In my review of the Outrigger Reef on the Beach I mentioned the complimentary Hawaiian wedding vow renewal ceremony on Waikiki Beach. I was intrigued by this service after Go Visit Hawaii readers from Italy, Marco and Laura, had raved over how much they enjoyed renewing their vows in this free ceremony. Andy and I celebrate our 10th anniversary this year, so the time was right to participate and then to be able to let you know about this amenity.
I had to wonder how good a free vow renewal ceremony might be. I mean free doesn’t normally result in something of good quality. Well, my doubts were unfounded. The ceremony was beautiful and so touching that I was moved to happy tears.
Before the ceremony, Outrigger employee, Matt Sproat, carefully explained the process and the Hawaiian influences. He explained the significance of the kaihe (spear) set up of two trilogies – heaven, earth, ocean and the past, present, future. The ceremony begins by walking hand in hand through the middle of the two trilogies. Everything about the ceremony connects you to those trilogies.
The ceremony included aspects of Hawaiian culture along with non-denominational, Christian influences. A couple of times during the ceremony, we were serenaded by Matt playing the ukulele and a beautiful dancer with her graceful hula. We were taught how to do a Hawaiian kiss by touching our foreheads and noses together and breathing. The breath represents the most precious gift of life – the breath that God breathed in me – and so through the Hawaiian kiss you are sharing the most precious gift you have.
Unless you just happen to be the only other couple there, you’ll be sharing the ceremony with other couples. Three other couples were also renewing their vows at the same time as we were. (Kudos to the other couples for reaching the 40 and 50 year milestones!) Though we were sharing the ceremony, I didn’t feel like it lessened the significance.
I asked Laura for her insight from when she and Marco renewed their vows at this Outrigger ceremony. Here’s what she had to say,
I found the vow renewal very inspiring. I felt quite emotional about it all. We both had tears in our eyes while exchanging leis and saying I DO again after 31 years of marriage!
I can certainly relate to the emotional response. I was caught off guard and didn’t even have a tissue. A softie like me should have known better!
What to know before you go:
- The complimentary vow renewal ceremony is available only for guests of the Outrigger Reef on the Beach and the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach.
- Register for the renewal ceremony before you arrive, if possible, and reconfirm when you arrive.
- The Hawaiian vow renewal services are generally held two mornings per week. Check with the resort for their current schedule.
- Though not necessary, you’ll enjoy bringing leis to exchange.
- A photographer was there, though he is not employed by the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. He charged $85 for a CD with approximately 200 – 250 photos from the whole ceremony and everyone there.
Mahalo to the Outrigger Reef on the Beach for providing such a wonderful experience for their guests celebrating their marriage.
Photo credit to Joseph Brown of Brown Photos Hawaii.