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Filipino Wedding FAQs: All You Need to Know About Secondary Sponsors

Filipino Wedding FAQs: All You Need to Know About Secondary Sponsors

wedding toast

In a previous article, we discussed the number of ninongs and ninangs you need in your wedding. Now that you know everything you need to know about principal sponsors, it’s time to learn about the other people you need in your entourage: your secondary sponsors.

The topic of secondary sponsors is one that’s always being discussed in wedding and bridal forums, mainly because people aren’t exactly sure what their secondary sponsors are.  One of the questions we see often is “What’s the difference between bridesmaids and secondary sponsors?”

Don’t know how to answer that question as well? Or perhaps you have a lot of other unanswered questions?

Read on to learn everything you need to know about secondary sponsors in Filipino weddings.

What is a secondary sponsor in a Filipino wedding?

In Filipino weddings, the secondary sponsors are a combination of family members and friends of the bride and groom. These are men and women that you choose to involve in your wedding ceremony because of your close relationship or friendship with them. They are normally your close friends or relatives (especially aunts and uncles).

Their main tasks are to manage the wedding candles, the veil, and the cord ceremonies that take place during the nuptial mass.

How many secondary sponsors in a wedding?

The list of secondary sponsors in your church wedding should include three sets of:

  • Candle Sponsors – those who light the wedding candles before the rite of marriage
  • Veil Sponsors – those who drape the veil over the bride’s head and the groom’s shoulder (they also remove it once the cord has been removed)
  • Cord Sponsors – those who place or tie the cord over the bride and groom (they also remove it after Communion)

Each set of secondary sponsors can both be men/women, you don’t need to pair one up with the opposite sex. As long as they’re up to the task, choose whoever you want to include in your entourage list.

What are the meanings of the secondary sponsor symbols?

The Candle symbolizes the Light of Christ or God’s guidance. It’s considered to be the same light you receive at Baptism and you receive it again in your wedding to lead you in your new life as a married couple. In this ritual, some couples choose to have their fathers and mothers light the candles instead of secondary sponsors.

The Veil symbolizes that the bride and groom are clothed and unified as one. Its original meaning was that it symbolized the presence of the Lord, as the color of the veil (white) is a symbol of purity. The veil is placed over the shoulders to symbolize their union and being “clothed as one” in unity.

Lastly, the cord is a symbol of the bride and groom’s bond as a couple. It symbolizes that they’re longer two, but united as one in the binding nature of their marriage.

Who to choose as secondary sponsors?

Long-time friends, siblings, and relatives (especially aunts and uncles) are the usual wedding sponsor candidates. However, if you don’t have anyone in mind to be your secondary sponsors, your groomsmen and bridesmaids – and even your Maid of Honor and Best Man — can certainly do double duty.

Who to Choose as Bridesmaids

Start with your sister/s and cousin/s. If they’re much younger, you can have them serve as usherettes but if they’re 18 years old and above, you can definitely give them the full-blown honor of being part of your wedding entourage. It’s also easier to coordinate with them if you all live in the same household or neighborhood.

If you want to choose your close friends, emphasize reliability. While you won’t need your bridesmaids to participate too much in planning your wedding, there will certainly be moments when you’ll need to count on them. With bridesmaid dress order deadlines and tight wedding timelines, the last person you need is someone who’s not reliable.

Lean towards friends who you know will answer your messages, show up on time when you need them, and probably even be more prepared than you (because let’s face it, bride brain mishaps can happen).

Who to Choose as Groomsmen

For your partner, they should select groomsmen based on who’s an active part of their life right now. It can be their brothers, your brothers (if you have any), their closest friends, or the cousins they grew up with. Simply put, it should be people they trust with things like planning the bachelor party and most importantly — not losing your wedding rings!

Should secondary sponsors be single?

If you’re already thinking about the wedding superstition that secondary sponsors shouldn’t be married, because if they are, they’ll mostly separate or file for an annulment — then we’re here to tell you to stop believing in that old wives’ tale ASAP!

Yes, your secondary sponsors can be married so don’t let old myths scare you or affect your choices. If you want one of your married BFFs to be one the secondary sponsors in your wedding, go for it! They’ll most likely feel honored to be part of your wedding entourage.

How to ask people to be your secondary sponsors?

Asking people to be part of your wedding entourage can be both exciting and nerve-racking. You never know if they’ll actually accept your invitation.

If you want to ensure that you ask them in the nicest way possible — go beyond text messages, phone calls, and emails.

Here are some ways to ask your friends or relatives to be part of the weddings’ secondary sponsors.

  • Include “will you be” cards or “will you be” gifts in their wedding invitations

This is actually the trend nowadays, so if you’re the creative type, you can give them a DIY card along with their wedding invitation. Write a heartfelt handwritten message on the card explaining why you’ve chosen them to play a special role in your big day.

For gifts, you can give leather pouches with “Secondary Sponsor” printed and fill it with trinkets like a bottle of nail polish that matches your wedding colors (for the women) or cuff links with their initials (for the men). You can also give them enamel pins that will let them show off their roles.

  • Treat them to lunch or dinner

This is probably the most traditional, formal, and practical way to reach out and ask potential secondary sponsors to be part of your special day. When you treat them to lunch or dinner, it’ll make them feel special that you exerted the effort to reach out and ask them formally, rather than just sending a message through Facebook or text. It also strengthens your relationship and connection with them.

You can do one of the things above or do both, depending on what you think is best. At the end of the day, it’s up to your and partner. Just be sincere and be yourself when asking them!

How to choose the outfits of your secondary sponsors?

Contrary to popular belief, your secondary sponsors don’t need to wear the same outfits as your bridesmaids and groomsmen, unless they’re doing double-duty. Your female secondary sponsors can simply wear a gown in cream, off-white, or any shade that’s close to your wedding colors. Gentlemen can wear either short or long-sleeved polo shirts in neutral colors paired with black or dark brown slacks.

See Also
female day of wedding coordinator

Remember that in church weddings, female secondary sponsors are not allowed to wear gowns or dresses with plunging necklines, bare backs, or see-through material. If they have a strapless or sleeveless gown on, they be will required to wear a shawl. Gentlemen, on the other hand, will not be allowed to wear shorts, denim pants, leather jackets, or anything too sporty and casual.

Overall, it’s best to advise your secondary sponsors to dress smartly and modestly, as the occasion calls for it. Just give them a color scheme they can stick with and it’ll be fine. Also, don’t worry about not providing their outfits for them. They shouldn’t feel offended about it either.

What wedding tokens should you give to your secondary sponsors?

wine bottles
Courtesy of Pixabay

Wondering about the possible gifts you can give to your secondary sponsors? We understand the task can be daunting, which is why we’ve listed some wedding token ideas your secondary sponsors will surely love. (If you prefer giving edible wedding giveaways, we’ve got an article dedicated for that too!)

  • Wine

For a sophisticated wedding token, a bottle of wine labelled with their names and a short handwritten thank you note is a great way to honor your secondary sponsors.

  • Engraved pens

This is a classy and practical way to show your gratitude. Plus, whenever they use the pen, they’ll think fondly of your wedding and how much fun they had.

  • Personalized Wooden & Cork Coasters

Your secondary sponsors will always be reminded of your wedding each time they use the personalized coasters you’ve given them.

  • Gift certificates (spa or buffet)

Let your secondary sponsors treat themselves to a relaxing day at the spa or to feast on delicious food!

  • Succulents

These cute plants have been popular in the wedding scene for years, and rightly so. Succulents are gorgeous and terrific additions to anyone’s home. While they’re perfect for garden weddings, they’ll also suit the theme of any celebration as they’re chic, affordable, and not to mention eco-friendly.

And that’s a wrap! You now know everything you need to know about secondary sponsors in Filipino weddings.

Now that you’ve ticked off another box in your wedding checklist, you’re one step closer to living the life you’ve dreamed off with your partner.

If you’ve got any more questions, just comment down below!

Chryss Segovia
Author: Chryss Segovia

Chryss loves ice cream, literature, and East Asian pop culture. She would like to pet your dog.

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