22nd May 2007

Lauri and Richard were married at sunset on the 22nd of May 2007 at Puuhonua o Honaunau (City of Refuge), on the Big Island of Hawaii. The service was preformed by Penei Aller of Beach Weddings Hawaii and the excellent photography was by Glen Dohie of Photography by Glen.

Wedding Ceremony and Vows of Richard & Lauri Lee

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Before the Ceremony.

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The Bride and the Groom.

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Blowing of the Conch Shell & Opening Chant

The Sharing of Aloha

Aloha Lauri and Richard, and welcome. Aloha, what a beautiful word. When we think of Hawaii, we think of Aloha. It is a feeling, a spirit, a greeting, and it does mean love but the literal translation is to give and share the sacred breath of life. HA” is the breath. These islands are named for that breath of life as well. “HA” breath “Wai” Water and “i’i ” Spirit. So to greet someone with aloha is to greet them with that essence of life – our breath. It is such a deeply personal, spiritual, and intimate greeting. I know of no other like it.

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Let us share the aloha now by taking a moment to breathe deeply together and say “Aloha.”. Besides sharing the aloha with each other it is relaxing, cleansing and calming. Be aware of the tropical breezes, for the Hawaiians believe that carried on the wind at a wedding are the spirits of absent loved ones. This includes your ancestors, invoked with the blowing of the conch shell, as well as your friends and family in this world and next. Feel their presence bless you as we share an aloha breath. for love knows no boundaries of time and space. It is a voice or a song inside the heart that never stops singing.

Chant – E Ho Mai

This chant calls upon mana or divine power to bring wisdom and understanding to this place. Please close your eyes and seek that place deep inside from which you draw your strength and inspiration. Whatever you believe a higher power to be, call upon that presence to be with you now and always.

Prayer – E Ko makou Makua iloko o ka lani.
E hoano ia ko Inoa

Almighty God, Divine Power of the Universe, we call upon your presence to bless Lauri and Richard as they join their lives in Holy Matrimony. Smile on them today and always. Be with them in their times of joy and of need. Give them patience and understanding to deal with the challenges of life. Fill their hearts with compassion for each other and for others. Keep them safe in all their travels. Bless their home and all who enter it. May they walk in the light of your love from this day forward. No ka mea, Nou ke aupuni, a me ka mana, a me ka ho’onani ia a mau loa aku, Amene. Amene.

Lei Exchange

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In the Hawaiian tradition, it is customary to exchange leis as a symbol of respect for one another. The gift of a lei is a gift of life, meant to be passed on. May you continue to give each other gifts of life in your many years together and to treasure the beauty of a single flower. As you see, the lei is a circle which has no beginning and no end, like the eternity of your love. You were born to be together and today that promise is fulfilled. As you look at each individual blossoms, you see that each one retains its individual beauty, it’s essence. So it is with you. You become something greater when you join together with another in love but you retain your individual qualities; those qualities that your partner fell in love with. A lei is always given with a kiss. At least one. You see, in Hawaii , we don’t wait until the end to kiss. Anytime you feel so moved to share a kiss, please do so. As you place your lei upon your beloved you are bestowing honor and respect. At this time I will sing a short song about the power of the lei to constantly attract, as you are powerfully attracted to each other.

One short verse of Lei Pikake sung A Capella as the couple exchanges leis.

Today, Richard & Lauri, you take the most important step of your lives, to join together as husband and wife in these beautiful surroundings you have chosen for yourselves. Today, you make a statement to each other; I have chosen you, above all others, to be my best friend and partner for life. Today, you make a promise to be true for now and for all time.

And so I ask you:

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Richard, do you promise to love, honor, cherish, and respect Lauri all the days of your life? “I do”

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Lauri, do you promise to love, honor, cherish, and respect Richard all the days of your life? “I do”.

It is the greatest desire of all humankind to love and be loved. How fortunate you are to have found each other. You are two unique individuals, as you are well aware. So, rejoice in your similarities and embrace your differences for it is through those differences that you learn; not only about your partner but about yourself, about life and about love. And through the love that you share, you will overcome anything that comes your way. We know their will be difficulties. It is the nature of life to challenge us for our souls to grow. Let your togetherness lift you and carry you above those difficult times, so that you may float, fly, and soar above the easy times. For those challenging times, I want to share with you the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono.

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Words of Advice – Ho’oponopono

You are two unique individuals with sometimes differing opinions. . It is how you handle those differences that will form and create your marriage. I would like share with you Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono which means to make things right. It is an ancient practice used effectively to this day as a way of settling differences. The first step of Ho’oponopono is honest and truthful communication. Speak the truth of what you feel when you feel it even if it may seem difficult. It is better than letting something build up out of proportion or even be misunderstood. Should there truly be a misunderstanding, how would you ever know if it is not communicated? The way in which you express your feelings is also important. Speak your truth with love and compassion, understanding and aloha. In the ho’oponopono process, each side speaks while the other listens. Be an effective, understanding and patient listener. Then, be prepared to forgive; both yourself and your partner. Being right can be lonely. Remember, if you keep score, nobody wins!

Never let the sun set on your anger. Vow to resolve your differences before bed so that you may sleep peacefully, calmly in each other’s arms and awaken with joy in the morning, at another day of being together, being in love and being married! You might try making a vow to give each other a kiss each night before retiring, no matter what is going on. It’s hard to stay angry with your lips puckered. It usually dissolves into laughter. Humor goes a long way and is an important element in any successful relationship. Keep laughing and loving! My final piece of advice is easy. Say I love you everyday. One never gets tired of hearing the words, I love you.

Exchange of Vows

“With all my heart and without reservation, I, Richard/Lauri give myself completely to you, Lauri/Richard as your Husband/Wife. From this day forward we will walk together; in sunshine, in rain, in laughter, in tears, for the rest of our years. Grow old along with me. You have my faith and my trust. For now and for always I will be by your side; my best friend, my true love, my life. I love you.”

Koa Bowl and Ti Leaf Blessing of Rings

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A few moments before this service I dipped this Koa wood bowl into the Pacific Ocean in order to perform a Hawaiian blessing over these rings. Koa, which is the hardest of our Hawaiian woods, has been used over the centuries to build the outrigger canoes, tools and utensils. It has come to represent integrity and strength; foundational qualities of your relationship. Marriage is more than just the beautiful passion and tender emotion of love. It is a covenant enduring all of life’s changes, based on faith, hope and love.

The Ti leaf represents prosperity, health and blessing of body, mind and spirit.

These rings you have chosen, which I now hold in my hand, are circular. The circle has long been a symbol of eternity or a higher power. Without beginning or end and with no point of weakness, the circle is a reminder of infinite possibilities. The rings are an outward sign of an inward commitment; the depth of which, only the two on you know. May they serve to remind you of the eternal relationship you have with each other and may you always be inspired by love’s infinite possibilities.

“Aia iha no, ka maluhia o na lani, me kakou a pau.”
May peace from above be with you and remain in your hearts now and always.

Ring exchange

 20070522 Film 4 Wedding 023 20070522 Film 5 Wedding 013Richard/Lauri please place the ring on the fourth finger of Lauri/Richard left hand and look into her/his eyes
as you repeat after me:

“With this ring I give you my heart. I have no greater gift to give.”

Lauri and Richard as of this moment your lives are joined. You are one. Love thrives when another person’s needs become more important than one’s own. Place each other first, but not at the expense of yourselves for a strong and healthy tree stands not in another’s shadow. From the coconut tree we learn to be flexible, for after the strongest of winds, the coconut tree still stands because it can bend. Be willing to bend with the winds of life and with each other. Be strong inside yourselves, but remember that the greatest gift is to give to others and the greatest gift of all is the gift of love. Love has a power beyond reason; know it, live it, be it.

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Aloha Ke Akua – God of Love. Presence of all love and light. Although we are aware that you are ever present, we ask to be ever aware of your presence , most especially at this moment. Bless the union of these two lives as they walk, together, down life s pathways. Direct them in the ways of love, forgiveness, compassion and understanding that they may spread their joy to all they meet. May they truly know unconditional love and share the simple comfort that silence brings, where understanding needs no words. Mahalo for the magic of this moment.


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Ti leaf and Lava Rock

As I mentioned at the beginning of the service, I now take this lava rock and Ti leaf to perform the final blessing. The rock represents this moment and place of your marriage – made sacred by your love. Wrapped in the leaf it is a traditional Hawaiian offering, prayer and blessing. You are to place it anywhere you choose on the island before you leave. It remains here. Your rings are with you everywhere you go, a reminder of your marriage and love. The rock marks your entrance into a promised land, that of marriage, full of rich promise and unlimited potential. May the joy of your many years together far exceed even your greatest expectation.

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We have had a very special honor here today to witness your love and aloha expressed through your exchange of leis, vows, and rings. And now by the authority that has been entrusted to me by the State of Hawaii, I pronounce that you are Husband and Wife. Would you like to seal your vows with a kiss?

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Blessing Chant (Kumu Tis’a Kalili, Kahula o ka Moana Pakipika),
A – Aloha Mai May you always be surrounded with love
E – Ea Ea Every breath you take is sweet and good
I – Ike Pono See, Know, Recognize Goodness in You – Others – Everything
O – Ola Mau Loa May your lives Be Long
U – Uwehe E Be free from harm
Ha’awi Loko Maikai Wishes Given from Goodness Within
Loa’a Mai Loko Maika’i Received from Goodness Within

And now by the power vested in me as a Minister in the state of Hawaii, it is my great honor to pronounce you husband and wife. You may seal your vows with a kiss.

I ho’okahi kahi ke aloha ua mau Be united as one, in love forever.

20070522 Film 7 Wedding 008The sun sets behind the happy couple.

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20070522 Film 7 Wedding 005The happy couple with Penai and the wedding certificate.

Our Wedding on the Big Island