Love is a universal language, but every culture has its unique way of celebrating it. In Hawaii, weddings are steeped in rich traditions that blend ancient Hawaiian customs with modern Western practices. From leis to hula dances, these mesmerizing Hawaiian wedding traditions add a touch of magic and beauty to any wedding ceremony. So, if you’re planning a Hawaiian wedding or simply want to incorporate some Hawaiian customs into your special day, read on to discover six mesmerizing Hawaiian wedding traditions that will make your wedding extraordinary.
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1. Blowing of The Pū
The sound of the pū has traditionally been used to announce the arrival of important people or events, and it has become a beloved part of modern Hawaiian weddings. Many couples choose to have the officiant blow the pū at the start of the ceremony to set a reflective tone. Others prefer to wait until their first kiss as newlyweds to have the pū blown. Regardless of when it’s used, the beautiful sound of the pū is sure to create a serene atmosphere for you and your guests.
2. Oli Aloha
Music and poetry have always been integral to Hawaii’s rich cultural history. At the heart of Hawaiian wedding traditions is the “Oli Aloha,” a chant that sets the tone for the ceremony and welcomes the couple and their loved ones. This beautiful tradition is steeped in cultural significance, as it not only prepares the space for blessings but also serves as a tribute to Hawaii’s rich history of music and poetry.
The words of the “Oli Aloha” are deeply meaningful and translate to “This is the sight for which I have longed. Now that you have come, love has come with you.” These words beautifully capture the essence of the occasion, expressing the joy and gratitude of the couple and their guests as they come together to celebrate love and connection.
3. Lei Exchange
One of the most beloved and visually stunning traditions in Hawaiian weddings is the exchange of leis. These beautiful flower garlands are a symbol of aloha, representing love and respect between the couple and their guests. The open-ended shape of the leis represents endless love, while the flower colors can carry symbolic meaning. Grooms often wear green Ti Leaf leis, and brides wear pink and white pikake leis with a Haku flower headpiece.
4. Hawaiian Ring Blessing
This captivating Hawaiian wedding tradition is particularly popular for beach weddings. It involves the use of water in the ring exchange ceremony. The bride holds a beautiful Hawaiian wood bowl, in which both the wedding rings are placed, while the groom holds a conch shell filled with ocean water. As the ceremony proceeds, the officiant blesses the rings by dipping a leaf into the conch shell and sprinkling water on them.
This symbolic ritual beautifully represents the joining of two souls and the power of nature in their union. The use of ocean water and a Hawaiian wood bowl adds a touch of natural beauty and authenticity to the ceremony, reflecting the deep connection between Hawaiian culture and the natural world. It’s a truly mesmerizing sight to behold and a powerful way to mark the beginning of a lifetime of love and commitment.
5. Pili ā nai kealoha
The “lei niho palaoa” is a beloved Hawaiian wedding tradition that symbolizes the love that binds a couple together. During the ceremony, the officiant ties the hands of the couple with a maile lei, while chanting oli. The maile lei is the oldest and most sacred type of lei in Hawaiian culture, and is a symbol of devotion and royalty.
6. He alo ā he alo
The “He alo ā he alo” oli is a beautiful Hawaiian wedding tradition that symbolizes the couple’s love and connection. Chanted at the end of the ceremony, it’s a prayer for the newlyweds to share aloha in their marriage. The couple is encouraged to face each other as the oli is performed, creating a meaningful moment for everyone in attendance.