Despedida de Soltera

Despedida de SolteraDespedida de Soltera (“Farewell to spinsterhood / single-hood”), is another common Filipino pre-wedding practice where families celebrate the bride’s family’s consent on the marriage. It’s usually held about a week before the wedding day, and is typically hosted by the bride-to-be’s family. Traditionally, the groom and his family, the entourage, as well as close relatives and friends are invited to this party.

My Despedida de Soltera was actually just a simple get-together party where representatives from both clans mingled for an afternoon of merienda. I think it’s usually like that nowadays, but I can’t help but wonder that it might have been a bit more different during the older times. Read more »

My dad and his family; my mom and her family

Divorce isn’t legal in the Philippines, but there is such thing as legal separation. In a country big on families, it’s not surprising that step-families are usually a touchy issue when it comes to weddings. Unless the mom and the dad parted in good terms, such issues are, most often than not, added headaches to the bride and the groom.

Such issues are usually just trivial things for the typical wedding planner; I’ve had chitchats with some wedding planners about this issue during my stint as an invitations-maker. However, it’s different when you’re the one who is actually involved. It’s easy to say “not to concern yourself about it,” but in reality, it’s not. In a culture where respect for the elders is an important family value, you cannot simply dismiss an issue such as this.

So really, how do you handle it? Read more »

Daddy’s girl

I’m a daddy’s girl. There. I said it. And I’m actually proud to be one.

Although being the apple of my dad’s eye has its perks (like, he’d make sure that my husband and I don’t go hungry no matter what happens), being a daddy’s girl can be quite a challenge when you’re about to get married. My dad and I were practically at each other’s throats the week before my wedding day. For some reason, we always had to argue about the wedding details. If my mom hadn’t suffered a stroke, this probably would have been avoided—we would have had a referee. But since things have changed, it was just me and my dad battling it out over the wedding plans.

I think the worst argument we had was about the first dance tradition—it even culminated in a shouting match where my younger sister had to step in. Though my dad said he “absolutely refuses to submit himself in such an embarrassing situation,” in the end, it all just boils down to one thing: he was afraid he was losing me. Though he never really said it. He just told me that it’s not that he didn’t like the Father-Daughter dance, he just wanted to be consulted on things that would involve him. But I understood what he really meant. After that major fight, it was as if we were both relieved of this weird feeling of impending doom. Read more »

Calligraphy on invitations

It’s common practice that the addressing an invitation be done in calligraphy. I don’t think I’ve ever received a wedding invite that didn’t have calligraphy on the envelope. But you know what? My own wedding invitation didn’t make use of calligraphy.

Maybe it’s because weddings are usually grand affairs here in the country; the perfect excuse to dress up and experience the “elegant, high society” life (at least for one day). They usually brought to mind chandeliers, crystal goblets, and expensive china. Not to mention extravagant flower arrangements at every nook and canny of the room. With that grand a wedding, I would say it’s an insult to your invitations if the envelopes weren’t addressed using calligraphy. Read more »

Bad lucks and wedding gowns

Nah. This ain’t about fashion—that’s Sasha’s turf. Hehe. It’s not about bad luck either 😛 It’s about both.

I’m aware of one Filipino wedding belief about wedding gowns and bad luck. How can I not be, when my elder aunts and some uncles insisted that I follow it? They totally went mental when I tried to say I wasn’t planning on following the belief.

Here’s how it goes… Elders say that it’s bad luck for the bride to wear the gown before her wedding day. If she does, the wedding won’t push through.

Yeah. Sure.

Having been a bride myself, I realize that one can be pretty anal while waiting for the big day to come. You do everything to make sure nothing bad happens. And I don’t blame my aunts for insisting that I follow this belief—I didn’t want my wedding not to push through. And yes, it’s true that it doesn’t hurt to follow it. What did I have to lose?

A lot, actually. It was a real hassle following it.

I’m stingy (no, really, I just had a limited budget), so I had my gown made in Divisoria (more on this later!). I was doubtful the gown would fit when I first saw it. Luckily, I was with a young auntie (she’s my mom’s youngest cousin, so yeah, she’s still young). She asked me point blank if I really want to try it on. I said yeah, I didn’t want to wear a gown that looked like it would fall off the moment I wear it. So we thought, oh what the heck. We just won’t tell my parents and my elder aunts about it. It would be our little secret. I wore the gown and saw how it fit.

I was right. It didn’t fit. It was too big. Now, that’s lucky. If I didn’t fit it, I probably walked down the aisle wearing a gown too big for me.

And you know what? Though I wore my gown before the wedding day, I’m still wearing a wedding band right now. I still got hitched.

How about you? Will you try on your gown before your wedding day?

The Pamanhikan tradition

The Pamanhikan is a popular pre-wedding tradition among Filipinos. It probably dated back from the Spanish era (I really wouldn’t know), but regardless of which, it’s still being practiced today albeit sometimes informally. When I say “informally,” I meant that there are quite a number of variations done on the Pamanhikan of today—it has somehow already adapted to the modern times, and modern day of living.

Back then, Pamanhikan is the Filipino pre-wedding tradition where the families of the bride and the groom meet and plan the wedding. The romantic representation of this tradition would be the groom and his family formally asking the bride’s family for her hand in marriage. On a practical note, the wedding budget, the guestlist, and all other sorts of important details are discussed during this meet-up. The bride’s family hosts this event, and traditionally the groom’s family brings a gift for their hosts. Read more »