Hawaiian Traditions for Maui Weddings

Hawaiian Traditions for Maui Weddings

From the days of old Hawaii to these modern times, one of the most versatile plants has been the ti (tee) plant. ti leaf for traditional Hawaiian uses including landscaping and Maui wedding ceremony on the beach.The many uses for its leaves through the ages are remarkable.

Commonly used in Maui landscaping, ti plants have long, broad leaves of green, red, or maroon, sometimes in combination. Some varieties bear white or purple flowers or red berry-like fruit. Widely believed to bring good luck, ti is often planted at all four corners of a home to protect the family against misfortune.

To further ensure good luck and ward off evil spirits, ti is used in the standard practice of blessing a new home or even a place of business. In addition to reciting a prayer, or ‘pule’ (poolay), the Hawaiian officiant performs a ritual. He dips one end of the ti leaves into a Hawaiian koa wood bowl filled with water and red Hawaiian sea salt, then shakes the leaves to scatter the salt water to all corners. Few people on Maui risk moving into a new place without the benefit of a blessing ceremony.

Around the house, ti leaves are useful in cooking. A popular Hawaiian dish, laulau (lou lou), pork and butterfish wrapped first in taro leaves then packaged in wrapped ti leaves.Ti Leaf is used in Hawaiian traditional weddings and Hawaii weddings often includes ti leaf ceremonies.Ti leaves are excellent for steaming food within. They hold in moisture and lend a distinctive flavor for an ono (delicious) meal.

They are also used for imu (ee moo) cooking. Typically used for roasting a pig, the imu pit contains layers of rocks and banana leaves for heat distribution. Ti leaves cover the pit to hold in steam for a moist and tasty pork meal.

When serving food, Maui hosts use fresh ti leaves for table decorations, scattering tropical flowers on top. This looks particularly dramatic on a crisp, white tablecloth at Maui weddings. Ti leaves are typically placed on a serving platter under food, making any dish seem fancy.

With decorative appeal, it’s no surprise ti leaves can be worn in various ways. Most stunning is the Hawaiian Hulu Girl Illustrationhula skirt, made by tying stems of fresh green ti leaves to a cord which goes around the dancer’s waist. A graceful hula dancer swaying to the gentle swish of the emerald-green leaves is a captivating image. Making the skirt takes a lot work, so fortunately the skirt can be kept fresh for a couple of weeks by wrapping it in damp cloth or newspaper and keeping it in the fridge.

Another popular way of wearing ti is in a lei. The leaves are twisted into a durable lei that is favored by men and boys. Allergy sufferers appreciate this lei if they cannot wear one made of flowers. However, that is not to say that flowers can’t be added to this lei for accent if desired.

What’s especially nice about the twisted ti leaf lei is that it dries very nicely, so it becomes a keepsake of the occasion for which it was worn. Many people hang them in their homes to keep good luck around all the time.

A different type of ti leaf lei was worn by healers of old Hawaii. This lei was made by knotting together the stems of two ti leaves. The lei hung around the neck with the knot in back, and sometimes the lines in the leaves were ripped for a feathery look.

These healers also used ti leaves to wrap medicinal herbs for steaming or boiled part of the ti plant into a medicinal drink. Ti, or ‘ki’ in Hawaiian, was used as a decongestant, muscle relaxant, and asthma treatment.

The roots of the plant could be used as food, too. Sometimes they were baked and eaten or steamed in an imu and chewed. When food was scarce, the roots were mashed and mixed with water for a nourishing drink. A strong liquorTi leaf plants for medicinal herbs and other hawaiian traditional uses and Hawaiian weddings or Hawaiian cooking. was made from boiled roots.

The Hawaiians of old had many other practical uses for ti leaves. Tied to a net, the leaves created an effective rain cape. Fashioned into a long braid, they were wrapped around the back and shoulders to carry a pack of goods. Long braids were also inserted through ti leaf padding and tied around each ankle to form sandals. Ti leaves also provided beautiful thatching for roofs. It’s easy to see why the early Polynesian settlers of Hawaii brought this plant with them.

With many uses for these leaves, it’s a good thing that ti is an easy plant to grow. Stem cuttings can simply be rooted in water and planted in the ground to start a new plant. In our era of emphasizing sustainability, using versatile ti plant is the ultimate way to ‘go green.’

We’ll plan a Traditional Hawaiian Wedding on Maui and bring the Ti Leaf! Begin Planning Your Destination Wedding on Maui.


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CJ’s Kaanapali Diner Review

My daughter and I visited Maui a couple of weeks ago and came to your restaurant 3 times. I just wanted to thank you for your willingness to meet our gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free requirements. We loved being able to eat out safely and wish we had a CJ’s at home! I just wrote you a stellar review on Trip Advisor. Hope you have a wonderful rest of the summer!

Kelley MacCabe
CJ’s Maui Restaurant Review

Wonderful for a Sunday Brunch since you can order breakfast until 11:00am! Had a ‘custom’ 3 ingredient omelette (I chose mushrooms, feta and spinach) with nicely crunchy on the outside and soft inside home potatoes, yummy. Hubby had the pancakes with fresh fruit! These are light fluffy slightly sweet batter pancakes, not those heavy bland ones (OK I admit it, I had to have a few bites of his breakfast…) Service was fast and friendly :0). The menu is EXTENSIVE, we live here and love it!

Kathy, Lahaina, Maui
CJ’s Deli and Diner Maui Restaurant Review

Fact: CJ’s Maui onion soup will melt your face off it’s so good. Best I’ve ever had. It gets 20 stars.
Alas, it’s not on the menu every day… But when my fiancee and I went this past summer and were lucky to meet Chef CJ in person and mentioned that we had been thinking about the onion soup since the last time we visited two years earlier, he was kind enough to put it on the next day’s menu. We went back the following day and ordered it, and it was amazing, just as we had remembered. Another fact: the onion soup at CJ’s is better than the onion soup at Mama’s Fish House (and at like 1/4th of the price). Really. It’s that good. Part of me wants to reverse engineer CJ’s onion soup recipe, quit my job, and make millions selling onion soup to the mainland masses! (or: CJ, wanna make a deal?)
I think that the loco moco gravy is made from the same goodness. So that’s great too. The potato salad is tasty as well.
The to-go lunch plate is respectable.

Jonny S, San Diego, CA
Maui Chef CJ Prepares Mushroom Soup for Kaanapali Restaurant Guest

On a previous visit to Maui, I had the most delicious mushroom soup at CJ’s Deli and Diner in Kaanapali. When I arrived in Maui this week, I emailed the restaurant and asked what day they might have the soup. The owner and chef, Christian Jorgensen (CJ), promptly replied even though he was on vacation in Vegas. He gave me a number to call to check on the soup of the day. Then when he returned to Maui on Friday, he emailed me to let me know he would have the soup for me on Saturday. When I got there, he was so friendly and the soup was even more scrumptious than I had remembered. I really appreciated how valued he made me feel as a customer.

Linda D.
CJs Maui Restaurant Customer

Good Morning, My wife and I spent last week in Maui. Your early bird special was the best. After we found you, we ate breakfast there every morning. You had two regular coffees that we just loved.

James T Wilson Jr
Maui Restaurant Customer

The best burger I ever had! Great Service! Fantastic Food!! Simply Awesome.

Pat Janostin, Champlin MN
Kaanapali Restaurant Customer Comment

Thanks for all the Good Food. Best we have ad since we hit the island 5 days ago!

Jeff and Myra V., Ontario, Ohio

CJ’s Maui Restaurant Customer Comments on CJ’s Private Luau in her Blog

Aloha, Just wanted to let you know that this post was up last Friday and it will be included (linked) with all of our Hawaii properties. Thank you both for excellent service. You made our trip to Maui very memorable! Feel free to comment on the post. It’s always good to have additional information and your input.


Nancy Solomon, Travel Writer
CJ’s Maui Restaurant Customer Comment

Aloha, We were in to see you many times during our stay last month in Ka’anapali, couple of things for you:
Need to order some more of your CJ’s roasted Kona Coffee. I see it’s not yet on your website, only the Maui Coffee Co. stuff. We ran out last weekend and are having withdrawls, please help!! Need 2 bags urgently!!
Secondly, your claim about having the best corned beef hash on the island. I think you’ve understated this because it’s the best I’ve had any where in the world! And that covers a lot of ground as I’ve been to every continent multiple times. Just the best anywhere, period!! Don’t suppose you would have that for delivery to Indiana would you? Maybe by the pound(s)?
Great people and even better food, Mahalo CJ’s. Seriously though, please let me know about that coffee. How do we get some ordered and shipped to Indiana?

Bill Clark, Valparaiso, In.
CJ’s Maui Restaurant Customer Comment

​CJ’s Deli & Diner Rocks! Been here several times while visiting Maui – each time we tried different meals and each time we LOVED the food, service and atmosphere. Only suggestion would be to provide regular dinner napkins along with this paper type – because we’re messy!

Aloha and Mahalo from Detroit