For most Filipinos, marriage is a holy ceremony. It is solemnized by a priest or any religious officiate and held at a church. It is a life-long decision and breaking it is considered an unforgivable sin. Before marriage, a period of courtship and engagement should be done first. During the courtship a suitor will have to prove worthy of the hand of a Filipino woman by performing different traditional courtship techniques. Some of these techniques include, the traditional “harana” or serenade, bringing foods for their family whenever visiting the woman in their house, and performing servitude wherein the suitor will do the household and farm chores of the family. If the woman and her family will approve the suitor, they will be an official couple.
After years of being together, if they decided to get married, engagement will then follow but before the man gets the approval of the woman he should formally ask for the approval of the woman’s family which is called “pamamanhikan”. The man will formally introduce his parents to the woman’s parents. If the family will approve the engagement, the wedding will be planned right away. Marriage in the Philippines will require legal documents. The couple should present original copies of birth certificate and baptismal certificate to the local civil registrar. It is forbidden to get married if you are under 18 years old. Couples within the age of 21 to 15 should obtain parental advice or else their marriage license will not be issued. Couple will have to wait for 10 days for the marriage application to be posted and they will pay certain amount, charged for their marriage license.
Marriage counseling is also an important requirement for the license to be issued. Two witnesses of legal age are required. Also, the wedding should be solemnized by any religious officiates. Also, the wedding should be held at public places unless they have sent a request to perform the wedding at a different location. Another thing is that the Republic of the Philippines does not allow marriage by proxy and marriage of relatives up to the fourth civil degree is strictly prohibited. The marriage license is valid for 120 days from the day it was issued. Those are the requirements needed to be able to get married. If the couple has already set the date of their wedding they can already start making preparations. The making of invitation should be the first one to be done since it has to be given to the guests before the wedding day. The bride will have to wear a wedding gown and barong for the groom. Same with the wedding guests, the color of their clothes shall be based on the couples’ choice. During the ceremony, an hour-long mass will be done. There are also certain wedding paraphernalia that includes the arrhae, the candles, the veils, the cord, and wedding rings. After the wedding, everyone will then proceed to the wedding reception.
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