Aloha! My name is Julie Wirtz. I am a wedding officiant and celebrant on Kauai. The weddings, civil unions, vow renewals, family dedications, commitment ceremonies, funerals and memorials I officiate celebrate human values and natural human spirituality, rather than biblical values. I am one of the few wedding performers in Hawaii specializing in uplifting yet secular style ceremonies. (Secular meaning no references to religious figures, supernatural beings or new age entities.)
Specializing in non-religious style weddings, the ceremonies I perform are humanistic, meaningful and legal, but non-theistic in content. My service focuses on you as a couple or family and the values you hold important in your relationship. We celebrate your commitment and devotion as well as honor the moment of transition.
To avoid confusion - I'm a wedding officiant on Kauai - not a wedding coordinator or wedding planner.
I'm the wedding officiant, the marriage performer, the one who solemnizes your marriage after conducting the wedding ceremony and then after hearing you say "I do" can sign your Hawaii State Marriage License or civil union certificate to make it legal. I'm not a wedding planner or wedding coordinator, though I can help you to plan and coordinate your own wedding easily on Kauai, by offering the contact information for many wedding vendors. (See my Kauai Wedding Vendors section.) So for those seeking a simple basic wedding ceremony, but would like to include a wedding photographer, wedding flowers, music, etc., I can help you set that up yourself.
I don't conduct weddings in a church setting, but rather in the pure natural beauty of Kauai, or the indoor location of your choice. If you are seeking a secular (non-religious style) wedding on Kauai, no need to bother a busy Kauai Judge for a "Justice of the Peace" type of officiant for a courthouse wedding, for I can officiate a legal marriage ceremony, similar to a civil ceremony, just the same. Plus, I'm likely to be a little softer, warmer, more personal and more flexible regarding location and incorporating unique or custom ideas, since this is what I do for a living, full time. I am available any time of the day and any day of the week to perform your wedding on the beach, in a park or at your hotel or vacation rental on Kauai.
If this sounds good to you, my Kauai Wedding, Kauai Civil Union Ceremony, or Kauai Vow Renewal Officiant Services are priced to be reasonably affordable - but there's a catch. I offer a "do-it-yourself" approach to creating your ceremony, so that your vows will reflect your values, feelings and intentions. I make it pretty easy to do this, with sample ceremonies and ideas, but also encourage you to take the time to choose or create your own vows, as they will be what defines your level of devotion and holds your marriage together, along with the love you have for each other. If writing your own vows and wedding script is not your thing, then I can easily come up with the wording after meeting with you in person or if that's not possible a phone conversation.
Humanistic Style Approach:
The ceremonies I perform on Kauai are usually more of the "short and sweet" variety, though I can also adapt my style to longer more sophisticated ceremonies if you like, as I have years of mainland experience as well, having been a successful wedding officiant in the Seattle area. Please note: I do not sing, chant or perform miracles. I do not suggest that you rely on an outside spiritual entity for the success of your marriage, but that you take personal responsibility for making your marriage work. I feel strongly that the success of your marriage is in your hands, your hearts and your souls. I have a very "mainstream" approach, suitable for the very large slice of our society who consider themselves to be "spiritual but not religious."
Let's face it 45% of couples getting married in a "destination wedding" want to have a non-religious wedding, yet there are very few non-religious wedding officiants. That's why I'm so busy, compared to other wedding ministers!
Note: The non-religious style wedding seems to be the wave of the future, illustrated by the recent surveys and charts that indicate the "rise of the nones" or those who mark "none" when it comes to a box to check on a questionnaire to designate their religious affilliation. That number is destined to rise exponentially every year, especially within the younger generation, those under 30, which is often the age that couples choose to marry. It is predicted that within 5 years, the percentage of "nones" will be closer to 50% of that age group. The vast majority of folks in my demographics consider themselves to be "spiritual but not religious" and so consider me to be a good fit.
I'm centrally located on the island of Kauai, making it easy for me to conduct weddings and civil unions island-wide, including, Poipu, Koloa, Lawai, Kalaheo, Waimea, Ha'ena, Kekaha, Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea, Moloa'a, Anahola, Kapaa, Wailua, Lihue, and all points between.
Wedding Officiant, Commitment Ceremony & Vow Renewal Rates:
Here are my current wedding minister / marriage officiant / vow renewal / Civil Union / Family Celebrations after Birth or Adoptions, Funeral & Memorial celebrant rates:
$300 for a small event with just those involved or with just a few guests.
$400 for large events that require a rehearsal and sound system to go smoothly.
My rates include the $20 beach permit fee, whether we use a beach or not.
I am fully licensed and registered with the state of Hawaii, insured and experienced with obtaining beach permits and filing your legal marriage or civil union paperwork.
I have 40 years of familiarity with Kauai Beaches & Parks and can suggest something to fit your vision, hopefully convenient to where you are staying or celebrating after.
Please note that this is for the ceremony only.
Photography, music, flowers, toasting beverages, not included.
I help with the creation of your ceremony, perform it at location of your choice,
sign and file the certificate. We normally meet in person a day or two before.
I do give you a keepsake certificate and commemorative copy of your ceremony script, in a sturdy linen folder.
Kauai Kama'aina Discount is available (25% off) for ceremonies.*
Signing marriage certificate only ($100). *Must live/work on Kauai.
(Please note - the license signing only option is a private signing, not a wedding!)
Please e-mail for availability for your Kauai wedding or event .
E-mail is best, due to time differences, but my cell phone is 808-652-9443 .
If the link above doesn't open your e-mail program, just type in:
When contacting me about your Kauai wedding, please give me the approximate date you plan to be married, the location you've chosen if known, how many people you expect will attend, and a little bit about what type of ceremony you envision. If I'm available for your date and it seems we would be a good match, we will get down to business.
I will send you my booking contract to return to me with a 50% deposit to hold the date. The deposit goes toward the total fee, and once it's received, I will sign my portion and return a copy to you for your records. The contract is then in effect and we can begin working on your ceremony script and other details. If you are planning far in advance, I suggest perusing the material at your leisure and we can draft up a ceremony at your convenience, finalizing it in the weeks or days before the event. Short notice? No problem. I've done weddings with as little as 4 hours notice.
I will send you some sample scripts to choose from or to use for inspiration in writing your own. Or if you wish, I can create a custom ceremony for you, though my rates reflect more of a "do-it-yourself" quality. Many couples prefer to have some control over the content of the ceremony script. After gleaning a little bit about your personality and what type of ceremony you have in mind, I can perhaps suggest some components for your ceremony, touching on any special circumstances, such as including stepchildren, appreciating those who are not with us for the event, including the participation of your guests, a particular theme, etc. You are welcome to write your own vows or choose from some traditional and contemporary vows I supply.
Once you arrive on Kauai, we can meet in person prior to your wedding to go over the details or rehearse if necessary, visit the wedding location, or whatever you need to feel confident that your Kauai wedding will go smoothly.
My "no frills" service includes help with choosing the location and any permit, the ceremony, the signing and filing of the marriage license for recording with the State of Hawaii, and a complimentary keepsake marriage certificate. I leave booking any vendors, such as a photographer, musician, getting flowers, leis, unity ceremony props, and so on, to you. I can direct you to the licensing agents and can steer you toward some economical vendors for your wedding extras. (See my wedding vendor's Section)
I can put together a "wedding package" on a case-by-case basis, if you'd like to specify what you'd like in the way of flowers, leis, photographer, musician, cake, champagne, sparkling cider, etc., but I really find that the couples I work with prefer to have control over their event and enjoy choosing the extras on their own. I work well with "do-it-yourself" type couples. My time is often limited, so if you need this help, I might refer you to a wedding coordinator that you can hire, since I prefer to focus only on the ceremony part.
Note: These are just amateur snapshots, but if you are looking for a professional photographer, florist, leis, musician or other wedding vendors, please check my Kauai wedding vendor links page.
Hawaii Marriage License Procedure on Kauai:
Pre-wedding, I can direct you to one of the licensing agents on Kauai (or other island) where you'll need to obtain your marriage license before the wedding ceremony. I can e-mail you the list and give you my recommendations for a location near your lodging. The state of Hawaii does not require any witnesses to sign the marriage certificate. Click here to find information about the Hawaii Marriage License and to apply for a Hawaii marriage license online anytime before the wedding it will save time to apply in advance so the marriage license agent can just pull up your completed worksheet. You are able to choose your officiant from the list of licensed marriage performers. Just choose me (Wirtz, Julie D.) or leave it blank if you are undecided. My Hawaii License to Perform Marriages is #2005-1071 but that number will be auto-filled for you once you choose me from the list.
Civil Union License Procedure in Hawaii:
Beginning in January 2012, same sex civil unions and opposite gender civil unions are now legal and available to those not already in a marriage or other reciprocal benefit partnership. Instructions on how to get a civil union license can be found at this link on the government's website, now. You can choose my name from the list of Licensed Civil Union Performers (Wirtz, Julie D). My license to perform civil unions is # 2005-1071. With the passage of the Marriage Equality Bill in 2013, Civil Unions dropped off dramatically. They are still available, but the circumstances for desiring a Civil Union are somewhat rare now.
NOTE: On December 2, 2013 Same Sex Marriage became legal in Hawaii. Please click here our Same Sex Weddings on Kauai Link for more details.
Note: Not all officiants choose to be licensed to perform same sex weddings and civil unions, since so many of the religious ministers are opposed to gay weddings, gay marriage, LGBT ceremonies and so on, so if you are considering another officiant, check to be sure his/her name is on the list the state provides. If I am booked for your date, all of my assistants are able to perform civil unions and are happy to perform gay weddings and same sex unions.
If you are interested in my Kauai Wedding Minister/ Marriage Officiant services, please e-mail me. Mahalo!
The Importance of Ceremony
Ceremonies and rituals are important in our society. By publicly declaring important milestones in our lives, we give the moment a place of honor. Shared with family and friends, we gain their support as we go through expected changes.
Secular ceremonies are becoming so popular because they cross faith and cultural boundaries and therefore are non-offensive to participants and guests of different faiths. By bringing together the common values of humanity from all belief systems, secular ceremonies allow each of the participants to experience positive feelings special or unique to them.
Ceremonies acknowledge and honor important transitions in our lives. By creating a time and space to publicly declare an event, we declare our readiness to honor what has gone before and to embrace a new path. By inviting our friends and loved ones to mark the occasion with us, we allow them to offer us their love and support, which strengthens our bonds with them.
The function of ceremony is to bring people together for love and support during transitions into new beginnings. Ceremony allows us to join and bond when we are bringing two families together, celebrating new life, or paying tribute to a life well lived.
As a Humanist Minister and Celebrant*, I help people address the human needs and goals required for healthy transitions. My clients include humanists, agnostics, freethinkers, atheists, rationalists, as well as mixed faith families and even some devoutly religious folks who don't want to impose a religious service on their guests or simply want a more meaningful and personal ceremony than what their church can provide.
* Humanism is a philosophy of life inspired by humanity and guided by reason. It provides the basis for a fulfilling and ethical life without dependence on theistic religion.
If you're interested in reading a little more about what I do, there was an article written about me some years ago, in the Hawaii Reporter:
Celebrant Sprinkles Spirituality on Weddings and Funerals in Hawaii.
As a Certified Celebrant and Life Tribute Professional, I offer Kauai Memorial and Funeral Celebrant Services
When a loved one dies, it's important to have a ceremony that respects the spiritual values of the deceased as well as the survivors. In mixed faith families, or for families with no religious affiliation, a "Celebration of Life" or "Life Tribute" with a secular (non-religious) memorial or funeral service is an excellent choice.
Secular Funerals & Memorial Services, whether a Celebration of Life or Humanist Ceremony, honor the life of the deceased and address the grief of survivors, without imposing a religious worship service onto the mourners who may be of various spiritual backgrounds.
A Celebrant seeks to meet the needs of survivors, by creating and conducting funeral and memorial services that are personalized to reflect the lifestyle of the deceased.
Secular or Humanist Funeral Celebrant Services are often more personal and more satisfying in aiding the grief process than a worship service can be, because celebrant services address human needs and values.
If you are in need of a funeral or memorial service celebrant after the death of a loved one, I can help you create a ceremony that reflects the personality of the deceased, as well as the survivors, in a way that embraces the grief necessary for healthy passage to life without the loved one. Click here Kauai Funeral Celebrant Services. If you are in need of a funeral celebrant in another location, city or state, see these links: Why choose a celebrant? Find a Funeral Celebrant in your state.
Family Ceremonies, Adoption, Baby Naming, Rites of Passage, coming out baptism (coming out as non-religious, atheist, agnostic, humanist, etc.)
The special event of bringing a child into your family can be enhanced and punctuated with a ceremony with friends and family. In the case of adoption, an Adoption Ceremony is especially important to introduce the child to your relatives and friends, ceremoniously giving the child a family and safe reliance network.
If a family doesn't wish to christen their child in a traditional religious baptism in a church setting, a Family Dedication Ceremony, Baby Naming Ceremony, Spiritual Humanist Baptism, Appellation Ceremony, Child Dedication, Child Welcoming or Baby Blessing can be a meaningful alternative for the family and friends and later for the child with the keepsake copy of the ceremony. Not only is the family announcing the arrival of the child into the world, but also assigning a name, defining or outlining the family's values, and appointing a support network for your child. Those invited to share in the ceremony become part of the child's network of mentors and guardians. Chosen adults can be named to take a special interest in the child's future, sometimes called guide-parents or god-parents. Adding a new family member is a good time to begin enshrining a family's values as a guideline as to how they will be raising the child.
The transition from childhood to young adulthood is an important milestone to mark commonly called Coming of Age and celebrated with a Rite of Passage. Guiding the control of the child's life from parental control/responsibility toward self-control/responsibility, we can create a generation of positive contributors to society. Note: This is a seldom done rite. It's loss from our culture is often blamed for the misdirected energy of our youth. I believe there will be a trend in the coming years, for teens to confirm their beliefs, whether humanistic, or what-have-you, where they themselves can participate in the defining of their own spiritual values, what ethics and morals will shape their future, paving their way to success and happiness.
Other ceremonial ideas, might include adult baptisms, where one is acknowledging a spiritual maturization, perhaps a turning point in spiritual growth, where one washes away former religious beliefs to pursue a more natural spiritual path. In this way one is being "reborn" into their personal faith, such as Spiritual Humanism, after officially being part of another church. Why don't I offer traditional baby baptisms? It's my opinion that we were all born right the first time, though many of us were later baptized into a supernatural faith, we never really lose our ability to reason. Those who would like to be re-baptized into the natural spirituality of humanism might chose a ceremony to do that, where they are officially notifying their friends and family of their new faith in humanity rather than supernatural gods. (Coming out as humanist, atheist, agnostic, etc.)
Commitment Ceremonies are events that mark a lifelong commitment to a relationship. Commitment ceremonies are created for those who choose not to be married legally, or for whom a legal ceremonies is not possible. There are many reasons to choose a commitment ceremony rather than a legal wedding. Perhaps it's to celebrate a Civil Union or Domestic Partnership Agreement between same gender or elderly couples who will lose benefits by marrying legally, or perhaps a social event in advance of a legal ceremony. Please inquire for information regarding the legalities of same gender or same sex marriage.
Civil, Secular, Spiritual, Non-religious -vs- Non-denominational
As a Humanist Minister, the ceremonies I officiate are similar to a civil ceremony, but with more emphasis on human values and the family's sense of morality and fulfillment. A secular ceremony, like a civil ceremony, is not tied to religious worship, but is usually very uplifting to the human spirit, focusing on the values important to the family. The term non-denominational usually means cross-denominational, which means they are worship services, but do not focus on one particular denomination. The ceremonies I officiate are secular or non-religious in the traditional sense and therefore can be enjoyed by all people, regardless of religious background. They are human celebrations!
Feedback from Couples:
(I don't update this very often -- check my Yelp page for more recent comments.)
Thank you again for your guidance on our way to the altar. Your warmth and kindness made the vow writing process a lot easier and helped us relax as we approached the big day.
Many Mahalos, Christina & Alin, married on February 19, 2011
Thank you so much for ministering our wedding. You helped make teh event very special for us!
Love, Nhu, Tim & Cailea, married on December 31, 2010
Jesse and I wanted to say thank you again for the lovely vow renewal you officiated. It was exactly what we wanted and made our trip to Kauai even more unforgettable. Your words were so fitting and the scenery at Keiki Cove was spectacular. The photos where wonderful and beautifully captured. Thank you both SO much. Warm regards,
Jesse and Molly (and Katie) renewed vows on March 24, 2010
"Julie... Thank you so very much for being with us on our special day!
We were so blessed by the words you offered and will always be grateful
for all your assistance, grace and joy! Thank you again for being so
Brandon and Dana, committed to each other on October 21, 2009
"Thanks Julie. You made the whole event work wonderfully. It took 30 years for us to decide to formalize our relationship, and I'm happy that we found you to share it with. It ended up being the perfect way to celebrate our lives together so far, and provide a meaningul foundation for continued happiness."
Mark and Geri, married March 3, 2009
Julie, We want you to know how special we thought the ceremony was...much was thanks to you. Everyone in attendance has commented on your warmth and the sentimentality that radiates from your delivery. We echo those views. Thank you so very much! It couldn't have been a more special day for us!
Tim and Irene, married February 20, 2009
"Julie, we cannot thank you enough for all the help you've given us to truly make our Special Day exceptional! Thank you!"
Jerry and Sandi, married February 17, 2009
"Hi Julie, It was such a perfect low-key ceremony and we're sitting here basking in the glow of it before heading out to dinner. We were able to stay perfectly present for it."
Arthur and Leah, married December 17, 2008
"Hi Julie, Gary and I wanted to thank you for helping us make our perfect wedding a reality. We would have never been able to do it without you. Keiki Cove was amazingly beautiful. Without you and your expertise, we would have never found it. Your calm and gentle demeanor was a breath of fresh air during a time I was ready to stress out. Thank you so much for all you did to make our wedding in paradise just that and more. With love always,"
Gary & Valerie, married December 8, 2008
"Dear Julie, Thank you for marrying us. You did a great job with the ceremony - all our friends said we made a good choice as you were very "elegant". You made it very easy and comfortable for us and we appreciate that."
John and Janine, married November 8, 2008
"Julie, It was a wonderful day, a day we shall not forget. Perfection could be the word to describe it. We'll be sure to pass on your info to anyone we come across wishing to marry in Hawaii. Again thanks for the professionalism and warm feelings you gave us with this great day of ours. Take care and lots of love from..."
Horatio and Brigitte, married October 19, 2008
"Julie, Thanks again for the fantastic service last week on Kauai. We kept talking about how great the service was, and wanted to tell you how much we appreciated the part you had in our fantastic wedding. The location was ideal!"
Nete and Sten, married October 15, 2008
"Julie, We just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your wonderful grace and presence at our blessed ceremony. We could not imagine anyone better than you to perform the sacred service of our ceremony. We will never forget you and wish you the most prosperous and blessed future in all that you do! Feel free to contact us anytime. Love, Ronnie and Leighsa"
Leighsa and Ronnie, married April 22, 2008
"You were a highlight of our trip, Julie. We felt so lucky and blessed that you were the one that married us. You did a wonderful job and you made it very special for us. I can't say that I have met many wedding officiants but I have to believe you are the best! "
Jackie and Anthony, married February 26, 2008
"Thanks again we were totally happy with the ceremony it was just what we were hoping for give or take a few rain drops. After you both left we enjoyed the sunset and some champagne under the big tree with the swing. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day."
Jamie and Dalton, married December 19, 2007
"Hello Julie, This is long overdue, but I wanted to write to thank you for the beautiful ceremony you conducted for us. It was lovely, and special, which it could have very easily not been, given the short nature of the day. So, thank you, for helping making it so special for us. I also wanted to thank you for getting the marriage certificate in the mail to us so quickly. That was a HUGE help getting me covered by insurance. And, was really above and beyond. Thanks again and all the best to you."
Heather and Todd, married September 15, 2007
" Dear Julie, We wanted to send you a note to let you know we truly enjoyed the wedding ceremony for Carl and Amber. Your words were so heartfelt, and that was projected very articulately. We received many nice comments regarding you and the ceremony, and we wanted to share that with you! It was a pleasure meeting you and should the occasion arise, we will recommend your services. Thank you and Mahalo! Craig and Sherry"
(Carl and Amber) married August 11, 2007
"Julie, Thank you for officiating the ceremony for my brother Bart. I appreciate your sensitivity to my family at such a difficult time. If you ever need a referral don't hesitate to contact me. Regards, Lisa"
Funeral Service conducted in August 2007
"Dear Julie, We thought this was a great photo of you at the beginning of our ceremony. It was such a beautiful day and memory. Thank you again for playing such an important part and making it perfect. We certainly will never forget you and will always tell people about you if they are looking for someone thoughtful and genuine to marry them. Best wishes to you always. Aloha! "
Dawn & Jeremy, married July 18, 2007
"Julie, Thank you so much for being a part of our special day. I believe we cross paths in this life with certain people for reasons. You have been so wonderful. May you be blessed always, Love,
Ron and Kim, renewed vows on June 22, 2007
(Most of my feedback is verbal - but these are just a few in notes I received after the events.)
Please see my reviews on Yelp - for more updated comments!