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10 Hawaiian Wedding Traditions That We Absolutely Love

June 27, 2018

10 Hawaiian Wedding Traditions That We Absolutely Love

Hawaii is a beautiful, romantic, and magical place to tie the knot. From the beautiful beaches to the amazing culture and the unforgettable sunsets, Hawaii is the ideal location for a destination wedding, and for good reason. 

Hawaiian weddings have many different customs and traditions which celebrate Hawaiian culture and symbolize lasting love and union between a bride and a groom. Hawaiian wedding customs and traditions make Hawaiian weddings quite the experience and set them apart from most traditional weddings. Whether you're planning your destination wedding in Hawaii or just want to incorporate some Hawaiian wedding traditions into your marriage ceremony, there are many different ways you can incorporate Hawaiian customs that allow you to embrace the Hawaiian culture and add an authentic touch to your wedding. 

If you’re preparing for your dream destination wedding in Hawaii, check out these 10 amazing Hawaiian wedding traditions that we absolutely love. 

1. The Lei 

The traditional Hawaiian lei is worn by both the bride and the groom during Hawaiian wedding ceremonies. It signifies respect, love, and affection. They are also worn by members of the wedding party. 

Most Hawaiian weddings include an exchange of the leis between the bride and the groom at the start of the ceremony. This signifies their eternal love and commitment to one another and represents their lifetime unification. 

2. Hawaiian Music 

The iconic Hawaiian ukulele and slack key guitar are what make Hawaiian weddings so memorable and special, and are a staple at every Hawaiian wedding and reception. The famous Hawaii wedding song, Ke Lai Nei Au, is typically played at the beginning of Hawaiian wedding ceremonies and could also work as a first dance at a wedding reception. 

3. The Conch Shell 

conch shell at Hawaiian wedding

The blowing of a traditional conch shell is the traditional way to start any Hawaiian wedding ceremony. This tradition is sacred to Hawaiian culture and is said to summon all the elements of earth (earth, fire, air, and water) to the ceremony. It occurs at the start of wedding ceremonies as the bride begins walking down the aisle. 

The blowing of the conch shell signifies the importance of the wedding ceremony and symbolizes a long-lasting, harmonious, and loving marriage. 

4. Ti Leaf and Lava Rock Ceremony 

This important part of Hawaiian wedding ceremonies symbolizes a lifetime of commitment and blessing in a marriage. As an offering to land and nature, the lava rock is wrapped in a Ti leaf to be left at the site of the ceremony as a blessing to symbolize the start of a couple’s commitment to one other. 

This important tradition represents the union of two people and symbolizes the strength of their commitment to one another. 

5. Attire 

In traditional Hawaiian weddings, brides wear long, white, flowing dresses. Brides are also usually adorned with a haku lei, which is a floral wreath that is wrapped around a bride’s head. 

Grooms wear white shirts and white pants with a colorful sash around the waist. Grooms also wear a green lei around their neck and can also spruce their attire up with some added Hawaiian accessories

6. The Circle of Flowers 

Hawaiian wedding heart shaped flowers

Traditional Hawaiian wedding ceremonies typically include a circle or heart-shaped design of flowers which surround the couple during the wedding ceremony. The couple exchanges their rings, leis, and vows in this circle, which symbolizes their long-lasting love for one another. 

7.  The Washing of the Wedding Rings 

The Washing of the Wedding RingsDuring traditional Hawaiian wedding ceremonies, the wedding rings are sprinkled with water from a ti leaf that has been dipped into water by the Kahu (the minister). This symbolizes new beginnings and a bride and groom’s commitment to one another. It also symbolizes prosperity, strength, and everlasting love and health for the married couple. 

8. Hawaiian Chanting 

In Hawaiian culture, traditional storytelling is done in the form of chanting. Most Hawaiian wedding ceremonies begin with welcoming chants, a chant as the bride walks down the aisle, and a chant as the leis are being exchanged. 

9. Hula Dancing 

Incorporating a hula dancer at the end of a Hawaiian wedding ceremony is a tradition that many people follow during their Hawaiian weddings. Hula dancers can also perform at the reception. Hula dancing symbolizes Hawaiian history and the Aloha spirit and is a great way to add entertainment and culture to the wedding ceremony and reception. 

10. The Food 

Traditional Hawaiian food is a staple of Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian weddings receptions. It is a great way to incorporate the Hawaiian culture into a reception and often includes: 

  • Poi: pounded taro root paste
  • Laulau: a method Hawaiians use to prepare meats by wrapping them in ti leaves
  • Poke: raw fish which flavored with vegetables
  • Kulolo: coconut pudding mixed with brown sugar
  • Kalag pig
  • Fruits such as pineapple, guava, mango, lychee, and banana 

Prepare for the Wedding of Your Dreams! 

Hawaiian wedding customs bring culture, meaning, and authenticity to any wedding ceremony. Whether you are planning an island-themed wedding or planning your dream destination wedding, incorporating Hawaiian culture and tradition into your ceremony will add an authentic touch to one of the most important days of your life. Not only are Hawaiian wedding ceremonies romantic and beautiful, they also embody Hawaiian culture and traditions which symbolize love, health, prosperity, and the unification and commitment between two people. These traditions incorporate the Aloha spirit, capturing the moment that two people solidify their eternal love for one another. 

Incorporating Hawaiian wedding traditions into any wedding ceremony embraces Hawaiian culture and values. It adds an authentic Hawaiian touch to any ceremony and will leave long-lasting memories for the bride, the groom, and anyone attending the wedding. 

Consider adding some Hawaiian flare to your wedding party with our unique line of Hawaiian bow ties. Our Hawaiian print bow ties are handmade from fabric that is produced in Hawaii. With traditional patterns and authentic Hawaiian designs, our wedding collection will bring spirit, fun and tradition to your special day, whether it's in Hawaii or any dream destination.


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