Ceremony

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. 


A beautiful video of a non-religious ceremony I performed. Video credit to Ohana Films

Intro:

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 brief moment, to be present, to clear our minds, so as to be here and appreciate the beauty of this momentous occasion.  And 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 sound of the rolling surf as it crashes upon the beach.  See the Islands of Lanai and Kahoolawe resting peacefully on the vast Pacific Ocean.  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, which means a gift.  All of this is a gift, everything we experience is a gift of Ke Akua, The Great Spirit.  Now I ask for our full attentiveness this day because this ceremony, this celebration of Love between (Bride) and (Groom) is only a moment in the expanse of time.  And when this moment is over, what we are left with is only the memory.  Therefore, let us make the most of this moment, let us create within our minds a most beautiful memory.  One that captures our emotions and engages all of our senses, a memory that is everlasting.  So when we return to our own homes, the positive energies that we create for ourselves now will always remain with us.  And when we think back on this moment those same energies will flow within us to warm our hearts and uplift our Spirits. Now in Hawaiian Ae’ means yes and if all of you truly wish to make this moment one that will always be remembered I want to hear from all of you a loud AE’! 

        Now that I have everyone on board the same canoe (wa'a) I would like to share with all of you an ancient Hawaiian tradition.  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 nose 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.

Greeting:

          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 sacred vows and the giving of tokens of your love that you share for one another; your wedding 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, you have grown and nurtured 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 all of the energy and all of the patience to face all that is placed before you.

          (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 the descendants of these navigators 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.  Like a stone dropped into a small pond, let the ripple of love from this celebration expand outward and change the world that you live in.  When a commitment this strong is made between two people, the force of that commitment, of that love, of that courage, reaches out and affects all that is around them.  May the small coral head of this union 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.  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, a physical as well as an emotional joining made in their hearts that will last a lifetime.   Marriage is love.  We know that love is here and now, it is real and it is true, the most important thing in our lives.  For love is the creator of our favorite memories and is the foundation of our fondest dreams.  A philosopher Sir Hugh Walpole has said “The most wonderful of all things in life is the discovery of another human being with whom one’s relationship has a growing depth, beauty, and joy as the years increase.  This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it.  It’s a divine destiny.”  Let everyone here today family and friends continue to witness and to support their growth, love and happiness as they continue on their journey to fulfill their shared destinies.

Lei Exchange: 

          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 or shoulders which are both sacred parts of the body.  The beautifully crafted lei with its handpicked flowers and twine are 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.  “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.  We now ask for the blessings of life that our hearts will always be open to receive love and to give love in return.  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”

Wedding Vows: 

          I (Groom/Bride) choose you (Groom/Bride) for my wedded (Husband/Wife) to be your companion, equal in love, to be faithful and honest, to help and support you, through loss and success. 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 to cry with you, loving you faithfully through all we may face together.  I love you with all of my heart.  I promise to love you unconditionally, to cherish you entirely, to care for you sincerely, to shelter and hold your love as the most precious gift as we make this life’s journey together.

Ring Ceremony: 

          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 everyday that you are together and when you look at the beauty of these rings be reminded of that love and of the sacred vows you have declared to each other this day.  Let us remember that rings are an outward symbol of an inward Spiritual Love and commitment.

Blessing of the Rings:

          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).  I love you with all of my heart.  All that I have and all that I have said I seal it with this ring. 

Closing:

           (Groom) and (Bride), 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 for you have been united as one. 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 we give 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 thanks to this beautiful land of Hawaii.  Mahalo nui loa E ola no e.

          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.