The lei not only represents a welcoming greeting, but is also a common symbol of love, friendship, honor, congratulations, celebration, and more. Many brides and grooms planning their wedding in Hawaii choose to incorporate the charming lei as part of their celebration.
You may have noticed or thought that Hawaiian necklaces come in a wide variety of flowers, vines, and colors. You may have wondered if there is a meaning behind all the different colors of leis. Do different colored leis mean different things?
It turns out that the color or colors of a Hawaiian lei often mean something. Here’s a breakdown of the most common Hawaiian leis and their colors, and what these colors mean or represent. If you are planning a Hawaii wedding and want to include leis as part of your celebration, you may want to keep these meanings in mind.
Carnation-based leis are very popular in Hawaii. These necklaces have very full flowers and are known for their strong yet sweet fragrance. Carnation leis come in different colors, with each color serving as a symbol for something:
-White carnation leis: luck
-Pink carnation leis: friendship
-Light red carnation leis: admiration
-Darker red carnation leis: love
Due to the beauty of blooming carnations and their sweet fragrance, many brides in Hawaii may choose to select a carnation lei, such as white for luck or dark red for love, to wear themselves.
Green maile vine leis
The very fragrant green Maile vine lei is a traditional and common lei that is used and gifted in Hawaii. This lei is traditionally seen as a symbol of peace and is often worn by the bride and groom at their weddings, something to keep in mind if you are planning a wedding yourself.
Ti Leis of green leaves
Another green leafy lei in Hawaii is one made from the Hawaiian ti plant. Like white carnation necklaces, ti plant necklaces are given to bring good luck to the wearer. Traditionally, they were made to defend against evil spirits. This type of lei, symbolizing luck, could be a suitable choice for the wedding.
Ohia Blossom Leis
Ohia flower necklaces are also worn and gifted throughout Hawaii, particularly on the Big Island of Hawaii, where this red flower blossom is the official flower. The red lei of the Ohia flower also represents Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, also known as the goddess of volcanoes.
Ilima Flower Leis
Some in Hawaii prefer necklaces made with the ilima flower. These flowers come in a wide range of shades of red, as well as orange and yellow, and symbolize both the island of Oahu and love, for all the colors of ilima. If you are getting married on Oahu and enjoy hues of red, orange and yellow, ilima flower lei, symbolizing love, would be an excellent choice for your wedding.
As you can see, there are a wide variety of necklaces available in Hawaii, each with its own unique look, color, fragrance, and meaning. If you arrive in Hawaii and are presented with a lei, you may be able to identify the flower, vine, or plant, as well as the meaning! Also, if you are planning a Hawaiian wedding and plan to include leis as part of it (whether it’s just for the bride and groom, the entire wedding party, the party plus the family, or even all the guests), now you have some ideas of what leis might be. be the most appropriate.