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Sign & Go: A Unique Path to Love and Legal Union - Getting Your Marriage License in Oahu

Love doesn’t really work on a carefully laid out timetable and often life has a way of adding all sorts of twists and turns. As that old saying goes “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans…” No matter what the reason may be - you need to make your marriage legal - and that is that. I understand that the legalities of marriage are important (having seen firsthand how important it is for military members especially) and I am here to tell you that you can always have the full-fledged ceremony weeks, months, years, even decades down the line! I am here to tell you that obtaining your marriage license in Hawaii is not only a great milestone to add to your love story - but quick and easy!

Newly married couple signs marriage license by using her new husband's back as a table to sign her certificate in Oahu, Hawaii

The Emotional Aspect

Perhaps the biggest hurdle to overcome, is the emotional aspect of legally getting married without the ceremony attached to it. Yes, traditionally you walk down the aisle, you say your “I do’s” and then the legal documentation is signed the same day. You may have a family member being a bit of a naysayer - the devil on your shoulder whispering that this is a waste or a sham because you are married already! I am here to tell you that that is absolutely NOT THE TRUTH!

The Practicality

Love doesn’t always follow a conventional path. Circumstances, personal preferences, or even legal requirements may lead couples to prioritize the paperwork aspect of marriage before planning a traditional wedding celebration (the older generation would sometimes refer to one type of practical marriage as a shotgun wedding…). Today you might not have a bun in the oven and societal pressures to make it official but there are still a host of other reasons to have your union recognized by the authorities that be including but not limited to:

  • Needing to get on your partner’s health insurance

  • PCS for military members

  • Tax breaks that come along with being married (especially when buying a house)

There are also other practical reasons that aren’t so legal, including:

  • Wanting one less moving part to deal with on your wedding day. If you are the kind of person who lets out a sigh of relief when checking off a box on your to-do list - this may be one way to ease your wedding day stress just a little bit. Knowing that the legal aspect is completed and taken care of can let your mind be at ease and increase your enjoyment on the big day.

  • You are having a friend or family member perform the ceremony. If you already have a friend or family member that will be acting as your officiant - that doesn’t give them the power to make it legally binding. More so, they probably will not want to go through all the legal and financial steps to become ordained in the State of Hawaii.

The Joy of Commitment

Once you have a legal marriage date - that just becomes one more day you get to celebrate! You can keep it a secret - a special day for just the two of you. You can celebrate it as another anniversary (like the day you first started dating, the day of your first kiss, when you finally made it official, ect.).

I would love to make the location of your legal commitment meaningful. Let’s meet at the beach you walk your dog at! How about that coffee shop you go to every Saturday? Maybe it’s outside the movie theater as you wait to watch the latest Marvel movie. Let’s bring some joy, some frivolity, so substance to the place you say “ I do.”

Capturing the Moment

While the focus may be on the legal aspects, don’t forget to capture the beautiful moments of this unique occasion. Consider hiring a photographer to document the signing process, as well as those candid shots of you and your partner walking hand-in-hand as a married couple. These photographs will serve as tieless reminders of the emotions and excitement you experienced on this journey. I would love to take a few shots of you, or have my professional photographer partner come along.


Love has a way of transcending expectations and taking us on unexpected journeys. Getting married on paper is a testament to the emotional bond between you and your partner. Embrace this alternative approach with open hearts and open minds, allowing the emotional component to shine through. Cherish the laughter, the uncertainty, and the joy that comes along with this milestone. So, whether you are signing legal paperwork on a park bench, in a hotel lobby or at a coffee shop, celebrate with all the love and happiness it deserves.

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