The Rich History of Hawai‘i’s Great Stone Church
Kawaiaha‘o Church represents the beginning of modern Hawai‘i. It stands as the first Christian church to be built on O‘ahu. For more than 185 years, Kawaiaha‘o has served the people of Hawai‘i, and today represents the mother church of all Hawai‘i, where God’s work continues and the Hawaiian culture and language are perpetuated.
In the heart of downtown Honolulu, where tree-lined boulevards, green open spaces and a mixture of quaint old buildings and modern-day skyscrapers share a common space, historic Kawaiaha‘o Church rises majestically, a constant reminder of Hawai‘i’s rich past. At its inception, 5,000 worshippers led by King Kamehameha III gathered to dedicate the “Great Stone Church” on July 21, 1842. As the official church of Hawaiian royalty, it became known as the “Westminster Abbey of the Pacific” and was also called the “Church of the Ali‘i” (royalty) during the days of the monarchy. It is commonly referred to today as the “Stone Church of Hawai‘i.”
The Royal Wedding Tradition
For those desiring the tradition and dignity of very special weddings, such as those experienced by the royalty of yesteryear, Kawaiaha‘o has become a popular venue. The marriage couple proceeds down the same isle that Hawai‘i’s kings and queens once walked. The church bells, which ring for today’s newlyweds are those that rang out for Hawai‘i’s monarchs. The original royal pews where royalty worshipped continue to grace the sanctuary of the church today, a tangible reminder of the elegance of Hawai‘i’s grand rulers and their court.
We invite you to come and see for yourselves how the Royal Weddings at Kawaiaha‘o can fulfill the dreams of any couple joining in matrimony and create a magical experience unattainable anywhere else in the islands.
Wedding Arrangements & Office Hours
Dates and times for weddings must be made through our Royal Wedding Center (808) 469-3050 - Fax: (808) 522-1341. Office Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM. Reservations are considered confirmed upon receipt of a non-refundable deposit of $250.00-Sanctuary. Deposits are deductible from the wedding cost contribution.
Payment in full is due 60 days prior to the scheduled wedding date. Full payment NOT received on the due date may result in the cancellation of your scheduled wedding. A Penalty Fee of 100% of the wedding cost shall be assessed for wedding cancellations made 30 days prior to your scheduled wedding date.
A marriage license is required and may be obtained from the Marriage License Office, State Department of Health, 1250 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813. Phone: (808)-586-4545, the marriage license Hotline or www.hawaii.gov/health for important information. The license must be in the hands of the Wedding Director prior to the wedding ceremony. The wedding ceremony will not be performed without a valid marriage license.
A pre-marital counseling time will be scheduled one month prior to your wedding date. The Minister will discuss the privileges and responsibilities of marriage, as well as the marriage ceremony.
The Officiating Minister
The Senior Minister of Kawaiaha‘o Church or fellow Christian Clergy will conduct a Protestant wedding ceremony. The beliefs and traditions of Kawaiaha‘o Church shall be honored in all weddings.
The Wedding Director
The church’s Wedding Director will contact the bride approximately one month prior to the wedding. Please fill out the wedding questionnaire at your earliest convenience and mail it to Kawaiaha‘o Church. The Wedding Director will conduct the Wedding Rehearsal and also be present at your Wedding making sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. The rehearsal is a walking rehearsal only. The organist, musicians hired by the church and minister are not required to attend the rehearsal.
A rehearsal time will be scheduled when your wedding date is confirmed. The Wedding Director will direct the rehearsal. Please be sure the entire wedding party is present, including the parents of both the bride and groom. Please be on time as maximum rehearsal time is one hour. You may enter the sanctuary through the makai side entrance. In keeping with the Church atmosphere, appropriate behavior and proper attire are expected at both rehearsal and wedding. Let no one in your wedding party show up at the rehearsal or wedding ceremony under the influence of any kind of mind altering substance.
Music in a wedding ceremony creates a reverent atmosphere and is an important part of the service. The Church Organist/Director of Music is a highly trained professional musician who serves at all weddings and approves all special music. Remember when selecting music that a wedding is a sacred and holy sacrament. Music which you select for your wedding should reflect these attributes. Our Organist/Director of Music would be more than happy to assist you with your musical selections. Professional musicians(s) on file at the church can be hired upon request. Music selections and Musicians/Organist provided by you must be approved by the church’s Organist/Director of Music. The organist fee of $75.00 will still be assessed for the use of the organ by your organist.
Bridal Waiting Room
The Bridal Waiting Room is located at the Makai front entrance of the Sanctuary.
We do not allow the use of an aisle runner, which has proven to be hazardous.
Beautiful Altar, Pew and Candelabra decorations may be provided by the church at a nominal fee.The sanctuary decorations must be in place 30 minutes prior to the ceremony. Tacks, Scotch tape and other sticky substances are not acceptable for use on church furniture. Due to major carpet stains caused by fresh flowers, only artificial flowers are permitted to be scattered in the church. Scattering of bird seed, fresh floral petals, etc. are NOT permitted inside or outside of the church by well-wishers.
Photography & Video
There is absolutely NO picture taking allowed during the wedding ceremony except by designated Photo/Video Technicians(s). Instructions are included in your packet. Please share with your photographer and videographer the rules governing video taping and photography in the sanctuary of Kawaiaha‘o, the diagram of where equipment may be positioned, and the photography and video time schedule.
Parking at Kawaiaha‘o is limited; therefore, we encourage family members and friends attending the wedding ceremony to use street parking on Punchbowl Street, Mission Lane or parking areas fronting the Judiciary Building.
- While every effort will be made to keep personal belongings safe, the church will not be responsible for lost personal property.
- Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on church premises. Let no one in your wedding party show up at the rehearsal or wedding under the influence of any mind altering substance
- Smoking is not permitted in church buildings.
- The Bridal Couple must be at the church thirty  minutes prior to the scheduled wedding time.
- Please do not remove anything belonging to the church from the church premises.
- Food consumption is not permitted in the Sanctuary.
- Please refrain from walking on the altar in the sanctuary.