A hand-fasting unity ceremony brought an Aloha Spirit that Emily had experienced as a teenager living in Maui into her ceremony with Amy.
When we first started talking about their December ceremony in Boston, Emily + Amy were sure they wanted to include something from Hawaii–something that would demonstrate the Aloha Spirit that Emily had experienced as a teenager living in Maui.  We decided that a hand-fasting would be the perfect fit for their ceremony.
Long ago when exchanging rings was only the possibility for the very rich, ordinary folks would pledge themselves to each other (often in a field) and have their hands bound together with a piece of ribbon, cord or tartan plaid from the bride’s family.  
In Hawaii, the custom is the same, only a lei is used instead.  Besides being beautiful to look at, leis are a symbol of love and respect, a way to honor someone and a way to mark a celebratory moment. 
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I removed the lei from around my neck and wrapped Amy + Emily’s hands together.

Emily ordered a maile lei to be delivered overnight from Honolulu for her wedding day, and as I took the lei from around my neck to wrap their hands together, I said, “May the spirit of Aloha, which means generous love and warm acceptance be plentiful in your lives together”.
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Aubrey B Greene Photography www.aubreybgreene.com
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Lovely bride Amy at her reception adorned with a maile lei.

They remained joined by the beautifully green and fragrant maile lei throughout the rest of their ceremony.  In a beautiful gesture at their reception, Emily draped the maile lei around the neck and shoulders of her bride Amy.  It was breathtaking. They were breathtaking.