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Etiquette lessons: Wedding invitations

PHRASING Entire chapters have been written on the intricacies of invitation phrasing, so if your situation is atypical or you have a specific question, be sure to do some additional research. The below information should work for most traditional family dynamics.  If your parents are paying:  “Timothy and Jeanne Smith request the honour of your presence* at the marriage of their daughter Rachel Smith to Andrew McCall.” If you are paying:  “Rachel Smith and Andrew McCall, along with their parents, Timothy and Jeanne Smith and Gregory and Rebecca McCall, request the pleasure of your company* at their …
PHRASING
Entire chapters have been written on the intricacies of invitation phrasing, so if your situation is atypical or you have a specific question, be sure to do some additional research. The below information should work for most traditional family dynamics. 

If your parents are paying: 
“Timothy and Jeanne Smith request the honour of your presence* at the marriage of their daughter Rachel Smith to Andrew McCall.”

If you are paying: 
“Rachel Smith and Andrew McCall, along with their parents, Timothy and Jeanne Smith and Gregory and Rebecca McCall, request the pleasure of your company* at their marriage.”

*Note: “Request the honour of your presence” (with the British spelling) indicates a church ceremony. “Request the pleasure of your company” is appropriate for ceremonies held anywhere else.
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Real Weddings: Cory and Chad

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Whatcom Falls Styled Shoot

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Real Weddings: Jamie and Brian

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Resources for obtaining a marriage license – Northwest Washington

Photo by Radley Muller Photography Both applicants must provide photo ID that proves they are at least 18 years of age, or provide the required consent forms (contact your county auditor for details). In Washington state, your marriage license is not valid until three days after you have signed the application and paid the license fee. The license is then valid for 60 days. ​ Witnesses are not necessary to apply for a license. ISLAND COUNTY License fee: $56 Island County Auditor’s Office: 1 NE 7th Street, Coupeville, WA 98239 Phone: 360/240-5540 Website: wei.sos.wa.gov/county/island Email: s.crider@co.island.wa.us Hours: …
Both applicants must provide photo ID that proves they are at least 18 years of age, or provide the required consent forms (contact your county auditor for details).

In Washington state, your marriage license is not valid until three days after you have signed the application and paid the license fee. The license is then valid for 60 days.

Witnesses are not necessary to apply for a license.


ISLAND COUNTY
License fee: $56
Island County Auditor’s Office: 1 NE 7th Street, Coupeville, WA 98239
Phone: 360/240-5540
Website: wei.sos.wa.gov/county/island
Email: s.crider@co.island.wa.us
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.


SKAGIT COUNTY
License fee: $60, cash only
Skagit County Auditor’s Office: Administration Building, Room 201, 700 S. 2nd Street, Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Phone: 360/416-1704
Email: scauditor@co.skagit.wa.us
Website: skagitcounty.net/Departments/Auditor/marriage.htm
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.


SAN JUAN COUNTY
Online applications available at: sanjuanco.com/auditor/MarriageLicense
License fee: $60
San Juan County Courthouse, First Floor: 350 Court Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Phone: 360/378-2161
Email: auditor@sanjuanco.com
Website: co.san-juan.wa.us/auditor/marriage.aspx
Hours: Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.


SNOHOMISH COUNTY
License fee: $64
Snohomish County Auditor’s Office: 3000 Rockefeller Avenue, M/S 204, Everett, WA 98201
Phone: 425/388-3483
Website: snohomishcountywa.gov/294/Marriage
Email: contact.recording@snoco.org
Hours: Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–noon and 1–5 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m.–noon and 1–4 p.m.


WHATCOM COUNTY
Online applications available at: recording.whatcomcounty.us/Marriage
License fee: $59
Whatcom County Auditor’s Office Recording Division: 311 Grand Avenue, Suite 103, Bellingham, WA 98225
Phone: 360/778-5100
Website: co.whatcom.wa.us/214/Marriage-Licenses
Email: recording@co.whatcom.wa.us
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
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Engagement shoot: Jennifer and Daniel

Jennifer and Daniel's beach engagement shoot, photographed by Lily and Lane Photography, celebrates their personality as a couple. And what a sweet couple they are! The photographer says: Jennifer and Daniel are getting married this December at Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse, and came over from Vancouver, B.C., to have their engagement session on the island as well. Since Jennifer has family in Victoria, we scheduled their engagement session to coincide with a preplanned trip to the island at the beginning of December. As you know, winter weather in the Pacific Northwest isn’t always conducive to outdoor photos, and it ended up being so windy and rainy on …
Jennifer and Daniel's beach engagement shoot, photographed by Lily and Lane Photography, celebrates their personality as a couple. And what a sweet couple they are!
The photographer says: Jennifer and Daniel are getting married this December at Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse, and came over from Vancouver, B.C., to have their engagement session on the island as well. Since Jennifer has family in Victoria, we scheduled their engagement session to coincide with a preplanned trip to the island at the beginning of December. As you know, winter weather in the Pacific Northwest isn’t always conducive to outdoor photos, and it ended up being so windy and rainy on our original session date that had to postpone. Luckily, Jennifer and Daniel were coming back to the island for Christmas so we rescheduled for later in the month and the weather decided to cooperate. In fact, despite the grey skies, it only started pouring rain after our session ended.

Initially, Jennifer and Daniel wanted to have their engagement photos taken in one of Victoria’s inland parks; however, the stormy weather at the beginning of December convinced them that the beach might be a more
dynamic location. I put forward two suggestions – one urban location and Island View Beach, a coastal regional park with a more naturalized look. Jennifer and Daniel decided Island View Beach would be the perfect spot,
and not only did we have the park’s natural beauty as our backdrop, we also got to use pre-existing driftwood structures that other visitors had made and left standing on the beach.

When we started the session, I told Jennifer and Daniel that my goal wasn'’t just to make sure they had engagement photos that they love, but ones that reflect them and who they are as a couple. I want them to be
able to look at their photos and remember their engagement session as fun and comfortable, and I think we achieved that. Jennifer and Daniel wear their love for each other openly; you can see and feel it when you’re
around them, and it shines through in their photos.

Location: Island View Beach Regional Park, Central Saanich, B.C.
Photographer: Lily and Lane Photography
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What you'll really remember: Brides' favorite moments

Photo by David Clumpner Photography Photo by MCD Photography While in the midst of planning, it’s easy to think it would be a disaster if you didn’t get your DIY favors finished, or if your florist couldn’t source your favorite flower. But when you ask brides what they really remember – their favorite moments from their wedding – you’ll find it’s the simple things that really matter: “We had a first look, but it was only for me. My husband wore a blindfold and I got to see him. That probably was my favorite memory from the entire day because it was finally happening.” – Elizabeth M. “Making s’mores on the beach …
Brides' favorite wedding memories | Photo by MCD PhotographyPhoto by MCD Photography
While in the midst of planning, it’s easy to think it would be a disaster if you didn’t get your DIY favors finished, or if your florist couldn’t source your favorite flower. But when you ask brides what they really remember – their favorite moments from their wedding – you’ll find it’s the simple things that really matter:

“We had a first look, but it was only for me. My husband wore a blindfold and I got to see him. That probably was my favorite memory from the entire day because it was finally happening.” – Elizabeth M.

“Making s’mores on the beach at the end of the night with my husband.” – Jennifer M.

“Afterward at dinner when I realized I had no idea what the decorations at the ceremony looked like, because all I could see was him. It reminded me why I got married.” – Nikki B.

“We rode our tandem bike around and through our crowd of guests after the ceremony and pictures. It was a perfect and very fun moment that broke up all the formal wedding must-dos and transitioned our evening into party time!” – Karli M.

“All of it was amazing. I guess I’d say after everything was done, sitting on the beach that night with my closest friends and family at the resort. It was a simple moment but it was when I realized I was married and all these wonderful people love me so much they flew across the country to be with me on my day! It was the moment I had everyone I’m closest to in one spot at one time and we all got to relax by the beach with a drink in our hand. We got to forget about life and just enjoy the moment.” – Jenna M.

“Waiting to walk down the aisle, with my 9-year-old son giving me away.” – Rebecca M.

“When my husband played his acoustic guitar for everyone and got to have his own mini concert.” – Emily E.

“Oh, that’s a tough one. I think probably after it was all said and done, taking pause over the teamwork of pulling the hundreds of bobby pins out of my hair to realize, ‘Whoa. We got married today,’ (and survived)!” – Larissa J.


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Real Weddings: Telena and Brandon

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Kate and Sam Engagement Shoot

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Hire a professional

Photo by Clinton James Photography So your cousin is an amateur photographer and has offered to photograph your wedding, or your best friend really wants to arrange your flowers. While it sounds tempting to save a little extra money on the service, and it’s hard to say no to our loved ones, accepting their kind offers may not be the best idea in the world.  Before you decide to hand over important wedding day tasks to your friends and relatives, let us tell you why we think you should hire a professional instead. You get what you pay for. When you hire a professional, you get to thoroughly check them out – see their previous work, read reviews and get samples. You …
So your cousin is an amateur photographer and has offered to photograph your wedding, or your best friend really wants to arrange your flowers. While it sounds tempting to save a little extra money on the service, and it’s hard to say no to our loved ones, accepting their kind offers may not be the best idea in the world. 
Before you decide to hand over important wedding day tasks to your friends and relatives, let us tell you why we think you should hire a professional instead.

You get what you pay for. When you hire a professional, you get to thoroughly check them out – see their previous work, read reviews and get samples. You can make sure that they are going to do a wonderful job on your wedding day. They’re charging for their service because they’re good at it, which you can confirm before you hire them. You’re not likely to have the same luxury with a friend or relative.

They’re experienced. It’s unlikely that you’ve ever planned an event this big before, and no matter how confident you feel about planning your wedding, you’re going to want people on your side who have been through it all before. Professionals have worked on many weddings, and know exactly what they should be doing, and how to keep your day on track. They’re also practiced at handling the stress and sometimes-chaotic environment of the average wedding day.

You’re protected. What happens if your caterer never shows up, or your venue double books for your wedding day? If that vendor was a professional, you’ve got a contract to fall back on that clearly states their obligations. If instead, a family member or a friend was in charge, you have little legal recourse, and may be putting your relationship with that person at risk. In addition, professionals carry insurance, so should any accidents happen, you won’t be left holding the bag. 

Everyone can enjoy your day. You want your friends and family to be able to relax and have fun at your wedding, and you should be able to do the same. Hiring professionals to work your wedding means that instead of wrangling people and making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be all day, you can step back and enjoy the celebration you’ve worked so hard to create.

Of course your loved ones want to have a special place in your big day – they should be involved in such an important event. Have your best friend and your mother help you shop for your wedding dress and accessories, and ask that sister with an eye for detail to help you pick your decorations, but when it comes to the essential components of your wedding, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
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Tips on tipping

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Real Wedding: Katja and Joel

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