Table of Contents:
- FAQ’s About Getting Married on the Big Island
- Is it legal to get married on a beach in Hawaii?
- Can you get married on a beach in Hawaii without a permit?
- Can you get a marriage license in one state and get married in Hawaii?
- How do you apply for a Hawaii marriage license?
- How far in advance should you apply for a Hawaii marriage license?
- How do I get a copy of my marriage license from Hawaii?
- How do you get married in Kona, Hawaii?
- How to Get Your Big Island Marriage License
- Big Island Wedding Permits
- Best Big Island & Kona Wedding Venues
- A Full Guide to Planning Your Big Island Wedding
Did you know that I’m absolutely obsessed with, head-over-heels in love with the Big Island? (That’s a joke, because nearly every other blog post on my website & post on Instagram is dedicated to the Big Island.) It’s one of my absolute favorite islands to visit. Plus it’s super easy for me to hop on over to from Oahu when I’m visiting! Which is exactly why I’ve created yet another guide for couples looking to get married on the Big Island. This time, dedicated to getting a Big Island marriage license and getting familiar with the Big Island’s marriage laws.
Throughout this blog post, you should find absolutely everything you need to know about legally tying the knot on the Big Island. From Big Island beach wedding permits to marriage licenses to the laws you’ll need to follow. I promise it doesn’t have to be complicated. Once you familiarize yourself with all the legal biz, you’ll be ready to go and get your Hawaii marriage license ASAP!
FAQ’s About Getting Married on the Big Island
We’ll start off this blog post with some of the biggest FAQ’s I often hear couples ask. Some that you may be wondering right off the bat, too.
Is it legal to get married on a beach in Hawaii?
You bet your beautiful booty it is! Adhering to certain rules and regulations, of course.
Unfortunately, Hawaii has seen much too many weddings in recent years that don’t follow rules that have been set in place to protect our wonderful land. Photographers, too, have been commonly known to break rules and make unlawful decisions to get “the shot”. Which has resulted in stricter permitting rules in certain areas of Hawaii.
For this reason, and to ensure we protect this incredible land we have the privilege to enjoy, we will always make sure to get the correct permits and follow every rule to a T.
Skip down to the Big Island Wedding Permits section of this blog post for a full rundown of these Wiki Permits!
Can you get married on a beach in Hawaii without a permit?
Nope! To legally get married on a beach in Hawaii, you’ll need to get the Wiki Permit outlined above. I know it can be a pain to go through permitting processes, but it’s one of the best ways to ensure that your wedding doesn’t encroach on Hawaii’s beautiful, fragile land, or on the enjoyment of other beachgoers.
Can you get a marriage license in one state and get married in Hawaii?
That’s another no – if you want to get married in Hawaii, you have to have a Hawaii marriage license.
How do you apply for a Hawaii marriage license?
Applying for a Hawaii marriage license isn’t complicated! All you’ll need to do is fill out this online application, pay the $65 fee, meet with a Hawaii licensing agent, and use your license within 30 days of receipt. For more details on how to do all that, skip down to the Hawaii marriage license process section of this blog post – I’ve got you covered, darling!
How far in advance should you apply for a Hawaii marriage license?
You should apply for your marriage license as early as possible to ensure you have enough time to fill out the application, and that the agent you work with has enough time to process it for you. You can reach out to an agent on the Big Island at (808) 974-6008 to get some advice on how early to apply depending on the details of your wedding. However, keep in mind that once you receive your license, you only have 30 days to use it!
How do I get a copy of my marriage license from Hawaii?
To get a copy of your marriage license, you’ll need to obtain your license from an agent’s office and go through the licensing process. Once you complete the process, they’ll give you your marriage license and marriage certificate!
How do you get married in Kona, Hawaii?
Lucky for you, that’s what this whole article is dedicated to 😉 All of the information in this blog post applies to the entirety of the Big Island!
How to Get Your Big Island Marriage License
Diving right into the meat of this blog post, it’s time to talk about the not-so-fun part of getting married: the legal stuff you’ve gotta worry about. But if you get familiar with all the requirements and really have a full understanding of what’s required of you to get your marriage license, the process doesn’t have to be too complicated! Here’s a breakdown of the Big Island’s marriage laws, and the process to obtain your Big Island marriage license.
Big Island, Hawaii Marriage Laws & Requirements
First, it’s important to know what the laws are surrounding marriage in Hawaii.
A Hawaii marriage license will cost you $65, plus potential additional fees depending on the specific details of your wedding.
You don’t have to be a Hawaii resident or a U.S. citizen to get married in Hawaii – woohoo! I see you PNW folks craving a warm beach wedding in the winter time with your loved ones. Come one, come all 😉
Once you receive your license, it’ll be valid for 30 days – meaning you have to get married and use the license within 30 days. Otherise, your license will be null & void, and you’ll have to get a new one. So make sure your date is set in stone and you’re ready to do the damn thing once you’ve signed the dotted lines & obtained your official license!
Your Hawaii marriage license is NOT valid in other states, so you can’t get your license in Hawaii, then proceed to have a legal wedding in another state.
There’s no waiting period for Hawaii marriage licenses, which means you can get married ASAP once you’ve got your license – no impatiently waiting necessary! In many other states, there’s a multi-day waiting period that prevents couples from getting married until a few days after getting their license. Lucky for you, spontaneously eloping and getting a marriage license + running off to a chapel by the beach is legally a-okay in Hawaii!
Note that you have to be 18 years old to get married in Hawaii, and no blood test is required to get your license.
Self-solemnization is not allowed in Hawaii, which simply means you can’t officiate your own wedding like you can in some states (like Colorado). You’ll have to hire somebody else, or get a friend/loved one to get ordained online!
A recap of Hawaii marriage laws and licenses:
- Hawaii marriage license cost: $65 + potential additional fees
- Hawaii residency required? No
- U.S. citizenship required? No
- Length of validity: 30 days
- Valid in other states? No
- Waiting period: None
- Minimum age: 18
- Blood test required? No
- Self-solemnization permitted? No
Now that you know what’s required of you to legally get married in Hawaii. Here’s the process to follow to get your Hawaii marriage license:
- Complete the online application and pay the required $65 fee.
- Meet with a Hawaii licensing agent within 30 days of your ceremony date. You both need to be present, and be sure to each bring a valid form of picture ID.
- Hold your ceremony in Hawaii within 30 days of picking up your license, and celebrate! Remember, there’s no waiting period. So you can get married as soon as you’d like once you have your license in hand.
Visit the Hawaii Department of Health’s website for further info on the licensing process! You can also call the Big Island district health office at (808) 974-6008 for information specific to the Big Island.
Big Island Wedding Permits
To legally get married on a beach on the Big Island, or any of the Hawaiian islands, for that matter, you will need to get a Wiki Permit through the state’s Department of Land & Natural Resources website.
This Wiki Permit allows for weddings on most public beaches – you can find a list of permitted beach sites here.
The fee for this permit is $0.10 per square foot, with a $20 minimum. That means that once your area of use goes over 200 feet, you’ll need to pay per extra square foot!
You’ll get two hours of use of a public beach for your wedding with this permit, including setup & breakdown time. Because of this time limit, you’ll want to be sure to plan accordingly to set up and clean up within that time period. I’d recommend designating a few of your guests (outside of your wedding party) to be in charge of the setup and breakdown so you don’t have to worry about it on the day-of!
One thing I love about Hawaii’s Wiki Permit is that it covers your photographer & other vendors, so they don’t need to get a separate Wiki Permit. However, if they don’t get a Wiki Permit, your photographer will need to get a different permit from the Hawaii Film Office instead. So they can either get a Wiki Permit OR a Hawaii Film Office permit in order to legally photograph your wedding!
The Department of Land & Natural Resources asks that you apply for your permit at least two weeks in advance, but if I were you, I’d apply as early in advance as possible just to make it easier on yourselves & on the employees who process your permit! This will also make sure you don’t have to panic the week of your wedding about whether or not your permit will be approved and arrive on time. That stress is not welcome here!
When you’re ready to apply for your Hawaii wedding Wiki Permit, you can start the process here, through the State of Hawaii permitting website.
To read all the FAQ’s about Hawaii’s Wiki Permits, head to this PDF provided by the Department of Land & Natural Resources!
Best Big Island & Kona Wedding Venues
Now that you’re familiar with all the legal mumbo-jumbo you’ll need to follow to get married on the Big Island. It’s time to find your dream venue! Luckily there is absolutely zero shortage of fabulous, lush, tropical-dream-filled wedding venues on the Big Island. The huge sea of options can actually make it difficult to choose!
To make it a little easier on you, here’s a list of my top favorite wedding venues on the Big Island that you will fall in LOVE with:
- Papa Kona
- Royal Kona Resort
- Hulihe’e Palace
- Puako Beach
- Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
- Holualoa Inn
- Kahua Ranch
- Anna Ranch Heritage Center
- Mauna Lani
- The Club at Hokulia
- Hale Wailele
- The Dolphin House
To find out more about each of these absolutely magnificent Big Island venues, head over to my full guide to the 12 Best Big Island Wedding Locations + Venues in 2022-2023!
A Full Guide to Planning Your Big Island Wedding
Because I absolutely adore every piece of the Big Island. I want EVERY couple who comes to my website to feel confident AF in their wedding planning knowledge. So, I’ve created an entire guide for you on How to Get Married on the Big Island! *cue praise hands emoji* 🙌🏼
This guide is packed from top to bottom with all the information you need to know about getting hitched on this beautiful island I love, including:
- How to pick a part of the island
- The best venues
- How to nail down your date
- The seasons & weather of the Big Island
- How to find vendors
- Booking your travel & accommodations
- Planning things to do
If you’re ready to feel confident in your knowledge of ALL things Big Island wedding planning, hop on over to that blog post here. This guide is gold and you will not want to miss it!