We did it! After years of delays from life and a pandemic, we got married! When we were deciding where to go, we wanted to choose a destination that had solid health and safety measures in place so that we could relax and enjoy our time. If you’re looking to do the same, read our tips for how to get married in Hawaii during COVID!
In This Post:
- Why We Chose Honolulu, Hawaii
- Applying for a Marriage License in Honolulu
- How to Pick Up Your Marriage License
- Choosing an Agent to Perform Your Marriage
- Getting Your Official Marriage License From Hawaii
Why We Chose Oahu
We realize that not everyone shares the same opinion (or risk factors), but we’ve taken the pandemic pretty seriously. It’s not surprising, then, that we chose a destination for our wedding where we would feel safer. Hawaii has been quite strict with its measures, and they are easy to enforce when you’re on an island. We knew right away that Hawaii was going to be the right place for us.
It took hours of research and YouTube videos for us to finally settle on the island of Oahu. This is the most touristy place in Hawaii, and it’s easy to understand why.
- Waikiki is like tropical Las Vegas without all the booze and gambling. There are a lot of luxury shops, malls, and restaurants along a “strip” which made everything very accessible.
- You don’t need a car if you’re just staying in Waikiki, but we rented one because we wanted to leave the tourist traps and have local experiences.
- Outside of Waikiki and Honolulu, it’s very easy to get immersed in nature. There are so many hikes, beaches, and hidden treasures to explore.
- BTS fans will know that season 2 of Bon Voyage was partially filmed in Waikiki and we inadvertently ended up at a lot of places they visited. After their LA concert at the end of 2021, V and J-Hope both vacationed in Waikiki again!
- You can EASILY explore the whole island in a week. We stayed in the south, and had day trips to the east, west, and north shores!
Having spent a week on Oahu, I can tell you that we have NO regrets. It was amazing!
Choosing a Marriage Performer
No, we’re not talking about finding a band or DJ to perform at your wedding. The first step in the process involves choosing an authorized performer (you will need their information for the marriage license application).
This is the person you’ve chosen to perform your marriage (officiator, priest, reverend, etc…). You can use this list, but it’s massive. It’s a good idea to do a Google search for the venue/company you want to use and reach out to them directly.
We chose the affordable $95 beach wedding package from Just Married Hawaii. We highly recommend this fantastic option and have written a guide for using this service. The marriage license agent was familiar with this group of performers, which made it really easy!
Applying for a Marriage License in Honolulu
The most crucial step in how to get married in Hawaii? You need to have an appointment to obtain a marriage license in Hawaii. Please don’t assume that you can just walk up and get one the same day, especially while pandemic measures are in place. We found the process confusing on the website, so here are the steps we took to get ours:
- Visit the State of Hawaii Dept. of Health Vital Records site and review the eligibility requirements. Gather the required documents.
- Use the Hawaii Electronic Marriage and Civil Union Registration System to submit your application electronically. You will be asked to provide information about the person performing your marriage during this step. You will also need the date of your wedding.
- Pay the $65 fee online in the electronic application.
- The marriage license expires 30 days from and including the date of issuance. It becomes null and void after that, so time this correctly!
How to Pick Up Your Marriage License
This was the BEST part of the whole pre-wedding process. We drove to the Department of Health office in Honolulu at the following address:
- Room 101 (1st floor) of the Health Department Building, 1250 Punchbowl St. (corner of Beretania and Punchbowl Streets).
- Services are available Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
We booked for 10:20 am and didn’t know what to expect. Whatever we imagined was nowhere near as awesome as what we experienced. We parked in the small lot and went up to the door. There was a sign that directed us to open the door and say “Aloha!”
We did as we were told and were so pleasantly surprised by this foldable table with a plexiglass barrier. It was adorned with cheesy, romantic decorations and there was a bowl of heart-shaped Reese cups set out for couples. We were asked to provide our identification.
We were then told to return to our vehicle and wait for a phone call. This was how our marriage license interview would take place. Within a few moments, we got the call, put it on speakerphone, and giggled our way through the easiest vital records experience of our lives.
When we were done, we walked back up to the door, raised our right hands to swear that all we said was true, and walked away with our marriage license. It was EPIC!! I wish I had a picture of that moment, but another couple distracted us. Boo…
Getting Your Official Marriage License From Hawaii
During our actual wedding ceremony, we gave our marriage license to the performer (in our case, the awesome Reverend Keawe Bray from Just Married Hawaii!). He then took it and completed the filing process.
We received an email letting us know that the printable version of our license was available and then just eight days later we received the official copy in the state where we currently live. It was incredibly stress-free and much easier than it seemed when we looked on the website.
We hope this quick guide to How to Get Married in Hawaii During COVID helps you navigate the process easier so that you can focus on your big day. Congratulations!