an honorary role reserved for the bride’s sister, the groom’s sister or the bride’s best friend.  Her role is to attend to the bride, particularly, arranging the train of the bride’s gown at the church’s aisle towards the altar and at the recessional.

The veil sponsors role is to drape a veil to cover the bride’s head and the groom’s shoulder.  After the veil has been placed, the cord sponsors lay a cord in the form of the figure (8) eight over the shoulders of the bride and groom.  Lastly, the candle sponsors, light the (2) two candles beside the bride and the groom.

It is a charming sight to view the children taking part in the solemn ritual, also all dressed up for the occasion.  The tots are girls for carrying the flower, so named as flower girls and boys carrying either the ring or coin and both, so named as bearers.

There are variations on the traditional processions and they are based sometimes on church rules. If a couple prefers a variation in the processional sequence, seek approval from the church before the wedding day.  Not on the day itself, to avoid confusion and arguments with the church traffic director.

Years ago, the groom does not walk down the aisle towards the altar.  But times have changed that leading off in the processional is the groom, accompanied by the parents.   The best man does not join the processional but stands beside the groom by the altar and steps aside when the groom takes the bride’s hand from her father’s.

Thereafter, the sequence is as follows: in single file the ring and coin bearers, the flower girls; the bridesmaids as escorted by the same number of ushers, the pairs of secondary sponsors; the pairs of principal sponsors and finally the maid of honor.

Lastly, the bride walks down the aisle accompanied by her father on the right and by her mother on the left hand.  Before reaching the altar, the father kisses the bride and gives her hand to the groom who is waiting at the end of the aisle.  After paying due respect to the bride’s parents, the couple will proceed to their special place before the altar.

As a general rule, the bridal entourage is normally drawn in equal numbers from the side of the bride and groom.  But, decisions based on preferences and circumstances, is still the rule of the thumb in determining the numbers to be part of the wedding entourage.

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title pic The Symbolisms of Marriage Rites

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The following images with its symbolisms are not descriptions of divinity in which the institutions of the church and the religious had built the wedding culture.  As a new generation is born, the ideals presented are products of one’s imagination on the present reality of how these images look.

Marriage Rites Symbolism

Marriage Rites Symbolism

THE BRIDAL PROCESSION   -    signifies the handing over of the bride to the groom for the purpose of forming a new family and the transitional phase of maidenhood to motherhood of the bride.

THE WEDDING GOWN AND VEIL   -   this symbolize purity and innocence of thought of a woman in giving her free will in accepting the man’s offer of marriage.  In today’s trend it is a fact that virginity is no longer a requisite for a man to ask the hand of the woman for marriage.

THE BOUQUET    - this symbolizes womanhood.  Born a natural woman.   A creation of a Universal Being with a definite role and function in humankind.   After the wedding reception, nowadays, it is for this reason that the bouquet is tossed to the maids to wish them, too, good luck for their future marriages.

THE JOINING OF THE HANDS – during the exchange of the marriage consent, the spouses join their hands to signify their total commitment to one another.

THE WEDDING RINGS    - symbolize the everlasting love and fidelity of the spouses.  The circular shape represents the circle of love that has no beginning or end.

THE ARRHAE   -   the coins that the groom place on the hands of the bride symbolize the sufficiency and equity of material possessions that spouses should provide for the material needs of the family.

THE UNITY CANDLES   - two lighted candles on both sides of the couple symbolize the light to guide their path into their married life.

THE MARRIAGE VEIL – by covering her head, the bride reserves her beauty exclusively for her husband alone.

THE CORD – which is placed in 8-shaped around the couple’s shoulders, symbolizes that the responsibilities of married life should be carried together; moreover, it signifies the unity and indissolubility of marriage.

THE SHOWER OF RICE AND CONFETTI   - as the newly married couple leaves the church, the wedding guest’s shower on them rice and confetti to wish them prosperity in life.

THE GARTERS   - were introduced as a symbol of modesty.  Nowadays, after the wedding, the groom will toss the garter to all single men for good luck. The catcher then places the garter on the leg of the maid who caught her bouquet.

THE WEDDING CAKE   - symbolizes prosperity and fortune.

THE WHITE DOVES   -   as it is set free symbolizes purity and innocence as well as a sign of peace to the whole world.

The foregoing symbols give form and life bearing in mind the meaning and significance of the ritual, the absence of which tends to take matters as a wedding for granted.

It is with hope that placing meanings to the symbols will keep the matrimonial ceremony engaged and excited to all couples bound for the altar and take to heart the sum and substance of it.

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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 The Economics in Marriage

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Each wedding is different, but there is always the challenge to make these differences stand out given the economics of the time.  The following is still considered a formal wedding with a limited guest list of from (50) fifty to a (100) hundred, in a well appointed church and a venue for the function itself.

Philippine Wedding - Econimics in Marriage

Philippine Wedding - Econimics in Marriage

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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.

ALLOCUTION

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.

SCRUTINIY

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

EXCHANGE OF CONSENT

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.

CONFIRMATION OF THE MARRIAGE BOND

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 A Letter to a Daughter

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Wedding Letter

Wedding Letter

The present, the age of technology has stamped out writing letters to a friend, or relatives, most especially to your children.  The unique standards of writing a letter on stationery, the feel of textured paper, personally handwritten, and your own penmanship cannot be duplicated by the present electronic mails.

But as a parent, a father and mother at that, seeing the value of writing a letter to a daughter about to be given away for marriage, cannot pass up the chance to write one using the old fashion art of communication.

—————-

My dearest Isabel,

 You are about to unfold and enter into an important stage of your adult life.  The decision to enter a union that is most sacred and most serious.   By tomorrow it is in your midst with your conscious awaiting.  

Choosing a married life which you are about to undertake is a task difficult at the start.  For you, this is a voyage to the unknown, a voyage far more difficult than probably the voyage, we have undertaken by the intrepid adventures of the past that sailed into the unchartered seas with nothing but the courage and faith to guide us by.

Yes, life is an adventure, the most exciting and the most perilous of them all.  You can win it or you can lose it, but how well you can come out of it depends entirely upon you…  Your character, formed and nurtured by us, your family shall be your tools that you will need to cope with life.  The rest is up to you, in the quality of your choice in decision making, your common sense, and your zest for overcoming great barriers.   The adventures of life, that is.

Having said that you can now look forward to a life of marriage.  Also, I now give you my advice as guide posts to your new adventure.

First, begin deciding now how you will fulfill your long life.  Because of the boundless freedom of current society, it is important to decide now what you value most in life.  And you must begin to draw the pattern of your life accordingly.  Having this pattern, you can anticipate trouble before it arises, and decide how you are going to handle it. 

Secondly, decide on your values.  You must try to examine yourself now and find what it is you’re most ardent wish to be done in creating and sustaining a blissful family life.

If it is a career in combination with your married life you want, then now is the right time to decide and schedule your next years with your goal in mind.

Thirdly, there are few past times more pleasant than building castles in the air.  It is normal with the young but you must have in preparation for life, to build on something less airy and substantial.  In other words, have a plan.  Plan for your career and family wisely…  Plan for your future… And don’t forget to pray…

Best wishes, my unica hija…

 

Your loving parents,

                                                                                                              Daddy and Mommy

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