Congratulations! You want to get married and you are planning to elope to Washington State. As a Wedding Officiant and Minister in the Seattle/Tacoma area, let me give you some guidance on creating and planning your elopement – whether your guest list is for two or twenty!
1) Secure a valid Marriage License in Washington State. Contact the County Auditor in any County in Washington State. Your marriage license is valid for 60 days and there is a 3-day waiting period. You must present your marriage license to your Officiant or Minister before your ceremony.
2) Find an Officiant. There are many Officiants to select from, depending on your background and traditions and what you want/desire for your wedding ceremony. Of course, I hope you’ll consider me!
3) Decide on a Location. There are many sweet places to be married in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Favorites of mine include Alki Beach, Magnolia Bluff, Palisade Restaurant, Salty’s on Alki, top of The Space Needle, to name a few. If being married at the foot of Mt. Rainier interests you, check out Alexander’s Country Inn. And if you’re in a mood for a ferry ride, getting married on Bainbridge Island, Vashon Island, Orcas Island or Whidbey Island is very fun.
4) Select A Date and Make Arrangements. Once you have a date, you can secure your “location” and Officiant. You will need two witnesses over the age of 18 if you don’t have anyone else with you. If you don’t have witnesses, most Officiants can assist with finding you a couple of people – really!
5) Enjoy! A wedding is a big life moment and a huge life transition. Mark the moment with love, appreciation and respect. Eloping takes the stress out of any wedding planning and is all about the two of you – your love story, your commitment.
Annemarie Juhlian is a Seattle/Tacoma based Non-Denominational Wedding Officiant & Minister. She can be reached at: http://www.marriedbyannemarie.com or 425.922.1325