Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Solemnizing Officers : the best kept secret of Philippine catholic weddings


We are at a standstill. Our options are very restricted in church and we don't want to get married at the city hall. I thought we were doomed to just settling to one or the other. However I found another option as I was skimming through the girltalk forum. (I'm very thankful for this forum as it really helped saved my sanity during wedding preps. They have truckloads of information to all things wedding.)

I learned that there's another option called the Solemnizing Officer (SO). So what is a solemnizing officer and who can be one?

A solemnizing officer is a person legally authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony. Per the 1987 Family Code of the Philippines' Chapter 1, Article 7, a solemnizing office may be a judge within his court’s jurisdiction, a mayor within his territorial jurisdiction, or a priest or minister who is authorized by his church or sect and registered with the local civil registrar. In special cases, such as when one party is “in articulo mortis” or at the point of death, then military commanders, ship captains, and airplane chiefs may officiate a wedding. Consuls are also allowed to officiate weddings between two Filipinos abroad. 

I realized that we're only aware of the 1st kind of solemnizing officers which are the judges or mayors. We didn't know about the others.

What does it mean to me? It meant that I can still have a religious ceremony and get the kind of wedding that I want with all the trappings that I'd love to include and incorporate.


By focusing on the next type of solemnizing officer which is a priest or minister who is authorized by his church or sect and registered with the local civil registrar. The catch here is that you or your fiance should belong to your chosen SO's church or religious sect.

NSO keeps track of all the registered solemnizing officers in the country. Aside from the name and contact numbers, it also includes their registry number and their church affiliation. Please click here for the complete listing. 

Most solemnizing officers will give you free rein in designing the flow of your ceremony program. All you have to do is find the SO that you'll be at ease in working with.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Catholic church restrictions... AARGG!

pic courtesy of eric suarez
I love the church. I love the solemn feeling when I'm inside one. The peace, the quiet and the all out ambiance hooks me in that I always make it a point to check out the church in a place that I visited for the first time.

However, when it comes to wedding, churches seem to still be living in a different era totally unparalleled to the one we're in now.

Below are some of the restrictions that we encountered when we're still church hunting.

  1. Personalized vows not allowed (there are some churches that do allow this but usually it's the expensive ones.)
  2. Liturgical songs only.
  3. Sleeveless, tubes, backless and too revealing dress are a no-no.
  4. Flower girls should be 5yo and above. 
  5. The AVP should be in uniform.
  6. No throwing of petals to the newly-wed. 

I gave up after this. I just don't understand why they have to be so rigid. This is just IMO. I just believe that even if I say my own personal vows to my HTB, walk to the tune of my favorite alternative song, wear a tube wedding gown or whether my suppliers arrive in shorts and slippers, the God I know won't care. I don't think he'll even take notice. I believe that my God loves me very much and will instead be very happy that I'm celebrating this very special day. Those other stuff.. it's insignificant. We can all compromise on that.

Crunching the bridal numbers

are pennies enough?

Philippine weddings are also almost synonymous with sky-rocketing prices. Don't you find it odd that anything that you put the word "wedding" to automatically becomes unexplainably expensive? A dress is just a dress until you put the "wedding" on it. A cake is just a cake before it becomes a "wedding" cake. And the list goes on and on and on.

From the get-go, I told myself that I'll be a practical bride. Living in with my fiance for 2years taught me that there's so much more to married life than cotton candies and roses. And though I know that a wedding is a special day indeed, I was determined to not waste our hard-earned savings for half a day of celebration.

I just don't see the point of wearing a 50k dress that I'll only wear once and only for less than 12hours.

Nor will I spend 20k for flowers that will just get bruised and wilted.

I refuse to pay 15k for a car that I'll only ride on for less than 2hours.

Nor for a 150k venue that's bare and still needs separate decorations.

These figures are just somewhere in between the ranges. It could go lower or higher depending on a lot of factors. Regardless, I still find it too impractical even if we could afford it.

I want to prove that we don't need to break the bank just to have a fabulous wedding. I know that it can be done. I'll find ways.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

walking down the aisle less travelled

pic courtesy of alex sevilla

In a catholic counrty such as the Philippines, there are only but a few common categories for a wedding. The most common are:

  1. Church
  2. Civil
  3. Christian

Both being devout catholics, when we planned for our wedding two years ago we also wanted to celebrate it in a church. Yep, we wanted it too but mostly it was because we thought that there were no other options. Only Christians, as far as I know then, allow weddings outside the church. We didn't want to get married in a sterile City Hall in front of some politician or judge as well.

So church was it. But as we approach nearer to our wedding date, I get more and more frustrated because most of the things that I wanted present in MY wedding just doesn't seem to be allowed.

That started me on this journey to a much less threaded path, walking down the aisle less travelled.


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