How to Officiate Weddings in Oahu
American Marriage Ministries Guide to Performing Marriage in the Gathering Place
If you’re considering getting married on one of the Hawaiian Islands, you may find that Oahu, known by Hawaiians as the Gathering Place, is the perfect balance of natural paradise and urban comforts. Home to the capital city Honolulu and two-thirds of the population of the state, Oahu is faster paced than its sister islands, but don’t get the wrong idea – it’s still got the laid-back feel and stunning nature that Hawaii is known for.
When you Google “wedding venues on Oahu,” you’ll be inundated with the most prominent, high-end options available in Honolulu. Most of these resorts are located near the Waikiki area, which sits between the ocean and the Ko’olau mountain range. Here you’ll find the beautifully-manicured, ocean view estates and resorts just steps from the epic beaches that you’ve seen in photos.
If you’re adverse to crowds, you may want to veer a bit off the beaten path. The island also offers a number of unique farms, like the Loulu Palm and the Kualoa Ranch. Besides being a lower-cost option, these farms encapsulate the rural charm of secluded Hawaii that will perfectly compliment a couple with a more low-key vibe.
So, if you’re ready to start the process of planning your Oahu wedding, check out our guide, which will help you through the ordainment registration process as well as the steps to acquiring your marriage license.
To perform marriage ceremonies in the State of Hawaii, you need to be either a judge with jurisdiction in the state, or an ordained minister. Otherwise, anyone can perform a ceremony by registering with the State of Hawaii and paying a $65 fee.
If you’d like to save some money, you can become ordained with AMM and that fee is lowered to $10. Getting ordained with AMM is free and takes just a few minutes.
Once you’re registered with AMM, you’ll need to complete the Hawaii Department of Health Minister Licensing form. The state also has a separate page with detailed instructions to walk you through the process. These steps need to be completed three weeks prior to the actual ceremony.
After you complete the online registration for the State, you’ll receive two e-mails. The first is a receipt for the $10 payment; the second is the “Performer Approval” e-mail which gives you a link to your official license that you can print off for your records, as well as instructions to follow in order to electronically register the Marriage License Worksheet that the couple has to pick up before the ceremony in order to be married.
Now that your registration is taken care of, let’s get to the good stuff. If you’re a first-time officiant, you’ll appreciate our wedding training pages, which are a centralized resource of everything you’ll need to know to perform your first wedding ceremony.
You’ll find everything from sample wedding ceremony scripts, to brainstorming prompts, tips for preparation, and more.
When it comes time to sign the marriage license, double check that the couple has a valid Hawaii marriage license in their possession before the ceremony. It’s the couple’s responsibility to obtain and complete the marriage license, but you may want to encourage them to stay on top of deadlines.
For more details on correctly completing forms, please consult our guide on how to complete a marriage license.
The following information is for the couple.
If you want to get a jump on the process, you can download a marriage license application from the State Department of Health, or pick up an application at a state marriage license office. However, note that both members of the couple must appear in person to file the application.
The Department of Health’s office is located at 1250 Punchbowl Street in Honolulu and is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
When you go, remember to bring:
Below is important information pertaining to marriage licenses issued in Oahu. For clarification on what this information means you can check out our Marriage License Laws Explained page.