All you need to know about weddings in Hawaii...
We have written this Question & Answer section for you based on our most frequently asked questions about Hawaiian weddings to give you an information resource to check out for all wedding-related questions and, if you like, contact us anytime to consult one of our wedding planners!
The 3 steps to get married in Hawaii. What are they?
Hawaii marriage laws make life easy, you don’t need witnesses or blood tests and there is no waiting period. This means you can get married the same day you arrive in Hawaii, though we naturally recommend spending as much time in paradise as possible!
To get married in Hawaii you need to:
Apply for the marriage license online.
Pick up your paper marriage license from a license agent on Oahu.
Bring your license to your beach ceremony.
Sound complicated? Don’t worry we will walk you through every step of the process! Learn more about the step-by-step process by emailing us about our Wedding Guide & Planner and navigating to The 3 Steps to Getting Married in Hawaii. Or, better yet, call us at 808.495.8159 and we will gladly explain the whole process!
Do I need a Wedding License and Permit?
Yes, you need both. The $65 wedding license is required by the State and the Federal Government to validate that you were married in Hawaii. To obtain a license in Hawaii the Bride and Groom must both appear before a state license agent with a picture ID. You can obtain a wedding license on any island in Hawaii. Learn everything you need to know about a Hawaii Wedding License on our dedicated webpage.
The beach use permit is different from the wedding license, it gives the permission to use a part of the public beach for a wedding ceremony for a given time and for a given number of people. It cannot be applied for by anyone other than the company who will marry you. Not having the proper permit could result in a $5000 fine, so it’s important to get it right! Oahu Boutique Weddings will take care of the beach permit prior to your wedding. Learn everything you need to know about a Beach Use Permits by clicking through the link.
Where do I get the Wedding License?
Go to Hawaiian Wedding License in the drop-down bar of our Info tab and you will learn everything you need to know about getting a Hawaiian wedding license including step-by-step instructions on how to apply and where to find the nearest wedding license agent.
How long is the Wedding License good for?
The wedding license is good for 30 days from date of issue, and you can get married on any of the Hawaiian islands. If you pick up your wedding license in Honolulu you can get married in Oahu and vice versa.
Is a wedding in Hawaii recognized everywhere in the world?
Yes, getting married in Hawaii will make your wedding legal in all 50 States, and the rest of the world. We have married couples from Germany, Australia and all over the world.
We have a budget, how can we save ?
Planning a wedding can quickly become an overwhelming task, with all the newest “must haves”, “wedding party gifts” and “wedding favors,” it seems like you need to take out a loan just to get married. Let's remember what a wedding really is about. A beautiful beach wedding in Hawaii lets you ignore all the noise and hassle, simplifies everything and lets you focus on each other.
You can get married and spend a week-long honeymoon in Hawaii for far less than the average wedding on the mainland.
Take a look at our Beach Wedding Packages, which range from $1,995 to $4,995, a fraction of the typical cost of a mainland wedding.
If our packages don’t fit you perfectly, our Minister and Wedding planner will take as much time as you need and work closely with you to ensure that we create a wedding within your budget and give you the experience that you envision. You won’t pay for single thing you don’t value.
Hawaii is a beautiful relaxed place, so no need for an expensive wedding gown (after all, you'll be wearing it on the beach) and the groom does not need formal wear, just some comfortable pants, and a light shirt will create a simple and elegant look.
Because you will be getting married in the most beautiful place on earth, you will not have to spend money on expensive decorations and centerpieces. Getting married on a Hawaiian beach ensures that your pictures will be stunning. There is simply no place more beautiful than this! No hotel ballroom could compare.
Getting married in Hawaii will also allow you save money on flowers. Hawaii is blessed with an abundance of stunning tropical flowers the whole year round. That means you can spend a tiny fraction of typical flower costs and still have gorgeous flowers for your wedding.
They say marriages are not made in heaven, but on Oahu.
What is your most popular wedding package, and what does it cost?
Our most popular wedding package is the "The Oahu Beach Wedding Package". It has all the elements of the perfect beach wedding for the best value. You get 150 color-corrected and retouched photographs taken with professional grade equipment, heaps of flowers and so much more. Take a look below for the details:
The Oahu Beach Wedding Package - $3,595
custom wedding ceremony on the beach
ceremony location assistance
beach permit for the wedding & liability insurance
assistance with marriage license ($65 Hawaii state fee not included)
a personal wedding planner
a personal activities concierge
on-site wedding coordinator
travel specialist consultancy
hair & make-up by a bridal stylist (at your hotel)
live Hawaiian ukulele player
deluxe wedding lei for bride & groom
Hawaiian ceremonial conch shell blow
keepsake ceremonial shell strand used in Hawaiian knot tying ceremony
professional photography (150 images)
photo retouching & color correction on All images
beautiful bridal bouquet
flower petal throw
We require a $300 deposit to reserve your date, with the balance being due 30 days before your wedding.
Why choose Hawaii for your destination wedding, rather than a different beach location like the Caribbean, Mexico or the Bahamas?
We might be biased, but we think Hawaii is the most beautiful place on earth! Hawaii has stunning beaches, more tropical flowers than any place on earth and perfect weather 365 days a year.
Also, a wedding in Hawaii means simplicity and peace of mind. If you are from the US, you know the language, you don’t have to worry about the currency exchange rate, changing your phone plan, getting socket adapters and most importantly, you don’t have to worry about “traveler's tummy” derailing your big day.
While Hawaii is beautiful and exotic, it is part also of the United States, which means that you will find the excellent standard of service that you have come to expect, with much less chance of miscommunication or mayhem on your wedding day.
Why choose Oahu Boutique Weddings?
We have a passion for weddings, the serene beauty of Oahu and for creating magic. We remember the golden rule and want to give you the experience that we ourselves would expect. Our focus is not to make money, the founders have retired from an intense corporate environment and have come to Hawaii to create something good in this world.
Our goal is to give you a beautiful day, full of love and meaning. We see the direction the wedding industry is taking and we feel that it has lost sight of what a wedding means. There is simply no need for all the expense and clutter, the endless dinners, rehearsals, favors, showers, bridal party gifts, it seems as if the wedding industry comes up with a new “must have” item every year. It’s all nonsense that distracts you from what’s important!
We do this because we get to be a part of your joyous day! We focus on making sure you are present and relaxed so you can experience the majestic beauty of Oahu and can put all of your energy towards enjoying your beautiful wedding day.
We double and triple check all the details and make sure your whole team is on the same page, so you don’t have to waste a moment of your time in paradise.
We could not think of a better, more joyful pursuit. Mahalo.
Why is a wedding planner important?
A wedding planner is important for two reasons:
A wedding planner saves you money,
And makes the process of planning a wedding exciting instead of overwhelming!
We know how much time it takes to plan a wedding and we are here to take away the stress. We work within your budget and save you money because we know the island, we know the best deals and have exclusive relationships with local vendors so that you never overpay for a thing.
Your wedding day deserves impeccable service and meticulous attention to detail. Our goal is to make your special day a reflection of your style and taste, while minimizing your stress in planning. Call our minister and wedding planner for a complimentary consultation. In fact, a personal wedding planner is included with each one of our Wedding Packages so that no matter what your budget is, you can take your time, plan, dream and enjoy!
Do we meet our wedding planner? Do we have a rehearsal?
You will be in contact with your wedding planner throughout the entire wedding planning process. If you are planning to have a large group of people attend your ceremony we recommend meeting your planner when you arrive on the island.
If you are planning a small wedding with just a couple of people, it makes sense simply to meet the minister and photographer at the beach 15 minutes prior to your wedding ceremony.
Should I hire a team or individual vendors?
There is no question that you should absolutely hire a team. There are simply no benefits to working with a random group of vendors.
In order for your wedding to go as smoothly as possible, you need a team of people who know how to work together and communicate about all your wedding details. Awkward moments and errors are common when people have not worked together in the past. The photographer may miss important cues from the minister and fail to take a key shot, a musician may not understand when he is expected to play.
Working with a team is also significantly more cost effective. You will not get a better deal by hiring individuals. The team at Oahu Boutique Weddings works closely together so that we are able to offer you a great price compared with vendors who focus on making more money per wedding.
Save yourself a lot of worry and headache and book a company that provides you with your own wedding team of wedding planner, photographer, editor and minister. There’s no time for a do-over, either everything got captured or it was missed. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, so make sure you get the best you can afford, since you don’t get a second chance at this special day.
What will the weather be like?
It's going to be beautiful and sunny, with occasional 5 minute showers.
The weather in Oahu is incredibly consistent, because the miles of ocean in every direction keeps us temperate. The trade winds that blow across the bay keep us cool and our average daily temperatures in the 80’s keeps us warm. Essentially what we are saying is that the weather in Oahu is heavenly.
What time of the year is best for getting married in Hawaii?
Any time is perfect. This is Hawaii's claim to fame, it is gorgeous every day. This makes planning a wedding in Hawaii a literal breeze! Summer months tend to be warmer, and winter temperatures stay in the comfortable mid 70's. It's always sunny, with fluffy white clouds and comfortable warm breezes. Hawaii is a sub-tropical paradise and any time of the year will be perfect for a beautiful wedding.
Where's the best location?
Oahu has the most pristine beaches in the world so it’s hard to go wrong. Some spots, though, are truly spectacular, those pristine deserted places that only the locals know about. These are the locations we have scouted so that your wedding feels like a fairy tale.
Aside from considerations of natural beauty, there are also some logistical details to think about. For example, not all beaches are easily accessible or suitable for a wedding, because ancestral burial sites prohibit their use. Other beaches can only be reached by hiking a distance on uneven ground, which is best not attempted in a wedding dress. Still other beaches fall under county jurisdiction and cannot be used for any kind of commercial event.
Keeping all this in mind, we’ve gone to great lengths to choose the most magical locations suitable for wedding ceremonies and will work with you to select just the right beach, depending on the size of your group and your accessibility needs.
Do you offer venues other than the beach?
Yes, we offer many alternative options. Please go to our Locations tab to find out about all the beautiful places where you can get married.
We can arrange anything you can dream up, tropical garden weddings, stunning lavender fields, getting married on a cliff, in a small airplane, your choices are endless. A wedding on Oahu can be as fancy or low key as you desire.
Do we really need a professional wedding photographer?
Photography is one of the most important elements of your wedding, so we have put together a list of tips and questions that will help you understand what your needs are and how to choose the photographer who is right for you.
Please be aware that there are a few tricks photographers frequently use to up-sell their services and add extra cost to your wedding. Among those are:
Additional charges for copyright of the images,
You will need to pay for any extra photographs that are above and beyond what your photography package stated,
You can only buy prints from the photographer (usually at a high cost).
Questions to ask:
What equipment do you use?
How many photographs are included in my package?
Do I pay for extra photos?
If so, how much?
Do I get the copyright to my photographs?
How much are prints, if I want them?
Can I print my pictures at any lab?
How do I get my pictures?
Quality of photographic equipment is another consideration. Make sure your photographer uses professional, well-maintained cameras that will provide you with high-resolution color balanced images. Also make sure your wedding photographer is local, from Oahu, because he'll understand the beaches and light conditions, and how to get the best shots.
Take a look at our Photography tab to learn about the photography packages we offer.
How long will it take to get our photos?
It takes 4 to 5 weeks to process, color correct and retouch all of your wedding pictures. Once this is done, we will post them on your personal password-protected wedding gallery website, where you can share your photos with friends and family and even order prints directly off the site.
Can we print our pictures anywhere?
This is a surprisingly important question. Most photographers retain ownership of all the photographs of your wedding. This means they are in complete control of how, when and where you print your photographs. If your photographer has a relationship with a pricey print shop you will be forced to pay more for your photographs. Furthermore, your photographer may hold back the best photos outside your package and charge you more for them.
We have seen this happen to unsuspecting couples and don’t want to do business that way.
Oahu Boutique Weddings is one of the few companies that always offers you joint copyright on all of your wedding photographs. This means your photos will never be held hostage. You can print them at the many convenient and inexpensive online shops. It also means you can use your photos any way you want, whether it's on your website or for a cover of a book!
What format will our photos be in?
All of our photographers use professional cameras and lenses, and photos will be delivered in digital .jpg format. All photos have the highest resolution so you can enlarge and crop images and still end up with crystal-clear photographs.
We deliver all images via your personalized website, which means that you have easy access to all your wedding photos. If you want to grant access to your friends and family, you can do so with the click of a button. This means, if mom wants a specific print, she can just order it herself.
Can I afford flowers?
Yes, you can! While flowers are a huge expense on the mainland, Hawaii is a tropical paradise with an abundance of flowers, this means flowers are definitely in your budget.
Not only that, Oahu Boutique Weddings offers two complimentary leis in most of our packages! We also offer many other beautiful flower options, from bouquets to throwing petals, in a wide range of prices. Go to our Flowers tab to find out how you can incorporate flowers into your wedding ceremony.
Are flowers important?
Oahu is the most beautiful place on earth, and getting married on the beach will provide a dazzling background. Flowers are a key touch and offer a perfect frame for your ceremony.
Using flowers strategically to mark off your wedding space on a vast beach can really add to the intimacy and luxury of your wedding.
A beach wedding is pristine and simple. Flowers are one of the few ways in which you can make your wedding ceremony even more special. And, of course, using flowers also makes your photographs simply unforgettable.
Here are some of the ways you can use flowers to make your pictures really pop:
Wedding Leis are traditional in every Hawaiian celebration and are included in most of our wedding packages. They are a beautiful way to take part in the rich Hawaiian culture and a great way to add color to your wedding.
A Bridal Bouquet is a must have for every bride. Walking towards your groom with a beautiful bouquet will help you harness the power of flowers. The bouquet is also important for many wedding shots such as the ring and holding hands shots. Our bouquets create an elegantly organic look by blending flower sizes, shades, and textures and will truly create pictures that make you and your groom look your best.
A Head Lei is a great way to keep flyaway hair at bay, while still keeping your hair down and it also adds a great touch of color around the bride’s face.
A Flower Petal Aisle is highly recommended! It is such an inexpensive way to create a beautiful wedding aisle as you do your wedding walk. The romance of walking on a carpet of flowers is truly surreal.
A Flower Garland Border or Circle. If you want to bring your ceremony to the next level, creating a marked-off aisle with swags of flower garlands is the only way to do that. There is nothing more unforgettable than floating through your personal flower island towards the love of your life.
Throwing Petals after you say “I do”. It is wonderful to be showered with flower petals. It’s also a great way to let your guests share in your celebration with you. This inexpensive element also makes for some incredible pictures of the bride and groom surrounded by a sea of floating petals.
Wedding Dais Flowers. Add a touch of color to your wedding ceremony by placing flowers on the wedding dais.
Flowers bring a magical element to both your wedding ceremony and the pictures you will cherish for a lifetime.
Having a musician serenade you during your wedding adds real ambiance to your ceremony. Please go to our Add-ons tab for your music options. Or, better yet, just give us a call and we will be happy to speak with you about all the options you have.
What should we wear?
Don’t overthink this. Wear what you feel best in. Most Brides wear white and most Grooms wear a light or white shirt and pants in neutral colors like black or beige. But many couples also take advantage of the relaxed atmosphere and wear bright Hawaiian colors.
If you do choose a Bridal Gown and Formal wear for the groom, keep the temperature and tropical climate in mind, a full gown and three piece suit will likely make you uncomfortable on a sunny beach. We also recommend avoiding dresses with trains, which would get quite sandy on a beach.
If you have questions just give our Minister and Wedding Planner a call and she will guide you through all the options you have.
What to do with my hair?
Of course you know your hair best, but we want to give you some things to think about.
Your ceremony will be outside, which means you can expect light winds to blow your hair around. We recommend either securing your hair with a head lei, pinning your hair back with a floral hairpiece or just having it all the way up.
Whatever you choose, adding flowers in your hair will always make your photos stunning.
Our Minister and Wedding Planner is an expert on hair and makeup and she will gladly help you choose the style that works best with your look.
A champagne toast?
A champagne toast is often part of a wedding ceremony, however, Hawaii State law does not allow alcohol on beaches. That means the champagne will have to wait until dinner.
What about cake?
While there is no law against having cake on the beach, cake does pose some challenges. First of all, Hawaii does not allow any furniture on the beach, meaning you cannot have a table for your cake, meaning there will be some difficulty dealing with a large cake without a place to set plates and cutlery.
What we suggest instead are Wedding Cupcakes, which can be decorated with a wedding motif and have the added benefit of being really easy to eat, not to mention their deliciousness. If your heart is set on having cake on the beach we can of course accommodate you, but we say “let them eat cupcakes!”
What are your suggestions for reception venues?
Oahu has so many wonderful options, whether it’s just the two of you or a big group, we will help you find what you need! Go to our Resources to learn about our favorite places for:
Romantic dinner for two at a restaurant
Dinner at a nice restaurant for a small group
Hawaiian Luau & Entertainment
Reception dinner at a private restaurant (larger group)
What if a large reception is not in my budget?
Usually there is no good way to get around the enormous expense of food, decor and entertainment, but this is where getting married in Hawaii comes to the rescue! Your answer here is the Hawaiian luau. A luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast of roast meats and fruity Hawaiian cocktails; the great food is accompanied by exciting Polynesian entertainment, including Hula dancers, fire jugglers and more.
Many couples choose to go to a luau for their wedding reception dinner because it offers some great advantages. All the food and alcohol is included which makes the dinner a fixed cost (especially nice when you have a larger group), and you're treating yourself and your guests to some authentic Hawaiian entertainment.
If treating a crowd to a luau is not in your budget, there is a simple way to have your guests pay for their own food and drink, simply let everyone know that you will be going to a luau the evening of your wedding and that you would love it if they joined you. No one will turn down a Hawaiian feast nor mind paying their way!
With a luau you will have the experience of a beautiful reception with great food, drink and celebration at a tiny fraction of the cost of a traditional venue reception.
Just another reason to get married in Oahu!