In the early emails that Holly sent me, she told me all about how they wanted to get married up at Vista House on Mt. Spokane. She told me that they wanted a small wedding, not quite an elopement, but only their families there. And what she told me resonated so much, because they knew what they wanted, they knew the wedding that would be best for them, and they chose to make that a reality. You guys, this wedding was so beautiful and so perfect for one reason – Holly and Justin planned a wedding that was exactly what they wanted! They could have had a big wedding, or eloped with no one there, but they listened to what their hearts wanted, which was to have this intimate wedding with just a few special people there to share the day. They got ready together at the top of the mountain, and we traipsed around to take photos after their sweet ceremony, before they drove off to have a family dinner together.
And here is the thing, big or small, first look or no, traditions or no, I don’t care. I’m going to advise you on how to budget time for photos so that you’re less stressed and get beautiful photos to keep forever (print them, please!). I’ll tell you the pros and cons of each option when we plan your timeline, but it’s not my job to dictate how your day goes. You should have a wedding that is a reflection of your relationship, your love, and your dreams for the future.
Which, on a mountain top on a Friday afternoon, is exactly what this Holly + Justin did. But I would have loved this wedding just as much if it’d been at the courthouse.
Holly + Justin, thank you for letting me into your lives to capture this precious day. I wish you both all the love and joy in marriage for the rest of your lives!!
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.
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.
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!
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!