There are a few Hawaii style unity ceremonies you can add to your wedding ceremony to add touches of Hawaii. Although they all represent the unification of the couple, their love and lives you can incorporate one or more into your wedding ceremony.
Lei Exchange Unity Ceremony
The exchanging of the leis represents the couple giving themselves to their partner. The leis are symbolic of the couple, each of the couple is beautiful and unique on their own like each of the flowers which makes up the lei. But when the flowers are combined to make the lei the flowers still retain their own unique qualities and beauty while creating something even more beautiful, just like the couple does in their marriage.
Many style of leis are used in lei exchanges are a circle which symbolize eternity and the leis can also represent the couples eternal Aloha for one another. However, some leis used during the ceremony may be open leis such as maile leis or some styles of braided ti leis which are popular with men.
Leis in a lei exchange ceremony are typically worn around the neck. There are leis for the head called Haku Leis which are a crown of flowers. They can be simple single strung flowers or can be a woven head piece of flowers, ferns and leaves. Some brides who do not want to wear a lei around their neck will incorporate a Haku lei instead into the lei exchange or may start the wedding wearing the Haku and also incorporate leis for the neck in a lei exchange.
If one of the couple is pregnant please be aware of a superstition in Hawaii that if a woman is pregnant and she wears a closed lei the umbilical cord will wrap around the baby’s neck. Pretty harsh, I know. So, if one of the couple is pregnant at the time of the ceremony consider an open lei just to keep the spirits and mood happy. Lei shops will typically make any style lei an open lei if you request it. Just tell them it is for a pregnant lady, they will know what you want.
“In Hawaii a fresh lei is given with a kiss as a symbol of love, respect, and appreciation. Each flower or leaf that creates the lei is unique and beautiful on its own, like each of you are as individuals. But when combined together something even more beautiful and special is created, just as you together as a couple. The giving of lei between a couple on their wedding day is symbolic of their giving themselves to each other. At this time ___ please adorn ___ the lei you have for her and give her a kiss on the cheek. Now ___, please adorn ___ with the lei you have for him and give him a kiss on the cheek. “
Hawaii Style Candle Unity Ceremony
The Hawaii Style Candle Unity Ceremony adds a Hawaii flare to the traditional unity candle tradition. The unity candle ceremony is done to symbolize the joining of the wedding couple or the joining of their families. The Hawaiian style candle unity ceremony uses two separate taper candle sticks and one candle in a real coconut shell , bamboo or a tiki style table candle. Please note a candle unity ceremony is not recommended for outdoor ceremonies due to the wind making it difficult to light the candles and keep them lit. Below is an example of what the wedding officiate can say for the unity ceremony.
“Today, (insert wedding couple’s names) you are making a commitment of your eternal Aloha for one another. As you each hold your candle the two distinct flames represent your lives to this moment; individual and unique. As you light the (coconut shell or bamboo) Unity candle together, your two flames join together as one and shine bright just as your lives are about to. May the brightness of the flame shine throughout your lives as well as give you courage and reassurance in your eternal Aloha for one another. We now extinguish the two separate flames as you are forever united as one in eternal Aloha.”
Hawaii Style Sand Unity Ceremony
The Hawaii Style Sand Unity Ceremony adds a Hawaii twist to the traditional unity candle tradition. A sand ceremony is ideal for those who’s wedding is going to take place on a beach, boat, back yard or a windy location that unity candles will not stay lit or are unsafe. Like a unity candle the sand is used to symbolize the joining of the bride and groom or the joining of their families.
The sand unity ceremony uses two small vials of sand and small bowl to combine the sand. Each of the two vials of sand symbolizes the separate lives of the bride and groom and their families. If the wedding is being held on a beach the sand would be collected at the time of the ceremony and taken from below the bride and grooms feet. The combined sand makes a wonderful wedding keepsake for the bride and groom and a constant reminder of their Aloha for one another.
If you are not located near a beach craft stores are the best source for natural and colored sand as well as small glass bottles. You can also use a coconut shell to pour the unity sand into then use a bottle to store the combined sand as a keepsake. Below are a few examples of what the wedding officiate can use for the sand unity ceremony:
Non-Denominational Sand Unity Ceremony
“Today, (insert wedding couple’s names), you are making a commitment of your eternal aloha for one another. As you each hold your sand the separate containers of sand represent your lives to this moment; individual and unique. As you now combine your sand together, your lives also join together as one.”
Non-Denominational Sand Unity Ceremony including the Children of the Wedding Couple
If the wedding couple have a child or children they can be included in the unity ceremony to symbolize the joining of the whole family with the marriage. The wedding couple and each child of the couple should have their own vile of sand.
“The Hawaiian word for family is Ohana. Being part of a Ohana is very special. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. (Insert wedding couple’s names), today when you join your love and lives in marriage you will also be blending your two Ohana along with (insert kids names). From these two Ohana a new Ohana will be created today. As you each hold your sand the separate containers of sand represent your lives to this moment; individual and unique. As you now combine your sand together, your lives also join together as one, as a Ohana.”
Non-Denominational Sand Unity Ceremony for the Wedding Couple/Parents to Join The Two Families
“The Hawaiian word for family is Ohana. Being part of a Ohana is very special. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. (Insert wedding couple’s names), today when you join your love and lives in marriage you will also be blending your two Ohana. From these two Ohana a new Ohana will be created today. At this time, I would invite the (insert wedding couple’s names) to each take a vial of sand which represents each of your Ohana. Now (insert wedding couple’s names) take your sand and simultaneously pour the sand into the unity bowl symbolizing the uniting of the two families into one.”
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