Traditional and Modern Tongan Attire
Today, a typical Tongan wedding may include the usual Western white lacey wedding dress and also the traditional Tongan wedding costume. This includes wearing tapa cloth covered with many layers of decorative finely woven heirloom mats, taovalas, kiekies, and adorning feathers, shells and leis made of freshly cut flowers or plants. Tonga is influence by British as well as American styles. The new wedding couple are expected to go to church on the first Sunday after they are married dressed in the traditional costume.
More recently, designers have been busy using tapa cloth for beauty contests, weddings and special occasions. Anciently Tongans did not have cloth to make their clothes out of, but pounded mulberry bark into clothing.