Tag Archive | handbags

Tongan Weddings

In a Tongan life, families are paramount with each member playing a defined role. Women have a higher social standing with some authority over other male family members. They are a traditional culture and are enthusiastic about their traditions!

This week I had the fortunate opportunity to attend a traditional Tongan wedding as my good friend invited me to her sons wedding. It was celebrated over Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

A Tongan Wedding celebration involves

  1. Celebration before Wedding – Fakalelea
  2. The Wedding Day – Ma’utohi
  3. The First Sunday – ‘Uluaki Sapate

Thursday

On Thursday we attended the pre-wedding party: the celebration before the wedding. The families and friends come together to show happiness that they are going to get married.

My outfit for the Fakalelea: ChicStar nautical dress, Dangerfield handbag & TUK black & white polka dot heels.

This involves a ceremony spoken in Tongan. The women dance with some wearing ta’ovala, a woven mat worn around the waist. The ceremony includes a lot of singing and dancing with both families bringing quilts, baked goods and hampers of food. These items are also presented to people attending. A pig is also traditionally given from the groom’s family to the bride’s.

Tongan dancing and the presentation of gifts 

The Bride and Groom

I was given a gorgeous purple quilt, a hamper and two cakes. They are very generous people and their community and traditions are warm and inviting. They were all so friendly! The whole ceremony was very enjoyable and I couldn’t help but join in the festivities.

Saturday

This is the big day where the couple are united in a beautiful wedding ceremony.

My outfit for the wedding day – Hot Chocolate platform shoes, Dangerfield handbag, black shift dress & Leona Edmiston coat

The Wedding Day is an extravagant affair. The ceremony consists of the 15 groomsmen, 15 bridesmaids, 2 page boys and 6 flower girls, and the bride and groom.

The Bride and Groom in modern more westernised attire

The Bridal Party

The ceremony was beautiful. Though it was spoken in Tongan & I did not understand the words, it was still really interesting and captivating. When the Tongan people sing they are so harmonised, it is stunning!  The couples then sign papers and the ceremony comes to an end.

Some of the guests wear a ta’ovala, the Tongan mat, while others wear a kiekie, an ornamental girdle around the waist. Both are worn as a sign of respect to the newly married couple.

Guests wearing a ta’ovala

Kiekie worn at special occasions

The whole bridal party outside the church

The limo for the bridal party

The Bride and Groom in their car leaving the church

The Reception

The reception had 1000 people attend. Yes, that’s right… 1000! I have never been to such a huge reception. Seated at the head table were the bride, groom and the community elders. Then the two side tables seated the parents and the bridal party.

The reception centre

The food was glorious and the Tongan music was so enjoyable!

My friends and I at the reception

The wedding cake was extravagant. I have never seen anything like it.

The wedding cake

Extra cakes at the wedding

The reception consisted of speeches, gift giving, dancing, and a lot of food. Some dancers were lathered in oil in which guests placed money on them, either for the dancer or used as a fundraiser.Traditionally, the Bride’s family give traditionally woven mats to the groom’s mum, and then reciprocated for the bride’s mum. This is undertaken throughout the ceremony. Some mats may cost up to $20,000. They are kept under the mothers bed and brought out for other formal occasions.

Sunday

The 1st Sunday after the wedding day there is another celebration.

My outfit for the Sunday celebrations –  vintage Spanish-inspired dress purchased at Bondi U-turn, Hot Chocolate platform shoes

This commenced with a 2 hour church ceremony. Once again, the reception was spoken in Tongan, accompanied by loud singing & spectacular harmonising!

The married couple with myself and friends

Following this, was a huge feast at the hall consisting of plenty of snacking food and a total of 60 pigs! There were many stories told from different speakers and many prayers spoken. Any remaining food was packed up by guests and taken home.

The reception after church

There was a head table at the reception that consisted of the bride, groom and the community elders. Some Tongans sat in front of the head table wearing the traditional Tongan mats.

The Tongans are a very traditional community, with guests treated in a welcoming and friendly manner. I really enjoyed the three days of celebration! It was such an interesting and fun experience to be involved in a totally different culture and understanding their rituals and traditions!

Have you been to another cultures wedding? Send me messages of your experience, I would love to hear about it.

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro Xx

Rockabilly Handbags

Handbags have been recorded in history since 14th Century. A handbag is essential to fashion as we all have something that needs to be carried around with us. Even men carry man bags today. 


In the 50s there was a rise in designer handbags such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermes. Bags come in all shapes and sizes and designs and trends change over time.  Some great labels for rockabilly handbags are:

  • Sourpuss
  • Banned
  • Break Even
  • Alchemy
  • Dangerfield
  • Princess Highway
  • Super Floozy
  • Bettie Page
  • Juble-Umph

This is my Juble-umph handbag. It is my everyday handbag

You can also get some really cool bags that are shaped like an item. They can make an outfit “pop”. I like to wear a matching brooch or a skirt with similar theme. These can be purchased online or at your favourite rockabilly store. 

Top left: red lips shaped bag/ Top Right: Strawberry shaped bag; Left Bottom: Bodice shaped bag/ Right Bottom: Red love heart bag

I love this Dangerfield cane love heart bag. It has plenty of room in it

Top Left: Apple shaped bags/ Top Right: Paris Perfume shaped bags/ Left Bottom: Milk Carton shaped bag/ Right Bottom: Lipstick shaped bag

 

There are many varieties of cane vintage bags. Though over time they do become brittle and break easy. I have had a few others that I used at the beach and they broke over time, so do take extra care.

Vintage cane bags

You can get modern handbags in a retro style. 

Princess Highway retro style red handbag

Princess Highway retro style black handbag

This is a new flamingo handbag. I picked this up at a vintage show. I wear it with my flamingo rockabilly skirt

This is my Hell Bunny Bee Handbag. I have the dress that matches this outfit too. I wear them both together

 

If you are really lucky you might be able to score good quality vintage handbags. These can be purchased online, at a charity store, vintage show or garage sale. 

Top Left: Vintage green apple bag/ Top Right: Red vintage small circular bag/ Left Bottom: Vintage Brown clip bag/ Right Bottom: White crochet bag

Left Top: White glomesh bag/ Right Top: Cowhide circle bag/ Left Bottom: Small brown leather vintage backpack/ Right bottom: Gold glomesh handbag

Top Left: Vintage small circle coin bag/ Top Right: Vintage Brown clasp bag/ Bottom Left: Vintage Crimson Cane Bag/ Bottom Right: Vintage Small Leather bag

 

My next handbag I want to purchase, is a lucite handbag. I am on the look out. Yes I know that I have already got enough handbags, but one more wont hurt…..will it!!

The purchase of a vintage handbag means that you are purchasing quality, style and a piece of history. 

What is your favourite rockabilly handbag? Send me some photos of your handbag. I would love to see them!

Back soon…….

Ridiculously Retro   Xx



Featured Image: http://www.myvintage.co.uk