Aloha! My name is Julie Wirtz. I am a wedding officiant and celebrant on Kauai. The weddings, vow renewals, family dedications, commitment ceremonies, funerals and memorials I officiate celebrate human values and natural human spirituality, rather than biblical and theistic values. I am one of the few wedding performers in Hawaii specializing in uplifting, warm, yet secular naturalistic style ceremonies. (Secular meaning no references to religious figures, supernatural deities, 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! I also meet with my clients in person prior to the wedding, something most officiants do not do.
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. These couples and families may call themselves naturalists, humanists, secularists, atheists, agnostics, down to earth lovers of humankind and the environment, and so on.
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:
I AM RUNNING A SPECIAL FOR EVENTS BOOKED BY THE END OF THE YEAR
$350 for the event, whether just the two of you or a larger formal affair.
$350 Custom Wedding Ceremony Script, with personal meeting, rehearsal if necessary, couple’s input on vows and ceremony content. Includes Keepsake Certificate, prompt filing of Official Marriage Certificate, Includes Tax and Beach Permit if needed.
$250-$300 Kama’aina Rate for above. (Must live/work on Kauai or Hawaii respectively.)
$100 Simple Signing - Not a planned wedding. This is just a bare bones marriage vows script for legal purposes - my standard wording - no personal meeting. The details worked out by phone/email/text. Usually no leis, sand blending or other unity gesture. Just vows and signing, at a location convenient for me, no photographer other wedding vendors, no beach permit. ($20 extra for beach permit, if wishing to sign with toes in the sand.)
Note: All ceremonies are performed in a secular or humanistic manner, with no supernatural religious references, included in my speaking portions.
My rates include tax and $20 beach permit fee, unless otherwise noted.
I give you DIY information on how to apply for your marriage license,
suggestions for photographers, where to find flowers, musicians,
plus I will meet with you in person to go over your ceremony
a day or two before your event, to be sure it goes smoothly.
*Kauai Kama'aina Rates Available - please inquire if this pertains to you.
I am fully licensed and registered with the state of Hawaii, as one of the Marriage and Civil Union Performers in Hawaii, insured as a wedding officiant and marriage performer, and experienced with obtaining beach permits and filing your legal marriage certificate or civil union paperwork.
I have 44 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.
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 in Hawaii. 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, civil unions (for same sex and opposite gender couples) civil unions became available to those who choose to be legally committed, but for whatever reason do not choose to be in a legal marriage, or simply could not legally marry at that time.
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, and seem to be more popular with elderly couples wishing to retain their social security benefits or avoid being penalized by higher taxes by remaining unmarried according to the tax laws, yet domestic partners for other reasons.
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.
NOTE: On December 2, 2013 Same Sex Marriage became legal in Hawaii. Please click here our Same Sex, Gay, LGBTQ Weddings on Kauai Link for more details. No different from traditional marriage. Marriage is marriage, regardless of gender. :-)
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, LGBTQ 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, I can suggest an associate happy to perform gay weddings and same sex civil 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
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!
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