A Tongan Wedding

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It's always good to learn from other cultures and especially the Pacific Islands. So from this content I'm sure that we need to share the similarities and differences of our cultures and how we related to each other.

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Key points
A Tongan wedding comprises a number of traditional steps or phases
  1. Friendship (fai kaume'a)
  2. Dating('a'a)
  3. Man ask for permission to get marry (faitohi)
  4. Celebration before the wedding (fakalelea)
  5. The wedding day (ma'utohi)
  6. The first Sunday ('Uluaki Sapate)

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Of this lesson they should be able to
  • be aware of steps that should be followed up to a Wedding

  • Step 1: Friendship

A young man met a girl and interested in her. He then take a chance to ask her honestly for friendship and if the girl accepted then their relationship started.

  • Step 2: Dating

This is when they actually dating each other. The man must always go to the girl's home and ask permission from her parent to talk in her house. To develop up their relationship, this stage is very important.

  • Step 3: Permission to get married

At this stage they get to know each other very well and the man has to make his proposal to the girl's dad or her uncle which is known as the 'Ulumotu'a, the Head of the Extended family. If it is accepted then they will decide on the date of the wedding. Then each family will start preparing for that day.

  • Step 4: Fakalelea

To show happiness that they are going to get marry they have to celebrate on the night before the wedding on the next day. The man's family take food or whatever they would take even Tongan goods such as ngatu, kie,etc to the lady's place. A kava party will be held as well as women's dancing and exchanging of goods between the two families.

  • Step 5: The Wedding Day

This is the BIG DAY for the couple to be united as one. Both of them will have to wear special Tongan ta'ovala for the wedding and the man come from his place to the girl's place to take her to where the wedding is take place and to sign and make oath that they are going to get marry. From that they have to go to the church minister that's the very last to be signed and to make covenant to God of their newly family they have just started. It is followed by a big feast as prepared by the lady's side.