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Popular Wedding Trends in Hawaii

1. Maile lei and lei poʻo: In Hawaii, leis are extremely common at any significant celebration such as; weddings, graduations, and first birthday parties. In many traditional Hawaiian weddings, men will wear a maile lei and women will wear a lei poʻo. A maile lei is a long lei that is draped around the neck, its purpose is to; protect, heal, and wish good luck to the person who is wearing it. A lei poʻo, also known as a haku, is a lei worn around the head and is extremely common for women in order to give their outfit a more floral and feminie touch.

2. Hula and mele: Hula and mele in Hawaiian directly translates to dance and song. Traditional Hawaiian hula and mele is a staple of Hawaiian weddings. Choosing a local entertainer to perform the sweet melodies of Hawaii will make your wedding memorable for you and your guests. A special tradition in Hawaii is for the bride to share a hula with her husband during the reception.

3. Kahu: Kahu is a title for many different roles, but it primarily represents a Hawaiian minister or pastor. By incorporating a kahu as your officiater, the Hawaiian culture will pour through the things your kahu says ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (in the Hawaiian language) and through the interactive practices he asks you and your significant other to carry out together.

4. Hā “Breath of life”: During Hawaiian weddings, some couples will choose to incorporate hā. This simple but meaningful phrase translates to breath of life. Hā is exchanged between two people and is the act of putting your foreheads together and breathing in at the same time. Exchanging hā, is a way of giving yourself, and receiving someone else, in the Hawaiian culture. It’s a beautiful way to showcase your love and commitment to your significant other during your wedding ceremony.

5. Money dance: The money dance stems from a variety of cultures and is especially popular in Hawaiiʻs wedding receptions. This dance starts off with the bride and groom, as they dance, guests come up to them and place money in their clothing. This is a way for guests to; congratulate the newlyweds, wish them good luck as they begin their life together, and financially support them before their honeymoon.


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