Here’s your easy “how to guide” for putting together your wedding ceremony and mini-celebration on a budget of $450 or less. Considering the cost of many weddings these days, this is a bargain!

1) Get Your Marriage License: First things first. You need a valid marriage license. You can obtain your marriage license from any Courthouse or Auditor’s/Clerk’s office in the State of Washington and it is good in Seattle and King County. If you live in King County or are near by, you may visit at King County marriage license office in person to pick up your license. To apply for your license in person, you and your Sweetheart will need to show up in person with proof of ID and $64.

If you are out of the Seattle area or even out of State, you may contact the King County Marriage License office and start the process via phone, fax and mail to get your hands on a marriage license.

The cost of a marriage license in King County is $64 and there is a three-day waiting period from the date the license is issued. So, to get married within a week, you must apply for your license and wait for three days before your legal ceremony. For more information on applying for a marriage license in person or by mail, go to: http://www.kingcounty.gov/courts/marriage.aspx

2) Find a “Marrying Person” To Get You Married: There are dozens of Officiants of all faiths and traditions in the Seattle area including me! You may do a Google search under “Seattle Officiant” or “Seattle Wedding Minister” to find a few people who appeal to you. Your first quest is to inquire with an Officiant or Minister about their availability and fee. If you do enough searching, you will find there are Officiants available for every budget.

3) Find Two Witnesses: In Seattle, you need two witnesses over the age of 18 to witness your marriage. If you have two people to witness your ceremony, no problem! If you require two witnesses, ask your Officiant or Minister about what they can do to help. On occasion, a couple with no witnesses will be married in a public place and invite two people to witness their ceremony. The surprise witnesses are usually touched by be a part of a wedding ceremony and often get a kick out of the unexpected invitation.

4) Do the Math ~ Your $450 Quickie “Let’s Get Married” Budget: Okay, let’s put the figures together on what it will take to get you married within the week.

Marriage License $64

Officiant $150-250 (on average)

Bouquet (local market) $35

Celebration Meal $100

Grand Total: $449

If you want to get married for less than $350, nix the bouquet and find a place for a “cheap eats” celebration lunch or dinner!