Entourage and the roles therein

Half of this union is new to the wedding culture that we have here in the Philippines. Even I still have a lot yet to learn. Slowly but surely though, Hubbie is getting a grip on how weddings are here and in turn, orienting our Japanese entourage as well.

I found this article from the bridalbook helpful; simple yet straight to the point.

http://www.bridalbook.ph/articles/the-entourage-and-their-roles

wedding culture differences

It was only this evening, on a talk with Hubbie, did I realize three glaring differences between the wedding etiquettes in Japan and here in Philippines. One particular etiquette may be SOP in one country but could be perceived as presumptuous on the other country.

Here goes what, in no particular order of gravity.

1. cash gifts

In Japan, it’s automatic that when one gets invited to the wedding, he/she would be setting aside some money for their cash gift. A previous Japanese seatmate at work mentioned before that usually, minimum amount for the gift is 30,000yen. “Why so expensive?!”, I exclaimed. He says 10,000yen is deemed too small and 20,000yen or any even digit number is considered bad luck. So the cheapest sensible amount is 30,000yen. 40,000 is considered bad luck also so the next reasonable amount is 50,000yen, then 70,000yen, so on and so forth. I had another Japanese friend who cannot attend his friend’s wedding hence he bought flowers for the newlywed but still, prepared his cash gift. Buying a bedsheet or a rice cooker for the couple wasn’t considered at all.

In Philippines, it’s been a custom to set aside some of our time to shop some house items for the couple as our gift. And hence those who didn’t opt for the bridal registry would then find themselves showered with 3 rice cookers, 4 flat irons, plates, pans, glasswares, und so weiter. Although it’s still considered a delicate matter, the Philippine wedding setting has already been somewhat mimicking lately the culture on cash gifts. However, because of the ingrained attitude we Filipinos have to go and shop for house items for the newly-weds, couples are opting to include in their invites their preference for cash gifts. I must tell you though: finding the nice and appropriate way of including this request in our invite is VERY difficult since some guests may perceive this as very presumptuous indeed. But I had to include this request on our invites owing primarily to the fact that our wedding is here in Philippines yet we will be settling down in Japan. To have the material gifts we received here be shipped to Japan would probably cost much more that their actual cost. So I hope, I hope all our guests would understand this.

2. Attire

In Japan, it’s automatic, everyone would come to the wedding attired in their formal wear. They need not be informed beforehand. I have one concern though: they consider black suits as a formal wear. But I don’t want anything black on our wedding. Hence we may have to specifically state on our invites that we’re requesting for no black suits. Barong tagalog is requested especially for male guests who will be part of the wedding entourage.

In Philippines, your invites have to be specific. You need to specify if attire is strictly formal or if casual wear is acceptable.

3. An adult affair

In Japan, again, it’s understood that parents will not be bringing their small babies to the wedding event.

In Philippines, you have to really specify that it is an adult affair and that the couple has to politely request parents not to bring their infants to the wedding. Of course, the kids who are part of the entourage are still coming with us to the reception; they’re old enough anyway. I’m talking of infants. This one is particularly difficult on me now. And I can only hope we can settle this matter without feelings getting hurt.

Wearing a Kimono, the first time

When I went to Kyoto and then later to Osaka with my friends, we mulled on donning on kimonos and walk around the old town wearing our kimonos and of course take lots of pictures of us in kimonos. But what stopped us from renting is that these kimonos-for-rent comes with an exorbitant price, some at 50,000yen for a couple hours or so. Hence, in the last 9 years that I came and went in Japan, I never really had the chance to wear a kimono.

But it was a good thing I didn’t take on the chances I had previously. Because a chance presented itself to me when I visited Hubbie’s hometown, and this time, my “first time” was made even more special – i’d be wearing Okasan’s kimono, which she wore when she was almost about my age. Heirloom, ne? hehe.

me in curlers

me trying to fit my feet into the dainty Japanese slippers

"let's try it out shall we?"

tada!

 The dressing up is actually for our family portrait. Will post the official pictures once they’re out.

Anyways, I’m thankful to Otosan for having captured this tender moment that passed between me and Hubbie.

yiihii ^_^. Admit it again Hubbie, you were so in love with me that day, ne? =D

And of course, I am very thankful to Otosan, Okasan, Obachan, Ojichan and Mayumi for making my stay in Takamatsu a wonderful one. Of course, it goes to say I’m truly thankful to Hubbie as well. =)

Updated: Church Requirements

Called both Lipa Chancery and Xavier Parish this morning and finally steps have been nailed down.

What the Lipa Chancery needs is for us to submit copies of the following:

  1. my Baptismal Certificate
  2. my Confirmation Certificate
  3. Marriage Contract – translated copy attached
  4. Copy of my CENOMAR (certificate of no marriage)
  5. Groom’s Certificate of Singleness – Koseki Tohon (Family Register) and the translated copy will suffice
  6. Certificate of Freedom to Marry for the Groom – Item 5 will suffice since Hubbie is non-practicing Christian
  7. Photocopy of the Groom’s passport

Since I’m now in Manila, they agreed that I can send the copies to them via LBC. They will then assess our papers and if cleared, and granting availability of the priest, they will schedule us for an interview on January 4 (to be confirmed) . Depending on the interview results, they will issue a clearance certificate to Xavier Parish, informing the Parish of the “go signal” for us to marry.

At the same time, I will also send copies of the following to Xavier Parish via LBC:

  1. Marriage Certificate
  2. New Copy of Baptismal Certificate
  3. New Copy of Confirmation Certificate
  4. Name/License No. of Officiating Priest
  5. Name of Sponsors
  6. Wallet size picture

If in case I still don’t have with me Items 4 and 5, no problem with them, says Sally. They will then issue the request for the publication of the wedding banns which I will publish in my hometown in Davao.

Xavier Parish will adjust our Canonical interview schedule depending on our interview schedule with Lipa Chancery, granting availability of Parish Priest. So if our schedule with Lipa Chancery is morning of January 4, they can schedule us on the afternoon of January 4 (to be confirmed).

So happy!

At the time of publication, the following are the helpful contact details of both Lipa Chancery and Xavier Parish:

Lipa Chancery: 6343.7562572; 63917.3545163; Archdiocesan Chancery, Archdiocese of Lipa, Cathedral Site, Lipa City, Batangas; Contact: Ivy P. Vilela

Xavier Parish: 6343.4160564; St. Francis Xavier Parish JP Laurel St. Nasugbu, Batangas 4231; Contact: Sally Dastas

Church Requirements

NB: Please read as well updated Church Requirements post here.

Getting married in the Church here in the Philippines certainly just doesn’t only involve getting a priest to bless your marriage – although I think it would mean more meaningful that way. It doesn’t only involve gathering around and saying our prayers and asking (and receiving) the blessing. How I so wish it’s as easy as that! But no, there are a lot of bureaucracies involved and we have to comply with it all so that we will be allowed to get married in the Church.

Normally, for couples who are both Filipinos and are both Catholics and haven’t been married yet, below are the documents you need to submit to the Church and the process you need to go through:

  1. Marriage License – can be obtained from the municipal hall of either the bride or groom
  2. New Copy of Baptismal Certificate – secured from the Parish where the person received the Sacrament of Baptism and annotated with “For Marriage Purposes”. Must be requested no longer than 6 months before the wedding.
  3. New Copy of Confirmation Certificate – secured from the Parish where the person received the Sacrament of Confirmation and annotated with “For Marriage Purposes”. Must be requested no longer than 6 months before the wedding. I had Mama request for Items 2 and 3.
  4. Name/License No. of Officiating Priest
  5. Name of Sponsors
  6. Certificate of Freedom to Marry – for those who stayed abroad for more than 6 months
  7. Wallet size picture
  8. Pre-cana seminar – For Caleruega weddings, the pre-cana seminar can be taken from any parish anywhere in the Philippines. The couple just need to secure a certificate of attendance. This may not hold true for other Churches though.
  9. Wedding Banns
  10. Canonical Interviews

Once you have Items 1 ~ 7, submit the documents to the Chancery (in our case Lipa Chancery). Lipa Chancery will then issue us a letter of endorsement for Xavier Parish (parish incharge of Caleruega). Xavier Parish will then issue the letter for the request of the publication of wedding banns. The wedding banns need to be published in the couple’s hometown or place of current residence for 3 consecutive Sundays.

Once done with Items 8 and 9, a copy of the signed publication of the wedding banns and the certificate of attendance in the pre-cana seminar has to be presented to the church you’re marrying in to have a schedule for the Canonical interview which shall be conducted by the parish priest of the Church you are marrying in. For our case, Xavier Parish (in behalf of Caleruega) will only schedule us for canonical interview after we’ve had the pre-cana seminar.   

It doesn’t end with the Canonical Interview. After the Canonical interview, the (1) signed publication of Wedding banns, (2) certificate of attendance in pre-cana seminar and (3) result ot canonical interview has to be submitted to the Chancery Office. Depending on results of the Canonical interview, the Chancery may schedule the couple for an interview with the Canon Lawyer.

Once done with the Chancery, the couple has to wait for a 3-day processing period before the couple can receive the signed Clearance from the Chancery Office together with all the original documents submitted (NB: couple must make sure to secure photocopies of all the original documents you submitted just in case such documents might be asked for by other entities). Once all documents has been received from the Chancery, the couple must then submit all the documents to the Church the couple is marrying in. Done.

BUT oh! Didn’t I say above process is only for couples who are both Filipinos and are both Catholics and haven’t been married yet? Yes, even when you’re civilly married, it still doesn’t save you from needing to submit the documents required by the Church. More so, it still doesn’t save you from needing to undergo seminars. Hence the only requirement we need not submit in above list is Item 1.

Our case is a little extra special. We have been civilly married already and my groom is a non-practicing Christian and of a different nationality with Nihongo as a national language (to which it follows that all documents issued by his government is in Nihongo). Hence as expected, we have to submit ADDITIONAL requirements on top of those listed above.

  1. Marriage Contract – true, we eliminated Item 1 in above list but then it got replaced with this. Our Marriage Contract is in Japanese hence it has to be translated first. The Japanese priest who usually helps Japanese nationals with their marriages here in Philippines recently died last August. At the moment, they haven’t found any replacement for his post hence the Chancery can’t advise us yet their accredited translator. At the moment though, they would accept Hubbie’s translation (whew! yey!). We need to provide the official translation from the accredited agency later, though.
  2. Copy of my CENOMAR (certificate of no marriage) – the one used during your application for civil marriage. For my case, the Philippine embassy in Tokyo required it be authenticated by the DFA here hence my CENOMAR has got a DFA red-ribbon with it.
  3. Groom’s Certificate of Singleness – the one used during application for civil marriage. For our case, this is Hubbie’s Koseki Tohon (Family Register).Thankfully, the Phil. embassy required us to pay for the translation of this and also gave us the original copy after our CNO application so I already have this.
  4. Certificate of Freedom to Marry for the Groom – this is a letter or certificate signed by the groom’s pastor that says that the pastor knows that the groom is free to marry, and has no record of previous marriage in his church. Yes, even when we’re already married, they still requested for this since, as they say, “in the eyes of the church, we’re still not married”.  This got me scratching my head. Aren’t government papers enough? Anyways, since Hubbie is non-practicing Christian, Item 3 will have to suffice (thankfully!!).
  5. Photocopy of the Groom’s passport

Depending on Fr. Nishimoto’s replacement, there may be additional requirements on top of above 5 requirements.

 Quite a tall order eh? In any case, as it is said, when you’ve worked really hard to get something, then that something will be of more value to you once you have it. Getting past the obstacle will make a sweet victory. Gambatte to us Hubbie! =)

————

2 hours after:

Thanks to Erika, my question on why our processing is more complicated than usual was answered. To quote her:

The Clearance at the Chancery Office is only required for couples where one of the marrying party is either of the following:
1. Non-Filipino citizens
2. Filipino citizens who have lived abroad for more than 6 years
3. Non-catholic individuals
4. Individuals who were previously married and whose marriage was dissolved

Otherwise, if you are both single, Filipino and Catholic, there is no need to seek clearance at the Chancery Office. All requirements will be processed by the parish where the marriage will take place – or in your case, the parish who handles the Chapel.

Thanks Erika! =)

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