Asian Weddings

Filipino ceremony - sponsors

Hi!  I am half filipina (FI is not) and would like to incorporate my heritage by doing the traditional filipino ceremony (coins, veil, cord).  Not doing the unity candle because our ceremony is outside and the candle might not work so well outside, so we're just going to do a sand ceremony instead.  

I know there are traditionally coin, veil, and cord sponsors.  Can we just have our BM's and GM's double duty and be the coin, veil, and cord sponsors?  One of my friends did this for her ceremony so I was wondering if this is ok?  I'd rather not have to find more people to do these things when our WP can do it...

Also, I read that at least some of sponsors typically are the godparents, that the sponsors typically help with the cost of the wedding, and are listed on the invitations?  I don't know where my godparents are (parents lost touch with them).  Haven't seen them since I was very young.  FI and I are both paying for our wedding ourselves and I don't feel comfortable with anyone else contributing (other than our own parents but they haven't offered so it's just FI and I).  As such, I don't feel comfortable listing anyone else as hosts on the invitation other than myself and FI so I don't want the traditional sponsors in that sense.

Help!  I'm so confused with this!  Sorry I rambled a little bit.  Thanks in advance for the help!
Married since October 14, 2012 - Best Day Ever! Wedding-2

Re: Filipino ceremony - sponsors

  • No wonder you're so confused!  You're talking about a lot of different things :)

    First of all, the first set of sponsors you are talking about when you mentioned godparents, these are called the "Primary Sponsors".  You're right, traditionally in the Philippines, they help to pay for the wedding.  This was during the time though where weddings were a huge neighborhood affair where many people in the village would contribute to the wedding.  Here though, they normally have no huge role in the wedding besides to walk as part of the entourage.  Being a sponsor or "Ninong/Ninang"is really just an honor to whoever you choose... it also encourages them to give you a good wedding present ;)  haha

    Now the other set of sponsors you spoke about (candle/veil/cord/coin), these are, along with your bridesmaid/groomsmen/etc, the "Secondary Sponsors".  You can definitely have your bm/gm do some double duty in this role.  A lot of weddings even have the bm/gm do the readings or what not.

    Hope that helps and happy planning!

  • Thanks so much!  That really helped clear things up for me.  Haha yeah...I am very confused about the details of the filipino ceremony traditions...and I'm planning this wedding all by myself.  I've just been trying to just google all these traditions and what is needed.  It just confused me more with all the different sponsors!    

    Yeah, I don't think we're going to have any Primary Sponsors then.  I'll just have the BM/GM double duty and do the veil, cord, etc.  I just wasn't sure if that would be weird or a big no-no, but sounds like that's perfectly fine.  Thanks again!  I'm glad someone was able to simplify it!  :D
    Married since October 14, 2012 - Best Day Ever! Wedding-2
  • edited March 2012
    I haven't benn to a wedding where the bridal party also served as the secondary sponsors but I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be able to do that.

    As far as the primary sponsors go, you don't have to have them. My cousin got married this past summer and only had the coin, veil, and cord sponsors.
  • I wanted to do the same thing.  Wanted to have bridesmaids/groomsmen also act as secondary sponsors.  Got vetoed by mom right quick.  But she is very traditional even though she can't always explain her reasoning.  In any case, I will be listing my secondary sponsors as secondary sponsors on the program -- ie, the veil sponsors will be listed as so-and-so, the cord sponsors will be listed as so-and-so -- They won't be listed as bridesmaids/groomsmen on the programs, but for all intents and purposes they are.  So to me, they are bridesmaids, to my mom, they are secondary sponsors.  That seems to work just fine.

    As for my primary sponsors, a couple of them are my baptismal godparents, a couple of them are not.  I am not listing them on the invitation as that seems inappropriate.  They are not contributing to the wedding itself, so it doesn't make sense to list them as host. But again, on the program, they will be listed as primary sponsors.  To me, they are the godparents of the ceremony and of my married life. could always ask some important people in your life to act as primary sponsors without considering them 'hosts' in the traditional sense -- just letting them take on the more symbolic role of advisors/mentors/supporters.

    This is probably too late to help.  Just saw it, so thought I'd responsd anyway.

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  • In case this still reaches you in time, primary sponsors (ninongs & ninangs) are 'new' godparents.  They don't have to be same ones that were your godparents at birth.  And more recently, they don't necessarily help 'finance' your wedding, but they traditionally give you a larger present (read: more money) as a wedding gift (to help reimburse your wedding expenses).  

    It works differently in all families, even between two filipino families.  FI's family traditionally gives maybe $100 - $200 for wedding presents (even as ninong/ninang), but my family gives upward of $500, with ninongs & ninangs giving between $1000 - $2000 ... 

    Looking at it without the $$$ value, ninongs & ninangs are supposed to serve as examples of how you & your FI should mold your marriage after.  So for us, that meant not taking anyone who was divorced (although perfectly fine if you choose to)

    We have a separate entourage page that is included with our invitation (printed on vellum, loose insert).  On that we have all 48 members of our entourage!  (Bride, Groom, Bride's Father, Mother, Maid of Honor, Matron ... all the way down the line)

    Regarding doubling up, if you're okay with it, then that's all that matters.  We have giant families to incorporate, so we needed to split them up, but if you're having a more intimate day or want to keep everything within a few hands, then definitely have them handle it.
  • If that is what you feel comfortable with, then do it.  I had my junior bridesmaids and ushers as sponsors to do my candle, cord, and veil.
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