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Getting Married in Hawaii

Couple kissing on Hawaii beach after getting married.

Hawaii weddings are something that every couple on the cusp of making a life partnership ponders, or gives it at least a longing thought. Getting married in Hawaii can be an effortless way of making the ceremony and ensuing festivities in the heart of breathtaking natural beauty and by the help of people who are some of the friendliest and relaxed people anywhere in the world. A Hawaiian wedding can be anything you want: elegant, private, intimate or even extravagant. And all of this can be had in the most striking settings such as the edge of a cliff overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Pacific, a botanical garden or the elegant ballroom of a world-class luxury hotel.

Despite the luxurious options available in Hawaii, most couples want to get married in Hawaii in order to have a less formal, relaxed and nature-infused ceremony, with the most popular venue being a Hawaiian beach. There are a variety of opportunities on both public and private beaches to have an intimate or even large wedding ceremony with a big crowd of guests. Of course, most weddings in Hawaii tend to have a small number of guests since not many people are able to make the travel arrangements to make the trip to Hawaii. In addition to the intimacy, the beautiful locale, and relaxed atmosphere, another draw for couples is the ability to take advantage of the Hawaiian traditions that can make a wedding even more special.

Getting the Marriage License

Those who plan to get married in Hawaii will need to acquire a marriage license from the State government. There are some basic requirements, in order to qualify, but they are pretty easy to meet.

  • Couples are not required to be state residents or even US citizens.
  • Unlike some states, there is no blood test required.
  • Both applicants have to be 18 years of age in order to get married without the consent of parents or legal guardians. Proof of age is a requirements and the type of proof can vary depending on the age of the applicants.
  • Couples applying for a marriage license must appear together in order to obtain the marriage license. The process is not allowed to happen through proxies.
  • There is a minimal cost of $65 to get the marriage license.
  • There is no waiting period for getting married, so if you have all the documentation ready, you can get this done and be hitched in no time.

If you’d like to get the process started, you can visit https://marriage.ehawaii.gov/.

The Wedding on a Hawaiian Beach

As the most desirable venue for a Hawaiian wedding, the sun-kissed beaches of Hawaii provide an amazing site for a wedding ceremony; however, those unfamiliar with local laws should keep a few things in mind. Some of the more popular beach settings includes:  Waikiki Beach and Turtle Bay on Oahu, Ka’anapali and Polo beaches on Maui, Hanalei Beach on Kauai, Hapuna Beach on the Big Island and Hulopoe Beach on Lanai. Because every beach in Hawaii is designated as a public beach, and is meant for the enjoyment of everyone, there are some rules that must be followed when conducting a wedding on Hawaii’s beaches.

  • Beach weddings have a time-limit, namely two hours, so you must make peace with not being able to spend a whole day and night at the beach celebrating.
  • If you plan for a large wedding (anything more than a couple of dozen guests), there may be special permits required.
  • Since all beaches are public, those having a wedding ceremony may not ask beachgoers to move to accommodate the ceremony, though most people will be kind enough to voluntarily give the happy couple a bit of space. Similarly, blocking off a section of the beach for the ceremony is not permitted.
  • In keeping with the relatively untouched beauty of Hawaiian beaches, wedding ceremonies cannot have large structures or decorations and chairs are only permitted for those unable to stand for an extended period, such as the elderly or disabled.

If you have your heart set on having an intimate and quiet wedding on the beach, it is advisable to avoid having your wedding during the times of the year where the islands are at their busiest. These include:

  • Japan’s Golden Week which happens in late April through early May. The increase in travelers is mainly limited to Oahu.
  • Merrie Monarch Festival which begins on Easter Sunday and lasts one week, and is mainly restricted to Hawaii (the Big) Island.
  • The Ironman Championship which takes place on October 14th and is held on the Big Island of Hawaii.

There may be other cultural or sporting events that may results in increased tourist activity, so check with the local county offices to determine if the date for your wedding does not coincide with them.


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