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How much does a wedding in Manila Cathedral cost?

Jomar and I will have our Philippine Catholic wedding in July.

To enlighten those who want to have their Sacrament of Holy Matrimony in the beautiful and historic Manila Cathedral, I will share with you how much it cost.


Why did we pick Manila Cathedral?

I want to say that because it's historic and beautiful. But honestly, it's because Manila Cathedral has relevant information on their website for a couple like us living and already legally married abroad. Ms. Donna also responds to our emails and calls promptly.

The bonus is it's historic and beautiful. According to one of my Ninang, "ang haba ng walk down the aisle mo." I didn't think of that. I'm not sure if I like it. LOL.



They also have a dashboard where you complete the forms, and it lists what you need to submit and when. It's pretty impressive.

Wedding Preparation

Step 1. Reserve a wedding date

The first thing you do is go to their website and reserve a wedding date. After you create an account and pick a wedding date, you will receive an email about a Wedding Orientation.

Step 2. Wedding orientation

I reserved our July wedding date last October 12, 2018. The orientation was on November 10, 2018. They are strictly implementing a NO ORIENTATION, NO RESERVATION policy. 

Obviously, we couldn't attend, so I responded to the email informing them that we were in Canada and couldn't make it. However, they told us that we could send a representative by preparing an authorization letter. The representative should be able to tell us all the details we need to know.

My brother-in-law and his wife attended the wedding orientation for us and provided details about the many strict rules of Manila Cathedral.

Step 3. Pay the reservation fee

After the orientation, we were asked to pay a PHP 10,000.00 reservation fee if we wanted to proceed no later than November 24, 2018. Obviously, we did.

Step 4. Login to your Manila Cathedral Dashboard

After sending them a copy of the deposit slip, I received access to my Manila Cathedral dashboard. We are required to complete the following information:
  1. Personal Information Sheet
  2. Bride and Groom Questionnaire
  3. Canonical Investigation Form (Please check individual emails). After filling out the Canonical Investigation Form, you will receive another e-mail containing your schedule for the Canonical Interview.

Step 5. Choose your wedding package

The Manila Cathedral Basilica offers two wedding package rates: 
  1. Package A (without aircon): PHP 32,000.00
  2. Package B (with aircon*): PHP 42,000.00 
The dashboard has all the information you need. 

* For weddings with aircon, the unit will be turned on 15 minutes before the reserved timeslot. This is the only downside of not having a wedding before us. It was pretty hot. But you can avail of pre-cooling services for an additional fee. 
  • PHP 3,000.00 for 30 minutes before
  • PHP 7,000 for 1 hour before

Step 6. Complete the requirements

6 months before the wedding date

We completed the following last February 2019 we went back home. 
  • Baptismal Certificate
  • Confirmation Certificate
  • Attendance in Pre-Cana Seminar
  • Canonical Interview
  • Certificate of Freedom to Marry/Affidavit of Free Status to Marry (I don't think we submitted this since we're already married in Canada)
  • Not listed in their list of requirements is that you're supposed to submit a 2x2 picture. We were in a panic with this requirement since I didn't plan a time for it, and our schedule last February was jam-packed, and we had to squeeze it in.

3 months before the wedding date

  • Marriage Bans & Permission (This is another requirement apparently coming from your local parish Church. Because we've been living in Canada, I had to call our local church and ask if they could do this. The requirement was our parish priest had to interview three people and confirm that we were not married in the Catholic Church. Thank God that we're active (we go to Mass every Sunday) and that our Filipino friends helped us! Then, our parish priest mailed it to the Archdiocese of Manila directly.)
  • Marriage License/NSO Copy of Marriage Contract (Civilly Married)/ Report of Marriage (Civilly Married Abroad) (Hubby did a good job taking care of this. He insisted that as soon as we receive our marriage certificate in Canada, we file it in the Philippine consulate right away, which helped with this requirement)
  • Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) / Legal Capacity (For Foreigners) (We didn't need this)

2 months before the wedding date

Two months before the wedding date, you need to fill out endorsements forms.
  • Wedding Music Selection - The choices are limited and available on the Dashboard. You can't use a song outside their list. If you want a specific love song, just use them during the reception.
  • Endorsement of Videographers & Photographers - They have a separate orientation for videographers and photographers.
  • Endorsement of Wedding Coordinators - They have a separate orientation for coordinators.
  • Endorsement of Offerors
  • Endorsement of Wedding Soloists/Organists/Choir - We availed the soloist/organist provided by the Manila Cathedral.
  • Request for Flower Upgrade - Prices and breakdown in the picture below.
  • Other Forms: Officiating Priest (if you will have a Guest Priest officiating the wedding) and Missalette (if you want to provide for guests - they have a template available). - We didn't do both.
  • Physical copy of the Wedding Invitation
  • A draft copy of the Marriage Certificate (We didn't have to do this).

1 month before the wedding date

  • Reply Notice of Marriage Banns & Permission (I don't think we had to do this since we're already married in Canada)
I hope this helps as you plan your wedding. I can't wait to see how it goes in July, but for now, we're back at work to pay for this wedding. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment, and I'll do my best to respond.

Wedding Day

What happened during the wedding itself? It was a blur! I did write about it, but here are some essential details. Our wedding was going to begin at 10:00 AM. We're blessed because there's no scheduled wedding before and after our time slot, so there's no pressure, and people weren't on top of each other. However, since it's a Saturday, there's a lot of tourists!

Before the Ceremony

The bride, groom, and all the members of the wedding entourage, soloist/singers and organists (if you invited one) should be at the Cathedral premises at least 30 minutes before the wedding schedule. 

This is why I paid for a hotel room for both our immediate families and most of our entourage. Thank God we're blessed with lovely people in our lives, and no one was late.

During the Ceremony

Here is a breakdown for the allocated time of 1.5 hours wedding ceremony (and yes, they outlined this in the rules and requirements).
  1. 15 minutes entrance procession of the wedding entourage
  2. 45 minutes for the wedding liturgy
  3. 15 minutes for pictorial
  4. 15 minutes for the recessional of the wedding entourage
The wedding entourage should already be exiting fifteen minutes before the end of the reserved timeslot.

Pictorial after the Wedding Mass

This is what made me fall in love with Manila Cathedral, and I just knew we made the right decision. I love how organized they are in taking pictures. It's so well coordinated.

The pictorial should take only 15 minutes, and the sequence is as follows (yes, they have it written down, and they even announced it on the day itself!):
  1. Couple with the Priest
  2. Couple
  3. Couple with Principal Sponsors (Ninong and Ninang) (6 pairs) 
  4. Couple with Secondary Sponsors (Veil, Cord, and Candle) (3 pairs)
  5. Couple with Bestman (1), Maid of Honor (1), Bridesmaid (3), Groomsmen (3), Flowegirls (3), and Bearers (3)
  6. Couple with both Parents
  7. Couple with Bride's Immediate Family
  8. Couple with Bride's Family and Relatives
  9. Couple with Groom's Immediate Family
  10. Couple with Groom's Family and Relatives
  11. (This is not in the rules, but maybe because we had the time) Couple with all their friends

Same-Day Edit:

Since this post is getting a lot of views, you may also want to check out the Series of blog posts in July 2019 about the wedding. I'm also embedding our same-day edit below, so you can get a glimpse of how it looked like.


I kept updating this blog post based on the questions you're asking. Thank you! If you have any clarifications, please comment below.

Comments

  1. Hi! Do we need to be residents of Manila? And what does these Package A (without aircon): P32, 000.00
    Package B (with aircon): P42, 000.00 includes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jessica! Sorry not seeing your comment sooner. No, you don't need to be a resident of Manila. My husband and I live in Canada and we're able to book.

      The package includes:
      - The priest
      - Choir (music) - you can bring your own as well, but they have a list of songs they allow
      - Basic flowers (check my series of posts about the wedding somewhere in this blog)
      - 1.5 hour use of the church
      - I think it includes registering it to the government too (but I'm not sure since we're already married in Canada)

      I think that's about it.

      Delete
  2. hello! just want to ask what Manila Cathedral flower package did you avail of? :) is the main aisle in your video the basic package or is that already upgraded? thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The main aisle is definitely basic package. I think we upgraded the front sanctuary, but I can't remember. We did upgrades in the altar area.

      Delete
  3. Hi,

    May I ask how many minutes on the ceremony and were you able to have picture taking afterwards?

    Thanks and Stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for not responding sooner. We're lucky - there was no scheduled wedding before and after us, so the priest was able to give a lengthy homily. The whole thing is an hour.

      Yes, there's an allotted time for taking a picture afterwards (15 minutes, I think) and they have a process for it too. For example,

      1. Couple
      2. Couple with the priest
      3. Couple with the primary sponsors (ninong and ninang)
      4. Couple with the secondary sponsors (veil, cord, and candle)
      5. Couple with the maid-of-honor and best man.
      6. So on and so forth

      It's very organize.

      Delete

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