Hawaii Wedding Tradition
You have decided to tie the knot in paradise, whether it is a luau style, on the beach or traditional, you may wish to incorporate some of the Polynesian culture into your wedding. Check with Oahu Wedding Association, NACE Association for a recommendation.
I would hire a "Kahu" Hawaiian Holy Man who dresses with the Hawaiian attire, incorporates chanting which makes it very exotic to you and all your mainland guests. If a kahu is not available then any officiant or a judge.
Blowing of the conch is a very nice way to start the processional; it could be a boy or the kahu may elect to do that.
Brides and grooms in Hawaii exchange a flower garland called "Lei" is pronounced as "Lay". The bride's lei is made out of white ginger or Pikake very fragrant flowers. The groom's lei is made out of "Maile" a very fragrant Leaf used to adorn royalty. The maile lei could be simple or could be adorned with pikake or tuberose fragrant flowers.
In the old days lei exchange was used instead of rings. A lei is a symbol of love and Aloha.
The Lei Exchange could take place either in the beginning or at the end of the ceremony. It is up to the couple. I prefer it to be in the beginning so you may enjoy wearing this beautiful and deliciously fragrant flowers.
The Kahu will bless each lei, he will wrap the couple's hands together with the maile lei binding them together in souls.
The groom will put Lei around his bride's neck first then the bride will put one on the groom.
The bride's Lei could be either 1, 2 or 3 strand Pikake lei or a tuberose intertwined with roses to match your wedding colors. Red roses or even purple dandrobium orchids show very beautifully in photos.
Moms Dads and Honored Guests
Please do not forget to honor your moms, dads and honored guests with a Lei. The parents' Lei could be more ornate and the guests will look fantastic with purple dandrobiums or any color available as Mother Nature dictates the color sometimes.
I find that Hawaiian songs and music is very romantic. Traditionally, a slack key guitar and or an Ukalele musician could be hired, playing and singing the Hawaiian wedding song during the ceremony, a Hula Dancer could also be hired to interpret the song.
If you are getting married on the beach, do not forget to have amplification so the guests can hear and enjoy the music and song.
Hawaiian Words to Know
- Aloha: thank you, hello and also means love
- Mahalo, Nui Loa (Ma-ha-low Nu-wi Lo-wa): thank you very much.
The kahu would be so pleased when you thank him in his language.
- Kane (Ka-neh): man
- Wahine (Wa-He-neh): woman
- Hau'oli: joy
- Honi: kiss
What to Wear
Bride: Choose a wedding gown that is light, white, ankle long, of course you could wear a short dress or even white flowing pants suit. You may choose to wear a "Haku Lei" on your head instead of a veil.
Groom: He could choose also white or beige light weight linen fabric pants, kaki shorts if it is very casual and any Aloha shirt. A tuxedo is beautiful if you are having the wedding indoors. Brides, go easy on your groom. In a tuxedo your groom will be very hot. I have seen some grooms in tuxedo jackets but shorts instead of full length pants.
After the Wedding Attire
Your days will be filled with sunning, the beach, and casual island adventure. You will surely be dining at a nice restaurant at least once, and perhaps going out dancing, so you'll want to have something appropriate to wear. Simple elegance is very acceptable especially in upscale restaurants and hotels. Pack light; keep a shawl or a light sweater.
Ladies you may feel cool at night especially in an air conditioned restaurant. Gentlemen do pack a light jacket as upscale restaurants require them. Bring comfortable shoes, sandals and flip flops. Do not forget your sneakers for hiking the rain forest or Diamond Head Volcano.
For your reception I suggest a luau style, sampling a bit of the local flavors. Most upscale hotels and caterers will create something quite delicious and exotic using the many different variety of local fresh fruits vegetables, seafood and mostly do not hesitate to try the:
- Kalua Pig
- Poi is a taro root pounded to a paste like consistency. You would love it if you try a bit of it along with the Kalua pig. Alone, you may not appreciate it.
- Lau Lau — fish or pork wrapped in ti leaf and cooked to perfection
- Kulolo — coconut pudding
If you are a small wedding and want the Luau and the entertainment. Do a beach wedding then have the limo take you and your guests to the Polynesian Cultural Center for the best Luau and show in town. You will absolutely love it. Do not forget to book ahead of time. Do let them know that you are newlyweds, they will give you a special Aloha welcome.
I know you will love being in Hawaii and am sure you will leave it as clean and beautiful as you saw it. It is an experience you will never forget.
Best Wishes and Congrats, Aloha!
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