What says "Hawaii" better than a fragrant, fresh flower lei? This ancient tradition of giving and receiving lei is not merely a form of greeting, but has so many messages: welcome, good bye, and congratulations, to name a few. Here in the islands, different flowers have come to mean different things for occasions; a pikake (jasmine) lei is for the bride, a maile lei for the groom. Double red carnation leis are perfect for the graduate or politician.
A lei in modern times, as it was back then, is a symbol of esteem. When one gives another a lei, it may be for any special occasion: an anniversary, a last day on a job, a birthday, or as a gift celebrating one's achievement. Long, draping strands of lei are hung on King Kamehameha's statue almost every day by thoughtful citizens, and beautiful lei abound at shops throughout the islands.
If you are spending your honeymoon on `Oahu, be sure to check out the many lei shops on Maunakea Street in Chinatown, as you will be dazzled by the selection and low prices.
TIP: If you want to enjoy a beautiful lei and come back to a welcoming, tropical fragrance in your hotel room, pick a lei with fragrant flowers. Wonderfully fragrant flowers used in lei include: tuberose, white ginger or awapuhi, jasmine or pikake, plumeria or frangiapani (though most people won't know what you're talking about if you call it "frangiapani" in Hawaii -- everyone knows it as the plumeria), and even the beautiful Cymbidium orchid.