Asian Weddings

Filipino wedding - money dance help!

Hi everyone - in need of some help!
My new fiance is Filipino, I'm not, and we're  starting to make wedding plans. Since I'm not Catholic (atheist actually), we can't and won't get married in a church, which is where 90% of Filipino wedding traditions happen, like the veil, cord, sponsors, all that.
He mentioned the money dance as something he'd like to do. My first reaction was "can we not?" I'm not really comfortable with it. I'm also concerned about my family and friends' reactions - if you don't know the tradition, it's going to look like a money grab, right?

However - this is important to him, since it's the only tradition we can still do. So how do I do this with half a guest list who may be offended by it? My thought right now is to have an mc from his side explain right before it that it's a filipino tradition symbolically wishing the couple prosperity, etc and to enjoy watching or join in if they feel like it. I may quietly spread the word to family beforehand that we're doing it to minimize the number who get the vapours.

So - anyone think this would work? Any other suggestions on how I could pull this off without horrifying half the guests?

Re: Filipino wedding - money dance help!

  • Kaye SmithKaye Smith member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I think you've got a good idea going - where you have the dj explain that it's a Filipino tradition!  Also, you never know, hopefully the other half of your guests won't be offended!  A lot of other cultures have the money dance too - my husband's family is Polish American, so they were familiar with it and not offended!
  • jessfontjessfont member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I think the dj explaining really helps.  We had the money dance (it also was the only filipino custom we did on our wedding day), and I didn't hear any whispers, etc.  Most people we danced with during the money dance were filipinos, but in the end, we did pretty well, and the money enabled us to splurge a little on our honeymoon!  No regrets.

    As for the other tradiitons, the reason why I voted against it is because there are opportunities to get it wrong.  There's a coin exchange during the ceremony (another symbol of prosperity), but I attended a wedding where the officiant didn't really undertand what to explain, and so the groom was confused, didn't get the cue to hand the coins to the bride, and just pocketed the bundle! 
    (6 years married but back on theknot because I'll soon be MOH and weddings are on the brain)
  • edited December 2011

    Explaining the tradition will help!  I to am marrying a Filipino gentleman and that is something that would be at our wedding as well. I can understand your concern but at the same time, isn't that the reason you bring family and friends in to celebrate too? Learning new things is fun, look at it that way!

    Hope this helped!

  • rubyfrubyf member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    My FMI freaked when my FI mentioned this to her! (But then again she over reacts about everything foreign to her).  I've been on the fence about doing this since everyone on the knot seems to find it super tacky but it is part of tradition and my culture.  My FI wants to do it so I guess we are doing it.  I like your idea of the DJ/MC explaining the meaning of it.  

    You can still do the other traditions like the coins, veil and cord and take away the blessing/ religious part of it out. if you are having a ceremony, just have the sponsors pin on the veil (meaning that you two will be clothed and sheltered together), put on the cord (meaning you are binded together) as you are saying your vows (or something to that effect)  the exchange of coins can be said as a promise to each other after the exchange of rings.  We are adding the meaning of these traditions in our ceremony program.  

    You can look up the meaning of each tradition by going to
  • rmyers9983rmyers9983 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I think families are more understanding on culture than sometimes we think.  I am Irish and my FI is pure Filipino.  We are actually doing the whole traditional filipino wedding.  I was worried at first what my family would think, but I described it to my grandparents and they thought it was great.  They were totally on board with the whole thing.  My whole family has been totally supportive of the whole thing, and they just love my FI.  I think that helps as well.  Explaining the symbols of the traditions really does help for people to understand. 
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