Elopement Photography

How to Elope in WA

elopement photography of husband and wife walking their dogs on a trail near Snoqualmie Falls after they eloped.

Things To Know:

  • You don't have to call Washington State home to tie the knot here legally.
  • You're not bound to getting married in the same county where you apply for your marriage license, which makes the whole process super convenient for everyone involved!
  • Now, onto the timeline: you've got a window of 3 days to 60 days after your marriage license is issued to plan your ceremony. King County offers a fantastic calculator to pinpoint that exact window for you, making sure you're right on track: King County Marriage License Calculator
elopment photography of husband and wife in wedding attire sitting on red couch at Gold Creek Pond after they eloped.

Step 1: Apply For Your Marriage License

Getting your marriage license in Washington State is a breeze, thanks to the convenience of an online application! Simply hop onto the online kiosk, fill out the necessary details for each applicant, and hit submit. This information will be printed on your official marriage license, so make sure to have a printed copy ready for your elopement day.

The beauty of it all? You're not tied to a specific county for your application. While each county may offer a unique decorative copy of your license, you're free to apply from anywhere in Washington. Once you've submitted your application, a quick email to the state with your application details will prompt them to give you a call for payment over the phone via credit card.

And hey, if snail mail is more your style, no worries! You can still opt for the traditional route. Just fill out the application, get it notarized, send it off with a check to the state, and they'll start processing it. While this method may take a bit longer and involve that extra step of notarization, rest assured it's just as valid as applying online.

elopement photography of couple sharing a kiss after they eloped in the wilderness near Snoqualmie Falls WA

Step 2: Get Married!

Don't forget to pack your paperwork bundle for your elopement day! It contains a wealth of information, some of which you'll keep, and some that your officiant will retain or send to the state.

On the big day, make sure to bring along your marriage license packet and a black pen. You, your witnesses, and your officiant will all need to sign.

When it comes to selecting your officiant, you've got a few routes to explore:

  • You can hire a minister, priest, officiant, or judge to lead your ceremony.
  • Perhaps you'd prefer to have a close friend ordained to officiate. It's a breeze with the Universal Life Church, and in just a couple of days, they'll be ready to officiate your special day.
  • Another option? Have me, your photographer, sign as the officiant on your marriage license. While I can't guide you through traditional rituals or speak about your relationship during the ceremony, I can legally sign as the officiant at the conclusion. This is an excellent choice for couples eloping solo! Dive deeper into eloping alone and witness requirements in step 3.

elopment photo of Gay men standing on top of a tree stump holding hands at Rattlesnake Lake after they eloped.

Step 3: What About A Witness?

In Washington state, it's a requirement to have two witnesses sign your marriage license. While these witnesses can certainly be friends and family you've invited to your ceremony, they don't have to be! We can act as a witness, or anyone else nearby can step in as well, as long as they're over 18 years old, they're eligible to be a witness!

They don't necessarily need to be at the ceremony itself; they just need to be present when they sign the marriage license in front of your selected officiant.

Black and White elopement photo of husband and wife holding lanterns in the fog at Ruby Beach after they eloped.

Step 4: After You Say, I DO!

Once the ceremony wraps up and the officiant along with the witnesses have signed the marriage license, the officiant will take charge of returning it to the state for official processing. Once processed, you can request official copies, ensuring you have a marriage certificate in hand.

And guess what? That's all there is to it!

Washington makes it incredibly easy for eloping couples, earning its reputation as one of the most straightforward states to tie the knot!

Feeling unsure about any part of the process? Not to worry! The state offers a wealth of additional information. Feel free to visit the Marriage Licensing page for further details.

Elopement Pricing

Every PNW Elopement is personalized and different. We are here with you every step of the way. Reach out to learn more, and so we can discuss the details of your special day to customize the package to you.

Contact us to learn more


How Do We choose where to elope?

One of the best aspects of eloping is the freedom it offers—you can choose to tie the knot anywhere your heart desires!

While this boundless possibility is undeniably exhilarating, we also understand how overwhelming it can be to have so many options at your fingertips.

What if we are already legally married?

Exciting times ahead! Now, it's time to plan your dream celebration!

With all the paperwork sorted out, you're free to create the day you've always envisioned.

Being legally married before your elopement doesn't diminish the significance of your special day.

There are various reasons why couples choose to complete their paperwork beforehand—whether it's for health benefits, tax considerations, immigration, or simply convenience—and that's completely okay.

Can I invite other people?

Yes! This is your celebration and it should be with the people you love.

What kind of gear do you use?

We are #TeamSony all the way. When we aren't capturing you from the ground, we are flying high with our DJI Mavic 2 Pro (Drone). Everything we shoot is copied twice on each of our cameras. Electronics can unfortunately fail from time to time, so we have 8 memory cards storing your special moments! When we get home? It's being backed up on 3 separate hard drives to ensure your data isn't lost. Low light areas? No problem. We have plenty of lighting solutions ready to roll!

Do I have to order prints through you?

Nope! You have the option, but when you book through us, you have access to high resolution images with full printing rights.

When do I get the images?

You will receive a minimum of 10 sneak peak images within 72 hours of the event. The remainder of the images will be delivered via a private online gallery within 60 days of the event. From there you can download, share, and order anything you like.

When is payment due?

After we discuss the details and uncover we are a great match for each other, we will send over the contract for your review. At that time we require a 25% non refundable retainer to hold the date. The final 75% is due before the final 30 days leading up to the wedding.

How do you know what photos to take?

We have shot quite a few events :). After we sync up a few times, we get a general understanding of the couples wants/needs. Also, we always encourage you to build a mood board and share it with us. That helps us see your vision as well.

Photography Review

Photography Review

“Awesome Husband and Wife combo for all your photo needs! Very energetic and warm people. They made the photo shoots very fun and engaging for everyone! Our photos turned out 10X better then we could have imagined! Highly recommend them for your photo needs!”