How to Officiate Weddings in Honolulu
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 Honolulu wedding, check out our guide, which will help you through the ordainment registration process as well as the steps to acquiring your marriage license.
STEP 1: Get Ordained and Register with the Hawaii Department of Health
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.
STEP 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Honolulu County
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.
STEP 3: Officiate the Wedding and Complete the Marriage License
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.▲ TOP
File for the Marriage License from the Hawaii Department of Health
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.
Getting around: Flying into Honolulu is the easiest ways to reach your wedding destination no matter what island you are on, since most flights connect. Flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu take five-and-a-half hours, and East Coast connections average between 10 to 15 hours.
Once you’re in Hawaii, it’s a good idea to ren a car if you’re staying for a while or want to explore the island. If that’s not your style, most of the bigger cities have public transportation and Uber and Lyft are available on the Big Island, Kauai, and Oahu.
Biking is also a popular option, and there are plenty of rental shops across all the islands.
Weather: Hawaii is a year-round paradise, but the weather differs from island to island. In general, the average daytime temperature in Hawaii is around 80 degrees during the summer, and the nights are pretty balmy as well, with highs in the mid-70s during winter.
The summer months are from April through October, and the rainy season runs from November to March. That said, some parts of some islands, like Kauai's windy side, can be rainy all year.
Who is Eligible to Apply for a Marriage License?