Chinese migrants in the Philippines dated as far as before the Spanish conquest. But it was during the World War II and the fall of mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party where the many Chinese from Fujian province escaped to the Philippines. This group formed the bulk of the current population of the Filipino-Chinese.
The Chinese, like most cultures in the world, have their own unique wedding traditions, ceremonies and even superstitions. Their traditions, influenced with Filipino customs, makes Filipino-Chinese weddings even more interesting.
A few months in the business, I was receiving orders for Chinese engagements (tinghun) but I had no idea which arrangements they need. Later, after much research and experience, I found out that a traditional tinghun needed the following flower arrangements:
1. Female corsage
2. Male boutonniere
3. Two pairs of presentation bouquets with 4 dozen flowers OR 6 or 8 varieties of flowers. All colors are acceptable except for white.
My latest tinghun arrangement was for a young couple named Jerry and Diane. I never met them until their engagement day. I communicated with Diane via SMS and email. She is nice and sweet yet very detail oriented. She specifically asked me to make sure the corsage and boutonniere are secure. It is said that it is considered bad luck if the corsage or boutonniere falls.
In my practice, I realized that different clients have different requests and I find it important to give extra attention to these. As a floral designer, I’ve learned to honor traditions, respect beliefs and accept differences.
Corsage and boutonniere: Yellow cymbidium orchids
Bouquet: Roses, carnations, gerberas and lilies
Photos by Imagine Nation Photography