Easily Create A Hawaii Theme Wedding Anywhere. If you aren’t able to have your wedding in Hawaii you can still make your dream Hawaii wedding come true! Below are suggestion on how you can easily create an “island style” wedding. Having a Hawaii theme wedding is a very unique and elegant way to accent your special day. Guests at Hawaii theme weddings tend to be more relaxed and have a great time. You will also find having a Hawaii theme wedding will not cost as much as a more formal wedding ceremony and reception.
There are many ways to incorporate Hawaii traditions and a Hawaii theme so review the suggestions and choose what appeals to you and will make your special day even more memorable. Whether you are having your wedding on a beach, on a boat, at a lakeside, in a garden, in a backyard, in a home, or in a church it is easy to incorporate touches of Hawaii to your special day…
Encourage Your Wedding Guests to Wear Hawaiian Attire
Hawaiian attire is very popular and many people have a Hawaiian shirt or dress in their wardrobe, especially those who have visited Hawaii. Since Hawaiian attire is popular many stores offer. Thrift stores are also a great resource for Hawaii attire.
Have Your Wedding Party Dress in Hawaiian Attire
There is no right or wrong way to go about dressing your wedding party for a Hawaii theme wedding. The bride can wear a white Hawaiian print wedding dress or more of a traditional wedding gown. The groom can wear a special Hawaiian print shirt that stands him out from the rest of the groomsmen or a tuxedo. Some people have all the ladies in Hawaiian print dresses and the men in Hawaiian print shirts. Some have the men wear pants while other have them wear shorts. Some wedding couples have the ladies in the Hawaiian print dresses but the men in full tuxedos. Hawaiian print vests, bow ties or cummerbunds are a great way to add touches of Hawaii to formal wedding attire. Footwear can be plumeria flip flops for the ladies, beach flip flops for the guys, barefoot, or whatever you wish. Keep in mind the surface everyone will be on. Heals and formal shoes do not work well on grass or sand. How formal or informal you have your wedding party is up to you.
Have Your Wedding Party Wear Leis
A lei is a garland or necklace made from fresh flowers, fresh leaves, silk flowers, nuts, shells, or pretty much anything. There are leis for the neck, head, wrist, and ankles. In Hawaii a lei is given as a symbol of love, respect and appreciation for all kinds of celebrations. For weddings it is popular to have the entire wedding party wear leis. For men who do not want to wear flowers popular masculine leis are maile leis or kukui nut leis. Maile leis are green leafy vine looking leis. Kukui nut leis are made from the nut of the state tree and in ancient Hawaiian times were only give to people of great importance since they were very sacred. Silk leis, kukui nut leis and shell leis which are a nice economical alternative to fresh leis which require expensive express shipping and special packaging.
For female wedding brides maids and maid of honor a simple touch of aloha can be added with fresh flower or silk wrist or ankle leis or real kukui nut wrist/ankle leis. They kukui nut option makes a nice keepsake!
Bride Wear a Head Lei Rather Than a Formal Veil
For a Hawaii theme wedding a bride can wear a lei on her head rather than a traditional veil. The head lei is know as a haku and sits like a crown of flowers on the brides head. Some brides add a veil on a hair comb to the haku so they have both the formal traditional and the Hawaii traditional options.
Tropical Bouquets for Bride and/or Bridesmaids
Forever bouquet options for the bride are lifelike plumeria bouquet or lifelike orchid bouquet. Smaller forever bouquets are available for Bridesmaids in plumeria or orchid and cascading orchids.
Fresh flower wedding bouquets in white orchid sprays or purple orchid spray is hearty and looks amazing.
You can also DYI your own custom wedding bouquets easily using fresh orchid sprays and/or fresh tropical flowers and wrapping stems with ribbon. There are many videos on YouTube showing several ways to wrap the stems on cut flower bridal bouquets.
Dogs in the Wedding Party
For many people their dog is more than a pet, it is part of their family, and they want to incorporate them into the wedding or have them attend the wedding. The silk wrist/ankle leis work well for small size dogs, silk head leis work well for medium size dogs, and silk neck leis work well for large dogs.
There are aloha shirt, hula outfit, and tuxedo options for dogs.
For significant people who will be attending the wedding but who are not in the wedding party (parents and/or grandparents of the wedding couple, children of the wedding couple, god parents of the wedding couple, the wedding officiant or minister) a special way to acknowledge them and have them stand out as special people at the wedding is to give them leis.
Have a Hula Girl or Girls Welcome Your Guests with Leis
If you would like to adorn all of your wedding guests in leis a fun thing to do is have one or a few girls/boys dress in Hawaii attire or as hula girls/boys and greet each guest before they are seated for the ceremony with a lei. Silk leis, nut leis, or shell leis are the most economical options when you plan to adorn a number of people in leis. Shell leis and silk leis are the most cost effective leis available plus they make great keepsakes!
Use Strands of Flowers to Decorate Arches, Alters, and Isles at the Ceremony
Strands of fresh and/or silk flowers are the easiest way to add a tropical touch to arches and alters, line the isle, decorate fences and more.
We offer a beautiful lifelike silk plumeria garland in our Islands Gift Shop!
Forever Leis and Decorations For A Hawaii Theme Wedding
Lifelike silk leis, shell leis, kukui nut leis, lifelike silk plumeria blooms, and lifelike silk plumeria garland strands make great keepsakes from your wedding. Forever leis and lifelike decorations are a more economical option than fresh leis and fresh decorations which require special packaging and expensive express shipping.
Great ideas for using forever leis and decorations are:
* Wear the forever leis for your wedding rehearsal, rehearsal dinner and/or wedding. Forever leis are available for the neck, head, wrists, and ankles.
* Use lifelike silk plumeria blooms for your flower girl to drop, sprinkle on ground where you will exchange vows, decorate tables, decorate cake boxes or favor boxes, use for flower toss instead of a rice toss.
* Use lifelike silk plumeria garland strands to line the isle the bride will be walking down, to create a circle of flowers where you will exchange vows, on chairs, on trellises, fences, alters, etc.
* Do a lei exchange with your forever leis every anniversary to relive your special day and recommit your love.
Tiki Torches Make Great Decorations for Day or Evening Weddings
Tiki Torches are a great way to add a tropical atmosphere. If the wedding is in the evening the torches can be lit, if the wedding is during the day the tiki torch makes a great flower arrangement holder. To use as a flower arrangement holder as shown below remove the fuel holder and put the fresh or silk flower stems in it’s place. Orchid sprays, fresh tropical flowers, or artificial tropical flowers are great for tiki torch flower displays. Silk leis are ideal for attaching on to the torch stand to add more tropical flare. Lightweight chiffon fabric can also be tied between the tiki torches to create an isle, section off areas, etc.
Have Romantic Hawaiian Music Playing Before, During, and After the Wedding Ceremony
You can have a live Hawaiian band serenade your guests, play romantic Hawaiian music cds, or create a play list of romantic Hawaiian music. Our personal favorite Hawaiian songs for weddings are:
Hawaiian Wedding Song – performed by Elvis Presley
Ke Kali Nei Au – The Hawaiian Wedding Song performed by Makaha Sons
Love and Honesty – by The Hawaiian Style Band
Ku’ulei Awapuhi – by Hapa
I’ll Weave A Lei Of Stars For You – by the Royal Hawaiian Serenaders
Stuck On You – by Ekolu
Honestly – by Ekolu
Better Together – by Jack Johnson
My Best Friend – Keahiwai
For the First Time – Keali’i Reichel
In My Life – by The Beatles; performed & interpreted by Keali’i Reichel
Mele ‘Ohana – Keali’i Reichel
Somewhere Over the Rainbow & What A Wonderful World – performed by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Have the Flower Girl Drop Blooms Down the Isle During the Opening Ceremony
A tropical alternative to the flower girl dropping rose petals is to have her drop fresh orchids or lifelike silk plumeria blooms. The flower girl can carry the blooms in a traditional basket or for more of a beach theme in a beach pail.
Have the Ring Bearer Carry the Ring in a Shell, Coconut Shell or Tropical Wood Bowl
Rather than the ring bearer using a pillow for a more tropical twist have him carry the rings in a real shell, coconut shell or tropical wooden bowl. An abalone shell or a oyster shell work great. A silk flower wrist/ankle lei can be placed around the bottom of the coconut shell and a nice piece of fabric (velvet or silk) inside the coconut shell or wooden bowl to make the presentation even fancier
Have a Circle of Flowers
In Hawaii it is common for the wedding couple to have a circle of blooms mark the spot where they will exchange vows. The circle of flowers is symbolic of their never ending love for one another and their eternal pledge they commit to one another in the circle. The wedding couple stands in the circle and the wedding officiant stands outside the circle.
It typically takes 250 loose blooms to create a thin circle. It is more common to use 500-1,000 blooms to create a full circle of flowers or use strands of blooms to more easily create the circle. The photos above show 2 10-foot long lifelike silk plumeria strands forming the circle and 40 lifelike silk plumeria blooms scattered around it. Click here to view the circle of flowers available in our Island Gift Shop!
Incorporate a Lei Exchange into the Ceremony
Rather than wearing leis from the start of the wedding some wedding couples incorporate a lei exchange as part of the wedding ceremony. Like the exchange of rings the exchange of leis symbolizes love, respect, appreciation. If either of the wedding couple has children some wedding couples incorporate a lei exchange ceremony to include the child or children to symbolize the uniting of the family. Lei exchanges can be done in place of a ring exchange.
Incorporate a Sand Unity Ceremony into the Ceremony
A sand unity ceremony is a more tropical alternative to a candle unity ceremony. The wedding couple starts off with two separate containers of sand representing their lives. They then simultaneously pour their containers of sand into another bottle or vile symbolizing their lives joining together as one, just as the sand. If the ceremony is held on a beach it is customary for the couple to use the sand they are standing on when doing the ceremony.
Incorporate a Hawaii Theme Candle Unity Ceremony into the Ceremony
Have a Shower of Flowers
After the couple is pronounced by the wedding official it is traditional to toss rice or blow bubbles at the wedding couple. A more tropical alternative is to have the wedding guests toss blooms. Some wedding couples provide a small pouch of fresh or silk flowers on each seat at the ceremony while others have several baskets of blooms at the ceremony for the guests to take a handful to toss. The shower of flowers looks great in wedding photos!
Have a Hawaii Theme Wedding Cake
It is easy to turn a simple cake or a formal wedding cake into a Hawaii theme cake by adding:
*fresh orchids, silk plumeria blooms, or fresh tropical flowers
*gum paste orchids, hibiscus, and/or plumeria blooms
* edible plumeria and other wafer paper flowers
* sugar surfboards
* Hawaii theme cake topper
* use Hawaii theme cake knife and server
Have a Hawaii Theme Wedding Reception
Once the wedding couple are official you can celebrate by having a luau style reception. We offer additional resources of specific decorating suggestions, popular luau recipes, and fun Hawaii theme game suggestions to easily create a luau anywhere.
Popular luau recipes.
Resource of fun Hawaii theme game ideas.
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If you use these tips send me pictures from your Luau or Hawaii Theme Wedding! If you would like to share photos from your Luau or Hawaii Theme Wedding/Vow Renewal please email them to email@example.com
Note: all photos submitted become property of Kim Crinella and may be used for promotion.