Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for Your Marriage License

The official document that says you’re married…it’s not just a piece of paper!

You can apply for your marriage license within 60 days of your wedding date, however there is a 3 day waiting period so don’t wait until the last minute. This 3 day waiting period CANNOT be waived…not even under court order. For example, if you are getting married August 6, 2016 you must obtain your license between June 5, 2016 and August 3, 2016. King County has a cool template to tell you when you can apply for your marriage license.

Marriage license application fee is $66 per couple in most counties – check payment options for the county you’re applying in.

You can apply for your marriage license in any county in the State of Washington. We suggest you get it closest to where you live to make getting a copy of your official marriage license easier. For example, if you live in Snohomish County and are getting married in Pierce County then get it in Snohomish County. Follow the instructions given by the county you apply in and you should be all set.

Send the signed official copy in immediately following your wedding day. Most professional officiants – pastors, judges, captains, ministers, etc – will take it with them and send it in for you. However if your officiant is your best friend, aunt, uncle, sister, brother or other VIP who doesn’t marry people often and you think that maybe he/she will forget then give it to the most responsible person to hold onto it after its signed and have them send it in.

TIPS from the Pros…

Make sure you have a nice pen to sign the marriage license with. You don’t want to be stuck using a yellow pen with your dentist’s logo on it…not very pretty in pictures.
If you want to sign the fancy unofficial one provided by the state, be sure to have it filled out before the wedding day…however don’t send that one in, frame it and put it on the wall.
Get 5 copies of your marriage license when it becomes available. You’ll be surprised how many copies it takes to change your name, bank accounts, drivers license, professional license, social security, passport, airmile accounts, ect. Also keep a copy in your wallet for the things that you need to change within the first year of marriage.
Here’s a list of county websites to make applying for your license a little easier. If you don’t see the county you live in, just Google “(county) Washington marriage license” and it should come right up.

King County

Pierce County

Snohomish County

Kitsap County

Thurston County

Skagit County

Chelan County


Banquet Permit

Most venues and catering companies require that you get a Banquet Permit for your wedding day. Follow the instructions, have your credit card handy and in no time you will have your banquet permit…magic!

Fee: $11

Washington State Banquet Permit

Tipping & Gratuities

From the caterer, to the florist and all the way to the parking attendants, gratuities are greatly appreciated and serves as a thank-you for a job well done. Most of us are familiar with tipping a server at a restaurant and/or our hair stylist, but tipping wedding vendors is new territory. Many catering companies* and transportation companies build in the gratuity, but all other vendors leave it to your discretion. That said, an extensive Google search and with trusted vendor guidance we have compiled a list of suggested tip rates for your amazing wedding vendors. At the end of the day tipping is up to you and your experience with each vendor. Whatever you choose to give, Holcomb Weddings are more than happy to give the tips to your vendors at the end of the evening. We just ask that all tips be in labeled, sealed, envelopes ready to give.

*Confirm whether or not gratuity is built into your final bill. The Service Charge is not a gratuity.

Judge/Captain $50-$75
Clergy Member: $100-$200
When: Immediately after Rehearsal

Caterer (if not included in your bill)
Catering Captain/Banquet Manager: $75-$100
Waiters/Kitchen Staff: $50—$75 each
Bartender: $50-$75 each
Chef: $75-$100
When: At the end of the event

Tips from the Pros…

  • Prior to your wedding date, find out what staff members will be on site for your wedding and what roles they play. This information will not only serve to know who to tip, but how much. Put cash tips in individual envelopes and give to Banquet Manager or Catering Captain at the end of the evening to distribute to staff.
  • Tip Jar vs. No Tip Jar Here’s the skinny on the tip jar…if you are paying for your guests to drink then no tip jar! If you have a cash bar then put a tip jar out.

$50-$100 or gift
When: At the end of the event

$25-$50 per musician
When: At the end of the event

Ceremony Musicians
$25-$50 per musician
When: At the end of the event

Hairstylist & Make-up Artist
15-20% of the total bill
When: Immediately after services complete

Up to $100 or gift
When: Upon Delivery

Wedding Planner
Up to $500 or gift
When: At the end of the event

Delivery/Set-up Staff
$5-$10 per person
When: Upon Delivery

If not included in fee, 15-20% of total bill
When: After the last ride

Valet or Parking Attendants
$1-$2 per vehicle
When: At the end of the event

Coat Check Attendants
$.50-$1 per guest
When: At the end of the event

Venue Insurance

Most venues require insurance and there’s no getting around it. On average, you are going to spend $250-$350 on this. I know what you’re thinking, you spent a ton of money on the venue so far, why are they making you spend more, right? It is to protect you, your guests and cover the venue in case anything goes wrong. Be sure to look at your venue contract for the coverage they require and in some cases the specific wording that needs to be stated on the insurance certificate.

If you or your family has an insurance agent, they can help you with this. If you don’t, WedSafe is a great online resource for getting insurance.

However if the insurance part is still confusing for you and you want to talk to a real person who can help you, Elana Bryan with Great Northwest Insurance is awesome to work with!

Great Northwest Insurance
Elana Bryan, CPCU