Below, you will find an example of how my typical wedding ceremony unfolds. This ceremony includes optional chants and lei exchanges and can be customized to include your own vows, poems, and other details to make your wedding vision a reality.
Entrance Chant (optional)
Aloha Kakou, Love for one and All.
Before we begin the ceremony I would like all of us here today to take a moment to be present, to be aware of, and to receive the blessing that is this land of Hawaii. Pomaika’I O Keia Aina. Feel the warmth of Ka La, the Sun upon our faces, the coolness of the gentle breeze, Makani Aheahe on our bodies. Hear the sounds, see the sights and sense the smells of the natural world that surrounds us and is ever present in our lives. He makana, a gift of Ke Akua, The Great Spirit. In these islands we Hawaiians believe that all things have a soul or a spirit. The plants, the animals, the rocks, all that is in the heavens, land, and sea. We are all connected to each other and to all that is on this earth because of the life breath that has been bestowed upon us by Ke Akua, the divine creator. We Hawaiians call this life breath HA. We can physically share this breath of life with our loved ones and our companions as a greeting, known as a Honi, the touching of noses; it is a representation of the sharing of our spirits. The Honi is performed by lightly touching our foreheads and the tips of our noses with the person we are sharing with. While looking into one another’s eyes, in unison we exhale from our noses completely and together we inhale through our noses deeply. The breath of life is shared through our noses because our mouths may have been tainted by words that should not have been said, but the breath of our nose is pure and innocent because it is free of that accountability.
Now with the sharing of life I would like to welcome all of you with a chant named Oli Aloha. In part the chant says; this is the sight that has longed to be seen, a desire which has now filled with eagerness. A Hikimai No Oukou, A Hiki Pu Me Ke Aloha. Now that you all have come, Love is brought with all of you. (CHANT OLI ALOHA) There was a seeking of a loved one and now she is found, a mate is found. Someone to share the chills of winter with and the warmth of summer. A beloved companion to share in the wonders of the world and to triumph over challenges in life’s great journey. Love has made a plea that the two of you shall be united here in Hawaii. The prayer and chant has gone its way.
Greetings and welcome. E KOMO MAI! Aloha (Bride) and Aloha (Groom). We are all here to celebrate your marriage on this special day of (DATE) at beautiful (PLACE). This day, KEIA LA, is the special day that the two of you have chosen to affirm your love for one another with spoken words, music, prayer, and chant. Most importantly with the sharing of vows and the giving of rings. Every experience you have ever had, everything that you have ever done, every lesson that you have ever learned, has brought you to this moment. As you stand before these witnesses you take each other as husband and wife, you confront the future together, promising to stand by each others’ side, to face new experiences, new accomplishments and new lessons to be learned together. Through your commitment to each other, may you grow and nurture a love that makes both of you better people, a love that continues to give you great joy, and also a passion for living that provides you with energy and patience to face the responsibilities of this journey called life.
(Bride) and (Groom) you bring individual strengths and weaknesses to this marriage. But as you stand together as a couple you will complement each other, and be exactly what the other needs, as your love and commitment continues to deepen throughout your married life. We have a saying in Hawaii known as an Olelo Noeau. It says “He Puko’a Kani Aina.” A coral reef strengthens, grows, sounds out into land. Its’ meaning harkens back to the ancient days of the Hawaiian seafarers who would mark positions of coral heads to memory as they journeyed across the vast pacific ocean in search of new lands to call home. And as time passed they would see during their distant travels that the once small coral heads had grown into islands. Today marks the beginning of your growth together. As time continues may your love for each other grow, let it strengthen, and let it sound out to the world. May the small coral head grow into an island of companionship, unity, and harmony. Pilialoha, Lokahi, A Me Pono. This is the most significant moment the moment you will give yourselves to each other and you will have been made complete. Marriage is not only a bond between two individuals but also a commitment to life, to the best that two people can find and bring out of each other. Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth no other human relationship can equal, a physical as well as an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime. Marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships and from this day on you will be a teacher, a listener, a lover, a confidant, and a best friend for the other. When two people pledge to love and care for each other they have created a spirit unique to themselves, made in the hearts of two people that will last a lifetime. Marriage is love. May you always be able to talk things over, to confide in each other, to laugh with each other, to enjoy life together, and to share moments of quiet and peace. And let everyone here today family and friends continue to witness and support their growth and happiness with one another.
A Hawaiian proverb “E Lei No Au I Ko Aloha” meaning I will cherish your love as a beautiful adornment. Here in Hawaii respect, honor, and most importantly love is bestowed upon a person by placing a lei upon their head and shoulders which are both sacred parts of the body. The beautifully crafted lei with its handpicked flowers and twine is a symbol of love, the Aloha that you share for each other and of things that are fragile and temporal. A flower lei will last for only a day or two, and then it is gone. Our lives are like the lei within the span of eternity. Therefore live with tender consideration for each other, continue to love one another and your marriage will last. Cherish each other’s love as you would a most precious and beautiful adornment. Remember that as you exchange these leis you are beginning to weave your own lei of love that is to last throughout eternity. We now ask for the blessings of life that our hearts will always be open to receive love and to give love in return. “E Lei Kau, E Lei Ho’oilo I Ke Aloha” Love is worn like a wreath through the summers and the winters. Love is everlasting. CHANT OLI LEI. Now present your leis to one another with a smile and a kiss on the cheek.
Declaration of Consent:
(Groom/Bride) do you give yourself to (Groom/Bride) this day with complete joy and love as a partner in this life’s journey, and to be a true, faithful (Husband/Wife). Do you promise to be a companion to comfort (him/her), respect (him/her), cherish (him/her), love (him/her) for all the days together on this earth? If so say “I DO”
I (Groom/Bride) choose you (Groom/Bride) for my wedded (Husband/Wife) to be your companion, equal in love, as a mirror to your true self, to be faithful and honest, to love and respect you, to help and support you, through loss and success, to always recognize you as an equal and to always be conscious of your development as well as my own. I shall seek through kindness and understanding to achieve with you the life we have envisioned. I will be there to laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I promise to love you unconditionally, to cherish you wholly, to care for you sincerely, to shelter and hold your love as the most precious gift as we make this life’s journey together.
As long as time can be remembered, the ring has been symbolic, of the completed bond. The ring is without beginning and it is without end. The ring goes on forever. Circles of Life, Circles of Love, These rings are given and received as tokens of never ending Aloha. Always see the best in each other each day that you are together and when you look at the beauty of these rings be reminded of that love and the vows you have declared to for each other this day. Let us remember that rings are an outward symbol of an inward Spiritual Love and commitment.
Now repeat these words after me as you place this ring on your (Husband/Wife).
This ring is my sacred gift to you, a symbol of my Love, a sign that from this day forward and always, my love will surround you, I give myself to you to be your (Husband/Wife) and from this day forward you will never walk alone. I feel so honored to have you as my (Husband/Wife). All that I have and all that I have said I seal it with this ring.
(Groom) and (Bride), you are united as one go forth on your journey together. May you be a comfort to each other, share each other’s joys, console each other in sorrows, help each other in all of life. Care for each other truly and deeply, putting this commitment before all else. Live for your love and your love will live forever.
May you trust each other, trust in life and to not be afraid, and always share with each other the gifts that love offers. Be one in heart and always beautiful of mind. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years to come, may happiness be your companion and may your days together be good and long upon this earth.
I would like you to now hold each other’s hands and look into one another’s eyes as I chant for you. Oli Mahalo. A chant of thanks, to ke akua the great spirit, to our kupuna who are our ancestors, to our families our ohana and our friends our hoaloha, who are near and far, a thanks to each other, and to this beautiful land of Hawaii. (CHANT OLI MAHALO)
May Peace and Unconditional love surround you and remain with you now and forevermore.
And so by the power vested in me by The State of Hawaii
I now pronounce you Husband and Wife.
You may seal your vows with a kiss.