I am marrying a wonderful Filipino guy. I am a full blooded mutt mix of Polish, Czech and Greek…. The only thing that our cultures have in common in being Catholic and The Money Dance. My future mother in law explained the role of “Sponsors” to us and we tossed the idea around for a while on whether or not we would like to have any.
Since we aren’t having a traditional Catholic wedding, we weren’t sure if we should move forward with this tradition or not, but in the end, we decided to go for it. We have two sets of couples here, in Vegas, whom we look up to, respect and are happily married for years and years.
We, unfortunately, had to ask our couples via phone because we were unable to get together with them, but no matter how we asked them, they were thrilled and honored that we asked them to do this.
Well, apparently we didn’t research their roles well enough because they asked us what we wanted for them to do and we were clueless. We aren’t doing a unity candle, cord & veil or coin ceremony. So in the end, we designed them as “Primary Sponsors”, which was described as such:
The Principal Sponsors (aka Ninang and Ninong): These are women and men whom the bride and groom respect & admire. They are, as in the early days of the Church, sponsors of the couple attesting to their readiness for marriage and freedom to marry. These are often aunts and uncles or close friends of the family. In the Philippines, they are the official witnesses of the state and they sign the marriage license. Worldwide, their participation is symbolic of the wisdom & support they shall offer the new couple. The number of sponsors can vary from a single couple to many couples. The Principal sponsors are part of the bridal procession. At the nuptial blessing, they may also be invited to come up with the celebrant and to extend their right hands to join in the prayer of blessing. In doing so, they are fulfilling their roles as sponsors.
We will acknowledge them during the ceremony and then have them enter during the reception. There- a compromise on traditions.