Hawaii has a rich culture, with many beautiful and meaningful customs and traditions. Its wedding traditions are no different. That in mind, here are some things to expect when doing a Hawaiian wedding ceremony with Hawaii Wedding and Vow Renewals.
Chanting of Oli Aloha
Traditionally, a Hawaiian wedding ceremony begins with the minister chanting the Oli Aloha. Before the 1820s, there was no written language in Hawaii. So the people used songs, chants, and poems instead to record their history. And for wedding ceremonies, the officiant chants the Oli Aloha. Chanting this welcomes the couple and the guests as it offers a word of greeting. It also prepares the space for blessings. The chant is as follows:
Onaona i ka hala, E ka lehua, E hale lehua oia na ka noe O ka’u no ia, e ano’i nei, Ea li’a nei, ho’i o ka hiki mai, A hiki mai no ou kou, a hiki pu no me ke aloha Aloha e Aloha e
It says, in part, that, “This is the sight for which you have longed. Now that you have come, love has come with you.”
Exchanging of Leis
Another custom that happens at a Hawaiian wedding is the exchanging of leis. In Hawaii, the lei is an essential part of the culture. And the exchanging of these garlands is considered a gesture of love. And in our Hawaiian wedding ceremony service, the minister can explain the significance of this gesture to guests who may not be aware of this.
You can also request in advance if you want to include a prayer in your ceremony. If so, the minister will conduct this prayer:
We give thanks for the coming together of ___________ and ___________ for the many blessings they enjoy and for their happiness. We know that as we reach out to another being as we pledge ourselves to give and share that we allow ourselves to accept more of the gifts of life. We invoke the Spirit of Our Heavenly Creator to join us as we commence this ceremony, this bonding of ___________ and ___________ and we open our hearts, minds and spirits to that of our Creator. We focus our thoughts and unite all those present, and all those loved ones (friends and family) who could not be with us today, but are in our thoughts in this union of love. Amen.
Hawaiian ring blessing
Your Hawaiian wedding ceremony can also include a traditional ring blessing. It’s optional, so you can skip it if you want. But if you’re going to have it, here’s what you need to know.
Three things are needed for the blessing: a Koa or Hawaiian wood bowl, Ti leaf, and saltwater. First, the rings are placed inside the Hawaiian wood bowl. The bride then holds the bowl while the groom has a conch shell filled with ocean water. The minister will then dip the Ti leaf into the saltwater and sprinkle it over the rings. They do this while chanting “Ei-Ah Eha-No. Ka Malohia Oh-Na-Lani. Mea A-Ku A-Pau.” It is translated as “May peace from above rest upon you and remains with you now and forever.” Afterward, the couple will exchange rings while reciting their vows.
Doing a Hawaiian wedding ceremony will genuinely make your special day a unique and romantic experience. So plan your big day with wedding professionals from Hawaii Wedding and Vow Renewals!