Cherry Blossom Elopements

Look what we are doing ~ Cherry Blossom Elopements! Nothing says spring like a walk through cherry trees. And what is more romantic than getting married in the spring underneath cherry tree blossoms? To help fuel your passion for spring and each other we’ve put together the perfect package.  Our Cherry Blossom Elopement package includes three plus locations depending on which has the best bloom, my services to officiate your ceremony and one hour of photography. Call me for details for your Cherry Blossom Elopement!

Cherry Blossom Elopements, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Seattle elopement, elope in seattle, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Last minute wedding, Elaine Way

Book Your Officiant Early!

In this post I will explain why it is so important to book your officiant early.  This is a note I received from a bride last July:

“My fiance and I are looking for a last-minute officiant for our wedding.  We’ve actually been wedding planning for over a year but kind of put off getting an officiant until this last minute.  If you are available for this date please let me know!”

Well, I wasn’t available and I’m not sure if any of my trusted colleagues were either.  Couples, if you are beginning the planning process, please book your officiant early.  It has been my experience over the past nine years that based on the popular engagement dates below, January is the heaviest booking month in the industry.  In fact, most of my high-season Saturdays (May-October) will be booked by early February. I would like to share a few facts with you  regarding booking your officiant:

Although weddings take place year-round, 76% of weddings occur during the Summer and Fall months.  In fact, 25 dates make up 50% of all weddings in 2015.  (You guessed right, they are all on a Saturday!).

Most popular dates to get engaged:

Christmas Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas Eve, New Years Day, December 20th (Saturday before Xmas), December 13th (2 Saturdays before Xmas, New Years Eve, December 19th (Friday before Xmas), December 23rd, and Independence Day.

Check out this easy rule of thumb:

Based on the average 13-month engagement, most couples search for the majority of their vendors 7-9 months prior to their wedding

In summary:  Book your officiant early!  I would hate to get your call in July for an August wedding like the bride above and have to say, “I’m sorry, I’m not available.”

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Data based on WedInisights, industry data from WeddingWire

Seattle Wedding Officiants Wins 2015 Couples’ Choice

Wedding Wire 2015

Elaine Way of Seattle‘s Own Seattle Wedding Officiants Wins a WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award® 2015Seattle, WAJanuary 15, 2015 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading online wedding marketplace, named Seattle Wedding Officiants as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015 for Officiant in Seattle!The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015 recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The esteemed awards are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their professional achievements from the previous year.While many industry award winners are selected by the host organization, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with Seattle Wedding Officiants. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.”It’s always exciting to start the year by honoring the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Network who represent more than two million reviews on our website,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Each of the businesses recognized are committed to quality, professionalism and all around top-notch service. We applaud Seattle Wedding Officiants for their impressive achievements within the wedding industry.”As a Couples’ Choice Awards® winner, Seattle Wedding Officiants is highlighted within the WeddingWire Network, which is comprised of more than 200,000 wedding professionals throughout North America and abroad.Seattle Wedding Officiants is proud to be one of the top Officiant in Seattle in the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding sites such as WeddingWire, Project Wedding, Brides.com, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. We value all of our clients and truly appreciate the positive feedback that helped us earn the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015.For more information about Seattle Wedding Officiants, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/seattle-wedding-officiants-seattle/355963dc6eae85dc.html.To learn more about the Couple’s Choice Awards®, please visit www.weddingwire.com/couples-choice-awards.

About WeddingWire
WeddingWire, the leading technology company serving the $100 billion wedding and events industry, is the largest online vertical marketplace connecting engaged couples with event professionals. With more than two million consumer reviews, it is the industry leader in consumer reviews. The site enables engaged couples to search, compare and book from an extensive database of more than 200,000 recently reviewed event professionals, from venues to photographers. WeddingWire provides event professionals with the technology they need to serve their clients, including a SaaS platform, which powers advertising, marketing, and CRM needs of local wedding and events businesses nationwide.

 

Seattle Glass Blowing Studio Elopement

I was first contacted by Tammy and Patrice in early 2014.  They live in South Carolina and wanted to have their destination wedding in Seattle, Washington.  I asked them what they had in mind for a venue — indoor?  outdoor?  They expressed a love of nature and I assured them that we had many beautiful parks  and beaches that they would love.  They also expressed a love of glass blowing.  I immediately recalled a glass blowing studio that I often pass on my way through downtown Seattle.  I contacted the Seattle Glass Blowing Studio and inquired about doing a small wedding ceremony within the studio and adding a glass pouring ceremony.  They were enthusiastically on board for a Seattle Glass Blowing Studio elopement.

If you are familiar with the traditional sand pouring ceremony in which two different colors of sand are poured by the couple into one vessel — imagine pouring two different colors of glass crystals (referred to as “frit”) into a center vessel, which is then later blown into a beautiful sculpture.  Tammy and Patrice were on board and I worked out all the details with the operations manager at the studio.

We had the studio to ourselves for approximately 30 minutes at which time we had the ceremony.  The ladies poured their frit and I got to sign my first Ketubah – a Jewish wedding tradition.  I brought in my friend and colleague Jeanne of Jeanne Phinney Photography to shoot the wedding and what follows are the lovely pictures of two very happy ladies.  Congratulations Tammy and Patrice!

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Glass Blowing Studio Elopement, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Elope in Seattle, Seattle Elope

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Glass Blowing Studio Elopement, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Elope in Seattle, Seattle Elope

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Glass Blowing Studio Elopement, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Elope in Seattle, Seattle Elope

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Glass Blowing Studio Elopement, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Elope in Seattle, Seattle Elope

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Glass Blowing Studio Elopement, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Elope in Seattle, Seattle Elope

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Glass Blowing Studio Elopement, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Elope in Seattle, Seattle Elope

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Glass Blowing Studio Elopement, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Elope in Seattle, Seattle Elope

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Glass Blowing Studio Elopement, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Elope in Seattle, Seattle Elope

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Glass Blowing Studio Elopement, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Elope in Seattle, Seattle Elope

How to Obtain a Washington State Marriage License When Out of State

Marriage Open

Washington State marriage licenses are only valid for 60 days.  Therefore, you do not want to begin this process until you are within that 60-day period.  For example, if your wedding date is August 30th, don’t mail your application until June 30th.  That puts the arrival and processing of the application within the 60-day valid period.  If you send it more than 60 days before your wedding date it will expire and you will have to re-apply.

Here are the steps:

  1. Click on this link to be taken to the King County Marriage Licensing Dept:  http://www.kingcounty.gov/courts/marriage.aspx
  2. When you land on the page, click on Applying for a Marriage License
  3. Next, click on Apply by Mail
  4. Click on Download a Marriage License Application (PDF)
  5. Download the application and print it off
  6. Take the application to a licensed notary (banks usually have at least one notary).  Please note: both of you must be present to get the application completed and your signatures notarized.  Be sure to bring valid photo ID, i.e. passport, driver’s license.
  7. Mail the completed license application in an overnight envelope with a cashier’s check in the amount of $64 made out to King County to:

King County Marriage Licensing
King County Administration Building
500 Fourth Ave., Suite 311
Seattle, WA 98104

Please call the courthouse (206-296-4021206-296-4021) approximately 5 days after you have mailed your application to ensure they have received it.  Next, shoot me an e-mail and let me know it’s ready to be picked up and I’ll swing by and get it and bring it to your ceremony.

Pentagon Announces Same-Sex Spouse Benefits

I am so proud of Washington state for pushing referendum 74 through in December of 2012, making our state the tenth jurisdiction in the United States (9 states, plus the District of Columbia) to extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples.  Since that time I have had the honor  and privilege of officiating dozens of same-sex weddings for couples from all over the country.

Following is an update from the Department of Defense who has voted to extend federal benefits to same-sex spouses of military service members.  Congratulations on another victory!

Courtesy of NBC News.com September 3, 2013:

“The Department of Defense announced a plan on Wednesday to extend a range of federal benefits to same-sex spouses of military service members starting Sept. 3.

The Pentagon will extend to legally married same-sex couples the same privileges and programs that are provided to legally married heterosexual couples, including benefits tied to health care, housing, and family separation allowance, compensation paid to military members when their dependents can’t live with them at their permanent duty station.

“The Department of Defense remains committed to ensuring that all men and women who serve in the U.;SD. military, and their families, are treated fairly and equally as the law directs,” the Pentagon said in its announcement Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a senior official told NBC News that service members who are stationed in one of the 37 states where same-sex marriage is illegal will be offered up to 10 days of leave so they can travel to one of the 13 states, plus the District of Columbia, that grant same-sex marriage licenses.

All entitlements are retroactive to June 26, 2013 the date of the Supreme Court’s ruling that a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is unconstitutional.

By Jim Miklaszewski, Courtney Kube and Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News

FAQ’s About Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

I am so proud of Washington State since we passed Referendum 74, allowing same-sex couples to marry in our state.  I have had the honor and pleasure of officiating dozens of same-sex weddings since December 6, 2012 when this referendum passed.  I realize that those of you coming from in and out-of-state may have some questions around this subject, and I put together a list below of common questions and answers that I hope will help.

Questions and Answers: Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

1. Where do couples apply for marriage licenses?

Couples can obtain a marriage license from any county, usually at the county auditor.  They do not have to obtain their marriage license from the county where they reside or the county where they plan to have the marriage ceremony.  Follow this link to obtain information about county offices that issue marriage licenses: http://access.wa.gov/topics/licensecertificate/marriagelicense.

2.  What if I am coming from out-of-state?  How do I apply for my marriage license?

You can apply for your marriage license by mail.  You will need to go to the King County Marriage License website and download the PDF Marriage License application.   You will then need to take the application to a licensed notary (banks usually staff a licensed notary) and have your signatures notarized after you complete the form.  You will need proper photo I.D. to have your signatures notarized.  Next, you will send the form with a cashier’s check or money order in the amount of $64 to:

King County Marriage Licensing
King County Administration Building
500 Fourth Ave., Suite 311
Seattle, WA 98104

If an application is mailed, the marriage license must be picked up at this location, it will not be mailed.  Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., except holidays.  (Please note, I am happy to pick up your marriage license for you at the courthouse with a 48-hour notice.)

3.   How long do I have to wait before I can use the marriage license?

Washington law requires all couples to wait three days after applying for their marriage license before having their marriage ceremony.  So if a couple receives their marriage license on December 6, they will have to wait until December 9 to get married.

4.   Is there a fee to apply for the marriage license?

Yes.  The fee varies by county.  In King County, the fee is currently $64.   Cash or checks are accepted.

5. Can same-sex couples marry in Washington if they live in another state?

Yes.  There is no residency requirement to marry in Washington.  However, out-of-state couples should be advised that their marriage may not be recognized in their home state if their state does not permit same-sex couples to marry.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions about marriage for same-sex couples in Washington State.  I would love to be your officiant!