Samoan Wedding Traditions

Samoa, a vibrant Polynesian island nation, has rich cultural traditions that are deeply embedded in their weddings. Samoan weddings are elaborate and significant events that celebrate the union of two families. Let’s explore the key traditions and customs that make Samoan weddings unique:

Samoan Traditional Wedding Celebration
  • Fa’aSamoa – The Samoan Way:

    Fa’aSamoa, which translates to “The Samoan Way,” is the foundation of Samoan culture and is intricately woven into their wedding traditions. It encompasses respect for elders, the importance of family, communal harmony, and maintaining cultural values. Samoan weddings reflect these principles, emphasising the involvement of the extended family and the wider community.

  • High Chief Ceremony:

    Samoan weddings often involve a High Chief ceremony, known as the Saofa’i. This ritual recognises and honours the chiefly status of certain family members. Chiefs play a significant role in Samoan society, and their involvement in the wedding signifies their blessings and support for the union. The High Chief ceremony takes place before the wedding day and involves various customs, including the exchange of gifts and the bestowing of titles.

  • Traditional Attire:

    The traditional attire worn during Samoan weddings is vibrant and culturally significant. For men, the traditional garment is called a lava lava, which is a wrapped skirt made of finely woven fabric. It is usually paired with a formal shirt and accessorised with a finely woven mat called an ie faitaga. Women wear a puletasi, a matching ensemble consisting of a colourful top and a matching wrap-around skirt called a lavalava. The attire often features intricate Samoan motifs and designs.

  • Taupou and Manaia:

    Taupou and Manaia are important figures in Samoan weddings. The Taupou is a young woman from the bride’s family who acts as a ceremonial attendant and carries out various traditional responsibilities. The Manaia is a young man from the groom’s family who serves as the male counterpart to the Taupou. They both play crucial roles in maintaining the cultural integrity and customs of the wedding.

  • Traditional Ceremonial Exchange:

    Samoan weddings involve the exchange of traditional ceremonial items that hold symbolic meaning. The most significant item is the ‘ula, a necklace made of highly prized and intricately woven siapo (bark cloth) or shells. The ‘ula represents love, unity, and blessings for the couple’s future. Other ceremonial items exchanged may include fine mats, tapa cloths, and woven baskets.

  • Traditional Samoan Dance and Music:

    Samoan weddings are known for their vibrant dance and music performances. The Siva Samoa, a traditional Samoan dance, is often performed during the wedding festivities. The dancers showcase graceful movements, rhythmic drumming, and the use of traditional implements such as the fue (fly whisk). The music accompanying the dances is typically provided by the rhythmic beats of drums, ukuleles, and other traditional Samoan instruments.

  • Traditional Feasting:

    Food plays a central role in Samoan weddings, and feasting is an essential part of the celebrations. A traditional Samoan feast, called the ‘umu, is prepared with great care and generosity. It involves cooking various dishes, including roasted pig, seafood, taro, breadfruit, and tropical fruits. The feast is shared among family members, guests, and the wider community, fostering a sense of togetherness and unity.

  • Cultural Decorations and Symbolism:

    Samoan weddings incorporate cultural decorations and symbolic elements. Floral arrangements, woven mats, and tapa cloths are used to adorn the wedding venue. Symbolic elements such as coconut leaves, representing fertility and prosperity, and the ava (kava) ceremony, signifying unity and respect, are often incorporated into the wedding festivities.

Samoan weddings are a blend of cultural pride, respect for traditions, and joyful celebrations. These weddings are characterised by the involvement of the extended family, the performance of traditional rituals, the vibrant attire, and the rich symbolism that reflects the essence of Samoan culture. They are a testament to the enduring values and deep-rooted customs that make Samoa’s wedding traditions truly unique.

Seasons5 is a luxurious hotel and resort in Point Cook. Whether you wish to have a small, intimate wedding ceremony or a large celebration, we’ve got great venues for you to choose from. We can offer delectable meals crafted from fresh, local ingredients from our Cinnamon Bay Restaurant. We also have lovely accommodation options with many amenities for you and your guests to relax in. Feel free to explore our Day Spa where you can enjoy massages, masks and more. Reach out to our team on 03 8376 5300 or email us at for more details.