Read on to find out what you need to know getting hitched in the Evergreen State.
Washington is a destination-wedding oasis. Here, couples can kayak to their vows near Orcas Island; say sunset “I do”s as waves roll to shore at Pacific Beach; drink in wedded bliss at a Walla Walla vineyard; take the plunge into a powder run at Crystal Mountain (or at any of more than a dozen other ski resorts); bike to blessed matrimony at a Whidbey Island farm; walk the aisle beneath a rain-forest canopy at Sol Duc Hot Springs; go to new heights in the Space Needle; marry among Chihulys at the Seattle Center and so much more.
For those looking to tie the knot in Washington, there are some rules. State laws require—no big surprise here—both partners to be unmarried and not in a civil union or recognized domestic partnership elsewhere. Both must also be 18 or able to prove parental consent if younger.
All couples must apply for a marriage license ($64), which is valid after a three-day waiting period and for up to 60 days. Licenses may be obtained in any county (or via mail) and fulfilled anywhere within the state.
That includes, as it turns out, on any of the state’s 23 ferries—just so long as the ship is still sailing within Washington waters.
—Julie H. Case