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Washington Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Washington

Washington state does not have wedding laws which dictate that a wedding ceremony take any particular form, so ministers and couples have large amount of flexibility in planning exactly how they want the special day to look and feel. The Universal Life Church Monastery offers a variety of resources for ministers to help ordained officiants guide wedding ceremonies of all shapes and sizes. In order for a wedding ceremony to be legal in the state of Washington, two witnesses (other than the two individuals getting married) must be present and able to acknowledge the wedding as having taken place. Of course, the officiant must also be present. Under Washington state law, witnesses must be at least 12 years of age.

How to Officiate a Wedding in Washington

Weddings in Washington State are, legally speaking, among the simplest to officiate and legalize within the United States. There are very few extraordinary requirements or demands placed on either the individuals getting married or the individual who is officiating the wedding ceremony. In addition, both opposite-sex and same-sex couples can be legally married in Washington state and Washington's code specifies that clergy of any recognized religious organization can legally act as a certified wedding officiant, this includes the Universal Life Church Monastery. Don't let the high level of freedom fool you, though - be sure to contact your local county officials before the ceremony to ensure that you've got everything correct. Coincidentally, the Universal Life Church Monastery is based in Seattle, Washington.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Washington

Aside from judges and court commissioners, the state of Washington recognizes clergy from a wide variety of religions and spiritual organizations. The clergyperson must simply be licensed and ordained by his or her religious organization, as is possible with the Universal Life Church Monastery's online ordination platform. Being an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church carries with it some rights and responsibilities. The central tenet of the Universal Life Church Monastery is to "do that which is right", a singular commandment our ministers are expected to respect. An ordained minister has the ability to officiate marriages and preside over funerals, as well as to start their own ministry. The Universal Life Church Monastery has ordained several thousand ministers in Washington state. It is recommended that you keep proof of your ordination with your ordination credentials.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Washington

In Washington state, as in many states, a couple must submit to a three-day waiting period between requesting a marriage license and having their wedding ceremony in order for that ceremony to be considered valid under the law. Marriage license fees are determined by the county in which they are issued, and start at $35. Marriage licenses issued throughout the union by different states have varying expiration dates. In Washington, the ceremony must take place within 60 days of the date of issue of the marriage license. It is also important to note that in Washington marriage licenses do not necessarily act as official name-change documents for couples that wish to share a surname; changing your name is a separate legal procedure. Couples must register any new names with several different agencies, depending on county.

For more detailed information, review Washington State's code for yourself.

Washington Marriage Laws


Weddings in Washington State require a Washington State wedding license. In order to obtain a marriage license in Washington you must go to the local county clerk where you intend to marry and apply for a license. The first order of business is to provide the local county clerk with valid identification. Valid identification includes a current driver's license, a valid passport or a certified birth certificate. Both you and your betrothed must go to the county clerk's office together and present the county clerk with appropriate identification documents. In addition, there is a fee to obtain a Washington State marriage license of approximately $62. Most counties only accept cash. The fee will vary from county to county so it is best to confirm the exact amount of the fee with the county clerk in the county where you intend to marry. A Washington State marriage license is valid for sixty days.

If you have been previously married, you will need to have a finalized copy of the divorce decree or a copy of your previous spouse's death certificate to present to the county clerk. There is no residency requirement if you plan on obtaining a Washington State wedding license before you can hold the wedding. There is, however, a three day waiting period after the license has been issued before you can marry. No blood tests are required. If either of the engaged couple is between the ages of seventeen and eighteen, a parent will need to go with you to the county clerk's office to give consent for you to marry. If either of you is under seventeen years of age, you must obtain judicial consent to marry. Proxy marriages are not allowed in Washington State.

In order to act as a wedding officiant in weddings in Washington State, the wedding officiant must abide by Washington State statute RCW 3.02.010. This statute specifies that any regularly licensed or ordained priest or minister or any religious congregation, church or temple may perform weddings in Washington State. There is no residency requirement to perform marriages in Washington. Additionally, active or retired judges and justices of the peace may perform weddings in Washington State. Online-ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church Monastery are able to perform legally-recognized weddings in Washington. ULC and all other online ordained ministers must present appropriate ordination papers indicating he or she has been approved to perform marriages and must also present appropriate identification to the county clerk where the marriage is to be performed. Additionally, two certified copies of the marriage certificate must be forwarded to the county auditor within thirty days of the solemnization of the union.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws: N/A

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Washington you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Washington Wedding Laws by County

Adams County

210 W Broadway Ave
PO Box 187
Ritzville, Washington

Phone: (509) 659-3257
Fmx: (509) 659-0118
Adams County website »

Asotin County

135 2nd St
PO Box 159
Asotin, Washington
Phone: (509) 243-2081
Fmx: (509) 243-4978
Asotin County website »

Benton County

7122 W Okanogan Pl
Bldg A
Kennewick, Washington

Phone: (509) 735-8388
Fax: (509) 783-1058
Benton County website »

Chelan County

350 Orondo Ave
PO Box 3025
Wenatchee, Washington
Phone: (509) 667-6380
Fmx: (509) 667-6611
Chelan County website »

Clallam County

223 E 4th St
Port Angeles, Washington

Phone: (360) 417-2231
Clallam County website »

Clark County

1200 Franklin St
PO Box 5000
Vancouver, Washington
Phone: (360) 397-2292
Fax: (360) 397-6099
Clark County website »

Columbia County

341 E Main St
Dayton, Washington

Phone: (509) 382-4321
Fmx: (509) 382-4830
Columbia County website »

Cowlitz County

312 SW 1st Ave
Rm 233
Kelso, Washington
Phone: (360) 577-3016
Fax: (360) 577-2323
Cowlitz County website »

Douglas County

203 S Rainier
PO Box 516
Waterville, Washington
Phone: (509) 745-8529
Fax: (509) 745-8027
Douglas County website »

Ferry County

350 E Delaware Ave
Republic, Washington

Phone: (509) 775-5245
Ferry County website »

Franklin County

1016 N 4th Ave
Pasco, Washington

Phone: (509) 545-3525
Fax: (509) 545-2243
Franklin County website »

Garfield County

789 Main St
PO Box 915
Pomeroy, Washington
Phone: (509) 842-3731
Fax: (509) 843-1224

Grant County

35 C St NW
PO Box 37
Ephrata, Washington

Phone: (509) 754-2011
Grant County website »

Grays Harbor County

102 W Broadway Ave
Rm 203
Montesano, Washington

Phone: (360) 249-3842
Fmx: (360) 249-6381
Grays Harbor County website »

Island County

101 NE 6th, Fl 1
PO Box 5000
Coupeville, Washington
Phone: (360) 679-7359
Alternate phone: ext. 6
Island County website »

Jefferson County

1820 Jefferson St
PO Box 1220
Port Townsend, Washington
Phone: (360) 385-9125
Fmx: (360) 385-5672

King County

516 3rd Ave
Rm E609
Seattle, Washington
Phone: (206) 296-9300
Alternate phone: (206) 296-7844
King County website »

Kitsap County

614 Division St
MS 34
Port Orchard, Washington
Phone: (360) 337-7164
Fax: (360) 337-4927

Kittitas County

205 W 5th Ave
Ellensburg, Washington
Phone: (509) 962-7531
Fmx: (509) 962-7667
Kittitas County website »

Klickitat County

205 S Columbus Ave
Rm 204
Goldengale, Washington
Phone: (509) 773-5744
Klickitat County website »

Lewis County

345 W Main, MS: Clk01
Fl 2, Law & Justice Bldg
Chehalis, Washington
Phone: (360) 740-2704
Fmx: (360) 748-1639
Lewis County website »

Lincoln County

450 Logan St
PO Box 68
Davenport, Washington
Phone: (509) 725-1401
Fax: (509) 725-1150
Lincoln County website »

Mason County

419 N 4th St, Fl 2
PO Box 340
Shelton, Washington

Phone: (360) 427-9670
Alternate phone: ext. 346
Mason County website »

Okanogan County

149 3rd N
PO Box 72
Okanogan, Washington
Phone: (509) 422-7275
Fax: (509) 422-7277
Okanogan County website »

Pacific County

300 Memorial Dr
PO Box 67
South Bend, Washington
Phone: (360) 875-9320
Pacific County website »

Pend Oreille County

229 S Garden Ave
PO Box 5020
Newport, Washington
Phone: (509) 447-2435
Fmx: (509) 447-2734
Pend Oreille County website »

Pierce County

930 Tacoma Ave S
Rm 110
Tacoma, Washington
Phone: (253) 798-7455
Fax: (253) 798-3428
Pierce County website »

San Juan County

350 Court St
Friday Harbor, Washington

Phone: (360) 378-2163
Fmx: (360) 378-3967
San Juan County website »

Skagit County

205 W Kincaid St
Rm 103
Mount Vernon, Washington
Phone: (360) 336-9440
Skagit County website »

Skamania County

240 Vancouver Ave
PO Box 790
Stevenson, Washington
Phone: (509) 427-3770
Fmx: (509) 427-3777
Skamania County website »

Snohomish County

3000 Rockefeller Ave
Fl 2, MS 605
Everett, Washington
Phone: (425) 388-3466
Fmx: (425) 388-3806
Snohomish County website »

Spokane County

1116 W Broadway Ave
Rm 300
Spokane, Washington

Phone: (509) 477-2211
Spokane County website »

Stevens County

215 S Oak St
Rm 206
Colville, Washington
Phone: (509) 684-7575
Fmx: (509) 684-7574
Stevens County website »

Thurston County

2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
Bldg 2
Olympia, Washington
Phone: (360) 786-5430
Fmx: (360) 753-4033
Thurston County website »

Wahkiakum County

64 Main St
PO Box 116
Cathlamet, Washington
Phone: (360) 795-3558
Wahkiakum County website »

Walla Walla County

315 W Main St
PO Box 836
Walla Walla, Washington
Phone: (509) 524-2780
Fax: (509) 524-2779
Walla Walla County website »

Whatcom County

311 Grand Ave
Bellingham, Washington

Phone: (360) 676-6777

Whitman County

400 N Main St
PO Box 390
Colfax, Washington
Phone: (509) 397-6240
Fax: (509) 397-3546
Whitman County website »

Yakima County

128 N 2nd St
Rm 323
Yakima, Washington
Yakima County website »