Filipino wedding customs combine both colonial influence and traditional beliefs. The more common Filipino wedding customs include choosing where to hold the wedding church and who the officiating minister will be. Couples who belong to prominent families usually prefer holding the wedding in an ancient Spanish-time church and enlist a well-known personality for an officiating pastor. Some say the ambiance generated by a Spanish-era church adds to the grandeur and solemnity of a wedding.
On the eve of a wedding, the bride-to-be is forbidden to see the groom-to-be. She likewise cannot try her wedding dress for fear that the wedding may not push through. On the wedding day itself, the bride usually wears a white-blue gown. There is preference for one that is borrowed. On exit from the church, the newlyweds go through the traditional throwing of coins, rice grains and flowers. This practice is said to induce abundance or wealth, as well as promote loyalty and abiding love between the couple.
There are sights of a wedding that make them distinctly Filipino. Example is the overflow of crowd witnessing the wedding rite, from the church to the reception. A Filipino wedding is never good enough if the crowd is not big enough. Filipinos after all are clannish people.
Post-wedding rites continue with undiminished festivity. The father of either bride or groom reads a wish list and toasts the wine, all in a gesture of ushering in a bright future for the new couple. The wedding dance brings the clan together, latching money bills of different denominations to various parts of the newlyweds’ clothes. It is a sign of sharing responsibilities among family members.
While some customs are unique to a certain province, the traditional Filipino wedding remains as one of the most valued occasions in the Philippines.