Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Friday, August 28, 2015

Celebrate the Spirit of Aloha at Your Wedding!

Have a Hawaiian themed wedding! It’s the next thing to being in paradise! There are lots of ways to thrill and excite your guests at the wedding and the reception. If you aren’t able to have your wedding in Hawaii you can still make your dream Hawaiian wedding come true!

WED-HawaiianThemeEncourage your guests to wear aloha attire; Hawaiian shirts & skirts. This lets them know they can show up in the aloha spirit instead of the usual formal wedding attire, plus it adds a ton to your reception’s island atmosphere and the photos of your wedding.

Begin by sending Hawaii theme invitations to your guests. You can make them yourself or buy some really fancy invitations with a Hawaiian theme. Dress up Hawaiian, take a photo and order PhotoStamps for your invitations. Have the invitations sent from the city of Bridal Veil, Oregon (See link below in BONUS Articles) to your guests in the Greater Phoenix area or anywhere in the US.

In the Hawaiian Islands leis are given as a symbol of love, respect and appreciation. There is no wrong way to incorporate leis in a wedding. Have your wedding party wear Leis. The Wedding Officiant too. 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. Have a hula girl greet your guests with leis.

A tropical alternative to the flower girl dropping rose petals is to have her drop lifelike silk plumeria blooms. The flower girl can carry the orchids in a traditional basket or for more of a beach theme in a beach pail. Be sure to bring in plenty of beautiful flowers as they will help to capture what this wedding theme is all about. Exotic, tropical flowers and plants help to make a beautiful backdrop and so do some gorgeous eye popping colors.

I did a Hawaiian themed wedding recently at the bride and groom’s home. They had a truck deliver a load of sand in their back yard and invited the guests to feel the sand between their toes by going barefoot during the ceremony and reception. It made it feel like a wedding on a Hawaiian beach. They added tiki lamps, had chocolate covered macadamia nuts as favors, and a signature drink like a pineapple martini. They hired several Hawaiian belly dancers and Fire dancers to put on a 30-minute eye-popping show for their guests.

Rather than the ring bearer using a pillow for a more tropical twist have him carry the rings in a real sea shell, coconut shell or tropical wooden bowl. An abalone shell or a oyster shell work great.

With a little imagination, a Hawaiian themed ceremony can be as distinctive as the couple getting married. There are all sorts of creative ways to personalize your wedding ceremony. Learn to say, “I love you” in Hawaiian and say it to each other during your ceremony. Click here to listen to how to say it. In Hawaii it is common for the wedding couple to have a circle of blooms mark the spot where they will exchange vows. I suggest a heart-shaped circle of flowers. 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.

The bride and groom can have the Wedding Officiant ( The big Kahuna 😉 ) perform a simple binding of hands during the ceremony using a maile lei (a flowering Hawaiian vine, of the genus Alyxia, used to make lei), symbolizing their sacred union. (Similar to the Handfasting Ceremony).

HawaiianCakeHave a hula girl greet your guests with leis and invite them to sign the guest register. 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.

It is easy to turn a simple cake or a formal wedding cake into a Hawaii theme cake by adding an adorable Hawaiian kissing couple cake topper, lifelike silk plumeria blooms, lifelike silk leis, or fresh tropical flowers to the cake. The top of the cake can be decorated in plumeria and hibiscus sugar flowers. While the other tiers include various Hawaiian themed items like flip flops, the Hawaiian islands, a ukulele, turtles and of course the traditional Hawaiian Lei. My friend, Sue Jacobs, Master Wedding Cake Designer @ Sue Jacobs Cakes can fix you up!

Acknowledge special people at the wedding with Leis. For significant people who will be attending the wedding but who are not in the wedding party like the parents and/or grandparents of the wedding couple, children of the wedding couple, god parents of the wedding couple and have the wedding officiant offer a special way to acknowledge them and have them stand out as special people at the wedding.

Incorporate the Blending of the Sands ceremony as part of your Hawaiian themed wedding. Go overboard. Contact someone who lives in Hawaii and have them send you several ounces of sand from a Hawaiian beach to be used in the sand ceremony. The Wedding Officiant can start this part of the ceremony by pouring the “Hawaiian sand” and tell your guests where the sand came from.

Have your DJ play romantic Hawaiian music before, during, and after the ceremony. Here is a list of Hawaiian songs compliments of

Aloha• 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
• I’ll Weave A Lei Of Stars For You by the Royal Hawaiian Serenaders
• Kiss You In The Morning by Kalaeloa
• 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 – by Keali’i Reichel
• Somewhere Over the Rainbow & What A Wonderful World – performed by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (Larry’s favorite!)

The true Hawaiian theme is about a beach, beautiful colors, a few exotic twists, and making this a gorgeous backdrop for your special day. You will never forget it and your guests won’t either!

Why go to Hawaii when you can experience the islands right here in Arizona? The Hukilau Hawaiian Village features cascading waterfalls, koi fish ponds, authentic tikis, and live entertainment. You’re sure to feel the spirit of Aloha as if you were in Hawaii.

So… where do you go for your honeymoon? I recommend Hawaii – the Big Island of Hawaii. I love Kona, Hawaii.

OR… plan a destination wedding “in” Hawaii and invite me to perform my romantic wedding ceremony on the beach! I will go anywhere your budget allows. 😉

Larry’s NOTE: A very special “thank you” to Mike & Kim Crinella of for allowing me to borrow some of their ideas from their Hawaiian website. Visit their shop for items that are appropriate for Hawaiian weddings below.


BONUS Article: Pull Off a Hawaiian Luau Wedding Reception Anywhere – With Ease
How to Throw a Hawaiian Wedding Reception
How to Send Your Wedding Invitations from Bridal Veil, Oregon
Hawaiian Words and Phrases to Add to Your Ceremony ~ (Listen to how they are pronounced)


Click for Larry’s Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2015 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – and

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.


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