Emotional wedding haka moves New Zealand bride to tears



When Aaliyah and Benjamin Armstrong posted video from their wedding online for friends and family, they had no idea it would soon be seen by millions of people all over the world.

The video shows friends and family of the groom performing a Maori haka for the couple. While traditionally a war dance involving chanting, yelling, foot stomping and body slapping, according to NewZealand.com, modern-day hakas are performed during celebrations and special occasions.

The Armstrong's haka was organized by Benjamin's brother and best man; and while women traditionally don't participate, Aaliyah was so moved by the passionate performance, she eventually joined in.

"I felt the need to show love and respect back," Aaliyah told the BBC. "I was really blown away."

The response to the video was immediate, with many viewers commenting on their own emotional reactions.

"I have to admit, I had a lump in my throat watching this," Vimeo user Mike McCoy commented. "You are a very fortunate man to have such friends and a beautiful wife. Best of luck to every one of you in your future endeavors!"

"The most beautiful thing I've ever seen," Pim Uamart wrote. "Thank you for sharing."

The overwhelming response to the video led to an inadvertent delay in the couple's honeymoon. Benjamin was so distracted by the attention that he failed to notice his passport had expired, and the couple was only able to spend four days in Fiji instead of five.

"We've been up with reporters from all around the world," Benjamin told New Zealand's ONE News. " From New York to Australia to the U.K., South America, all over the world."

The couple says the haka made for an incredible moment that they will not soon forget.

"Seeing all of that, as well as family and friends and seeing her bridesmaid get in there, was powerful," Benjamin told ONE News.

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