Tag Archive | party

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

Roller Coaster of Emotions

So this month has been an emotional time for myself as a mum, as my daughter has turned 18 and graduated from high school.

The family singing happy birthday to our daughter

 

 

To celebrate her 18th birthday, we had a party on the Friday night with her school friends and on the Saturday we had a party with family and family friends.

My daughter blowing out her candles

 

 

It was a lot of hard work to clean up after one party and get things organised for the next party, (don’t recommend this idea lol) but our efforts were well endured and everybody had a wonderful time at both parties.

My daughter really had a great time and received many wonderful gifts. But we were all exhausted after cleaning up on Sunday.

……………………………………………………….

The graduation was an emotional day for my daughter, her parents (me) and her friends. To see your daughter finish her schooling (year 12) is very emotional.

img_7404

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: amp.com

The tears began for me the minute she entered the auditorium and any time I seen her during the ceremony. My husband and I were very emotional. I still remember the day she began kindergarten like it was only last week. It was an exciting day but it was very emotional too.

 

 

 

Image result for cartoon graduation

Image: i.pinimg.com

 

It will take a long time to realise that my daughter can now come to a club with me and see a band, that she can drive me around and that she no longer attends school. It still really hasn’t sunk in! No more ironing school uniforms, no more helping with homework or assignments, no more encouraging the study, no more making lunches or recess. It is a whole different world now.

 

Image result for cartoon graduation

Image: pinterest.com/pin

And for my daughter, no more teachers, no more asking to go to the bathroom, no more bells, no more school uniforms, no more timetables, no more homework and no more assemblies. Life has changed in so many ways. The possibilities are endless with university, work, love, friends, the future and life in general

Possibilities……….. possibilities ……….. possibilities ………..

Endless possibilities…

How exciting!!!!

Image: amp.com

 

 

The worries of being an 18 year olds parent don’t decrease, they just alter. Now you worry every time they drive off in a car, every party they attend or club, will they find work, is their choice of study a good choice, are they making healthy choices in life, are their relationships good choices. The worries are still endless! You don’t sleep until they are safe in their bed. Did I do enough as a parent, have I taught her to make the best choices in life? Will she drink? Do drugs? I know my daughter is sensible, but the thoughts still crosses your mind.

Image:beeswithhoney.com

 

 

If I went back to 18 years old, what would I change? Probably nothing to be honest. I don’t believe in living with any regrets and I have enjoy my life.

I know my daughter will make the best choices in life and my husband and I are so very proud of her. She has turned into a wonderful, caring, beautiful and intelligent adult and we adore her.

The roller coaster ride of having an 18 year old graduate school is that you are happy that she is entering a new stage of her life but you get emotional of where has the time gone, where has my little girl gone, have you done enough to help her in life, will she be ok, and then the proudness you have for how successful and wonderful she has developed to an adult.

If you could go back to 18 would you make any changes? Have you been through the same experience of your child turning 18? How did you handle it? Let me know I would love to hear about your experience.

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro XX