Ceremonies Typical of Hawaiian Weddings

Ceremonies Typical of Hawaiian Weddings

Ceremonies Typical of Hawaiian Weddings.
Ceremonies Typical of Hawaiian Weddings.

Ceremonies Typical of Hawaiian Weddings.

The Hawaiian culture has its own unique customs, as well as the significance of those traditions. Weddings are no exception to this rule; Hawaiian weddings adhere to a number of distinct traditions, many of which are amenable to incorporation into modern wedding rituals.

Dress in the Conventional Style

Garment for the Bride

According to The Knot.com, traditional Hawaiian wedding gowns are white and have the style of a straight, loose-fitting gown, which is comparable to a muumuu. The silhouette of the dress, on the other hand, is not meant to make the bride seem shapeless;

rather, it is meant to mirror the way the winds and seas that surround the islands move. The dress is often sleeveless or has sleeves that hang over the shoulder.

The ornaments worn by the bride

In many cultures, the bride may wear a headband composed of a variety of miniature flowers, often white or pink with some foliage. According to The Knot.com, the colors were chosen so that they would go well with the white dress that the bride would be wearing and also depict the profusion of flowers found on the islands.

Groom’s Dress

According to The Knot.com, a groom also wears white at a traditional Hawaiian wedding, in the form of a white shirt and white pants. Neither is cut very close to the body, and this is done, once again, to replicate the winds and waves of the islands.

Nonetheless, Royal Kona claims that custom requires him to wrap a brightly colored ribbon around his waist. This is to signify his status as a chief. This sash is most often orange or red in color.

Rituals and Traditions


A holy man known as a Kahu performs the wedding ceremony at a Hawaiian couple’s home. In today’s world, the person who has the authority to preside over the wedding ceremony may or may not have the ordained position of a minister.

Ceremony Elements

According to The Knot.com, in a traditional Hawaiian ceremony, the guests are welcomed and seated to the music of a ukulele. According to the Royal Kona, it is acceptable for the groom to interact with the guests before the ceremony.

As a symbol of a never-ending circle of affection, a ring of flower petals has been placed above the altar. During the exchanging of vows, rings, and leis, the couple is positioned inside this circle.

This may serve as a guide for the order of the ceremony:

The Kahu starts by making a horn sound by blowing into a conch shell, which is called a pu. According to BorrowedandBlue.com, this sound is designed to bring the air, land, fire, and sea to witness the marriage. It is also said to call the bride to the ceremony. It is also a sign that an extraordinary occurrence is going to take place.

The groom stands at the altar, but he is turned away from the bride while he waits for her. When she started walking, he turned around to face her. Only the bride precedes the groom down the aisle.

Ring Exchange

After that, the bride and groom will exchange leis, and then the hula dancers will interpret the Hawaiian Wedding Song that the ukulele player will perform for them. This song was originally composed in 1926 for an operetta named Prince of Hawaii and was sung in traditional Hawaiian.

In 1958, it was adapted into the English language and given the name “Waiting for Thee.” The Kahu then assists the couple in saying their vows when the song has finished.

According to MyWedding.com, before the rings are exchanged, the Kahu submerges a bowl made of koa wood in a pool of saltwater. The use of koa wood conveys perseverance and honesty.

After that, the Kahu will put a ti leaf into the water to signify wealth and good health, and then they will recite a customary chant as they sprinkle the rings three times with the water.

Following this step, the pair fills a container with sand of two distinct colors each. This represents the impossibility of dissolving the connection that was formed during the service.

According to MyWedding.com, just before to the conclusion of the ceremony, the pair will wrap a piece of lava rock in the ti leaf that was previously used for the ring ceremony. The ceremony is performed in order to honor the union of the couple.

At the conclusion of the unique ceremony, the Kahu will also blow the pu, which is a traditional Hawaiian horn, to signify the conclusion of the ritual.

Lei Exchange

According to The Knot.com, a floral garland called a lei is worn at almost all traditional Hawaiian weddings. The lei is often made of fragrant tropical flowers. Respect, affection, and hospitality are all denoted by the wearing of a lei.

The bride’s lei often comprises of pink and white miniature flowers, while the groom’s lei is traditionally constructed of huge green leaves interlaced with white flowers.

During the course of the ceremony, it is customary for the bride and groom to give each other leis. They may accomplish this by exchanging lei with one another or by asking a flower girl to provide the lei to them to give as gifts to one another throughout the ceremony.

The giving and receiving of leis is a symbol of the couple’s unending love for one another.

Leis are traditionally exchanged between the newlyweds and each member of their family, including the couple’s parents. This expresses warmth and a warm greeting to all members of the family.

Traditional Hawaiian Welcome Ceremonies

The celebrations that followed traditional Hawaiian weddings did not include any particular foods or forms of entertainment, such as luaus. Nevertheless, paying tribute to the culture of the islands may be accomplished by preparing a dinner that features the region’s plentiful fruits, pork, and seafood.

Traditions Practiced at Modern Weddings

There is no standardization among current Hawaiian wedding festivities with regard to the customs that are practiced.

A lot of couples, especially those who are being married on the islands as a destination, are able to pick and choose whatever aspects of the culture they want to include in their wedding.

The most widespread practices are the use of the groom’s clothes and the pouring of the sands. The former provides solace, while the latter emphasizes the inseparability of the connection between the two parties. Weddings, both modern and traditional, often include leis in their decor.

Planning Your Hawaiian Wedding

Traditional components are a great way to infuse some Hawaiian culture into your wedding, whether you are having your wedding on one of the Hawaiian islands as a destination wedding or you just want to highlight your Hawaiian history throughout the ceremony. Pick the components that operate well for you and have a significance that you can get behind.

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