Ceremony

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Our ceremonies are straight forward, simple, and follow a basic traditional western and American wedding format of appropriate length for beach weddings.



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.

Important: You must choose either Male/Female or Same-Sex, so that we can assign the properly licensed officiate. See Same-Sex here.



Ceremony Styles:

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Romantic: A non-religious ceremony i.e. no reference to God. FYI: Our officiates do a lot of weddings and while it's rare, if the mention of God offends you and is a problem, we suggest you find another website.

- Romantic
Christian non-denominational: A non-denominational Christian based ceremony. It's a ceremony for all peoples and denominations. Our minister's do not preach, do not do "lay hands", read scripture, sing hymns, etc. but, they do ask for God's blessing.

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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 lei.

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 short introduction, a few words about marriage, love, and/or commitment, an affirmation of intent (the "I do's), an exchange of rings (if any), a Hawaiian lei presentation (if any) and exchange of personal sentiments (if desired), the pronouncement, the kiss, and the certificate and license (if any) signing.

FYI: For a legal marriage, the officiate's must ask, "Do you take XXX to be your wife/husband" as an affirmation of intent and to hear the answer verbalized (and believe it's true LOL). This is prefaced what many refer to as vows and done as the rings (if any) are exchanged as the outward sign of commitment. If no rings, we do it during the lei exchange. If a vow renewal, it's not a legal requirement.

No worries, you do not have to write "vows" but, we do allow time for you to exchange sentiments, expressions of love, or personal "vows" after the exchange of rings or during a lei exchange (if any). It can be as simple as a "I love you" or written. Just let the minister know that day.

FYI: In Hawaii, giving lei is a sign of love and respect, and a way of honoring the other. We include our Kukui Nut lei in our packages for this purpose. A lei is also a great way to include your parents, children, and friends in your ceremony. Many clients will purchase fresh flower lei for this purpose either through us or by their own effort.


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.

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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?

Yes. Let the minister/officiate know that you have special words to share.

We usually have couples do this during the lei exchange. FYI: As a matter of official duty and the law, the minister is required to ask you, "Do you take XXXX to be your wife/husband/partner?"



Can we approve the ceremony words and what's said?

No. Why not?

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 officiates has their own ceremony memorized.
- Ceremonies are proprietary to the officiate.
- Words spoken vary with the specifics of the ceremony.
- The assigned officiate may be replaced.

Consequently, knowing or approving the words is not possible. Just be assured that all of our officiates perform a ceremony with nothing that would be objectionable to the average person.



Can we get a copy of the ceremony after the wedding?

No.

Ceremony wording proprietary plus, exact ceremony wording varies from wedding to wedding. If you want to remember the exact words spoken, get our video service or record it with your video or phone.



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 not included in the cost but, it is possible. Expect a fee of $125 + parking fees if any.



Do we need to meet with you?

Meeting with us is also not necessary nor should it be. All the details of your event are set on the contract when you make your reservation payment consequently, there shouldn't be any reason to meet i.e. there should be no final details to confirm.

No worries though. If you want to make changes, you need to do this before the day and we'll send out an amended contract. Last minute changes may or may not be possible.



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

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



We're not religious.

No worries. Select our romantic non-religious ceremony, no God.

With that said, 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 Go 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 our job hinge upon a inadvertent reference to "God".



Can we include our children?

Of course. We don't have any set way to include children, so let the officiate know and he'll include them as he see's fit. The best and simplest way is to include them is a lei presentation, a family sand ceremony, or a family prayer if you are having a Christian ceremony. Let us know on the Order Form and we'll assign our officiates who are 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 way too long a ceremony, not listening or caring what our photographer and other professionals need to happen to create what we sell and what our clients expect from us.


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



Can we not see each other before the ceremony?

Yes but, it just complicates what should be a simple ceremony. Up to you though. You must let us know beforehand so we can schedule it properly on the contract, add for extra time, and you must order a processional.



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.