Filipiniana Wedding Ideas - Barong Look
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Filipiniana Wedding Ideas: How to Get Started

This past month, we were thrilled to announce the launch of our first-ever VINTA Gallery Filipiniana Wedding Collection — and the response has been incredible.

Filipiniana wedding attire has always been our forté since the dawn of VINTA time — from 2009 to be exact. And we’ve done many Filipino-inspired weddings since then, from a barrio fiesta themed, 300-person wedding celebration in a California ranch to a queer couple’s intimate, modern Filipiniana wedding ceremony in Toronto, Canada.

As with most of our previous modern Filipiniana wedding dresses and barongs, each piece is customized and personalized according to the bride and/or groom’s preferences. We start from “scratch” so to speak, and most of our clients already have an idea of what it is they want, the look and feel of their wedding day and the embroidery designs. It becomes a very involved process — one of our favourite wedding couple clients, both artists, even came ready and prepared with the exact embroidery motifs they wanted for the terno dress sleeve and groom’s barong, which they researched and designed themselves!

VINTA Gallery Black Short-Sleeved Custom Wedding Barong

The embroidery on this custom VINTA Gallery short-sleeved black barong was designed by the groom himself, Noel, which was inspired by the warrior tattoos of the Kalinga and motifs from Northern Ilocos — the region in the Philippines where his family is from.

But for many of us who are not artists or designers, it may feel overwhelming even thinking about where to begin. The good news is you don’t have to plan your dream Filipiniana wedding from scratch. That’s what we’re here for — translating your ideas into reality. But to do that, we’ll need a bit of help from you. Before you hit SEND on that wedding inquiry form, we recommend you yourself a few questions:

  • What would wearing Filipiniana mean to me?
  • What type of Filipiniana wedding do I want?
  • What is the feeling/vibe that I want for my wedding?
  • What garments are you looking to get made (bridal gown, groom’s barong, entourage attire, etc.)?
  • What type of wedding dress or silhouette would suit me best? (Check out this helpful guideline on choosing the silhouette of your wedding gown)
  • Do I want embroidery and other embellishment (beading, etc), or do I want something more minimal, plain fabric like lace or satin? 
  • Do I want a veil? What type of veil do I want?
Filipiniana Wedding Guide - Do I Want a Veil?

And before we get even deeper into our process and intros to the pieces in our newest wedding collection, first things first: What is Filipiniana? You’ll be surprised to know that we actually get this question, or inquiries related to it (“Is it possible to make the dress more Filipiniana?”), a lot. As many of our clients are first generation Filipino-American or Filipino-Canadian, it’s quite understandable — and the term does need a bit of clarity. So let’s break down the actual meaning of “Filipiniana.” 

Based on former dean and professor Rosa M. Vallejo of the Institute of Library Science of the University of the Philippines the term Filipiniana was a derivation from two root words: namely Filipinas, the Spanish-language version of the country name of the Philippines and -ana or -aniana, which means “collected items of information,” which may be anecdotal or bibliographical in nature. Filipiniana can also refer to Philippine-related non-book materials, such as culture, figurines, games, fashion and others. So basically Filipiniana can refer to anything predominantly and uniquely Filipino.

What does that mean in the context of Filipiniana fashion? While Filipiniana attire has had many iterations in history, traditional Filipiniana does have certain elements that distinguish it from any other cultural fashion pieces. The No. 1 standout element, of course, is the butterfly sleeves on the Filipiniana terno dress. In our (still) most popular blog post, “The Filipiniana Dress: The Rebirth of the Terno,” we break it down, from the history of the terno to its evolution and actual components of the dress. Imelda Marcos definitely had a hand in catapulting the iconic Filipiniana dress into the global stage, earning her the nickname “The Iron Butterfly” for how she rocked the terno dress.

“It’s really no secret that it’s all in the sleeves. When it sits perfectly on the shoulders, the wearer simply oozes pure confidence, feminine fierceness and indescribable power.” ( ~The Filipiniana Dress: The Rebirth of the Terno)

Filipiniana Wedding Ideas - Terno Dress with Butterfly Sleeves

But the Traje de Mestiza (or the terno) is just one of the many unique elements of Filipiniana attire. actually gives an in-depth and very helpful glossary of terms when it comes to Filipiniana (check out “Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Filipiniana Attire”). This includes considering the popular textiles used in local garments, such as piña (fabric made from pineapple leaves, one of the distinct characteristics of Filipiniana fashion) and jusi (another type of Filipiniana fabric originally made from banana leaves). Other Filipiniana elements include specific garments and how they’re styled, for example, the tapis can be wrapped across the waist and fastened with a knot on one side, or panuelo or alampay (scarf) can be worn across the shoulders to cover the chest or even as a head scarf.

By creating that foundation and understanding the countless ways you can make a dress or barong “more Filipiniana,” you can really tailor the look and feel of the whole occasion. And though there is a specific traditional look when it comes to a Filipiniana dress or terno, at the end of the day, you can create/design your own version of a Filipiniana-inspired wedding. Just stay true to yourself and what you think is the most meaningful and authentic to you and your partner on your big day, and you can’t go wrong.

Modern Filipiniana Wedding Ideas

Modern Filipiniana Wedding Inspiration and New Looks from Our Collection

When we released our first-ever Filipiniana wedding line, we honestly couldn't contain our own excitement. It’s been in the works for a while — but then COVID hit, and weddings were not even a thing. As the world (slowly) starts to open up again, those wedding dress requests and inquiries have been pouring back in — and we’re ready to help.

Introducing the first pieces from the VINTA Gallery Filipiniana Wedding Collectiona collection of simple but still very detailed terno dresses, barong dresses and men’s barongs. Each piece is versatile enough so that you can still accessorize to create your own personalized and unique look for your big day. Book a consultation with us here if you have any further questions or if you’re ready to get started on your dream Filipiniana wedding plans.

The Drape Front Terno

The first in our gorgeous, made-to-measure wedding collection is the Drape Front Terno. Made of duchess satin with silk organza, see-through terno sleeves, this mid-length wedding dress is simple and classic Filipiniana. Here’s where you can play around with accessories to create a look that is undeniably you. Play around with headpieces, jewelry, shoes and obviously hair and makeup that fit your quirky/sexy/fun/extravagant personality, or keep it minimal and elegant in all-white attire. 

As a made-to-measure design, each terno will be handcrafted to your measurements so it’ll fit you like a glove. You can also customize the fabric, if white isn't your thing. Just let us know which colors, prints, or types of fabric you’d like, and we will try our best to accommodate your wishes based on what materials are available. Possibilities are endless, so let your imagination run wild.

VINTA Gallery Modern Filipiniana Wedding Collection

Modern Filipiniana Wedding Looks

The Shift Dress Terno with Pussy Bow

For civil weddings and intimate ceremonies, the Shift Dress Terno with Pussy Bow is just the perfect dress. Courthouse weddings, in fact, are actually gaining popularity, giving the soon-to-be married couple a chance to make chic fashion statements.

Made of crisp 100% cotton waffle piqué in our classic and forever flattering shift dress silhouette, again the possibilities are endless with the Shift Dress Terno with Pussy Bow. You can go for that vintage-inspired city hall wedding with a mod look, beehive hair and all, or keep it sophisticated and simple, set against a city skyline backdrop. And if this dress feels too casual for your courthouse nuptials, it could easily be worn to your bridal shower or small post-ceremony reception.

Courthouse Wedding Dress Inspiration

Minimal White Wedding Dress - Shift Dress Terno

Barong Bestida (Vanda Javierae)

It’s fashion-forward with traditional Filipiniana elements — introducing the Barong Bestida with the Vanda javierae embroidery design. The barong is commonly known as a men’s garment in the Philippines — so your Lola would never dream of you wearing a barong as a wedding dress, but it’s stunning and it works. The Barong Bestida (bestida meaning “dress” in Tagalog) is a beautifully tailored, 100% silk organza piece with a stylized bishop sleeve and classic pleating on the back of the skirt. It also features Alagadngsining's hand-manipulated, machine-embroidered design of Vanda javierae, a species of flowering plant in the orchid family, Orchidaceae, which is endemic to the Philippines in Luzon and Calayan Island. Learn more about the meaning and details behind the embroidery here

This barong dress also comes with a slip in your choice of colour (in jersey knit polyester, unless otherwise requested). Be the first to walk down the aisle in this truly one-of-a-kind dress and turn heads.

Modern Filipiniana Wedding Ideas - Barong Dress

Vanda Javierae Mantilla

A mantilla is a traditional veil or shawl, usually made with lace or silk, worn over the head and shoulders — mantilla stems from the word manta, meaning “cape.” Deeply rooted in Catholicism, particularly in Spanish, Latin and Italian cultures, the use of the mantilla started as far back as the end of the 16th century, and then later in the 1900s, its use was limited to formal occasions such as bullfights, Holy Week and weddings. With more than 86% of the Philippine population being Roman Catholic, naturally Filipinos have adopted this practice during weddings. 

Our Vanda Javierae Mantilla is a homage to this ancient cultural practice — with a modern Filipiniana twist, of course. Made with tulle, this delicate mantilla features the Vanda javierae embroidery design, so you can wear it with the Barong Bestida or add it on to your wedding ensemble for Filipiniana flora flare.

Filipiniana Floral Mantilla Wedding Veil

The Capiz Grid Sandata Barong

It’s our first men’s barong designed specifically for our Filipiniana Wedding Collection — introducing the Capiz Grid Sandata Barong. 

This pechera (half open) barong with cufflink cuffs is made of hand-painted silk organza with a subtle grid reminiscent of traditional Filipino capiz windows, along with our exclusive Sandata embroidery motif. The Sandata (meaning “sword”) design not only serves as an ongoing documentation of Philippine weaponry as a cultural heritage, but also as a metaphor for our ongoing fight for liberation as a people. Explore more about the cultural history and meaning behind the traditional Filipino swords featured in Alagadngsining’s Sandata motif here.

Tbh, most of VINTA’s men’s barongs can be worn by the groom for a Filipiniana-inspired wedding. You just have to find the barong style and embroidery design that means something to you and the rest is easy.

VINTA Gallery Filipiniana Wedding Collection - Groom's Barong

P.S. We Also Launched a New Jewelry Collection!

… and they sold out within hours of release. Not to worry — we’ll be restocking our Banaba Flower Creolla Earrings and Layered Tear-Drop Ear Lace real soon. Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter below and be the first to know when.

Filipiniana Wedding Ideas - Jewelry - Banaba Flower Creolla Earrings

VINTA Gallery Jewelry Collection - Banaba Flower Creolla Earrings

This is just the tip of the iceberg in the countless ways you can create your own Filipiniana-inspired look for your wedding. Apart from our made-to-measure wedding line, we still continue to design and produce completely custom-made Filipiniana wedding dresses and attire. For more inspiration, check out “The Modern Filipiniana Wedding, VINTA Style” for past terno dresses and looks designed by our Creative Director, Caroline Mangosing. 

Whenever you’re ready to pull the trigger, head to our Weddings and Couture page, be sure to read all the details and then click the Book a Consultation button. This will take you to our Calendly page, where you could book a free 15-minute consultation session with a team member to share your vision and take the next step with us.

Happy planning!