Some info to help you plan…. But we will help you with all this, so not to worry….

Hawaii State Beach Permits

The State of Hawaii requires a beach permit for all weddings taking place on any beach in the state. There is a maximum number of 30 for beach weddings. Jessica from Kauai Tropical Weddings & Photography has the necessary insurance to obtain the permit. The cost depends on the number of people, ranging from $60 to $100. 

The intent of the system is to prevent crowding on beaches and to allow everyone maximum enjoyment of the state’s beaches, which are all public, even if they are in front of a private home. The state has a number of specific rules restricting how you can conduct a beach wedding, so it’s a good idea to hire a local Hawaii wedding planner who has insurance and is familiar with these rules. Rules associated with Hawaii beach weddings include:

  • Two-hour time limit
  • You may not ask beach-goers to move to make room for your ceremony
  • No structures or large decorations are allowed. Loose flowers and flower aisles and circles are OK. 
  • A limited number of chairs are permitted for elderly or disabled people who cannot stand.
  • You may not block off an area of the public beach for your ceremony

Basic Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Hawaii

The State of Hawaii issues marriage licenses and has a handy online system that makes it easy for out-of-state couples to fill out and pay for their marriage license application. This way, you can get the ball rolling on the license requirement before you even arrive to your Hawaii wedding location. You’ll have to finalize your license in person with a state marriage license agent. Jessica, from Kauai Tropical Weddings, will take care of scheduling the appointment and will provide you all the details and directions you need. 

For any person to lawfully marry in the State of Hawaii, a license for that purpose must be obtained from an authorized agent (Section 572-1.7, Hawaii Revised Statutes). Once the license has been issued, there is no waiting period before the marriage can take place.

A marriage license and marriage certificate are different documents. The marriage license permits a marriage to take place. The marriage certificate indicates that a legal marriage has been performed.

Jessica, from Kauai Tropical Weddings, who is licensed in the State of Hawaii, will file your marriage certificate with the Department of Health. A newly married couple receives one (1) certified copy of the marriage certificate at no extra charge, upon payment of the marriage license fee, which will be sent to the couple by mail (60-120 days) after the marriage has been performed. If a marriage certificate is needed sooner than this, you can apply for one or more additional certified copies.

Make sure you comply these requirements for marriage license applicants, which apply to the majority of couples getting married in Hawaii:

  • Both applicants must be at least 18 years old; younger applicants may be ineligible or require official consent from a legal guardian
  • Both applicants must appear before the marriage license agent at the time of application
  • Official proof of age, such as a certified birth certificate (age 18 and under) or a driver’s license or passport (age 19+), must be provided
  • Applicants must pay a $65 fee for the license and processing

There are a few other requirements for special groups such as applicants whose previous marriages ended by death or divorce within 30 days of application. Your license will be valid anywhere in the state within 30 days of obtaining it, meaning you can apply for your license on a different island than your intended Hawaii wedding location. Island Departments of Health are one option for finding a license agent, but the state also allows non-government employees to serve in this role. Jessica will make an appointment with the agent closest to your accommodations.

Changing Your Names

If either or both of you plan on changing your names after the wedding, you can get the ball rolling pretty quickly thanks to Hawaii’s simple rules. You can take the first step toward changing your name(s) while filling out your license application for a Hawaii wedding. Each member of the couple will write the middle and last name name he or she intends to use after marriage on the marriage license application. You’ll sign the marriage license with your new legal signature if you decide to make a change.

Your marriage certificate will have your new name on it, which will make it easier for you to do things like change your name on official government identification. If you want some help with that aspect of the process, try HitchSwitch—a name changing service that allows you to take a more hands-off approach.