At about 80% of the weddings I’ve hosted in the Philippines, in my 16 years of events hosting, I have seen this hurtful scenario happen oh-so-many-painful times.

Possibly due to the high costs of wedding celebrations nowadays and the high turn-out of married couples getting separated eventually, it’s not surprising that many couples just settle with merely living in together and not tie the knot anymore with God’s blessing through the church anymore.

Imagine the time, effort, and money that engaged couples have to go through just to come up with proper wedding ceremony and their ideal reception afterwards:

  • They have to save up and work harder for their big day, and for a happy ever after.
  • They have to contact several suppliers: church or ceremony and reception venue, groom and bride’s, with their entourage’s, outfit, hair stylists and make-up artists, caterers, photographers & videographers, lights and sounds, event host etc.
  • They have to send or personally give their wedding invitations, sometimes even provide guests with transportation going to and from the venue.
  • and the list goes on…

How Filipinos Break the Hearts of Newly-weds

Notwithstandingly, what most of us Filipinos are guilty of doing is we arrive late at the ceremony, and leave early even before the reception ends, usually after enjoying the meal, unfortunately and commonly called “eat-and-run.”

Often the reasons are just because we have already given our gift to the newlyweds, or because we have traveled long distance that makes us feel entitled to leave early. [Insert other reasons here.]

In a recent wedding reception I hosted, the bride actually hid her tears and prevented herself from tearing up further because even after she begged her guests to stay, and after I did several voice-over spiels in English and Tagalog to “stay with us after dinner for a short but fun program,” they still decided to leave early immediately after dinner.

As a person, not just as a wedding reception host, I couldn’t help but feel bad and sad for the newlyweds.

This couple didn’t hire a wedding coordinator so they did most of the tedious work of wedding preparations themselves, with the help of only a few concerned relatives and friends.

This bad habit of us Pinoys doing eat-and-run should be changed. And it starts with changing mindsets, and even changing attitudes of the heart.

Some Tough Love Questions

  1. ) Mainly due to budget concerns, could you imagine how many other people are not chosen by the couple because only a certain number of guests could be invited to this celebration?
  2. ) More often than not, a couple would just be married once in their lifetime. And couldn’t guests, as a gesture of gratefulness for being invited in this once-in-a-lifetime event, just gift to them the most precious gift of all: LOVE also spelled as T-I-M-E? Is it really that too much to ask?
  3. ) Are our reasons for leaving early at wedding receptions a matter of life-and-death situations?
  4. ) When invited at weddings, could we just possibly plan ahead and allot enough time for the newly-weds so we could truly show them our support, by showing up on time and finishing their reception program until the newlywed’s appreciation speech?
  5. ) How would you feel if you’re left behind at your own celebration?

I really do hope and pray that our leaving the wedding receptions earlier than preferable does not necessarily mean that we’d also not support the new couple all the way until death do they part.

Let us honor the newlyweds and show our love to them by coming to wedding ceremonies on time, and especially finishing their wedding reception program until the end.

Giving newlyweds our time, attention, and cooperation in their celebration are the least things we could do for them as grateful guests and part of their blessed union in this significant milestone in their lives.

Adrian is a professional Events Host, Writer, Teacher, and Change Catalyst. He's a world-class emcee creating fun, memorable, and meaningful events. As a change catalyst, his mission is to inspire personal development so people could have better lives with brighter future, against all odds. An IELTS- and TESOL-certified English Trainer, he's also a prolific Tagalog Tutor.