Ceremony Basics

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

FYI: Hawaiians did not get married, there is no "traditional" Hawaiian wedding ceremony. Many of these "traditions" are simply made-up by wedding websites, officiates, or so-called "Kahu". With that said, there are some modern "traditions" like the giving of lei and local Hawaiian elements that are a nice addition to any beach wedding in Hawaii.



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 is 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".

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.

Ceremonies are appropriately personal, but not mushy, thoughtful, but not "preachy". Actual wording will vary from officiate to officiate.

Both marriages and vow renewals are the same in terms of ceremony format and differ only in certain parts and wording simply because, one is a marriage and the other is a renewal :)

Marriage and vow renewal ceremonies usually take about 8-10 minutes and depending upon specifics of the ceremony, ceremony style, and any other ceremony additions up to 12-15 minutes tops.

We do not have written copies of ceremonies to share or approve. Each officiate has their own proprietary "words" and these may vary from ceremony to ceremony depending upon the specifics. Additionally, while we may assign an officiate, that person may change by wedding day.

All ceremonies start with the short introduction (or conch blowing if Hawaiian style), a few words about marriage, commitment, and love, an "affirmation of intent" through the exchange of vows, an exchange of rings (if any), exchange of personal sentiments (if desired), a Hawaiian lei presentation (if any), the pronouncement, the 1st kiss, and certificate and license (if any) signing.

For a marriage, it's the officiate's legal duty to 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 done as the rings are exchanged (the sign of your commitment). If no rings, we do it during the lei exchange (if any). 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, respect, importance, honor, etc., given on special occasions. A Hawaiian lei presentation is also a great way to include your parents, children, and friends in your ceremony.



Ceremony Styles

Romantic: This is a non-religious marriage ceremony i.e. no mention of God in the religious sense. FYI: Our officiates do a lot of weddings of all styles and sometimes a reference to God will slip out. If you absolutely hate the mention of God, we suggest you find another website.

Romantic
Christian non-denominational: This is a traditional non-denominational Christian based ceremony. With that said, while don't do "preaching", we do acknowledge that God is part of the ceremony and ask for His blessing.

Romantic Hawaiian or Christian Hawaiian accented ceremony: This is either our Romantic or Christian ceremony and incorporating Hawaiian elements which will give your ceremony a uniquely Hawaiian feel. It includes in addition to our standard ceremony structure, Hawaiian verse, and a conch shell blowing (called a "Pu") by the officiate. Some will wear a Hawaiian theme attire wrap called a "Kihei", others will wear Hawaiian lei. FYI: We add Hawaiian elements that work and are an appropriate addition within the framework of a wedding ceremony. We don't do hula dancers, fire dancers, sacrifices, or any other stupid stuff :)



What Happens on Wedding Day?


Hawaii Wedding and Hawaiian Wedding

  • Bring your marriage license which you had certified by the State of Hawaii Health Dept. to the ceremony... and the rings if any.

    IMPORTANT: You need to bring your State of Hawaii issued marriage license to the ceremony! If you've applied for a marriage license on-line, that's not the license! You must still go to the Health Dept to have both your identities verified and be issued your marriage license!
  • If driving on your own, we'll be waiting to meet you at the designated meet spot, most times at the parking area. Please keep your eye out for us and do not walk out to or try to find the ceremony spot. Also, it does no good to sit in your car, walk around the park, etc. where we can't see you. If by our transportation, we'll see you.
  • It's important to be ready to walk out to the ceremony site at the meet time and coverage start time usually, 15 minutes before the actual ceremony. Do not arrive at the meet time looking for parking, you're late already.

  • We'll all walk out to the ceremony location together. If you're expecting parents, family, or guests and they're not there, we don't wait for them.

    We may have a few minutes to wait once we set you up at the ceremony site but, understand that our vendors may not have that time. Starting late means late fees or service being shortened or not at all and no monies will be returned.
  • The officiate and photographer will give you ceremony instructions just prior to the ceremony. We're going to set you up "in-place" or give instructions for a processional if provided for on your contract. Once everything is set, the ceremony will commence.
  • After the ceremony, you'll both sign the marriage license (if any) and the officiate will certify your marriage license. He will take the license from you at that time.

  • Your license will be electronically submitted to the State of Hawaii by the officiate as required by law, usually within 3 -5 days. The Health Dept. will process your license and make it a legal record. FYI: Once it's submitted by our officiate, it's in the hands of the government.
  • If you applied for your license on-line, you'll be able to download a temporary license using your document locator number from your web application correspondence, usually within 2 business days.

  • Your officially certified marriage license will be mailed to you directly from the Heath Dept. from 30-45 days. If you paid the extra fee to expedite the processing, they say they will mail it within 30 days.



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:
1). Each officiates has their own ceremony and most being memorized.
2). Ceremonies are proprietary to the officiate.
3). Actual words spoken vary with the specifics of your ceremony.
4). The officiate we originally assign may be replaced.

Consequently, there's no written ceremony that we have to share and there's no way we'd want to be tied to a exact script. That's not how it works. 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. Exact ceremony wording will vary from wedding to wedding and would also from anything written down. If you want to remember the exact words spoken, use our video coverage where we remote mic you and the officiate.



Can we tell the officiate what to say?

No.



Can we speak with the officiate?

No. Direct contact with our officiates is not part of our service.

For the best prices, we eliminate the vendor time for communicating with clients (email, phone calls, contracts, etc.). They are not being paid to spend time talking to or emailing back and forth with our clients. It's also could be a waste of time as there's also the possibility that a vendor may be replaced. All questions should be directed through us.



Can we meet in person?

Meeting the minister is not necessary for our simple weddings but yes, you could meet the minister before the day if you want. It's not part of our package or service prices, just let us know and we'll give you the cost.

Meeting with us is also not necessary because, everything is on the contract and all the details are set when you make payment. Simply, there should be nothing to talk about by the time you get here and no final details to confirm. Also, we are internet based and do email and phone, we don't have an office, that's just an extra expense you don't need LOL.



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

No worries. Our Romantic Christian ceremonies are a "lite" version religious ceremony. You can ask for a prayer and many times our officiates will give one.



We're not religious.

No problem. We have a romantic non-religious ceremony i.e. no "God". With that said, we cannot absolutely 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 "God" 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’re just not going to let the performance of our officiates or the outcome of our job hinge upon a mistaken reference to "God".



Can we use our own Officiate/Minister?

We discourage that because we have had problems but,
we may allow an immediate family member to perform your wedding ceremony i.e. father, mother, brother, sister, in-law, or non-Hawaii friend with our agreement and for an additional fee. All ceremonies must be 10 minutes or less or your coverage may be shortened or additional fees may apply.

FYI:
Our officiates understand how we like our ceremonies performed, how we like to "set-up", and what we expect of our photographers, videographers, musicians, and other vendors. This enables our minister, photographer, videographer, and musician 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 individual thing.



Can we not see each other before the ceremony?

Yes.

We prefer to have you get set-up standing in place for the ceremony for a variety of reasons, but up to you. If you want this, get there early and before the coverage start time.

Let the officiate and photographer know. The groom and officiate will walk out to the ceremony spot and the bride will follow shortly thereafter. We'll stage the bride about 10 to 20 yards from the groom who will be facing away from the bride so she's "out of sight" :). When the bride starts in, the groom can turn around and... "surprise!"



Can we have a processional?

Yes.
See our Prices and Planning Order Form.



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 which may include extra cost for the time.



Can we include our children?

Yes. 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. One of the best and simplest ways to include them is a lei presentation (if you have lei), a family sand ceremony (you bring the implements), 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.