Destination and non-traditional weddings have been on the rise in recent years. Many couples fly to some tropical location like Hawaii and get married on the beach in a typical wedding dress and tuxedo. Other couples take a more practical approach and rather than going to Hawaii, they bring Hawaii to their wedding by dressing up the wedding party in colorful "Aloha" wear.
Adding an island touch to your wedding doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing affair. In Hawaii, for example, it is very common for the bride and groom to wear a traditional wedding dress and tuxedo while the bridesmaids and groomsmen wear matching tropical print dresses and shirts. Local residents generally prefer more subtle prints like the ones shown in the picture above. Such prints typically have a base color like blue and just one print color, in this case cream. But on the Mainland, we often see the wedding party wearing much brighter and more colorful outfits. And we think that's great!
Like with a traditional wedding, the couple may start by choosing a color that will be the color theme for the ceremony and reception. This color is important because not only will the bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen shirts use this color, but the wedding favors and center pieces will also integrate shades of this color. Once your wedding color is established, you simply need to look for some dresses and shirts that include that color. The good thing about Hawaiian clothing is that they come in a wide assortment of happy colors so chances are pretty good that you'll find shirts and dresses in the colors you are looking for.
One trend that we've noticed over the years is that the couples who are renewing their vows seem slightly more likely to go all out with a wedding muumuu for the bride and matching white wedding shirt for the groom than couples getting married for the first time. Perhaps this is because this couple has already had their wedding gown and tuxedo ceremony before and are looking for something a more casual this time around. Or perhaps it is because life's lessons and experiences have taught them that it's perfectly okay to think different and do things however they please.
And just like any other wedding, it's all about the bride. If she's not happy with her dress, then the fun and joy stop there. That's why it is important for her to choose a dress she feels comfortable in whether it is a tight fitting slip dress or a more elegant muumuu that flatters in all the right places. And the same applies to the bridesmaids. They can go strapless or sleeve, spaghetti or tank, and short, mid-lenght or full-length. And finally, come the groom and groomsmen. They will just wear what the bride tells them to wear, end of story. And usually that means the groom wears a white wedding Aloha shirt while the groomsmen wear Hawaiian shirts that match the bridesmaid dresses.
So if you're planning to have a Hawaiian theme or beach themed wedding, remember that you can keep it simple and subtle or you can go all out. Or, as many couples do, you can go hybrid where the bride and groom go traditional while the wedding party goes tropical. The main thing is that you feel comfortable and happy about what you are wearing. All the same rules of thumb of a traditional wedding apply to a Hawaiian wedding. A happy bride makes for a happy groom. A happy couple makes for a happy wedding party. Your pictures will look nicer. The speeches will be funnier. The food will taste better. The atmosphere will feel more festive. And ultimately, the wedding experience will be something you will remember for the rest of your life!
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