There would probably be a time in your life that you have participated in a Wedding as part of the entourage but haven’t really understood the whole context of your “role”. Since Filipino Church Wedding traditions have its own beliefs, it is best to at least get to know them and then decide later on if you see yourselves okay to follow it. As a couple, you have every right to decide which is best for you during your wedding planning, but understanding our Filipino wedding culture is also the best way to give respect to the elders and to our roots.
Below is the list of the people who will be part of your Filipino Church Wedding Entourage, including the couple. Their description varies but their roles were standard as per Filipino Catholic tradition. For a more detailed information, it is highly advisable to seek your Church for any dress code and age restrictions.
He is the male fiancé, of legal age, who will contract the wedding with the Bride.
She is the female fiancee, of legal age, who will contract the wedding with the Groom.
The Parents of the Couple
- Father of the Bride
- Mother of the Bride
- Father of the Groom
- Mother of the Groom
Catholic Priest or Christian Pastor
He is the legal authority who represents the Church to officiate the marriage between two qualified individuals.
Ninong – male primary sponsors
Ninang – female primary sponsors
- They are of legal age who will stand as witnesses to the wedding ceremony. Typically they are older than the couple and would act as the second parents who should be able to provide guidance and counsel to the married couple all throughout their married life.
- As per the law, 2 minimum witnesses (or 1 pair) are needed for the contracted marriage to be valid. Some Churches allow a standard of 4 pairs for the Primary Sponsors in their list and if the couple will have more than 4 pairs, the Church will ask the couple to pay for the extra pairs.
- There is no specific rule with how many Ninongs and Ninangs you’ll get for your wedding or with the degree of closeness that you have with them as well as no rule specifying that the couple should only get “married” Ninongs/Ninangs, members of the LGBT community or in order to avoid bad luck the couple should avoid getting widowed or separated ones. There is also no rule regarding non-believers (non Catholic for example) that can’t be Ninongs/Ninangs on a Catholic ceremony, only unless your desired Church or the religious denominatiom which they belong will be strict about it. They are all traditional beliefs but again it will depend on you. Anyway just as long as you both feel you want to have them as part of your married life, you can actually get as many as you want.
Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor – if already married
- She is considered the Bride’s best friend who is the primary attendant to the wedding and is also considered one of the witnesses during the event.
- She is the equivalent of the Best Man.
- Traditionally, she has one of the most important duties in the wedding where she is mostly seen with the bride and acts as her assistant of the day. Although wedding rules vary in recent years because of the roles of Wedding Coordinators and Bride’s Assistants, the MOH still plays a significant role during the wedding because, among the list of the entourage, she is supposedly the most important woman in the Bride’s life second to her parents.
- In some cultures, she customarily provides for the Bride’s Bachelorette party together with the other Bridesmaids.
- You can actually have 1 or more if you like, but be sure to ask your Church first for any restrictions
- He is considered the Groom’s best friend who is the primary attendant to the wedding and is also considered one of the witnesses during the event.
- He is the equivalent of the Maid of Honor.
- He also performs important duties during the wedding where he is mostly responsible to assist the Groom in his needs throughout the day.
- In some cultures, he’s also responsible to give the Groom his Bachelor or Stag Party together with the rest of the Groomsmen.
- You can actually have 1 or more if you like, but be sure to ask your Church first for any restrictions
They are usually a pair separate from the Best Man, Maid of Honor, Groomsmen and Bridesmaids, but most likely are dressed the same unless you prefer otherwise. But in certain cases when the couple wanted an intimate wedding, they can be taken from the list of Groomsmen and Bridesmaids. No specific rule applies regarding their age, status or degree of closeness with the couple although traditionally, those who are chosen to be Secondary Sponsors were usually married couples who are close to the couple.
- Candle Sponsors
They are a pair that will be carrying a pair of candles that symbolizes the Light of Christ in the union of the couple.
- Veil Sponsors
They are a pair that will be carrying the wedding veil that symbolizes the couple’s unity as one.
- Cord Sponsors
They are a pair that will be carrying the wedding cord that symbolizes everlasting fidelity or the couple’s bond with one another
- They are the Groom’s close single male friends and relatives (though some are married already) who stand as other witnesses to the marriage which is the equivalent of the Bridesmaids.
- They are in attendant to the Groom’s needs during the wedding in support of the Best Man.
- There is no specific number for your Groomsmen. You can actually have as many as you like but be sure to ask your Church first for any restrictions
- They are the Bride’s close single female friends and relatives (though some are married already) who stand as other witnesses to the marriage which is the equivalent of the Groomsmen.
- They are in attendant to the Bride’s needs during the wedding in support of the Maid Man.
- They are often called decorative wallflowers for the wedding event since traditionally they also considered the Bride’s most beautiful female friends and relatives.
- There is no specific number for your Bridesmaids. You can actually have as many as you like but be sure to ask your Church first for any restrictions
They are represented by young boys traditionally not younger than 8 years old (verify with the Church for certain rules) who would carry important items to be used during the ceremony.
- Ring Bearer
The young boy will be carrying wedding rings symbolizes the eternal pledge of the love of the couple
- Coin Bearer
He will be seen carrying 13 coins or arrhae that symbolizes prosperity for the couple. Each coin represents the groom’s monetary gift or pledge to be eternally devoted to the welfare of his wife and future children
- Bible Bearer
The young boy will be carrying a Bible that symbolizes the word of God in the couple’s marriage
- They are represented by young girls not younger than 4 years old who will be tasked to carry a basket full of flowers.
- Minimum of 2 girls but better to ask your church for any restrictions
- Traditionally, they symbolize innocence, beauty, fertility, and prosperity to the couple.
- In some cultures, they are also called mini-brides who wear the mini-version of the bride’s wedding gowns
New Entourage Roles
Man of Honor
This role is similar to the Maid of Honor, except that this title is given to the Bride’s male and/or gay best friend.
Herald or Banner Bearer
This is a new role given to a young male bearer not younger than 5 years old who will be seen carrying a Banner or poster with various taglines/quotes about the couple and ceremony. This role wasn’t customary but was found quite active in recent years.
This is a new role given to a young girl dressed up like the Bride. The girl is usually the daughter of the Bride or niece.
Adult Bearers and Adult Flower Lady
More recently, there have been weddings that prefer to have their bearers and/flower girls to be represented by adults. Although this is way out of tradition, it’s not being restricted by the Church just as long as the duties is executed properly.
Do you already have a list of people for your Wedding Entourage but still not sure how to approach them? Maybe our post here about WAYS TO ASK YOUR ENTOURAGE TO BE PART OF YOUR WEDDING might help!
Not sure if you’re going to give your entourage roles or not? This post WEDDING ENTOURAGE RESPONSIBILITIES post might give you an idea.
22 Comments Add yours
Great read for couples planning their wedding entourage!
Thank you BG Bridal Gallery PH!
Tanung ko lang po kung May bilang lang po ba sa san agustine ang bridesmaid? Kung ilan lang ang pwede mag lakad sa aisle?thanks
Hi Leah. As far as I know basta hindi lagpas ng 10 for bridesmaids and groomsmen. 4 pairs naman max for Principal sponsors, after that may bayad na. But be mindful of the strict 60 mins wedding rites including bridal, groom and entourage march.
Salamat po. Tungkol naman po sa reception okay ba la castellana? Or may iba po ba kayo pwede suggest na malapit sa san agustin? Thanks 😊
Hi Leah. You can check our review about sa La Castellana dito https://ourbudgetdreamwedding.com/our-dream-team/ click mo lang yung icon ng La Castellana
Hi Lux G. Thanks!
Love how detailed your blog is! Thanks for the tips!
You’re welcome DillyDallygirl 🙂
Hi Shein. Thanks for appreciating our blog! With regards to your question, yes, renewal of vows na tawag if you will be conducting a new Church or Civil wedding. Since wala kayo formal entourage before, you can still incorporate having entourage but with the approval of the church where you will get married as well as having a more formal Church wedding complete with the traditional ceremonial roles. But better to inquire with your church directly if they’ll allow it kasi usually different regulations for different churches.
Happy preps! 🙂
Thanks and God Bless. This is very detailed and informative. Planning to have it on March 2020.
Hi Dora. Thank you for appreciating our blog. Feel free to ask if you have any questions. Happy preps and God bless you too! 🙂
Ask lang po. Paano po kpag civil wedding limited lang din po ba yung mga ninong/ninang? Tapoa born again yung guy,. Salamat po.
Hi Dianne. Don’t confuse civil wedding with ceremonial church weddings.
If you intend to do Civil wedding, you and fiancé need minimum of 2 witnesses (any religion) in front of a Judge or a solemnizing officer. For requirements, you can check this post: https://ourbudgetdreamwedding.com/2016/03/19/wedding-legal-requirements-in-the-philippines/
If ceremonial church wedding naman, you can find the list of requirements din diyan. But this will vary depending which Church you intend to get married.
For a complete list of our helpful posts, go to Home and the links are listed there ng pagkakasunod-sunod.
Hope that helps!
Garry and Aiki 🙂
Is it essential to have the bearers if you have an intimate wedding? Thanks!
If your intimate wedding would allow kids to be present (community quarantine restrictions) and you really feel the need to have them, yes. Otherwise, due to the pandemic, it’s probably best to keep wedding ceremonies kids-free these days until they are fully vaccinated and things would be more in control.
Hello! How early should I ask my entourage to be part of my wedding?
The earlier the better especially due to the pandemic there are lots of things to consider. Telling them about it earlier would give them ample time to prepare. Pre-pandemic, the usual time frame like in our case was around 6 months. But these days, 8 months would be okay.
Do these roles apply for civil weddings?
Not all, it depends on the role. But some civil weddings do these things, and some don’t. It will depend on the couple.