Hawaii is one of the most picturesque places in the world, so it is no surprise that couples choose to get married on one of the many gorgeous islands of Hawaii! As a Hawaii wedding photographer, I know all of the tips.
Wondering how to make your marriage legal in Hawaii?
Let’s walk through it!
FIND AN OFFICIANT A.K.A. “performer”
First off, you will need a performer to officiate your wedding ceremony in Hawaii. Your performer can either be a professional officiant based in Hawaii or a friend or family member.
How to Have a Friend of Family Member Officiate Your Wedding
If you are wanting to include a friend or family member to perform your ceremony, they must be ordained through an organization such as Universal Life Church. After that, they will need to register with the Minister Registration Office – Hawaii Department of Health online. Don’t forget, they will need to be registered at least two weeks before the ceremony date!
Once your loved one is ordained, next will come registering as a performer. And good news: no matter what island your Hawaii wedding will take place, the registration will not be affected.
First, read the Marriage Performer Guidelines on the Hawaii Department of Health website. This will provide context for what to expect on the application. Once the application is completed and your $10 application fee is paid, you will get a payment confirmation via email right away. Your application approval can take up to two weeks, so be patient!
Dreaming of a Hawaii wedding, yet unsure of what island you’d like to host your vows? Getting a head start on your friend/family member’s officiant registration is a great first step.
Choosing a Professional Officiant for your Hawaii Elopement
If you choose not to include a family member or friend in your Hawaii elopement/wedding, there are a ton of wonderful performer options! Many officiants call Hawaii home, and they all have so much to offer couples looking to get married. Recommendations are my jam, so you can count on me to help the two of you find a performer you love. After all, getting married is an intimate event. You want to be 100% certain that everyone involved has your back!
What Happens Next?
After finding your officiant/performer, apply online for a marriage license! You will fill out the $65 online application, and then make an appointment to see an agent on the island you will be eloping on when you get to the island.
The license agent is the person who creates and gives you the physical certificate after applying online! Make sure this appointment is set within 30 days of your ceremony because once they issue your license, it expires after 30 days. And choose a license agent in the town closest to where you will be staying!
Once You’re on The Island
When you go for your appointment with your license agent to pick up your application, you need to go down to the health department together. Both of you must go, and bring your IDs! A lot of these appointments are becoming virtual because of COVID, so just be aware of any changes, and plan accordingly!
If you’re not sure what agent to go with, or are concerned you won’t have enough time before your ceremony to get your certificate, I’m happy to recommend some agents who can arrange online appointments to get a digital certificate rather than going in person.
Hurray, it’s finally here! On your wedding day in Hawaii, bring your license to the ceremony and the performer will sign it. Most officiants will have you sign it after the ceremony and then they take it and mail it for you, or you can mail it yourself. After that, your official wedding license is mailed to you within 4-6 weeks of your ceremony. If your officiant files your certificate online, it takes only up to a week turnaround.
Yay! You’ve gotten your marriage license in Hawaii, everything is signed, mailed, and made legal…congratulations!
Not so daunting, right?!
Let’s do this!