A lei exchange is a popular tradition in Hawaii for weddings, elopements, vow renewals and civil unions where the couple adorns each other in a fresh lei at the beginning of the ceremony. The exchanging of the leis represents the couple giving themselves to their partner. A Lei exchange can be incorporated into the main ceremony along with any other sub-ceremonies like unity ceremonies and wedding traditions the couple chooses that are meaningful to them and will make their day special.
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.
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.
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