Friday, June 12, 2009

FRIDAY Q & A: Hawaiian wedding traditions

Question: What are some Hawaiian rituals that can be used for a wedding?

Even if you're getting married right here in Chicago, you can have an island-themed wedding. Here are some rituals to infuse your ceremony with Aloha spirit:

Exchanging flower leis: The bride and groom exchange flower leis (or garlands), which is related to the idea of exchanging rings. The circle shape of the leis represent eternal love.

Ring Blessings: Hawaiian wedding include a ring blessing, in which the officiant has a Koa wood bowl filled with water. Koa is a revered hardwood, and represents strength and integrity, the foundations of a good marriage. A Ti leaf, symbolizing prosperity and health, is dipped into the bowl. The water from the Ti leaf is sprinkled over the wedding rings three times, while the officiant recites the blessing, "May peace from above rest on you and remain with you now and forever."

Hawaiian attire: Traditional Hawaiian weddings call for the bridal couple to both wear white. The bride wears a white holoku, while the groom wears a white billowy shirt with white pants, and a colored sash (usually red) around his waist. It is now common for the groom and groomsmen to wear Hawaiian shirts. The bride also commonly wears a ring of flowers, or huku lei, around her hair.

Check my post Hawaiian wedding - in Chicago? for more tips on planning a Hawaiian-themed wedding.