YOUR GUIDE TO
HOW TO GET MARRIED IN WASHINGTON STATE
WASHINGTON STATE MARRIAGE LICENSE LAWS
Hi! I'm Natasha! Your intimate wedding and elopement photographer, dog petter and donut eater. While photography is my first love, connecting with people is my love language. You'll find me lovin' on the big moments, the quiet moments, the silly moments – but especially the in between moments. The moments that are unadulterated and unfiltered. The ones where you are the real you. Here on the blog you'll find all of my favorite tips, tricks and resources for planning a wedding that's all about those moments.
INTIMATE WEDDING +
HOW TO GET MARRIED IN WASHINGTON STATE: YOUR CHECKLIST
Getting married in Washington State is a pretty easy process! You'll need to follow these step in order to legally get married:
- Have a scheduled date and officiant locked in for your wedding
- Apply for your marriage license either in person or online
- Wait the mandatory 3 days between when you get your license and get married
- Have your ceremony
- Mail your marriage license or drop it off in person at the county office within 60 days of when you get your license
WHAT DO I NEED TO GET MARRIED IN WASHINGTON STATE?
- Application fee is $62-72.00 depending on the county you get it in and is non refundable.
- You can pay in office: cash, money order, cashier's check, or debit/credit card
- Or by mail: signed money order or cashier's check
- Minimum age to marry is 18.
- Waiting Period: There’s a 3 day waiting period.
- This mean's that you'll have to get your marriage license at least 3 days before your wedding day! For example if you get your license on a Wednesday, you can get married that Saturday.
- License Validity Time: You'll have 60 days from the day you get the license to return it to the auditors office for your marriage to be legally recognized.
- Residency: You do not need to be a Washington resident to apply for a license or be married in the state.
- Witnesses: Witnesses are not necessary to apply for a license, but state law requires that at least two witnesses be present at the ceremony. Witnesses should be at least 12 years of age.
WHERE DO I GET A MARRIAGE LICENSE?
There are two different ways you can get your marriage license!
- If you're applying in person, you can get your marriage license at any WA county auditors office.
- If you're applying online, a quick Google search of "[your county name] marriage license" will take you to the online portal for where you can apply online for your marriage license and find specifics for your county.
CAN I GET MARRIED IN A DIFFERENT STATE WITH A WASHINGTON MARRIAGE LICENSE?
Nope, if you get your marriage license in Washington state you'll have to get married in Washington. Your marriage license won't be valid if you get married in any other state, so you'll need to get a valid marriage license for that state.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
To get your marriage license both of you will need to bring:
- Your photo IDs (this can be a U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, U.S. military ID, permanent resident card, driver's license or state photo ID card issued by the Department of Licensing (DOL), or foreign government issued passport)
- Social security numbers
- The application fee (cash, debit or credit)
And that's it!
CAN WE SELF SOLEMNIZE?
In some states like Colorado, you're allowed to get married with no officiant and solemnize the wedding yourself. However in Washington you'll need an officiant and two witnesses. If you're having a religious ceremony you can contact your house of worship to see if someone is available to officiate you, a city/town/village hall may have a judge or justice of the peace available, or you can ask a friend to get ordained! One of the most common ways to get a friend or family member ordained is through the Universal Life Church.
WHERE CAN I GET MARRIED?
You can get married in any public or private location in Washington with the right permission! If you're getting married in a city, state or national park you'll need to get a special use permit to have your wedding. Aside from traditional wedding venues, you can get married in your favorite restaurant, your backyard, just about anywhere!
You can find information about getting married in Washington State Parks here (they also require your photographer to have a photography permit that you can learn about here), and how to get a National Park special use permit here! If you're getting married in a national forest or on forest service land (like Mt. Baker) you'll need a USFS special use permit that you can get here.
Technically you don't even need to have a ceremony to get married! The thing that legally binds you is the marriage license. So long as your marriage license is signed, witnessed, and submitted back to the county within the 60 day timeframe, you're married! The wedding ceremony itself is a traditional formality that's all about honoring your relationship and your love. So while you don't need to have a ceremony to legally be married, it's one of the most beautiful parts of your wedding day whether you choose to elope or have a wedding!
And that's it! Have other questions about getting married in Washington state? Shoot over a DM on Instagram and let's chat! @tashashapiro