Story: Marriage and partnering

Mixed-custom weddings

Mixed-custom weddings became common in post-Second World War New Zealand as the country's Pasifika community grew larger. When Malofou Solomona and Elizabeth Yandall married in the early 1980s their marriage was a mix of Samoan and Pākehā customs. The ceremony was held in a church, with the bride in a white dress and veil, and the groom in a suit. At the reception kava roots were distributed to distinguished guests, the Solomona aiga (family) gave money to the Yandalls, who reciprocated with gifts of fine mats, and Elizabeth Solomona danced the siva, first with three important matai (chiefs), then with the older women of her aiga, and finally with members of her new family. The wedding was filmed for a television documentary, New streets, Auckland fa'a Samoa. The first part of the siva can be seen here (the narrator is well-known Samoan author Albert Wendt).

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How to cite this page:

Megan Cook, 'Marriage and partnering - The big day', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 July 2024)

Story by Megan Cook, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 May 2017