Before officiating weddings in Hawaii you will first need to become a minister by getting ordained online. This process is as easy as finding a website that offers online ordinations that reflects your values.
A quick Google search will surface plenty of options. Most of them are free though some charge exorbitant fees. We will be openly biased in recommending that you get ordained with American Marriage Ministries.
Why AMM? Their ordination is free. They are set up specifically to help people officiate wedding ceremonies. And they are the only IRS Certified 501c3 Charitable Organization that offers online ordinations.
That being said, if you decide to seek ordination through another organization, that is your prerogative.
Once you are an ordained minister you will then need to register with the Hawaii Department of Health.
You can also find more information about registering as an officiant in Hawaii here.
Minister Registration Office – Hawaii Department of Health
The Hawaii Department of Health insists that you register as an officiant at least two weeks prior to the ceremony date. So don’t show up in Hawaii the day before packing your swimsuit and longboard thinking you can just waltz into the Department of Health and successfully register. Plan Ahead!
Luckily the registration process can be done online. This means that once you know the ceremony date, you can start the registration procedure from the comfort of your own laptop. Way cool!
About the Application for License to Perform Marriage in Hawaii
We recommend that you first read the Marriage Performer Guidelines on the Hawaii Department of Health website. This will provide context for what to expect on the application.
Once you have read through the guideline materials you can begin the application here. Completing the application should only take you a few minutes.
At the end you will be asked for a $10 fee for processing the application. You can pay by credit card – Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. Bitcoins are not accepted…at least not yet.
Once your application is submitted you will get a payment confirmation via email right away. Your application approval can take up to two weeks, so be patient.
If you do not hear back from the Department of Health after two weeks, you should contact the Department of Health.
The Application Asks for the Church Address. What Should I Put?
We don’t want to assume that you got ordained with American Marriage Ministries. If you were not ordained with AMM, then you will have to check that organization’s website, or if they do not have their address listed (as many don’t) you will have to contact them.
If you were ordained with American Marriage Ministries, you can find their physical address here.
How Much Does Registration Cost?
The registration fee is a flat $10, payable by all major credit cards.
Is Registration Affected Depending on Which Island I Will be Officiating the Wedding?
The Hawaii Department of Health is a State level office. This means that once you are successfully registered you are able to officiate weddings on any of the islands in the State.
Do I Need to Submit My Ministry Credentials to the Department of Health?
That being said, if you were ordained with American Marriage Ministries you may want to order their Minister Ordination Package anyways. It is generally a good idea to keep official copies of your ministerial certification for your own records regardless of whether they are required for registration.
The Minister Ordination Package is $45 and contains both your Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing as well as your Minister’s Manual, which contains useful wedding training information.
For $95 they offer a “Signature Wedding Officiant Package” that includes a pretty cool Clergy Stole and their comprehensive wedding training manual “Asked to Officiate“. The book is especially a good resource for first time officiants.
Like we said, purchasing these items is not required. If this is the first wedding you will be officiating however, it doesn’t hurt to have the additional wedding training materials.
Now You Can Officiate!
If there are no complications, your application should be approved within two weeks of submission. Once approved you will have the authority to officiate weddings anywhere in Hawaii!
You next step is to prepare for the wedding ceremony. That is where you will put in most of the work. Follow the link below for more guidance on how to prepare for the wedding ceremony.