Planning A Filipino Wedding? Here Are Your First 5 Steps

Planning A Filipino Wedding? Here Are Your First 5 Steps

Like almost everywhere in the world, the wedding is among the most celebrated events in the Philippines. A Filipino wedding, its ceremony and the celebration that comes after, is an important milestone not only for couples but for their loved ones as well.

Given the importance of this celebration, couples go through meticulous planning and preparations in order to achieve their dream wedding. And because it’s specifically a Filipino wedding, there are a few cultural elements to consider.

Here are five steps to help you plan your Filipino wedding, wherever you may be in the world:

A rustic, outdoor Filipino wedding in California. Photo and event planning from Make It Mariko Weddings

Know the purpose of your Filipino wedding 

Getting married, yes. But what does that actually mean?

What does that entail? You’re in love and eager to start a new life with your partner, which makes it the right time to ask yourselves: what are the meaningful moments that we’ll remember forever?

To help you identify the purpose of your wedding, you can also consider the following questions. Is it to:

  • Allow your families to get to know each other?
  • Celebrate your two cultures coming together?
  • Introduce your family and friends to who you are as a couple?
  • Show up as your full selves to the people you’re closest to?

Pinning down a purpose for the big day will help make wedding planning easier as you navigate the logistics of each element. Think of it as your North Star—especially when challenges arise.

Venue and floral details from a Filipino wedding in California. Photo and styling from April Baytan.

Decide on your Filipino wedding’s vibe

The vibe is different from the wedding theme. How do you want your guests to feel when they join you on this day?

More importantly, how do you and your partner want to feel?

The atmosphere sets the tone for details of your wedding, so deciding this will be key to also make planning easier. Do you want to throw a big party and invite everyone and their nanay, lola, and barangay? Or do you want your wedding to be more of an intimate celebration?

Fully-packed Filipino wedding reception arrangement. Photo and event coordination from Make It Mariko Weddings.

Create your Filipino wedding guest list

Because it is a life milestone, you want to celebrate it with the people who matter most. Take note that your ‘do not invite’ list is as significant as your invite list, so you really have to think hard about it.

Something to mull over is that Filipinos tend to see weddings as big family parties, so make sure you and your partner are clear about expectations. 

A traditional Filipino Unity Cord and Veil, designed and handcrafted by artisans in the Philippines.

Decide on your traditional Filipino wedding elements

In a traditional Filipino setup, the ceremony is very important. If you want to incorporate your Filipino heritage into your wedding day, consider these few things:

If you’re not hiring a wedding planner, Sinta & Co. is a helpful guide in planning your wedding and getting your ceremony essentials. Shop collections of Filipino wedding jewelry and ceremony accessories, and browse the wedding journal for stories on cultural traditions and Filipino customs. 

Head-to-toe Filipiniana, featuring gold filigree and capiz shell jewelry paired with an Ifugao bolero cape. Eco-conscious bridal gown from Silviyana. Photo by Nailah Barcelona.

Find Filipino wedding vendors who get you

After intention-setting and careful planning, the next step is to put your vision

into action! Look for vendors who’ll help you achieve your goals.

There are a lot to choose from to be honest, but go for those who can best represent you as individuals and as a couple. Your roster of wedding vendors will depend on your budget and style.

To help you start, Sinta & Co. curated a directory of Filipinx-owned businesses to check out:

Enjoy planning and go get your dream wedding!

Pia Cortez

Team Cambio & Co.

Pia Cortez is a diasporic, digital nomad currently based in the Philippines. Having grown up in Pampanga and then in the Bay Area in her teens, she is back freediving, writing, eating and traveling her way through the homeland (with a mask & face shield on). She is an editor for and Hella Pinay, and her work has appeared on New Life Quarterly, Lambda Literary, Positively Filipino, Hella Pinay,, SF Examiner and others. Follow her journey on Instagram at @_piacortez

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