What to Wear to a Hawaiian Wedding?
The climate in Hawaii is the factor of utmost importance when it comes to choosing what to wear to a wedding. Your role in the wedding does not matter. Whether you are the bride, the groom, a member of the wedding party or simply a guest, the climate determines what is worn.
The average temperature in Hawaii is approximately 80 degrees in the summer. Winter is only cooler by a few degrees. In the evening a ten degree drop in temperature may occur. It is a very warm environment and cool clothes are a must. Cotton is the best fabric to wear in such a warm place.
In addition, Hawaii is a place characterized by vivid flowers and many colors. Wedding ceremonies are full of color and tradition, though some couples do opt for more traditional mainland type ceremonies.
A traditional wedding dress is called “holoku”. They are thought to have been replicated from sensible missionary attire. They had long sleeves, flowing skirts and were rather austere. The more modern version of the holoku gown may be form fitting strapless or with thin straps. In appearance they are quite like other wedding gowns. The holoku normally is white with patterns of flowers embossed onto the material. The bride wears an haku lei, a ring of fragrant Hawaiian flowers, around her head.
The groom has the option of wearing casual wear in the form of a white shirt paired with white cotton slacks. With this all white attire, he wears a sash (usually red) around his waist and a green maile lei around his neck. He may also choose to wear a traditional style Hawaiian shirt made from the same fabric as his brides’ gown.
The attire chosen by the bride and groom should be made of cool, comfortable material so they may enjoy their special day in utmost style and comfort. The wedding party should also be dressed so they can enjoy the day and be comfortable. The bridesmaid dresses should look dazzling along side the Hawaiian shirts of the groomsmen. Blue, green, yellow and red are the most popular colors for wedding attire.
Many couples do opt for the traditional, formal wedding where the bride wears a white gown and the groom wears a tuxedo. The whole wedding party at the more traditional style wedding will be wearing formal attire. At such a wedding, the guests are likely to wear dresses and suits rather than traditional Hawaiian attire.
At some Hawaiian weddings leis are presented to all the guests. There is etiquette involved in the proper accepting and wearing of leis. When a lei is presented to you, it is a sign of friendship towards you. It is an insult and considered incredibly rude to refuse acceptance of a lei when offered. It is also very rude to remove your lei where the presenter may see you in process of removing it. Wear the lei around your neck with the lei lying loosely front and back.
Due to the heavy Asian influence in Hawaii, the wearing of a kimono is perfectly acceptable at any style of Hawaiian wedding. Hawaiian weddings may seem informal to those of us more attuned to formal weddings. Do not be deceived. Be prepared to be awed by the tradition, beauty and joy of an Hawaiian wedding.
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