Eloping in Washington doesn’t have to require a massive hiking commitment, several days in a tent, or driving over treacherous mountain passes. There are plenty of AMAZING locations to elope less than 3 hours from Seattle!
Before you pick your elopement location, you’ll want to follow a few basic steps to make planning your day a bit easier.
Your photographer is going to be a wealth of knowledge when it comes to picking locations. We know the ins and outs of locations, how to research ones we’ve never been to, and other logistics that you need to be aware of.
For example: You’ve probably seen elopements and travel bloggers at this location. But did you know that it’s extremely treacherous to get to “the spot” and people routinely fall hundreds of feet into the ocean and die?! If the person you hire isn’t aware of 1) how to find this spot because it is hard and 2) the dangers associated with it, you could be put in quite a pickle. Do your research!
Working with your photographer, you’ll be presented with several options about possible locations, information about them, and what logistics are going to be required.
Permits are a natural part of the process. Almost all of the National Parks are going to require a special use permit on behalf of the couple and a commercial photography permit. Always follow the rules and regulations because the last thing you want to happen is a park ranger escorting you out during your ceremony!
There are plenty of locations out there that don’t require a permit. I’m happy to discuss how to find them and what type of elopements work best for them.
One of the great things about eloping in Washington is that you can pick up a marriage license from any county, regardless of where you decide to say “I do.” But it’s important to note that you MUST wait 3 days after picking up your marriage license to be able to legally wed. Make sure you plan accordingly!
Each county has its own specific rules and regulations for applying. Here’s a list of commonly used counties:
Kings County – Seattle (Apply online or by mail)
Pierce County – Tacoma (Apply online and then schedule an appointment with the auditor’s office)
Clallam County – Port Angeles (Apply online or in-person)
Whatcom County – Bellingham (Apply online and sign in office)
Skagit County – Mt Vernon (Apply in-person)
Snohomish County – Everett (Apply online then pick up and pay in office)
Spokane County – Spokane (Apply in-person or by mail)
Chelan County – Wenatchee (Apply online and sign/pay in office)
In Washington, you can be wed by judges, religious officials, and regularly licensed ordained ministers. If you want a friend or family member to officiate your wedding, simply have them apply for free ordination through American Marriage Ministries!
You and your brand new spouse, your officiant, and your two witnesses will need to sign your marriage document and return it to the county your marriage license came from within 30 days of your elopement.
Want to learn more? Check out my comprehensive guide on the legalities of a Washington wedding.
If you have a crew of less than a dozen, you can get married virtually anywhere in Seattle! Here are some of my favorites that offer the best views of the city and surrounding mountains.
An hour’s drive is all it takes to access lush forests, tall peaks, and beautiful, gloomy beaches.
Ready to start planning your unforgettable Washington elopement!? Nomadic Weddings proudly offers complimentary planning assistance from start to end, customized packages and timelines to fit any needs, and an experience that will make this adventure your best one yet! This thing won’t plan itself! Reach out today to get started.
This ain’t an all-day photoshoot, I’m not here to get you to grin at a camera all day long, that would suck. I’m here to capture all the natural and organic moments of a beautiful day filled with things you two love to do the most together. Whether that’s hiking, backpacking, camping, rock climbing, sailing, biking, exploring cities, or sipping on microbrews; whatever your heart desires.