White wedding gowns have been approved as modern wedding costume along with the American influence in the Philippines’ culture. Before this influence, the traditional costume for Filipino bride was in the form of a wedding gown in festive colors or just stylish black to celebrate the wedding. Whilst the groom would wear Barong “Tagalog” a traditional Filipino costume. This costume is made of silk or a fine fabric called Piña-Jusi (a traditional Filipino fabric) which is a semi-transparent, cool, and embroidered at the front side of the shirt. The groom wears a white t-shirt before he puts on his barong, then un-tuck his shirt over his black pants. However, nowadays many Filipino grooms prefer to appear in their conventional black tux, while the male guests still commonly show up in their best barongs.
Ages ago, the old tradition of Philippines wedding ceremony lasted in three days. Filipino girls would be ushered to a priest’s or babaylan’s house at Day 1. This babaylan would join the groom and bride’s hands over a plate filled with raw rice and after that he would give his blessing to this couple. On Day 3, the babaylan would prick the couple’s chest and took their little blood in a cup. This couple would then hand in hand make their sacred vow for three times. The babaylan would feed each of them with cooked rice from the same plate and served them with a drink of water which was already mixed with this couple’s blood. Lastly, the babaylan would bind the couple’s hands and necks with a ribbon, cord, or rope to symbolize their marriage declaration.
Most of Filipino weddings are now held in Catholic ceremony, although some native ceremonies are still preserved. These native ceremonies consist of special sponsors who will act as their witness. The prime sponsor could be parents, godparents, or any respective members in their family such as their respective uncle and aunt, or even counselors. While the special parts such as ceremonial veil, cord, and candles are handled by their Secondary sponsors. There are sponsors called Candle sponsors who will be in charge for two candles which will be used by Filipino bride and groom as a light to represent the union of their families, and as an invocation for Christ to light their marital life. The Filipino bride’s head and shoulders of the groom would be covered with a white veil to represent the union of this couple in one dress. An embroidered cord made of silk called yugal would be draped over the shoulders of Filipino bride, in the shape of eight-figure that symbolizes eternal devotion.