Hulihee Palace Wedding, Pualei & Kahekili

This is a wedding from a few months ago that I absolutely adore. Pualei and Kahekili were married at Hulihee Palace, right in the heart of Kailua-Kona. Once a summer vacation home for Hawaiian royalty built in 1838, today Hulihee Palace is a museum operated by the Daughters of Hawaii showcasing Victorian artifacts from the era of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani. The Hulihe‘e Palace beautiful oceanfront location is a unique and prestigious site for weddings.  300 people were in attendance on the grounds, so many family and friends and such a loving family environment. The reception took place at the Kona Imin Center, which was beautifully decorated by many friends and family members. Guest enjoyed traditional island face and mesmerizing performances that continued throughout the night,  highlighted by a special hula performed by Pualei for Kahekili, this dance is traditionally  a gift from the bride to the groom, a way for her to open up hear heart and soul to her new husband.

The bride and grooms dance morphed into a money dance, which is another fun tradition that occurs at most Hawaiian weddings. The money dance originated in Poland, but everyone knows that in Hawaii, cultures are mixed and traditions are a must, and weddings are no exception. One belief is that the money dance started when arranged marriages ruled. Since the groom didn’t receive any dowry until consummation, the couples performed this money dance to set up their household. In exchange for the dollar (or more!), the guest would get a chance to dip the bride or sway with the groom. Nowadays, the money dance has become a guaranteed way to get face time with your guests!

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The reception featured performances by Lehua Kalima & Shawn Pimental, Bulla & Hawane, Kumu Etua Lopes’ hula Halau (hula school) Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i, and Iwalani Kalima’s Halau, Country Lion ended it all off with chill vibes