There really is something surreal in Filipino weddings. Unique festivities featured into the wedding and the strong traditions incorporated into the ceremony may seem unusual to some. Not to mention different wedding elements, pre-wedding superstitions, and more sponsors to witness the union – most of which are influenced by our mixed western and eastern heritage.

To pay tribute to our rich tradition, we will be incorporating the major elements used in a typical Filipino wedding to our modern wedding: the candle, arrhae (coin), veil, and cord. The whole wedding will have several rituals because of these things and thus make the ceremony a little longer, but it will indeed make our wedding day a remarkable one :)

The candle, arrhae, veil, and cord are four traditions customarily witnessed in a Filipino wedding. I hope you find time to appreciate our Filipino wedding culture as I discuss the profound symbolism of each. 


The candle sponsors will light the candles beside me and John Neil; the practice represents God’s guidance to our lives and the love that we must keep burning all the days of our married life.

The candle is also a symbol of two lives, two spirits, and two families joining together as we start our new life together as one.

 *Photo from Google

Arrhae (Coin)

The ceremony of the Arrhae is a reminder of John Neil’s commitment to take care of my welfare. And in return, by giving back the coins to his hands, I pledge that what we both earn become part of each other's.

The arrhaes also symbolize our mutual desire for wealth and prosperity as we start our lives and family together. The metal tinkling sound of coins being passed from one pair of hands to the other signifies abundance and success in our joint effort.

*Photo from Google


The veil sponsors will pin a veil from John Neil’s shoulders, extending it to cover my head and shoulders. This will clothe as us one and form the silhouette of a house, indicating that we are given the blessing to live under one roof in God’s protection.

The veil is symbolic of John Neil’s dedication to protect me - the wife who he promises to take care of, from the wedding day forward. The veil is also a symbol of the pure, faithful, and enduring love that we have for each other.

The cord sponsors will loop the cord over our shoulders in a figure 8, the symbol of infinity – for everlasting fidelity and a love together, forever. Through the years, it will remind us that we belong to each other alone.

The cord symbolizes the binding nature of our marriage, who will now walk through life as equals.

Unity Candle (Optional)

The unity candle is not required but something nice to have. John Neil and I will take the two lighted candles beside us and light together a single center candle. This ritual symbolizes the very essence of our wedding ceremony – unity under God’s blessing as well as us two becoming one. Lighting the unity candle signifies that henceforth our light will shine together for each other, for our families, and for our neighbors.

It can also be seen as the blessing of our families coming together for our new family. As we use the two candles to light the unity candle, we will bring the love of both families together in a united love for us.

The unity candle shall be kept by us, to be lighted on each wedding anniversary, as a reminder of the first day of our union before God.

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  1. Hi! I came across your page when looking up the order of each tradition. My fiance is Filipino, I am not. We want to incorporate all of the traditions - we are having an issue with the Candle ceremony. We have our candle sponsors, the two taper candles and the unity candle but when do the sponsors light their candles and when do we light ours?

  2. FILIPINO WEDDING TRADITIONS is too interesting thanks for sharing this post....

  3. Thank you for taking the time to explain this fascinating ritual. I am a Wedding Minister in Burlington/Oakville, Ontario, Canada, and this will certainly assist me with a Filipino wedding that I am performing later on in the year. All the best to you and John Neil, and congratulations on your engagement, and may God bless you and your families on your wedding day!