Whether or not you’re Filipino, wedding invitations are a thrilling part of the planning process. Holding it in your hands makes your wedding tangible to you and everyone on your guest list, maybe for the first time!
A wedding invite is both practical and sentimental. It lists key information, hints at the upcoming event’s ambience, and eventually becomes a memento of the special day.
Since you’re celebrating your love story as a couple, why not honor the paths you travelled to become yourselves and find each other? Why not tie your Filipino heritage into how you tie the knot?
Many couples include Filipino customs throughout the preparations and ceremony. But you can start incorporating cultural influences as early as in your invites. Read on for tips and suggestions on how you can thoughtfully share your Filipino heritage through your wedding invitations.
Parts of a Filipino Wedding Invitation
First things first — know your options. There are several components included in all wedding invitations. Once you understand the basics, you can let your creativity flow when crafting your own Filipino-inspired aesthetic.
At its most basic, a wedding invitation lists essential details: the couple’s names, the time and date of the event, and the location of the ceremony and reception.
Filipino wedding invitations tend to be a bit more elaborate.
You can include an entourage card, which outlines the wedding party, and an RSVP card. The latter may specify the dress code and wedding registry details.
The RSVP card would also be the space to ask about any accommodations needed for guests: dietary restrictions, special seating, sign language interpreters, et cetera.
Inside the envelope (4), a Filipino wedding invitation can include an entourage card (2) and RSVP card (3) along with the main invite (1). Source: Printsonalities Paper Creations.
Knowing this, there can be four invitation elements you can play with to add a touch of Filipino culture.
Language In Filipino Wedding Invitations
In Tagalog, a wedding can be called “pag-iisang dibdib” which means the union of [two] hearts. How romantic is that?
You can honor your heritage meaningfully by writing the section headings of your wedding invitations in a Philippine language. You can include English translations in brackets. Wedding sponsors can be listed under “Mga Gabay sa Aming Buhay” (The Guides of Our Lives); the couple’s beloved parents are “Mga Mahal Naming Magulang”; and the dress code is specified under “Kasuotan”.
- You can also use Filipino honorifics such as Ginoo (Mr./Sir), Ginang (Mrs./Madam), and Binibini (Miss). While these honorifics aren’t as common in everyday vernacular, they help evoke a sense of tradition and formality.
- On the flip side, modern Filipino slang can create a more relaxed and gender-inclusive environment. Consider using “Wedding Barkada” instead of the phrase “Bridal Party” or “Biyenan” for your mother- or father-in-law.
As a child, I came across an invitation tucked away in my parents’ wedding album. My parents were born and raised in the Philippines, so their wedding invitation was written primarily in Tagalog. It was gorgeously and unapologetically Filipino.
The examples above are in Tagalog and there are so many Philippine languages in the homeland. If, like me, you aren’t familiar with your mother tongue, you can ask a trusted friend or family member to translate for you. It could be a special opportunity to involve them in wedding preparations.
Stationery For Your Filipino Wedding Invitations
Another way to highlight your cultural roots in your invites is by choosing Filipino artists, stationery, and materials!
- Every invitation needs the perfect base — try abaca paper or sinamay envelopes to bring the texture of the islands.
Design Motifs In Your Filipino Wedding Invitations
As you design your invitations, consider your connection to Filipino culture. What role has your heritage or homeland played in your love story? Do you cook and enjoy a lot of Filipino food together? Did you share a memorable experience in the Philippines with your partner?
These shared experiences can inspire imagery featured in your invites, wedding decor, and so on.
- Perhaps you were surrounded by nature as your love blossomed. Decorate your invitations with Philippine flora for your romantic- or tropical-themed wedding. Think sampaguita flowers, coconuts, or palm leaves. Even the flower’s name is evocative of a wedding, “sumpa kita” (I promise you).
- If you’re opting for an elegant and classic aesthetic, seal your envelopes with pearlescent seashells and faux pearls. You can even decorate your invite with a border inspired by barong tagalog embroidery.
- You can give off the perfect minimalist and modern vibe with geometric patterns inspired by Filipino handwoven textiles (see: Ilocos’ binakol, Ifugao’s binituwon, Yakan’s Penneh Kaban Buddi, and so on).
- On the other hand, if you and your partner make copious amounts of Filipino food, you can illustrate or reference ingredients like mangoes, ube, bananas, and more — this could even serve as a hint of the wedding menu.
Whatever you choose, go for motifs that hold deep meaning for you and your partner.
The Color Palette Of Your Filipino Wedding Invitations
Subtle but effective, your color palette can set a mood or atmosphere. Check out our own examples of wedding color palettes inspired by the Philippines.
For off-white or cream colors, look to the sheer piña elegance of a barong or the Philippine pearl.
If you’re searching for an accent color, you might like the regal and serene feel of jewel-toned green. It mirrors a lush forest of palm trees and kris plants.
For even more vibrant accents, you can draw inspiration from the deep blue sea; energetic yellow of fruits like mango, banana, and pineapple; and the radiant pink found in the petals of gumamelas.
If you want something more luxurious, you can’t go wrong with gold trim, which emulates the brilliant Philippine sun or more literally, the precious material of the islands.
Digital Filipino Wedding Invitations
Digital wedding invitations allow you to directly link to a website, video, or playlist!
More and more, wedding invitations are going digital. Rest assured, even though you can’t hold a digital invite in your hands, you never have to sacrifice the personal touch.
It can be as simple as adapting the tips above to design a PDF invite with a tropical color palette or use Filipino imagery in a website invite. There are also many cool things you can do that are unique to virtual invites.
Consider the following:
Record a short video, decked in your best Filipiniana, as you invite your loved ones. It’ll give a real glimpse of your wedding.
Attach personalized Instagram Story templates for your nuptials that involve Filipino-inspired colors, photos, or GIFs.
- Build a playlist of your favorite love songs and feature Filipino artists! You can include a QR code or direct link as part of the e-vite. This is a great way for the guests to get to know you through your music tastes, as well as experience a bit of Filipino culture before the wedding. You can save our playlist of our favorite Filipino love songs for inspiration.
No matter your particular style or vision, there are many ways you can thoughtfully involve your Filipino heritage in your wedding invitations.
“So long as you both shall live”, your wedding invites will be a reminder of a celebration of your love and the people who celebrated with you.
Cover photo by Olya Kobruseva
Mikaela Lucido was born in Manila, Philippines and lives in Mississauga. She studied Creative Writing & Publishing at Sheridan College. Her work has been featured in Savant-Garde Literary Magazine, post ghost press, Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures, and Augur Magazine. She is a first reader for Savant-Garde Literary Magazine. Find her on Twitter (@LucidoMikaela) where she is often live-tweeting about Taylor Swift, superheroes, or mental health.
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