The moment the date was set for our wedding in San Francisco, I knew that my wedding dress was going to be made from pinya (pineapple fiber). It was going to be a summer wedding, so the soft and sheer material would be perfect for the weather.
I had no idea back then how the fibers of the pineapple are made into this fabric. All I knew was that the fabric looked elegant and unique– quite extraordinary in a wedding outside of the Philippines.
Upon online research, I learned that the cloth is actually woven from leaves of a Spanish Red Pineapple. It is expensive because only a handful of experienced hand weavers have perfected the craft. Depending on how the fabric will be used, pinya can be blended with other fibers like abaca, cotton, and silk.
Because I was already living in the US when I was planning the wedding, I had to send my measurements to Manila. I was adamant that my wedding dress not be turned into a gown; I didn’t want a train nor did I fancy a puffy skirt. So my dress was actually just that, a simple but classic dress made from pinya fiber that was loomed in Aklan, and hand- embroidered in Taal.
My husband’s Barong Tagalog, the formal attire of Filipino men, had the same embroidery as my wedding dress.
There is more to a traditional Filipino wedding than the fabric used. The actual ceremony itself and even the pre-wedding do’s and don’ts deserve their own post.