Washington state is insanely beautiful and has a ton of gorgeous spots to consider exploring for your adventure elopement. We’re breaking down everything you need to know about how to get married in Washington state to make your elopement easy peasy. As adventure elopement photographers that specialize in Washington elopements , we spend about half of our year in the Pacific Northwest helping couples plan a wedding day that is stress-free and focused on each other. Washington is home to three national parks, rocky beaches, and nine national forests making it one of our favorite states for couples to get married in.
Step 1: Fill out and submit your marriage application online
Step 2: Pick up your marriage license
Step 3: Observe the 3 day waiting period
Step 4: Have an ordained officiant conduct your ceremony + 2 witnesses sign
Step 5: Return your marriage license and request a certified copy
Before we break down the how-to’s of getting married in Washington state, we’ll answer a few common questions that come up when considering Washington as the location for your wedding day.
A: Nope! You absolutely do not have to be a resident to get married in Washington. As long as you apply for your marriage license properly and follow the marriage guidelines, you can easily get married in Washington state. You can apply for your marriage license in any Washington county and then exchange your vows in a different county. Your marriage license will be valid statewide, making the process super easy!
A: The requirements to get married in Washington State are pretty standard. There is no need for a blood test, but you will need to be sure to have the following identification and knowledge
A: You will need at least 2 witnesses to sign your Washington State marriage license. Your witnesses will need to be 18 or older for their signatures to be accepted. If you’re having a “just us” elopement or ceremony, no worries! We’ve had plenty of couples that have eloped in Washington State and been able to find witnesses. As a photography team, we’re both able to sign as your witnesses for your ceremony! Finding witnesses is also super easy with passersby on the trail who are always THRILLED to sign as witnesses.
A: Washington State recognizes any regularly licensed or ordained minister or priest of any church or religious denomination. Washington State also recognizes officiants from The Universal Life church to legally officiate a ceremony. This makes it super easy to find an officiant for your Washington elopement. We’re also ordained, and while also serving as your Washington elopement photographers, can also legally officiate your ceremony if you are wanting to keep your ceremony private and not hire an officiant. You can also ask a close friend or family member to become ordained and officiate your wedding. Getting ordained is insanely easy and can be done through The Universal Life Church. or other organizations. It’s super easy and takes less than 5 minutes.
COVID-19 has definitely changed things and made planning a wedding a little tricky. However, getting your Washington State marriage license is still super easy. You can apply for your marriage license online here or on most county sites.
While COVID-19 regulations are changing you can check out what is currently allowed here. With the way COVID-19 has changed the wedding industry, elopements have become more and more popular. Elopements have given couples the option to keep their wedding date and celebrate in a way that is incredibly meaningful and focused completely on them and their values. As Washington elopement photographers, we love helping couples plan their wedding day, build the perfect timeline, and find the perfect location. Eloping is the perfect option for couples that don’t resonate with traditional weddings or are looking for a way to have a super meaningful wedding while meeting government regulations.
Your marriage license requires a non-refundable, $69 application fee. There are a few other costs you’ll want to consider if you’re eloping in Washington state and we’ll break those down for ya!
Special Use Permits | $25-$100
There are PLENTY of gorgeous, accessible, and cost-effective locations to elope in Washington. Including, 3 national parks, over 100 state parks, and a vast, rugged coastline to choose from. Most of these locations will require a permit, which can range from $25-$300. This is a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding venue. Park websites are an excellent source for permitting information. As your elopement photographers, we can also help you with this process.
Florals | $50-$300
Photography/Officiant combination (hey there!) | $2,600
Clothes | $1,500 for both of ya! This really varies on style and preference, but you can find gorgeous and cost-effective wedding digs for your elopement! You can also consider renting if buying wedding attire just isn’t something you’re wanting to spend your money on.
That’s it! If you love towering trees, rugged coastlines, and foggy mountains, then the pacific northwest is the perfect place for you to say your vows. Check out this post that gives you all the info you need to figure out how to get married in Oregon to learn about getting married in Oregon for more elopement ideas.
We love to help couples plan their dream elopements that allow them to celebrate and be themselves. Getting married in Washington is easy- peasy and we’d love to help guide you through the process and navigate the logistics of eloping. You deserve a wedding day that feels like you and celebrates what you’ve built.
Psyched to elope in Washington State? Check out this Washington elopement for more inspo!