Legally Licensed

A few weeks ago, Sparky and I ducked out for a few hours on a Monday to head down to the county administration building so we could submit all of our paperwork (and $64) in order to get our marriage license.


It sort of reminds me of the DMV or DOL

We went in expecting to wait in a line and while away most of a sunny afternoon, but it went surprisingly quickly. We went up to that counter, answered some demographic questions, showed our IDs, and received some paperwork to fill out (one sheet).

We took the paperwork over to the provided table to fill it out and we were surprised/delighted to find something to entertain ourselves. It was as if they knew I was coming!


Why else would they have a dinosaur book?


I ended up filling out the application for both of us (since my handwriting is better) and then we both signed it. Part of the paperwork was a statement where we were swearing that we weren’t related, that we were above 18 (or 16, if we had parental consent), and that neither of us had a sexually transmitted disease that we had not disclosed to the other person. We giggled at that and wondered how many people that last one should, technically, exclude.

Once our paperwork was finished, we went back up to the counter and had to swear that the information was correct and that we were both consenting adults.

With that out of the way, they handed us over a packet of paperwork meant for our officiant and the ceremonial piece of paper that we’ll sign (with MOH Tart and Best Man Biscuits as witnesses).


Pretty excited!


We both were pretty excited, actually.

That ceremonial certificate, as I was looking at it later, is somewhat confusing. I’m not sure how similar it is to other marriage certificates, but I thought it might be helpful to you all to see my best guess as to how to fill it out.


As best as I can, for King County at least, the certificate should look like the above one and read:

This is to certify, that the undersigned, a (insert credential of your officiant) by authority of a marriage license bearing the date (fifth) day of (August) A.D. 20(13) and issued by the County of King, did on the (wedding date) day of (September) A.D. 20(13) at the hour of (5:00pm) in the County of (King), State of Washington, join in lawful wedlock (Sparky Campfire) of (Saint Louis, Missouri) and (Miss Campfire) of (Seattle, Washington) with their mutual assent in the presence of (Best Man Biscuits) and (Maid of Honor Tart) witnesses. In Testimony Whereof, witness the Signatures of the parties to said ceremony, the witnesses, and myself this (wedding date) day of (September) A.D. 20(13).

Witnesses: (Best Man Biscuits, Maid of Honor Tart), Parties: (Sparky Campfire, Miss Campfire), Officiant: (Officiant J, 123 Weddingbee Lane, Seattle, WA 98101)

The whole process was quick—we were in an out in no more than 20 minutes. In Washington, there is a three-day waiting period and then the license is good for 60 days, so we are all set for our wedding!

What was your experience with getting your marriage certificate?


Mrs. Campfire

Seattle, WA
Wedding Date:
September 2013
Jackson and his Mill
Gallery of the Day: August 26, 2013
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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Anna, Guest @ 8:04 am

    My fiance and I just got out marriage license the other day too! (We also live in King County). I agree that the ceremonial red and gold certificate is confusing…but the way you filled it out is the way I think it’s supposed to be done too.


  2. campfire Member
    campfire 1045 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:24 am

    @Anna: Congratulations to you, too!

  3. Member
    nowdontletsbesilly 1428 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:36 am

    We got ours in Snohomish County, and our ceremonial certificate is blue instead – weird! But that is just for your own use, right? We had to send back a different form all signed and stuff, but our officiant/my FIL had a friend who is a calligrapher fill in all the details on the ceremonial one ahead of time so it looks all fancy and formal. Pretty cool! I’m glad they give you something like that so it looks better than a copy of a boring form…

  4. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:38 am

    My stomach just did flip-flops thinking about going to get the marriage certificate! Exciting!

  5. campfire Member
    campfire 1045 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:39 am

    @NowDontLetsBeSilly: Oh, I’d rather have a blue one! Darn. But yes – the fancy form is better than the official boring form copy. :)
    @Blonde17Jess: That’s how I felt!

  6. Member
    BulldogBride 297 posts, Helper bee @ 12:43 pm

    DH took care of ours – filling it out, picking it up, etc. He regularly works in the town where the courthouse is so instead of me taking off work to get it done, I put him in charge and he did great! Ours wasn’t as pretty as yours though. Just a white paper with Marriage License written at the top and the same information in the body.

  7. campfire Member
    campfire 1045 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:21 pm

    @BulldogBride: Both of us had to be present for ours but it’s great that your husband took care of yours!

  8. wellies Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:24 pm

    Congrats on getting the marriage license! I love your fancy pen! :)

  9. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:52 pm

    Yay, campfires!

  10. campfire Member
    campfire 1045 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:02 pm

    @Miss Wellies: Thanks! It wasn’t my pen – it belongs to King County. :)
    @Mrs. Waterfall: :)

  11. gondola Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:31 pm

    Wow! I think the license is pretty. I like the ring design.

  12. Member
    fridaythe13bride 291 posts, Helper bee @ 9:13 am

    So funny as we just got ours yesterday! We paid $97 (in Cali) and it was the easiest part of wedding planning so far! I was able to submit the info online the night before and make an appointment. We didn’t have to wait in line, and all we did was show ID, proof read the license, and swear we weren’t marrying for insurance reasons. We were in gym clothes so I didn’t take any pictures, but it sure did make things that much more real!

  13. campfire Member
    campfire 1045 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:17 am

    @Miss Gondola: I’m pretty excited to frame it.
    @fridaythe13bride: Congratulations!

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