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Philippine Church Wedding

Ninong and Ninang

The typical Filipino wedding is characterized by the long line-up of ninongs and ninangs or the godparents. Their names appear in the invitation under the heading "principal sponsors." According to Rita Neri's The Essential Wedding Workbook for the Filipina, "ninongs and ninangs are senior men and women, preferably married, who are either family members or close friends of the couple's parents."

Ninongs and ninangs are expected to serve as the couple's second parents or counselors especially when the newlyweds' parents are no longer there to guide them.

According to the Bride's Maids and Co.'s Veil, in the Philippines, the social status of the wedding is dictated by its line-up of principal sponsors. Hence, it is not surprising that prominent personalities are often asked to be a ninong or ninang. Neri adds that it is rare for a Filipino to refuse to be a godparent not only because of the honor that goes with it but because it is considered unlucky to do so.

The law requires at least two wedding sponsors or witnesses. Veil suggests two to four pairs of principal sponsors for small weddings while larger weddings can do with a maximum of six to eight pairs. After a couple has finalized the line-up, they are advised to personally invite their soon-to-be godparents, a phone call or letter just won't do. Principal sponsors are also expected to grace the despedida de soltera.

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Sources:
Bride's Maids and Co. Veil: The Secret Behind the Perfect Wedding. Volume 1. 1999.
Neri, Rita. The Essential Wedding Workbook for the Filipina. 1998.





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