US Government Shut-Down: How it Affects Couples Looking to Get Married in Hawaii

Sadly, the US government was unable to come to an agreement for the spending plan of this fiscal year and as of October 1, 2013, the US federal government shut down.  Besides this being very inconvenient, especially for federal employees, I know that you Hawaii brides are more concerned with how this affects your beautifully planned wedding.

So…  does this government shutdown have any effect on couples who plan to get married in Hawaii within the next month?  Yes, it does in some ways, and I’ve done some research that will hopefully answer any of your questions regarding your Hawaii wedding and the government shutdown.  Scroll down to find out more 🙂

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What is a Government shutdown?
In a nutshell, a government shutdown occurs when Congress fails to agree on passing a federal budget to fund the government.  The government will stop providing all but “essential” services while trying to come to an agreement. Most federal workers will be furloughed (unpaid leave) but some services like postal service, Social Security, air traffic control, Congress, and active military pay will continue to be funded.

Will it affect my wedding?
The government shutdown will not have an effect on your wedding UNLESS:

  • You still need to apply for a passport/visa services:
    • There may be delays in your request if the passport office is located within a government building that has been shut down.
    • If you are from the mainland, a passport will only be needed if you plan on travelling to another country after your stop in Hawaii.
  • If your wedding venue is located at any National Parks:
    • The following are some Hawaii National Parks that are temporarily shut down:
      • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island
      • Haleakala National Park on Maui
      • All WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument sites at Pearl Harbor on Oahu including USS Arizona Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, USS Utah Memorial, USS Oklahoma Memorial.

Am I still able to get my marriage license?
Yes!  You are still able to get your marriage license with the State of Hawaii as you normally would.  Because it is the federal government that shut down, the state and local governments (and all the establishments that it funds) are not affected.  Remember that your marriage license is only valid for 30 days.

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How do I get my marriage license?
It is highly recommended to complete your marriage license application form online with payment by credit card prior to coming to the State Health Department so you can avoid a longer wait time.  Payment is $65 ($60 marriage/civil union license application fee and $5 application processing fee).  To apply online for a Marriage License click here.  Be sure to print a copy of the receipt or any important paperwork before coming in.

The other option is to fill out an application online, print the document, and bring $60 (plus $5 administrative cost) in cash to the State Department of Health.  You can fill out and print the application here.

You must appear together, as a couple, in person to verify your identity before a license agent in order to be issued a marriage license.  Please bring a government issued photo ID (e.g. Driver’s license or passport), cash if you haven’t paid online, and your marriage license application forms/receipts.

And you’re done! 🙂

For more information:
Hawaii State Department of Health
1250 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, Hi 96813
Tel (808) 586 4544
Hours: 7:45 am – 4:00 pm

I hope this cleared up a lot of your questions regarding your Hawaii wedding, marriage licenses, and this government shutdown.  Just keep in mind that the longer this government shutdown is in effect, the more changes it may make to state and local establishments so there could be further changes.  Let us know your personal experience if you plan to go get your marriage license so you can help other Hawaii brides!

Best Day Ever Hawaii
Hawaii’s Premiere Wedding Planning & Event Design Team

Picture credits: *gov shutdown

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