Hawaii Commitment Ceremony Guide: Tips from a Real Ceremony

Two women have a commitment ceremony on the beach in Hawaii

Jamie and Maddy have both been married before in more of a “traditional” way. After finding each other, their lives changed in so many ways! So they knew that this time they decided wanted to do something totally different. So they decided to have a commitment ceremony. Keep on reading to read the deets of their Hawaii Commitment Ceremony.

What is a Commitment Ceremony?

A commitment ceremony is really whatever you and your partner want it to be. The main difference between a commitment ceremony and a wedding ceremony is that it is not legally binding. It is a symbolic ceremony that is for a couple to recognize their commitment to other another. So, it could be whatever you want it to be! It could be a large wedding, and intimate ceremony, or something more elopement style.

Why have a Commitment Ceremony?

People choose to have commitment ceremonies instead of marriage ceremonies for a number of reasons. The reasons could be:

  • You don’t want to get legally married: This was the case for Jamie and Maddy. They had done marriage before and were ready to do something different! The concept of marriage is different for everyone depending on personal values. As a Hawaii Wedding Officiant, I am all about couples making a commitment to each-other in the way that resonates with them.
  • It is not legal for you to get married: Unfortunately, in some parts of the world it is not yet legal for LGBTQ+ couples to get married. LOVE IS LOVE and witnessing couples commit to each other whether it is legal or not is an honor for me.

Unique Ceremony Ideas:

Below are some sweet things that Jamie and Maddie did to make their commitment ceremony unique to them. Of course, take these ideas, run with them, and make them your own!

  • Elope! | Jamie and Maddie decided to elope. While they brought the rest of their family on vacation with them to Hawaii, they reserved the actual ceremony to be just the two of them. They decided that having this moment just the two of them was the most meaningful way that they could honor their love.

If you are looking for elopement packages in Hawaii, please check out my sister company called Wild and Free Elopements!

  • Personalized vows | As a wedding officiant based in Hawaii, I always give couples the option to write their own vows or have “repeat after me style” vows that I bring to the ceremony. Jamie and Maddy picked the best of both worlds. I sent them by “repeat after me” vows beforehand, and they made them their own. Their opening vows were personal to them and were what stood out to me the most. They said: “Maddy, thank you for being my calm, I promise to always be your wild. Jamie, thank you for being my wild. I promise to always keep you safe”.
  • Off the beaten path | It was important to Maddy specifically that we stay away from any crowds on her wedding day. We hiked around a little bend and found the perfect location. *If you choose to have a Hawaii Commitment Ceremony, please make sure that you are respecting the land. Ensure that your vendors have permits, and be in full gratitude of wherever you go. Leave no trace behind.
  • Barefoot | Barefoot is the way to go! Maddy and Jamie walked out in their crocs and birks to get to this location! However, once it came time for the ceremony they took their shoes off and felt their feet on the earth. This allowed them to be even more present in the moment together.
  • Hire an Officiant | As an officiant, my opinion may be biased. But I think spending money on an officiant is the most worthwhile way to spend your money. A good officiant will get to know you, and to design a ceremony that is for you! Jamie and Maddy left me the sweetest review that encompasses why it is so worthwhile to have an officiant:

Jamie and Maddy’s review:

“Alana…you are chill, relaxed, witty, genuine, and open to whatever a couple is down for! You have an amazing feel for the moment and how special that moment is…we did not want it to end! This was Jamie and me connecting for our forever, and we are so honored that you made that happen!”

Enjoy these pictures of their gorgeous day!

If you want to have a Hawaii Commitment Ceremony, please reach out! Alana is an officiant who believes that your day should be about honoring the commitment and sacredness of partnership that you are making to one another over anything else.  I am the officiant for if you believe this too! All photos on this blog are courtesy of Chelsea Stratso Photography.