Lord Fakafanua’s wedding goes ahead with profound dignity

Tonga’s Speaker of Parliament, Lord Fakafanua married his long-time fiance, Kristy Fane Kite, yesterday (October 15).

The marriage ceremony went ahead as planned, but with respect for Lord Fakafanua’s aunt, the late Princess Fusipala Vaha’i, who was buried on Sunday.

It is customary in Tongan for a 10-day taboo to be in place after a person is buried.

In some villages the 10-day taboo is counted from the day the person dies.

The law stipulates a three-day taboo after the burial. Royals and nobility have a 100-day taboo.

Traditionally, entertainments and certain social activities are strictly restricted when a funeral taboo is put into place.

Lord Fakafanua and Lady Kristy Fane Fakafanua
Lord Fakafanua and Lady Kristy Fane Fakafanua

However, it is now up to the immediate family’s decision to enforce the taboo or not if an important event such as a wedding or birthday falls within the taboo periods.

The late Princess Fusipala Vaha’i was Lord Fakafanua’s mother’s eldest sister.

Kaniva News was informed it was Fakafanua’s decision to go ahead with the wedding programme, but that it was a profoundly dignified ceremony as a sign of respect to his late aunt.

A mixture of lamentation and jubilation was felt and seen among those who attended the wedding ceremony at Lord Fakafanua’s estate in Maʻofanga yesterday.

Although there was dancing and music, dancers in black clothes and ta’ovala, were seen performing with dignity and without much joy because of the funeral.

Following the ma‘utohi (registration of the marriage in government) yesterday a reception was held by Lord Fakafanua’s family to welcome his wife Kristy Fane Kite Fakafanua and her family.

The couple exchanged vows at Tonga’s Registry Office in Nuku’alofa before 100 guests including royalty, kāinga and dignitaries from overseas.

Fane wore a simple white long-sleeved dress. The 29-year-old Fakafanua, who is the estate holder of Ma’ofanga, Nga’akau in Tefisi, Vava’u and Faleloa, Ha’apai, wore a black suit.

His kāinga and members of the royal family wore black clothes and ta’ovala.

The President of the Free Wesleyan Church, the Rev. Dr ‘Ahio, led the wedding’s religious ceremony.

Fakafanua’s father, the late Fakafanua, died of a heart attack in 2005. Fane’s father, the late Sione Kite died in 2003 after he gave up his battle against a long-standing illness.

The main points

  • Tonga’s Chair of Parliament, Lord Fakafanua married his long-time fiance, Fane Kite, yesterday (October 15).
  • The marriage ceremony was delayed out of respect for Lord Fakafanua’s aunt, the late Princess Fusipala Vahai’i, who was buried on Sunday.
  • The wedding ceremony was profoundly dignified and although there was dancing and music, dancers in black clothes and ta’ovala, were seen performing with dignity and without much joy because of the funeral.
  • The President of the Free Wesleyan Church, the Rev. Dr ‘Ahio, led the wedding’s religious ceremony.

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