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).
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?