Getting married on Oahu

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Get going early

Do you plan on getting married in Oahu? If so, the Honolulu Marriage License Office is open only during normal business hours but not on the usual 13-14 State holidays.

With over 1 million people and over 900,000 vehicles registered on Oahu, traffic and parking can be challenging. Keep holidays in mind when getting married on Oahu and choosing your Hawaii wedding date. Valentine’s Day is a hugely popular date for weddings in Hawaii. While it might seem romantic, you may change your mind after waiting in line for a minister. New Year’s Eve is another busy wedding day in Hawaii. It’s also party central for tourists. So your out-of-town wedding guests may have trouble finding a flight.

Avoid Holiday Weddings!

You might want to consider a shady site when getting married on Oahu or a late afternoon ceremony during the summer. Rain may be more common during Spring and Fall. Showers are usually brief and centered over the mountains and windward sections. Wind or rain doesn’t shelter most beaches because they expose themselves. We provide umbrellas if needed. Windward beaches tend to have more wind. We get lots of rainbows, so maybe you’ll be lucky to have one on your day! Check the weather for current conditions in Honolulu.

Sunsets on Oahu:

The sun journeys North of West in the winter and South of West in the summer (due to Earth’s tilt). The view of sunset at any particular beach changes daily. As viewed from shore, the sun sets a little farther to the right every day until the end of June. Then, a little farther to the left until the end of December. Most beaches in Areas 4 and 5 (closest to Waikiki) face South. The sun will go down to the right as you face the ocean. This means that getting married on Oahu during winter months offers the best opportunity to view the sun setting over water. However, from some of these beaches, not all. During the summer, you’ll need to get to a beach facing West (Areas 6 & 7). This is the best way to see the sun setting over water. The dress: Since there is no waiting period for weddings in Hawaii, spontaneous ceremonies are quite frequent.


Although Honolulu holds a reputation for swift weddings, this doesn’t mean one can walk into a chapel from the street and marry. To obtain a marriage license in Oahu, you must fulfill certain requirements. For more information on the legal requirements, click here. Rumors that public beach weddings are not legal in Hawaii is wholly false. For other legal questions, check with the State Health Dept if you’re one of those couples who decide on a last-minute wedding. You might not have any guests in town. This brings up the question of having a witness at your ceremony. Not to worry — Hawaii does not require a witness. That said, most couples hire our professional photographer, who can serve as a witness. At no extra charge!

Timing is everything!

Suppose you have your wedding on one of the hundreds of beaches around Oahu. When getting married in Oahu, don’t expect a long ceremony or a lot of quality time afterward. Many people crowd the beaches on Oahu, so finding a truly “secluded” beach” for a wedding might be challenging. You’ll probably opt to get back into the limousine and cruise the coast. Or drive to another site for your reception. Sunset is the most sought-after time for weddings. It’s advisable to book in advance to ensure the availability of a minister and a suitable location. Sunset happens only once daily in Hawaii and is not completely visible from all beaches. Ask for recommendations according to your expectations. Check our link to the sunset chart, and remember, the sun goes down in the West!

The Ceremony

Wedding officiate ministers in Honolulu offer only a religious ceremony. Only a magistrate can perform a civil ceremony. Remember that prices vary widely among ministers who perform the religious ceremony.  Unusual weddings: If you marry on Oahu, you can choose an alternative to a traditional chapel ceremony. Why not make it a wild and crazy experience? Our ministers offer custom services that cater to your special needs. You can marry under a waterfall in a rainforest, on a hilltop with a view of the vast Pacific Ocean, or even opt for a naturist ceremony. Typically, ministers collect the fees after the ceremony. They do not accept checks or credit cards without prior approval or make changes.

Hair and makeup:

If you’re from out of town and you’re in Honolulu for your wedding and getting married in Oahu, you will probably want to find a hairstylist to help you prepare for the big day. Many hotels have salons or spas right on the property. You may also want to try a local salon in Waikiki. In either case, be sure to book your appointment well in advance and keep those holidays and weekends in mind. People can book the salons quickly. Some services in town will come directly to your hotel room to fix your hair for your wedding. On our frequent windy days, especially on windward beaches, you may find your hair blowing all over the place, so style accordingly.

Final Notes

If you’re marrying on Oahu, remember to take your license, rings, and money with you when you head to your wedding site. Military and some other couples must present a copy of their license to their personnel officers to begin family benefits back home. You can only obtain copies from the State of Hawaii Office of Vital Records. Check with your finance officer if our Marriage Certificate will suffice until the certified copy comes in. The State charges a fee of $10 to expedite copies that may normally take four months to get.

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