I've been intending to write about this subject for a while. It periodically comes up at my weddings, or as an "end-of-season" thought, so it was time to talk about it!
You may have noticed that I am wearing the exact same necklace in every single wedding photo, as, yes, I intentionally put that necklace on when a wedding day or weekend begins, and then I take it off when they are done until it is time for more weddings.
Why? Well, it was the necklace that I wore at my own wedding in 2006, and I decided that it was a way to bring a little bit of my happy marriage into the marriages I am lucky enough to get to celebrate regularly! And to bring some of those happy marriages right back into my own, too. Yeah, most folks who know me well know that I'm a dork about weddings and love and commitment, and this is just the most visible sign of that. :)
So, what is the necklace and what does it mean? As you might be able to see in the picture above (thanks to Red Tie Photography at a wedding), it is made up of two pearls, and has maile leaves around them.
Hawaii: Jason and I bought it in Hawaii, when we were already engaged and planning our wedding, as Hawaii is one of our favorite places. Not only was Hawaii (the Big Island) our first real vacation together while we were dating, but we are huge scuba divers, and love the Hawaiian land, ocean, and lifestyle. This was bought on our second (and, thankfully, not last) trip to Hawaii, that time in Oahu, and I thought that it would be a fun and meaningful (and very subtle) way to incorporate that love of Hawaii into our wedding day, taking place on a beach in San Diego.
Pearls: It was also made specifically for us, actually, as we each picked out an oyster at the jewelry store, from which the pearl representing each of us was put into the jewelry piece. The pearls are slightly different sizes and slightly different colors, representing for me how we are two different but equally valuable people coming together in a shared commitment. And we are side by side, partners, through whatever we do in life.
Maile Leaf: And, then maile (pronounced my-lee) leaves are an important Hawaiian symbol of love, honor, and respect - three important aspects to our relationship and to our commitment, and now our marriage. The Maile vines are indigenous to the rainforests of Hawaii, and Maile lei were used by the Kahuna (Hawaiian priest) in old Hawai'i to bind the hands of the bride and groom, symbolizing their commitment to each other, so it is a common symbol still used regularly in Hawaiian weddings.
So, enjoy checking out my past wedding pics (maybe even your own wedding pictures, if you're one of my great past couples!), and you'll see one common denominator - my necklace. And now you know why!