Choose a Wedding Officiant for Your Hawaii Wedding

By Karen Rose

Photo: John Hook.

Many people dream of their wedding day their whole lives – the dress, the flowers, the venue. There are many decisions to be made to make it the perfect day, and choosing who will officiate the ceremony on this special occasion is as important as what is on the menu. Read below for tips on selecting a Hawaiʻi wedding officiant and browse our lists of top-rated officiants by island – Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island.


Hawaiʻi continues to be one of the most popular locations for a destination wedding. Isolated, exotic and romantic, the islands of Hawaiʻi provide a magnificent backdrop for exchanging vows in front of friends and family. And here’s to wishing you the best in your search for an officiant that suits you as a couple!

Considerations for Choosing a Wedding Officiant

Photo: Couple Cups .

Whether the ceremony is small or large, simple or extravagant, every wedding needs an officiant who puts the needs and concerns of the happy couple first and foremost. A good officiant takes the time to get to know you and your loved one, listens to your love story and customizes your ceremony accordingly.

Hawaiʻi has a host of licensed officiants, for both religious and non-religious ceremonies. Many register online with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health and can electronically access a marriage license immediately after the ceremony.

Customizing Your Wedding

Photo: Couple Cups .

Depending on what type of ceremony you desire, there is an officiant for most types of weddings, both traditional and non-traditional. Many officiants customize ceremonies to meet the needs and wishes of the marrying couple. Whether you want a traditional Hawaiian wedding, or a non-Hawaiian ceremony, paradise is the perfect place to exchange vows.

Depending on what kind of ceremony you have in mind, doing a little online research is a great way to find exactly what you are looking for to create a ceremony that is your style.

Traditional Hawaiian Wedding Ceremony

A traditional Hawaiian wedding ceremony is officiated by a local minister, often called a kahuna pule or kahu (Hawaiian holy man). The minister sings a chant while escorting the groom to the front of the ceremony. Traditionally the groom dresses in white with a colored sash around his waist.

A traditional Hawaiian officiant may preside over a ring blessing by dipping a koa wood bowl into the ocean and filling it with water. A ti leaf is then dipped into the bowl of water and sprinkled over the rings as the minister recites a traditional chant. Another traditional Hawaiian wedding tradition is for the couple to pour two different colored sands into a single container and mix them together to represent two becoming an inseparable one.

Incorporating Hawaiian Elements Into Your Wedding Ceremony

Photo: Couple Cups .

For couples wanting a western style wedding ceremony, it is often presided over by a local minister or justice of the peace. Some couples choose to incorporate aspects of a traditional Hawaiian wedding into a more traditional western ceremony. For example, the couple may choose to exchange leis, and play traditional Hawaiian music such as the Hawaiian Wedding Song with ukulele or slack-key guitar.

Whatever type of ceremony you decide upon, there is a wedding officiant that is perfect for you and your special day. A little online research will help you find the one that is right for you and your beautiful Hawaiian wedding.

Top-Rated Wedding Officiants:


Find a Wedding Officiant on Oahu
Find a Wedding Officiant on Maui
Find a Wedding Officiant on Kauai
Find a Wedding Officiant on Hawaii Island

Visit www.hawaii.com/weddings for more ideas and information.

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