What do we need to get married in the State of Washington?
You both need to be at least eighteen years old, have a valid marriage license, two witnesses, and an Officiant.
Where do we get a marriage license?
Here are some facts about getting married in Washington State:
- Both applicants must be at least 18 years old
- Applicants under 18 years of age need have parental consent
- A waiting period of 3 days is mandatory after obtaining the license
- The marriage license is good for 60 days
- The cost of a license is $64 in most counties
- A blood test or physical is not required to get a license
- You do not need proof of a divorce or death of a spouse
- You do not have to be residents of the state of Washington
- Same sex marriages have been legal in Washington State since Dec. 9, 2012
The marriage license can be obtained at a county office. Click on one of the links below for all the details. For out-of-state couples, Pierce County will send the documents to you through the mail so that you do not need to pick them up at the Courthouse when you arrive.
Do you perform only marriage ceremonies?
The majority of my business is for weddings, whether it is your first or your third marriage. I also perform commitment ceremonies and renewal of vows for those special anniversaries or times of re-commitment.
I perform Transitions Ceremonies for those times of transition in your life – such as a divorce, moving to a new location, adding a new child to the family, becoming empty nesters, or learning to live with a new disability.
What if we want a beautiful wedding, but don’t want to spend a lot of time or money on it?
This is the new type of elopement or small, intimate wedding. You want a simple, yet elegant wedding with just a few close guests. You want it to be low stress, low cost, and able to be planned in less than a week – you want a SimpliDone wedding! I perform elopement-style, inclusive weddings for couples in a beautiful garden setting with an award-winning photographer to capture the event. For more information, go to the Inclusive Weddings page of this website.
How do we pay you?
Check, cash, or money order.
Do you use pre-written ceremonies or can we write our own vows?
For each of my couples who select a custom ceremony, I email a Word file to them that contains several ceremonies that I have written that contain vows and readings. You may select pieces from any of the ceremonies provided and/or write your own vows. I add some passages of my own and put all the parts together to create special ceremony just for you.
The ceremony should reflect who you are and the special love you have for one another. It should be a beautiful ceremony that you will always treasure. You can read it on your anniversaries or when you are going through a period of renewed commitment to each other to remind you of the vows you made to one another on your wedding day.
Who handles the paperwork?
The newly-wed couple, the Officiant, and the two witnesses will sign the legal documents immediately after the ceremony. I will file all the necessary paperwork with the county after the ceremony.
You may start using your new name immediately!
What about premarital classes?
I offer premarital courses to any couple who wants to strengthen their relationship. These classes are most effective if they are taken before or during the engagement period. They can also be taken by newlyweds. The courses explore various areas of a relationship. There are two courses to choose from:
- 4-topic premarital course
- 15-topic premarital course
See the premarital page for details.
How do we contact you?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 206.915.1077 to check availability and arrange the initial meeting. I perform ceremonies seven days a week.
How do we order our certified marriage certificate after we get married?
Go to the Washington State Department of Health website to order your certificate. This document is needed for the bride to change her name on her driver’s license, etc. and for any other occasion that demands proof of marriage.
The cost is $20 plus any applicable service or mailing fees. You may pick it up in person in Tumwater, Washington or order by phone or by mail.
What is the Domestic Partnership program in Washington State?
In July, 2007, a state law authorizing domestic partnerships in Washington took effect. Couples, in which one partner is over the age of 62, qualify for a domestic partnership. This law makes domestic partners eligible for a number of benefits, including:
- Hospital visitation of a partner;
- Participation in medical care decisions;
- Access to health care information;
- The administration of a deceased partner’s estate;
- Recognition as a domestic partner on a deceased partner’s death certificate;
- The ability to sue for wrongful death of a partner; and
- The right to inherit property from a partner and to administer the partner’s estate in the absence of a will.
Who can register as domestic partners?
To register as domestic partners, both partners must:
- Share a common residence
- Both be at least 18 years of age
- Not be married to, or in a registered domestic partnership with someone else
- Be capable of consenting to the domestic partnership
- Not be nearer kin than second cousin
- Not be a sibling, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew to the other partner, and
- At least one partner must be at least 62 years of age
I perform commitment ceremonies for couples who enter into a domestic partnership.
What about same-sex marriages?
The same-sex marriage law, which was signed by Governor Gregoire on February 13, 2012. It was put up for vote by the people of Washington on November’s ballot, where it passed. Same-sex marriages have now been legal in Washington State since December 6, 2012.