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Getting married in paradise? A Hawaiian destination wedding is the ultimate romantic dream for many couples. If you’ve got your heart set on saying ‘I do’ surrounded by sandy beaches and palm trees, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know to make it legal and hassle-free.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: To get married in Hawaii, you need to apply for a marriage license once you arrive, provide proper ID, pay a fee, and wait at least 3 days before the ceremony. Then have your officiant solemnize your marriage and file the completed license.

Meeting Hawaii’s Marriage License Requirements

Applying in Person

To obtain a marriage license in Hawaii, both partners must apply in person together at any agent office across the state. Applicants cannot send someone else to apply on their behalf. Applying together allows agent offices to confirm identities and ensure consent.

It’s an important safeguard before entering matrimony. When partners visit an agent office, they should prepare for a straightforward application process that typically takes under 30 minutes.

Acceptable IDs

Applicants must present valid photo identification when applying for a license. Acceptable IDs include driver’s licenses, passports, or state-issued identification cards. If an applicant has recently changed their name, they should bring documentation of the legal name change when applying.

License Fees

It costs $60 to obtain a marriage license in Hawaii. This fee is nonrefundable. Applicants can pay this fee in cash or by check, money order, or traveler’s check made payable to the agent or the Department of Health. Credit card payments are not accepted.

The $60 fee covers processing the application and providing one certified copy of the marriage certificate after the wedding.

Waiting Period

Hawaii does not impose a waiting period between applying for and issuing a marriage license. Agent offices can issue a license immediately once applicants complete the application, pay the fee, and present valid IDs. However, the license will not become valid until the wedding ceremony is performed.

This must happen within 30 days from the date the license was issued.

Finding an Officiant in Hawaii

Getting married in paradise? You’ll need someone to make it official by solemnizing your wedding. Hawaii offers several excellent options for finding a qualified officiant to lead your ceremony.

Religious Officiants

Many couples choose to have a minister, priest, rabbi, or other religious leader officiate their Hawaiian nuptials. Most hotels and resorts have relationships with local religious officiants from various faiths who can legally perform marriages.

Alternatively, check with nearby churches, synagogues, or temples on the island where you’ll wed. Often, these officiants charge between $200-500 plus travel fees. Book well in advance since traditional religious officiants tend to get booked quickly in popular wedding destinations like Hawaii.

Non-Denominational Officiants

For a non-religious or interfaith ceremony, non-denominational officiants specialize in creating customized, inclusive vow exchanges. Many are legally ordained ministers or members of wedding officiant organizations like the American Marriage Ministries.

Expect to pay $300-800 for their time plus any travel costs. Look on wedding planning sites and search for “Hawaii officiants” or “Maui officiants” to find options. Non-denomination ministers often bring a relaxed, laidback vibe perfect for beach weddings.

Judges or Justices

Getting married at a Hawaii courthouse or wishing for a legal eagle to perform your ceremony? State-appointed judges or justices can legally marry couples throughout Hawaii. Hiring a judge lends extra formality and legal prestige to the event.

Most limit ceremonies to weekdays during court hours, so schedule accordingly. Hawaii judges charge around $200 plus coordination and travel fees. Research judges on islands you’re considering for your destination wedding in Hawaii.

From religious leaders to judges, Hawaii boasts fantastic officiant choices to make your island wedding dreams come true. Book yours early once you solidify details like the venue location and date!

Planning the Ceremony Logistics

Choosing a Venue

Hawaii offers stunning backdrops for your big day, from peaceful beaches to lush botanical gardens. When choosing your venue, consider the overall ambience you want to create. Beach weddings evoke a casual, romantic vibe with the sound of waves and salty ocean breezes.

Gardens provide vibrant colors and sweet floral scents amidst orderly pathways or wild tropical foliage. Historic sites like churches, plantations, and museums add old-world charm and meaningful heritage.

Logistical factors also play a role in venue selection. Determine if you need sheltered spaces for the ceremony and reception in case of rain. Check if the location can accommodate your estimated number of guests.

Inquire about availability of electricity, parking, restrooms, changing areas, and backup indoor spaces. Also clarify what d├ęcor restrictions or noise regulations may apply.

Writing Your Vows

Crafting your own wedding vows infuses the ceremony with personal touches. You can opt for traditional promises to love, comfort, honor and cherish or write customized sentiments from the heart. Use verses, anecdotes, jokes or lyrics that capture your unique love story.

Vow books provide guidance on structuring meaningful vows. Keep them concise so guests can follow along. Have contingency traditional vows on standby if emotions make delivering customized ones challenging.

If writing vows evokes too much pressure, consider dedicating love letters to one another to read privately later. Or present gifts representing symbolic promises, like art or jewelry engraved with special verses.

Keepsakes and Photos

Photographs, videos, guestbooks and favors memorialize the joyful occasion for years to come. Splurge on a professional wedding photographer and videographer to capture each emotional moment in stunning detail.

Display disposable or instant cameras on reception tables so guests can snap extra candids to include in an album. Set out a signature matte guestbook featuring tropic foliage or ocean wave patterns for well-wishes.

Favor ideas with local island flair include macadamia nuts, Hawaiian sea salt, leis, seashells, tropical soaps or candles. For especially adventurous couples, a surf or snorkel excursion with a pro photographer promises one-of-a-kind wedding mementos.

Changing Your Name

Updating your name requires officially filing for a legal name change through the Hawaii Office of Vital Records. This involves submitting the marriage license, completed application, valid ID, and fee. You must usually appear in person at a specified office to have the request processed.

The clerk then issues a name change certificate to present as proof alongside your updated driver’s license, passport, banking details and other personal accounts.

Streamline post-wedding administration by having name change document packets prepared in advance. Remember to make copies before mailing originals. Expect the process to take several weeks for systems and accounts to reflect the new moniker.

During transition periods, carry both maiden name and married credentials until all entities fully update.

Finalizing All the Legal Details

Completing the Marriage License

After deciding to tie the knot in Hawaii’s paradise, you’ll need to complete a marriage license application. This verifies your identity and ensures you meet Hawaii’s marriage requirements. Visit the Hawaii Department of Health website to download the application or pick one up from a nearby agent office.

Submit the completed application and proper documentation to an agent office at least 3 days before your ceremony. Once approved, you’ll receive your marriage license to bring to the officiant on your big day.

To complete the marriage license application, you’ll need to provide:

  • Photo ID like a driver’s license or passport
  • Proof of age – birth certificate or passport
  • Parents’ names
  • Social Security numbers
  • Proof of divorce if previously married
  • License fee – it ranges from $60-$65

You must apply together in person if you’re getting married in Hawaii. Out-of-state couples can apply online through an agent’s website up to 20 days before arriving. Hawaii does not require blood tests or medical exams, streamlining the application process.

Filing the Certificate

Once the ceremony concludes, your officiant will finalize and sign the marriage certificate. According to Hawaii law, they must return it to an agent office for registration within 3 business days. There is no filing fee for this step.

You’ll receive two certified copies in the mail about 4 weeks later per Hawaii’s Department of Health.

Obtaining Certified Copies

After registering your marriage certificate, you can request additional certified copies from Hawaii’s Vital Records office. These serve as your official marriage verification documents. Submit the Marriage Certificate Request form by mail or in person along with proper ID and $15 per copy requested.

If you prefer convenience, VitalChek is an approved online service providing fast processing and mailing of official Hawaii marriage certificates.

Once in hand, submit certified copies to update important personal records like your driver’s license, passport, insurance policies and more. These validate your new marital status across both public and private institutions.


With the right information and preparation, getting legally married in paradise can be a breezy, joyful experience. By following the steps above for applying for your license, finding a qualified officiant, organizing a ceremony, and finalizing all the paperwork, you’ll be ready to wholeheartedly enjoy your special day surrounded by Hawaii’s spectacular beauty and aloha spirit.

We wish you a lifetime of happiness as you embark on this exciting new chapter together in one of the world’s most magical wedding destinations!

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