Hawaii Wedding

hawaii flag

Welcome to our guide to getting married in Hawaii. Before you go into depth about the specifics for your wedding in Hawaii we have a couple of articles that we suggest you read first.

Is it the sun, sea and sand, or is it the Hula dancers that draw so many couples to Hawaii for their wedding. Whatever it is its worth have some of the traditional wedding customs associated with a Hawaii wedding ceremony.

Hawaii bride and grooms will normally wear white on the wedding day, and have flower garlands known as leis placed around their necks. The leis are thought to symbolise love, respect and friendship, which are exchanged during the ceremony. The Hula dancers could then provide a wonderful climax to a beautiful wedding ceremony.

When planning your Hawaii wedding here are the following things to bear in mind:

Residency Stay

It has no residency requirement, however it may take up to two working days to process some of the necessary paper work.

Basic documentation

UK residents can marry in the State of Hawaii provided they have the appropriate documentation:

  • Complete a marriage license application. You will both need to be present in order to obtain the license.
  • A valid 10-year passport
  • A birth certificate
  • Decree Absolute (the final divorce paper, if applicable)
  • Death Certificate (if you are a widow or widower)
  • Change of Name Deed (required if you have changed your name)
  • To marry partners must be at least 16. Written consent from your parents or guardians is needed (if either of you are under 18 years of age).

Marriage License

The marriage license is valid for up to 30 days from the date of issue, provided an authorised person performs the marriage in the State of Hawaii. A fee must be paid in cash upon application of the marriage license.

Obtaining your Marriage Certificate

After the marriage ceremony has been performed your marriage officiant will prepare and file your marriage certificate with the Department of Health. A certified copy of your Marriage Certificate will be mailed to you (60 -120days) after your wedding ceremony. If you wish to receive the certificate sooner you should inform your marriage officiant and contact the Department of health in advance of your wedding day.

Depositing the Marriage Certificate

Although your marriage will be legal in the UK, as it will have been performed under the State of Hawaii marriage laws, your marriage cannot be registered here in the UK. Unless one of the couple is a serving member of, or is attached to, the British Armed Forces at the time of the marriage. This should be discussed with the Forces prior to the marriage-taking place.

If however this is not the case provided one or both of you is a British citizen a record can be created for your overseas marriage by depositing the marriage certificate in the General Register Office (GRO).  This record can be created at anytime after your marriage ceremony. In order to do this you will need to contact the GRO in the UK and the British Embassy in Los Angeles, in advance, and state that you wish to deposit your marriage certificate with the GRO.

The marriage certificate must first be sent from State Department of Health in Honolulu to the British Embassy in Los Angeles. The British Consular General will then forward the certificate on with an accompanying note to the General Register Office in the UK.  Once the documents have been received by the GRO you will be notified of their receipt. The documents are then held with the GRO from there onwards and a copy of your marriage certificate can be requested should the need arise.

For further information contact:

Hawaii Tourism Authority

Notcutt House
36 Southwark Bridge Road

The Honolulu Marriage License Office

Hawaii State Department of Health
1250 Punchbowl Street
HI 96813
Tel: (808) 974-6006

American Embassy

24 Grosvenor Square
Tel: 0207 499 9000
Website: www.usembassy.org.uk

The British Consular General, Los Angeles

Suite 1200, 11766 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025-6538
Tel: (310) 481-0031
Fax: (310) 481-2960



Whilst every effort to ensure that the above information is correct, it may be subject to change at any time. Please always check with the official authorities before proceeding. If you notice some outdated information please let us know.