There are 3 key elements in a Tahitian Traditional Wedding:
The auti, the plant sacred to Tahitians. Water – taken from the ocean (moana), the greatest temple on earth. Tiare Tahiti – the wonderfully perfumed flower which symbolizes harmony & the sharing of all things.
- A split leaf of “Auti” a sacred plant is tied on the wrist of each person, this symbolizes the union between the two individuals.
- The Water poured over their hands to symbolize the purification of the Union.
- The exchange of flowers, commonly lays & crowns, a welcome sign in French Polynesia.
In recognition of the marriage being sacred, the wedding is first blessed using auti:
The sacred bond, the union of the two, is recognized by the tying of a strip taken from the back of the auti leaf which will call in good & protect the couple against evil. In ancient times Tahitians would tie the strips to the entrance to their fares (homes) to protect their privacy
The water marks the purification of the wedding
The exchange of Tiare Tahiti – the leis have been given to the groom by the parents of the bride as a sign of his having been welcomed into the family as one with other family members. The Tiare Tahiti is the symbol of the love for one another
For the blessing
the couple is then wrapped in a “Tifaifai” (a Tahitian Guilt) for the “Tahua” (non-denominational Tahitian Priest) to give them his benediction. red signifying royalty & love, being wrapped together to signify their union; the union given the benediction of the tahua