5 Ways to Be Proud of Your Filipino Heritage at Your Wedding

By: Flow Quesada

There’s no better day to be proud of your Filipino heritage than at your wedding. Filipiniana wedding themes are so chic and romantic -- and that’s exactly what makes them timeless!

Perhaps it’s the elegant traditional Filipino style, the refreshing tropical details, or the vibrant Filipino festivity that make it appealing to couples. It also tests the couple’s creativity putting a modern twist on tradition to make the theme uniquely their own.

If you’ve decided to have a Filipiniana wedding yourself, here are the top five ways to show your Filipino heritage on the big day.

Wear traditional Filipino clothing

After deciding on the theme, the next most exciting part of wedding planning -- especially for the bride -- is choosing the attire. What you’ll wear has to, of course, be cohesive with your wedding theme. If you want to achieve a true, clear sense of the Filipiniana theme, then you should definitely wear traditional Filipino clothing on your big day.

You’ll never go wrong with a traditional Barong Tagalog or Barong Coat for the groom, and an exquisite Filipiniana wedding gown for the bride. The Filipiniana terno, traje de mestiza, Maria Clara dress… with plenty of styles to choose from, it will definitely make a statement on your wedding.

Brides often wear the traditional Filipiniana terno made of piña fabric. It consists of a blouse with butterfly sleeves and a modest neckline, as well as a matching skirt to complete the ensemble. 

Even if you’d like to deviate from the terno design and go for a more subtle look, you can select a few classic Filipiniana elements (such as the alampay or butterfly sleeves), and incorporate that to your wedding gown. Or, you can opt for a modern design and make use of piña fabric. That will still exude a “Filipiniana” feel.

Today, traditional Filipino clothing has become more modern and adventurous, as brides and grooms aim to bridge tradition with contemporary trends. You’d see barongs and Filipinianas in all sorts of color and style to suit different preferences. The black Barong Tagalog has even been quickly gaining popularity!

Besides the bride and groom, a Filipiniana themed wedding also calls for a touch of Filipiniana in every wardrobe of the entourage and guests. The Barong Tagalog for men, and the kimona, bolero, or alampay for the women. But times have changed, and there are barong blouses and dresses for stylish women!


Use traditional wedding accessories

With your wardrobes sorted out, you should finish off your look by using traditional wedding accessories. Accessorize with jewelry, cufflinks, and even clutches inspired by the Philippines or made of local materials. Pearls and capiz shells are often popular among brides.

If you’ll have your wedding outdoors, it would also be practical to have a handy pamaypay or abaniko. You might also want to provide fans for your guests to beat the heat and serve as an additional souvenir they can take home.

Also, if you're having a traditional Catholic ceremony, there will be a few rituals where you'll be needing other wedding accessories. Some of these are the wedding cord, aras (unity coins), wedding pillow, and rosary, just to name a few.

These and many more available at Barong Warehouse, where you have the option to claim the wedding package discount. You'll get everything you need -- from the wedding gown to the veil and aras -- according to the style and theme that you want.

Decorate the venue with Filipino decor and accents

The amazing thing about having a Filipinana themed wedding is the different ways you can decorate the venue.

If your wedding is going to be held at the beach, you can decorate the venue with palm leaves, banana leaves, and colorful tropical flowers. This will give a chic tropical vibe.

As for indoor weddings, a good choice would be to create a regal, traditional Filipino atmosphere that incorporates gold tones and wooden elements.

For those having a garden wedding, the place would be perfect for a fun “Pinoy Fiesta” look. Make use of bold colors, playful prints and patterns, vibrant banderitas, and the like.

Remember that the decor at the venue for the ceremony and reception should be identical. The only difference would be the dining tables. As for the plates, placemats, napkin holders, and other details, you’ll never go wrong with abaca and wooden materials.

Serve Filipino cuisine

One of the most important -- and much awaited -- parts of the wedding reception is the food. The salo-salo plays a huge role in Filipino culture because sharing food and eating together has somewhat become a love language for the Filipinos. That’s why you’d want to create a noteworthy Filipino menu for your guests to remember long after.

You can serve a purely Filipino menu, or be creative and mix traditional favorites with Western or Asian cuisine. It depends on your preferences, of course, but a Filipiniana themed wedding is never complete without a taste of local heritage.

The first thing that often comes to mind when thinking of food for a Filipino occasion is the unofficial Philippine national dish: the lechon. This slow-roasted pig with crispy brown skin and tender meat flavored by aromatic stuffing will surely be the star of the buffet table.

Besides fluffy, white rice, Filipino feasts almost always have a spot saved for pancit loaded with veggies, meat, and seafood. It’s included in nearly all kinds of celebrations because it is said to symbolize long life for the celebrants.

Filipinos are always in for a gastronomic and visual feast when it’s time for dessert. Filipino sweet treats are often made of malagkit (sticky rice), coconut, and cane sugar, and turned into colorful creations called kakanin. Some of the popular types of kakanin are puto, sapin-sapin, and biko.

Have quintessential Filipino items as tokens

Wedding favors are a sweet way to thank your guests for witnessing your big day. Since you’ve chosen to go for a Filipiniana themed wedding, then, might as well be dedicated to your heritage and pick out Filipino items as souvenirs for your guests!

Your chosen tokens can either be a reflection of you as a couple, or something that ties into your wedding theme. As for the latter option, it's best to go for quintessential Filipino items that best represent your heritage. Your guests will not just have something to remember the celebration, but also a slice of Filipino culture.

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