Ceremony

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Our ceremonies follow a basic traditional western and American wedding format of appropriate length for a beach wedding or vow renewal. Pretty straight forward and simple.

First, let's get this out of the way. Hawaiians did not get married and there is no traditional or authentic Hawaiian wedding ceremony so, when you see a "Kahu" or any other minister advertising a "traditional" Hawaiian wedding ceremony, it's anything else but.

With that said, you can include Hawaiian elements like we do, the same that many local Hawaiian couples add, to give it a Hawaiian feel.




Ceremony Types:

- Marriage: Choose for a marriage or civil union ceremony legal in Hawaii, the United States, and other countries. This requires a marriage license issued by the State of Hawaii.

- Vow Renewal: Choose if you are already married and want to celebrate your marriage as a vow renewal.

- Marriage Ceremony Recreation: Choose if you are already married but, want to have the ceremony you didn't have the first time or just to have a ceremony in Hawaii or for your family who doesn't know you've been married for 6 months already LOL.




Ceremony Styles:

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Romantic: A non-religious ceremony with no reference to God.

FYI: Our ministers do multiple weddings in a day and if they slip-up, you can correct it but, if the mere mention of "God" greatly offends you, choose another website.

- Romantic
Christian non-denominational: A non-denominational Christian based ceremony.

FYI: Our minister's do not preach, "lay hands", read scripture, sing hymns, etc. as part of the ceremony (unless you ask for it).

-
Hawaiian accented: We include Hawaiian elements to give your ceremony a uniquely Hawaiian feel including a conch shell blowing (called a "Pu") by the minister, and Hawaiian theme minister attire or wearing of a lei.

FYI: Hawaiians did not get married. There is no traditional Hawaiian wedding. They did perform human sacrifice LOL.

Details

When you fill out our Prices and Planning Order Form, you're going to select the "Ceremony Type" and the "Ceremony Style".

The "Ceremony Type" is pretty obvious and there will be only one applicable selection. We need to know this to assign the properly licensed officiate.

You'll have several choices for your "Ceremony Style". If you do not make a selection, the default is our "Romantic non-religious ceremony". FYI: We do not do denomination specific ceremonies.

All ceremonies are created to appeal to the greatest number of people and without offense i.e. none include anything which any normal person would object to hearing or repeating in a ceremony. FYI: Some websites scare you into believing you'll hear "obey" or other archaic wording.

All ceremonies are the same in terms of format and differ only in certain parts and wording, Actual wording will vary from officiate to officiate.

Not to worry. Our ceremonies are not mushy or preachy, not a marriage counseling session, do not include archaic wording or religious dogma, and the minister won't make like he's been your long time personal friend. Yup, we've seen it and it can be embarrassing LOL.

Ceremonies usually take about 8-12 minutes depending upon the specifics of your event, ceremony style, and any other ceremony additions.

We're sorry, We do not have a set AHW ceremony to share or for you to approve simply because, each officiate has their own proprietary ceremony, individual ceremony wording may vary depending upon the couple, and while we may assign an officiate, that person may change by wedding day.

All ceremonies start with the blowing of the conch shell (if any) followed by a short introduction, a few words about marriage, love, and/or commitment.

There will be the required affirmation of intent, the "I do's", which legally must be asked by the officiate.

Next the exchange of rings with an affirmation of commitment followed by a lei presentation and the exchange of any personal sentiments (if desired).

The pronouncement of marriage and the 1st kiss end the ceremony

The decorative certificate and marriage license (if any) are signed and the minister is done.

Without and other ceremony inclusions, this all takes up to about 12-15 max and the rest of your time will be spent doing photos or any other post ceremony extras ordered.



What Happens on Wedding Day?

- Be early, do not be late! If you arrive late or are not ready to proceed at the time schedule for the ceremony start on your contract, your ceremony may be shortened, be performed in part or not at all, and late fees may be charged additionally.

- If yours is a marriage ceremony and not a vow renewal or recreation, you must bring your State of Hawaii issued marriage license to the ceremony. If you do not bring your license, we can do a ceremony but, you will not be legally married until the license is completed by the minister.

- The contract schedule lists the latest time we suggest you leave your hotel and the latest time you should be meeting us.

- We'll be waiting for you at the designated "meet spot" indicated in our written instructions and Google map. The coverage start/meet time, usually 15 minutes before the ceremony start time, is when you should be standing in front of us.

- Be ready to walk out to the ceremony site at the meet time, usually 15 minutes before the ceremony.

- We'll walk out to the ceremony location together.

-
Do not try to find or walk out to the ceremony site before us. We will not see you, look for you or try to guess if it's you. Most times it's obvious it's you LOL.

- Do not sit in your car and wait for us unless, you are early and want to stay cool :) and if you do arrive early and want to stay cool or want to walk around, please make sure you meet us on-time. Note: If using our transportation, no worries.

- If you're parents or guests are late, we may have a couple minutes to wait but, we may have to start without them.

- If you owe a cash balance payment, you're going to give it to the lead site vendor usually, the photographer. Please have exact amounts. If you forget the cash, you'll need to make payment after the ceremony by credit card using our website in the amount listed on your contract.

- The officiate and photographer will give you final ceremony instructions just prior to the ceremony. We'll set you up "in-place" or give instructions for a processional if provided for on your contract. Once everything is set, the ceremony will start.

- No worries, just relax. Our minister and photographer will guide you through the ceremony.

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After the ceremony, you'll sign the decorative certificate or marriage license (if any), the officiate will certify it, take it from you, and electronically submit it to the State of Hawaii, all as required by law.

- Once submitted, the Health Dept. will process and record the license. If you applied for your license on-line, you'll be able to download a temporary license usually, within 2-3 business days. Your official certified marriage license will be mailed to you from the Heath Dept. in 45-60 days. If you paid to expedite processing, it will be sooner.




Answers to Common Questions

Can we exchange our own vows in our ceremony?

The minister is required to ask you, "Do you take XXXX to be your...?" and he must hear it verbalized by you by law. With that said, you may exchange sentiments during the lei exchange. Let the minister know.



Can we see and/or approve the ceremony wording?

No but, be assured that all of our officiates perform a ceremony with nothing that would be objectionable to the average person.

When you get married in a church or by a judge, they don't tell you the words, nor do you get a copy for your inspection and approval. Our officiates operate under the same principles.

Additionally, each minister has their own ceremony memorized, wording is proprietary, actual words spoken vary slightly ceremony to ceremony, and finally, the assigned officiate may be replaced.



Can we get a written copy after the wedding?

No. See above. If you want to remember the exact words spoken, order our video service.



Can we tell the officiate what to say?

No.



Can we speak with the officiate?

No. Direct contact with our vendors is not part of our service and they may be replaced. All questions should be directed through us.



Can we meet the minister?

A meeting is not necessary and is not included in the cost. Expect a fee of $125 to meet before the ceremony at the officiates discretion.



Do we need to meet with you?

A meeting is not necessary and is not included in the cost. All the details of your event are set on the contract consequently, there shouldn't be any reason to meet and no final details to confirm. Simply, if you need to meet with a company when you get to Hawaii, you've hired the wrong people.



We believe in God but, don't want a really religious ceremony.

No worries. Our Romantic Christian ceremonies are a "lite" version non-denominational religious ceremony.



We're not religious.

Select our romantic non-religious ceremony.

FYI: We do not guaranty that a reference to "God" won't slip out. Our officiates do a lot of all kinds of weddings each day and sometimes the mention of God just comes out. If this is a problem for you, don't book us! Most officiates mention a "higher power", "universe", etc. as part of their ceremony so, if you don't want this either, don't book us. We simply can't allow the outcome of the job hinge upon a inadvertent reference.



Can we include our children?

Yes, of course. The simplest way and the way we do it, is to have them participate in a lei presentation or sand ceremony (make sure you order lei or a sand ceremony) and have them sign the decorative certificate. Let the officiate know. Let us know on the Order Form and we'll assign our officiate who is best at this.



Can we use our own Officiate/Minister?

No sorry, we stopped doing that. We've had problems with ministers being late, not starting on-time, having an unnecessarily long ceremony, not understanding or even caring what our other professionals need to happen to create what our clients expect from them.


FYI:
Our vendors work as a team and the minister is just one part. Our ministers understand how we like our ceremonies performed and what we expect of our photographers, videographers, musicians, and other vendors. Teamwork enables everyone to perform at the highest level versus other websites who just hire a bunch of people assembled together to do their own thing.



We do not want to see each other.

Come on, it's a beach wedding, get a church! LOL. But seriously, it just complicates everything. Up to you though. If you must, it must specifically be on your contract to add for extra time and expense, and it must include a processional. FYI: Ordering a processional alone does not mean you do not want to see each other.



Can we include cultural traditions in our ceremony?

Yes. You can add your own personal or cultural traditions but, let us know when we make your contract so we can schedule the extra time and cost for the time if required.