I had the pleasure of photographing Jen & Jamie’s wedding at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. The Hilton Resort on the Big Island is a magnificent oceanfront resort located on the Kohala Coast, located just 20 minutes away from the Kona International Airport.
This was much more than a wedding ceremony between a man and a woman that are absolutely in love – it was also a union of two families. Throughout the entire wedding ceremony the children were included and I personally feel that including the children in the process helps them feel like they’re part of the new family that is being created through the marriage. Jen and Jamie did an excellent job at planning their wedding. Everything was absolutely beautiful! But the one thing that stood out to me was the way they used this ceremony to create a new family by including them in the blending process. Jen & Jamie included their children in their wedding by incorporating a sand ceremony.
A very special signature piece of blending two families into one during the ceremony is the creation of the jar of sands. The jar is a small, clear glass container that fits into the palm of the hand. In the bottom is a layer of pure, shining black lava crystals that Aunty Tutu has collected from a remote place at the top of the volcano. Next is a layer of pure white sand, representing the bride, who pours it on top of the lava layer. After that, the groom adds his layer of colored sand. In succeeding layers are placed sand from children of the bride or groom, each adding sand in their color of choice. A last bit of sand from the site of the ceremony, a scrap of ancient kapa cloth once owned by royalty, a pinch of pa‘akai, (Hawaiian salt), petals from everyone’s lei, a piece of ti leaf that was used in the water blessing, and a silk flower petal on top. At the end of the ceremony, as photos are being taken and everyone is congratulating the bride and groom, Aunty Tutu glues the glass top onto the jar and ties a bow of raffia around it. She presents it to the couple as a makana (gift) and souvenir of their union, representing the families union as one.