Having witnessed my parents renewing their wedding vows in Oahu, I came to appreciate the simple beauty of a traditional Hawaiian wedding ceremony. When planning your Hawaii wedding, you can embrace the modern American style, or you can opt to embrace the local customs for a truly unique ceremony to commemorate this most substantial event!
In a traditional Hawaiian ceremony, guests arrive to the jovial sounds of ukulele music. Hawaiian weddings allow for the newlyweds to enjoy the company of their guests before the ceremony begins, instead of being isolated in their respective chambers. The grooms dress in all white with a splash of red or orange in the form of a sash. The bride wears a long, white dress that is meant to flow in the breeze of the Pacific. Brides are adorned with a crown of Hawaiian flowers. Like a traditional processional, the bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, and ring bearer walk down the aisle to the ceremony.
The couple-to-wed exchange leis, which is a Hawaiian symbol of their eternal love. The couple’s parents present leis to them as well, and in return receive leis from the bride and groom. The bride and groom stand in what is called the ‘Circle of Love’ – consisting of a circle of tropical blossoms. The recitation of vows is accompanied by the Hawaiian Wedding Song Ke Kali Nei Au, which means ‘Waiting for Thee’. Finally, the bride and groom pour two different coloured sands into a single glass, and leave a lava rock wrapped in a ‘ti’ leaf to be left at the ceremony as an offering.
Now for the festivities! Light your reception area with tiki torches, decorate with a medley of lush, tropical flowers and fruits, and enjoy the musical styling of traditional ukulele and slack key guitar. And what better time to enjoy the delicious local cuisine? Polynesian classics such as teriyaki beef, Kahlua pig, mochiko chicken, mahi-mahi, poi, haupia, and tropical fruit delights make for a sensational wedding feast for everyone to enjoy! Many local Oahu catering companies are seasoned experts in compiling the perfect wedding menu to highlight traditional Hawaiian cuisine, so you can truly embrace the tropical setting.
Unlike many modern American weddings that can error on rigidity, there is a certain relaxed simplicity in a Hawaiian ceremony that provides a romantic, sincere entry into marriage. And once you’ve tied the knot, you’ll be ready to embark on a myriad of adventures as a newlywed! Bond with your new spouse while unearthing underwater wonders as you Snorkel the North Shore; get intimate with nature – and each other – on the Diamond Head Hike; and discover the stunning Hawaiian culture all-the-more at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
With your Go Oahu Card, your romantic wedding and honeymoon getaway to the islands is a total breeze – with savings of up to 55% off combined admission to the top Oahu attractions! Embrace the Polynesian paradise with your sweetheart, and return to reality with that island relaxedness ever a part of you!