In the Hawaiian Islands leis are given as a symbol of love, respect, and appreciation. There is no wrong way to incorporate leis at a wedding. Leis can be exchanged between the wedding couple to symbolize their love and commitment to one another. A lei presentation can also be incorporated between the wedding couple and their family to symbolize the joining of not only the couple but the families as well.
The most common incorporation of fresh leis symbolism into a wedding is between the wedding couple.
Wedding couples often have the wedding officiate hold and bless the leis at the start of the ceremony then the couple adorns each other in a lei as a symbol of their love and commitment to one another. At some Hawaiian weddings, the parents of the groom adorn the bride with a lei and the parents of the bride adorn the groom with a lei as a symbol of welcoming them into the family. For couples getting married who already have children a nice way to include the children in the marriage ceremony is to incorporate the wedding couple adorning the children’s leis to symbolize their love for the children and them uniting as one family.
Leis can also be worn by special family members and the wedding party rather than having them wear corsages and boutonnieres. At some weddings, the bride and groom also provide the minister a lei to wear either because the minister is either a close friend or because they want the minister to be wearing a lei for their photos.
Some brides and grooms also elect to adorn all wedding guests with fresh flowers, silk flowers, or shell leis to add a full island flair and as a keepsake from the wedding. Having everyone in leis makes for excellent photos and people really seem to get into the aloha spirit and hang loose when they are wearing a lei! If you cannot afford leis for everyone, get as many as you can that will fit into your budget. At your reception reward those who are the first to get on the dance floor with a lei.