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Officiant Frank Harlan answers FAQ
Washington Wedding FAQ



Q: How do we Apply for a Marriage License in Washington State?
A: CLICK HERE for info on obtaining a Marriage License in Washington.

Or search "Marriage License + the County" you live in. Out of State couples click on King County. You Do Not have to get your marriage license in the county you plan to wed. Your marriage license can be used anywhere in Washington State.

Q: Are couples required to be residents of Washington State to be married in Washington?
A: No, you are not required to be a resident of Washington or of the United States to get married in Washington.


Q: What makes our marriage legal?
A: In Washington and many other states, any Judge or Ordained Clergy Person (OCP) of a legally recognized church may marry you. It is the obtaining and filing of the certificate of marriage that makes a marriage legal. Your marriage license must be obtained by you; then legal documents completed and filed by the Officiant (or you).

Q: Since Frank Harlan is FranMo's In-house Officiant, do we have to hire him to perform our wedding?

A: Absolutely not. You can, and should, always hire a person you are comfortable with to perform your wedding with you.

NOTE: Officiant Frank Harlan is not inclusive to hosting your wedding in The Gardens at FranMo. If you would like to work with him at a location of your choice, you will need to Contact Frank and make those arrangements.


Q: After we are married, what is the process for Changing our Name?
A: All marriage license documents are signed with one's current legal name, never the intended new name. There is no legal requirement for name change after getting married; it is a right a couple may choose to exercise.


So, the easiest way to answer this question is to suggest that you
CLICK HERE for a more helpful answer.

Although aimed at brides, practical info for all genders.



Frank and his wife Molly created FranMo to do the kinds of events they love to host -- smaller gatherings of families, close friends, and work teams.

Q: What are Frank Harlan's qualifications to perform legally-binding wedding ceremony?
A: Originally, I was ordained as a member of the Clergy of the Church of Spiritual Humanism. Since then I have been endorsed as a Humanist Celebrant by The Humanist Society in conjunction with the American Humanist Association. These credentials allow me perform legal functions of the Clergy in all 50 States. Philosophically, I consider myself a Secular Humanist.


Q: What does "Officiant and Celebrant " mean?
A: Officiant or Celebrant is a secular title used by an Ordained Clergy Person (OCP) who is legally authorized to preside over a wedding ceremony. Persons representing religious organizations may prefer the title, Pastor or Minister.

Q: How long does a Wedding Ceremony take?

A: The average length of a ceremony that I script with a couple can be from 10 to 25 minutes. Depending on the various elements incorporated into the ceremony.


However, a marriage can be legally solemnized in less than 5 minutes, plus the time it takes to fill in the blanks and sign off on your legal documents. Click Here for Courthouse-style Wedding

Q: How many witnesses do we need can they be related to us?
A: You need two witnesses present for any Marriage Ceremony. It is required that they are 12 years of age or older. Any person can act as a witness; parents, siblings and friends. Even your photographer. The presiding Officiant (me) cannot act as a witness.

"For me, a couple's wedding is a transformational event. That's why I produce their wedding ceremony with them, from the time the guests arrive until they make their exit up the aisle."


Q: Can we write our own vows?
A: Sure! You can do anything you want! It’s your ceremony! I'll even give you some pointers and my guide to "Creating Your Marriage Vows", anything you need to inspire you and get your creative juices flowing.


Q: Can we include elements from different cultural traditions into our Wedding Ceremony?
A: Of course! Anything you would like to add makes for an even more personalized ceremony. I can assist you in defining where and how your creative ideas can be incorporated.


Q: Will you incorporate religious readings and verse into our wedding ceremony?
A: No.


Q: Can we include my friends and family members in our ceremony?
A: Yes, the majority of the ceremony must be performed by me as your Officiant but your friends can have minor roles throughout the wedding ceremony. I will show you all of your options when we have our initial consultation.

We eloped a couple years ago without telling anyone, now we would like to have a full-on formal wedding ceremony for family and friends, is that something you could do? As well as keep our secret?

A: Yes, of course. I get this request a few times each year. If this is your situation, you can count on me to create a first-time experience for you and a memorable wedding for all of your invited guests without ever exposing "your secret."

Q: What Venues in and around Seattle has Frank performed weddings?
A: As a full-time Wedding Officiant since 2009, I have choreographed and presided over hundreds of wedding ceremonies hosted at dozens of popular Seattle area locations including, but not limited to Herban Feast SODO, Georgetown Ballroom, The Corson Building, The Ruins, Salish Lodge, Museum of Flight, Alexis Hotel, Monte Cristo Ballroom, Seattle Tennis Club, Ray's Boat House, Seattle Space Needle, Daybreak Star, Willow's Lodge, Sander's Estate, Seattle Art Museum (SAM), Urban Light Studios, Golden Garden's Bath House, Monte Villa Farmhouse, Palace Ballroom, Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo's Rose Garden, Within SODO, Point Defiance Pagoda in Tacoma, Mt. Baker, Point Roberts, Roche Harbor in the San Juan Islands, Doe Bay Retreat on Orcas Island, The Canal in Ballard, Stemson-Green Mansion on Capitol Hill, FM Fine Art Gallery, Kitsap Memorial State Park, The Arctic Club, Cast Iron Studios, UW Center for Urban Horticulture, Clive Mansion at Marymoor Park and the Skansonia on Lake Union.

Smaller gatherings have taken place at a variety of intimate settings and public locations that have included the Sky Bridge at the Pike Place Market, Seattle Arboretum, While riding The Great Wheel, Volunteer Park Conservatory, Center for Wooden Boats, Sole Repair Shop, Tower Club, Ballard Locks, Edgewater Hotel, Discovery Park, The Parson’s Rose Garden, Gas Works Park, West Seattle’s Water Taxi Dock, Carillon Point, Alki Beach as well as on the beaches of Lake Washington, Golden Gardens and Bainbridge Island. Some of my favorite wedding ceremonies have taken place on condo rooftops, living rooms and in the backyards of neighborhood homes.

Q: Is Frank available to perform weddings in other states or countries?
A: Because of his endorsement with The Humanist Society as a Humanist Celebrant. Frank may perform weddings in all of the United States. In other countries, he can perform your "Formal Wedding Ceremony" for family and friends, but it may not be legally-binding in that country.

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