How to Elope in Washington State

April 27, 2017

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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photo of the author, she has dark wavy hair, brown glasses, and red lipstick on. She is wearing a grey shirt.


Servus! I’m Emily and you’ve found my little corner of the internet, where I write about travel, intentionally living with less stuff, and living as a German-American family in Munich, Germany.  Want to know more?