Hawaii is one of the most attractive wedding destinations, and many people who imagine their wedding ceremony on a sandy beach and in the exotic environment have Hawaii in mind. Even Western couples who decide to get married in Hawaii tend to incorporate some of the local customs into their ceremony, which is no wonder, since Hawaiian wedding traditions are very romantic and unique.
The beginning of the ceremony is followed by traditional ukulele music, and the groom is allowed to mingle with the arriving guests. The arrival of the bride is announced by blowing of a conch shell called pu, which represents the call to earth, air, sea and fire to unite and witness the ceremony. The bride goes down the aisle alone, unlike in Western cultures where she is accompanied by her father.
In Hawaiian weddings, both the bride and the groom are both dressed in white. The bride is crowned with a flower garland called haku, and the groom wears an orange or red sash around his waist. The wedding is led by the local Hawaiian minister called kahu, who sings chants and leads the couple in saying their vows. The couple exchanges rings which are blessed by dipping a koa wood bowl into the sea, and sprinkling over the rings three times with a ti leaf dipped in the water. Koa wood symbolizes strength and integrity, and ti leaves stand for prosperity and health. The couples also exchange leis while standing in a “circle of love” made of tropical flowers, which is an older tradition than ring exchange. They also pour sands of two different colors into a glass container and mix them together, to symbolize that they have become one and that they cannot be separated. At the end of the ceremony, a lava rock is wrapped in a ti leaf and left at the site to commemorate the union of the two people.
Just like every wedding ceremony, the Hawaiian one is also followed by a feast, music and dancing. So, if you plan a wedding in Hawaii, make sure to get to know their culture and turn your wedding day into a unique and exotic celebration of love.