1. Date of the event – we should determine the availability of our family. Like if your parents are working abroad, how much likely they can afford to go back home?
2. Budget – It is customary for Filipinos for the groom or his family to pay for all the wedding expenses. These days, however, expenses are usually shared by both the bride’s and the groom’s families.
3. Wedding Style – Most of Filipino Parents want their child to have a church wedding. However, it is perfectly acceptable if you and your partner prefer the more practical civil wedding. Very traditional and religious parents may be heartbroken by your decision, so be sensitive to their feelings when you discuss this matter with them.
Aside from the kind of ceremony, you also need to plan how big the wedding should be. Some parents may insist that you follow their preference. This can be a difficult situation, especially if they are shouldering the costs. You must strike a balance between not hurting their feelings and not allowing them to run your show. Discuss all aspects of the wedding, including which ones you and your fiancé are willing to compromise about and which ones you are not.
4. Primary Sponsors and Entourage – You and your fiancé’s parents may wish the numerous friends and community personalities to be in your lineup of primary sponsors. Relatives may also be competitively keen on making it to the list of secondary sponsors. Managing everyone’s expectations in this aspect of the wedding can turn out to be quite a challenge. Some piece of advice: 1) For Filipinos, the primary sponsors are called “ninong” and “ninang” –the couple’s godparents. Since they will play the role of counselors during your married life, it would be best to get people who are already close to you, and whose wisdom and character you respect. 2) Be cautious about getting politicians or famous personalities as your primary sponsors – unless you actually have a personal relationship with them. 3) Do not get someone as part of your entourage just to please your parents or relatives.
5. Suppliers – Everybody has connections, so expect a deluge of recommended suppliers. Your sister’s friend is a florist, his father’s friend’s son is a professional photographer, your third cousin and his uncle are both offering discounted printing services…the list of offers and recommendations can go on and on. Considering how sensitive Filipinos can be, you will also have to be careful and choose well when you make decisions and discuss your preference.
6. Invitees – This aspect of the wedding can become a major battleground unless you make rules before lists are drafted. Filipinos usually see a wedding as and opportunity for family reunion, so expect your parents to want even distant relatives to be there. Their friends, colleagues and business associates, as well as those o your siblings and relatives, can also threaten to balloon the number of your guests. One thing you can do is to specify the number of people that your parents and other family members are allowed to invite. If you prefer a small, intimate wedding, you will have to explain this is a way that will not offend them.