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Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Courthouse Wedding Honolulu

Quick question for anyone who has ever done it because after a little research, I am now super confused. Partner and I had decided to sign the papers in the Oakland courthouse this October but my mother actually offered to take us to Honolulu as a wedding gift. Since we are going we decided to just get married while there. We will only be there for 4 days and needless to say, could not afford the trip on our own. I like the fact that the marriage license fee is only $65 in Honolulu (it is $96 here) but I am confused about the process. I just want to show up with my form, have an officiator say some brief words, be declared hitched and bounce to enjoy the trip (actually I could do without the words as well). I dont care about a ceremony being "too fast" or impersonal; I just want to get it done. It appears however that there is no one just at the courthouse to perform the marriage, that I actually need to find my own performer first or enlist the help of a third party wedding company? Is this REALLY true/necessary? We barely have any money and I dont want to spend another $150 for some stupid flowers and ambiance. Is it possible to just walk in, pay the $65, get it done, and have no other expenses incurred or does it have to be more complicated than that? Please advise. Thank you.
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Re: Courthouse Wedding Honolulu

  • QueerFemmeQueerFemme member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited July 2014

    I'm pretty sure you have to hire a ceremony agent in Hawaii.  The county/courthouse doesn't perform the ceremony, just issues the license.  

    ETA:  I do think you can hire the local judge to perform the ceremony. You just have to call and make an appointment.

    Also, in Oakland (I'm assuming you mean Alameda county, (Oakland, CA), you have to pay for the license, as well as an additional fee for the JOP to perform the ceremony unless you know or get someone ordained to perform the ceremony.  And I think there is a fee of $75.00 to have someone ordained.     I think the total cost or our JOP in Oakland was about $180.00 or so, for the license, the JOP ceremony and a certified copy of the marriage certificate.

     

  • Although I appreciate your response I believe you missed the part about us not being able to afford the trip ourselves.  My mom is paying for this entire trip for us, otherwise we'd be at home going nowhere, so she will be taking herself to lunch/dinner lol.  She's not going "with" me haha as I would not be going without her money. Im not opposed to flowers and ambiance outright. I intend to have them at my real ceremony once we have saved, however my point was that we have zero dollars and I thought the getting married part was the one thing we could pay for.  Hawaii is full of little companies were you pay $150 for a ceremony in addition to the license fee. I was hoping we could JUST pay $65 and be done and I only specified this because many people posting regarding Hawaii spoke of how dreary the courthouse would be or asked questions about their expensive plans.  I just wanted to make clear that neither do we need or can afford all that. 
  • Aiya? SERIOUSLY? boo! I did mean Oakland, CA. I guess then technically that does make Hawaii slightly cheaper but I wish that they would be more clear about this.  There are NO resources for people who arent currently having a huge hullabaloo and dont want to spend more than $100! Sheesh. Maybe I can get a judge for $35 and thatll break an even $100. Sucks, Id rather spend that money on food than bureacracy.
  • edited July 2014
    lyndausvi said:
    Am I the only one who thinks it's weird to be shopping around for a legal ceremony, can't even afford to take mom out to lunch as a thank you and wants stupid flowers and ambience for her "real" wedding?

     FWIW - HI is pretty expensive place. If you are worried about the difference between a $65 license and a $96 license then you might have financial issues vacationing in HI.

    Edit: messed up quote box


    This. If you can't afford more than $100 period at all, you can't afford to vacation, at least not somewhere so pricy. Doesn't matter that Mom's paying for flights/hotel/whatever, unless you are going to mooch off her for literally every meal and activity, you are going to need money. And at least at my age I would feel completely wretched relying on my parents for a whole vacation. And they did provide my and H's transportation and boarding on a recent trip we took with them. They even bought some of our meals and wine. We also bought some of theirs, including a big fancy dinner as their 30th anniversary gift.

    Bottom line, if you are an adult, it is wrong to expect/let your parents pay for everything. And really, if you have no more than $100 bucks to your names between you and your future spouse, you might want to put off getting married. Being in financial straits usually has a very negative impact on a healthy marriage.
    image
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    Although I appreciate your response I believe you missed the part about us not being able to afford the trip ourselves.  My mom is paying for this entire trip for us, otherwise we'd be at home going nowhere, so she will be taking herself to lunch/dinner lol.  She's not going "with" me haha as I would not be going without her money. Im not opposed to flowers and ambiance outright. I intend to have them at my real ceremony once we have saved, however my point was that we have zero dollars and I thought the getting married part was the one thing we could pay for.  Hawaii is full of little companies were you pay $150 for a ceremony in addition to the license fee. I was hoping we could JUST pay $65 and be done and I only specified this because many people posting regarding Hawaii spoke of how dreary the courthouse would be or asked questions about their expensive plans.  I just wanted to make clear that neither do we need or can afford all that. 
    This will be your "real" ceremony. You only get to have one real ceremony (with the same person barring divorce).

    theartistformerlyknownasPrettyGirlLostMommyKristin88
  • KatieinBklnKatieinBkln (NO SLEEP TIL) Brooklyn! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer First Anniversary
    @alikaprincess, I'm not sure you're going to find the answers you're looking for here. People on these boards tend to feel very strongly that getting legally married IS your "real ceremony." What with it being The Law, and all. They also tend to look down upon the notion that getting married must necessarily be free or cheap for the two people actually marrying--the general opinion around here is that if you can't afford it, you save. If you can't save in time for Hawaii, then perhaps you will just have to wait for your "real ceremony" and make it legally real whenever that time comes.

    Can I ask, is there a particular reason you want to get legally married before whatever grander celebration you have planned? I am always curious as to the reasoning here, and genuinely am not trying to be a dick about it. 
    image
    This baby knows exactly how I feel
    alikaprincess
  • cupcait927cupcait927 Western NY wine country member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 2014

    Okay, SO much going on here.

    First, can you really not afford the JOP ceremony, either where you live or in Hawaii? It's a couple hundred books. Sell things you own, cut back on any entertainment spending, etc. I find it VERY hard to believe that you couldn't manage to scrape together the money in a month or two. If there's no way you can afford to do that, then you've got bigger problems than not wanting to spend more than $65.

    Second, is your mother paying for every single aspect of your trip to Hawaii? Every meal, every drink, every activity? Regardless, you need to prioritize. If she can come up with ALL of this money for your trip, then you can find a couple hundred bucks to get married. If she isn't, and you and your FI are responsible for some portion, then again, you can come up with the money to get married. I'm truly failing to see the problem here.

    Unless, you just want to be married due to xyz situation (insurance, job relocation, military) and want to do it as cheaply and as quickly as possible. Which is wrong. So wrong.

  • Although I appreciate your response I believe you missed the part about us not being able to afford the trip ourselves.  My mom is paying for this entire trip for us, otherwise we'd be at home going nowhere, so she will be taking herself to lunch/dinner lol.  She's not going "with" me haha as I would not be going without her money. Im not opposed to flowers and ambiance outright. I intend to have them at my real ceremony once we have saved, however my point was that we have zero dollars and I thought the getting married part was the one thing we could pay for.  Hawaii is full of little companies were you pay $150 for a ceremony in addition to the license fee. I was hoping we could JUST pay $65 and be done and I only specified this because many people posting regarding Hawaii spoke of how dreary the courthouse would be or asked questions about their expensive plans.  I just wanted to make clear that neither do we need or can afford all that. 

    You can ask around and see if any of your friends or family members are ordained and will do the ceremony for free for you.    Most officiants charge though.   Someone has to preside over the ceremony.  If you pay the JOP, it's about $90 bucks.  If you pay an officiant, it will likely be closer to $250-400.  If you are a religious person, you can ask your clergy person to officiate a quick ceremony for you.  Some will do it for a small donation to the church.

    Also, please don't have a PPD later.  (read the post on the etiquette board about getting legally married now, and having the "real" wedding later).   This IS your REAL wedding.  You are getting married.   That makes it your real wedding.

    You can certainly save up and have a kickass celebration/party later, but don't have a wedding do-over.   You can even have a vow renewal later, but there are certain etiquette issues that go along with vow renewals.   No big white poofy dress, no "firsts" (dances, etc.) no wedding party, no pre-wedding parties (like bachelorette parties or bridal showers).  

    If you do choose to do a vow renewal later, here is a good website for information about how to do that:

    http://www.idotaketwo.com/blog/vow-renewal-etiquette/


     

    PrettyGirlLost
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I too don't understand how Hawaii will be cheaper than CA in terms of the most basic wedding.  If you don't want to have to pay for an officiant, then go to Colorado.  You can self officate your ceremony.

    Also, don't have a "real" wedding later.  The moment you say your I do, in whatever fashion works for you, that is your real wedding.  Making a courthouse wedding seem so insignificant is a slap in the face to those couples who marry in a courthouse and to same-sex couples who can't even marry in most states.

    PrettyGirlLost
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its

    I too don't understand how Hawaii will be cheaper than CA in terms of the most basic wedding.  If you don't want to have to pay for an officiant, then go to Colorado.  You can self officate your ceremony.

    Also, don't have a "real" wedding later.  The moment you say your I do, in whatever fashion works for you, that is your real wedding.  Making a courthouse wedding seem so insignificant is a slap in the face to those couples who marry in a courthouse and to same-sex couples who can't even marry in most states.

    She said "partner".   If that means same-sexed she can't get married in CO yet.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Although I appreciate your response I believe you missed the part about us not being able to afford the trip ourselves.  My mom is paying for this entire trip for us, otherwise we'd be at home going nowhere, so she will be taking herself to lunch/dinner lol.  She's not going "with" me haha as I would not be going without her money. Im not opposed to flowers and ambiance outright. I intend to have them at my real ceremony once we have saved, however my point was that we have zero dollars and I thought the getting married part was the one thing we could pay for.  Hawaii is full of little companies were you pay $150 for a ceremony in addition to the license fee. I was hoping we could JUST pay $65 and be done and I only specified this because many people posting regarding Hawaii spoke of how dreary the courthouse would be or asked questions about their expensive plans.  I just wanted to make clear that neither do we need or can afford all that. 
    That's the fee for the license. The license does not include the ceremony. I've never heard of municipal government throwing a JOP wedding in free with the purchase of a license.  I have heard of plenty of places that don't do courthouse weddings. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • mysticl said:
    Although I appreciate your response I believe you missed the part about us not being able to afford the trip ourselves.  My mom is paying for this entire trip for us, otherwise we'd be at home going nowhere, so she will be taking herself to lunch/dinner lol.  She's not going "with" me haha as I would not be going without her money. Im not opposed to flowers and ambiance outright. I intend to have them at my real ceremony once we have saved, however my point was that we have zero dollars and I thought the getting married part was the one thing we could pay for.  Hawaii is full of little companies were you pay $150 for a ceremony in addition to the license fee. I was hoping we could JUST pay $65 and be done and I only specified this because many people posting regarding Hawaii spoke of how dreary the courthouse would be or asked questions about their expensive plans.  I just wanted to make clear that neither do we need or can afford all that. 
    That's the fee for the license. The license does not include the ceremony. I've never heard of municipal government throwing a JOP wedding in free with the purchase of a license.  I have heard of plenty of places that don't do courthouse weddings. 

    Where I grew up, it says on the county clerk website that there is a judge that will perform marriages for just the license fee at a certain time, one day a week, at the court house. OP could call the Honolulu court house and ask if there are any no/low fee options like that. 
    image
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    lyndausvi said:

    I too don't understand how Hawaii will be cheaper than CA in terms of the most basic wedding.  If you don't want to have to pay for an officiant, then go to Colorado.  You can self officate your ceremony.

    Also, don't have a "real" wedding later.  The moment you say your I do, in whatever fashion works for you, that is your real wedding.  Making a courthouse wedding seem so insignificant is a slap in the face to those couples who marry in a courthouse and to same-sex couples who can't even marry in most states.

    She said "partner".   If that means same-sexed she can't get married in CO yet.
    Missed that.  Thanks Lynda.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    lyndausvi said:

    I too don't understand how Hawaii will be cheaper than CA in terms of the most basic wedding.  If you don't want to have to pay for an officiant, then go to Colorado.  You can self officate your ceremony.

    Also, don't have a "real" wedding later.  The moment you say your I do, in whatever fashion works for you, that is your real wedding.  Making a courthouse wedding seem so insignificant is a slap in the face to those couples who marry in a courthouse and to same-sex couples who can't even marry in most states.

    She said "partner".   If that means same-sexed she can't get married in CO yet.
    Missed that.  Thanks Lynda.
    Funny thing happened.  So  CO banned same-sex marriage.  A few hours after I wrote that reply a  judge over turned that, but said marriages can't be preformed because of appeals.

      Some districts are ignoring the judge and the ban and are allowing same-sexed marriages.   Others are not allowing them until the courts figure it all out.

    So basically we are are state in limbo.  Hopefully the ban will be struck down for good sooner than later.   Considering we are in the 10th district and a Fed judge has already struck down Utah's ban, it should be soon it will be allowed statewide. 






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    OliveOilsMom
  • Ok so, everybody needs to CALM DOWN. First off, my partner and I have a household income above $70,000 per year (Im not willing to go into more detail than that) but we also recently graduated from grad school and are trying to be frugal. Second, to those who might question HI trip in light of frugality, my mother OFFERED to take us to HI with her for free as a GIFT, it was not my idea to go. I happened to be planning to get legally married in Oct, namely because my medical insurance expires in Nov. My partner and I do not feel that legal marriage is some mandatory requirement, but we would like to assist our taxes and also enjoy the rights and privileges associated with legal marriage. Other than that its not really a big deal...hence my not wanting to spend more than $100 on it. I think it is stupid to have to pay that much money for a piece of paper to certify to the state that I am committed to someone, hence my not wanting to pay more than what I find reasonable for it (that is, less than $100) . Third, I only mentioned "stupid flowers and ambiance" because most of the posts on ANY site regarding marriage in HI I found unhelpful as they were typically about having huge ceremonies, paying several hundred dollars to have a small tourist company "setup" a quickie ceremony, or discussing how depressing the courthouse is. I asked a simple question in a straightforward manner because I wanted a direct and explicit answer. I cant believe how this post blew up over something so trivial, especially since most of you harping on my financial status seem unable to read (i.e. gift). I know the internet allows us to say whatever we want but damn, if you dont have an ACTUAL answer to the question keep it to yourself. And yes, my "partner" is a male but as a feminist I find that unnecessary to acknowledge typically. Shoutout to anyone who ACTUALLY contributed to my question, namely homechick who also lives in Oakland. PS HI marriage license is cheaper @$65 as opposed to Oakland @$96, so yes it is cheaper to do what I want to do in that state.
    [Deleted User]
  • In addition, you all can stop going nutso over this feed of the atypical nonconformist doesn't value marriage enough to pay for it "bride" since I found out on my own that in addition to the $65 I will have to pay $80 to the judge (which yes, my mother has already volunteered to pay though I havent decided whether to accept or decline) booked both and am done now.  Everything is scheduled and will be paid for.  Very few of you were helpful. Move on.
    [Deleted User]
  • Oh! And thanks for convincing me to never ask another damn thing on this website ever again! Good lord.  Useless drivel.
    [Deleted User]
  • How the hell am I committing fraud by marrying the person I love?  What in the hell are you talking about? How is it fraud to get married at a convenient point in time?  My partner has better health insurance than me, I have a chronic illness, and years ago we agreed that at some point we would get legally married so that they can be recognized as my next of kin and vice verse, along with tax benefits and other legal rights.  What is fraudulent about that?  We have made a commitment to each other, not to the state, but certain things are only recognized through the state.  You are an idiot and an asshole.  Just because I have different beliefs than you does not give you the right to sling ignorant slanderous accusations.  I am a feminist and if you know anything about the history of marriage you would not be so willing to offer up your relationship to the government either, among other archaic demeaning rituals and symbolism.  I dont even really feel comfortable being legally married when everyone is not allowed to do so so sorry yes, it is a piece of paper.  Just because some people cant or are not allowed to or simply dont want to have a legal marriage does not change the feelings they have for each other or the life commitments they make.  We've made a commitment to each other and personally I dont NEED  a legal contract to validate that for me.  The only reason I even stated why we are doing this in October is because someone, not a rude bigoted asshole, asked our reasoning in the thread previously and I answered that question because they asked politely.  Enjoy being a narrow-minded DB.
    [Deleted User]
  • alikaprincessalikaprincess member
    10 Comments First Anniversary
    edited July 2014
    I only stated household income because so many were harping on "if you dont have $100" then. You yourself noted if I couldnt afford the difference then I should rethink my plans. I wanted to be clear I can pay a $30 difference but I would rather not spend money I dont have to. Trying to be as inexpensive as possible. I did not know this was an ITL board I just asked a quick question when I couldnt find any info. I was hoping to find someone with specific knowledge, i.e. something I couldnt find from google as that had failed me already. Sorry, in Oakland "I have zero dollars" or "pockets touchin" is a euphamism but basically my point was to find someone who had an answer that would cost as little as possible. If Id said, "Oh I have $200" someone wouldve suggested a $200 idea when really I dont want to spend that much. And yes, inferred is the key. I didnt outrightly state that, I said I didnt want to spend more than $100, which is a large difference from a $3000 trip that we cannot currently do. As for the "real" wedding/party whatever (dont know why everyone has latched on to that), you know what never mind. Its too much to explain every little detail of my life. I just cant believe the level of judgmental supposition on this site. Answer the question or dont if you have no answer but why must everyone throw their raggity uninformed 2 cents in? Anywho, thanks for the well wishes.
  • Honestly, what would cause someone to even click on "Courthouse Honolulu" if you actually have absolutely no experience with the courthouse in Honolulu? Its illogical and frankly Im boggled by it.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited July 2014

    well I have been to HI, twice, so I figured I might have some information to provide even if it wasn't about the wedding itself.

    And again you mentioned TWICE you could not afford the trip.  You even said you could not afford to even take your mom out to lunch.   Then comparing prices, one would come to the conclusion you can't afford the license either.

    Can't afford and being frugal are 2 different things.


    ETA - I'm sincerely happy you are just frugal and not so broke you can't enjoy HI.   I'm sure you wedding day will be beautiful and you will enjoy yourself.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    OliveOilsMom
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    Ok so, everybody needs to CALM DOWN. First off, my partner and I have a household income above $70,000 per year (Im not willing to go into more detail than that) but we also recently graduated from grad school and are trying to be frugal. Second, to those who might question HI trip in light of frugality, my mother OFFERED to take us to HI with her for free as a GIFT, it was not my idea to go. I happened to be planning to get legally married in Oct, namely because my medical insurance expires in Nov. My partner and I do not feel that legal marriage is some mandatory requirement, but we would like to assist our taxes and also enjoy the rights and privileges associated with legal marriage. Other than that its not really a big deal...hence my not wanting to spend more than $100 on it. I think it is stupid to have to pay that much money for a piece of paper to certify to the state that I am committed to someone, hence my not wanting to pay more than what I find reasonable for it (that is, less than $100) . Third, I only mentioned "stupid flowers and ambiance" because most of the posts on ANY site regarding marriage in HI I found unhelpful as they were typically about having huge ceremonies, paying several hundred dollars to have a small tourist company "setup" a quickie ceremony, or discussing how depressing the courthouse is. I asked a simple question in a straightforward manner because I wanted a direct and explicit answer. I cant believe how this post blew up over something so trivial, especially since most of you harping on my financial status seem unable to read (i.e. gift). I know the internet allows us to say whatever we want but damn, if you dont have an ACTUAL answer to the question keep it to yourself. And yes, my "partner" is a male but as a feminist I find that unnecessary to acknowledge typically. Shoutout to anyone who ACTUALLY contributed to my question, namely homechick who also lives in Oakland. PS HI marriage license is cheaper @$65 as opposed to Oakland @$96, so yes it is cheaper to do what I want to do in that state.

    Holy over reaction, Batman!



    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Okay, I'm going to try and be helpful. You want to save money on insurance by being on your partners' insurance. You want the tax benefits, etc. So, consider whatever the license fee, etc, is as an investment toward that. You'll save money in the long run even if you do spend several hundred dollars on a license.
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