As a follow up to my post a couple weeks ago about eloping in Idaho, I wanted to share my tips for eloping in Washington. Unfortunately, it takes a bit more planning and coordinating to elope in Washington, but it can still be done.

Washington Elopement Photographer // Emily Wenzel Photography

How to Elope in Washington State

Getting a marriage license in Washington doesn’t require a blood test, but it does require you to wait three days. Which is a bit of a bummer. However, like Leslie & Drew, who eloped here, you can request an application by mail. The King County Marriage License page has the most comprehensive information on applying by mail for a Washington marriage license.

If you want to get married over the weekend in Washington state, you’ll need to pick up your license on a Thursday (for Saturday) or a Friday (for Sunday). So if you get into town early on a Friday, you can get married on Sunday.  You can find the Spokane County information page right here, but it’s not very helpful.

Elope at Sunset in Washington // Emily Wenzel Photography

The other big difference between an Idaho and Washington elopement is that you need two witnesses for any marriage in Washington. That means that you need to have at least three people in attendance (two witnesses and your officiant). There are a couple ways you can make sure to have those witnesses: you can bring two people with you, or you can have your officiant and photographer make sure one of them brings another person along to sign. I’ve signed as a witness before, and it’s always an honor to do so!

Cave B Winery Wedding Elopement // Emily Wenzel Photography

Now that you’ve gotten your license and found a couple witnesses, it’s time to find a place to get married. There are elopement packages at a lot of smaller venues in Washington, just like in Idaho. Leslie & Drew got married at Cave B Winery in Quincy. Another dreamy location would be Treehouse Point, in Issaquah. There are of course, dozens of beautiful locations in the outdoors too. You could get married up at Mt. Spokane, or perhaps on the beach at Alki in Seattle. Maybe hop out to one of the San Juan Islands? I put together a list of perfect AirBnbs for eloping. Or just for a weekend getaway.

And that’s it! Get a marriage license, wait three days, grab two people and an officiant, and boom!

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This wedding. I’ve been dying of happiness all over again, choosing the images for the post, because I just loved this wedding so much. This is a doozy of a post, because there were just so many fantastic moments, I wanted to share them all. Jasmine & Derek planned their Aspen Grove wedding long distance, and so I exchanged multiple emails with her before we got to meet the two of them in person. I think at our first meeting, we talked for over two hours! Our second meeting might have even been longer, and we sent a lot of emails back and forth. [Seriously, when you book me for your wedding, I’m here to help with random stuff, like what time your ceremony should be.] Jasmine has this beautiful, warm, bubbly personality, and Derek is this calm force of nature. And I know I’m not the only one who thinks that, because every single person who gave a toast at their wedding talked about how she and Derek were the sweetest, kindest, people you’d ever meet. I have never laughed and cried so much during toasts. Jasmine’s dad, Mehran, gave the sweetest toast that had all of us bawling and laughing.

Jasmine & Derek were high school sweethearts, so this day was years in the making. It was only fitting that these two adventurous souls got married on a day where it threatened to rain, and then the sun came out in all its’ golden glory. Not only that, family is super important to them both, and Jasmine has – as she put it – a huge Persian family. So there were a ton of people at the wedding! Everyone had a wonderful time, and I want to say that this was in part to the amazing team Jasmine and Derek put together. Jolie and Allen at Couple of Chefs catering handled all the food and drink, and their team was amazing (as usual). And now I want tacos – at least today is Tuesday!

Jas & Derek, thank you. Thank you for trusting me to capture your day, thank you for making me laugh, and thank you for the beautiful little plant that I somehow haven’t killed yet. ;) I wish you all the love and luck and adventures that life has in store for you!!

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Venue: Aspen Grove Weddings – Deer Park // Catering: Couple of Chefs // Baker: Couple of Chefs // Hair & Makeup: Lisa Boehm // Florals: Erica’s Expressions // Jasmine’s Dress: Velvet Bride (Missoula, MT)

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N was less than 24 hours old, and we were alone in our room at the hospital. H had gone home to check on the pets, and after a night of constant checks, the room was finally peaceful. I reached over to grab my camera, and I snapped a few dozen photos of her. Brand new.

It’s hard to describe how I feel when I have a camera in my hands. Things are more clear, focused. All the noise falls away, and I’m left with just the images I want to create. The artist and her canvas. From the moment I realized I was actually in labor, I felt like I was sprinting toward the finish line in a race. N didn’t just show up two weeks early, she came roaring into this world in a whirlwind that left my head spinning for weeks. But for a few short minutes, I was able to focus on her tiny fingers, her eyelashes, her little dimples.

She’s a giant now, compared to that day. And the list of things she’s taught me in the past four months would fill a novel. I thought this transition to motherhood, to working at home with a baby, would be all about showing myself grace. I was wrong. Oh, I’ve had to show myself plenty of grace, it’s true. But N has taught me that being present is the most important thing. I can write emails while she naps, or check my Instagram feed after she goes to bed at night, but these precious moments with her? They’re flying by. So I set my phone down, and I look in her eyes. I snuggle her close when she needs me. I’m trying to live each moment as it is. I’m trying to extend that presence to all aspects of my life. To focus on my meals when I’m eating. To listen to people when they’re speaking. To be present in all aspects of life.

Everything is different now. It’s messier, more exhausting, and yet, it’s exactly the same. The days blur together in an endless parade of giggles and emails and laundry. The giggles are new, but the endless emails and laundry have always been here. We’ve gone to IKEA, H has taken a business trip without us, and N’s been to three states (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho). She’s got her passport, and is preparing for her first trip to Germany.

In some ways, the busy nature of having her has helped me. I’m more focused. I tend to waste less time on social media, because I have things to get done. I’m behind on getting my garden planted, but hey, we got some April snow, so it was kind of a blessing. I may not be multitasking as much, but I’m a boss at prioritizing and getting things done. I’m finding a new balance in 2017.

Spokane Newborn Fresh 48 Photography // Emily Wenzel Photography

 

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Hi, I’m Emily!

Based in Spokane, I travel throughout the Pacific Northwest for weddings, portraits, private events, and more. You'll usually find me with a bag of Haribo gummy bears or a chai tea in hand. Thought lately, this little one has kept my hands pretty full....see full bio.

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